Healthy Holiday Desserts

With the holiday season fast approaching it is a great time to start deciding what delicious meals you can make to accompany the festive season. I love dessert, and every now and then an indulgent dessert never hurts. However if you are planning to stay on the healthy side these holidays here are some desserts that are great and just as delicious without all the extra sugar and calories. Not only are they perfect for the holidays but pretty much anytime of the year and can even be used as healthy snack. So let us dig in!

Here are three delicious desserts to try out this December!

Recipes From: Tess Ward, The Yes Chef

Vegan Papaya Breakfast Bowls

This delicious simple recipe can double up as a breakfast as well as a dessert. It is the perfect way to also mix a bit of vegan into your holiday diet and it is super easy! 

Serves 1

Ingredients :

  • 1 papaya, halved and deseeded
  • 4 tablespoons tasted buckwheat, granola or muesli
  • 1/2 banana
  • 4 tablespoons coconut yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon acai powder, optional
  • honey, to drizzle
  • tahini, to drizzle

Method :

Halve the papaya and hollow out the black seeds.

Add your chosen cereal, either muesli, granola or toasted buckwheat works well here. You need something with a nice crunchy texture.

Flourless Orange Chocolate Olive Oil Torte

This delicious festive dessert celebrates all things chocolate, but in a more healthy way combined with a fresh tangy orange taste!


  • 175g 70% cocoa solids dark chocolate, chopped
  • 125 ml olive oil
  • 150 g unrefined cane sugar
  • 2 tsp. orange zest
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1 tablespoon ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 300g creme fraiche
  • 3 tablespoons honey

      toppings: toasted hazelnuts, chopped chocolate cacao nibs, orange zest


Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F

Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof, medium-sized bowl.

Fill a saucepan halfway with water, and bring it to a simmer on the stove. Turn off the heat, and put the bowl on top of the pot. Stir gently as the residual heat melts the chocolate.

Remove the chocolate bowl from the heat and whisk in the olive oil, half the sugar, and orange zest. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, whisking to combine, then finally add the ground almonds and salt.

Using a whisk or hand mixer, beat the egg whites until they start to firm up. You want them to get to the point where they just being to turn opaque before you start slowly adding the remaining sugar. Do so as you continue to whip the whites to the point where they become stiff and hold peaks.

Fold one-third of the whipped egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture. This will lighten the colour and texture of the mixture. Mix this well and then carefully fold in the rest of the meringue. They key here is to be gentle—you want to keep as much air as possible in the mixture, but do be sure to mix it so there are not white streaks.

Pour the batter into a greased baking dish and bake for 30minutes. Be careful not to bake too long—the chocolate can burn easily and you want that molten melty middle.

Let the cake cool before topping it off with the sweetened creme fraiche and your chosen toppings. To do this simply mis the honey and creme fraiche and ice all over. You can do this so it covers the edges of the cake, or just decorates the top.

Banana, Cashew and Saffron Cookies

Healthy, delightful and just oh so delicious cookies you have to try, they practicaly melt in your mouth it is almost impossible to only eat one. So thankfully this recipe makes 12

For these cookies Tess recommends using a muffin case to ensure they cook evenly and are all equal sizes. You are looking for a smaller round cookie, rather than a large flat one

Makes 12 small cookies


  • 2 large bananas
  • 60g ground cashew / cashew flour
  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 4 heaped tablespoons chopped cashews, plus extra for topping
  • 4 tablespoons jaggery, or light brown sugar
  • a big pinch of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 pinches of saffron

For the frosting

  • 2 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2-3 tsp water, to loosen
  • chopped cashews, to top


Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C / 375 degrees F

Add the saffron to a ramekin with 1 tablespoon hot water, to extract the colour and flavour from the stamens

In another large bowl, use the back of a fork to mash the bananas to a pulp. Once the banana begins to break down add the chopped cashews, a pinch of salt, the cardamon, jaggery (or sugar) cashew flour and finally cashew butter. Add the soaked saffron and the water it was soaking in and mix well. It is important here to make sure the batter is fully mixed

Divide the mixture between 10 cookie moulds and cook for 15 minutes, or until the exterior is golden. Leave them to cool for 10 minutes before removing from their casing and frosting. Once they are cool enough to touch, top each with half a teaspoon of the frosting and a scattering of nuts.

They are certainly at their best when eaten warm

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