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.

healthy nibbles and bits: Spiced Paleo Brownies

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.

healthy nibbles and bits: Avocado Chocolate Mousse

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.

healthy nibbles and bits: Gluten-Free Apple Pie

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.

healthy nibbles and bits: Chocolate Tart

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.

healthy nibbles and bits: Apple Berry Crumble

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.

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