The holidays are here, and that means cakes and cookies.

But unfortunately, that also means weight gain. Rest assured, though, that you don’t have to gain weight if you make healthier versions of classic holiday sweets.

Here are three alternatives to high-fat holiday treats.

1. Bread Pudding

This delicious, festive dessert has only 217 calories and 7 grams of fat per serving

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 cups cubed day-old whole wheat French bread
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

  • Heat milk in a saucepan until steaming
  • Whisk eggs in a bowl until mixed together
  • Add 1/4 cup of sugar gradually
  • Slowly whisk in hot milk until blended
  • Add the vanilla, lemon zest, and nutmeg
  • Add the pieces of bread and raisins to the milk mixture
  • Fold them in gently and set them aside
  • Grease the bottom and sides of a two-quart baking dish with butter
  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Bake until pudding is browned on top and set in the center (about 1 hour)
  • Let cool 30 minutes
  • Serve with low-fat vanilla ice cream

2. Honey Almond Cake

At only 234 calories per serving, this low-fat cake makes the perfect holiday dessert. You will need a food processor.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole almonds
  • 4 large eggs (separated)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds

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Directions

  • Preheat your oven to 350°
  • Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray
  • Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper
  • Spray the paper
  • Grind almonds in a food processor
  • Set almonds aside
  • Beat 4 egg yolks, 1/2 cup honey, vanilla, baking soda and salt together in a bowl until well combined
  • Add the ground almonds and then beat until combined
  • Set mixture aside
  • In another bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they are foamy and form peaks
  • Fold in the egg whites into the nut mixture with a spatula until combined
  • Place the batter into the prepared pan
  • Bake bake 30 minutes
  • Allow cake to cool
  • Drizzle with honey and sliced almonds.

3. Chocolate Cookies

These chocolate cookies are so good, you won’t even believe they’re good for you. Each cookie only has 68 calories and 1 gram of fat

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces melted unsweetened chocolate

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl
  • Beat egg whites in a second bowl with an electric mixer until foamy
  • Beat in white sugar
  • Add brown sugar one or two tablespoons at a time
  • Beat until smooth
  • Mix in vanilla and melted chocolate
  • Stir in the dry ingredients until incorporated
  • Drop tablespoons of batter on the prepared baking sheet
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes

References

  1. "9 Low-Fat Holiday Desserts," Health, December 12, 2013.
  2. "Healthy Holiday Desserts," Food Network, January 26, 2017.
  3. "Low-Calorie Holiday Dessert Recipes," Eating Well, September 12, 2017.
  4. "Sweet Treats Under 150 Calories," Cooking Light, November 29, 2010.

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