‘Tis the season to be naughty…as in kicking your weight loss goals to the curb side and overindulging in all that Christmas goodness – turkey & gravy, stuffing and potatoes, cookies & cakes and good old fashioned Christmas pudding! Mmmmmm…..mmmmm…

So while we may be nutritionists and trainers we still can get faced with all the sweets and cravings at times and understand your agony over the holiday season. Here are a few healthier alternatives guaranteed to satisfy that sweet spot and hopefully become a staple at Christmas time.

Happy holidays everyone!

Pear & Cashew Crisp (serves 6)

Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 pears, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sucanat
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a bowl, combine the pears and cinnamon and toss to combine. Toss in the lemon juice.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, sucanat, and salt.
  4. Working with your fingers, crumble the butter into the flour mixture until it is combined and about the size of peas. Mix in the cashews and set aside.
  5. Pour the pears into a greased 8-inch baking dish and cover with the oat mixture.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes.

*Feel free to replace pear for apples, berries, plums or any favourite fruit.

Raw Cookie Dough Bites (makes 78 bites – 6 1/2 dozen)

A great make ahead one!

Prep Time:15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (semi sweet or vegan)

Preparation

  1. Grind the oats and nuts in a food processor for 1 minute until finely ground. Then add the honey, vanilla, coconut oil, and chocolate chips. Pulse to combine.
  2. Using a 1 teaspoon measure, roll into balls.
  3. To Freeze: Place balls in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze for 20-30 minutes. Transfer balls to a zip top freezer bag or glass container, label, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Chocolate Orange Ginger Snaps

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sucanat
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon of fresh ginger

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa and baking powder.
  3. Using a standing mixer or hand mixer in a bowl, cream the sucanat and butter for 3-4 minutes until it is light and airy.
  4. Add the egg and orange zest and mix for an additional minute.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet until the dough comes together.
  6. Remove and shape the dough into a flat disk and place between two pieces of parchment paper.
  7. Roll dough out until it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters.
  8. Place cookies on a Silpat or parchment lined baking sheet and bake: 10 minutes if you want your cookies to be slightly soft or 12 minutes if you like them crispy.
  9. Cool and serve.