By Kristin Sidorov
While holiday diets usually start with cutting out sweets, in reality a dessert-free diet can backfire big-time. Tempting pies, cakes, and cookies are everywhere during the holidays, and without willpower of steel you’ll likely end up kicking yourself after suddenly succumbing to half of a chocolate cake, rather than sticking it out until the end. The truth is, restricting yourself isn’t realistic or healthy.
But that doesn’t mean your holiday diet is futile. Find a balance by subbing some of those calorie-heavy dessert classics with healthier, low-cal versions that are just as good and guaranteed to hit your sweet spot.
—Skinny Snickerdoodles (Chocolate Covered Katie)
—100 Calorie Chocolate Chip Cookies (Taste)
—Raw Coconut Brownies (What’s Cooking Good Looking)
—Peanut Cookie Dough Bites (Pinch of Yum)
—Chia Cranberry Apple Crisp (Fit Sugar)
—Raw Pumpkin Cranberry Ginger Parfaits (Rawmazing)
—Wine Poached Apples with Vanilla Yogurt (Bon Appetit)
—Super Moist Low Fat Chocolate Cupcakes (Skinny Taste)
—Pumpkin Chiffon Cake (Kitchen Grrrls)
—Warm Black Forest Mess (Food Not Fuss)
Another great way to stay on track is keeping it simple. Healthy desserts can be easy to make and still sate your sweet tooth:
—Try topping your favorite fresh fruit with a bit of honey, yogurt, or mint. Strawberries with mint is a delicious and refreshing combo!
—Baking fruit is a seasonal treat that’s as easy as turning on your oven. Core an apple, sprinkle it with a little bit of brown sugar, cinnamon, honey, and nuts, and pop it in the oven until tender. Or try grilling bananas (A Full Measure of Happiness) for a warm and creamy dessert that’s delicious by itself or served with some frozen yogurt or walnuts.
—Make your own smoothie. Toss some fruit, ice, and juice in blender and presto! You have a sweet shake that’s guaranteed to please. Or mix frozen yogurt, low-fat or soy milk, and chocolate, strawberries, or peanut butter for a low-cal milkshake.
—Spread your favorite hearty bread with a bit of low-fat ricotta and top it with a touch of honey and figs or cherries. Its an easy, low-cal dessert that feels rich and decadent.
Tell Us: What are your favorite low-cal sweet treats?