Your Bone-Healthy Festive Menu

Published: December 17, 2021
Updated: March 16, 2022

Christmas table

The holidays have arrived and you know what that means — lots of yummy treats. But one, not-so-merry thing about a festive dinner is that it doesn’t always adhere to a bone-healthy diet.

So, we put together a menu with three classic recipes that are sure to make your mouth water and satisfy your bone health too.

Plus, the recipes are easy to make so you won’t steal precious time away from your family and friends.

Here’s to a full plate, a happy heart, and even happier bones!

Organic free-range turkey

festive turkey

Turkey isn’t just for Thanksgiving — at least not in my eyes. If you feel the same way, then I have some tips to help you make a smashing success of this main dish. 

When deciding which turkey to buy, opt for one that’s USDA organic and animal welfare approved. These turkeys are raised mostly outdoors. 

What’s more, they’ve eaten a healthy diet free of GMOs, antibiotics, and growth hormones. Plus, they tend to contain more omega 3 fatty acids which are crucial to overall health — and that includes your bones. 

Another reason why turkey makes a good main dish is that it provides plenty of protein. After all, protein makes up around one third of your bone mass and it’s crucial for preventing age-related muscle loss (sarcopenia) too.

Of course, you don’t want to go through the effort of finding a healthy, protein-packed turkey only to cook it in an unhealthy way. So opt for roasting over deep frying. 

And focus on using fresh herbs for seasoning to keep salt intake to a minimum. My mom used rosemary, thyme, and sage — it always added a lovely touch.

You-can’t-tell-it’s-not potato mash

festive cauliflower mash

My mom always made buttery mashed potatoes every Christmas. To me, it’s just not a holiday feast if mashed potatoes aren’t on the menu (or at least something that resembles potatoes!) That’s why I’m sharing how to make it as bone-healthy and delicious as possible. 

All you need to do is swap out traditional mashed potatoes with steamed, whipped cauliflower. With its light, creamy full-flavor you won’t even miss the potatoes! Plus, with less prep time and no peeling necessary, this recipe is a time saver. 

What’s more, cauliflower is carb friendly. And it adds almost twice the amount of calcium that potatoes provide! This dish is the stuff dreams are made of.

Christmas candy canes, cinnamon

You-Can’t-Tell-It’s-Not Potato Mash!

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 65 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp butter organic
  • rosemary , dried
  • Himalayan sea salt
  • black pepper

Instructions
 

  • With a hand blender, whip lightly steamed cauliflower. (If you don’t have a steamer and decide to boil your cauliflower, make sure to strain it before blending to get rid of any excess water)
  • Add the organic butter, dried (crushed) rosemary, garlic, Himalayan sea salt and pepper.
  • To make it creamier, add two tablespoons of milk. (Consider sheep’s or goat’s milk for easier digestion and nutrient absorption that have as much calcium as cow’s milk.) Make sure it’s 2% or whole milk because studies show it’s more difficult to absorb vitamin D without milk’s fat (skim milk).

Notes

Bone health bonus: In addition to curbing your carb intake, using cauliflower adds almost twice the amount of calcium that potatoes provide. (Cauliflower = 22 mg calcium per 100 grams, potatoes = 12 mg per 100 grams).

Nutrition

Calories: 65kcalCarbohydrates: 7gProtein: 3gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 71mgPotassium: 439mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 90IUVitamin C: 69.3mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 0.6mg
Keyword cauliflower
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Pumpkin pie

festive pumpkin pie

Few things make guests drool more than pumpkin pie.  A holiday favorite, it can be a great option for bone health — especially when you cut down on the cream and sugar most recipes call for. 

Plus, pumpkin has potassium which protects bone density. And it contains vitamin C — a vital co-factor for making collagen. This is important as your bones are made up of about 35% collagen. It provides a framework for your bones, and along with calcium, strengthens them. Turns out you can have your cake (or pie) and eat it too.

If you’d like to add a little flair to your pie, sprinkle some pumpkin seeds on top before baking. It’s the perfect way to add an extra dose of omega fats and antioxidants — not to mention show off your presentation skills.

Christmas table

Pumpkin Pie

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
cooling 6 hrs
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9
Calories 256 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the crust:

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or butter (I use half and half)
  • 3/4 cup coconut flour organic
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp spice, nutmeg, all-spice, cinnamon optional
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla optional

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or evaporated milk)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey (or 3/4 maple syrup) (I’ve used 1/3 cup of maple syrup with a 1/2 tsp liquid stevia)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch (or 2 tbsp tapioca starch)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp all-spice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg (and/or ginger)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions
 

To make the crust:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Grease 9-inch tart pan and set aside (I use a cake pan with great results).
  • Melt butter and/or coconut oil
  • Add eggs, vanilla, and spices. Whisk with a fork. 
  • Stir in coconut and almond flour until well combined.
  • Press ‘dough’ into pan evenly going up the sides of the pan.
  • Use a fork to poke holes in the dough.
  • Blind bake it by adding a layer of parchment paper covered in dried beans or rice.
  • Bake for 8 minutes or until edges are brown.
  • Cool on a wire rack.

To make the filling:

  • Turn down oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Combine spices, salt, and arrowroot/cornstarch and whisk with a fork until combined. 
  • In a bowl, add pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla. Stir until combined.
  • Add spice mix and combine.
  • Add maple syrup and coconut milk and whisk until well combined.
  • Pour filling in cooled pie crust.
  • Bake pie for 45 minutes or until set in center and browned on top.
  • Let cool completely on wire rack and refrigerate 5 hours or overnight.
  • Enjoy with some coconut whipped cream and a spiced hot chocolate.

Nutrition

Calories: 256kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 7gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 96mgSodium: 195mgPotassium: 169mgFiber: 7gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 6499IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Happy Holidays!

Tip the scale into holiday dinner perfection with these classic, comforting dishes. They’re delicious. They’re bone-healthy. And they’re crowd-pleasers. 

So, I hope you’ll do your bones and taste buds a favor and try these recipes.  

They’re as easy to make as they are guilt-free. So you can take the stress out of planning a holiday meal.

What’s your favorite dish during the holidays? Please share it with us in the comments below!

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  1. Elena M Trujillo

    December 18, 2021 , 11:46 am

    Thank you so much for the recipes. I always do the cauliflower mashed potatoes.

  2. Kirby Johnson

    December 20, 2021 , 3:27 pm

    Elena,

    We’re so thrilled you’ve been enjoying our recipes ? The cauliflower mashed potatoes are a favorite of ours too!

    – Kirby @ AlgaeCal

  3. Laura

    December 19, 2021 , 4:29 am

    I always make CRUSTLESS pumpkin pie. All the taste, just missing the heaviness of a crust, and lets me use more whipped cream!
    Just grease the pie plate, and fill with your favorite pumpkin pie filling (add 1 T of flour to help stiffen, but not required.). Bake as usual. Cool completely.
    This comes out of the pie plate easily, with just a bit more care.
    Glass pie plate is best.

  4. Nancy Hartley

    December 19, 2021 , 5:47 pm

    I made your delicious pumpkin pie. It was totally different than what I made before yet was yummy. I love that it is naturally gluten-free ??????. The crust held together well unlike many gluten-free bake goods that crumble. I was surprised there was eggs in the crust and pie. It will be my recipe for pumpkin pie. I’m hoping to use this crust for other fruit pies. I filled the crust with rice to bake it. I wasn’t certain but I’ve since cooked the rice in the traditional way and it tasted fine. Thank you for this recipe ?

  5. Kirby Johnson

    December 21, 2021 , 10:21 am

    Nancy,

    We’re so pleased to hear the pumpkin pie recipe exceeded your expectations! We’re always thrilled when those in our community have the chance to make our recipes – thank you so much for trying something new and sharing your experience! All our best to you during this holiday season ??

    – Kirby @ AlgaeCal

  6. M

    December 21, 2021 , 7:06 pm

    Hi, I’m wondering if you think the crust would work if I reversed the proportions of coconut flour and almond flour? Coconut flour is too hard on my stomach to use that much of it.

  7. Kirby Johnson

    December 30, 2021 , 9:41 am

    Hi M,

    We think you should give it a try! We don’t anticipate any issues with consistency or baking time and almond flour is rich in micronutrients – let us know how it turns out! The recipe will likely be a little higher in calorie count as a result, but hey, you’re making a pie 🙂

    – Kirby @ AlgaeCal

  8. Rose

    February 12, 2022 , 11:12 am

    Hi Laura, Thank You for the crustless pumpkin pie recipe yea sounds good.

This article features advice from our industry experts to give you the best possible info through cutting-edge research.

Prof. Didier Hans
PHD, MBA - Head of Research & Development Center of Bone Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital CHUV, Switzerland,
Lara Pizzorno
MDiv, MA, LMT - Best-selling author of Healthy Bones Healthy You! and Your Bones; Editor of Longevity Medicine Review, and Senior Medical Editor for Integrative Medicine Advisors.,
Dr. Liz Lipski
PhD, CNS, FACN, IFMP, BCHN, LDN - Professor and Director of Academic Development, Nutrition programs in Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.,
Dr. Loren Fishman
MD, PhD - Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Founder of the Yoga Injury Prevention Website.,
Dr. Carole McArthur
MD, PhD - Professor of Immunology, Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City; Director of Residency Research in Pathology, Truman Medical Center.,