4 Guilt-Free Holiday Desserts

The holiday season is upon us with decorations, building joyous memories with family and friends, and holiday food. The kitchen is the place for people to come together to create magic and tasty eats with the focal point being on the main dishes. However, after we have eaten to our heart’s content, next comes the dessert!  

The average sweet tooth tends to peak with all the delicious cakes, pies, cookies, and goodies that surround us during this time of the year. The biggest challenge is watching our waistlines while enjoying these delightful culinary pleasures. So how do we make this holiday a little bit more enjoyable with a simple recipe while being health conscious in mind? Below are a few recipes that taste great without leaving you feeling guilty for entertaining your taste buds with yummy treats.


Vegan Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate has always been a number one favorite with the cooler months. During the holidays, this sweet beverage is a classic treat to have as a dessert. It is easy to make and warms the belly instantly. Try this Vegan Hot Chocolate recipe that is rich and thick with lots of flavor!


Servings: 2 cups

Total Time: 10 minutes  Prep Time: 5 minutes    Cook Time: 5 minutes


  • 5 tbsp cane sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp cornstarch powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 cups almond milk (Unsweetened; coconut milk/rice milk can also be used)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (½ tsp honey may be used as well)
  • Pinch of paprika (optional)


  • Together mix sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in a medium size bowl
  • Heat the almond milk and vanilla extract in a medium saucepan
  • Add the milk and vanilla mixture a little at a time to the powder mixture, while whisking till smooth
  • Pour mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a slight boil
  • Remove from heat and let it cool to a reasonable temperature to drink
  • Throw in a pinch of paprika to add a little spice


Coconut Date Macaroons

Coconut and dates are a lovely mixture that gives just enough to satisfy the sweet tooth craving. This recipe can be altered to fit whatever sounds delicious. Nuts and other dried fruit may be added to give variety.


Servings: 16-18 macaroons

Total Time: 35 minutes  Prep Time: 10 minutes   Cook Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 cup medjool dates (pitted)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract or maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg



  • Preheat oven to 375°F
  • Place dates and water in blender, blend till completely smooth to create a puree
  • Pour date puree in a medium size mixing bowl; add coconut flakes, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg to puree
  • If mixture is a bit runny add more coconut flakes to create a sticky mixture
  • Scoop small tablespoons of mixture onto a cookie sheet
  • Place in the oven for 25 minutes or till firm and golden brown.


Vegan Pumpkin Pie

What is a holiday season without some pumpkin pie? This is a guilt-free pie that brings the same traditional taste and holiday spirit!


Servings: 10 slices

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes Prep Time: 15 minutes   Cook Time: 1 hour



  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (solid)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp ice cold water
  • 9-inch pie tin


  • 1 can (15oz) of pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp salt




  • Place flour, sugar, and salt in a medium size mixing bowl (or food processor)
  • Add coconut oil a tablespoon at a time to the dry ingredients till mixture gets crumbly (coconut oil must be solid)
  • Add the water a tablespoon at a time to create the dough. The mixture should easily come together to form a ball.
  • Transfer dough to a floured surface
  • Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out from side to side to create a round shape
  • Carefully, lift pie crust onto the pie tin, spread out edges to cover rim
  • Trim off any excess dough that may be hanging over the edge
  • Place pie crust in refrigerator while preparing pie filling


  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Place all the ingredients in blender, blend till smooth
  • Pour mixture into pie crust
  • Bake in oven for 60 minutes
  • Remove pie from oven (center might not be firm, it will firm once it cools), allow it to cool then place in the refrigerator to chill and set
  • Serve with whipping cream and enjoy!



Cinnamon Walnut Baked Pears

Simplicity at its finest! This delicious but easy recipe is a winner after devouring all the tasty holiday food. The pears are a great addition for the cooler months with a bit of sweetness.


Servings: 6 pears

Total Time: 35 minutes Prep Time: 5 minutes   Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 4 large ripe pears
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ¼ cup walnuts (crushed)



  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Cut both ends of each pear, then cut each pear in half
  • Place each pear half face up on a non-stick cookie sheet
  • Use spoon or melon baller to scoop out seeds
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Place walnuts in center of each pear half; sprinkle remaining walnuts around each pear
  • Using teaspoon, drizzle honey over the pears
  • Place in oven, baking for 30 minutes or till soft
  • Remove and let cool



About the Author:

Jessica Escobedo is a licensed acupuncturist by the state of California Acupuncture Board. She attended the Southern California University of Health Sciences, in Whittier, California. She received a Master's Degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. Jessica’s goal is to help educate and heal people as a whole with the ancient medicine of China along side integrative medicine.

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