FOOD

Try These Healthy Swaps Of Your Fave Christmas Desserts

It's still Chrissy, just a little more virtuous.

19/12/2016 5:50 AM AEDT | Updated 19/12/2016 10:08 AM AEDT

The Natural Nutritionist, The Healthy Chef

Staying healthy over Christmas and New Year's feels near impossible, what with the endless plates of incredible Christmas food, glasses of booze and missed gym classes (whoops).

But if you do want to eat healthy in between, there are delicious swaps of your favourite desserts -- from trifle and truffles, to pudding and chocolate mousse.

These recipes promise the same flavours you know and love about the holiday season, while using fresh, wholesome ingredients like fruit, nuts, spices, dried fruit and cacao powder.

1. Healthy berry trifle

Recipe by The Healthy Chef.

Serves two.

INGREDIENTS

  • 500g strawberries
  • Handful of raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon honey or 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
  • 500g cultured Greek style natural yoghurt (use dairy or coconut)
  • 100g granola or your favourite nut and seed mix

METHOD

  1. Blend half the strawberries with the raspberries and honey until you have a smooth puree.
  2. Cut the rest of the strawberries into quarters and mix with the berry puree.
  3. In a tall glass, alternate layers of berry mix with layers of yoghurt and granola -- you could also use a bowl.
  4. Serve and enjoy.

The Healthy Chef
This healthy trifle uses yoghurt instead of cream and crunchy granola in place of sponge cake.

2. Raw Christmas pudding

Recipe by The Healthy Chef.

Makes six.

INGREDIENTS

  • 225g fresh pitted dates -- approx. 10-15 dates depending on their size
  • Zest from one orange
  • 250g organic dried apricots, chopped
  • 150g (1½ cups) almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 80g white chocolate, melted for decoration

METHOD

  1. Combine dates, orange zest, apricots, vanilla, ground almonds, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in a food processor.
  2. Process until mixture is combined and looks like fine crumbs.
  3. Spoon mixture into a large bowl and add 1–2 tablespoons orange juice, then mix again. Your pudding mix should come together in the hands when lightly squeezed.
  4. Divide puddings into six small puddings. The best way to do this is to line the base of your desired mould with cling wrap and press the pudding mixture into it firmly.
  5. Invert the pudding and remove the glad wrap. Repeat until all the puddings are formed.
  6. Melt white chocolate in a small bowl that is set over a simmering pot of water.
  7. Spoon a little white chocolate over the tops of the puddings if using and garnish. You can use goji berries, fresh cherries or anything you fancy. Alternatively, omit the topping if you wish.
  8. Arrange onto a serving plate and set aside until needed. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

The Healthy Chef
These raw versions have all the flavour you expect in a pudding.

3. Healthy chocolate mousse

Recipe by The Healthy Chef.

Serves six.

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup organic maple syrup
  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • Pinch of sea salt

METHOD

1. In a high performance blender, place the maple syrup in first, followed by the avocado, vanilla, cacao and salt.

2. Blend for about 30 seconds until smooth and creamy. Add a splash of water or coconut water to make a lighter mousse.

3. Spoon into a bowl and allow to cool and set in the fridge.

Westend61
You won't be able to tell the difference between this and traditional mousse. Yum.

4. Coconut and raspberry delights

Recipe by The Natural Nutritionist.

Makes 10-12.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2½ cups almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
  • 4 free range eggs
  • ¼ cup cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil
  • ¼ cup Natvia
  • 1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  2. Combine almond meal, cinnamon and baking powder in a large bowl.
  3. Add the eggs, oil and Natvia and mix thoroughly.
  4. Carefully fold in the berries. Add the coconut flakes and combine.
  5. Spoon mixture into lightly greased muffin tins.
  6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Best served warm.

The Natural Nutritionist
These are the perfect summer Chrissy dessert.

5. Raw cashew and chia protein bites

Recipe by The Natural Nutritionist.

Makes 8-10.

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g cashews
  • 1 scoop of quality protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1-1½ tablespoons Natvia, depending on desired sweetness
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ¼ cup water

METHOD

  1. In a cup, mix the chia seeds and water together and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Blend the nuts, protein powder, cacao, Natvia and cinnamon and add to a large bowl.
  3. Add the melted coconut oil and stir well. Stir through the chia seed 'egg'.
  4. Use an ice cream scoop or spoon and form balls that sit nicely in the palm of your hand. To prevent sticking, add a touch of oil to your hands prior to doing so. Make 8-10 balls.
  5. Sprinkle with chia seeds and freeze prior to serving.

The Natural Nutritionist
Try these scrumptious bites in place of regular truffles or rum balls.

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