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A bowl of holidrizzled popcorn.

Sometimes the simplest traditions make the best memories — and for many families, gathering together to watch their favorite holiday classics tops the list. Whether you plan to spend the evening laughing at the Griswolds in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or crying with the Baileys in It’s a Wonderful Life, these fun, easy, and healthy recipes will add even more merry to your movie night.

Maca Mint Cocoa

Maca is an antioxidant and considered a superfood because of its numerous other health benefits. Use regular or dairy-free milk in this cocoa and enjoy the festive minty flavor.

A glass of Maca Mint Cocoa.

Makes two servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tbs. cocoa or cacao powder
  • 2 tbs. maca powder
  • 1 cup whole milk or nondairy milk
  • 1 to 2 tbs. organic cane sugar or coconut palm sugar
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. mint extract (look for a glycerine- or oil-based extract if you are avoiding alcohol)

Directions

  1. Whisk the cocoa or cacao powder into the water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Continue whisking over low heat until slightly thickened, then whisk in the maca powder and milk.
  3. Heat until just warm and taste to check for sweetness.
  4. Add sugar and mint extract to taste. (Maca has a bit of sweet flavor, so you may find you don’t need sugar.)

Source: “11 Winter Mocktails” (Experience Life, 2018)

Holidrizzled Popcorn

This popcorn looks like a winter wonderland, and is a great alternative to high-sugar kettle corn or the unhealthy oils found in microwave popcorn.

A bowl of holidrizzled popcorn.

Makes 6 to 8 quarts
Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs. coconut oil
  • 1 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

Directions

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat, coating the bottom of the pot with oil.
  2. Add the popcorn kernels to the pot and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Allow the popcorn to pop, shaking the pot occasionally until there are a couple of seconds between the popping noises. Remove the pot from heat.
  4. Melt the dark chocolate chips in the microwave by heating for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between until it reaches a drizzle consistency.
  5. Stir the peppermint extract into the melted chocolate.
  6. Transfer the popcorn to a bowl, add salt, and drizzle the chocolate over the top.

Source: The Life Time Foundation

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Rather than ordering in, try this bite-size, gluten-free take on pizza to get in some extra veggie power. The red and green coloring makes it all the more festive, and you can customize it with your kiddo’s favorite toppings.

A tray of zucchini pizza bites.

Makes 10 bites
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 2 oz. fresh mozzarella
  • Small handful of basil

Directions

  1. Turn on the oven to broil.
  2. Slice the zucchini into disks and chop the tomato.
  3. Place the zucchini in a single layer on a baking sheet. Top each slice of zucchini with a small piece of tomato, mozzarella, and basil.
  4. Broil for about 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Source: The Life Time Foundation

Easy Party Mix

A grain-free alternative to the popular party mix made with rice cereal, this healthier version is loaded with B vitamins and has a crunchy texture and salty, slightly sweet flavor that makes it perfect to snack on throughout a movie.

Easy party mix on a baking sheet.

Makes two cups
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw pecans
  • 1 cup hulled sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Spread the mixture on the prepared baking sheet in a flat, single layer without too many clumps.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes, tossing the mixture a couple of times throughout. Cool completely (the nuts will be crunchy once cool).
  4. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Source: “Easy Party Mix” (Experience Life, 2017)

Cocoa-Almond Truffles

Dates add a hint of sweetness to these truffles, but are also high in polyphenols, meaning they deliver a dose of antioxidants. Kids can help coat them in cocoa powder or other desired toppings.

Cocoa-almond truffles

Makes 12 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup soft dates
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3 tbs. almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs. cocoa powder, plus 2 tbs. for coating

Directions

  1. Place all the ingredients (minus the coating) in a powerful blender or food processor. Blend, scraping down the sides frequently until the mixture forms a coarse purée.
  2. Spread the cocoa powder for coating on a large plate. Scoop out level tablespoons of the mixture, then roll into 1-inch balls and place on the plate. Roll the balls in the coating until well covered.
  3. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one month.

Source: “Healthy Workday Snacks” (Experience Life, 2019)

Molly
Molly Schelper

Molly Schelper is the director of content strategy at Life Time.

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