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

Nothing says the holidays like pumpkin treats. From September to December 31, pumpkin is king of fruit-based desserts.

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

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bread pan and set aside.
  2. Combine wet ingredients in a large bowl: pumpkin, Greek yogurt, egg, vanilla, coconut oil (measure in MELTED form), and brown sugar until well combined.
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine the baking soda, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, flour, and oat flour (Increase spices to your taste).
  4. Mix the wet and dry together until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips if desired.
  5. 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.
  6. Err on the side of barely under-baking the bread for a softer and denser pumpkin bread.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Original recipe available here

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.

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