Deck the Halls Redeemed!

For many years I have tried to replace old traditions with ones that were safe for my family.  For example, as a family we would go out in the Minnesota cold and pick out a Christmas tree.  Dad would set up the tree and we would watch while sipping on a hot cocoa!  Well, once diagnosed with multiple food allergies to dairy, gluten, and a host of others this tradition came to a halt!  I tried hard to continue it, but finding a dairy free hot cocoa that tasted good did not exist.  I tried various milk alternatives with cocoa and honey, stevia, maple syrup, etc…but it never tasted quiet right.

hot cocoa

However, this year that all CHANGED while grocery shopping with my crew, there were samples of soy peppermint hot cocoa and it was amazing.  So, I snuck one in my cart and hid it away until tonight!  After we got home from picking our tree I heated up the hot cocoa and we sipped it as we watched dad get the tree in the stand!

candy cane

Another tradition gone wrong was the candy cane hanging on the Christmas tree!  Basically made of corn syrup and food coloring they were out!  For years we went without but THEN, I found these!  Candy canes free from high fructose corn syrup, food coloring and gluten free!  (Brand TruJoy).  Another tradition restored!

egg nog

Egg nog has not been our tradition in the past.  However, just the other day my 8 year old son asked why we never have egg nog for Christmas, (I did not respond with my origional thought, ‘because it is gross’…past experience) I responded, “it is full of dairy.”  He was bummed because he had heard about egg nog and really wanted to try it.  WELL, out shopping on Thursday I spotted this coconut egg nog!  We will give it a try Christmas eve!

Slowly but surely we are beginning to find things that are bringing our Christmas traditions back in full swing!  Not only are they tasty and  safe, but actually healthier in the long run anyway!

Share your “Healthy Traditions” with us in the comment section below!


Cookies with Grandpa!

“Hands On” Spritz Cookies

Family and cookies are a tradition of Christmas in our family!  This family favorite is so easy that even my 6 year old and grandpa could join in the fun!

This holiday favorite has taken a long time to perfect!  First was finding a recipe that worked.  Then the search for the right flour blend that would produce the melt in your mouth “spritz” cookies as well as stay together in the pressed form!

THE FLOUR:  The important key here is to use a

light baking flour, the one I used is the King Arthur’s gluten free flour.  This is the only one that I have found that gave me the results I was looking for!  You can find it online easily and some co-ops carry it!


Spritz Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert
*Dairy Free: Use Earth Balance Sticks (NOT whipped)
  • Ingredients:
  • ½ c. Grass fed Butter
  • ½ c. Non-hydro Shortening
  • ⅔ c. Powder Sugar
  • 1 Egg plus 1 Yolk
  • 1 tsp. Almond Extract
  • 1 tsp. Xanthan Gum
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 2 ½ c. GF Flour (GF King Arthur)
  • Frosting:
  • 2 C. Powder Sugar
  • 2 T. Milk (Almond, Rice, etc…fine)
  • 2 T. Grass fed Butter
  • 1 tsp. Almond Extract or Vanilla Extract (Optional)
  1. Cream butter, shortening, sugar, extract, eggs. Mix dry ingredients, stir in. Chill. Roll out or use a spritz machine to make shaped cookies! Bake at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes.


Healthy Almond Roca

Christmas just is not Christmas without the traditional Almond Roca!  Uncle Steve makes the best but we can  not and choose not to eat the corn syrup and butter that make it so wonderful!  So, we have a twist on the old traditional favorite!  This is a great Christmas gift as well for teachers and friends!  To fancy it up a bit I will crush almonds and sprinkle over the top of the melted chocolate and it dresses it up a lot!

***NOTE:  Listed here is the original recipe.  I did not care for the honey as it burned too easily!  So, I used coconut nectar and it was much better.  I also used maple syrup which was delicious!  I also used whole raw almonds instead of slivered!

Healthy Almond Roca
Recipe from
  • ⅔ c. Grass fed Butter (For a dairy free version you can also use coconut oil, just doesn't set as hard, or Earth Balance Sticks)
  • ½ c. Honey (or coconut nectar or maple syrup)
  • 1 c. Almond Slices
  • 1 Bag GF/DF Dark Chocolate Chips
  1. Boil butter and honey to 300 degrees.
  2. Add almonds cook 1 more minute.
  3. Pour on buttered cookie sheet.
  4. Sprinkle as many chocolate chips on top as desired and spread.
  5. Put in fridge to set.
  6. Crack by hitting with large spoon.
  7. Store in fridge.


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