Remember Thanksgiving last year? There was probably a turkey on the table, a bunch of savory side dishes, maybe a bowl of creamy gravy, and who can forget about those buttery biscuits that sat like a brick in your stomach after you ate two…maybe three of them? Then after Thanksgiving dinner, everyone impatiently looked forward to perusing the dessert selections, each dish more fattening than the next. Thanksgiving desserts are often quite rich, savory, and filling, and they tend to cap off a meal that is traditionally heavy in nature. But it doesn’t have to be this way – sensible selections that are light and healthy are out there, and we’ve rounded up our favorite healthy Thanksgiving dessert recipes right here!
Roasted Grape and Pear Kuchen
A Kuchen is a classic yeast cake, and it pairs wonderfully with roasted grapes and pears. Prepare the dessert, then top with tangy Greek yogurt instead of fattening whipped cream. You can mix and match fruit toppings on the cake – so experiment ahead of time and discover your own favorite version of this light yet delicious cake. The recipe is here if you’d like to try it out!
Chocolate-Dipped Almond Meringues
Meringue cookies are naturally light and airy, as they implement whipped egg whites into the basic ingredients mixture to create a feathery dessert. But these cookies are no lightweight when it comes to flavor, as the chocolate mixture provides the perfect, decadent counterpoint to the subtle flavor and texture of the cookies. The half-dipped effect is also visually interesting – important for any Thanksgiving dessert recipe. Click here for the full recipe.
Pumpkin Pie Pudding
This easy-to-prepare pudding option is unique in that it is prepared in a slow cooker, which frees up your oven and cooktop during Thanksgiving preparations. You’ll serve it warm, too, which means there is no time-consuming chilling period to contend with. Simply cook for 3 ½-4 hours on low, then serve warm when you’re ready for dessert. Thanks to pumpkin health benefits, you’ll get a big nutritional boost of vitamins and minerals that will help counteract some of the heavier items you’ve eaten during the holiday. Check out the recipe here!
Cranberry Oatmeal Bars
There is something about the combination of cranberries and hearty oats that makes us think of the holidays. These cranberry oatmeal bars are a dream come true for anyone looking for a delicious, hearty, and slightly sweet Thanksgiving dessert that is easy to prepare and easier to serve. These bars are amplified by fresh orange zest, sour cream, and just enough sweet ingredients to make all the flavors pop. The full recipe is here.
The holidays are the perfect time to enjoy sweet, spiced Gingerbread cookies – and they’re just as much fun to bake and decorate as they are to eat! You can get as creative as you want to be, but the basic recipe involves a short list of ingredients so you won’t be running around the kitchen all day. A modest amount of butter and 2% reduced-fat milk help keep the calories low, while the ground ginger and cinnamon combine wonderfully with brown sugar, cane syrup, and molasses. Check out the recipe here, and then create your own inspired designs!
These five healthy Thanksgiving dessert recipes strike the perfect balance between a decadent experience and sensible eating. Try them out this weekend, then pick your favorites for the upcoming holiday!