Healthy Holiday Treats
Celebrating the holidays with yummy treats is one of the things that makes the holidays so special! Indulging in sweet treats is OK from time to time, but too much sugar can leave you feeling bloated, tired, and overall depleted.
The trick is to satisfy your sweet tooth and feel like you are indulging without the sugar coma or guilt that accompanies it.
Here are a few of my favorite no-guilt indulgences this time of year:
1. No Bake Chocolate Peppermint Balls
1 cup dates
1 cup almonds or pecans
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp peppermint extract
Few drops cold water
1-2 candy canes, crushed
1/3 cup finely shredded coconut, optional.
Place dates, nuts, cocoa powder, and peppermint extract in a food processor. If mixture doesn’t come together, add a few drops of cold water.
Form mixture in balls, about a Tablespoon each.
Roll balls in crushed candy canes or coconut.
2. Raspberry Coconut Oat Macaroons
Ingredients (32 cookies)
2 2/3 cup full fat shredded unsweetened coconut (one 8 oz package) OR 1 cup of coconut butter
1 cup reduced-fat shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 pint (6 oz) fresh raspberries, preferably organic, lightly mashed
Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. In a food processor, process 2 2/3 cups full fat shredded coconut for about 5-8 minutes, until a thick, smooth coconut butter forms, scraping down the sides as needed (this will yield about 1 cup of coconut butter).
Combine the coconut butter and all of the remaining ingredients – except raspberries – in a bowl. Stir until well-combined. Fold in lightly-mashed raspberries until mixture is marbled… you don’t want the raspberries completely combined with the cookie dough.
Using a mini ice cream scoop or a small spoon, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet (no need to leave much room in between as they do not spread out). Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until the bottoms of the macaroons are lightly browned. The macaroons will be very soft at this point.
Allow the macaroons to sit at room temperature on the baking sheet for about 30 minutes, or until they firm up and cool down.
Nutritional Information per macaroon:
86.6 calories, 5.7 grams fat, 3.5 grams saturated fat, 1 gram fiber, 4.4 grams sugars, 1.4 grams protein
3. Vegan Chocolate Ginger Cookies
My dear friend Amanda introduced me to these after I told her I thought cookies really needed to be made with butter and sugar. Boy was I wrong! These cookies are amazing and are truly a treat this time of year. The best part is that they are dairy-free and gluten-free, and because there are no raw eggs, you can eat the batter!!
1 Tb ground flaxseed with 3 Tb water
1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup almond/sunflower seed butter
1/3 cup unpacked brown sugar
1/3 cup natural cane sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
3 Tb cocoa powder
1.5 cups oat flour
1-2 teaspoons non-dairy milk
(to moisten batter)
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger.
Preheat oven to 350F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flaxseed and water and set aside for 5 minutes. Whisk the flax egg. Add the rest of the wet ingredients in to the bowl with the flax egg. Beat until combined and smooth.
Next, beat in the dry ingredients, one by one (from baking soda to oat flour). If your dough seems dry, add the non-dairy milk. The dough should be moist enough to form balls without cracking. Mix the chopped, crystallized ginger into the batter. Shape balls of dough (about 2 Tb each) and place on the baking sheet 2-3 inches apart. Gently press down each cookie to form a disc about 1/2 an inch thick. Bake for 12-13 minutes. Cool and Enjoy!