3 hacks to eating guilt-free holiday desserts 

by Carlie Saint-Laurent Beaucejour, MS, RD, LDN

Who says you can’t make cookies, cakes, and desserts nutritious?  The holiday season includes more time with family, food, and yes – even holiday treats. Here are 3 hacks to help feel less guilty about indulging in those holiday desserts.

1)   Make it from scratch

Baking your own treats and goodies allows you take reign to substitute or reduce certain ingredients in order to cut back on calories, fat, or sugar. Also, it gives you the opportunity to add nutrients like fiber, protein, and vitamins.  For example, if the recipe asks for flour swap half or all of it with whole wheat flour to incorporate more whole grains. Take a look at the infographic above for more ingredient swap ideas.  

2)   Throw some seeds in it

Chia seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Flax seed, Hemp Seeds all provide a good source of fiber, omega -3 fatty acids, and protein which will help make those treats not only more nutritious, but more satisfying and filling (which might hold you off from grabbing another slice!)  Another perk from incorporating these seeds in your baking (or everyday eating) is that the essential fat, omega-3 fatty acid, can help keep your skin hydrated, which is important during the cold winter months.

3)   Cut back on the added sugar

Added sugars are considered sweeteners not naturally found in food. Table sugar, brown sugar, sugar cane, honey, high corn fructose syrup, molasses, and agave are all considered added sugars. You can make your baked goods naturally sweet by adding canned, or dried fruit. Fresh fruit such as bananas and applesauce can also do the trick. Other ways to add flavor to your treats is by adding cinnamon, vanilla extract, or almond extract. Finally, simply putting a little less than the recipe suggests, for instance try 3/4 Cup if the recipe calls for 1 Cup, can greatly cut back on consuming added sugars.

What are some tricks you do to make your baked goods nutritious?


Kreiger, E. 2019. You might be able to fight dry winter skin with these three nutrition hacks. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/you-might-be-able-to-fight-dry-winter-skin-with-these-three-nutrition-hacks/2019/01/18/fe61133e-1b4d-11e9-88fe-f9f77a3bcb6c_story.html?wpisrc=nl_sb_smartbrief

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