Christmas is just around the corner, and everyone is already making their Christmas meal plans. When it comes to desserts, it's hard to think of a way to make them healthy without compromising flavor. Replacing the sugar in Christmas desserts with natural sweeteners is one way to make a healthier dessert. Considering that just one cup of sugar contains as much as 774 calories, you'll also be reducing the calorie count by skipping sugar this Christmas. To help you do just that, here are 5 easy-to-make sugarless Christmas deserts.
1. Pumpkin chocolate chip whole grain scones
These healthy scones by Sugar-Free Mom are great for several reasons. Firstly, the recipe calls for whole grain pastry flour instead of refined grain. Studies on whole grains show that they reduce your risk of chronic illness and help with weight control. Secondly, they're sweetened with stevia powder instead of sugar. Stevia is a plant-derived sweetener with zero calories, and that was scientifically proven to be safe for human consumption. And lastly, they're made with pumpkin, and who doesn't love pumpkin? If you choose a sweet pumpkin variety such as butternut squash or Hokkaido pumpkin, you can reduce the amount of stevia in your scones. One serving of these delicious pumpkin-flavored scones contains just around 30 calories for a guiltless indulgence.
2. Paleo ginger-snap balls
If your Christmas diet plan involves healthy eating, then this paleo, vegan, and a gluten-free recipe that is healthy in more ways than we can count, may be just what you are looking for. To make these aromatic truffle-like deserts, you'll need some pumpkin seeds, ground flaxseed, dried raisins and apricots, a vanilla bean, and spices. The recipe yields 24 delicious balls and takes around 45 minutes to prepare. Store them in the fridge for up to two weeks that is if you have any left following Christmas day which is unlikely to happen considering how delicious these treats are.
Image credit: healthfulpursuit.com
3. Vegan eggnog
Christmas just isn't the same without the eggnog, but how do you make one without the eggs? Well, this delicious, healthy, and sugar-free recipe uses cashew nuts as a substitute for eggs. Cashew nuts are rich in tryptophan, magnesium, and vitamin B6 which is why they're believed to be great in relieving anxiety. When soaked, they give a fluffy texture similar to cooked eggs. The sweetness in this eggnog comes from the added Medjool dates, and the drink is flavored with rum, vanilla, and nutmeg. The recipe also calls for coconut milk instead of dairy milk. This very healthy and enticingly textured recipe yields a total of 14 servings and is almost like the real thing.
4. Sugar-free gingerbread men
Gingerbread men are everyone's Christmas favorite. But you're probably under the impression that you can't make these cute cookies without brown sugar. Well, this amazing recipe replaces the sugar with just ¼ of a cup of Erythritol, and it also calls for Almond flour instead of regular flour. Of course, you can't make gingerbread cookies without the spices. This recipe takes a traditional approach in this regard with vanilla, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ground cloves to entice your senses. The recipe yields 10 large gingerbread cookies and takes 25 minutes to make. The almond flour will give these cookies plenty of nutritional value, and we suggest limiting yourself to one gingerbread man. One cookie can have up to 180 calories, so they may not be a part of the best diet plan. Nevertheless, they're still pretty healthy.
5. Chocolate lava cake
To make these lava cakes, you'll need 4 greased ramekins. Also, make sure not to over-bake them to avoid your cakes from becoming too dry. To make the cakes, you'll also need dark chocolate, butter, milk, eggs, buckwheat flour, corn flour, and the very healthy stevia powder as a sweetener. The antioxidant-rich dark chocolate and gluten-free buckwheat flour make this recipe healthy, but they're still big on the calories with an individual lava cake containing over 400 calories. So, make sure to serve a light Christmas meal if you are considering serving these lava cakes to your guests.
Christmas would not be complete without an enticing dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth. Luckily, you don't have to rely on the highly fattening and very unhealthy sugar to satisfy your cravings. There are many substitutes out there for refined sugar, some of which you can find in the recipes provided here. Dried fruits, stevia, honey, molasses, and agave are some options you can consider. But keep in mind that just because a desert does not contain refined sugar that that does not mean that it is low in calories. Many of the calories in desserts also come from fats and carbohydrates which most desserts are rich in. So, make sure to be moderate with your desserts this year.