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Sweet and Healthy Treats for the Holidays!

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” ……. come on now, you know you just caught that melody in your head, right? Well, part of the holiday vision is dessert. You know, like sugarplum fairies?  Cookies, cakes, trifles, fruitcakes (yes, even those) and pies are dancing in your mind. Marshmallows and peppermint bark are everywhere. It’s all part of the holiday season.

And whether you have to bring dessert to a party, to a family dinner or if you just want to indulge at home. Most holiday desserts are filled with sugar and calories. Right? Nope…believe it or not, we are here to tell you that you can actually make healthy holiday desserts that will please the palate and appease even the littlest elf with the sweetest tooth.

Pumpkin (yes, once again) decadence…

Come on, you know you can’t get through the holidays without just a little more pumpkin, right? How about some Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares? Guess what – this is not only healthy, but it’s easy and no baking!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup soft and pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch fine grain sea salt

Filling

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water 2-4 hours then drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Put all the crust ingredients into a food processor, and process until the ingredients stick together. Stop and scrape down the sides as needed. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of a square baking dish.
  2. Put all filling ingredients in your blender or food processor (high-speed blenders likely work best) and blend until smooth and creamy. You may have to stop to scrape down the sides.
  3. Pour the filling evenly over the base and smooth with a spatula. Cover the dish and place it in the freezer to set for 4-6 hours.
  4. Let the dish sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes and then cut into squares. Sprinkle a thin layer of cinnamon on top before serving.

Pretty please – no more pumpkin, ok?

No problem – we just had to get that one out of our system. Now, how do Coconut Brownie Bites sound to you? Go ahead, brush your teeth and clean your tongue and get rid of that pumpkin taste so you can indulge in these little gems! Easy, no-baking and good for everyone!

Coconut Brownie Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, divided
  • 1 cup pitted dates, soaked and drained
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey

Directions:

  1. Combine the almonds, cocoa powder and 1/4 cup of the shredded coconut together in a food processor. Process into a fine powder.
  2. Add the soaked dates, coconut oil and honey. Pulse until a dough-like consistency forms.
  3. Roll batter into small bite-sized balls. Then roll each ball through a bowl with the remaining coconut flakes to coat.
  4. Organize on a fancy plate and serve.

Cranberries – not just for turkey!

Cranberries are Mother Nature’s ornaments. Their beautiful color is matched only by their scrumptious taste, so why not add these Cranberry Crumb Bars to your recipe repertoire? You can use your own leftover cranberry sauce or get whole berry canned sauce…up to you! 😊

Cranberry Crumb Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil solid at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • Optional: 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper or foil and grease lightly.
  2. In large bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and coconut sugar. Whisk to combine.
  3. Add the coconut oil and using a pastry cutter or two forks, work the coconut oil into the dry ingredients until the coconut oil is in little bits. Add the maple syrup and toss to combine until the mixture stick together.
  4. Reserve 3/4 cup of crumb mixture for the topping. Press remaining crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of greased pan. Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove partially baked crust from the oven. Spread cranberry sauce over the crust. Top with remaining crumb mixture and if desired, chopped walnuts.
  6. Return to oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until bubbling and lightly browned. Let cool completely before cutting into 16 squares.

Don’t forget, though, a little peppermint bark, just a smidgen, will top off any of these desserts with the minty freshness of the season…or you can stay completely healthy and use a sprig of fresh mint. Your call. We know which we would choose 😉

Healthy Holiday Desserts!



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