With the holidays right around the corner it’s that time of year where everyone indulges a little on desserts. Try some of these healthy recipes for your holiday snackers. Here’s how to try and cook healthier and not overindulge in the holiday feasting.
Apple Bars by Savory Nothings:
- 1 medium apple
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pecans, roughly chopped
for the glaze
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons apple juice, or more if needed
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 7×11 inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang.
Peel and finely dice the apple. Melt 1 teaspoon butter over medium heat in a small skillet. Add the apple and cook for one minute, tossing to coat with the butter. Sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon flour and cook for another 2 minutes, carefully mixing until combined. Set aside to cool.
In a medium pot, melt 6 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Continue warming until the butter turns golden brown in color and starts smelling of hazelnuts. Whisk in 2/3 cup brown sugar and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
Once the mix has cooled to room temperature, whisk in the oil, vanilla extract and the eggs. Evenly sprinkle the whole wheat flour on top, then the baking powder and salt. Carefully mix into the egg mixture until a batter forms. Fold in the apples.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and sprinkle the top with chopped pecans.
Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until they turn golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack before slicing into 12 squares.
to make the glaze
Sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl. Gradually stir in the apple juice, one teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the consistency of a thick glaze. It should be pourable, but not liquid. Drizzle over the cooled cake bars.
Sweet Potato Brownies by Deliciously Ella:
FOR THE BROWNIES:
500g of sweet potatoes (about 2 medium)
12 medjool dates
6 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
100g of ground almonds
2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
a pinch of salt
100g of ground oats
6 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
FOR THE ICING
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of almond butter
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
2 tablespoons of cacao powder
Start by pre-heating the oven to 180C (fan), then peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into chunks and place into a steamer for about twenty minutes, until they become really soft.
Once they are perfectly soft and beginning to fall apart remove them and add them to a food processor with the pitted dates.
Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl, before mixing in the sweet potato date combination. Stir well.
Place into a lined baking dish and cook for about forty-five to fifty minutes, until you can pierce the brownie with a fork and bring it out dry. Remove the tray and allow it to cool for about ten minutes – this is really important as it needs this time to stick together!
While the brownies are cooking make the icing by simply melting all the ingredients together and stirring well, then place in the freezer for 15 minutes and then the fridge for 15 to firm up a bit.
Remove the brownies from the tray and leave to cool completely before icing otherwise your icing will melt! Spread the icing on top, cut into squares, dig in and enjoy!
Clean Apple Pie by Amy’s Healthy Baking:
- Whisk together the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutteror the back of a fork until the mixture resembles crumbs. (See photo in the blog post above.)
- Whisk together the milk and maple syrup, and drizzle over the flour mixture. Whisk together the vinegar and 1 teaspoon of water, and drizzle over the flour mixture. Mix until all of those liquid ingredients have been incorporated. Continue to add water 1 teaspoon at a time and mixing until completely incorporated until the mixture forms a dough. (I only used a total of 1 tablespoon of water.)
- Transfer the dough to the center of a large sheet of plastic wrap, and shape into a 4”-wide circle. Cover the top with another large sheet of plastic wrap. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F, and coat a 9”-round pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.
- Leaving the dough between the sheets of plastic wrap, roll it out into a 11”-wide circle. Peel off the top layer of plastic wrap, and turn it out into the prepared pie plate. Peel off the other layer of plastic wrap. Gently press the dough into the pie plate, and trim the overhang. Spoon the apple pie filling into the center. Cover the edges of the pie crust with foil to prevent burning.
- Bake the pie at 425°F for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 375°F and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Carefully remove the foil covering the crust, and bake for another 15 minutes (45 minutes total) or until the crust is golden. Cool completely to room temperature; then let the pie set for an additional 3 hours before serving.
Honey or agave may be substituted for the maple syrup.
White vinegar may be substituted for the apple cider vinegar.
Spiced Fruit Bake by Cotter Crunch:
- 2 cup sliced apples
- 2 cups pear slices
- 1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 1 cup pineapple chunks (save the juice)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar (unrefined) or brown sugar
- 1 tbsp maple syrup, agave, or honey
- 1 tsp cinnamon (extra for topping)
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 stick melted butter (4 to 5 tbsp melted vegan butter can be substituted)
- Optional – An additional 2 teaspoons melted coconut oil or butter to coat walnuts
- 1/3 cup chopped raw walnuts or pecans
- extra cinnamon for nuts or serving
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- In a large bowl, toss your fruit and add in 1-2 tsp lemon juice. Set aside.
- In another glass bowl, combine your melted butter, spices, and honey or maple syrup.
- Mix in a few tablespoons of your leftover pineapple juice as well.
- Add this sugar/butter mixture to your fruit and coat evenly.
- Pour fruit evenly in a 9×12 baking dish.
- Pour the leftover sugar/butter/oil mixture on top.
- baking for 1 hr.
- OPTIONAL – Toss your nuts in a tiny bit of melted coconut oil or butter and pinch of cinnamon. I usually just coat the nuts in the leftover butter/sugar from the fruit mix bowl. Then sprinkle the nuts to the top of dish and bake all together for 1 hr.
- Sprinkle any additional cinnamon and spiced over hot fruit bake before serving, if desired.