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New Years Healthy Foods: 7 Lucky Recipes

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I had way too much fun writing this post on New Years healthy foods. All the symbolism reminded me of high school English class… which I actually enjoyed. (Yes, really. Where else can you write a 7-page research paper comparing Shakespeare to Star Wars?)

Below are seven healthy recipes that, thanks to their symbolically “lucky” qualities, would be perfect for New Years. (To see the recipes, just click on the photos.)

apple pancakes

Apple Pie Pancakes

Why it’s a lucky New Years food: Apples are a symbol of fertility, pleasure, and love. They reveal a five-point star when cut across the middle, which represents a balanced life.

grasshopper pie

Grasshopper Pie

A lucky New Years food because: Greens symbolize money and prosperity in the new year. This grasshopper pie is melt-in-your-mouth rich, yet it has a secretly-healthy ingredient (no, not avocado) that offers vitamins and minerals at the same time.

healthy cornbread

Healthy Cornbread

Why it’s considered a New Year’s lucky food: Cornbread’s golden color represents… wait for it… gold! Adding extra corn kernels, to symbolize golden nuggets, heightens the luck of this recipe.

lentil sloppy joes

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Why they’re New Years healthy foods: Lentils represent coins (and thus wealth and good luck in the new year). They also swell when cooked, which represents a prosperous life.

green noodles

Green Noodles

Why they’re a lucky New Years recipe: Long noodles symbolize a long life. And greens symbolize wealth and good fortune. Therefore these green noodles are doubly lucky.

vegan kale

Ginger Kale

Why they’re New Years healthy foods: As mentioned above, greens are representative of money and wealth. And kale’s status as a healthy superfood contributes to the luck (in a more tangible way for those who don’t believe in superstition).

cinnamon pie

Cinnamon Roll Pie

A lucky New Years food because: Ring-shaped cakes symbolize unity, continuity, and coming full circle. Just like lentils, beans are seen to represent coins, bringing you good luck in the new year.

Question of the Day:

Are there any foods that are traditionally part of your New Years celebration each year?

For me, I guess there are only two constants on New Years: chocolate and champagne. Nothing comes up when I google “chocolate lucky on New Years”… but really now, when is chocolate ever not lucky?

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 

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  1. Kate says:

    Yum, that ginger kale looks excellent! How have I not thought to experiment with kale and Asian flavors before? Have a Happy New Year :)

  2. Sophie says:

    Mmmmm…noodles, cornbread and pancakes? Talk about starting the year on a good note. This year we’re planning on making hoppin’ johns…which are actually black eyed peas and kale greens for wealth and prosperity. But if that’s not what the year has in store for me, I’ll gladly settle for a big mug of vegan hot chocolate. Now THAT would make me feel lucky. :)

  3. Ellen says:

    Hmmm, I don’t think I have any traditions…but I thinking that cinnamon roll pie sounds like a good way to kick things off. Happy New Year!

  4. Tayler says:

    I love ALL of your recipes! Mind if I share this post on fb with my vegan club I started?

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      CCKs faq page says you can share her recipes as long as you link to the original instead of reposting the entire recipe.

  5. I definitely have to try the lentil sloppy joes!

  6. Liz says:

    Ironically, I made a full crock of lentil soup to eat this week…so bring on the prosperity, wealth, and luck!! However, I may have to make the apple pie pancakes for a good morning start on Wednesday 😉

    Also, did you know there’s a William Shakespeare’s Star Wars book? I only mention it because you mentioned them in the same sentence, and because it’s what my sister got me for Christmas. Seemed fitting!

  7. Cristina says:

    Answer to Question of the Day:

    Ever since I moved to the Southeast, I learned that eating black-eyed peas and collard greens symbolize financial luck for the new year. The peas represent coins and the greens represent dollar bills. Black-eyed peas happen to be my favorite beans and I’ve eaten this dish on New Year’s Day for a long time with my homemade cornbread. No huge luck :( has come my way, but I can always dream : ) In the meantime, I like the idea and love this food!

  8. Fabulous list Katie…thanks for sharing it! We always do beans or lentils, usually as superyumful burgers. And fig cookies too just cuz they’re lucky for us. 😉

  9. Stefanie says:

    Haha, I don’t believe in the superstition, but my family insists on Black Eyed Peas. I always hated them when I was a kid because they were made with ham, so I need to find a good vegan black eyed pea recipe! Or maybe I can get them to buy into lentils or long noodles…
    Happy New Year!

  10. Pauline says:

    Everything you put up looks so tasty! These would make great dishes to ring in the new year for sure. Typically, for Vietnamese/Chinese new year, we have something called banh tet (a very dense sticky rice mung bean cake with fatty pork or banana). The story is a little long for a comment post but you should check it out. Not too long a read and kinda interesting:

  11. Beth B says:

    Being from the South, I’ve always started the New Year with black-eyed peas for good luck in the coming year. I would call it a “tradition” rather than “superstition”! As an adult, I enjoy collard greens with the peas. It’s amazing what a splash of balsamic vinegar does for for a serving of the greens. Delicious!

  12. Emilylovesraisins says:

    Haha this is so funny! I don’t believe in superstitions but as tradition my family always eats this amazing Korean soup. Soooooo good.

  13. What a fun post with lots of yummy foods! I always have to get in my black-eyed peas!

  14. Melissa says:

    Those look really good!! Especially the pancakes and the noodles.
    My New Year’s day traditional foods are black eyed peas, greens, cornbread and a sweet and sour tomato relish that is delicious with beans – it was my grandmother’s recipe.
    I think the reason that you couldn’t find any links for chocolate and luck is that it’s just a given – everyone knows that chocolate is the perfect food, there-by bringing good luck to everyone that eats it! I think I better make chocolate a new New Year’s day tradition!

  15. Kelly says:

    In Vietnam we have sticky rice cake with mung bean and mushroom filling. The process of making it is so complex! On the last day of the year, we cook them in a giant pot over charcoal and they take about 10 hours to cook! Not to mention we have to take turn to stay up all night and add more coal when its needed. But they are worthed in the end :)

  16. Honeybird says:

    Yes, we do have traditional foods for new year!
    They are called ‘oliebollen’ , and we also make beignets.
    Oliebollen are basically a risen dough, with extra ingredients such as raisins or fruits like apple or banana added, and deepfried. Best eaten with powdered sugar. They look like this:
    Beignets are sliced ring of fruit (mostly apple or pineapple), coated in cinnamonsugar, battered and deepfried.
    The last day of the year consists mostly of baking these goods. I come up with at least ten different flavours to make, so the whole table will be full. A lot of people come over to grab some of our oliebollen (they are also called ‘Dutch Doughnuts’.
    Everyone will be eating those during the day, so I don’t cook a whole meal in the evening, just stuff the table with little tapas-like things. Like crackers and salad and soup.
    And we have champagne at midnight. But I don’t drink :P, so I’ll get some applejuice or something.
    Happy Newyear!!

  17. Melody Bold says:

    The only traditional thing we make on New Year’s Day is New Year’s Cookies. Nee Yash Koaka is how it’s pronounced or sometimes Noy Yarse Kuchen, depending if your family speaks Platt Deutsch or High German. They are really more like drop doughnuts than cookies, as they are a yeast dough with raisins. It is dropped by tablespoonfuls into hot oil and fried to a golden brown, then drained and shaken with either powdered or granulated sugar, again, depending on your background. Either way is delicious and they are absolutely best eaten warm. I make these only once a year because they are not ‘healthy!’

  18. Toni says:

    I had never thought about the symbolism of the particular foods I eat before. Thanks for opening my eyes to a new perspective. These recipes look so good. I think I need to try a few of them for New Year’s Day. Lentil Sloppy Joes sounds especially yummy right now.
    Have a happy New Year!

  19. trajayjay says:

    This is very creative. I wonder why people ascribe certain symbols, values, etc. to foods. Perhaps we need to feel whole when we eat?

    As for the q of the day, I think egg rolls are my family’s holiday food. They’re uniquely cultural.

  20. Jenny says:

    Being Japanese-American, we have soba on New Year’s Eve. Then we have ozoni (soup with mochi and other vegetables inside) on New Year’s Day. We also eat konbu maki (pork wrapped in seaweed) and kuromame (sweet black beans, often with chestnuts).

  21. Emma says:

    Green pistachio truffles- green for the $$, chocolate for the =) =) bam.

    And, chocolate was used as currency- time to bring back that trend!

  22. What a delicious post, Katie!!! Thank you for all that you do! I’m hoping you’ve hit the soccer fields!! I started again a few months ago, after about a 4 yr break, and I am LOVING it!! I bet you will too! Happy New Year!!

  23. Marie says:

    We always used to make mini hot dogs wrapped in crescent roll dough and baked in the oven. I loved them! Blech… 😉

  24. Samantha says:

    This year I kind of blew it, but normally I try and do something involving black eyed peas.

  25. Becca says:

    As a high school English teacher, I share your love of symbolism. :) I’m eyeing that kale recipe– I love your dessert recipes, but have yet to try the other ones!