With the holidays fast approaching, so too are cravings for baked goods, sweets, and desserts of all varieties. Kitchens will soon be filled with cookie tins, cake trays, and boxes of any kind of pie you can imagine. If this time of year brings you more stress than excitement as you try to keep up with your fitness and health goals, fret not. You can have your cake and eat it too, thanks to some clever recipes made from healthier ingredients that will still satisfy your sweet tooth.
This list of low-carb dessert recipes is all you need for the holidays. It has everything from mouthwatering chocolate chip cookies to homemade key lime pie (are you drooling yet?). If you have dietary restrictions, you’ll be thrilled to know that some of these recipes even fit into vegan, gluten-free, and Paleo diets. There’s something for everyone, and only you’ll know how healthy these tasty desserts are. Take note of these shockingly good low-carb dessert recipes.
Coconut Cacao Tahini Snack Bites
The Recipe: This simple snack recipe from Minimalist Baker makes for a delicious low-carb dessert. The small bites are naturally sweet, thanks to the inspired combination of just a few healthy ingredients. Pop the ingredients in a food processor until the mixture feels like dough, roll into balls, and chill in the fridge or freezer before you’re ready to indulge.
The Hero Ingredient: Tahini provides a nutty flavor to play with the coconut and cacao sweetness. The recipe wouldn’t be complete without just a dash of cinnamon.
The Recipe: If you’re a sucker for the classics, you need this vegan, grain-free, and date-sweetened chocolate chip cookie recipe courtesy of The First Mess. Try Lily’s Baking Chips sweetened with stevia to make this recipe completely free of refined sugar, and enjoy a golden, fluffy batch of low-carb cookies.
The Hero Ingredient: Dates provide that sweet flavor you’d expect from a homemade cookie without the added sugar.
No-Bake Paleo Lemon Bars
The Recipe: Food Faith Fitness brings you this no-bake Paleo lemon bar recipe that’s as easy to make as it sounds. As the name suggests, there’s no baking required here. Plus there are only four ingredients, making this low-carb dessert free of gluten, grain, dairy, and refined sugar.
The Hero Ingredient: You couldn’t make lemon bars without lemon, but a simple crust made of raw cashews and dates deserves some credit too.
Strawberry Meringue Cookies
The Recipe: These strawberry meringue cookies from Fed + Fit taste just as good as they look. Simple ingredients and no added sugar make these colorful cookies a low-carb treat. Plus, the crunchy treat will look beautiful and festive served up on a platter for the holidays.
The Hero Ingredient: The cookies get their flavor and color from an organic strawberry powder made from freeze-dried strawberries, which is a great alternative to sticky jams (don’t knock it until you try it).
Raw Key Lime Pie
The Recipe: This raw dessert recipe from Hello Glow is full of healthy fats, thanks to ingredients like macadamia nuts and coconut milk. Make the simple crust in a food processor, and press into a pan before topping it with your lime filling. Freeze the pie overnight, and enjoy.
The Hero Ingredient: What healthy dessert would be complete without a little hidden avocado? The avocado combines with coconut oil, milk, and lime juice to create a perfectly creamy texture.
Healthy Peanut Butter Fudge
The Recipe: You’ll be happy to hear that this peanut butter fudge recipe from Minimalist Baker requires just four ingredients and 30 minutes of your time. It’s also naturally sweetened and contains all the protein and healthy fats you wouldn’t expect from a tasty fudge dessert.
The Hero Ingredient: Peanut butter is the obvious choice for the standout ingredient of this recipe. Make sure you find a simple peanut butter made with just peanuts and salt to keep this low-carb dessert as healthy as possible.
Raw Carrot Cake Slice with Tangy Citrus Frosting
The Recipe: A raw and vegan recipe, this carrot cake from The First Mess is zinging with tangy orange zest and warm spices. Even the frosting is healthy, thanks to its raw cashew base, but it isn’t lacking in flavor.
The Hero Ingredient: A splash of orange juice sets the tone for the bright flavors of this yummy cake, which is perfect for slicing up and serving up to any crowd.
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This post was originally published on October 23, 2017, and has since been updated.