healthy and paleo holiday treat recipes

18 Healthy & Paleo Holiday Treats

We're deep in the holiday spirit and can't stop fantasizing about all the goodies we're going to make! It's no secret that the holidays can be a time of indulgence, and we fully believe in giving yourself the freedom to enjoy all the season has to offer, food included; however, it doesn't hurt to put a healthy twist on your favorite holiday desserts.
These 18 holiday desserts are the perfect way to satisfy your sweet tooth while also staying true to your health goals! With grain-free, paleo, vegan, and overall healthy options, these simple and east recipes are not only delicious, but good for you.
Photo credit: 40 Aprons

1. Peppermint Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

What's better than fudgy, rich, and delightfully chocolatey crinkle cookies? Mm not much comes to mind. These cookies are the perfect addition to any holiday cookie box and can be enjoyed by almost anyone as they are gluten-free and paleo! A hint of peppermint and other simple ingredients make these the perfect treat that won't break your healthy resolution commitments.

Photo credit: The Banana Diaries

2. Chocolate Hazelnut No-Bake Energy Bites

Not in the mood to spend all day in the kitchen? Now worries, these 4-ingredient hazelnut bites are the perfect simple sweet treat you can whip up in no time at all! THe only things you need are hazelnuts, 100% chocolate, dates, cacao powder and 10 minutes. This recipe is completely vegan, gluten-free, and naturally sweetened with our favorite ingredient: dates. We love how simple, easy, and delicious these bites are, and we think you will too!

Photo credit: Feasting on Fruit

3. Chocolate Fudge Linzer Cookies

If you've never heard or tried a linzer cookie, allow us to introduce you to this holiday staple treat! These buttery grain-free and vegan shortbread cookies are filled with a luscious chocolate filling, but can also be filled with your favorite fruity jam. As fancy and intricate as these may look, this recipe uses only real ingredients and has simple steps! If you're looking for a cookie recipe to knock all the others off the chart, these are those cookies.

Photo credit: Wildway

4. Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf

We were feeling the holiday season like something extra this year and decided to release an entire holiday recipe dessert book! This was one of our FAVORITE recipes in the whole book. Moist and soft pumpkin loaf filled with juicy bursts of fresh cranberries, this recipe features clean ingredients and is paleo, grain-free, and the most delightfully comforting loaf you need this holiday season.

Photo credit: Bakerita

4. Fluffy Peppermint Marshmallows

As delightful as marshmallows are, it's no secret they are filled with junky ingredients. This revolutionary marshmallow recipe uses natural food coloring from beet juice to create these fluffy and swirly creations that are the perfect addition to any cup of hot chocolate, or just to pop one or two (or three?) in your mouth! Step outside your comfort zone with this recipe, you won't be disappointed. 

Photo credit: Choosing Chia

5. Homemade Vegan Eggnog

Eggnog is a hit or miss drink for many, but this vegan eggnog recipe is sure to knock your socks off! It takes less than ten minutes to make which means less time preparing and more time warming up. This recipe features a simple cashew base with flavorful spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and is sweetened with natural dates! If you want to get boozy, the recipe also features an optional splash of bourbon. 

Photo credit: Food Faith Fitness

6. Healthy Gingerbread Cookies

What's the holiday season with gingerbread man cookies?! With the same great gingerbread taste, these cookies are anything but ordinary. Fluffy and soft gingerbread cookies made with simple ingredients put a healthier twist on a classic recipe. This recipe features a mix of almond and coconut flour to make these cookies completely grain-free, and is also sweetened with coconut sugar to keep out those pesky refined sugars.

Photo credit: Erin Lives Whole

7. Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

Double the chocolate, double the fun. Soft and fluffy chocolate cookies dipped in warm melted chocolate and dipped in chopped peppermint pieces to add the perfect crunch! These cookies are the perfect festive way to satisfy your baking addiction this holiday season. These cookies aren’t like any other double chocolate cookie because they’re paleo and grain-free and the best cookies are those that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Photo credit: What Great Grandma Ate

8. Cranberry Galette

Looking to get fancy in the kitchen this year? Look no further than this work of art cranberry galette. Warm, gooey, and perfectly tart cranberries with a hint of sweetness, cradled in a grain-free crust that will blow your taste buds out of this world. This cranberry galette features fresh and real ingredients and is sweetened with coconut sugar. As fancy as this looks though, it requires simple steps and can be prepared in less time than you think. Jazz up your holiday spread with this gem, go ahead, you know you want to.

Photo credit: Rachel Mansfield

9. Delicious Gingerbread Coffee Cake

Coffee in the morning, afternoon, evening, really anytime is a good time to enjoy coffee. Elevate your coffee experience with a slice of this rich and delectable coffee cake that has a fun gingerbread twist that’s perfect for the holiday season! As if the cake itself is perfection, the paleo crumb cake topping just makes it all the more addicting. This recipe is completely dairy-free, gluten-free, and paleo and requires only 5 minutes to prep so you can spend more time with family and not in the kitchen.

Photo credit: Simply Jillicious

10. Gluten Free Apple Cake with Caramel Frosting

The infamous fruit we can’t get enough of this holiday season: apples. This apple cake does is perfectly satisfying to our sweet tooth and our apple addiction this time of year. A dense and fluffy cake base with warm cinnamon apples, topped with a silky-smooth caramel frosting that adds just the perfect touch of sweetness without going overboard. This recipe is paleo, gluten free, and features flavorful ingredients like coconut milk, delicious spices, and fresh shredded apples!

Photo credit: Physical Kitchness

11. Peppermint Cheesecake Brownie Bottom Bars

If we could describe these bars in one phrase, it would be business on the bottom, party on top! These bars combine one classic dessert recipe with a festive peppermint cheesecake topping to create the perfect dressed up brownies. Warm chocolatey brownie bottom topped with a creamy minty surprise; these aren’t the typical brownie you’ve had before. Though this recipe sounds indulgent, it features real ingredients like a grain-free brownie base and a dairy-free cashew cheesecake top to make it paleo and gluten-free.


12. Almond Flour Sugar Cookies

These are not your typical sugar cookies, and for two good reasons. 1.) They’re made with REAL ingredients and 2.) they’re even more delicious than the cookies made with the fake stuff. Fluffy on the center and crispy on the edges, add your own special twist to these by using fun shapes and decorating any way your heart pleases! These cookies are the healthier version of the classic and feature just 6 simple ingredients with an almond flour base to make them paleo, vegan, and completely grain-free.

Photo credit: Wildway

13. Triple Layer Gingerbread Fudge Bars

Another recipe featured in our 2020 Holiday Recipe Book that we just had to include on this list is this DIVINE gingerbread fudge bar recipe. This recipe blew our minds the first time we made it: gingerbread granola crust, topped with a decadent layer of spiced nut butter, and lastly topped with a melt-in-your-mouth layer of tahini that adds a rich and surprising flavor to the mix. These bars are made with the cleanest ingredients and are 100% paleo, vegan, grain-free, and free of refined sugars. If you try one recipe this holiday season, it needs to be these bars.

Photo credit: Real Food with Jessica

14. Cranberry Bliss Bars

One word to describe the feeling we get from a single bite is in the title itself, bliss. Made with simple ingredients, these bars are completely paleo and are free of gluten, dairy, and any refined sugars. A dense and moist cookie crust bottom layer topped with a creamy cashew cheesecake topping, studded with cranberries, and topped with a white chocolate drizzle as the cherry on top. Go ahead and do your holiday party a favor by gracing everyone’s presence with these dreamy bars.

Photo credit: Heal Me Delicious

15. Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts

If you’re tired of stuffing yourself with boring ol’ cookies, then consider spicing things up with these pumpkin spice cake donuts. Made with cassava and coconut flour, delightful spices, sweetened naturally, and baked instead of fried - these things are the real deal! Nothing hits quite like a perfectly fluffy and cakey donuts, especially when it is drizzled with a naturally sweetened icing you can feel good about treating yourself to. This recipe is paleo, grain-free, and vegan and is the ultimate healthy donut that doesn’t taste like it’s good for you.

Photo credit: Fit Foodie Finds

16. Easy Pecan Pie Bars with Date Caramel

If you’re looking to spice up your traditional pecan pie with a little something different this year, then these pecan pie bars are just for you. Not only are these bars paleo and grain-free, but they are also topped with the perfect gooey and naturally sweetened date caramel that will blow your mind and have you wishing you experienced this healthier caramel like yesterday. Made with well-known ingredients like almond flour, a touch of maple syrup, and raw pecans, these bars are as real as it gets.

Photo credit: Mary's Whole Life

17. Paleo Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Cozy up by the fire, wrap yourself in a blanket, and grab a mug of this deeply comforting homemade peppermint hot chocolate. Nothing warms the body from the inside out during the holiday season quite like a cup of hot chocolate. Skip the packaged and processed hot chocolate and try this extremely simple recipe instead that features just 5 simple ingredients like coconut milk, cacao powder, maple syrup, and peppermint extract. Hot chocolate doesn’t get any healthier and delicious than this folks!

Photo credit: Salt in my Coffee

18. Maple Caramel Pecan Turtles

Why bother ruining your turtle treat experience with the fake processed stuff when you can just as easily make your own with minimal and real ingredients?! All you need to bring these delicious creations to life are 6 simple ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen! Made with real honey, pecans, and dark chocolate, these naturally sweet stacks of gooey goodness are too good to be true.