As the holidays approach we can expect to see more sweet treats popping up in stores and at social gatherings. It’s estimated that Americans gain up to five pounds during the holiday season. Five pounds might not sound like much, so what’s the harm? According to researchers at the National Institutes of Health, most Americans never lose the weight they gain during the winter holidays. Meaning that the five pounds from 2012, is now twenty pounds by the end of 2015, yikes! Here are some dessert recipes you can enjoy without the guilt of consuming all of the unhealthy ingredients.
Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies (total time 40 minutes)
First, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor combine the following ingredients:
- 1 ½ cups of cooked chickpeas
- 1/3 cup almond butter
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp almond milk (keep adding until mixture is the right consistency)
- 3-4 tbsp honey or pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp of oat flour or whole wheat flour or almond meal
- A handful or two of dark cocoa chocolate chips
First add the chickpeas to your food processor and mix until they are creamy. Add in almond butter, vanilla and almond milk. Mix until well blended. Then add in your sweetener and flour.
Give it a taste and adjust milk and flour accordingly until it has a cookie dough consistency. Scrape mixture into a bowl and add in the chocolate chips.
Put small amounts of dough on a cookie tray and put in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the outside looks slightly browned.
Pumpkin Spiced Balls (total time 20 minutes)
- 1 ¾ oat flour or whole wheat flour
- ¼ coconut flour
- 2 tbsp pure unbleached cane sugar
- 1 tbsp mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger
- ½ cup of pumpkin puree
- 1tsp of vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup of almond butter
- ¼ cup of pure maple syrup or honey
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- Mixture of cinnamon and sugar to roll the balls in (or flaxseeds to coat the balls)
In a large mixing bowl combine the flours, cane sugar and spices mixture. Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, heat the almond butter and maple syrup (or honey) for 30 seconds or until combine. Mix in the vanilla extract.
Add the wet mixture and pumpkin puree to the flour and sugar. Mix it well until everything is combine. Depending on consistency, add in almond milk or extra oat flour to get a firm dough texture.
Using your hands, roll the dough into bite sized balls. Then roll the balls in the cinnamon and sugar mixture (or flaxseeds). Refrigerator for 15 minutes and enjoy!
Chocolate Zucchini Brownies (total time 45 minutes)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup of unbleached cane sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup of oat flour or whole wheat flour
- ½ cup of raw cocoa powder
- 1 ½ tsp of baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups of peeled and grated zucchini
- A handful or two of dark cocoa chocolate chips (optional)
Mix together eggs, vanilla, cane sugar and applesauce. Let it sit for 5 minutes for the sugar to dissolve. In a separate bowl mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Make sure the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir until combine, but do not over stir. Add in the zucchini and some chocolate chips if desired. Pour the batter evenly into an 8×8 inch pan that is coated with olive oil. Sprinkle some more chocolate chips on top if wanted.
Bake for 30-35 minutes and check to make sure the brownies are set. Let them cool and enjoy. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week.