No holiday season is complete without friends, family, and of course, great food! This December, Assure A Smile encourages Miami families to add a healthy twist to their holiday fun with these delicious Paleo Diet Christmas recipes. Eat well, feel great, and stay cheerful knowing that these recipes include foods that are known to promote a healthy life-long smile.
Why eat like our Stone Age ancestors? The Paleo Diet is a new and exciting approach to nutrition that nourishes the body and reduces the incidence of serious health issues. In fact, clinical trials have shown that the Paleo Diet can significantly reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, like:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Inflammation and arthritis
From light and tasty appetizers to sweet and satisfying desserts, here are our favorite Christmas recipes inspired by the Paleo Diet.
Have a Merry Christmas with Healthy Paleo Recipes
Appetizer Recipe: Holiday Zucchini Pinwheels
Simple and delectable, these Zucchini Pinwheels of Prosciutto with Basil are easy to prepare and sure to be a crowd favorite. This recipe yields about 20 pieces.
What you’ll need:
- 2 zucchini
- 1 bunch fresh basil
- 16 oz. Applegate prosciutto
- 1 lemon
- 20-30 wooden toothpicks
- Slice zucchini into thin pieces, lengthwise (Note: using a mandoline will make this very easy).
- Separate prosciutto on a plate, slice-by-slice.
- Place 1/2 slice of prosciutto along the top of each individual zucchini slice.
- Top each slice with 3 leaves of basil.
- Roll each slice. Insert a toothpick through the center to hold in place.
- Gentle drizzle each piece with fresh lemon juice (just enough to moisten).
Original recipe courtesy of Diane Rodgers at Sustainabledish.com. For more ideas, visit this article on 50 party-perfect Paleo appetizers.
Main Dish Recipe: A Very Merry Mango Chicken
Chicken is a wonderful main dish because it has a lot of protein but little fat, leaving you feeling satisfied but not too full. Our Very Merry Mango Chicken adds sweet mango and coconut milk to the mix, creating the perfect main dish for your holiday dinner.
What you’ll need:
- 1 1/4 chicken breast (organic, sliced into 1″ cubes)
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 1 red bell pepper (diced)
- 2 cloves of garlic (sliced)
- 1 tbsp. minced ginger
- 1 tsp. curry powder
- 1 tsp. Celtic sea salt
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 mango (peeled and diced)
- Pour olive oil into large saucepan. Warm to medium heat.
- Add onion, stirring and cooking for about 5-10 minutes (or until soft).
- Add red pepper, garlic, curry, and salt. Continue to stir and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add water, coconut milk, Apple Cider vinegar, and mango to the saucepan.
- Briefly bring all contents to a boil, and then reduce heat.
- Return saucepan to low simmer, adding chicken cubes.
- Continue to simmer for additional 8-10 minutes; check chicken to ensure it is cooked all the way through.
- Once cooked, transfer contents to serving dish and garnish with cilantro.
Original recipe courtesy of Elana’s Pantry.
Christmas Dessert: Banana Cream Pie
This Christmas, try this delicious Banana Cream Pie recipe for a dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth, without lots of refined sugars and fats. This recipe is divided into 2 parts: the preparation of the crust, and the preparation of the filling.
The Crust – What you’ll need:
- 1 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 15 dates (all pitted)
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
Preparing the Crust:
- Add all ingredients to mixing bowl.
- Mix with a food processor until ingredients form a crumbly mixture.
- Add contents to pie dish. Flatten with the back of a spoon and refrigerate.
The Filling – What You’ll Need:
- 1 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
- 1/2 cup arrowroot
- 5 medium-sized bananas, pureed
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla marrow
The Filling – Preparation:
- Using a saucepan on medium-high heat, bring 1 1/2 cups coconut milk to a boil.
- In a separate bowl, combine remaining 1/2-cup coconut milk with arrowroot. Stir until a smooth paste forms.
- Once coconut milk boils (step 1), whisk vigorously for 1 minute. Return mixture to low heat.
- While whisking, add arrowroot paste to coconut milk in saucepan. Continue whisking until well combined (whisk to remove all lumps).
- Add banana puree and vanilla to the saucepan. Continue whisking.
- Pour filling into prepared crust.
- Refrigerate for at least 60 minutes. Serve cool and enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of ThePaleoPlan.com.
Why is Paleo Diet Good for Your Smile?
Following the Paleo Diet can help you create healthy teeth and gums for life. Here are 3 reasons why:
1. Paleo Diet exposes you to more potassium. Because the foods in this nutrition plan are fresh and unprocessed, they naturally contain high levels of potassium. Potassium is essential for total body wellness, and it is particularly important in maintaining strong oral health.
2. Following the Paleo Diet balances your body’s alkaline levels. The foods we eat have a direct impact on the alkalinity of our body. The Paleo Diet consists of only fresh, whole foods that leave the body with a balanced alkaline level after digestion. This keeps the body form becoming overly acidic, which ultimately leads to tooth decay, cavities, and other serious oral health issues.
3. Higher nutrient content. By following the Paleo Diet, you focus on eating a variety of grass-produced food items that are naturally higher in important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant phytochemicals. The Paleo Diet does not include wheat or other foods that contain gluten, which promotes optimal absorption and utilization of important nutrients for strong teeth, healthy gums, and a life-long smile.
Happy Holidays from Assure A Smile
Assure a Smile wishes your family a very happy holiday season! To learn more about the role of nutrition in teeth and gum health, we invite you to schedule an appointment with our friendly team by calling 305-274-0047.
Rodgers, Diane. “Zucchini pinwheels.” Sustainable Dish. 9 December 2013. [http://www.sustainabledish.com/holiday-appetizer-zucchini-wrapped-prosciutto-with-basil/].
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