3 Easy Vegan Desserts Perfect for The Holiday Season
Like many of us, I have a sweet tooth. Dinners out with family or friends have always ended in dessert(s). Holidays have always been an excuse for me to dive into a pie or cookie platter. Birthdays simply gave me an excuse to indulge in a piece of cake. Over the past two years, however, as I’ve attempted to tackle a plant-based diet, I have been determined to find healthy alternatives that still satisfy my very demanding sweet-tooth. These three recipes are simple, budget-friendly and packed with guilt-free ingredients.
First up, vegan, plant-based, chocolate chip cookies
Who doesn’t crave a warm chocolate chip cookie every once and awhile? Now, I’ve used coconut oil here but you can easily use your favorite vegan shortening if you’re not a fan of the coconut flavor.
- 2 cups Four (Bob’s Red Mill Flour) *I have also used 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Flour 1 cup oat flour
- 1 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 3/4 cup Vegan Shortening (I use coconut oil, but reduce to 1/2 cup)
- 1/3 cup Water
- 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/2 cup Cane Sugar
- 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Foods Chocolate Chips (Hu Kitchen chocolate is also a great option)
- Preheat oven to 325° and line baking sheet with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In a larger bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the shortening, water, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and cane sugar until blended well.
- Stir in the flour, a little at a time until incorporated and then mix in the chocolate chips.
- Scoop about 2 tablespoons of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 2″ between each dough ball (these cookies do spread quite a bit so be sure to leave enough room in-between).
- Bake approximately 12-15 minutes, until the edges begin to brown the center is a pretty golden color.
- Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before final cooling on a cookie rack.
Crunchy, Cinnamon Granola
Next, a healthy spin on your basic granola. Store-bought granolas not only break the bank but are typically packed with unnecessary refined sugars. This simple recipe is filled with some of the best plant-based superfoods, guaranteed to satisfy that sugar craving and keep you satisfied for hours. The best part, you can easily substitute and/or add your own ingredients that you have laying around the kitchen. Play around with seeds, nuts, dried fruits, and plant-based nut butters until you find your perfect combination.
- 3 Cored Apples
- 3 Teaspoons Coconut Oil
- 3 Teaspoons Coconut Sugar (brown sugar or maple syrup work)
- ½ Teaspoon of Cinnamon
- 1/4 Cup Rolled Oats (or use the granola recipe above)
- Pinch of Salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Place apples in a square baking dish. Place ½ teaspoon of coconut oil and ½ teaspoon coconut sugar in each. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
- FOR THE CRUMBLE TOPPING: melt coconut oil and combine with oats/any other desired filling Sprinkle over the apples. Cover and bake in the oven for 45 minutes (when a knife inserts easily, apples are ready)
Mom’s Baked Apples
Last but not least, a simple treat my mom (who is not plant-based, vegan, or anything in-between) has been making since I was a child. Baked apples are not only indulgent, but they are also a great way to sneak in seeds and nuts into your daily diet. Make this for breakfast, or an after-dinner treat!
- 3 cups Gluten-Free Rolled Oats
- 1/2 cup Shredded Coconut Flakes
- 1/2 cup Chopped Raw Almonds
- 3 tbsp Chia Seeds
- 4 tbs Dried Cranberries
- 2 tbsp Ground Flaxseed
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 cup Smooth Almond Butter (I used cashew butter this time)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 tbsp Melted Organic Coconut Oil
- 2 tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
- Preheat the oven to 325F. Add the Maple Syrup, Nut/Seed Butter, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon, and Salt to the base of a large bowl. Whisk until evenly incorporated.
- Pour the oats, dried cranberries, almonds, and coconut into the bowl and fold them into the wet mixture, until all pieces are evenly coated.
- Transfer the mixture to a greased or lined baking tray and press it into a think, even layer using a spatula.
- Bake for 20 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven, then remove and use a spatula to toss/flip the granola. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 6-7 minutes, then remove.
- Let the granola cool completely on the tray before removing. Serve as desired.