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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.