Vegan pumpkin pie.
Vegan pumpkin pie.

Last-minute ideas for healthy festive desserts

By Lifestyle Reporter Time of article published Dec 24, 2020

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Is it possible to enjoy holiday treats and still maintain your health? Absolutely!

Healthy does not often sound good with dessert. It’s a fact that creamy desserts, sugar full ice-creams, and fatty cupcakes might taste good, but they are definitely not our best friends regarding a healthy and balanced diet.

There are plenty of practical alternatives that can improve the way we make and eat desserts. What are those alternatives?

We went to find the answers and got them from wikiHow, which detailed that by replacing key ingredients like the flour or milk and cutting back on things that are high in fat and sugar, you can transform those unhealthy holiday desserts into something nutritious.

Here are a few tips for preparing healthy desserts without sacrificing your gourmet soul.

Substituting ingredients

Use whole wheat flour. Whole wheat flour contains more vitamins and nutrients than its refined all-purpose counterpart.

If you want to pack your holiday desserts with more fibre, calcium, and vitamins, then you can substitute some of the all-purpose processed flour that you would usually use, with whole wheat flour.

Replace 50% of your all-purpose flour with wheat flour when making your holiday desserts.

Replace fats with tofu or coconut oil. For many recipes, you can replace butter with tofu or coconut oil. Try using pureed soft or silken tofu in a 1:1 ratio in your recipes.

Replace butter and fat with a fruit puree. Fats like butter help bind desserts together and provide texture and moisture to your food. You can replace these unhealthy fats with fruit purees, such as applesauce, pumpkin or squash puree, prune puree, or mashed bananas. Cut the amount of butter you'd use in half, and replace it with fruit puree.

Replace eggs with egg whites. Replace the eggs that you would normally use in a recipe at a ratio of two egg whites per egg. Egg whites are high in potassium, riboflavin, protein, and selenium. Unlike the egg yolk, egg whites don't contain cholesterol or saturated fat.

Swap cow's milk with a different type of milk. Instead of using cow's milk, which can be high in fat, you can use other alternatives. Some options include soy milk, almond milk, or rice milk. These types of milk will act similar to low-fat or skim milk in most recipes, and can usually be swapped at a 1:1 ratio.

When replacing whole milk, consider using coconut milk beverage, not to be confused with coconut milk, which has 5 grams of fat per cup compared to whole milk's 8 grams of fat per cup.

Reducing ingredients

Cut back on sugars. In most recipes, the sugar content in your desserts can be pulled back anywhere from 25% to 33%, without having an enormous impact on the overall taste or quality of your finished dessert. Reducing the sugar works best in recipes for cakes, quick bread, and cookies. Do not eliminate sugar from recipes that require it for its texture, like custards or compotes.

Eliminate unhealthy options from your dessert menu. Avoid inherently harmful things like candy or holiday desserts that require a lot of fat or sugar. Concentrate on desserts that rely on fruit as their sweeteners, such as pies or tarts.

Avoid processed or artificial ingredients. Avoid products that use chemical additives such as certain icing or frosting. Instead of buying some at the store, consider making your own frosting. Sometimes store-bought icing can contain additives and preservatives that have harmful or questionable chemicals in them. Avoid artificial sweeteners or chemical food dyes as well.

Shop for organic food. Using all organic ingredients will prevent your food from being tainted by pesticides. Use organic fruits and milk in your recipes. Organic foods can be good for your heart health and immune system and are often fresher than other ingredients because it's grown locally.

Keeping it festive

Write down a list of desserts for your specific holiday season. The list gives you context on what kind of desserts you should try to alter for the holidays. Different religions and families practice different beliefs and have different traditions. Think about your traditions and make a list of customary desserts that your guests or family are used to eating around the holidays.

Decorate your desserts according to the holiday. Visuals are important with desserts and can help evoke a feeling of the holidays. Decorate your cakes and desserts to reflect the holiday that you're celebrating. Use the colour scheme for your holiday on cakes or other desserts.

Choosing the right recipes

Consider making a vegan pumpkin pie for Christmas. This pie uses either a soy-based tofu filling or a soy-free filling that uses pumpkin puree.

Make an apple-cranberry crumble. Apples and cranberries are traditional treats to eat during the autumn season. Replace the butter in the recipe with coconut oil or a fruit puree and skip the ice cream to keep it healthy.

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