Healthy low calorie sweet recipes for the holidays

By: Health Local Staff Dec 04, 2013
Healthy low calorie sweet recipes for the holidays

Below are 3 healthy and low calories dessert recipes that will be a hit at the holidays, for your guests and your waistline.

The holidays are filled with food, wine and fun. But what if you want to maintain the hard-earned weight loss from the summer, or even shed more pounds during the holidays. Don’t worry; you won’t have to sacrifice your sweet tooth or your figure.

Pumpkin Pie Parfait

Instead of bread pudding and pumpkin pie, try this lighter version that’s tasty and satisfying.


  • ¼ c sugar, divided into parts
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cup low fat milk (1-2%)
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ c unsweetened canned or fresh pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • ½ c finely chopped walnuts
  • ¼ c whipping cream (heavy)

Mix together the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan over low heat. Add the milk and egg and stir with a whisk. Pour the milk mixture into the sugar mixture and stir until the mixture reaches a low boil. Cook for about one minute while stirring constantly. Failure to stir may cause the mixture to stick to the bottom of the saucepan. Remove the mixture from heat.

Mix the pumpkin and remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir. Add the mixture together wit the pumpkin and stir. Place in a pan over low heat until it is completely heated throughout – about 3-4 minutes. Pour the pudding mixture into four small dessert bowls and cover with plastic wrap. Let chill while making the whipping cream. Serve when cold and topped with whipped cream.

Winter Lemon Cake

This rustic yet modern take on lemon cake is perfectly sweet yet low in calories.


  • Light cooking spray
  • 1.25 cups of flour
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • ½ cornmeal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2/3 c buttermilk (low-fat)
  • 1/8 c olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2-3 tsp grated lemon rind

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare cake pan with light cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with waxed or parchment paper. To assure a no-stick finish, spray the parchment paper lightly with cooking spray.

Combine flour, sugar, cornmeal, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Make a well in the center to pour in remaining ingredients. Combine the buttermilk, oil and eggs and stir well. Add the lemon and mix. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for about 40 minutes. Check the center with a toothpick or knife and remove when clean. Let the pan cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Cake may be topped with light whipping cream or fresh fruit slices.

Meringue Dips with Almond and Chocolate


  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ c sugar
  • ¼ tsp almond flavoring (vanilla extract may be substituted)
  • 2 ounces chocolate finely chopped (bittersweet is best)
  • For the glaze: Use ½ semisweet chips

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. While oven is heating beat the egg whites with a mixer until they are foamy. Add the salt and tartar. Continue beating until soft peaks form in the bowl. Gradually pour sugar into the bowl and be careful not to over beat. With a spoon gently fold in the almond flavoring and chocolate.

Drop the batter by using a teaspoon onto a baking sheet. Bake for 2 hours at 200 degrees. When done the meringue will be dry in surface. Turn the oven off and let the meringue sit in the oven for another hour to cool. They will become crisp. Remove from the pan and dip into prepared chocolate that has been melted in the microwave. Dunk the meringue halfway into the chocolate mixture. Place the meringue dips onto a wire rack to dry and continue cooling.

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