Photo: Blueberry Crumble

by Manjari Fergusson

One of the scariest parts about cooking or baking during the holiday season is the expectation that being healthy means sacrificing taste or flavor; but that really doesn’t have to be the case! You can have the best of both worlds and create yummy dishes that you and your friends and family won’t even realize are “healthy”.

Tasty desserts made using wholesome ingredients are not only delicious, but easier on your waistline and leave you feeling fuller, causing you to eat less. Win!

Here are some healthy ideas for yummy desserts, perfect for your holiday meals:

  • Apple crumble – or you can use any other fruit that suits you.
  • Pumpkin pie – trying making it without a crust.
  • Cookies – in any cookie recipe, try using whole wheat flour instead of white (or go half and half) and replace sugar with coconut sugar (or your favorite alternative sweetener). You can also try replacing chocolate chips with raisins or dried cranberries.
  • Vegan pie or cake – go a step further and put fruit or fruit sauce on top instead of a super sugary frosting, or even just sprinkle a bit of powdered sugar on top.
  • Raw desserts – try something new and make a raw dessert, such as this Raw Pumpkin Cheesecake.
  • Cream pie – this Carob Banana Cream Pie recipe uses silken tofu and banana for a healthy alternative.
  • Gingerbread cookies – use extra ginger!

Making healthy desserts doesn’t have to be a big, scary process – substituting, using less of the “bad” stuff, and watching your portions all go a huge way in ensuring that holiday desserts don’t wreak havoc on your attempt to have a healthy holiday season.