Yummy – Healthy, Slow Cooker Holiday Recipes

By on December 5, 2013
cranberry chutney

The holiday season, starting with Thanksgiving, can be stressful for many reasons. First and foremost, it is a lot of concentrated family time, which we simultaneously relish and fear. Another doozy is the idea of eating double or triple our normal caloric intake at a holiday meal. I don’t know about you, but my willpower can be found somewhere in October when the holidays roll around. With more to prepare in the kitchen and our homes, time for exercise is limited, bringing on additional feelings of guilt and pressure.

This year, we can begin the holiday season with the opportunity for success in maintaining our healthy eating habits. Skinny Ms. has provided us with delicious recipes that will encourage you to serve and eat healthier versions of holiday favorites, so scrumptious you and your guests will not miss any of the extra fat and calories, thus allowing you to relax and savor the joy of Thanksgiving. Many of these recipes are prepared in a crock pot, freeing up oven and burner space in your kitchen. The ease of crock pot cooking can help to add order and ease to your meal preparation. Made with fresh, natural ingredients, you can serve these dishes confidently, or have something delicious to take if you are a guest for the holidays.

The first Recipe is for Slow Cooker Cranberry Chutney. There is absolutely no comparison between canned cranberry sauce, and fresh cranberry relish. Homemade touches such as these are what elevates an average meal to a holiday feast!
This recipe is absolutely divine. I made it for a segment filmed for METV in October, and couldn’t get enough of it. For a few days after the segment I was putting it on oatmeal, pancakes and ice cream…I wouldn’t waste a drop. I will be bringing this for a crowd of 50 for Thanksgiving!

Slow Cooker Cranberry Chutney

Minimum Slow Cooker size: 4 quarts
Servings: 13 | Serving Size: ¼ Cup | Previous Points: 1 | Points Plus: 2 | Calories: 62 | Fat: 0 g | Carbohydrates: 17 g | Sugars: 14 g | Fiber: 2 g | Sodium: 1 mg | Protein: 0 g

Ingredients:

  • 1 (12 ounce) bag fresh cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 Gala apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup 100% orange juice
  • 1/2 cup raw honey

Directions:

Add all the above ingredients to the slow cooker, stir. Recommend 3-5 quart slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low 3 hours. Remove cinnamon sticks, allow to cool and store in the refrigerator in a glass container with lid.

There are many of us that are scared to cook a turkey. I am one of them! This method takes all of the guess work out of the job, and if you are having a small Thanksgiving dinner, cooking a turkey this way would be ideal. At our family meal, we have a few small turkeys cooked in a variety of ways such as roasted, smoked and fried. The latter is in no way healthy, so if you don’t want to completely blow off your eating habits, stick to a turkey roasted like this.

Slow Cooker Herb Crusted Turkey Breast

Recommended slow cooker size: 5 quartsServing Size: 1/6 of the finished recipe | Calories: 233 | Previous Points: 5 | Points Plus: 5 | Total Fat: 3 gm | Saturated Fats: 1 gm | Trans Fats: 0 gm | Cholesterol: 112 mg | Sodium: 119 mg | Carbohydrates: 4 gm | Dietary Fiber: 1 gm | Sugars: 1 gm | Protein: 45 gm

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lb. turkey breast (ours was on the bone and had skin that we removed before cooking)
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder

Directions:

Mix all the spices together in a small mixing bowl.

Place your turkey breast on a plate and cover both sides with spices. It should be completely coated in spice mix.

Place in slow cooker (no liquid) and cook as directed. Recommend 5-7 quart slow cooker.

Time: 4-5 hours or until it reaches at least 165 degrees F. on a meat thermometer.
 Temp: Low
Yield: About 3 servings

No Thanksgiving meal is complete without incorporating the beautiful colors of Autumn, and sweet potatoes are a perfect choice. To enjoy the flavor of the fall season but not disregard your healthy habits, skip the marshmallow topping, and savor this sweet and tangy recipe instead.

Slow Cooker Savory Sweet Potatoes

4-6 quart slow cooker
Calories: 234 | Previous Points: 5 | Points Plus: 7 | Total Fat: 14 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 21 mg | Sodium: 10 mg | Carbohydrates: 28 g | Dietary Fiber: 2 g | Sugars: 18 g | Protein: 1 g |

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1″ cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup sucanat or coconut palm sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Add Extra Virgin Olive Oil to slow cooker and preheat to high will preparing potatoes and garlic. Add potatoes and all remaining ingredients to the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on high 2-3 hours or low 4-5 hours. We recommend using 4-6 quart slow cooker.

Notes:
The fats in this recipe are from the olive oil which are healthy fats.
Sucanat or coconut palm sugar can be located in the organic section of most grocery stores or in any whole food type stores. Although honey can be a substitute for sucanat, it’s recommended to use sucanat or coconut palm sugar because its flavor works perfectly with the other ingredients in this sweet and savory recipe.

This recipe is featured in the Skinny Ms. Slow Cooker cookbook.

Green Bean Casserole is a staple at many holiday meals. Traditional recipes call for canned soups loaded with sodium and preservatives, or a ham hock for flavor. By combining fresh ingredients like, onion, garlic, fresh basil and parsley, Skinny Ms. re-created a recipe without compromising on taste that is just as delicious as traditional style green beans, but guilt free. Pass the Green Beans Please!

Slow Cooker Southern Style Green Beans

Minimum Slow Cooker Size: 5 quarts
Servings: 16 | Serving Size: ½ Cup | Previous Points: 0 | Points Plus: 1 | Calories: 37 | Total Fat: 1 gm | Saturated Fats: 0 gm | Trans Fats: 0 gm | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 101 mg | Carbohydrates: 6 gm | Dietary Fiber: 2 gm | Sugars: 1 gm | Protein: 2 gm Nutritional Information estimated at Nutritiondata.com.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 pounds fresh or frozen snap green beans, rinsed
  • 1 medium potato, peeled, diced
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth, low sodium, fat free
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste

Directions:

In a medium skillet saute onion and garlic on medium-low heat until tender, about 4 minutes. Add sauteed onion and garlic along with all other ingredients to the slow cooker. Recommend 5-7 quart slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Cooking time may vary depending on how tender you like your green beans. Southern style green beans are typically cooked until they are falling apart.

No holiday meal seems complete without a steaming basket of bread on the table, and who doesn’t love buttermilk biscuits? This version is light, flaky and best of all made with unrefined whole grain flour and real butter. Skinny Ms. occasionally uses butter, but never shortening or margarine type products. Butter is a whole food and in moderation is a wonderful addition to baked goods. Make extra because these won’t last long!

Buttermilk Biscuits

Serving Size: 1 Biscuit | Calories: 211 | Previous Points: 4 | Points Plus: 5 | Total Fat: 10 g | Saturated Fat: 8 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 1 mg | Sodium: 291 mg | Carbohydrates: 24 g | Sugars: 2 g | Dietary Fiber: 4 g | Protein: 6 g

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups White Whole Wheat (I used King Arthur Brand)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher or sea salt
  • 2 cups cold unsalted butter, cut into small pats (2 sticks)
  • 2 cups low-fat buttermilk, plus additional for brushing on tops

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spoon flour into a measuring cup being careful not to pack flour, level off. In a medium mixing bowl add dry ingredients, whisk to combine.

Using your hands, a fork, a pastry cutter or a food processor, mix butter with flour mixture just until the butter is about the size of course crumbs. Add raisins to flour mixture. Create a well in the center of the flour and add buttermilk, stir just to combine being careful not to over mix.

Turn biscuit dough out onto a surface lightly dusted with flour. Shape dough into a 1″- 1 3/4″ thick square, lightly dust top with flour and fold dough over 1-2 times, additional kneading is not recommended. Using a 2 1/2″ biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet or non-stick cookie sheet. Brush tops of biscuits with buttermilk. Place cookie sheet on the center oven rack, bake until golden, about 18 minutes.

Serve biscuits warm with your favorite naturally sweetened jam or apple butter, or my favorite, Cranberry Chutney.

Notes:

The number of biscuits will be determined by the thickness of the dough and the size of the biscuit cutter used. My yield is typically 16 biscuits.
Recipe can be doubled by simply doubling the ingredients, or can be cut in half by cutting the ingredients by half.

I always need a bite of something sweet at the end of a meal. To me, it signifies that the meal is over, but justifications aside, let’s face it…chocolate is just wonderful! These Peppermint Fudge bites are the perfect size to enjoy but not overindulge after a big holiday meal.

Peppermint Fudge

Yields 30 Servings | Serving Size: 1 Piece | Calories: 114 g | Previous Points: 3 | Points Plus: 3 | Total Fat: 8 g | Saturated Fat: 5 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 21 mg | Carbohydrates: 13 g | Sugars: 10 g | Dietary Fiber: 1 g | Protein: 1 g

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (canned, not in a carton)
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 1/2 cup diced walnuts (optional)

Directions:

Add to a double boiler…chocolate chips, coconut milk, honey and salt, stir to combine. Cover the top pot and cook on medium-low 30 minutes – 1 hour depending on how long it takes for the chocolate to completely melt. Do not stir.

After chocolate has completely melted remove from heat, add peppermint and stir to combine. If using walnuts, add and stir.

Allow to cool uncovered until fudge has reached room temperature…approximately 1 hour. Using a large spoon, stir vigorously for 5-10 minutes until it loses some the gloss.

Lightly spray a 1 quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Pour fudge into dish, cover and refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Cut into 30 pieces.

Note: 
We use grain sweetened chocolate chips. If you can’t find these try Ghiradelli 60% bittersweet.

Looking for a little more decadence for this special holiday? This bread pudding can cook while you eat!

Slow Cooker Chocolate Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce

The fat in this recipe comes primarily from the pecans and coconut milk, all healthy fats. To reduce the fat and calories, omit the pecans and use all low-fat milk in place of coconut milk.
Cut fat and calories by eating a smaller portion
Serving size: 1/2 cup | Calories: 180 | Total Fat: 4.5 g | Saturated Fats: 1.5 g | Previous Points: 3 | Points Plus: 5 |Trans Fats: 0 g | Cholesterol: 8 mg |Sodium: 60 mg | Carbohydrates: 30.5 g | Dietary fiber: 4 g | Sugars: 6.5 g | Protein: 6.5 g
or
Serving size: 1 cup | Calories: 359 | Total Fat: 9 g | Saturated Fats: 3 g | Previous Points: 7 | Points Plus: 10 |Trans Fats: 0 g | Cholesterol: 16 mg |Sodium: 120 mg | Carbohydrates: 61g | Dietary fiber: 8 g | Sugars: 13 g | Protein: 13 g

Ingredients for Bread Pudding:

  • 8 cups whole wheat bread crumbs, torn into 1″ cubes (I used whole wheat French bread)
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (Enjoy Life Chips are gluten, soy and dairy free)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unrefined coconut palm sugar, optional sucanat, honey or 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup diced pecans
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup canned lite coconut milk, optional almond milk or low-fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Ingredients for Caramel Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup unrefined coconut palm sugar, optional sucanat or 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup low-fat milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions:

For Bread Pudding: 
Lightly mist the inside of the slow cooker with non-stick spray.

Add bread cubes to the slow cooker. In a medium mixing bowl, combine chocolate chips, cocoa, coconut palm sugar, 3/4 cup pecans and salt. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until well combined. Pour mixture over bread and stir until all bread is moist. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup pecans on top, cover and cook on low 3 hours. Recommend 5-7 quart slow cooker.

For Caramel Sauce:
 In a medium saucepan, combine coconut palm sugar and cornstarch. Add milk and cook over medium-low heat, or until desired thickness. Remove from heat, add vanilla and stir to combine.

Drizzle sauce over warm bread pudding, about one tablespoon per serving.


Notes:

On a tight budget? Here’s how to save some money when making this recipe:

  • A loaf of Whole Wheat French bread can be purchased at most Walmart bakeries for about .99 cents
  • Use all low-fat milk in place of coconut milk or almond milk
  • Purchase your grocery store’s chocolate chips brand
  • Omit pecans or use a less expensive nut

Which recipe will you be making for your Thanksgiving this year?

 

Originally posted on Daughter-in-Law Diaries.

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One Comment

  1. Nutritionist Manchester

    November 12, 2012 at 5:55 am

    Your recipes have my mouth watering, thanks for sharing!

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Yummy – Healthy, Slow Cooker Holiday Recipes