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Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes That Are Guilt-Free!

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By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer at The Fit Father Project

thanksgiving dessert recipes

Just because it's Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you have to eat unhealthy desserts and pack on extra pounds, especially if you have some great guilt-free Thanksgiving dessert recipes at your disposal!

That's right, even Thanksgiving sweet treats can be healthy and fit into nutritious meal plans!

We've got some great Thanksgiving dessert recipes that will satisfy the sweetest of sweet tooths!

The reason these Thanksgiving dessert recipes are nutritious is because they are lower in calories and added sugar, higher in protein and fiber, and contain a larger percentage of heart-healthy fats than most traditional Thanksgiving sweet treats.

Wow your family (yes, even the kids) with these 8 healthy Thanksgiving dessert recipes that are loaded with flavor!

Looking for a healthy side dish? Try these Thanksgiving sweet potato recipes!

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Our 8 Favorite Healthy Thanksgiving Dessert Recipes

1. Apple Pie Quinoa Bowl

Instead of high-calorie traditional apple pie this Thanksgiving, try this apple pie quinoa recipe instead.

Doing so helps cut calories and boosts fiber and protein, so you can eat this holiday dessert guilt-free and stay on track with a healthy lifestyle.

You can even eat this nutritious dessert for breakfast!

Ingredients

  • 3 1/3 cups of water
  • 2 large apples, diced
  • 1 cup of raw quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of coconut butter
  • 1 teaspoon of apple pie spice
  • 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of protein almond milk or soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Instructions

  1. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. Add the quinoa, apples, and salt, and cover.
  3. Simmer the mixture, covered, for 40 minutes.
  4. Turn off the stove-top heat, keep the mixture covered, and let it sit for 20 additional minutes.
  5. Stir in the apple pie spice, vanilla, coconut butter, nuts, milk, and honey.
  6. Divide the mixture into eight equal servings, serve in eight individual serving bowls, and enjoy it hot or cold!

Servings: 8

Apple Pie Quinoa Bowl

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving size1/8th of the recipe
Calories189 calories
Carbohydrates23 grams
Sugar6 grams
Protein3 grams
Total fat10 grams

2. Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin is rich in essential nutrients, such as fiber, vitamin A, and potassium, but pie crust adds extra calories your waistline doesn't need.

Instead of traditional pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, opt for crustless pumpkin pie instead for an equally delicious flavor without the extra carbs, fat, and empty calories from pie crust.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoons of cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
  • 1 12-ounce can of evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Use coconut oil to “butter” a 9-inch pie dish.
  3. Stir together the cinnamon, cloves, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cornstarch.
  4. Add maple syrup and mix until the cornstarch is dissolved.
  5. Add oil and vanilla; mix well.
  6. Add in the eggs and stir.
  7. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk until the mixture is well combined.
  8. Stir in the evaporated milk and walnuts.
  9. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch pie dish.
  10. Bake for about 65 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  11. Remove the pie from the oven and cool.
  12. Place it in the refrigerator to chill, and serve it when you’re ready!

Servings: 8 pie slices

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving size1/8th of a pie
Calories146 calories
Carbohydrates16 grams
Sugar10 grams
Protein5 grams
Total fat7 grams

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3. Coconut Ice Cream

Top crustless pumpkin pie, apple dishes, or chocolate-flavored healthy Thanksgiving desserts with nutritious homemade coconut ice cream in place of regular ice cream this holiday season.

Doing so helps reduce added sugar, calories, and unwanted inches and pounds.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup of protein almond milk or soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • A pinch of stevia
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt

Instructions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients above together in a medium-sized bowl.
  2. Use an ice cream maker OR freeze the mixture in ice cube trays.
  3. Blend the frozen mixture in a blender until smooth.
  4. Place the ice cream mixture in the freezer until you’re ready to eat it, serve, and enjoy!

Servings: about 4

Coconut Ice Cream

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving size1/4th of the recipe (about 1/2 cup)
Calories119 calories
Carbohydrates8 grams
Sugar5 grams
Protein3 grams
Total fat5 grams

4. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Protein Balls

These protein-rich energy balls work well for just about any occasion, not just as a healthy Thanksgiving dessert.

Try the peanut butter oatmeal protein ball recipe below as a pre- or post-workout snack as well!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of oats
  • 2 scoops of protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter or nut butter of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup of dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of protein almond milk or soy milk

Instructions

  1. Combine the protein powder, oats, chia seeds, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  2. Add the honey, vanilla extract, and peanut butter, and mix well.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Slowly add in the milk and combine the mixture with your hands until it begins to form a ball shape.
  5. Roll the mixture into smaller balls using your hands.
  6. Place the balls on a large pan.
  7. Chill the protein balls in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve them.

Servings: about 24 balls

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Protein Balls

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving size2 balls
Calories198 calories
Carbohydrates23 grams
Sugar7 grams
Protein7 grams
Total fat9 grams

5. Cinnamon Baked Pears

If you’re looking for a simple but healthy sweet treat to make for Thanksgiving, consider this cinnamon baked pears recipe.

Top it with healthy homemade coconut ice cream if you’d like, but it tastes delicious on its own!

Ingredients

  • 4 pears, cored and cut in half
  • 2 teaspoons of maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place halved pears on a baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, combine syrup (or honey), cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and walnuts, and mix well.
  4. Sprinkle pears with the walnut mixture.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Allow the pears to cool and enjoy!
  7. Top with the pears with homemade coconut ice cream if desired.

Servings: 8 pear halves

Cinnamon Baked Pears

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving size1/2 of a pear
Calories73 calories
Carbohydrates15 grams
Sugar9 grams
Protein1 gram
Total fat2 grams

6. Healthy Apple Crisp

If you’re seeking an alternative to apple pie this Thanksgiving to cut calories and keep your waistline slim and trim, consider this nutritious apple crisp recipe instead.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine 1/2 tablespoon of honey (you can also use maple syrup), 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil, the apples, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon in a baking dish and mix well.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the oats, walnuts, 1/2 tablespoon of honey or syrup, 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  4. Top the apple mixture with the oats and walnuts mixture.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, and enjoy!

Servings: 8

Healthy Apple Crisp

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving sizeAbout 1/2 cup
Calories114 calories
Carbohydrates20 grams
Sugar10 grams
Protein2 grams
Total fat4 grams

7. Pumpkin Coconut Custard

Instead of pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, try this pumpkin coconut custard recipe instead to cut calories but still enjoy a pumpkin spice-themed sweet treat.

Steering clear of pie crust is an excellent way to keep your waistline slim.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of coconut extract
  • 1 cup of protein almond milk or soy milk
  • 3/4 cup of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine pumpkin spice and salt in a small bowl and stir well.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, honey, and coconut extract in a large bowl.
  4. Add in the pumpkin pie spice mixture and the pumpkin puree.
  5. Add in the almond milk and coconut milk, and stir well.
  6. Pour the mixture into eight 6-ounce custard cups.
  7. Place the cups in a baking dish and fill it with 1 inch of hot water.
  8. Bake the pumpkin mixture at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the custard comes out almost clean.
  9. Cool the custard completely, refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve, and enjoy!

Servings: 8

Pumpkin Coconut Custard

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving size1 6-ounce custard cup
Calories93 calories
Carbohydrates11 grams
Sugar6 grams
Protein5 grams
Total fat4 grams

8. Crustless Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

If you love chocolate pie but need a healthier way to enjoy this holiday sweet treat without the guilt or extra calories, try this crustless peanut butter chocolate pie recipe that’s rich in protein and packed with flavor!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of protein almond milk or soy milk
  • 1 12-ounce container of firm tofu
  • 2 scoops of chocolate-flavored protein powder of your choice
  • 1/2 cup of smooth peanut butter (or chunky peanut butter if you prefer)
  • 2 medium-sized bananas
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Instructions

  1. Blend together the tofu, almond milk (or soy milk), chocolate protein powder, bananas, peanut butter, and honey until the mixture becomes smooth.
  2. Pour the mixture into eight 6-ounce custard cups.
  3. Refrigerate the chocolate peanut butter mixture for about one hour or until it becomes firm.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 8

Crustless Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving size1 6-ounce cup
Calories182 calories
Carbohydrates14 grams
Sugar8 grams
Protein10 grams
Total fat11 grams

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Additional Ideas for Healthy Thanksgiving Sweet Treats

Besides our favorite Thanksgiving dessert recipes, other healthy desserts to try this Thanksgiving (or any time of year) include:

  1. Protein shakes blended with ice, protein powder, nut butter, bananas or other fruit, and protein almond milk or soy milk
  2. Fresh fruit or a fruit salad
  3. Frozen fruit smoothies with blended fruit, chia seeds, ice, protein powder, and a small amount of honey
  4. Dark chocolate covered frozen bananas
  5. Dark chocolate covered nuts
  6. Healthy avocado ice cream made with 3 avocados, 1 cup of coconut milk or protein almond milk (or soy milk), 2 tablespoons of honey, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice blended together and frozen.

Think outside the box this holiday season for ways to cut dessert calories, decrease added sugar in your recipes, and add extra fiber and protein to each dish.

If you love almond milk, choose protein-fortified almond milk instead of regular almond milk to drastically increase the protein content of your recipes.

Protein almond milk often provides 10 grams of protein per cup vs. just 1 gram in regular almond milk.

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Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes You Can Stick With Long-Term

This holiday season doesn’t have to involve unwanted weight gain and missed workouts.

Making healthy lifestyle changes means finding good habits you can stick with long-term, even during holiday feasts.

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Regardless of your weight management goals, add healthy Thanksgiving dessert recipes to your holiday menu to maintain healthy eating habits for life!

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Erin Coleman B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.

Writer at The Fit Father Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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