Once upon a time, parents could leave out the simplest of holiday snacks for Santa – a plate of cookies and a glass of milk. As families need to pay more attention to ingredients, however, so does Santa (wink). And even if Santa doesn’t need to, it’s nice to keep his snacks kid friendly too.
So what holiday snacks can be left for Santa? We’ve got your back with 12 ideas – choose a few or choose them all over the 12 days of Christmas. They are all gluten-free, all vegetarian, and almost all paleo, so you can get on Santa’s good side no matter what diet he adheres to.
Sweet & salty spicy nuts
These addictive nuts are sure to fuel Santa for his evening of hard work with healthy fats and protein – whether he’s traveling around the globe to deliver gifts or just bringing them out from their hiding spot in the closet. Your choice of nuts is roasted with fragrant cumin, a touch of cayenne, and dash of sweetness to make a holiday snack that Santa won’t be able to stop eating.
Almond flour cranberry ginger scones
Scones aren’t just for breakfast, but perfect for a snack any time of day or night. Made with almond flour, they’ll be quickly gobbled up by a gluten-free or paleo Santa. Cranberry and ginger lend a festive feel to this holiday snack that is both a treat and good for you.
AIP gingersnap cookies
You can’t go wrong with a classic holiday snack for Santa, gingersnap cookies, but with a twist. With no eggs, dairy, nuts, coconut, grains, or seeds, these chewy goodies will be good for even the most food-intolerant gift giver. Fresh ginger provides a little extra oomph to these treats sweetened with molasses, dates, and maple syrup. Even better, these cookies are a cinch to make as they are mixed together in a food processor.
Coconut chai fig smoothie
Delivering presents is thirsty work and this dairy-free smoothie is a thirst-quenching treat. A smoothie is a holiday snack your budding cook can make for Santa, though somewhat unconventional. Chilled chai tea, coconut milk, figs, and winter spices make this a holiday-perfect smoothie to refresh Santa on his journey. A shot of amaretto or other alcohol of preference would make this a nice night-cap for Santa after his gift-giving duties.
Lemon, Parmesan, and black pepper popcorn
Do some last minute decorating and make strings of popcorn and cranberry garlands. While you’re at it, grate some lemon zest, Parmesan, and black pepper over top a few bowls for instant gourmet. Now, these flavors might not scream holiday, but it’s the light snack is perfect to counteract all the sweet, heavy, and rich foods being served right now. Santa will thank you for breaking the mold.
Cherry ginger gummies
The holiday season is a time for joy – and also seasonal colds and flu. If Santa’s fighting an illness this year, and even if he’s not, these gummy treats filled with body-healing gelatin will help strengthen everybody’s immune system. Cold-blasting ginger and lemon are pureed with frozen cherries for an antioxidant blast that also strengthens hair, skin, and nails. Leave some extra for Santa to take to Mrs. Claus!
Paleo club crackers
While these crackers made with almond flour are a delicious snack, nothing about them particularly says “Season’s Greetings”. They’ve made the holiday snack list mostly because they are great neutral carriers for the following two spreads, one sweet and one savory. To make these crackers, almond flour is mixed with an egg, butter, honey, and salt and then rolled out, cut, and baked. Voila, gluten-free crackers that are easier to make then it might seem.
Peppermint patty chocolate almond butter
Chocolate and mint go together like…chocolate and mint. What is it about that combination that is soooo delicious? Perhaps it’s because they are opposites – refreshing energetic mint opposed to dark seductive chocolate. Whatever it is, they come together in this mint chocolate almond butter. If you can stop yourself from eating it by the spoonful, surround a jar of heaven with red and green fruit, like red or green pears, grapes, and apples. And, of course, paleo club crackers. Move over, Nutella.
Green Goddess Hummus
Santa needs more than just sweets to snack on! If you find yourself craving something fresh among all the winter foods, look no farther. This hummus recipe has the secret to ultra-smooth hummus and it’s chock full of fresh greens. For winter greens, try using arugula and parsley. With all the green, this velvety hummus would look the part of a holiday snack surrounded by a wreath of red and green veggies, like cherry tomatoes, red and green peppers, broccoli, and celery. And, of course, paleo club crackers.
Pecan pie candy
While most of us have been naughty and are trying to get on Santa’s nice list, these fudgy bites pretend to be much more naughty than they are! Made only of pecans, honey, and salt, don’t let the minimal ingredient list fool you. The pecans are made into pecan butter, which is boiled with the honey to make a caramel-like texture that is decadent in taste and surprising in wholesomeness.
Pineapple coconut energy bars
Delivering presents sure does take a lot of energy! These energy bars full of dried fruit are ideal to fit the bill. Dates, dried pineapple, coconut, and a dash of lime mix up into a dough in a food processor, making these fruity bars easy peasy to make. You can roll them into balls or press them into bars, but no matter what form they take, they are another holiday snack option.
Paleo thin mint cookies
Modeled on Girl Scouts cookies, these paleo treats cover the holiday taste without sacrificing on empty ingredients. In fact, these cookies are kind of like the mint chocolate almond butter but in a different form. You’ll be sure to be on Santa’s ‘nice’ list if these sweet bites are left out on Christmas eve.