5 Healthy Holiday Treats
1. Healthy Peanut Butter No Bake Pretzel Bars
We've been eating gluten free for almost two years now. Thus, I haven't eaten pretzels in almost two years. When I started my Whole Foods journey and completed the 21 Day Sugar Detox, I was able to finally balance my blood sugar. Before that, I had no idea my blood sugar was out of whack! Looking back now...I found that when my blood sugar started to dip, I would reach for pretzels or crackers. At the time I didn't realize that I was only making my blood sugar more unregulated. What I needed was a balanced snack! I have learned so much in two years, by focusing on how to balance my plate! So I've slowly started adding foods back into my diet, on occasion, that I used to eat all of the time. I'm experimenting and observing how my body reacts to these foods since I have been mainly eating whole food products. Last week I saw that Snyders brand carried a GF pretzel. I bought some and they were very good! I wanted to make a treat for Thanksgiving that included the pretzels. At first I was going to make chocolate covered pretzels. Then, I thought I'd add peanut butter to the chocolate. And then... I remembered a crushed pretzel strawberry bar that my mom used to make when I was younger. Ta da! I decided to crush the pretzels and mix them into the peanut butter with chocolate chips. But then decided on a chocolate layer on the top. If I do say so myself....these turned out great!!
By: Kristi lovelivinlowsugar.com
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cuisine: American Dessert
2 1/2 cups gluten free pretzels (you can use regular pretzels)
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (I used dairy free)
1/8 teaspoon salt (for dusting the top of the chocolate before refrigerating)
1. You will need an 8 X 8 glass baking dish. I did not grease.
2. In a food processor or blender, crush the pretzels to where you can still see some chunks.
3. Add the peanut butter and honey (or maple syrup) to a bowl and thoroughly mix.
4. Add the crushed pretzels to the bowl and combine.
5. Transfer the Pretzel and pb mixture to the baking dish.
6. Over low heat, add the chocolate chips to a pan and melt.
7. Pour the chocolate over the mixture in the baking dish.
8. Sprinkle with the salt and place in refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours.
9. When ready to serve, take out of the refrigerator and let sit for at least 10-15 minutes before cutting. If not, the chocolate will crack more easily.
2. Clean Eating & Vegan Peppermint Nice Cream
Healthy, clean eating and vegan ice cream! The perfect chocolate nice cream for the holidays!
Recipe from: runninginaskirt.com
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4 medium bananas, frozen
dash of unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup unsweeted cocoa powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-3 drops peppermint extract
In a food processor blend the bananas with a dash of almond milk. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla extract.
Slowly add one drop of peppermint extract and use more if desired. It is very potent, so taste with one drop first!
*You can also use a Yonanas Frozen Dessert Maker! Just stir the ingredients together after running the bananas through the machine.
3. Skinny Chocolate Bark
Have a flat belly—and your chocolate, too, with this dark chocolate-peanut butter bark.
24 oz. dark chocolate (at least 60 percent cocoa)
1 c. natural peanut butter, warmed
1 c. unsalted peanuts, chopped
1/4 c. pretzels
Recipe from Delish.com
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Line a baking dish or sheet with parchment. In a small glass bowl, heat dark chocolate in the microwave on low heat, stirring every 30 seconds, until melted. Pour into prepared dish, tilting so it fully covers the bottom of the dish.
Drizzle over peanut butter, then drag a toothpick over the peanut butter in the opposite direction of the drizzle, creating a swirl.
Top with peanuts and pretzels and refrigerate until firm, 1 hour. Break into pieces and serve. (Bark can be stored in a resealable container up to 2 weeks.)
4. Healthy Pumpkin Cookies
These healthy pumpkin cookies are flourless, free of refined sugars, and don’t use any oils or butter. These cookies are also very simple to make — whip them up in one bowl and in less than 30 minutes.
Recipe From: www.chelseasmessyapron.com
See original recipe here
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree (I recommend Libby's)
1 large egg yolk (discard the egg whites or use in a different recipe)
1/2 cup (118g) roasted and salted almond butter
1/4 cup (72g) pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (58g) blended old fashioned oats OR quick oats, (See Note 1)
1/2 cup (92g) dark chocolate chips, coarsely chopped
Optional: flaky sea salt
PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large sheet pans with parchment paper or a nonstick liner and set aside.
COOKIE DOUGH: In a large bowl, add the pumpkin, egg yolk, almond butter (do not warm up in the microwave), maple syrup, vanilla extract, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and ground cinnamon.
BLEND OATS: grind up oats in a blender or food processor until the oats are the texture and size of regular flour. Make sure to measure the 1/2 cup after grinding the oats so you have a leveled 1/2 cup measurement of blended oats. Add to the cookie dough. Mix dough with a wooden spoon or hand mixers until the dough is smooth and well combined. Coarsely chop up the chocolate chips and stir into the batter. Cover dough and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
BAKE: use a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon to measure out balls of the cookie dough. It is sticky, use a finger or another spoon to coax the dough from the 1 tablespoon measuring spoon on to the prepared trays. Smooth and flatten the tops of the cookie dough balls (see photo in post for shape of unbaked cookie dough). Space them about 2 inches apart to fit 8 per tray. Bake, 1 tray at a time, for 6-7 minutes. Cookies should still look very soft, watch carefully to not over bake. As soon as the top is no longer wet/glossy, they are done baking.
LET COOL: remove the trays from the oven and let the cookies stand on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes without touching. If desired, press a few more chocolate chips into the tops of the cookies and (optional) a sprinkle of sea salt flakes if you like salty sweet :). Then use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. These cookies are very fragile and will fall apart right out of the oven/while still hot. They set up and solidify as they cool.
RECIPE NOTES Note 1: be sure to measure the oats after being blended not before. You should have a leveled 1/2 cup of blended oats. Ensure all the products you are using are indeed gluten free. While all the ingredients listed are naturally gluten free, they are sometimes made in facilities with gluten. To be safe, always check the labels of what you’re using. Note 2: This recipe has been modified slightly to completely remove the refined sugars (brown sugar) and improve the texture a bit. Here's the recipe from 2014 if desired.
5. Gingerbread Rice Krispie Treats (gluten-free, refined sugar-free, vegan option)
A healthier spin on the classic Rice Krispie treat, with the addition of warm spices and molasses, these Gingerbread Rice Krispie Treats are a chewy, no bake, easy recipe to make that everyone will enjoy!
Recipe From: https://www.milehighmitts.com
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So, why should you make these Gingerbread Rice Krispie treats?
These Gingerbread Rice Krispie Treats are:
Gluten-free (made with gluten-free rice krispie cereal)
Refined sugar-free (only 1/2 cup of honey or maple syrup)
Made with ZERO corn syrup, marshmallows or butter
Filled with molasses, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves
No bake, quick AND easy to make
Chewy and spiced, these Gingerbread Rice Krispie Treats are a fun spin on the classic rice krispie treats, done in a healthier, Holiday-flavored way.