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Healthy Holiday Treats

Posted by Kristen Baureis on 12/21/2016 to Diet and Nutrition


When it comes to holiday desserts, the possibilities are endless. Whether you are in the mood for something sweet, rich, crunchy, fruity or savory, there is a Pinterest recipe (if you don’t have your grandmother’s recipe) for everything.

While trying to find some inspiration in the kitchen, I stumbled across a few recipes that—although on the healthier side—will satisfy any sweet tooth.

So get some relatives together, grab your girlfriends, try this out with your significant other, or give these recipes a go solo:

Peppermint Fudge No Energy

Serves: 9 bites      Total time: 10 minutes

From: Running in a Skirt

Ingredients

·         ½ cup cup raw almonds

·         ? cup pitted medjool dates (about 6)

·         1 tablespoon cocoa powder

·         ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

·         ? teaspoon peppermint extract

·         1 tablespoon coconut oil

·         1 tablespoon mini dark chocolate chips

·         ½ cup crushed peppermint

Instructions

1.       Put almonds in a food processor and chop.

2.       Add the dates and blend well.

3.       Add the cocoa powder, vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and coconut oil. Blend for several minutes until starting to combine. Add a couple drops of water if necessary to help it move.

4.       Add the chocolate chips and pulse a few final times to combine well. You don't want to pulverize the chocolate though.

5.       Take a heaping teaspoon of the mixture in your hand and roll into a ball. The coconut oil will soften and it will be very messy. The warmth of your hand will allow the coconut oil to help bind the bite. You will end up pushing it more together than actually rolling it. While it is still warm press into the peppermint.

6.       Allow the finished bites to set in the fridge for 30 minutes to re-solidify the coconut oil.

For vanilla extract, shop here:

http://www.vitamindiscountcenter.com/Pure-Vanilla-Extract-by-Nielsen-Massey--4-Fluid-Ounces_p_6161.html

For coconut oil:

http://www.vitamindiscountcenter.com/Coconut-Oil-By-Jarrow--16-Ounces_p_1720.html

Source:

http://www.runninginaskirt.com/peppermint-fudge-no-bake-energy-bites-recipe/2/

Superfoods Fruit and Nut Bark

Serves: about 2 lbs. of bark               Total time: 2 hours

From: Good Life Eats

Ingredients

·         24 ounces dark chocolate

·         6 ounces white chocolate

·         2/3 cup freeze dried raspberries

·         2/3 cup freeze dried strawberries

·         1/2 cup sliced almonds

·         1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

·         2 teaspoons chia seeds

·         1/8 teaspoon sea salt

 

Instructions

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a double boiler, slowly melt the dark chocolate over low heat. Make sure to stir the chocolate regularly.

Monitor the temperature using a candy thermometer to ensure that the chocolate does not get above 90 degrees - otherwise the chocolate will lose its temper. Turn the heat off as needed so the chocolate doesn't get too hot. Just keep stirring and eventually the chocolate will slowly melt.

Meanwhile, you'll need to repeat this same procedure with the white chocolate.

Pour the dark chocolate on the prepared cookie sheet, spreading with a spatula to smooth it evenly. The thickness is up to you depending on how thick you'd like the finished product to be.

Drizzle large spoonfuls of the white chocolate on top of the dark chocolate, then use a butter knife or wooden skewer to swirl through the chocolate.

Sprinkle the raspberries, strawberries, sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and sea salt on top.

Let sit at room temperature until set, about 1 - 2 hours. Then, break into individual serving size pieces.

For chia seeds:

http://www.vitamindiscountcenter.com/Organic-Raw-Chia-Seeds-by-Navitas-Naturals--16-Ounces_p_6328.html

 

Source: http://www.goodlifeeats.com/bittersweet-chocolate-swirl-fruit-and-nut-bark#_a5y_p=4736026

 

Baked Pears with Honey, Cranberries and Pecans

Serves: 8                                Total Time: 45 minutes

From: This Gal Cooks

Ingredients

·         4 pears, such as bosc, bartlett or anjou (I used bartlett)

·         24 fresh cranberries

·         4 tbsp chopped pecans

·         ¼ tsp ground cinnamon, plus more, if needed

·         ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, plus more, if needed

·         4 tsp raw honey

·         Greek yogurt for pairing, if desired

 

Instructions

1.       Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

2.       Halve the pears and then core. I cored the pears with a cookie scoop but you can use a melon baller, too. Slice a small part off of the backside of each pear half to create a flat surface so the pear sits flat when laid on the pan.

3.       Place the pear halves on a large baking sheet or baking pan, cored side up. Place three cranberries into the cored part of each pear half. Sprinkle each pear half with about ½ tbsp of the pecans and then sprinkle each pear half with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Drizzle each pear half with ½ tsp of honey. I did this by squeezing the honey into a ½ tsp measuring spoon and then drizzling over each pear half.

4.       Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until the pears are tender.

5.       Serve with Greek yogurt, if desired.

 

Shop for raw honey:

http://www.vitamindiscountcenter.com/Orange-Blossom-by-I-heart-bees-llc--16-Ounces_p_6468.html

Source: http://www.thisgalcooks.com/baked-pears-with-honey-cranberries-pecans/

 

 

 

Gingerbread Cookies

Serves: 15              Total Time:  1 hour

From: My Natural Family

Ingredients

·         1 ½ cups almond flour

·         3/4 cup tapioca flour

·         3/4 tsp ground ginger

·         1 tsp ground cinnamon

·         1/8 tsp cloves

·         1/4 tsp real salt

·         3 tbsp coconut oil

·         2 1/2 tsp maple syrup

·         3 tbsp molasses

      1/2 tsp vanilla 

Instructions

1.       Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.       In a mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, tapioca starch, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.

3.       Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, molasses, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until a thick dough forms. You may need to mix for a minute of two until the dough comes together. Don't worry about over-mixing the dough, since it contains no gluten you can't over-develop it and cause tough cookies.

4.       Place the dough in-between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll out the dough to a 1/4" thickness. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

5.       Peel the top layer of parchment off of the sheet of dough. Cut out gingerbread man shapes with a cookie cutter and place the gingerbread men 1" apart on the prepared baking sheet.

6.       Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on the pan and store in an airtight container.

7.       Decorate with desired icing and toppings!

 

Source: http://www.mynaturalfamily.com/recipes/paleo-recipes/gingerbread-cookies-recipe-paleo-gluten-free-clean-eating-dairy-free-vegan/