5 Low-Calorie Versions of Classic Holiday Desserts

priscilla-du-preez-W8F9kM7F-5U-unsplashDuring the holiday season, our indulgences are not always in complete harmony with our health goals. But eating healthy doesn't have to mean skipping out on holiday season favorites - only a few changes are necessary to make your meal a little lower calorie (with the same deliciousness).  

This is especially true when it comes to dessert. Wondering how to go low-calorie with your sweets this holiday season? Don't worry, we've got a few ideas! Have a look at these alternative takes on the established holiday desserts.

Pecan Pie
Pecan pie is a welcome end to any holiday meal. Unlike some other fall pies, it’s a popular dessert throughout the year. Although it's no doubt a favorite, it almost always contains corn syrup (thanks to a particular corn syrup manufacturer’s efforts).

For a healthier alternative, use this lentil pecan pie recipe instead. Use maple syrup instead of corn syrup for an added flavor boost.

Pumpkin Pie
It's not an exaggeration to say that pumpkin pie is the quintessential holiday dinner dessert. It's also a great choice when it comes to a relatively nutritious holiday dessert. More than the recommended daily amount of vitamin A is contained in one slice of pumpkin pie.

For an even healthier spin on pumpkin pie why not add chickpeas? This pumpkin pie is crammed with protein and completely vegan to boot.

A tree wouldn't be complete without a few gingerbread men (or women) hanging off of the branches when December comes around. Intensely flavored with spices and molasses and decorated with colorful icing, no child – or adult -- can resist them.

Attempting a healthy balance, this vegan gingerbread biscotti will give you something a little more virtuous to dunk into your coffee on a cold winter morning. Packed with lentils and sweetened with nutrient-dense molasses, it's a wholesome way to get your ginger fix.

Apple pie
Apple pie became synonymous with the Thanksgiving holiday in 1860 when Sarah Josepha Hale convinced President Abraham Lincoln to make the meal a national holiday. Since then, the dish has become a fall classic across the U.S.

This recipe for Spiced Apple & Lentil Skillet Cake offers an easy way to enjoy the flavors of apple pie without compromising on health, no matter how you slice it. Made with whole wheat flour, it clocks in at only 390 calories per serving.

Pound Cake
The name of this baked treat derives from one of the first-ever pound cake recipes written in the 18th century, which called for a pound each of sugar, flour, eggs, and butter. You read that right: a pound of butter. Luckily for our waistlines, modern-day interpretations of the dessert tone down the fat and sugar—somewhat anyways.

To tone it down a step further, why not do away with the flour altogether? Enter the Chocolate Chickpea Pound Cake. Made with just the right amount of cocoa powder, the chickpeas blend in perfectly to create a densely packed treat. This gluten-free cake could become your go-to dish to top off your holiday menu in style. And since it doesn't call for a pound of sugar and butter, you might just have room for an extra slice.

Download our holiday recipe sampler!