10 Healthy Holiday Treats You WON’T Feel Guilty Eating!

Christmas is coming, how joyful it will be!….especially if you make something heeeaalllllthy.

Every year it’s the same succession of events….Halloween, too much candy…Thanksgiving, too much stuffing…Christmas, too much fruitcake…January, weight loss and gym ads galore!

Change the pattern and just eat healthy treats, avoiding grandma’s seven layer ‘magic’ bars (the only magic there will end up on your thighs)…oh, and here are some ideas. :-)

1. Raw Peppermint Bark Brownies

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A tried and true favorite, these minty, chocolat-y delights boast a soft, chewy brownie layer under a crisp peppermint shell, and the best part…there’s NO baking needed!

2. Raw Cinnamon Roll Bars

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Though cinnamon rolls are typically reserved for breakfast, these raw bars are perfect any time of the day! A raw spiced bottom layer topped with a healthy ‘frosting’ and a caramel tahini drizzle make these not only delicious, but pretty to look at!

3. Raw Andes’ Mint Pie

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Oh, the decadence! This pie would be a true crowd-pleaser with its beautiful layers of green and chocolate, and the ingredients suit nearly any diet type, including gluten-free, vegan, and paleo.

4. Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Mint Cookies

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Mint Cookies (Paleo)

 

My latest culinary wonder, these flourless chocolate mint cookies are made simply with walnuts, dates, and cocoa powder (and they have a fudgy texture worth writing home about!).

5. Low Sugar Sugar Cookies

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Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without the decorating of sugar cookies, and these soft treats are no exception!

These clock in at under 100 calories each, leaving more room for you to smother them in this Low Carb Sugar-Free Frosting!

6. Raw Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sundaes

Have I mentioned my affinity for chocolate and mint? Well, I may have a little food crush there.

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These sundaes are a perfect way to give guests their own individual treats, and they’re full of healthy ingredients to boot!

7. Double Layer Peppermint Bark

I don’t know about you, but peppermint bark just screams Christmas for me!

With just a few healthy ingredients, you can make your own!…sans copious amounts of sugar. :-)

8. Raw Mint Chocolate Bon-Bons

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Yes, yes, more minty chocolate bliss! These soft, raw treats are covered with a fresh coat of homemade chocolate and are just begging to be rolled in some crushed candy canes!

9. Healthier Honey/Stevia Marshmallows

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S’mores and hot chocolate are not complete without the addition of some soft, vanilla marshmallows, in my humble opinion.

This healthier version combines honey with stevia for a lower calorie, lower sugar treat that is clean enough to eat as a snack!

10. Low Carb Carrot Sno-Balls

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Though I made these for an Easter treat, the ‘sno-ball’ aspect of these seemed appropriate for this time of year as well…and they’re delicious!

Fruit-sweetened, low in carbs and calories, AND you get a vegetable serving out of them! Hurray for carrots!

What are your favorite holiday treats?

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Mint Cookies (Paleo)

For the first time, maybe ever, I am totally prepared for Christmas.

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I bought many of my gifts online in October (check), our house is decorated with lights, wreaths, and Santa’s crew (check, check, check), and we have our Christmas tree up and rocking (check!).

Usually, I’m the poster child for Christmas ‘procrastination’, especially in the present department, but this year, online shopping saved my rear! I’ve been able to find nearly everything I wanted without having to brave the crowded malls or stores but once! Bless you Amazon.

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Mint Cookies (Paleo)

With all of my holiday ducks in a row, it’s given me a bit more time to focus on the sweet treats so common to this time of year.

Along with the typical fruitcake, yule logs, and boozy eggnog, peppermint is a major player in the dessert game, which works out beautifully in my favor because chocolate and mint is my absolute favorite combination of flavors!

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Boasting a number of trendy health titles, including paleo, gluten-free, and grain-free, these minty spheres will absolutely WOW you!

They are solely sweetened with dates, and have NO added oil or butter of any kind, as the walnuts provide all the ‘buttery-ness’ needed to satisfy.

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I love the freshness the mint provides, and they bake up with a fudge-like texture that is completely irresistible.

Sprinkle a few chocolate chips or crushed canes atop each one to make them extra festive and fun! :-)

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Mint Cookies (Paleo)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 10 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 c. raw walnuts
  • 5-5½ ounces large, soft dates (about 12)
  • ¼ c. cocoa powder
  • ¼ t. sea salt
  • ¼ t. baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • ½ t. mint extract
  • 2 T. chocolate chips, optional
  • crushed candy canes, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pulse the walnuts just until they form a meal consistency.
  3. Remove them and process the dates until they are broken down and have a paste-like consistency.
  4. Add back the walnuts, along with the remaining ingredients (minus the chocolate chips and candy canes).
  5. Process the mix until smooth and well combined.
  6. Place a sheet of parchment paper onto a baking sheet and spray a light layer of oil atop the paper.
  7. Drop the cookie dough onto the paper, making about 10 cookies.
  8. Use lightly damp hands to mold the cookies into flatter circles.
  9. Top with a few chocolate chips, if desired.
  10. Bake 10-12 minutes until the tops look set.
  11. Cool and sprinkle the crushed candy canes onto the tops, if desired.
Notes
Nutrition facts are based on using five ounces of dates. NO chocolate chips or candy canes are included in the stats. WW points (new system): 4
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/10 of recipe Calories: 130 Fat: 8.2 g Saturated fat: 0.7 g Unsaturated fat: 7.5 g Trans fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 13.1 g Sugar: 9.2 g Sodium: 87 mg Fiber: 2.6 g Protein: 4.3 g Cholesterol: 16 mg

Adapted from this recipe

Notes:

Omit the mint for a regular double chocolate chip cookie.

Add in more chocolate chips, if desired.

Mix the chocolate chips into the actual batter, if desired.

Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Mint Cookies (Paleo) 2

Stay healthy everyone! You can still have your treats and eat them too, just make recipes like this one. :-)

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Are you ready for Christmas?

 

Friday Finds

1. My Favorite Hot Chocolate

It has been in the mid-seventies here in Tucson, but that hasn’t stopped us from indulging in my favorite hot chocolate recipe!

My Favorite Hot Chocolate (Vegan, Paleo)

Thick, rich, and creamy WITHOUT the calories of the traditional version, this is a treat you’ll want to enjoy year-round!

2. Illness Remedies

Though the weather change brings fun holidays and happy memories, it also brings cold and flu season, which has been making the rounds at our home.

Out of desperation, I recently tried a remedy my friend posted on Facebook, which entailed placing sliced onion (or garlic if you prefer) on the bottom of the feet. You then cover the foot with a sock and sleep overnight this way with the hope that the onion power will draw out the toxins from your body.

 

I didn’t make it through the entire night this way, but I think it’s definitely worth another shot!…and sharing here in case you’re looking for an easy, alternative therapy to try. :-)

3. Rough Feet?

As my luck would have it, I inherited the lovely chapped heels of my mother’s side of the family.

Not only is this unsightly, but it can also be incredibly painful, especially during the cold, winter months when the air is even drier.

I discovered this amazing tool one day when I was looking into a similar, more pricey alternative as a Christmas gift for my mother.

Microplane Colossal Pedicutre Rasp Brown

At about one-fourth of the cost and no need to replace batteries or any other mechanism, I bought us each one!

It’s kind of like a microplane grater for your heels, but it doesn’t hurt. My husband gets a bit weirded out when I use it, but I LOVE it!…AND it makes my heels so soft.

4. Initial Bracelets

If you’re looking for a unique gift for you and your significant other, may I suggest these personalized initial bracelets from Etsy?

Personalized Initial Button Silver Bracelet  (JENNIE font)

I bought these for my husband and I about four years ago, and they are STILL holding up well on both of our wrists (though my husband’s is on the verge of snapping).

They have a look that’s macho enough to be worn by the manliest men, but still dainty enough for women.

Just a fun little way to show your love! :-)

5. Spiral Slicer Veggie Noodle Maker

Perhaps you’ve seen the mad veggie noodle craze all over the blog world?

This little handheld gadget would be an awesome gift for anyone on a raw food, gluten-free, paleo or low-carb diet, as it turns vegetables like zucchini and carrots into instant noodles!

I love the size and easy clean-up of this little wonder, and it’s about half the cost of this popular counterpart. A great gift for any health food enthusiast!

What new thing have you discovered recently?

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