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Healthy Desserts

Photo by Kate Freed, TimeOut Senior Staff Writer

The holidays are a fun and special time for many reasons, but there is no doubt that many of our holiday traditions are centered around food: Halloween candy, Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas cookies. This can be both a blessing and a curse based on your own personal eating habits and preferences. Here are a few alternative and overall, healthier options to some traditional recipes.
Brownies (Dairy-free + Paleo)
1 cup almond butter, 1 ½ cup grated zucchini, 1/3 cup raw honey, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg, 1 cup dark chocolate chunks.
Combine ingredients and cook at 350 °F in a greased 9×9 pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
Pumpkin Pie Pudding (Dairy-free + Vegan + Paleo)
¼ cup raw whole shelled pecans, 1 can full-fat coconut milk, 1 can pumpkin puree, 2 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 5 tablespoons all-natural maple syrup.
Roast pecans over stove top until slightly darker in color. In a bowl, combine coconut milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice and syrup. Add salt or additional spice if necessary. In a separate bowl, combine 2 tablespoons syrup and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Chop pecans and place in bottom of a separate bowl. Top with pumpkin mixture and then top with cinnamon mixture. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Garnish and top with remaining pecans when serving.
Chocolate Chip Cookies (Dairy-free + Vegan)
½ cup solid coconut oil, 1 ¼ cups light brown sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, ¼ cup coconut milk, ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce, 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, 2 cups dark chocolate chips.
Combine solid coconut oil, brown sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Add in coconut milk and applesauce. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Combine the mixtures to form a thick batter and add in chocolate chips. Scoop balls of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook at 375 °F for 10 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

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