Low-Fat Holiday Treats

All the things that make holiday desserts delicious—butter, cream, and milk chocolate—are also the ingredients that are high in artery-clogging saturated fat. Instead of completely passing up the dessert tray, bring these tempting but guilt-free desserts.

Linzer Thumbprints

Raspberry jam and toasted hazelnuts make this cookie recipe hard to resist, and for 87 calories, you don’t have to.

Ginger-Molasses Cookies
These cookies rely on spices—nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger—to add a holiday flavor. And each cookie weighs in at 61 calories and just 2 grams of fat. Now that’s something to celebrate.

Honey-Roasted Bosc Pears
Combining balsamic vinegar with honey allows for a tangy-sweet flavor, which is finished off perfectly with low-fat ice cream. The entire dessert contains less than 200 calories, and it has 3 grams of heart-healthy fiber.

Chocolate Chip Pavlovas With Raspberries and Apricots
The egg whites and fat-free yogurt in this recipe keep the cholesterol low, but small amounts of cream of tartar and chocolate chips give this dessert a decadent quality. Topped with apricots and raspberries, you’ll have a sweet yet slightly tart finish to your holiday meal.

Whole-Wheat Sugar Cookies
Help keep Santa’s heart healthy this year with a plate of these festive sugar cookies topped with a sweet, lemony glaze. Using egg whites and a minimum of butter keeps saturated fat and cholesterol low, while a touch of whole-wheat flour adds a boost of fiber.

Buttermilk Pralines
Though this recipe seems rich, it won’t actually do much damage to your diet. It relies on buttermilk, not butter, to create a mildly sweet flavor. And with a base of pecans, you’ll get plenty of monounsaturated (good) fat.

White Chocolate Holiday Bark
Sweet and crunchy, every bite of this festive candy is loaded with heart-healthy dried cranberries and antioxidant-rich almonds. Using unsweetened coconut and rice cereal saves a few calories while adding delicious flavor. Try replacing the cranberries with dried cherries—which are high in beta-carotene and help protect against heart disease—for a tasty variation your guests will love.

Banana Pudding
This recipe is a shining example of how you can make comfort food work for your diet. Get the creamy texture of banana pudding without excess saturated fat by using low-fat milk, fat-free condensed milk, and plenty of vanilla extract. Bananas also add a naturally sweet flavor, plus vitamin B6. And using egg whites will keep cholesterol levels in check.

Orange-Walnut Tassies
Take a step away from the chocolates in your stocking and plates of cookies to enjoy this refreshing alternative to holiday desserts. The crust uses low-fat dairy products, which maintain a slightly buttery flavor. However, the real treat is the mix of walnuts, brown sugar, and orange juice to create a savory-sweet combination with just the right amount of citrus.

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Source: http://www.health.com

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