· By Kenneth Lin
Holiday Treats: Healthy Snacks for Stocking Stuffers
Stocking stuffers never quite get the hype they deserve. Perfectly wrapped gifts under the tree are a treat, but when it comes to giving gifts, the small surprise of a stocking stuffer simply can’t be beat — especially when they’re not only deliciously good for the soul, but the body, too!
1. Fruit Leather
Chewy candy and gummies are stocking stuffer staples, but we could definitely do without all the artificial stuff that these sweet treats are often loaded with. That’s why we’re big fans of fruit leather — an amazing snack that combines a delicious fruity flavor with a chewy texture that’s to die for.
Look for snacks made with 100% fruit juice — which will taste sweet naturally without any added sugar or fake sweeteners.
You could also roll up your sleeves to make fruit leather at home. Just puree some of your favorite fruits before smoothing the mixture out onto a baking sheet and tossing it in the oven. Even better, pour your mixture into some metal cookie cutters on top of your baking sheet for fun, holiday-shaped fruit leather.
Move aside, candy canes and gumdrops — jerky sticks are full of protein, minimal sugar, and little to no carbs making these meaty treats a real stocking stuffer delight. Plus, they come in beef, turkey, pork, and a variety of tasty flavors that are fun to nibble and explore.
For the best jerky, quality is key. Steer clear of brands that contain potentially harmful preservatives like nitrates as well as added sugar and excess sodium. Reach for nitrate-free options with recognizable ingredients and pay close attention to the protein that’s used. Oh, and if you’re vegan, rest easy because there are yummy plant-based options made for you, too!
3. Pure Honey Sticks
Need a buzz-worthy stocking stuffer that’s sure to be the bee’s knees? Look no further and stock up on honey sticks — sticks of pure honey. These portable straws offer a healthy dose of sweetness without the junk commonly found in traditional candies. And seeing as honey has been used since the dawn of time to support a myriad of health ailments, this stocking stuffing is one that’s not only wonderfully delicious but proven by science to be good for you, too.
A spoonful of sugar may make the medicine go down, but a mouthful of honey may prevent the need for medicine in the first place! With this in mind, here are just a few of the benefits that honey may offer:
- Supports a healthy gut
- Strengthens the immune system
- Nourishes skin
- Eases sinus issues
- Soothes sore throats
- Protects the brain
- Combats allergies
Pro Tip: Trying to cut back on calories? Rather than using white sugar or an artificial sweetener like aspartame or sucralose to sweeten up your morning cup of joe, use a raw honey stick. Honey is a fantastic natural sweetener that is both delicious and healthy.
4. Minty Dark Chocolate
Got a choco-lover on your hands? Skip the milk chocolate stuff and drop a decadent dark chocolate bar into stockings instead. Dark chocolate contains much more cocoa than milk chocolate, meaning it has more beneficial antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, too! For a holiday twist, melt your dark chocolate, add a few drops of peppermint extract, and then refrigerate until the chocolate solidifies again!
For the best dark chocolate that’s both healthy and not too bitter, opt for the kind that is 70% to 80% cacao with no more than 10 grams of added sugar per serving.
5. BOOP Cookies
Cookies and Christmas go together like Dasher and Dancer, Jack Frost and snow, or Mr. and Mrs. Clause — they complete each other.
That’s why it’s probably no surprise that we’d have cookies on this list of holiday treats. But, seeing as these heavenly little bites are traditionally baked with refined sugar, enriched flour, and fake fillers, it might come as a surprise that not all cookies have to be guilt-filled.
You see, in the realm of “healthy snacks,” cookies don’t typically make the “nice” list — unless, of course, they’re BOOP cookies. Our Cranberry and Oatmeal Cookies are full of soul-warming ingredients like protein-rich chia seeds, filling oats, and sweet dates to keep you in the holiday spirit all day long.
Pro Tip: To up the ante and make your BOOPs even more festive, you can even use holiday-themed cookie cutters to mold each BOOP into the shape of your choice! BOOP cookies are soft (but not mushy) enough to shape them into anything your heart desires.
The bottom line here is that BOOP brings homemade happiness whenever, wherever, and whyever. What stocking stuffer is better than that?!
6. Christmas Rolled Oat Granola
What’s more Christmas-y than cranberries? Combine some rolled oats, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, and honey in a bowl. Then, crumble up an Oatmeal and Cranberry BOOP cookie and toss that in, too. Add a little cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, and even a splash of vanilla extract if that tickles your fancy.
Throw it in the oven and you’ve just made a batch of heart-healthy granola that smells like Christmas and tastes like yum.
7. Holiday Popcorn
Christmas crunch — popcorn covered and smothered in caramel and drizzled with chocolate — makes the heart sing, but it’s not exactly the best choice for those wishing for a healthier holiday! Fortunately, when the kernels are air-popped and healthier toppings are used, this wholesome stocking stuffer is one that can be both tasty and healthy.
For the healthiest pop, steer clear of the pre-packaged stuff in tins and make a batch of homemade popcorn on the stove or in an air popper. You can add additional flavors by topping it with fresh herbs and spices. In the mood for something savory? Try a dash of pepper and cayenne. Fancy something sweet? Toss in some BOOP cookie crumbles and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
When it comes to popcorn, the options are endless.
8. Herbal Tea
A soothing variety of herbal teas or a calming tin of matcha are sure to be appreciated by anyone who enjoys curling up with a warm beverage. And the best part? You can find assorted teas to support a number of things like immunity, focus, digestion, mood, and sleep.
So whether you’re stuffing a stocking for someone who could use some heart protection or perhaps an energy boost, you’re in luck because there’s likely a tea for that! Here are some of the BOOP Bakery’s favs:
- Green tea — provides antioxidants to promote youthful, glowing skin.
- Chamomile tea — supports sleep to combat restless nights and tension.
- Peppermint tea — promotes gut health and happy digestion.
- Ginger tea — soothes inflammation and boosts the immune system.
- Black tea — enhances focus, concentration, and energy.
Place the tea bags inside a holiday-themed mug or some fuzzy holiday socks to round out this cozy gift.
Pro Tip: There’s arguably nothing better than sipping freshly brewed tea with a side of something sweet! Round out this wholesome stocking stuffer with a soul-warming BOOP cookie (or two).
9. Chocolate Almond Bark
Simple, sweet, and perfectly filling, chocolate almond bark is a fantastic choice when on the hunt for a healthy holiday treat. This tasty delight is full of beneficial antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nourishing nutrients that are oh-so-good for you.
- Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper
- Chop up some roasted almonds (btw you should roast some almonds ahead of time)
- Melt chocolate and a spoonful of coconut oil via the double-boiler method
- Fold in the toasty almonds until they are fully coated in chocolate
- Pour the mixture onto the cookie sheet, spreading it evenly from corner to corner
- Sprinkle sea salt on top, let it cool and enjoy!
Pro Tip: Give your almond bark a winter wonderland twist by using white chocolate in lieu of milk chocolate and adding chopped peppermints into the mix. You could also crumble up a BOOP cookie for a fruity spin or a dollop of peanut butter if you’re feelin’ nutty!
Ready To Deck the Halls With Healthy Snacks?
Stocking stuffers are the cherry on top of a magical Christmas morning — especially when they’re good for the body and soul. For the best gifts that are sure to leave your loved ones smiling from ear to ear, opt for healthy holiday treats like popcorn, jerky, and of course, wholesome BOOP cookies.
These yummy oatmeal and cranberry cookies taste like a warm Christmas hug and feature ingredients like date paste and rolled oats instead of refined sugar.
BOOP on over to our shop page to stock up on a box (or two or three) for your stocking stuffers!
Dark Chocolate Health Benefits | Cleveland Clinic
The Hidden Health Benefits of Tea | Penn Medicine
Honey and Health: A Review of Recent Clinical Research | PMC
Nitrates/Nitrites in Food—Risk for Nitrosative Stress and Benefits | PMC
9 Exotic Fruits That are Loaded With Health Benefits and Taste | Goodnet