When we think about the holidays, we think of cozying up on the couch to watch a holiday classic with eggnog in one hand and a freshly-baked cookie in the other.
Swearing off your favorite foods is neither enjoyable nor sustainable. Instead, we encourage Noomers to enjoy the foods they love (without a side of guilt), while also exploring healthy and delicious ways to add nutrition to their diet. We call this the addition mindset.
The holidays are meant to be enjoyed and we hope that yours include all of your favorite festive eats. But, if you’re looking for opportunities to make your holiday treats tasty and more nutritious, we have 12 holiday dessert recipes to inspire you.
Chocolate chip cookies
This classic cookie gets a twist with the addition of tahini—a peanut butter-like paste made from toasted, ground sesame seeds. We know it might sound weird, but the result is an incredibly soft cookie high in healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. It’s also paleo-friendly, gluten-free, and grain-free because regular flour is replaced with almond flour, and butter is replaced with maple syrup.
One of the star ingredients here is—wait for it—mashed sweet potato. Mashed sweet potato keeps this cookie soft, while also making it rich in vitamins and minerals. Another notable ingredient is coconut flour, which makes the cookie rich in fiber. Could there be a more nutritious cookie?
Holiday buckeye cookies
These perfect bites are one of our favorite parts of the holiday season. With maple syrup subbed for sugar and the addition of protein powder, this take on buckeye cookies packs an extra nutritious punch. You can also make them dairy-free if that meets your preferences or dietary needs.
Cinnamon apple cake
Greek yogurt isn’t just for breakfast. This recipe uses Greek yogurt to keep the cake moist and add some protein. Plus, it only has 1 Tbsp of butter. They say magic doesn’t exist, but we’d beg to differ.
Gingerbread is like the friend that everyone wants at their holiday party. Can a seasonal gathering really feel complete without it? Whole wheat flour gives this gingerbread loaf a healthier-for-you stamp of approval.
Bundt cakes are an easy-to-bake dessert. We like easy. This recipe is sweetened with coconut sugar, stevia, and applesauce, making it lower in sugar than most traditional recipes. Because it’s also free from milk and butter, it’s also perfect for your lactose-free friends. Bring it to a loved one’s gathering and they’ll be asking for the recipe after the first bite.
Eggnog is arguably one of the most festive drinks of the season. This recipe calls for almond milk instead of heavy cream and raw honey instead of sugar, making it lower in fat and free of refined sugar.
Hot chocolate is always a fan favorite. This recipe only has three ingredients: almond milk, cocoa powder, and maple syrup. It’s dairy-free, vegan, and has much less sugar than the instant kind. You might not want to go back to store-bought hot chocolate after this.
Other sweet bites
Chocolate peppermint bark
Is there anything better than chocolate peppermint bark? Three-ingredient chocolate peppermint bark. This recipe is made with dark chocolate, organic peppermint extract, and candy canes, which means it’s also gluten-free and vegan to meet many dietary preferences and needs.
We love anything bite-sized. Do you know what we love even more? The fact that these truffles only have four ingredients, take 15 minutes to prep, and are also gluten-free and vegan.
Baked apple crisp
We were always team apple pie, but this apple crisp changed our minds. This recipe is so delicious that you and your guests won’t even notice that you’re also getting a healthy serving of whole grains from the oat-based crumble.
Jelly donuts (sufganiyot)
These donuts will make your mouth water. This baked Hannukah treat has a nutritious leg-up on the classic fried version, without foregoing flavor. You’ll want to continue making this recipe far beyond the holiday season.
Looking for more healthy holiday recipes to reach your health goals? The Noom Weight program has hundreds of simple, nutritious recipes for you to try today (or any time of year).
Other articles you might like:
- How to respond when your family and friends judge your food choices. Whether you want to defuse the situation with humor or set a firm boundary, we have a variety of ways to tactfully respond.
- 6 healthy habits to keep up during the holiday season. Make the holiday season work for you and your health goals.