Homemade Better-for-you Holiday Sweets

I know this tme of year gets even busier for busy professional working moms (just like me).  I was so busy that in last week’s post about Smart Strategies for Holiday Eating, I completely forgot to point out that you can also MAKE your own foods to BRING to the events.  When you’ve got better-for-you recipes like the ones I’m about to share, you can be confident in your food choices because you know exactly what is in them and just how delicious they are!  It’s so disappointing to “waste” calories on a sub-par goodie, isn’t it?  I’ve been known to (discreetly) spit out crappy chocolates and dry cookies.  If I’m eating it, it had better be DELICIOUS!

So, I assure you that all of the recipes that follow fit the bill for both better-for-you than their traditional counterparts AND delicious – AS delicious-tasting as the originals, if not MORE SO!  Some of the recipes are vegan, some are keto- and/or paleo-friendly and ALL of the recipes lack refined/processed sugar. I actually filmed full-length LIVE demos for FIVE of the recipes on  Facebook and I shared those same five recipes as my weekly Instagram video series.

Forgot about a class party?  Need to bring a dish to a potluck (as I suggested above)?  Just want to hide in the basement with some snacks until it’s all over?  I’ve got you covered!  For all of my recipes and MORE of my top picks from my favourite food bloggers, read on!

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High Protein Molten Chocolate Lava Cake (Gluten-free, Grain-free, Refined sugar-free)

More than a mouthful…let’s just read that title again: High Protein Molten Chocolate Lava Cake.  It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?  Especially when you consider that it contains NO gluten, NO grains and NO refined sugar. But I’m here to tell you that it’s real and it’s more than good.  Oh yes, this recipe is downright divine.  It’s got a perfectly soft and moist cake around the edges, and a soft, luscious, melt-y chocolate center.  Just like any perfectly respectable lava cake should.  I hope the photos speak for themselves.  But don’t just take my word for it – make it for yourself!

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Low-carb Hot Cocoa

It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe.  Long, too long (say that in your best Sean Connery voice).  I’m one of those weirdos who still likes hot beverages even in hot weather (don’t worry if this makes you a weirdo, too; we can be weird together).  Actually, apparently it’s not actually all that weird.  Some of the hottest places on earth (the Equator; African nations) drink hot, HOT coffee and other hot beverages to encourage the body to sweat to help with this body-cooling mechanism.

So, here’s to sweaty days and sweaty nights, and I swear this low-carb hot cocoa is actually really great on cold winter days and nights, as well.  With fewer than fifty calories per mug, it’s basically perfect all of the time. Unlike “regular” hot chocolate, it’s also completely sugar-free, and also dariy-free, gluten-free and vegan.  And you can make it without breaking a sweat.

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Coconut Lime Yogurt Delight

Is it time for a taste of the tropics?  I tell you, this is the LONGEST winter I have ever seen in Calgary.  Sure, sure, we’re the Great White North, but this is getting a little bit ridiculous! We had a snowfall warning today for up to 20 cm (that’s the better part of a foot, Imperialists!) and it’s the middle of April. I mean I know that we have a reputation for dog-sledding ten months out of the year, but that’s just a stereotype, not reality. Although I do like the joke about Canada’s four seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction (ba-doop-ching!). Perhaps the travel agent business is actually the business to be in, catering to cabin-fever-crazed Canucks looking to get away from our perpetually white landscape (and generally pasty skin for the Caucasian part of our medley mosaic). In any event, I am in the business of delicious, healthful treats to keep your mind off of the weather and keep you from hibernating in a parka spooning with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s. Without further ado, I bring you: Coconut Lime Yogurt Delight!

 

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No-bake Paleo Almond Butter Bites (Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo, Vegan)

Paleo Almond Butter BiteWelcome to the second installment of the SWYPO* Series.  I’m clearly on an almond butter roll, after the Flourless Almond Butter Muffins.  Now we aren’t even baking – it’s time to enjoy the natural, rich sweetness of almonds in a creamy cool treat that might even get you thinking about fudge.  Just the size of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, but without any gut- and hormone-disrupting refined sugar, milk solids, chocolate or well, peanut butter!

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Flourless Almond Butter Banana Muffins (Dairy-free, Fruit-sweetened, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo, Refined sugar-free)

Flourless Almond Butter Muffins SWYPOWelcome to the first installment of the SWYPO* Series.  These fluffy, light and moist muffins will have you scratching your head in disbelief.  How can they be SO airy with NO flour?  How can they have such a delicate, sweet flavour with NO sugar or added sweeteners of any kind?  With just a handful of wholesome ingredients, these muffins come together in one bowl.  You can whip them up any time.  Starbucks, step aside.  There’s a new muffin game in town.

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(High-Protein) Power Potato Salad (Gluten-free, Grain-free, Paleo-friendly)

Power Potato Salad PlateYou might think of potato salad as strictly a summer food, the stuff of cookouts and backyard barbecues.  Well, it’s time to think again!  Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s entirely likely that you’ll have leftover boiled potatoes on hand.  Keep yourself fueled up for the busy-ness of the season with this high-protein option (and save the recipe for next summer, too!). You can also make a version that is Paleo-friendly (and yes, it can be Whole30-compliant).

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Whipped Chocolate Protein Frosting

Whipped Chocolate Protein FrostingA thick, rich and creamy chocolate frosting that is delicious?  Easy.  But what about one that is HEALTHY, HIGH IN PROTEIN, and FREE OF REFINED SUGAR and this-can’t-be-good-for-me-but-it-really-is?  Yes, oh yes. This is the perfect topping for any of my cakes, and especially my latest and greatest Healthy Single-Serving Mocha Microwave Mug Cake.  But of course, no one would be the wiser if you just wanted to eat it straight off of the spoon.  And I certainly wouldn’t blame you.

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Healthy Single-Serving Mocha Microwave Mug Cake (Gluten-free, Grain-free, High-fiber, High-protein, Refined sugar-free)

Single Serving Mocha Microwave Mug Cake with Whipped Chocolate Protein FrostingIf you’re anything like me, you have a hard time sharing desserts.  Now you have the perfect excuse NOT to: this is, by definition, a single-serving dessert.  A.k.a. – one person!  Never mind that this recipe actually creates three perfectly moist, fluffy mini-mug cakes.  That just means three times the dark chocolate and subtle coffee flavour all for little ol’ you!  And when it’s free of gluten and refined sugar but high in fiber and protein, you can eat it all down to the very last bite!  Use the modern miracle of the microwave to whip this up in mere minutes!

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Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake Protein Muffins (Gluten-free, Grain-free, Refined sugar-free)

Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake Protein Muffins PanIf you thought you hit the jackpot with my Double Chocolate Cheesecake Protein Muffins, just wait until you sink your teeth into the warm, soft sweetness of my latest creation: Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake Protein Muffins!  Yet again, this is a muffin that is high in protein, low in carbohydrates, AND free of gluten, grains and refined sugar. This time, the star of the show is a Quest Nutrition Cinnamon Roll Protein Bar*.  Let these muffins steal your heart.

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