Healthy Sweets for Your Holiday Potluck

‘Tis the season of holiday potlucks, white elephant gift exchanges and ugly Christmas sweater parties.

Yes, the food and desserts are amazing this time of year. No, it’s not bathing suit weather right now. But just because it’s December, doesn’t mean that it’s a valid excuse to pack on the pounds.

Put yourself on Santa’s Good List by dishing out some delectable holiday potluck desserts that are healthy, but still taste like the real deal. Your colleagues, friends and family will thank you, and your body will also thank you.

If you’re running out of holiday potluck ideas, here are 10 of our favorite healthy dessert recipes that you can make:

  1. Peppermint Cupcakes
    These vegan, gluten-free cupcakes will throw you into the Christmas spirit with every minty bite. (Don’t forget to include festive cupcake liners!)
  2. Peanut Butter Brownies
    Conjure up a traditional dessert with a healthy twist. Who could say no to low-calorie, protein-packed and zero-cholesterol brownies?
  3. Fig and Pecan Rugelach
    This recipe is a gluten-free version of a much-adored, traditional Jewish pastry, making it void of harmful processed flour.
  4. Green and Red Fruit Salad
    Although it sounds simplistic, this fruit salad is pleasing to the eye and to the taste buds. Also, fruit is the healthiest dessert you can possibly eat.
  5. Pumpkin-Carrot Bars
    These low-calorie pumpkin bars are high in vitamin A and surprisingly low in fat. Make a low-fat cream cheese frosting if you must, but these bars are mouth-watering as they are.
  6. Banana Pudding
    Turn this southern favorite into a holiday potluck hit. This particular recipe features low-fat ingredients, but will surely win hearts.
  7. Rice Pudding
    A popular Danish Christmas dessert, rice pudding is easy to make if you’re low on time. This heart-healthy recipe features nonfat milk and a small amount of sugar compared to other recipes.
  8. Chocolate Coconut Macaroons
    Their appearance will fool your fellow potluckers. This recipe is dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, low-calorie and low-sodium.
  9. Banana Cake
    Full of healthy ingredients and bold flavors, like hazelnuts and coconut, this recipe is proof that you can make a delicious, healthy cake.
  10. Crustless Pumpkin Pie
    This low-fat version of the staple dessert will attract attention without attracting all the carbs or calories.

Potluck tips:

  • Don’t skip breakfast or lunch before the potluck
  • Drink water instead of soda or alcohol
  • Use a small plate or take small servings
  • Eat high-protein and vegetable dishes first and save deserts for last
  • Limit yourself to one or two small desserts
  • Loved a dish? Ask for the recipe or take home leftovers – no need to stuff yourself on it

Stay mindful of what you and your family eat this holiday season, because most Americans don’t lose the weight they gain between Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve. It’s also important to stay healthy and well-rested during this time of the year. Check out this article for 10 health tips that you can incorporate into your busy schedule!

For more healthy recipes, check out Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ articles.

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