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10 Healthier Christmas Cookie Recipes {Refined Sugar Free}

‘Tis the season for cookies, but that doesn’t mean you need to load up sugar! Check out this delicious list of healthier Christmas cookie recipes that contain no refined sugar.

Healthier Christmas Cookies {Naturally Sweetened without Sugar}

Healthier Christmas Cookies Recipes

Healthier Christmas Cookies - Flavored with Natural Ingredients

Paleo Hot Coca Cookies with Vanilla Bean Frosting – Fit Foodie Finds. These are simply beautiful cookies!

Grain Free Holiday Cookies – Don’t Mess with Mama. These cookie have organic candy canes in them, which are made with sugar, so keep that in mind if you need a true sugar-free cookie. 

Sugar Free Peanut Butter Truffles – Peas & Peonies. These are vegan, no bake, and gluten free. And somehow they still sound amazing. 😀 

naturally sweetened Christmas cookies

Raw Snowball Cookies – Made To Create. I love all the nuts in these cookie bites!

Healthy Gingerbread Cookies – I Food Real. It’s difficult to decorate cookies without using processed ingredients. I love her take on decorating these gingerbread people.

Glazed Gingersnaps – The Chew. This recipe calls for powdered sugar in the glaze, so if you want them to be sugar free, omit the glaze.

naturally sweetened Christmas cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough TrufflesAn Oregon Cottage. Just yum! Make these!

Naturally Sweetened Whole Wheat Butter Cookies – My Humble Kitchen. These are even decorated with maple sweetened cream cheese frosting!

Grain-Free Holiday Roll Out Cookies – Real Food Forager. SCD and GAPS friendly recipe.

What’s your favorite healthy Christmas cookie recipe? Share a link to your own naturally sweetened recipe if you have one!

 

Spicy Jalapeno Popper Cheese Dip with Real Cheese

Two of my favorite appetizers are jalapeno poppers and cheese dip (made with real cheese), so I decided to combine the flavors to see what would happen. And guess what? Spicy Jalapeno Popper Cheese Dip with Real Cheese is a huge hit! It’s the perfect appetizer for all of your football parties.

spicy-jalapeno-popper-cheese-dip-with-real-cheese-horizontal

Football season is here! To celebrate, I’ve joined a group of bloggers from all over the country — all of whom are big football fans! — to bring you football-inspired recipes this season. Last month we shared our favorite tailgating recipes, and now we are sharing more ideas for celebrating on game day. 

One of the most popular recipes on my blog is for a queso dip made with real cheese. It’s an awesome dip and I love that it’s Velveeta free, easy, and delicious! That recipe calls for a calls of a can of evaporated milk and I’ve been thinking for a while that I should find an alternative. Well guess, what? Regular ole half and half is amazing and works just as well and I’m happy to share this new recipe today with you!

Note: This post is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by the National Football League (NFL) or any of its teams. All opinions and views expressed on our blogs are our own, not that of the NFL and/or any of its 32 teams. Any team names, logos or other symbols referenced are properties of their respective organizations. We are just big fans — and we want to share our love for our teams, the game and the food that brings us all together on game day.

Spicy Jalapeno Popper Cheese Dip with Real Cheese

Let’s get started!

saute-diced-veggies-in-bacon-grease

Making this dip is very simple, and you can even do the following steps ahead of time to make game day prep seriously simple! Fry up a few slices of bacon and set aside. Dice up a few jalapenos (two will make a mild dip so add more if you desire spicy), half a yellow onion, and a couple cloves of garlic. Saute the veggies over medium heat in some of the reserved bacon grease right in the same pan.

add-half-and-half-and-arrowroot-powder

Add the half and half and arrowroot powder and whisk until it begins to thicken. I use arrowroot powder as a healthier alternative to cornstarch. You can use cornstarch if you want.

add-cheeses-and-stir-until-smooth

Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the cream cheese.Then, slowly add the cheese and continue stirring until melted. Add mustard and more half and half if you’d like a thinner dip. It does tend to get pretty thick. I added an additional 1/4 cup of half and half to reach a consistency that made me happy.

spicy-jalapeno-popper-cheese-dip-with-real-cheese

 

Yield: 3 cups

Spicy Jalapeno Popper Cheese Dip with Real Cheese

Spicy Jalapeno Popper Cheese Dip with Real Cheese

A quick and delicious appetizer perfect for football parties or any other occasion, featuring real ingredients!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2-3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups half & half
  • 1 TBS arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. Cook bacon, reserving about a tablespoon of bacon grease. Set bacon aside and crumble when cool.
  2. Over medium high heat, saute onions, garlic, and jalapeno peppers in the bacon grease.
  3. Add half and half and arrowroot powder and whisk until the mixture starts to thicken.
  4. Reduce heat to low and add the cream cheese, whisking to incorporate. Slowly add in the cheese, whisking until it melts. Add mustard and another 1/4 cup of half and half if the dip is too thick.
  5. Top with crumbled bacon and enjoy!

Notes

This recipe as written is actually on the mild side. If you'd like to make it spicier, consider adding 1-2 additional jalapeno peppers. You can also add a few seeds to notch up the spice. One final change you can make to bump up the spice is to use 8 ounces of the pepper jack cheese and 4 ounces of sharp cheddar.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1/4 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 324mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 10g

Nutritional data is not always accurate.

What’s your favorite football appetizer? I’d love to hear!

Japlapeno Popper cheese dip! Delicious appetizer, quick to make, and it even uses real ingredients!

Red & Gold Focaccia Pizza Appetizer or Entree!

If you like football, appetizers, and pizza, this recipe for focaccia pizza is sure to be a hit! It makes a yummy tailgating treat or a fun spin on boring ole pizza night!

red and gold focaccia pizza

Red & Gold Focaccia Pizza Appetizer or Entree!

Football season is right around the corner, and soon it’ll be time to tailgate! My family moved to Missouri from Germany when I stared high school. We weren’t huge football fans when we lived in Germany but did enjoy Missouri football after moving there. Some of my Iowa readers might think the red and gold is inspired by Iowa State University, but my football loyalty is still in Missouri. 😀

roasted tomatoes on focaccia pizza

Note: This post is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by the National Football League (NFL) or any of its teams. All opinions and views expressed on our blogs are our own, not that of the NFL and/or any of its 32 teams. Any team names, logos or other symbols referenced are properties of their respective organizations. We are just big fans — and we want to share our love for our teams, the game and the food that brings us all together on game day.

red & gold focaccia pizza dippers

My idea of focaccia pizza might be a little different than yours. I made this delicious bread and topped it with tomatoes and pepperoni only – no sauce, and very little cheese. If you’d like to make a more traditional pizza, feel free to spread sauce on the dough and top with more cheese before you bake it! Otherwise, eat it as it, or serve it with dipping sauces. My family enjoys dipping it in pizza sauce and ranch dressing, and I bet it would be delicious dipped in a garlic butter sauce too.

Let’s Make It!

focaccia dough

First make the dough. I recommend using a stand mixer like a Kitchen-Aid. It just makes things so much easier if you have a dough hook – No KNEADING by hand! Thank you, stand mixers. 🙂 This focaccia isn’t hard to make, but it does take some time so make sure you prepare the dough ahead of time. Also, it has to rise a few times, so make sure you read the recipe below to get the right times.

poke holes with your fingers and assemble the focaccia

Once the dough has risen and rested, it’s time to decorate it. Use your fingers to make indents all through the dough and then add a delicious mixture of cherry tomatoes, good quality olive oil, dried oregano, and nice quality coarse salt. I like NOW Foods’ extra virgin olive oil a lot. It’s got a good flavor and it’s pure olive oil – nothing else.

assemble the focaccia - ready to bake
Add the pepperoni if you want! I prefer to use Applegate Naturals Uncured Pepperoni. I like that it doesn’t have any added nitrates and they don’t use antibiotics on their animals. Just my personal preference, so you use whatever you like. {No, they aren’t paying me to say this, I just like this brand.}

grate the cheese

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool, then add freshly grated parmesan. By the way, if you like freshly grated cheese, you need this Zyliss Cheese Grater! Love it so much. Serve with dippers and your kids will love you forever! Enjoy.

Yield: 16

Red & Gold Focaccia Pizza

Red & Gold Focaccia Pizza

A delicious focaccia pizza - perfect for football tailgating and family pizza nights too!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 3/4 cup warm water, 100 degrees
  • 1 tbs SAF yeast
  • 1 tsp raw, unfiltered honey
  • 2 TBS pure olive oil
  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp REAL salt

For the toppings

  • 2 TBS pure olive oil
  • 1 cup halved red and gold tomatoes Go CHIEFS!
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup pepperoni, I recommend Applegate Naturals
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Dipping sauces like pizza sauce and / or ranch dressing

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer using a dough hook, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
  2. Add honey, oil, flour, and salt and mix well for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Using a spatula, clean the sides of the bowl and then knead for five minutes until you have a nice dough.
  4. Remove dough to floured board and quickly shape into a ball. Cover with a tea towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
  5. Now stretch the dough with your hands and fold it over into a triangle 3 or 4 times.
  6. Put the folded dough on a rimmed, and oiled, cookie sheet. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 90 minutes, or until the dough has doubled.
  7. Now stretch it again, cover with a tea towel, and let rest 30 more minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  9. While it's resting, prepare the toppings by mixing the the olive oil, tomatoes, and oregano. I also cut the pepperoni slices in fourths.
  10. Use your finger to press indents in the pizza and cover it with the tomato mixture, making sure to get the yummy oil in the indents. Add the pepperoni and more salt, if desired.
  11. Bake at 400 degrees fro 15-20 minutes, until the dough is golden brown and delicious looking.
  12. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and dip in whatever sauce you prefer.
  13. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 435mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g

Nutritional data is not always correct.

Do you like tailgating and appetizers? What’s your favorite?! You might like these appetizer recipes too:

Make Ahead Baked Taco Empanadas

Cheesy Hash Brown Appetizer Bites

Cheese & Pear Crostini

Baked Camembert with Pomegranates and Hazelnuts

How to Make Queso Dip with real cheese

Red & Gold Focaccia Pizza Appetizer

3 Pea Pasta with Bacon, Spinach, & Cheese

3 Pea Pasta with Bacon, Spinach, & Cheese is a quick and easy pasta – perfect for busy evenings or fast lunches.

3 Pea Pasta with Bacon, Spinach, & Cheese

Welcome to Tuesdays in the Garden!

In this installment, my gardening buddies and I are sharing our favorite late spring farm-to-table recipes! This pasta recipe is one I originally shared a couple years ago. It’s become a staple in our house whenever we have fresh peas in the garden and I’m sure you will enjoy it. Although I use many different types of peas {whatever I happen to have fresh}, you don’t have to.  Don’t let only having one type of peas {or even only having frozen peas} stop you from trying this dish.

3 Pea Pasta with Bacon, Spinach, & Cheese 

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