By: Jessica Glosson
Desserts often get a bad rep; many contain high amounts of processed flours, sugar, artificial flavorings, and saturated fat. It’s become common knowledge to limit our consumption of desserts and enjoy them in careful moderation. In the coming winter months and holiday seasons, it’s easy to throw caution to the wind and indulge in whatever amazing looking dessert you set your eyes on at family get-togethers. But who says all desserts have to be guilt inducing? Here are some sweet recipes that feature more nutrient rich ingredients, such as almonds, quinoa, and coconut. By adding in more healthful ingredients to replace high amounts of fat or sugar, you can truly have your cake and eat it, too.
Flourless Honey-Almond Cake
- 1 ½ cups whole almonds, toasted
- 4 eggs at room temperature, separated
- ½ cup honey 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper.
- Process whole almonds in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Beat the 4 egg yolks, 1/2 cup honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add the ground almonds and beat on low until combined.
- Beat the 4 egg whites in a separate bowl with the electric mixer on medium speed until very foamy, white and doubled in volume (about 1 to 2 minutes).
- Gently fold the egg whites into the nut mixture until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake the cake until golden brown, about 28 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. To serve, drizzle the top of the cake with honey and sprinkle with the toasted almonds slices.
Gluten-Free Almond Butter Quinoa Blondies
- ¼ cup unsalted butter or margarine
- ¾ cup almond butter
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup quinoa flour (can be found in the alternative flour section of a specialty store or make it yourself by grinding whole quinoa grains into a fine powder)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with parchment paper (or foil), and coat with cooking spray.
- Beat butter and almond butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.
- Whisk quinoa flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake 25 to 35 minutes and let cool in the pan for 45 minutes. Using the parchment (or foil), lift the whole panful out cut into squares for serving.
Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie
(For the crust):
- 30 small gingersnap cookies
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 1 tbsp canola oil
(For the filling):
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 pints (4 cups) frozen low-fat vanilla ice cream, softened
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Coat a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray.
- For the crust: Combine gingersnaps and raisins in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add oil and pulse until blended. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake the crust until set, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.
- For the filling: Combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a large bowl and mix well. Add ice cream and stir until blended. Spoon the mixture into the cooled pie crust. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Let the pie soften slightly in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.
Vegan Apple Crisp
(For the apple filling):
- 7 cups sweet-tart apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¾ cup organic sugar or organic light brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
- ½ cup water
(For the crumble topping):
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup quick oats
- 1 cup organic brown sugar
- ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ cup melted coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Place the apples in a large mixing bowl and toss with the lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and salt. Place these ingredients into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
- Whisk together the arrowroot and water, and pour the mixture over the apples. Toss lightly with hands to coat everything with the arrowroot.
- Place the flour, oats, brown sugar, nuts salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a food processor; pulse several times. Add the coconut oil and pulse ingredients quickly until large crumbs form. Sprinkle the topping over the apples. Bake for 40 to 55 minutes, or until the apples are bubbly and the topping is golden brown. Serve.
- Flourless Honey-Almond Cake
- Recipe developed by EatingWell Magazine; Recipe and image reproduced from: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/249866/flourless-honey-almond-cake/
- Gluten-Free Almond Butter Quinoa Blondies
- Recipe developed by EatingWell Magazine; Recipe and image reproduced from: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/250690/almond-butter-quinoa-blondies/ Frozen
- Pumpkin Moose Pie
- Recipe developed by Kathy Farrell-Kinglsey; Recipe and image reproduced from: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/249569/frozen-pumpkin-mousse-pie/
- Vegan Apple Crisp
- Recipe developed by Gena Hamshaw; Recipe and image reproduced from: https://food52.com/recipes/31435-vegan-apple-crisp.