Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas That Are Quick and Healthy

By Laurie Fanelli in Healthy Feeling

The holidays are almost here! While the fall season is filled with wonderful opportunities to connect with friends and family, it’s also rife with temptations to break your healthy diet. Thanksgiving dessert ideas don’t need to be destructive to your wholesome way of life. With a little bit of foresight, you can enjoy healthy thanksgiving desserts on November 24 and beyond. Try some of these delicious Thanksgiving dessert ideas with your family this holiday season, and enjoy the best—and most nutritious—flavors of the fall.

Pumpkin Pie MuffinsGet the flavors of pumpkin pie in healthy, nutritious muffins.

Traditional pumpkin pie is loaded with added fat and sugar, but these single serving muffins will give you the fall flavors you crave without all the guilt. This recipe is perfect for afternoon get-togethers or even a holiday brunch.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1½ cups white flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 2 15-oz. cans pumpkin puree (or make your own)
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1½ cups applesauce
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, and spices) together into a bowl. Mix the wet ingredients (pumpkin puree, maple syrup, applesauce, and vegetable oil) together into another large bowl. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add the walnuts, if desired. Place muffin liners into two muffin trays, and fill all muffin tins with batter. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Dessert-Style Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet potatoes are a staple at Thanksgiving dinners across the country, but you don’t need to wait until the holidays to enjoy this superfood with your family. Savory and delectable, this creative treat will satisfy your family’s sweet tooth as a movie night snack or a weeknight dessert.

To begin, gather:

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, sliced into fries
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup dairy-free (vegan) dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • ½ cup chopped strawberries
  • ¼ cup chopped peanuts

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat two baking sheets with olive oil, and slice washed sweet potatoes into fry shapes. Place fries on the baking sheets and toss with the olive oil. Top with salt to taste. Bake for 15 minutes, flip the fries, and bake for an additional 15 minutes. (Cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of fries.) While the fries are cooking, chop up your vegan dark chocolate and soften it in a double boiler. Add almond milk to the chocolate to make it silky smooth. Remove from oven, and top fries with cinnamon and allspice. Place the fries on a big plate, and drizzle the melted chocolate all over. Now you can top it with chopped strawberries and peanuts.

Quick Cream Cheese Apple DipApples are the perfect fall fruit to inspire healthy desserts.

One of the best fall family activities is apple picking, and I’m always looking for ways to use every bit of a fruitful harvest. Apples are a no-cooking-necessary type of food, but this cream cheese dip is the perfect topping to take raw apples to the next level. I use vegan cream cheese when I make this fast and easy recipe, but you can also use a traditional kind if that’s your preference.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 package vegan cream cheese
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup ground peanuts
  • 4 large apples, sliced

Combine cream cheese, brown sugar, and peanuts into a bowl, and mix until everything is fully incorporated. Dip apple slices into the cream cheese mixture.

Dessert often gets a bad rap as being the most fattening part of a meal, especially during the holidays. But healthy Thanksgiving desserts will leave you feeling satisfied, energized, and inspired to create even more nutritious recipes throughout the year. Check out some vegan pie recipes for additional healthful holiday treats.

How do you cut the calories out of traditional desserts? Share your tips with @TomsofMaine.

Image source: Flickr | Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons

This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.

Why It’s Good

The holidays don't need to involve fatty foods and sugary treats to be special. Try some of these healthy Thanksgiving dessert ideas with your family to satisfy your sweet tooth while staying on a healthy path. Plus, it's a great way to use up your extra fall produce.