Recipe Contest Results: Healthy Desserts
View the five finalists of Healthline's Healthy Holiday Desserts recipe contest.
Healthy Holiday Desserts
In November, we challenged our readers to submit a yummy healthy dessert that they loved to make. They were up to the task, submitting more than 30 recipes. Healthline readers voted on those recipes, and the top five moved on to the next round. Each recipe was prepared according to their ingredients list and instructions, and a panel of judges scored them based on tasted, creativity, and healthfulness.
Read about the recipes on the following slides. There is a link to the full recipes on each slide. (Hint: See who won on Slide #6!)
Fresh Fruit Tart
These fresh fruit tarts certainly tasted good, but they weren’t really much healthier than a normal dessert offering. Including some low-fat ingredients helped, but the pre-prepared pie crust has lots of fat in it, and the filling had significant levels of sugar inside. So this recipe scored low in the "healthfulness" category. Making the pie crust at home with whole wheat flour probably could make this recipe considerably healthier.
With a whole-wheat flour base and healthy mix-ins like nuts, dried fruit, and dark chocolate chips, these biscotti have excellent nutritional value. The texture threw a few of the judges off, but these treats are definitely healthier than the traditional fare, great to serve with tea or coffee at the end of a meal or to pass around at a holiday party.
Lemon-Laced Ginger Cookies
These are a healthy take on a holiday classic, and the judges appreciated the festive and the nostalgia-inducing flavor of ginger and lemon. The use of fresh lemon, applesauce, and pure maple syrup make these healthier than most cookies. They scored well and missed the runner-up prize by a fraction of a point.
Sucanat Sour Cream Custard (Runner-Up)
A rich dish that was sweet and tangy. While the sucanat is fancy, nutritionist Tara Gidus says it's not much better for your body than regular sugar—nutritionally, they are more or less the same. Nevertheless, this version is better for you than your typical custard—mostly because of the skim milk and reduced-fat sour cream—and is an original option for a holiday meal dessert.
Quinoa Flake & Almond Butter Cookies (Winner!)
These dense cookies were a hit with the chocolate-loving judges—especially with nutritionist Tara Gidus. According to Tara, this dessert fuses whole grains (quinoa), antioxidants (tea and dark chocolate), healthy fats (almond butter), and a low-glycemic sweetener (agave). A truly healthy sweet that any chocolate-lover’s cravings without doing damage to their waistline.