I love, love, love holiday desserts. Did I mention that I love them? Well, I do! I love them so much that I typically end up destroying about a month’s worth of dieting progress every year all because I can’t control my sweet tooth. I usually know that whatever weight I lose in November will come right back throughout December.
This year, I promised myself to come up with a bit of a strategy to keep the damage to a minimum. I hunted down some great holiday dessert recipes that I can make to keep my calorie intake under control. Sure, I can’t control what everyone else will be making, but I can do my part at the very least.
Here are some of my top low calorie holiday desserts and why I love them:
- Ambrosia Trifle – I’ve got a special place in my heart for layered desserts. Patterned desserts are also great with me, but a glass bowl with layers of delicious flavors makes me very happy. I like making ambrosia trifle in individual clear serving dishes instead of one big one. That way, everyone can destroy their own layers instead of watching me do it while I try to serve it neatly…and fail. I also love coconut at this time of year, so that makes the ambrosia angle spectacular for this trifle.
- Pear Tarte Tatin – The key here is to scale wayyy back on the butter and sugar. Instead, get really sweet pears that are good and ripe and let their natural sweetness shine through. I find that I can get Bosc pears and Anjou pears pretty consistently at my grocery store, and they’re sweet. I add a teensy drizzle of honey to sweeten it if they seem too tart. I also add a touch of ground cardamom to the cinnamon to make it a little more interesting.
- Fruit Pavlovas – I make this with winter fruits and love how you can make them ahead of time. I choose options like orange and cranberries, honeycrisp apples, pomegranate seeds, and some fresh rosemary that adds a surprising festiveness to the flavor. I use plain yogurt in mine instead of cream. Still, the sugar, egg whites, and marscapone cheese are integral. I like to add the smallest drizzle of pure maple syrup just before serving, but I keep it very light.