Healthy Thanksgiving Desserts

Nothing ends off a meal like a good dessert. Even if you’re stuffed to the gills (which we hope you won’t  be), there’s always room for dessert. To keep the calories down, serve a beautiful bowl of fruit or fill a serving bowl with the season’s first sweet tangerines. Of course, it’s nice to serve a few seasonal desserts that have been lightened up without sacrificing flavor.

PUMPKIN PIEshutterstock_231840154

  • 1 reduced-fat graham cracker crust
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated fat-free milk
  • ½ cup egg substitute
  • ½ tbs. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Orange zest
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.  Bake crust for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.  Place crust on baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  Whisk until well blended and smooth.  Pour into prepared pie crust.  Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and cook another 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool before serving.  Can be served with dollop of whipped topping.

8 servings; Per serving: 113 calories; 0.5 (g) fat; 18.1 (g) carbs; 8.5 (g) protein

Crust less version (gluten free)

  • Omit graham cracker crust
  • Prepare ingredients above, but pour into individual ramekins.  Place ramekins in a large glass or ceramic baking dish.  Add boiling water to baking dish, allowing water to come halfway up sides of ramekins.  Place in 350F oven and bake 40 minutes.  Remove from oven and baking dish.  Allow to cool before serving.

without the crust: Per serving: 101 calories; 0 (g) fat; 16.2 (g) carbs; 8.4 (g) protein



  •  4 cups chopped organic Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • zest of 1 organic orange
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 water mixed with 1 tbs. arrowroot
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbs. coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbs. coconut sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the apples, cranberries, and cinnamon in a large bowl and toss to coat. Add the arrowroot slurry and toss to coat.
  3. Place the mixture into an 11×7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish.
  4. In the same bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, cinnamon, coconut oil, and coconut sugar. Stir to moisten and then pour over the apple mixture. Cover the baking dish with  aluminum foil.
  5. Place in oven and bake 35-40 minutes.
  6. To serve, scoop a generous amount of apple crumble into bowl and then top with vanilla ice cream.

8 servings (includes 1 cup vanilla ice cream): Per serving: 212 calories; 10.6 (g) fat; 28.7 (g) carbs; 3.7 (g) protein; 4.4 (g) fiber



  •  1-1/4  cups  graham cracker crumbs (whole wheat if possible)
  • 1/3  cup  apricot preserves, melted
  • 2 cups yogurt cheese (see Tip)
  • 1 cup  turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1 cup  canned pumpkin
  • 1/2  teaspoon  pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla
  • 1/8  teaspoon  salt
  • 1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate pieces
  • 1-1/4  cups  nonfat sour cream
  • 1 tbs  agave
  • Grated fresh nutmeg and/or milk chocolate or semisweet chocolate curls
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and preserves. Press mixture evenly into bottom of the prepared baking pan; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine yogurt cheese and the 1  cup sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add egg substitute, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Beat in pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon, vanilla, and salt on low speed just until combined. Remove 1-1/4 cups of the mixture.
  3. Place the chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and continue to microwave in 15 second intervals (stirring after each 15 seconds) until almost fully melted. Remove from microwave and stir until completely melted. Whisk chocolate mixture into the 1-1/4 cups pumpkin mixture. Pour over crust, spreading evenly. Bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Carefully pour the remaining pumpkin mixture over baked chocolate layer, spreading evenly. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes more or until filling is puffed and center is set. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, combine sour cream and agave. Gently spread over cookies. Cool completely. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. Cut into bars.* Before serving, sprinkle with nutmeg and/or chocolate curls. Makes 24 to 36 bars.

* Tip:To make yogurt cheese,  line a strainer with 4 layers of cheesecloth and place over a  bowl. Fill the strainer with 32 oz. of plain nonfat yogurt that contains no gelatin. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours to drain out the whey.

*To make triangle-shape bars, cut the cookies crosswise into four strips. Then cut each strip into five triangles (you’ll end up with two half-triangles from the ends of each strip).

To Make Ahead: Bake and chill cookies as directed; cut into bars. Place in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Do not freeze.

For 30 servings; Per serving: 123 calories; 1.9 (g) fat; 25.7 (g) carbs; 3 (g) protein



  •  4 cups chopped fruit (apples or pears)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbs. ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup Kashi Go-Lean Crunch
  • Vanilla frozen yogurt
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Place the dried cranberries or cherries and juice in a large microwave-safe bowl and cook in the microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Remove and let sit in the hot liquid for 15 minutes.
  3. Drain off most of the liquid and add the chopped apples and cinnamon. Place the mixture into a glass or ceramic baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Place in oven and bake 35-40 minutes.
  5. To serve, scoop a generous amount of fruit into bowl, top with 1-2 tbs. cereal and 1-2 tbs. vanilla frozen yogurt.

8 servings (with 2 tbs vanilla frozen yogurt): Per serving: 92 calories; 0.7 (g) fat; 19.2 (g) carbs; 0.9 (g) protein; 1.7 (g) fiber

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