The Healthy Cook does holiday desserts

All recipes in this post developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook.

Click here for a printer-friendly version of these recipes.

Try one of these three lighterbut still delicious—desserts this holiday season.

Apple Almond Custard Cake

Prep: 20 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour

1 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. + 1/4 cup sugar
1 cup 2% milk
3 large eggs
3/4 cup almond meal (flour)
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. almond extract
4 apples, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

2. Generously butter a 9″ round baking dish with the butter and sprinkle with 1 Tbs. of sugar.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the ¼ cup of sugar, milk, eggs, almond meal, whole-wheat flour, and extract into a smooth batter.

4. Arrange the apples flat in the baking dish. Pour the batter over the apples. Sprinkle the almonds across the top.

5. Bake until the center is firm and the almonds are starting to brown, 55-60 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 8.

Per serving (1 slice):

  • Calories: 220
  • Total fat: 11 g
  • Sat fat: 2.5 g
  • Carbs: 26 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Total sugar:  18 g
  • Added sugar: 8 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Sodium: 45 mg

Pear Crisp

Prep: 20 minutes
Cooking: 1 hour

8 ripe, firm pears, cored and chopped
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. + 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup canola oil

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. In a large bowl, mix the chopped pears with the lemon juice and 1 Tbs. of sugar. Transfer to a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.

3. In a medium bowl, mix the ½ cup of sugar with the whole wheat flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, and walnuts. With a fork, thoroughly mix in the butter and oil.  Sprinkle evenly over the top of the pears.

4. Bake until the topping is browned and the pears are tender, 50-60 minutes.

Serves 12.

Per serving (1 slice):

  • Calories: 260
  • Total fat: 11 g
  • Sat fat: 3 g
  • Carbs: 37 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Total sugar: 22 g
  • Added sugar: 10 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 55 mg

Chocolate, Fruit, & Nut Clusters

Prep: 10 minutes
Cooling: 30 minutes

9 oz. dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa), chopped
2 cups roasted pistachios, unsalted
1 cup dried cherries, unsweetened
1 cup diced dried apricots
1 cup golden raisins

1. In a small pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Remove from the heat. Put the chocolate in a large, heat-resistant bowl. Put the bowl on top of the pot, and stir until the chocolate has melted.

2. Mix the pistachios, cherries, apricots, and raisins into the chocolate, then spread into a 10″ x 3″ rectangle on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet.

3. Allow to set at room temperature (about 30 minutes), then cut into 1″ squares.

Yields: 30 pieces

Per serving (one piece):

  • Calories: 140
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Sat fat: 3 g
  • Carbs: 16 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Total sugar: 10 g
  • Added sugar: 2 g*
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg

*Estimate

Enjoy these recipes? Salad Days!—the latest cookbook from Nutrition Action’s Healthy Cook, Kate Sherwood—will help you expand your repertoire with imaginative combinations of greens, vegetables, herbs, whole grains, and proteins. You’ll find healthy variations on classics like Chicken Caesar and Cobb, as well as more adventurous combos like Black Beans & Red Rice with Smoked Paprika Dressing and Sesame Shrimp with Caramelized Shallot Citrus Dressing.

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