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Laura Trice

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Healthy Desserts: 6 Wholesome Holiday Recipes (PHOTOS, RECIPES)

Posted: 12/20/2010 8:15 am

The Wholesome Junk Food Cookbook is a collection of decadent desserts with a few ingredient changes to make the treats healthier for you. If you want to bake from this cookbook for the holidays, enjoy the six recipes below...or call a local Borders, Barnes and Noble or Whole Foods to see if they have any copies left. In addition to having great recipes for you and family for Christmas, it is also a wonderful hoiday gift for chocolate lover and moms. For those of you who love technology, it is also available as an ebook.

Here are some holiday eating myths:

1. Everyone gains weight during the holidays.
False (Truth: You don't have to. Add a few more minutes to your exercise routine practice portion control, and enjoy wholesome treats, like oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.)

2. Holiday foods are all fattening.
False (Truth: Healthy fats help to fill you up and give that full feeling. Eaten in moderation, turkey, sweet potatoes, etc are healthy. Try pumpkin pie.)

3. Exercising right before dinner can cause you to overeat because you'll work up an appetite.
False (Truth: Exercise suppresses appetite and increases your metabolism. A walk before a holiday meal, and one after, is a great way to stay trim and enjoy foods, like natural whipped cream.)

4. Skip breakfast and lunch to save up your calories for the big meal.
False (Skipping meals set you up to overeat because you'll be starving. Drink a glass of water and eat a few almond or nuts before a meal to take the edge off the hunger that comes from dehydration and supply your body with some healthy fats from nuts. Try our Golden, pineapple carrot muffins.)

We at Laura's Wholesome Junk Food want to share a few of our favorite
recipes from The Wholesome Junk Food Cook book with you.

Check out these six delicious wholesome desserts to consider this holiday.

Mini Pumpkin Pies
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With no refined sugar and all natural ingredients, this is a wholesome treat to enjoy all year long, and a great way to turn pumpkin pie into lunch-box treat. If you want a crust, you can use a regular crust or buy a gluten-free mix and just bake like a regular crust or buy a gluten-free mix and just bake like a regular pie, but I like to make them crustless.

Yield: 10 to 20 mini-pies

Ingredients:
1 (16-ounce) can plain pumpkin (not pie filling)
3 eggs
1 cup organic milk
1/4 to 1/3 cup agave or maple syrup (or more to taste)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 10 to 20 muffin cups with paper liners. Place the pumpkin, eggs, milk, agave syrup, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt into a blender or food processor. Cover and blend on high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Taste to adjust for sweetness.
Fill each muffin cup half full with the batter.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until you can touch the tops of the pies lightly with a spoon and no batter is on your spoon, or until they crack a little on the tops.
A 9-inch pie will take longer to bake. Check for doneness after 20 minutes of baking.

Variation: To make a nine-inch pie, use our Organic Butter Piecrust or Organic Oil Piecrust (page 99 in the cookbook) and halve the recipe, as a pumpkin pie uses only a bottom crust. Also as a substitute, you can use soy milk, rice milk or 1/2 cup coconut milk plus 1/2 cup water in place of the regular milk. (I prefer it with coconut milk.)
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