Everyone loves to over-indulge a little bit around the holidays, but if your teeth are starting to scream for a break from all that sugar and sweet, here are 6 healthier Christmas treats that don’t sacrifice on the festivities. And you know what I think, after a long night of delivering presents Santa will be glad to have a treat that’s a little healthier for him.
By replacing the peanuts in brittle with popcorn you’re cutting out a lot of calories and fat from any brittle recipe. However, thanks to the crunchiness of popcorn you won’t sacrifice any of that satisfying crack and crunch. Obviously brittle is still made with a LOT of sugar, but you might try a batch using something like Stevia and see how it comes out. Best part, it’s great for friends and family that have nut allergies!
This recipe breaks down how you can make your own pudding and pomegranate compote for a true parfait, but you can always just grab a carton of your favorite vanilla yogurt (my personal favorite is the Greek yogurt Cabot Creamery makes) and a few plump pomegranates and you’ve got the makings of a guilt-free dessert. Add a sprig of mint for extra holiday cheer.
Star Mint Meringues
Meringues are nothing more than sugar and whipped egg-whites, but with this recipe each cookie is only 27 calories each, with no fat and only 6 grams of sugar! Adding a dash of peppermint into the mix adds a popular holiday flavor to your dessert table in a really subtle way too. If you’re feeling extra fancy you can use red food dye to make your meringues look like candy canes!
Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap-Walnut Crust
That sounds pretty decadent, right? Well you can make a decadent dessert much healthier by swapping out a few key ingredients. Pumpkin is actually a really healthy vegetable, but most pumpkin desserts have hardly any real pumpkin in them. Use canned pumpkin (the real stuff) and pumpkin pie spice for flavor, and pureed nonfat cottage cheese in place of some of the cream cheese (make the rest nonfat Neufchatel) and you’ll cut way down on the calories and up the health factor!
Gluten-Free and Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
Peanut butter cookies were my absolute favorite as a kid, but once I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy there went cookies and cakes and most of the best holiday desserts. This gluten-free and vegan peanut butter cookie recipe uses chia seeds, apple sauce, and coconut sugar instead of regular white sugar to cut down on the amount of sugar and fat in each cookie, without losing too much of the sweetness.
No-Bake Coconut Delights
Need a healthy holiday dessert in a hurry? These coconut bites don’t even need to be baked! You essentially blend shredded coconut, coconut oil, your sweetener of choice, and vanilla in a food processor until it all sticks together. Careful you don’t over mix/blend, of you’ll end up with coconut butter (although that might work really well in another cookie recipe!).