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5 Delicious & Healthy Desserts for the Holiday Season

Updated: Feb 14

Oh the holiday season! With it comes family drama over who's making the casserole, the by the fire, wintery coziness (unless you're on a beach in Costa Rica), gift giving for everyone including your neighbor down the street who just ALWAYS seems to get you something (even when they aren't on your list), & of course the self loathing & restriction that kicks in with new workouts and diet plans that you eventually fall off of come March.


However, the one aspect of the holiday season we can all get behind are the delicious sweet treats we've been mouthwatering over since last winter! This holiday season, bring a sweet & healthy treat to your potluck, Friendsgiving or family holiday dinner. With these 5 healthy desserts, you'll be the talk of the town this year- satisfying sweet tooth's & dieters alike. Subscribe below to receive blog posts just like these as soon as they're launched!


These 5 holiday inspired desserts are all made with minimal to zero additives and preservatives, are higher in protein & still have that sweet chocolatey flavor we know and love! Without further ado, let's get bakin'!


1. Fluffy Chocolate Chip Protein Brownies


Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Servings: 16 brownies


Time until eating your delicious creation: 45 minutes!





Ingredients list (take me to the grocery store with you!)

  • 1 cup Costco peanut butter or one with only salt and peanuts- no additives

  • 2 eggs

  • ½ cup organic agave

  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • ¾ cup chocolate protein powder- can use plant based or whey

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips + extra for topping


Instructions:

  1. Bake your oven to 350 degrees F & begin to oil your pan. You can use a standard 8in x 8in pan and I like to use olive oil and spread it around with my hand to coat the entire inside bottom and sides of the pan. You can opt for a cooking spray as well.

  2. Mix together all ingredients into a bowl- these are brownies- a.ka.- one bowl wonders! Whisk together to ensure there are no lumps in your mixture.

  3. Pour the mixture into your olive oil greased baking pan. This would be the time to add a few extra chocolate chips on top of the mixture.

  4. Place into the pre-heated oven now at 350 degrees F and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when you stick it into the brownies.

  5. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and cut into 16 brownie pieces. Serve with milk of your choice (if that is your jam) & enjoy! Store in an air tight container at room temperature.

 

2. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins


Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 25 mins

Servings: 12-16 muffins


Time until eating your delicious creation: 40 minutes




Ingredients:

  • ⅓ cup olive oil

  • ½ cup organic agave

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup pure pumpkin (sold in a can- read ingredient labels!)

  • ¼ cup unsweetened, original almond milk

  • 2 tsps pumpkin spice blend (if you don't have this you can use 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp ground ginger, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, and ¼ tsp ground allspice or cloves, alternatively you can use 2 tsps of cinnamon if that it all you have!)

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 1 ¾ cups flour - you can use white, whole wheat, almond or gluten free

  • ⅓ cup oats + extra for sprinkling on top (optional- it's nice for looks, but didn't do much for me to have them on there, I did some with & some without)

  • handful of chocolate chips to add on top - this was a game changer!

Instructions:

  1. Bake your oven to 325 degrees F & add your muffin tins to your muffin pan.

  2. Mix together all ingredients into a large bowl. Alternatively, you can mix together the wet ingredients & the dry ingredients separately, however these turned out great with still doing it all in one & it's a time saver!

  3. Whisk your mixture together to ensure there are no clumps. Pour batter of equal amounts (about 75% full) in each muffin slot.

  4. Sprinkle your chocolate chips and oats on top of each muffin batter slot as desired.

  5. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Ensure when you place your toothpick in that it comes out dry. If so, your muffins are ready! Serve with milk of your choice (if that is your jam) & enjoy! Store in a close-able container at room temperature.

 

3. Pumpkin Chocolate Oat Bars

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 20-30 minutes



Time until eating your delicious creation: 50 minutes





Ingredients:

  • 1 cup oats

  • 1 cup chocolate protein - I used plant based for these, but you can use any

  • 3 tsp baking powder

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp chia seeds - optional

  • 1 heaping cup of pure pumpkin

  • ¼ cup almond milk

  • ¼ cup egg whites

  • ¼ cup organic agave

  • 1 tbsp greek yogurt

  • 2 small handfuls of pecans

  • 2 small handfuls of chocolate chips

Instructions:

  1. Bake your oven to 350 degrees F & begin to oil your pan. You can use a standard 8in x 8in pan and I like to use olive oil and spread it around with my hand to coat the entire inside bottom and sides of the pan. You can opt for a cooking spray as well.

  2. Begin with mixing together all dry ingredients except the pecans and chocolate chips: oats, protein powder, baking powder, salt, & chia seeds.

  3. In a separate bowl, mix together wet ingredients: pumpkin, almond milk, egg whites, agave, & greek yogurt. Whisk together thoroughly or use a hand blender for ease.

  4. Slowly begin to pour the pumpkin mixture into the dry oats mixture, stirring as you pour- you can do a little bit at a time to ensure it all mixes through evenly.

  5. Once that is mixed, add in your pecans and chocolate chips and fold these into the mixture- try not to mix- folding keep them chunky and embedded into the mix.

  6. Pour this entire mixture into your greased pan and bake for 20-30 minutes. I usually start with 25 minutes, test the bars with a toothpick to see if it is still gooey & if it is, continue to bake in 5 min increments.

  7. Cut into 16 bars and serve warm. These may be gooey when you cut into them and may have a tendency to fall apart if serving them immediately after baking. Allow them to harden overnight in a container at room temperature or in the refrigerator based on how you want your bars to be. After a few hours, they should be a bit more firm and are best paired with a glass of milk and nuked if serving hours or days later.

 

4. Mini Snickers Bites



Prep time- 15 mins

Freeze time- 20 mins (no baking!)

Servings: 20


Time until eating your delicious creation: 40 minutes




Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all natural chocolate chips, melted (for ease you can do this in a microwave safe bowl & add 2-3 capfuls of your milk of choice)

  • 20 pitted dates (or as many as you are making)

  • 20 raw pecans (or as many as you are making)

  • few spreads of organic peanut butter (no additives, sea salt and peanuts only)

  • few dashes pink Himalayan salt to sprinkle on top

Instructions:

  1. Begin by slicing open the dates in half. You will need to remove the seeds if you are not using pitted dates (I had to do this and it only adds a few extra minutes).

  2. Once all of your dates are sliced in half, start stuffing the pecans in the center of each.

  3. Use a butter knife to spread your peanut butter on top and along the insides of the date so the pecan sticks to the date. Gently squeeze closed.

  4. Melt your chocolate and grab each date bomb and coat it with your melted chocolate & place back on your tray.

  5. Use any remaining melted chocolate to top off any date bombs that need some more love! Sprinkle the pink rock salts on top.

  6. Freeze for a minimum of 20 minutes, longer if you'd like. Thaw at least 5-10 minutes prior to biting into your date bomb to ensure the pecan isn't too solid. Store at room temp in an air tight container or baggie & bring with you to your next party!

 

5. Dessert Protein Bark

Dessert protein bark

No matter what time of year it is, this DIY healthy protein dessert bark always hits the spot! You can make this in about 10 minutes and then will need at least 3 hours, overnight preferred, to allow it to set until you can dive in; trust me, it's worth the wait.


I have trial and error'd this recipe a couple times and I think I've perfected it this time! Make this & surprise your partner, friends and family with this delicious, sweet, guilt-free treat!


Full recipe (about 8 bark pieces, varying sizes)


Ingredients:

- 1 cup of either low fat cottage cheese or non-fat Greek yogurt (I like FAGE, unflavored)

- 3 -4 tablespoons of Kirkland Organic Blue Agave or honey

- 1 - 2 tablespoons of almond or other nut butter

- toppings of choice: frozen berries, nuts, pecans, sea salt

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil to add into base

- 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil to melt chocolate


Building your bark:

  1. Add your Greek yogurt or cottage cheese to a blender or a bowl if you have an immersion hand blender, with agave and 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil. Blend until smooth, you can do a taste test-- this will be the flavor of the base of your bar.

  2. Pour and spread that mixture into a glass or ceramic baking pan and spread evenly so it’s about a 1/4 inch thick. You can use wax paper on the bottom for easy cleaning and a non-stick option.

  3. Add dollops of creamy almond butter and melted dark chocolate. To melt your chocolate chips, add them to a bowl with 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil & into the microwave until fully melted (about 45-60 sec). You can also melt your nut butter for about 30 seconds at a time if it is too chunky.

  4. Add toppings of choice & pop into the freezer for at least 3 hours or overnight

  5. Allow to thaw 10 mins before cutting & enjoy!

Watch the full video of the 2 different versions I made below- both came out incredible!



 

Try these out and comment below with your favorites, what you & your loved ones enjoyed and any substitutions or additions you made to any of these recipes to make them your own! Enjoying the sweetness of the holidays requires balance & these treats are a great way to have your cake & eat it too!


Seeking greater support when it comes to implementing balance in your nutritional regimen? Check out this more of my blog posts on nutrition strategies you can begin implementing in your life right away! Subscribe below to MF Weekly where every week I deliver new recipes, nutrition tips, and deep dive into some of the latest nutrition topics to support you in building a healthier, balanced nutrition regimen!




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