My Favorite Holiday Ingredients


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my favorite holiday ingredients

With Thanksgiving right around the corner (just two weeks out!), I thought I’d do a quick round-up of my favorite holiday ingredients. Of course, my favorite ingredients are wholesome veggies, fruits, nuts and healthy proteins…but I mean the products I buy to add to those ingredients. These are the products I’ve been using in my holiday recipes for the last few weeks – and which will make an appearance in Christmas recipes, right around the other corner.

For many of these products, I personally know the owners and how they’re sourced, which is why I recommend them. Good quality always wins! For the others, they’ve stood the test of multiple recipe attempts and have delivered brilliant, delicious results.

So stock up your pantry and get cookin’ for the holidays!

  1. Kasandrinos Olive Oil :: I am obsessed with this olive oil and use it several times a day. It’s the oil I drizzle on all my salads and use to sauté my vegetables (aaand, it’ll be used in an upcoming olive oil cake!). It’s organic and cold-pressed from Greek olives within 48 hours after harvest. I’m friends with Tony Kasandrinos and hope to one day (soon!) visit those olive oil trees personally on trip to Greece.
  2. Primal Palate Spices :: When it comes to good quality ingredients, don’t forget your spices! Most conventional spices contain toxic chemicals and are irradiated. Eek! But the dynamic duo of Bill and Hayley Staley (who I’m also friends with) bring you non-GMO, non-irradiated and utterly pure organic spices. I’ve been using the pumpkin pie spice like crazy lately, but their signature blends are amazing on roasts as well.
  3. Otto’s Cassava Flour :: Cassava flour is a wonderful swap for wheat flour and this brand is by far my favorite (psst: make sure to read 5 Things You Need to Know About Cassava Flour). Cassava flour gets used heavily in the summertime when I’m making my tortillas for tacos and fajitas, but it’s also great for desserts and crusts. That’s why I always buy a large bag!
  4. Sunny Day Organics Vanilla Bean Powder :: With so many holiday recipes requiring vanilla, you may not have fresh vanilla beans on hand and sometimes vanilla extract can change the color of your recipe. That’s why I love this organic vanilla bean powder (and yes, I know the owners!). I’ve used it in my nectarine panna cotta recipe, my white chocolate pumpkin cheesecake recipe, my mixed berry and vanilla bean cheesecake recipe and in my macadamia muesli (among others).
  5. Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin Puree :: The holidays aren’t complete with loads of pumpkin recipes! So I buy this 12-pack of organic pumpkin puree to ensure I always have enough on hand for my pumpkin spiced coconut macaroons, my white chocolate pumpkin cheesecake and my grain-free pumpkin pie (coming later this week!).
  6. Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour :: Unfortunately, not all almond flours are created equal – and when you’re baking up a grain-free holiday dessert, you want it to turn out beautifully on your first try. That’s why I always use Honeyville blanched almond flour. It’s super fine texture ensures your desserts aren’t clumpy or gritty – just deliciously good. And it’s perfect for my clementine upside down cake.
  7. Native Forest Coconut Milk :: Let’s be honest, what good is a pumpkin pie (or molten chocolate cake) without whipped cream? Or a holiday without this ice cream or this one? I don’t drink dairy milk, so I always make sure to have coconut milk on hand and like the pumpkin puree, I buy this product in bulk!
  8. Food to Live Whole, Raw Cashews :: I use raw cashews in all my ice cream and cheesecake recipes, as well as my grain-free porridge, granola and muesli recipes. If you couldn’t tell, cashews are my go-to nut! They tend to be easier to digest than other nuts and once soaked and blended, become an utterly creamy base for so many recipes.
  9. Organic Maple Syrup :: When it comes to non-refined sweeteners, I usually opt for honey, coconut sugar or maple syrup. But this time of year, I find myself reaching for my bottle of organic maple syrup more often than the others. It’s perfect for my pancakes as well as my blueberry chia pudding with figs, hazelnuts and maple syrup (one of my favorite breakfast recipes!).
  10. Healthworks Raw Cacao Powder :: Whether you live in California or Montana one things for certain – we all want a belly-warming cup of hot chocolate! And similar to all the ingredients I’ve mentioned thus far, quality matters – and yes, raw cacao is different from run-of-the-mill supermarket cocoa. Raw cacao is made from cold-pressing raw cocoa beans to preserve the enzymes and nutrients, whereas cocoa is heated to high temperatures during processing. Raw cacao is a superfood and full of antioxidants, so feel free to add it to your recipes (like these chocolate coconut macaroons).

These are my favorite holiday ingredients, but I’d love to hear yours! What do you use in family favorite recipes? Share in the comments below.

About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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  1. Great list of healthy ingredients! I have all those on hand except the vanilla bean powder which I need to buy!

    1. You will LOVE the vanilla bean powder! Once you have it on hand, you’ll find yourself using it all the time. :) x