Photo: Cheesecake with Fresh Blueberries

by Tandis Bishop, RD

For this year's holiday season we want to lighten up a bit and have fun. We’re going to take a break from our usual health message by bringing you delicious dessert recipes to share and enjoy with family and friends. If you're like most of us, you’re always looking for great desert recipes. So we’re going to make it real easy for you. Of course, these recipes will be naturally nutritious, made from wholesome ingredients. We hope you enjoy them as we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!


Super Easy


Easy Chocolate Pie


This simple, yet delicately rich chocolate pie is great if you’re looking for a quick and fancy pie to serve during the holidays. 


Yield: 8-10 Servings



  • 1 (10.5-ounce) package Cadia Organic Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
  • 1 (10-ounce) package vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 (14-ounce) block medium-firm organic tofu
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) Dr.Oetker Organic Chocolate pudding
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons agave nectar
  1. Place cookies into a food processor, pulse them until crumbly and well combined.
  2. Set ¼ cup of cookie crumble aside and place the rest into a pie pan. Press evenly into pan until firm crust forms.
  3. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler.
  4. Place remaining ingredients into a food processor. Add melted chocolate chips. Process until creamy and smooth.
  5. Pour mixture into pie pan. Place in refrigerator for 2 hours until pie sets. Serve and enjoy!

Other super easy desserts:


Strawberry Coconut Mousse, Raw Chocolate Almond Truffles.


Raw


Raw Blueberry Cheesecake


This creamy raw cheesecake is an excellent substitute for traditional dairy-based desserts. And you don’t even have to turn on your oven!


Yield: 6-8 Servings



Crust


  • 1 cup pecans
  • ½ cup pitted Medjool dates

Filling


  • 2 cups cashews, soaked 1 hour and drained
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup raw agave nectar
  • ¾ cup coconut oil
  • 1½ teaspoon raw vanilla powder or vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Blueberry Sauce


  • 2 cups frozen blueberries, defrosted
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup Medjool dates, pitted
  1. Process Crust ingredients until crumbly. Press evenly into a spring form pan.
  2. Process Filling ingredients until creamy and smooth.
  3. Pour Filling over Crust and place in freezer 1-2 hours until set.
  4. Place frozen blueberries into a food processor with dates to make Blueberry Sauce.
  5. Remove cheesecake from freezer 10 minutes before serving. Pour Blueberry Sauce on top and then sprinkle on remaining whole fresh berries. Cut evenly and serve while cold. Enjoy!

Other raw desserts:


Raw Salted Chocolate Pecan Bars, Raw Black Forest Cake.


Gluten-Free


Try these yummy treats if you are looking for tasty, gluten-free desserts: Banana Chocolate Cookies


Vegan


Maple Pumpkin Coffee Cake


A gorgeous, moist cake with your favorite fall flavors. This dessert takes warm and cozy to another level!


Yield: 8-12 Servings



Crumble


  • 1¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) vegan butter, cold

Cake Batter


  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 6 Tablespoons hot water
  • ½ cup vegan butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1½ teaspoons maple flavor
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons ground flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease and flour a 9” cake pan.
  2. To prepare Crumble: In a medium bowl combine flour, pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and maple syrup. Grate in cold vegan butter. Combine until it resembles a crumbly mixture. Set aside.
  3. To prepare Cake Batter: Combine pumpkin and water in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream softened vegan butter and brown sugar. Mix in pumpkin mixture, maple syrup, maple flavor, vanilla extract, flax meal and vinegar. Combine well.
  5. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  6. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and combine until all the flour is just incorporated. Do not over-mix.
  7. Pour half the cake batter into prepared cake pan. Sprinkle with half of the crumble. Pour remaining cake batter over crumble and top with remaining crumble.
  8. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Enjoy!

You may also want to try these Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes


Traditional


Rustic Apple Tart


A simple but exquisite tart that'll make you a star this holiday season. This country-style dessert features warm cinnamon, tart apples, and sweet brown sugar. Perfect with your favorite holiday tea or coffee.


Yield: 8-10 Servings



Crust


  • 1½ cups unbleached all-purposed flour
  • 8 Tablespoons cold butter or vegan margarine, chopped
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 3 Tablespoons ice water

Filling


  • 4 cups sliced granny smith apples
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅓ – ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Place flour, butter, powdered sugar, and lemon zest in a food processor. Process until fine and crumbly.
  3. Add iced water and process just until the mixture come together.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of wax paper. Press out with your hands.
  5. Lightly sprinkle your dough with flour and using a rolling pin, roll dough out into a rectangular shape.
  6. Place dough on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, combine apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  8. Using your hands, gently rub apples to coat evenly.
  9. Arrange apples in three rows, layering in the center of the Crust, leaving a 1” border.
  10. Gently fold crust over apples. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until crust becomes golden brown.
  11. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  12. Serve with whipped cream or your favorite ice cream. Enjoy!