The (slightly) Healthier Holiday Sweet Tooth

For those of you secretly (or even vocally) desiring some slightly healthier alternatives to the sugar coma that will probably occur in the next 2 weeks, I wanted to give you some of my personal favorite recipes that are sure to be a hit at your upcoming holiday parties, or even to keep stashed away in your own personal baking arsenal at home. Admittedly, I am not very creative or adventurous when it comes to baking because it’s already hard enough (and I think My New Roots sums up the baking experience nicely with her ginger bread recipe below), so I often default to some of my favorite food bloggers to give me delicious and awesome recipes.

Most of the below recipes I have tried multiple times and always love how they turn out. Sharing food and holiday beverages is almost as much fun as the ritual of making them, so experiment at your leisure, and make sure to give away some when it’s all said and done!

Healthy Holiday Gingerbread Cookies

This recipe from My New Roots is the ultimate in deeply spiced truly authentic gingerbread that is vegan and only sweetened with coconut sugar (and optional honey for the icing). The richness of the ginger, cinnamon and clove is so comforting, that these make one of my favorite treats to give away and take to holiday parties.

Ayurvedic Carrot Loaf

If I had to choose one cake that I could eat happily for the rest of my life, it would be carrot cake. I love it. I literally can’t get enough of it. Once I found this version of the traditional carrot cake without all of the excess sugar and copies amount of cream cheese, it sparked my interest. Then I made it, and now I’m hooked. It utilizes all of the classic carrot cake spices with an Auyrvedic twist of added ghee and herbal tea! I really like to make a mild cardamom tea to use with this recipe.

Tea Infused Chocolate Pudding (with avocado)

If you’re looking to decrease the amount of dairy filled desserts this holiday, try this amazingly delicious avocado based chocolate pudding recipe that I like to make with an orange/citrus chai.

The avocado and banana give it a truly authentic pudding like feel while the maple syrup, tea and vanilla make it just sweet and savory enough to keep going back to over and over again.

A Grown-Up Hot Chocolate Bar (Vegan/Gluten Free)

My friend Renee and Will Frolic for Food ALWAYS has amazing and creative ways to make some truly unique foodie goodies. One of her main specialities is chocolate, and her recipes for this hot chocolate bar are so much fun I can hardly stand it. This is the ultimate sweet treat to have at a holiday gathering, and so versatile that it fits nearly every possible food allergy person that walks in. Try it with regular milk, coconut milk, cashew milk or your favorite nut milk and just indulge in these amazing treats.

Rosemary Olive Oil Chocolate Cake (with Orange Chocolate Ganache)

Admittedly, I haven’t made this one yet, and I’ve been drooling over it since I saw it a few days ago. Everything I have ever made from VIDYA has just blown my mind, and it’s always perfectly balanced with the ingredients and just the right hint of sweet. This cake is a little more time intensive, and deliciously intriguing with the addition of the apple sauce and citrus flavors. This cake will definitely make an appearance this weekend while I go off to a cozy cabin with friends to celebrate the Winter Solstice!


Lindsay Kluge M.Sc, CNS, LDN

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