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Healthier Holiday Treats

Looking for healthy treats at the holidays?  It’s hard to find delicious bites that are not laden with sugar and fat. Here are some healthier options to offer your friends and family.

Famous Roasted Bar Nuts (Gluten-Free)

6 cups mixed unsalted nuts of your choice: walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews are all nice

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you like things spicy!)

¼ cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons kosher salt or Maldon salt

A few grinds of freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.


Spread the nuts evenly on the baking tray and roast for 10-15 minutes, until they are golden and smell toasty. Stir the nuts every few minutes for an even roast while in the oven.


Combine all the other ingredients, and pour over the warm toasted nuts, stirring until all nuts are covered. Let cool on the baking tray. Delicious served warm!

Fancy Chocolate-Covered Apricots (Gluten-Free)

Stuff almonds into the opening in the bottoms of dried apricots, in the slit that removed the pit. Gently melt semisweet chocolate in a double boiler. Dip half the apricot in melted chocolate and let set on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Pretty and delicious on a holiday cookie platter! This recipe can make as many as you like!

Cocoa Date Brownie Balls (Gluten-Free)

You will need a food processor for this recipe.

2 cups pitted dates

½ cup raw pecans

½ cup raw cashews

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons almond butter

1 tablespoon almond milk or other milk

½ teaspoon vanilla extract


Put dates and nuts in your food processor (or Vitamix). Process until chopped quite fine. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until the mixture clumps around the blade. Roll 1 tablespoon portions of mixture into balls. These taste good as they are, but can also be rolled in finely shredded coconut to make “snowballs”. 


Store in the refrigerator.

Lemony Almond Flour Jam Thumbprints (Gluten-Free)

(From Bob’s Red Mill)

1 egg

½ cup cashew butter

3 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ cup maple syrup

Zest of one lemon

3 cups super-fine almond flour

½ tsp baking powder

¼ cup jam of your choice: apricot or raspberry are especially good


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.


Mix egg, cashew butter, maple syrup, lemon juice and zest, and stir well. Add almond flour and baking powder and mix well.


Scoop dough by tablespoon-full and roll into balls. Flatten gently and make a thumbprint in each cookie. Fill the indent with ½ teaspoon of jam.


Bake for ten to twenty minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Store in the fridge.


Freezes well.

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