4 Healthy Holiday Treats that Will Keep Your Tastebuds and Waistline Happy
The holiday season is officially upon us. That means pumpkin pie, cookies, and chocolate galore for the next 2 months. Not to mention plenty of other sinfully sweet treats tempting our self-control at every opportunity! And while indulging in holiday goodies in moderation is usually fine, it's easy to get carried away. So in this article, we're sharing 4 surprisingly delicious holiday treats that present healthier eating options. They'll satisfy your taste buds without sugar overload. Stretchy pants necessary optional!
Orange Cranberry Tart
Recipe courtesy of Judy Barbe at livebest.info.
Just the right combination of tart, crunch, and creamy with a hint of sweetness. This delicious tart is perfect for a holiday breakfast treat or after dinner dessert. The egg-thickened yogurt is packed with protein. Cranberries are loaded with nutritious vitamins and antioxidants, which support a healthy heart, blood sugar, and reduce inflammation.
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 2 1/2 cups crumbled Corn Flakes, approximately 3 cups before crumbling
- Pie Filling
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
- juice of 1 orange
- 2 cups plain or vanilla yogurt
- Cranberry topping
- 1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- pinch of cloves or 3 whole cloves
- 2 star anise, optional
- 2 whole allspice, optional
- Heat oven to 375°F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, walnuts, and Corn Flakes. Press into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Make sure the bottom crust is patted down to fill holes in the bottom. Place on a baking sheet, bake 10 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, stir eggs with a fork or whisk until they are thoroughly mixed. Add yogurt, orange zest and juice, stir to combine. Pour into cooled crust. Bake 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool. Refrigerate at least one hour. Can be refrigerated overnight before topping with cranberries. Though like cereal and milk, the longer it sits, the less crispy.
- In a medium sauce pan, add cranberries, sugar, water and spices. Cook over medium heat, until mixture comes to boil, stirring occasionally, Reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Allow to cool. Remove whole spices. Refrigerate until ready to assemble pie.
- Just before serving, top pie with cranberries. You may have leftover cranberries.
Cookie Dough Hummus
Recipe courtesy of Chrissy Carroll at snackinginsneakers.com.
This is not your ordinary hummus! While still made from chickpeas, this tasty treat mixes in maple syrup, nut butter of your choice, and chocolate chunks for a healthy dessert guaranteed to satisfy the most discerning sweet tooth. Lower sugar content (compared to actual cookie dough), along with a healthy blend of fiber, protein, and appetite-curbing fat makes this a holiday dessert you can feel good about eating.
For the cookie dough hummus:
- 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup nut butter of choice (I use salted caramel cashew butter)
- 1/4 cup chia seeds (ground or whole)
- 1/3 cup white chocolate chunks (or dark chocolate)
- Peppermint pieces
- Toffee bits
- Dried cranberries
- Shredded coconut
- Combine the chickpeas, maple syrup, nut butter, and chia seeds in a food processor. Process in 1 minute increments, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the hummus has reached a relatively smooth consistency. (It should take around 2-3 minutes total).
- Stir in the chocolate chunks, along with any other optional add-ins of your choice.
Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles
Recipe courtesy of Mackenzie Burgess at cheerfulchoices.com.
3 ingredients. 20 minutes of prep. Easy peasy! Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, containing even more than blueberries. Some studies show it may help support healthy blood pressure and blood flow too. Avocado is another well-known superfood. It’s chock-full of fiber which promotes weight loss and healthy blood sugar levels. Studies show it's also a boon for relieving osteoarthritis.
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips or 2 - 3.5 oz dark chocolate bars of your choice, chopped
- 1 small ripe to overripe avocado, mashed into a puree
- 2 tablespoons coating of your choice, (cocoa powder, shredded coconut, freeze dried strawberries, matcha powder, protein powder, sprinkles, gingerbread spice mix, cocoa nibs, finely chopped nuts, etc.)
- Microwave chocolate for 30 second increments, stirring in between until melted. Alternatively, you can place a glass bowl with the chocolate over a pan of hot (not boiling) water to melt the chocolate.
- Add mashed avocado into melted chocolate and stir until fully incorporated. Freeze the mixture for 10 minutes. Once mixture has thickened into a rollable consistency, use a spoon to scoop out chocolate and roll into one inch balls.
- Place coating of your choice in a small bowl and roll truffles to coat. Store truffles in fridge for up to four days or freezer for up to one month.
Cinnamon Apple French Toast
Recipe courtesy of Jessica Myers (myersxhealth) on Instagram.
Swap that sugary syrup for cinnamon and Stevia, and you have the makings for a delicious and nutritious French toast that is sure to delight! Cinnamon delivers a wide range of health benefits while adding a touch of sweetness to any dish. Cinnamon can improve insulin sensitivity, making it a useful cooking spice for diabetic patients. Cinnamon may also reduce risk of heart disease.
- 2 slices of toast (I used the @julianbakery almond flour bread)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Sweetener of choice (I used liquid stevia drops)
- 1 apple
- Almond butter
- Coconut oil
- Dice up your apple, add however much cinnamon your heart desires, and pop them in the air fryer at 400°F for 10 minutes. You can alternatively bake these or sauté them.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg and add some cinnamon, your sweetener of choice and vanilla extract. Slice your toast into 1 inch pieces and dip them into the egg mixture.
- In a medium hot pan, coat the pan in some coconut oil and place your toast on the pan for about 3 minutes and flip and cook for another 3 minutes until the toast looks browned.
- Plate your toast, top it with the air fried apples, drizzle some almond butter and enjoy!
You don't need to sacrifice joy during the holidays by eating foods void of flavor for the sake of health. You can have the best of both worlds when you feature any of these 4 mouth-watering recipes at your holiday gatherings. Not only will your tastebuds (and waistline) be happy, but you'll give your guests a delightful experience they won't soon forget!
You can also check this awesome delicious, handcrafted, Keto-Friendly Cookies!