Cookies, candy canes, ginger bread, peppermint lattes, hot chocolate! We are surrounded by sugar during the holidays! Don't give up on your healthy eating though. Here are some AMAZINGLY delicious guilt-free desserts to make that everyone is sure to love!
The Healthiest Cookies EVER (Paleo, Vegan)
Makes 12 cookies
1 1/2 cups raw walnut halves
1 cup medjool dates, pitted (about 12)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax or chia seeds + 3 tablespoons water)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional– see sugar-free options in the notes below)
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with an “S” blade, process the dates and walnuts together until a crumbly texture is formed. Add in the salt, baking soda, vanilla, and flax egg (see how to make a flax egg here) and process again until the batter is relatively smooth, a little stickier than traditional cookie dough.
Add in the chocolate chips and briefly pulse, just to combine.
Spoon the batter onto a lined baking sheet, and use your hands to gently flatten the cookie dough. (Tip: Wet your hands with water to prevent sticking!) Bake at 350F for 12 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden. Allow to cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve immediately, and store the leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge or freezer for best shelf life. These cookies should last a week in the fridge, and a month or more in the freezer.
Sugar Free White Christmas
2 1/2 cups coconut butter.
1 1/4 cup coconut milk.
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped.
1 tablespoon of rice malt syrup.
1/2 cup desiccated coconut.
1 cup macadamia nuts, roughly chopped.
1 cup pistachios.
1 cup frozen raspberries (keep in freezer until ready to use).
1. Line a 20cm square slice tin with baking paper. Melt the coconut butter in a bowl over hot water until it has completely turned to liquid.
2. Place the coconut butter in a food processor. Add the coconut milk, vanilla, syrup, and coconut until well combined. It is important to work quickly here, because you do not want the coconut butter to start solidifying. It is easier to stir through the dry ingredients when it is still runny. Stir in the macadamia nuts and pistachios. Gently fold in the frozen raspberries.
3. Pour mixture into prepared tin. Place the tray in the freezer for 3-4 hours.
4. Use the baking paper to lift the White Christmas out of the tin and slice into squares (about 20). These are best stored in the freezer.
Note: You can eat them directly from the freezer or you can place them in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving to allow the raspberries to soften a little.
Shakeology Nutty No-Bake Cookies
Serves: 24 servings, 1 cookie
1 cup all-natural almond butter
1 tsp. pure almond extract
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
½ cup raw honey
1 cup Chocolate Shakeology
Combine almond butter, extract, oats, honey, and Shakeology in a medium bowl; mix well with a spatula or clean hands.
Roll mixture into twenty four balls, each about 1-inch in size.
Flatten each slightly so that it is shaped like a traditional cookie.
Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving
Cranberry Crumble Bars
Serves: 12 servings, 1 bar each
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup dry old fashioned oats, gluten-free
1 cup whole raw almonds
¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
3 Tbsp. coconut sugar
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin organic coconut oil, melted
3 cups coarsely chopped cranberries
¼ cup 100% orange juice
1 Tbsp. finely grated orange peel (orange zest)
2 Tbsp. coconut sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch, preferably GMO-free
3 Tbsp. coconut sugar
2 Tbsp. gluten-free all-purpose flour
¼ cup dry old fashioned oats, gluten-free
1 Tbsp. + 1½ tsp. extra-virgin organic coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper. Lightly coat with spray. Set aside.
- To make crust, place oats, almonds, salt, and sugar in food processor (or blender); pulse into a fine meal. Make sure no large pieces remain.
- Add oil; pulse to mix. It should form a loose dough that sticks together when squeezed between two fingers. Add more oil if too dry.
- Spread oat mixture into prepared pan. Press into an even layer with your fingers or a flat object (like a drinking glass).
- Bake for 15 minutes. Increase heat to 375º F. Bake an additional 5 minutes, or until crust is fragrant and edges are slightly golden brown. Set aside.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350º F.
- To make filling, heat cranberries, orange juice, orange peel, sugar, and cornstarch in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until bubbly. Set aside.
- To make topping, combine sugar, flour, oats and oil in a small mixing bowl; mix with fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Set aside.
- Add cranberry mixture to crust; cover evenly.
- Top with crumble topping; cover cranberries evenly.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cranberry filling is warm and bubbly and topping is golden brown.
- Cool completely for 1 to 2 hours. Lift parchment paper from pan; cut into 12 bars.
1/2 cup (92 g) uncooked white quinoa
3/4 cup (75 g) pecans, chopped
1/4 cup (22.5 g) rolled oats
2 Tbsp (24 g) chia seeds
2 Tbsp (24 g) coconut sugar
optional: pinch sea salt
2 Tbsp (30 ml) coconut oil
1/2 cup (120 ml) maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper, ensuring it covers the entire surface and all the edges (to prevent spill over).
- Add quinoa, pecans, oats, chia seeds, coconut sugar, and salt (optional) to a mixing bowl - stir to combine.
- To a small saucepan, add coconut oil and maple syrup. Warm over medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally until the two are totally combined and there is no visible separation.
- Pour over the dry ingredients and stir to thoroughly combine and coat. Arrange on parchment-lined baking sheet and spread into an even layer with a metal spoon. Try to get it as even as possible, or the edges will burn and the center won’t crisp up (see photo).
- Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the pan around to ensure even browning. Bake 5-10 minutes more and watch carefully as to not burn. You'll know it's done when uniformly deep golden brown in color and very fragrant. The edges may appear to be getting too brown, but they’re just getting crisp and caramelized, so don’t be afraid of that!
- Let cool completely before breaking into bite-size pieces with a sharp knife or your fingers.
- Once completely cooled, store leftovers in a sealed bag or container at room temperature for 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. This makes an excellent holiday dessert or gift!
source: The Minimalist Baker