By Kristen Castillo- The winter holidays are filled with big meals prepared in the oven and on the stove. Why spend even more time preparing baked desserts when you could be enjoying time with loved ones or playing outside in the snow? Save yourself time and dirtying so many pots and pans by whipping up these easy and delicious no-bake holiday treats.
*Healthy Choco Bars
Food blogger Barbara Whitney of Kitchen Byte loves bringing families together with delicious food, especially chocolate. Her healthy choco bars — featuring cranberries, pistachios, ginger and, yes, pepper — are her go-to dessert and a sure crowd-pleaser.
8.8 ounces high-cocoa chocolate
1.76 ounces pistachio, peeled
1.76 ounces cranberries
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ginger
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or on the stove. Add the ginger and pepper and mix well. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet evenly. Cut the pistachios and sprinkle them evenly on top, followed by the cranberries. Make sure everything is mixed well. Refrigerate for two hours. Break the bar into smaller parts; if you want to be precise, use a mold or knife. Serve and enjoy. These bars are a quick and easy treat for a lazy winter afternoon.
*Chocolate Coconut Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies
Healthy food blogger Renata Trebing of Nourish With Renata, whose passion is “eating good food, that happens to be good for you,” loves these sugar-free and gluten-free chocolate coconut peanut butter no-bake cookies. They’re simple to make. Plus, they’re packed with healthy fats, protein and fiber. “It’s the perfect holiday cookie when you don’t want to crank up the oven or dirty more than one bowl,” she says.
Prep time: 10 minutes
1 tbsp stevia
2 tbsp coconut oil
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup almond slivers
In a large bowl, add coconut oil; if it’s solid, heat it up in the microwave in 20-second increments until it melts. Add the stevia and stir well. Add the peanut butter, vanilla extract, cacao powder, coconut and almonds. Fold all the ingredients together well to create a really thick batter. It should be so thick that it stays clumped together.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using a small ice cream scoop or two spoons, take scoops of the batter and place them onto the cookie sheet. Slightly flatten the tops of the scoops. Place the tray in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the cookies to firm up. Store them in the fridge for up to one week. They are simple yet satisfying and will be a nice reprieve from sugary holiday treats.
*Bee-Licious Bliss Balls
Sweeten up your holiday with the bee-licious bliss balls recipe from Capilano Honey dietitian Kate Save. These gluten-free treats boast fiber, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. Prepare them in just 10 minutes.
1 cup almonds, dry-roasted, unsalted
1/2 cup dates, pitted
1/2 cup dried apple
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon Capilano honey (or other honey available)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup shredded coconut
Combine all ingredients except the coconut in a blender and pulse until the texture is like a fine crumb. Shape into balls and roll in the coconut. Refrigerate for one hour and then serve. They can be stored for up to three weeks in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer.
*Gluten-Free Cookie Dough Bites
This recipe by Lahana Vigliano, holistic clinical nutritionist and CEO of Thrival Nutrition, can be made in minutes by throwing everything in a bowl. “Everyone loves cookie dough and these are healthy too,” she says.
6 tablespoons grass-fed butter, melted
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt the butter. Pour all of the ingredients into a bowl, except the chocolate chips. Make sure they are mixed together well. Once they become a dough, add in as many or as few chocolate chips as you want. Mix to evenly distribute them. One by one, take a little bit of the dough into your hand, and roll it into ball. They can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy this healthy quick fix to satisfy your sweet tooth.
These recipes are perfect for a gift wrapping day, snacks on the go, family gatherings or parties. Give yourself the gift of less dirty dishes and more free time this holiday season.