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healthy holiday desserts: peppermint brownies

12 Guilt-Free Holiday Dessert Recipes That Put Pie To Shame

From pumpkin pie and apple cobbler to gingerbread cookies and peppermint bark, the holidays call to mind so many classic desserts. This time of year is all about treating yourself—but it is possible to have your Christmas cookies and eat mindfully, too. To enjoy your favorite holiday flavors—without launching yourself into a full-blown food coma—whip up one of the following guilt-free holiday dessert recipes.

ginger snap cookies

1. Keto Gingersnap Cookies

At this point, even Santa’s gone keto. This super-low-carb twist on classic, spicy gingersnaps from Low Carb Crave uses almond flour and monk fruit sweetener, along with all of the traditional spices (like ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon), so you can treat yourself, sugar-free style. 

greek yogurt pumpkin bread

2. Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Bread

Whether you opt to add chocolate chips or not, this lightened-up pumpkin bread recipe from Running With Spoons is a decadent way to enjoy your favorite fall flavors. It’s made with Greek yogurt for extra creaminess and protein—and sweetened with maple syrup instead of refined sugar. 

peppermint protein balls

3. No-Bake Chocolate Peppermint Protein Balls

For a treat that tastes like peppermint bark with extra perks, roll yourself a batch of these no-bake protein bites by Veggies Don’t Bite.

Made with simple ingredients like cocoa powder, maple syrup, almond butter, and pea protein, they come together quick—and satisfy sweets cravings while providing some fiber and protein. 

baked pears

4. Baked Pears With Honey, Cranberries, & Pecans

Serve up something fancy at your next holiday gathering with these baked pears by This Gal Cooks. Loaded with natural sweetness, a little crunch, and a hint of spice, they’re a truly wholesome way to end a holiday meal. (Plus, they’re also delicious cut up and mixed into Greek yogurt the next morning.) 

red velvet keto cookies

5. Keto Red Velvet Cookies

Made with rich ingredients like butter, cream cheese, and heavy cream, you won’t notice for a second that these red velvet cookies from Sugarless Crystals are pretty much carb-free. Their soft, gooey texture and sweet, velvety flavor are guaranteed to please all keto dieters.

paleo spice cake

6. Paleo Spice Cake With Cinnamon Maple Glaze

This soft, coconut flour-based cake from Simply Jillicious not only tastes great, but will make your entire home smell like a holiday candle. Loaded with spices like ginger, clove, and cinnamon, it’s even more flavorful when topped with a heavy-handed drizzle of that rich cinnamon maple glaze. 

maple vanilla bean meringe

7. Maple Vanilla Bean Meringues 

Melt-in-your-mouth meringues are a holiday-time staple—and these paleo maple vanilla meringues from Kit’s Coastal don’t disappoint. Meringues are notorious for being a bit of a time commitment (you bake ‘em low and slow). However, these require just a few simple ingredients, including egg whites, sea salt, maple syrup, and vanilla bean. 

holiday spiced pecans

8. Holiday Spiced Pecans

In addition to being a great, snackable addition to your holiday dessert spread, these spiced pecans from The Real Food RDs also work well in all sorts of other holiday recipes, from salads to potato sides. Made with maple syrup and all the holiday spices you love, they come together in a quick 20 minutes.

pecan pie energy bites

9. Pecan Pie Energy Bites

Another easy way to satisfy your sweet tooth this time of year: Running On Real Food’s pie-inspired energy bites. They’re clean as can be (made with just dates, pecans, sea salt, and vanilla extract) and delightfully chewy. 

peppermint frosted brownies

10. Paleo & Vegan Peppermint Brownies

40 Aprons’ super-fudgy brownies get their heavenly dense texture from coconut cream, almond butter, and maple syrup. Skip the crushed candy canes to keep these still-minty brownies squeaky-clean. 

apple crisp

11. Healthy Apple Crisp

This Thanksgiving staple is often packed with refined flour and lots of sugar—but Choosing Chia’s better-for-you apple crisp recipe makes it totally guilt-free. The simple but delicious crumb is made with just oats, maple syrup, almond flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut sugar, coconut oil, and a touch of sea salt. 

pumpkin cookies

12. Soft Pumpkin Cookies With Salted Maple Frosting

You won’t regret swapping the usual pumpkin pie for these thick, chewy pumpkin cookies from Ambitious Kitchen. Thanks to the straight-up addicting salted maple frosting, even pumpkin skeptics will be sold.

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