The holiday season is officially here! And the holidays are just not complete without plenty of social gatherings.
Here at Swerve we’re all about indulging the smart way. We love food and we love celebrating, but we want to look and feel our best too! With a little planning and some creative ideas, your gatherings can be just as healthy as they are delicious. Here are some of our favorite ways to Swerve your holiday parties!
1. Swerve Your Dessert
Cakes, pies, cookies, and candies are staples at holiday gatherings. No Thanksgiving is complete without a pumpkin pie, and Christmas wouldn't be so sweet without cookies! But you can put a healthy twist on your dessert traditions by replacing sugar with Swerve. This easy, cup for cup substitution will save you countless calories, grams of sugar, but won’t sacrifice on taste. Check out our Holiday Recipe Round Up blog post and browse our Recipes page for endless inspiration!
2. Don't Forget the Vegetables
Typically the food served at holiday parties is rich and heavy. To balance this out, include vegetables whenever possible. Slice some carrots, cucumbers, endive, and bell peppers to scoop up dips and spreads. Get creative with a veggie tray by including sliced and charred eggplant, tomatoes, and mushrooms, drizzled with an herby sauce like pesto. You can also use vegetables like mushrooms, avocado, or sliced cucumbers as bases to hold toppings like shrimp, cheese, hummus, and more. And mix together a big salad filled with greens and an oil-based vinaigrette to be served along with a main dish. Vegetables are naturally low in calories, high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, so don’t forget to make them part of the spread!
3. Offer Allergen Friendly Options
Are you expecting some guests with dietary restrictions? Luckily, we have many allergen friendly alternatives to choose from these days! Avoid gluten by swapping out wheat crackers for almond or rice crackers and chips. Go dairy free by using a soy or almond based cheese and using nut-based milks like almond or coconut milk. Offer vegan options by using a bean, soy, or tofu based meatball or sausage. Keep it low carb and diabetic friendly by swerving your desserts and cocktails. Asking guests if they have any food restrictions beforehand can help you plan your menu to accommodate. It's also helpful to display small signs that name the dish and allergens so that people know what they are eating.
4. Lighten up the Cocktails
Alcoholic beverages can be loaded with sugar, especially if they are made with simple syrups or pre-made mixes. But let's be honest - alcohol is ALWAYS appreciated at holiday gatherings. The good news is, we have plenty of recipes and ideas for you to Swerve your drinks! Substitute simple syrup for Swerved simple syrup in any cocktail recipe to save calories, carbs, and sugar. We also love this Sangria for a big crowd, or Cinnamon White Russian. And of course, no holiday party is complete without Eggnog!
5. Use Small Plates
Did you know that simply eating off of a small plate helps reduce overall food consumption by up to 30%? Set out small plates alongside the food offerings so that people can pick and choose what they'd like to eat. This also increases the satisfaction factor by allowing people the enjoy their food, then drink and socialize, rather than standing and grazing all night.
Hopefully these tips and tricks can help you plan your best holiday party. Stay tuned for more recipes from Swerve throughout this holiday season, and comment below with your favorite healthy holiday hosting tip!