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Desserts for the holiday table

So-you want to make a dessert that's not loaded with sugar, fat, and salt? Plant-based & Gluten Free? Easy!

Here are my simple plant-based/vegan swap outs for your traditional recipes:


1) If a light creamy texture is desired, tofu does the trick, as it does in my Peanut Butter Pie below.

2) Another swap out for cream is white beans-this one is a little bit more tricky, but I use it in this Pumpkin Pudding, and no one will be the wiser. Beans are much lower in fat (as in virtually none) than tofu is, so if on a heart restrictive diet, boost up those beans baby!

3) Coconut milk-if needing to whip up a "cream" for that pumpkin pie topper-you can easily make it out of full-fat coconut milk. This isn't as high in fat as traditional cream, but keep in mind this isn't exactly healthy. Below is a link to my coconut cream. Here's my apple cobbler with a link to coconut whipped cream (I apologize on the older photo of the cream!)

Oil & Butter:

1) If needing the fat: replace oils with equal part nut butters (almond is neutral tasting). The benefit here is that you get half the fat, plus protein!

2) Equal parts applesauce or mashed banana. Applesauce is more neutral and banana will bring a stronger flavor. I use applesauce for most of my swap outs. Here's my recipe for no-added sugar applesauce.


1) Chia or flaxseed: made a chia or flax "egg" by taking 1 tbsp of ground flax/chia and 3 parts water. Chia doesn't have to be ground up like flaxseed does

2) 1/4 cup mashed silken tofu=1 egg

3) Banana again! 1/4 cup mashed replaces 1 egg, remember, you'll get the banana flavor here


Use non-dairy milks for traditional milk ingredients. You can also use low fat coconut milk for a thicker texture

Flours for Gluten Free Options:

If looking to replace traditional flours, ground up nuts, nut flour, can be used on their own or with a combination of oat flour. Both can be made at home in a blender, however, be sure not to grind the nuts for too long, or you'll create nut butter.

Here's are recipe for an Apple Spice Cake that uses almond meal for the cake base:

Store bought mixes of all-purpose gluten free flour work as well, however, these do include refined flours. If using, I recommend the King Arthur gluten free flour.


Date paste is my new favorite sugar swap. While dates are a good source of sugar, they are also high in fiber, as well as magnesium, and potassium. Their fiber content helps them to be digested more slowly and prevent sugar spikes. Honey and maple syrup are unrefined, natural sweeteners, but do lead to sugar spikes much in the same way traditional sugar does. Molasses is a lower glycemic sweetener, compared to honey or maple syrup. To learn how to make date paste, head over to my recipe for Chocolate Ganache Torte with a how to make date paste.

For more dessert recipes, head on over to my listing on Healthy Dessert recipes.

I wish you and your family a healthy, and happy Thanksgiving! May you find time to reflect on what you are thankful for, and find time to relax and enjoy! Happy & healthy eating! - Jessica from

Read more about Last Minute Healthy Holiday Recipes.

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