The holidays are a time of year to reconnect with family and friends, celebrate and indulge in festive food and drink.
Keep in mind when you’re cooking this season: Not all holiday desserts need to be calorie-laden to be delicious and fun. The following desserts are healthy, easy to make, and designed to help you enjoy the holidays without regretting it come January.
Recipe 1: Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bread
This recipe combines pumpkin and chocolate and uses Greek yogurt for added protein and as a replacement for some of the sugar and oil. This recipe makes for a moist delicious dessert that’s good for any holiday get-together or to make into mini-loaves and give away as gifts.
Greek yogurt pumpkin bread recipe
- 1 cup pumpkin
- 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or pumpkin Greek yogurt if you can find it)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup oat flour (blended oats)
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chopped nuts, optional
How to make yogurt pumpkin bread
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bread pan and set aside.
- Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl: pumpkin, Greek yogurt, egg, vanilla, coconut oil (measure in MELTED form), and brown sugar until well combined.
- In a separate large bowl, combine the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, flour, and oat flour (Increase spices to your taste).
- Mix the wet and dry together until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips if desired.
- Pour into the prepared bread pan and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a fork, when inserted into the center, comes out clean – or the bread starts to pull away from the edges. If needed, tent the top with tin foil if the top of the bread is baking faster than the rest.
- Err on the side of barely under-baking the bread for a softer and denser pumpkin bread.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Recipe 2: Kid-Friendly Strawberry Banana Santas
Here is a no-bake dessert that doubles as a fun activity for kids. You can feel good about handing your kids one of these for desserts.
Recipe for kid-friendly strawberry banana Santas
- 1 banana (sliced)
- 1 Large marshmallow cut in half
- 1 Strawberry (Top cut off)
- Small marshmallow
- Chocolate sprinkles
- Candy covered chocolate candies
- Wooden skewers
How to make kid-friendly strawberry banana Santas
Cut a large marshmallow in half and place a banana slice between them. Top with a strawberry and small marshmallow. Use a couple of chocolate sprinkles for the eyes and an M&M for the nose. Place all fruit on the wood skewer.
Original recipe with photo available here.
Healthy Tip: Look for dessert recipes that serve up plenty of fiber and vitamin-rich fruit, rather than fare that’s loaded with sugar and fat. Looking for another healthy recipe to satisfy your sweet tooth? Read about our healthy pumpkin pie alternatives.