If you’re like most people, roughly 70% of your diet around the holidays consists of desserts. Whether or not that’s a good decision is a completely different debate (but while we’re on the subject, please remember to squeeze a few vegetables in there). It’s important to treat yourself every once in a while.
It’s also worth noting that holiday desserts aren’t just for the holidays. There’s no reason you can’t have pumpkin spice all year if that’s what your heart desires. If you’re trying to behave, you can always lighten up the recipes.
When your sweet tooth is calling, it’s time to get baking, and Snow Monkey is here to throw in a few sweet tips to make impressively delicious desserts without breaking a sweat.
1. Chocolate Peppermint Brownies
Chocolate and mint is the quintessential winter holiday flavor combination. There isn’t anything chocolate that doesn’t benefit from a slight kick of mint.
Best of all, mint chocolate brownies are easy to make. Around the holidays, boxed mixes for chocolate peppermint brownies tend to pop up on store shelves. It doesn’t get any easier than grabbing a package and following some instructions. The only issue with these boxed mixes is that you don’t have any control over the ingredients. If you’re looking for a mindful brownie that’s beneficial to your body, there’s a workaround you’re going to love.
The best kept secret for perfect brownies that are high in protein and fiber and completely free from gluten. Black beans and flax eggs can be used as a base for brownies. The chocolate covers up the mild flavor of the black beans while giving the brownies a soft and fudgy texture. It may sound a little strange at first, but you need to taste it to believe it.
Top off your black bean brownies with a scoop of Snow Monkey Mint Chocolate Chip. Put a healthy dollop of snow monkey on top of your black bean brownies while they’re still warm. The melty mint chocolate vegan ice cream will saturate your better-for-you brownies, giving you a tasty boost of plant-based antioxidants with every bite.
2. Apple Crisp A La Mode
Apple crisp and apple pie are classic American desserts. They’re great for almost any holiday, no matter the weather. They’re great for any day of the week. They’re the perfect follow-up to a delicious homemade meal. They’re available on literally every grocery store shelf near you and just need to be heated. This convenience isn’t necessarily a good thing. Wouldn’t it be better to have something fresh?
Cut up three honeycrisp apples, and gently drizzle them with honey. Dust them with cinnamon and ginger, and bake them at 350 degrees for about half an hour. Top them with toasted oats and toasted pumpkin seeds for a little extra crunch. Serve your baked apples with a heaping scoop of our maple cinnamon vegan ice cream.
3. Gingerbread Cookies
Gingerbread cookies are always delicious. In fact, people have been eating and loving gingerbread for centuries. In modern times, we don’t often see gingerbread in its original form.
Most people don’t make gingerbread because they’re used to seeing them in the shape of little men, perfectly and intricately decorated. If you’re not looking to spend the better part of two hours painting little buttons and eyes on your cookies, you don’t have to. Soft round gingerbread cookies are very easy to make and even easier to eat. There’s no reason to go the whole nine yards if you’ve simply got a craving for some gingerbread.
They’re exceptionally easy to make. Just swap ½ a cup of sugar for ½ a cup of molasses, sub gluten flour for oat flour, and add a teaspoon of ginger and a teaspoon of cinnamon to any standard sugar cookie recipe. You can whip up a big batch if you can stop yourself from eating the dough along the way!
4. Bread Pudding
Basic bread pudding is one of the most simple comfort foods. Most households already have all the ingredients to whip up a simple bread pudding. It’s the other ingredients you add that make bread pudding special.
It all starts with bread (gluten-free if you need), butter (or vegan butter), sugar, milk (plant or dairy, the choice is yours), eggs (flax eggs always work), and vanilla extract. Bread that’s about to be stale is the best for making bread pudding. Repurposing old bread into a delicious dessert will reduce food waste, too. Bread pudding is great for your budget, and it’s simple to make.
You can add raisins, stewed apples or pears, berries, bananas, nuts, or even peaches to your bread pudding. If you have some fruit that’s going to go bad soon, just use it up in your bread pudding.
Cut and serve your bread pudding while it’s still warm. You can top it off with whipped cream or a frozen non-dairy dessert to give those holiday tummies a nice break, too. Try a big spoonful of our antioxidant and protein-packed strawberry anytime dessert on top of a berry bread pudding to merge all the flavors together.
5. Frozen Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkins are in season from September through November. That’s part of the reason they’re such a popular holiday dessert. By the time December is over, we’ve used up all the fresh, beautiful pumpkins. Or, we’ve frozen or canned the remainders.
You can get frozen or canned pumpkin year-round. If you absolutely need a pumpkin pie in April, you can make one. Sure, it won’t be as delectably fresh, but if you’re a skilled baker, you know just how to bring out all those warm, autumnal flavors with the right blend of fresh ground spices.
If you aren’t much for baking, you can enjoy a frozen pumpkin pie. It’s quick, simple, cheap, and most importantly, it’s great for you.
Start with a store-bought graham style gluten-free pie crust. You can bake it for a few minutes to get it crispy, but you don’t need to. It works just fine at room temperature. Then, take two cans of organic pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, which is ripe with hidden sugars) and a pint of Snow Monkey Maple Cinnamon vegan ice cream. Mix the two together. The maple syrup and ceylon cinnamon in the Snow Monkey will work together to season the pumpkin and naturally sweeten it, fortifying it with antioxidants in the process.
Pour the filling into the pie crust and pop it into the freezer for a few hours. The end result is a pumpkin pie packed with so much nutrition that you could justify eating it for lunch.
6. Sweet Potato Casserole
Sweet potato casserole is a Southern-classic. It’s often served as a side dish to chicken, turkey, or ham. To be truthful, it’s more of a dessert than a side dish. Sweet potatoes are relatively healthy on their own, but the dish’s iffy reputation is more a result of the added ingredients. Loading anything with sugar does it a disservice.
Sweet potato casserole doesn’t necessarily have to be unhealthy. If you roast the sweet potatoes with a plant-based butter alternative and top them with agave nectar or a little bit of honey, you’re significantly lightening up the recipe. You can serve them up with a scoop of naturally sweetened plant-based vanilla ice cream to transform them from your run-of-the-mill roasted root vegetables into a fall or winter comfort dessert.
7. Mint Chocolate Milkshakes
Here’s one that doesn’t have to be unhealthy at all -- really. You can make a delicious dairy-free mint chocolate superfood milkshake. You’re sneaking in valuable vitamins and nutrients without sacrificing the satisfaction that comes from dessert.
Start with two scoops of Snow Monkey Mint Chocolate Chip right into the blender. Add a splash of your favorite non-dairy milk alternative -- almond milk works beautifully with mint chocolate chip, coconut milk adds some complexity to the flavor, and oat milk lends a rich and creamy texture without modifying the flavor of the mint chocolate chip frozen dessert.
Pour it into a cup and slip in your reusable straw. It’s quick, easy, and healthy without compromising the spirit of the holidays. If you want to be a little indulgent, whipped cream and a cherry on top will do. If ice cream being healthy isn’t already the cherry on top, a literal cherry works, too.
Holiday desserts are made to be enjoyed whenever you want them. If you’re craving the warm comfort of a traditional holiday dessert on a rainy summer day, do what makes you happy. If you want to enjoy an indulgent dessert in a healthier way, it’s easy to modify traditional desserts to include healthier alternatives to sugary, fatty, or processed ingredients.
Guiltless dessert always tastes a little better, in our opinion!
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