It is notoriously easy to gain weight during the holiday season (tracing all the way back to Halloween). The decadent desserts that line the table at the variety of holiday parties throughout the season make nearly any diet plan impossible. Finding Christmas dessert recipes that actually add some nutritional value and do not pack on the pounds can feel like a futile search. Fortunately, it does not have to be. Here are some delicious Christmas dessert recipes that no one has to feel guilty about the next morning.
Pies and cakes are some of the most popular desserts throughout the holiday season, especially at Christmas. Unfortunately, all of the sugar, butter, and similar ingredients required mean that they tend to not be the best choices in terms of your health. This upside down cake combines one of the most popular fruits of the season, cranberries, and uses the fruit to cut the calories and the fat.
If there are other fruit that the cook would prefer, such as apples or peaches, they can also be substituted for the cranberries. The use of fresh fruit also means that the final product offers a bit of nutritional value as well. The cake tastes best when it is served warm, and feel free to add some whipped cream of similar topping to finish off each slice. The cake is noted for being high in fiber, low in sodium, and low in cholesterol.
No Christmas dessert table would be complete without some kind of chocolate creation, and this piece is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth while also being kind to the calorie count. The secret to creating this rich chocolate cake is to use unsweetened natural cocoa powder along with bittersweet chocolate that is at least 60-70% cocoa to create the popular dense, rich chocolate taste. The recipe also only calls for two large egg yolks and three large egg whites, compared to other chocolate mousse type cakes, which sometimes call for half a dozen eggs, and this helps to limit the cholesterol in the final cake.
For best results, cooks should allow the dessert to chill overnight before it is served, although it can also be served as soon as it is cooled directly from the pan. The dessert is noted for being low calorie (only 164 calories per serving), low in sodium, and low in cholesterol.
Coffee cake is another popular Christmas dessert, and its name even describes how well it fits with after dinner beverages like tea and coffee. Most coffee cakes, however, are so loaded with sugar and butter that they are most certainly not a gift for the body. This version uses some healthy alternatives to keep the cake tasting delicious. For example, pureed pears help to keep the cake moist, while thawed apple juice concentrate, some sugar, light syrup, and cranberries make the cake sweet and decadent.
The entire cake only uses a half cup of brown sugar and one cup of regular white sugar, which is impressive compared to other, less health-conscious recipes. The recipe also minimizes butter usage but substituting some butter with canola oil. The final product has only one gram of saturated fat and twenty one grams of cholesterol.
These classic Italian cookies are also excellent for matching with tea and coffee after a fantastic Christmas meal. As an added bonus, they have only 48 calories per serving, so it is easy to indulge without feeling too guilty. The recipe is fairly straight forward, calling for flour, sugar, cornmeal or polenta, baking powder, salt, eggs, olive oil, and vanilla extract. These cookies are known for being quite crispy, making them great for dipping in drinks.
Peppermint is a very popular flavor throughout the Christmas season. Candy canes, peppermint flavored drinks, and countless other appropriately flavored treats seem to be everywhere during holiday period. This recipe allows people to indulge in the taste while also cutting some of the calories found in similar desserts. Instead of making rich custard, this recipe uses low fat milk along with only three egg yolks and a half cup of half and half to make the base. One half teaspoon to one teaspoon, depending on preference, is all that is needed to capture the important flavor. The final product has about 254 calories per serving and is low in sodium.
Celebrating Christmas does not have to mean eating a week’s worth of fat and calories in a single sitting. These Christmas dessert recipes are excellent variations on some classic favorites and offer the chance to indulge without punishing the body.
2 Kids with Christmas Desserts image courtesy of makelessnoise.
Chocolate Decadence image courtesy of Eating Well.
Peppermint Pattie Pots de Creme image courtesy of Eating Well.