If you’re like me, the changing seasons mean one thing: seasonal desserts and treats! And while we may be trying to eat healthier, that doesn’t mean we have to miss out on all the deliciousness that autumn has to offer. So, I’ve scoured the internet and my own recipe book to bring you some mouthwatering treats that are both tasty and healthy. Get ready for a fall flavor explosion!
First up on our list is everyone’s favorite fall fruit: apples! Apples are not only delicious but also packed with fiber and vitamins. One classic treat you can make is homemade applesauce. Simply peel and chop some apples, toss them into a saucepan with a little water, cinnamon, and nutmeg, then simmer until soft. Blend it all up for a smooth texture or leave it chunky if you prefer.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try making apple chips. Thinly slice your favorite variety of apple (I recommend Granny Smith or Honeycrisp), lay them flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if desired, and bake at a low temperature until crisp. These crispy delights make for an addictive snack!
Another quintessential autumn flavor is pumpkin spice. While this popular blend often gets a bad rap for being associated with sugary lattes and baked goods, there are healthier ways to enjoy its warm flavors.
One option is pumpkin overnight oats. Mix together rolled oats, canned pumpkin puree (not pie filling), unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk), maple syrup or honey as natural sweeteners if desired, along with pumpkin pie spice or individual spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger powder in combination as per taste preferences). Let the mixture sit in the fridge overnight so that it becomes thick by absorbing liquid; top it off with nuts or seeds in the morning before enjoying!
For those who love indulging their sweet tooth without going overboard, try making pumpkin energy balls. These bite-sized treats are made with a combination of dates, nuts (such as almonds or walnuts), canned pumpkin puree, and spices like cinnamon and cloves. Blend everything together in a food processor until it forms a sticky dough. Roll the mixture into small balls and refrigerate for an hour to firm up. They’re perfect for snacking on the go or satisfying your after-dinner dessert cravings.
Now let’s talk about one of my personal favorites: warm drinks! As the weather cools down, there’s nothing quite like curling up with a cozy mug of something delicious. Instead of reaching for sugary hot cocoa mixes or store-bought lattes, why not try making your own healthier versions at home?
First off is golden milk latte. This vibrant drink is made by combining turmeric powder with plant-based milk (such as almond or coconut) in a saucepan over low heat. Add some ginger powder, cinnamon, black pepper (to enhance turmeric absorption), and natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup if desired. Whisk everything together until heated through but not boiling.
Another comforting option is homemade spiced apple cider. Simply simmer apple juice with sliced apples, orange peel, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, and star anise in a large pot for about 20 minutes to infuse all those wonderful flavors together.
If you’re looking for something caffeinated that still screams fall vibes, try making your own pumpkin spice latte! Brew some strong coffee or espresso; then add canned pumpkin puree along with spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger powder; mix it well before adding unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk). Heat this mixture gently on the stovetop without letting it boil; sweeten it lightly using natural sweeteners like maple syrup or stevia if desired.
Last but certainly not least, let’s not forget about the wonderful world of spices. Fall is a time to embrace all those warm and aromatic flavors that make our taste buds dance with delight.
One simple way to incorporate these flavors into your desserts is by adding them to homemade granola. Mix together rolled oats, nuts (such as almonds or pecans), seeds (like pumpkin or sunflower), maple syrup or honey, coconut oil, and a blend of fall spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger powder. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and crispy. Enjoy it with some yogurt for breakfast or sprinkle it on top of your favorite autumn-inspired dessert!
So there you have it – a roundup of seasonal desserts and treats that will satisfy your cravings while still keeping you on track with your healthy eating goals. Embrace the flavors of fall in a guilt-free way because who says we can’t have our cake (or apple chips) and eat it too?