Fitness With Finesse: 5 Holiday Desserts That Won’t Break Your Diet

Aside from the hours spent unwinding after finals, enormous family meals and lack of a convenient gym, holiday desserts are a leading cause in broken diets over winter break. It’s hard to resist the temptation of your mom’s famous muffins or moist chocolate cake after a big meal, I’ll admit, but bringing your own healthier desserts to the table will help you keep on track this season. These tasty desserts may be better for your body, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as yummy as that irresistible apple pie.

1. Cinnamon Chia Pudding
Chia seeds are the key ingredient in this dessert, and one that’s often overlooked by most people. The health benefits are great, and the texture when the seeds are put in liquid is exotic and enticing. This recipe is more complicated than the rest, but is sure to be a big hit. Milk, cinnamon and chia seeds are the main ingredients and are left overnight to become a pudding. Eat this for breakfast or dessert – it works for both.

2. Dark Chocolate Almond Clusters
This may be the easiest and most rewarding recipe of them all: almonds covered in dark chocolate. The prep time is quick and it doesn’t take long for them to harden. There are only three ingredients for this one: almonds, dark chocolate and a little salt, bringing the calorie count to about 150 per handful. Melt the chocolate, mix in the almonds then separate into little clumps to make a sort of handful. Sprinkle the clusters with salt for a little extra flavor, or add your own twist like pepper or lime.

3. Raw Gingerbread Cookies
These cookies will fulfill your gingerbread craving without filling out your hips this holiday. Spread this recipe around to your relatives because it’s sure to be a hit. Some of the ingredients include almond meal, buckwheat and rolled oats. While these might be out there and a little hard to find, a trip to your local health store should do the trick. The best thing about these cookies (aside from a low calorie count) is that the total prep and cook time is 10 minutes.

4. Baked Apples
This simple dessert may not seem like much, but the flavors of honey and cinnamon with a juicy apple blend to form what can only be described as the smell of fall. You’ll enjoy one of these apples just as much as your favorite pie, except each is only about 150 calories. The basic ingredients are just apples and rolled oats. The apples are cored and filled with oats mixed with some sugar and spices and baked in a dish with applesauce. The whole recipe will take about an hour to prep and cook!

5. Candy Pecans
For a quick snack that doubles as a dessert, this recipe is perfect. The recipe is simple: pecans covered in sugar and maple syrup and roasted to perfection. Each handful is about 190 calories, and while that might seem like a lot, remember the fats in pecans are healthy and necessary to maintain a balanced diet. These little treats double as the perfect gift for your favorite professors or your friends.

The next time you’re craving some holiday comfort (whether during the holidays or not) try one of these quick recipes and you’ll feel the warmth of familiar flavors without the regret of wasted calories. Often it feels like we won’t be able to get the right satisfaction out of healthier foods, but with the right recipe you can feel just as fulfilled and as well as clean and healthy.

Photo credits: www.chefsavvy.com