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Light Make-ahead Christmas Desserts

Is it possible to have a healthy Christmas with no time pressure?

Try these light make-ahead Christmas Desserts.

Slow cooker lamb stew - family recipe

Healthy Christmas menu with no time pressure?

Who wants to spend the days of Christmas in the kitchen? I definitely don’t. What about putting our feet up and relax with friends and family?

Oh, and of course not giving up our healthy eating standards…

My strategy to a relaxed Christmas is the combination of good planning and practical approach.

I mean it is really time to make a plan, put together a budget-friendly shopping list and resist all other temptation in the shop. And there is a lot of this last one: new products, 3-for2 discounts and price-cutting wherever you look. Everyone wants you to buy their product before Christmas… So may the force be with you… while you are doing your Christmas shopping.

On the practical approach, I mean that we don’t have to aim the most complicated (and calorie loaded) recipe at Christmas time. A simple, satisfying dish well presented is a better choice than a new and complicated recipe. I know that Christmas seems to be a good occasion to bake the show-stopper cake of your life – but in the middle of a stressful and tiring time of the year, – this is just the recipe for disaster. I learnt this on the hard way… So believe me, a simple, nutritious festive dish is a better choice.

It is also an advantage if you can make things ahead. Like these light make-ahead Christmas desserts listed below.

So what will satisfy our sweet tooth this Christmas?

I always plan a  3 kind of dessert for Christmas:

  1. One lovely dessert what can be the grand finale of our Christmas lunch/dinner
  2. Some cookies or simple cakes to offer to guests for tea
  3. Nuts and dried fruits with a festive twist and/or fresh fruits, of course

Now, I’ve already made my search and found a few inspiring and delicious recipes.

Adding the cooking time and the make-ahead time I share them here to help you at planning your Christmas meals with ease.

 

Healthy and delicious Christmas desserts

Mixed berry granite

from Healthy Food Guide

A lovely dessert without the sin and with all the health benefits of berries. The perfect dessert after a rich Christmas dinner.

Ready in 10 mins +freezing time

Make 2-3 days  ahead

Berry granita - Light make-ahead Christmas dessert
Source: Healthy Food Guide

Recipe: Mixed berry granite

Chocolate Decadence

from Eating Well Magazine

There is just a few more luxury dessert than chocolate mousse. This one is a lighter version and still taste heaven – just watch your serving size!

Ready in 3 hours (with 35 minutes preparation time)

Make 2 days ahead and keep it refrigerated

chocolate mousse -Light make-ahead Christmas dessert
Source: Eating Well

Recipe: Chocolate Decadence

Spiced poached apples

from Healthy Food Guide

This effortless dessert is just so wintery with the warming spices. I’ve made something similar with pear and red wine last year and it was a pure hit. It is delicious both hot and cold.

Ready in 40 mins

Make 1-2 days ahead

Spiced Poached Apples - Light make-ahead Christmas dessert
Source: Healthy Food Guide

Recipe: Spiced Poached Apples

Cranberry-Almond Shortbread Tart

from Fine Cooking

Well, the original recipe is not so healthy, but if you cut down half the sugar (or completely swap sugar to sweetener) in the filling and add 1 grated sweet apple you will get a healthier version of this impressive tart.

Ready in 60 mins

Make it 2 days ahead

cranberry tart recipe - Light make-ahead Christmas dessert
Source: Fine Cooking

Recipe: Cranberry-Almond shortbread Tart

Merry berry pavlova

from Healthy Food Guide

If you really want to go for the wow-factor then choose this recipe. Make the meringue ahead and make the finishing touches before serving.

Ready in 30 minutes plus 1,5 hours baking time

Make the meringue 2 weeks ahead, let it cool completely, wrap in cling film and freeze. Before serving let it come to room temperature make the topping (about 15 minutes) and build your pavlova.

Merry Berry Pavlova recipe - Light make-ahead Christmas dessert
Source: Healthy Food Guide

Recipe: Merry Berry Pavlova

Get the free pdf file of the

77 Healthy Snacks  

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Christmas tea cakes and biscuits

Cookies and tea cakes are perfect if you want to be prepared for expected or unexpected visitors. Usually, the dough can be made ahead and kept in the freezer – so the biscuits can be freshly baked and delicious on the day.

Chocolate Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies

from All Day I Dream About Food

Low carb and easy-to-make cookies, but the serving size is still only 2 cookies per person.

Ready in 40 minutes

Make the dough 1-2 weeks ahead: form little discs from the raw dough and freeze on a lined tray (after about 4-6 hours you can transfer them into a freezer bag). When you are ready to bake, do not thaw them. Bake from frozen on a lined baking tray. Let it to cool and make the filling.

Chocolate Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies - Light make-ahead Christmas dessert
Source: All Day I Dream About Food

Recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Sandwich Cookies

Coconut, Cherry, and Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

From Better Homes and Gardens

These oatmeal cookies can have a festive touch if you substitute cherries with cranberries in the recipe.

Ready in 40 minutes

Make them 3 days ahead and keep them in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months.

oat meal cookies recipe - Light make-ahead Christmas dessert
Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Recipe: Coconut, Cherry, and Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies 

Double Nut & Date Mini Cakes

from Eating Well Magazine

Nuts and dates are a winning combination in the winter time. These lovely mini cakes cab be made 3 days ahead and kept in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months.

Ready in 40 mins

Make them 3 days ahead

Double Nut & Date Mini Cakes - Light make-ahead Christmas dessert
Source: Eat Well Magazine

Recipe: Double Nut & Date Tassies

Walnut Biscuits with Raspberry Dip

from Go Mummy Healthy

Well, this recipe was posted in the summer time but they are very attractive on the Christmas menu too, just use frozen raspberries (or other berries) instead of fresh ones.

Ready in 30 minutes + 30 minutes to chill

Just like with the Chocolate-hazelnut cookies above make the dough 1-2 weeks ahead: form little discs from the raw dough and freeze on a lined tray (after about 4-6 hours you can transfer them into a freezer bag). When you are ready to bake, do not thaw them. Bake from frozen on a lined baking tray. Let it to cool and make the dip.

biscuits with rasberry dip recipe - Light make-ahead Christmas dessert

Recipe: Walnut Biscuits with Raspberry Dip

Get the free pdf file of the

77 Healthy Snacks  

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Christmas Nibbles

Lovely little bites or snack ideas are listed here – still in the festive mood.

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almonds

from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Simply chocolate and almonds – use good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) to make this recipe and add salt sparingly. A good alternative to trail mix.

Ready in 15 minutes

dark-chocolate-sea-salt-almonds - Light make-ahead Christmas dessert
Source: Sally’s Baking Addiction

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almonds

 

Last minute healthy bites

from Yummy Mummy DIY

Not one but 3 healthy snack idea in one. It is good when you want to offer just a few light bites to your guests or simply to snuggle up on the sofa with them and watch a good movie…

Ready in 20 minutes

Make the nuts 1-2 days before, the clementine segments need to be done just before serving.

Christmas_bites - Light make-ahead Christmas dessert
Source: Go Mummy Healthy

Recipe: Last minute healthy bites

 

Superfood Chocolate Bark

from My Fussy Eater

Chocolate is always a winner, choose good quality chocolate to make this recipe and you can make your own variation using your favourite nuts/seeds and (dried or frozen dried) berries.

I would go for a chia-cranberry-cashew version here, but it’s your choice…

Ready in 13 minutes

Make it 1-2 weeks ahead.

 

superfood chocolate bark recipe - Light make-ahead Christmas dessert
Source: My Fussy Eater

Recipe: Superfood Chocolate Bark

Christmas trail mix

From Go Mummy Healthy

This is not just a good Christmas gift idea for a foodie friend – you will love it too. It is also perfect snack on the go.

Ready in 15 minutes

Make it one week ahead and keep it in an airtight container.

Christmas Trail Mix - Light make-ahead Christmas dessert

Recipe: Christmas trail mix

 

Fruits

I show you here a few ideas how to offer fruits as a festive dish. Because we need vitamins and fibre – even at Chrismas time.

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits like oranges, pomelo, grapefruits, tangerines and mandarins are always a good choice – but in winter they are obligatory. See their health benefits clicking on the link below.

citrus fruits - Light make-ahead Christmas dessert

Link: Citrus fruits

Edible fruit tree

From Ginger & Garlic

A creative and playful way to offer fruits to friends and family is a fruit Christmas tree. Just use your creativity here, no rules.

Prep time: 20 mins

Make it before serving

fruit christmas tree -Light make-ahead Christmas dessert
Source: Ginger & Garlic

Recipe: Edible fruit tree

Healthy fruit snacks

from A Side of Sweet

Make these lovely fruit snacks in festive colours. Cranberry, green smoothie and lemon smoothies can give a Christmasy red-green-white colour combination at the end.

Prep time: 15 mins

Make it 5-6 days ahead

fancy fruit snacks - Light make-ahead Christmas dessert
Source: A side of Sweet

Recipe: Healthy fruit snacks

Healthy Veggie Christmas Tree Share Platter

from Learn With Play at Home

This idea can work both as an appetiser and as a healthy snack too. You can add walnuts, sundried tomatoes, grapes and apple pieces to this platter!

Ready in 20 minutes

Make a few hours ahead

Christmas tree platter - Light make-ahead Christmas dessert
Source: Learn With Play at Home

Recipe: Healthy Veggie Christmas Tree Share Platter

Get the free pdf file of the

77 Healthy Snacks  

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