5 Tips for Making Healthier Cannabis Treats for the Holidays
Image via Unsplash | Olia Nayda
Food is one of the most important aspects of any holiday season. Brunches, lunches, dinners, and desserts all have this special way of bringing people together and filling us with sweet memories.
But the sweet can go sour when we begin to think about all the unhealthy fats, refined sugars and carbs, and massive portions that traditionally accompany the holidays. While we reconnect with loved ones over cappuccinos and decompress while dipping appetizers into decadent dips, there is a cost to be considered.
It doesn’t have to be this way though. With these 4 tips, you can create healthier treats infused with cannabis and feel good about what you’re enjoying.
Here’s how to make healthier cannabis treats for the holidays:
1. Consider your fat source
When you bake at home, you have complete control over the ingredients. You can tailor your recipe to suit your dietary needs, and this is a beautiful thing. It can also be a bit confusing. I mean, anyone’s who’s strolled down the oil aisle lately knows the options are only growing.
So what’s the healthiest fat source to bake with?
Well, first you need to consider your recipe because not all fat sources are interchangeable. For instance, it’s pretty easy to swap out one oil for another, but replacing something like vegetable shortening with oil is a recipe for a Pinterest fail. Once you know what type of fat you need, you can further refine your choice.
Anyone concerned about heart health should avoid saturated fat—and that includes the almighty coconut oil and animal fats like butter. Trans fats like those found in shortening are also not ideal sources of fat.
Swap out any saturated or trans fats for a polyunsaturated option first and monounsaturated if necessary. Remember that cannabis requires decarboxylation and fat to activate its cannabinoids, so you’ll need to infuse your fat first.
Healthiest polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats:
2. Cut down on sugar — and not just the white stuff
We all know that too much sugar in our diets can lead to health complications like diabetes and heart disease, but somehow we still associate this exclusively with white sugar.
We reach for sugar cane crystals and agave and coconut sugars and organic options only to have our blood sugar levels spike just the same. This year, make your treats truly healthy and reduce the amount of total sugar in your baked goods.
I find a good ratio to start with is half the sugar the recipe calls for, or I just add more spices and remove the sugar altogether.
If you’re not the sugar-free type, try adding in some fresh or dried fruits to your recipes instead.
3. Go with whole grains
If your recipe calls for flour, make it a whole grain variety to boost nutrient-density and satiation levels. Whole grains fill us up with fiber and help us stave off cravings.
Alternative option: Consider trying a few flourless recipes this holiday season. Dark chocolate truffles filled with sunflower seed butter and protein balls packed with raw cocoa, coconut shreds, and other superfoods are delicious additions to holiday spreads.
4. Sneak in some superfoods
Creating a life of wellness is not all about what you can’t have—that would just be terrible. It’s about making conscious choices that nourish your body and this means adding in some new, flavourful ingredients to existing recipes.
Baking with cannabis provides a great opportunity to get creative with superfoods you’ve maybe never tried before.
Here are our favourite superfoods to sneak into our treats:
Hemp hearts add a nutty taste and are a source of balanced omegas and complete protein
Goji berries are high in vitamins, protein, antioxidants, and contains all 8 essential amino acids
Spirulina is high in iron, calcium, antioxidants, and source of complete protein
5. Watch the portions
Regardless of what you’ve created, portion control is always part of any healthy meal or treat. You can do yourself a favour by baking smaller bites rather than full-sized cookies and cupcakes. This way, you can have a few servings without overdoing it.
Bonus: You have more treats to share.