Enjoy Sugar-Free Healthier Desserts this Christmas and Holiday Season

There’s no need for those avoiding sugar to miss out on enjoying desserts. This holiday season try these creative recipes and ideas for sweet treats. These desserts and beverages are guilt-free and are actually beneficial to your health.

Diabetics are not the only ones who can benefit by avoiding sugar, which can be the culprit of a variety of health issues. So, whether you’re most concerned with regulating your blood sugar, preventing cavities, or just want to be in better health, keep these tips in mind.

Being creative and thinking outside the box is essential when substituting healthy ingredients for less healthy ingredients. It may take some trying when selecting healthier ingredients and getting the proportions right, but it’s worth it.

Desserts don’t have to be accompanied by any guilt. In fact, with the right nutritious ingredients, they can actually be quite healthy. And, thanks to sweet substitutes like stevia that are natural and don’t spike your blood sugar, you can cut the sugar out completely. Also, consider trying monk fruit extract and ingredients like unsweetened applesauce, dates, bananas, and other fruits.

GINGERBREAD CHAI TEA CAKE

Ingredients:

2 1/3 cups flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 2 eggs, lightly beaten, or use applesauce (for the vegan version)

½ cup unsweetened coconut, almond, oat, hemp, or cashew milk (add more if needed)

½ cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

1¼ cups strong gingerbread chai or another black tea

12 or so drops stevia (depending on sweetness preference)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly coat a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl, combine ingredients, stirring together until smooth. Gauge batter consistency and consider adding more tea or milk to be the consistency of cake batter.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes or so. Check readiness by inserting a wooden toothpick near center to see if more baking is required.
  • Let cool on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from eatingwell.com/recipe/267681/gingerbread-tea-cake

VEGAN COCONUT SNOWBALLS

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup coconut oil or EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

2 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract

1¾ cup almonds, walnuts, or pecans (finely chopped)

1/3 coconut, almond, or other nut milk

½ cup coconut flakes

½ cup coconut flakes (to roll the cookies in)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and prepare baking tray with coconut or olive oil cooking spray.
  • Combine ingredients (except ½ cup coconut flakes to roll cookies in) in a mixing bowl.
  • Fill a teaspoon with dough for each cookie and roll each one into a small ball.
  • Fill bowl with ½ cup coconut flakes and roll each cookie ball until coated evenly.
  • Place snowball cookies on an oiled tray and bake in oven for about 10-13 minutes.

PEPPERMINT CANDY CANE BARK

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar-free peppermint candies or unwrapped candy canes (crushed)

1 cup sugar-free dark chocolate chips

1 cup sugar-free white chocolate chips

2-5 drops peppermint extract (depending on strength of mint preference)

Instructions:

  • Line an 8×8 in pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Heat dark chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl or on stove until melted.
  • Pour into lined pan and spread evenly with a spatula.
  • Allow to sit about 15-20 minutes at room temperature.
  • Heat white chocolate chips until melted, whisking in peppermint extract.
  • Pour melted white chocolate over cooled dark chocolate in pan.
  • Sprinkle crushed peppermint candies or candy canes over top.
  • Let sit 30 minutes at room temperature and refrigerate for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Break peppermint candy cane bark apart and enjoy. Makes an ideal gift!

Recipe adapted from: thebigmansworld.com/keto-peppermint-bark/

Christmas and the holidays are time to celebrate and ‘tis the season for baking, but don’t feel left out at dessert time. With healthier approaches to baking, there’s no need to deprive yourself of sharing sweet treats!

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