Holler if you’re freaking out about your budget right about now. Between potluck dinners, office happy hours, and cookie swaps—not to mention all those gifts—we’ve spent (and eaten, ha) a lot of dough already. Good thing Lisa Lin of Healthy Nibbles & Bits is this week’s featured foodie. Not only does Lisa make food that tends to be better-for-you than your average holiday dessert, she also focuses on ingredients that are kinder to your wallet. We’re SO ready to take a bite of Lisa’s top five gluten-free desserts that are better for your body and your budget.
We’re pretty sure no holiday dessert table is complete without a towering tray of brownies, and now even the gluten-free and Paleo folks can join in (can you hear the cheers?). Sweetened with coconut sugar and applesauce, these cakey brownies still bring that close-your-eyes-and-sigh kind of feeling that only a chocolate dessert can bring. A little cinnamon and ginger in the batter nod to mulling spices, and we’re not mad about that.
Chocolate mousse is one of those indulgent desserts you may only eat around the holidays, but this avocado-based version is good enough for you to eat all year round. Blend avos with cocoa powder and milk, hit it with a glug of maple syrup, and layer into clear jars between crushed graham crackers. Add a few fresh berries on top for color and extra tastiness.
Wipe those gluten-free tears, because you can still have pie this holiday season! Make a crust using a combination of grain-free flours and fill with a mixture of cinnamon-dusted apples and coconut sugar. Serve with a massive scoop of ice cream if you know what’s good for you.
Chocolate and pretzels are one of those combos we never tire of. But since we can’t bring a bag of each to a holiday party, we’ll make this tart instead. Pour a silky custard of milk and chocolate into a crust made of crushed gluten-free pretzels. Chill until firm, and try as hard as you can not to eat the whole thing before your party.
While a box of cookies from your cabinet may suffice for dessert on normal nights, when you’re craving something a little more homemade, there’s no better friend than the microwave. Throw an apple and some berries into a heat-safe bowl, then top with a crumbly oat topping and press “Start.” You’re about two minutes away from throwing on a scoop of vanilla and diving into your new favorite sweet.
Lisa Lin is the writer and photographer behind Healthy Nibbles & Bits, where she shares simple, gluten-free recipes that are also budget-friendly. She currently resides in Northern California. For more from Lisa, follow her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.