Sweet and Good For You Desserts

As Bob Rivers so poignantly points out, it's the most fattening time of the year...

I love Christmas music parodies. We all know it's true; cookies, cakes, candies, and other c-starting foods that contain lots of calories. (See what I did there?) To combat the oh-so-sugary tempting treats, I have a couple of recipes that won’t send you into a glucose coma should you have an extra helping.

4 Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are great because they’re pack with fruit (instead of refined, straight sugar) so you get some fiber in there to boot. The nut butter acts as the binder and 3 tablespoons of peanut butter is a LOT less calories (and crap) than two sticks of margarine found in traditional cookies.

The oat flour, again more fiber than refined flour, has a lot of soluble fiber in it which promotes heart health. Chocolate, well, that’s just tasty. If you're into dark chocolate, the Reed household is a regular purchaser of Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips.


- 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup dried fruit (I used apricots)

- 3 Tbs nut butter (I used peanut butter but almond butter will have milder flavor)

- 1/2-2/3 cups oat flour (just grind up oats in a food processor)

- 1-2 handfuls of chocolate chips (we use the dark chocolate chips)

1. Preheat oven to 375-ish.

2. Pulse fruit, nut butter, and oat flour in a food processor until combined and rather sticky looking. Remove blade (this is a very important step) and toss in the chocolate chips and fold in using a spatula.

3. Scoop out dough with either a spoon or ice-cream scooper onto a lightly greased baking sheet.

4. Bake about 15-20 minutes.

5. Scarf down accordingly.

 Coconut Luvers Cookies (I found it over at Healthful Pursuits, a fabulous food blog by Leanne Vogul found here)

I adapted this a bit because the first time I made them, Steve said they were a bit dry. Unsweetened coconut provides healthy fats (gotta keep those cell membranes healthy!) and fiber (see, all these desserts will keep you regular!) and the sugar content on these babies isn’t sky high as in a lot of other desserts.

- 2 cups shredded, unsweetened coconut

- 2 eggs

- 2 TBS of cocoa powder

- 1 small-ish handful of chocolate chips, melted

- 1/2 cup honey or agave nectar

1. Preheat oven to 350… as it is for seemingly every baked good.

2. Melt chocolate chips either in the microwave (my preferred method) or on the stove.

3. Combine the shredded coconut with the cocoa powder and eggs. Add in the melted chocolate and agave/honey. Stir vigorously until goopy and thoroughly mixed.

4. Plop batter into desired cookie size on a lightly greased baking sheet. Leanne Vogul recommends using your hands, as if you’re making mud pies, but I used a large serving spoon (I had a couple of cuts on my palms that I didn’t want goopy-goop getting into).

5. Bake about 17-20 minutes. Then, dig in!

p.s. Steve has found these to be fantastic pre-workout snacks.

Cinnamon Sugar Roasted Chickpeas

I know, it sounds weird, but these things are absolutely addictive (and better for you than say, M&Ms or Puppy Chow). Chickpeas come stocked with fiber (notice a theme? Besides keeping you regular, fiber helps blunt the blood sugar spike thus preventing crashes post-sugar intake), a cup of these little buggers contain roughly 14 grams of protein (better than M&Ms for sure), and they have phosphorus (good for bone development), potassium, and manganese (super important mineral for cellular functions and wound healing). These guys pack a punch!

- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

- 2-3 teaspoons cinnamon (depending on how much you like cinnamon)

- 1-3 teaspoons raw sugar, stevia, or coconut sugar (pick you favorite)

1. Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with foil (trust me, this makes clean up a lot easier)

2. Place chickpeas in a mixing bowl. Combine the sweetener-o-choice with cinnamon and sprinkle over the chickpeas as you toss them to coat.

3. Spread out the chicky-peas on the baking sheet and pop in the oven for about 20 minutes or until they look crispy.

4. Place in a bowl (after they’ve cooled a bit) and munch on during your next movie night.

p.s. you can, should you desire, to sprinkle some sea salt on them before baking to give a sweet-n-salty taste.

Enjoy your extra desserts today!