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10 Surprisingly Healthy Holiday Puddings

When you're craving a decadent dessert, go ahead and indulge in a succulent holiday pudding. You’d never guess these rich custards are made healthy ingredients such as avocado, tofu, and fruit—all of which help cut down on calories and fat.

Raw Vegan Persimmon Banana Vanilla Pudding with Chia Seeds

At 178 calories per serving, this vegan pudding is so healthyyou won’t believe it’s a dessert! Ripe persimmons, an often overlooked superfruit high in vitamin A, gives the treat a velvety texture, while a generous sprinkle of crunchy chia seeds offers good-for-you fatty acids.

Ingredients:
2 large soft, very ripe persimmons
2 frozen bananas
3 Medjool dates, pitted
1 tsp. vanilla
Chia seeds as topping

Directions:
Remove the leaves from the persimmons. Place all of your ingredients in a Vitamix blender. (Note: If you don’t have a Vitamix, you may consider omitting the dates because it won’t blend as well. Add raw agave as a substitute.) Blend until smooth and serve immediately.

Makes 2 servings.

Recipe provided by Veg Obsession

Vegan Pumpkin Pudding

This easy, tofu-based recipe requires five simple ingredients and only takes five minutes to whip up (not including chill time)! The indulgent pumpkin blend is a treasure trove of protein and fiber. Plus, your waistline will thank you since the pudding costs 150 calories per serving and is free of refined sugar!

Ingredients:
1 lb. silken tofu

1/2 tsp. salt

2/3 c. maple syrup

1 c. canned pumpkin, unsweetened

3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 c. extra-virgin coconut oil, melted slowly (optional)

Directions:
Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on low to high until smooth and creamy. The mixture will be watery at this point, but placing it back in the fridge or freezer will firm it up a bit. If you are adding the coconut oil, melt it in the microwave (Note: Don't let it get too hot though, just softened. You can also do this on your stove top.) Then very slowly pour it into the pudding mixture while blending on low. You don't want the coconut oil to chill too quickly and turn into little beads—a slow smooth blend is ideal. For quick chill: pour pudding into tiny serving cups and place in the freezer for 15 minutes, then move to fridge until ready to serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Recipe provided by Healthy. Happy. Life.

Peppermint Cream Pudding

Low-cal ingredients come together in a minty cool creation that tastes like light whipped cream. Every mouthful of this holiday pudding is sinfully sweet without upsetting your daily calorie intake. To add a festive surge of antioxidants, garnish your 60-calorie bowl with ruby-colored pomegranate seeds.

Ingredients:
Sweetener of choice
1/16 tsp. salt
Scant 2 1/2 tbsp. water
1/2 serving agar base
3 drops coconut extract (optional, but highly recommended)
5 drops pure peppermint extract

Directions:
First, make up the agar base (follow this blogger’s recipe here). When it’s cooled, put half of it in a blender with all the other ingredients and blend away. Whip very well. Place in the freezer for a few minutes prior to eating, if you prefer yours cold. Optional: add fruit, cacao nibs, cocoa powder, or other add-ins.

Makes 1.5 cups.

Recipe provided by Chocolate-Covered Katie

Apple Cinnamon Brown Rice Pudding

Get your fill of fiber in a delectable brown rice pudding. Drenched in milk and laced with cinnamon, this dessert clocks in at approximately 260 calories per serving. Chunks of apple and juicy raisins add to the chewy texture.

Ingredients:
2 c. water
1 c. short-grain brown rice
Pinch of salt
4 c. milk of choice
1 tbsp. brown rice syrup
3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Generous 1/2 c. raisins
1 lg. apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped

Directions:
Combine water, rice, and salt in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil, stir once, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed. Remove rice from heat, place in a bowl, and set aside. Add 4 c. milk, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon to the pot. Bring to a very low boil over medium heat, stirring often so the milk doesn’t burn. Lower heat to medium/medium-low. Add in the cooked rice, raisins, and chopped apple. Cook over medium/medium-low heat, stirring frequently. If a “skin” forms, just stir it back into the pudding. Simmer until the milk cooks down and the rice is creamy, about 30 minutes. It is especially important to tend to the pudding towards the end of the cooking time. Do not walk away from the stove, or your pudding will burn. Transfer rice pudding to a large bowl, and let cool. Serve warm or cold.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Recipe provided by Healthy Food For Living

Carrot Custard

Not eating enough veggies? Try this dessert tonight! Loosely inspired by Gajar Ka Halwa, an Indian carrot pudding, this spicy custard is packed with the carotenoid-laden veggies. At roughly 100 calories per serving, you can enjoy every nourishing bite.

Ingredients:
2-4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into pieces
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cardamom powder
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. butter
Splash of nonfat milk

Directions:
In a steamer, steam carrots until each one is tender and mushy. Combine carrots and other ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add more spices or sugar depending on your personal preference.

Makes 2-3 servings.

Vegan Chocolate Pudding

Buttery-smooth avocados make this vegan chocolate pudding exceptionally luscious. The delicious green fruit is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which help lower cholesterol levels and decrease your risk of heart disease.

Ingredients:
2 c. avocado flesh (approximately 4 med. avocados), pitted and scooped out
1/3 c. non-dairy milk
2/3 c. pure maple syrup
1 tbsp. smooth peanut butter (or omit for nut-free)
1 tbsp. arrowroot powder (thickener, probably optional)
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. chocolate chips, melted (optional)
1/4 c. cocoa powder, sifted

Directions:
Place all filling ingredients (except chocolate chips) into food processor. Process until smooth. You can either stop here for a lighter pudding or move onto the next step for a more intense chocolate pudding. Melt chocolate chips in microwave and then add into food processor mixture. Process until smooth.

Makes about 1.5 cups.

Recipe provided by Oh She Glows

Eggnog Brown Rice Pudding

Unlike traditional fatty eggnog, this festive eggnog pudding won’t pack on pounds. The recipe uses equal parts milk and low-fat eggnog to create a dessert that’s irresistibly rich and sweet.

Ingredients:
2 c. water
1 c. short-grain brown rice
Pinch of salt
2 c. low-fat eggnog
2 c. milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
2-4 tbsp. of any sweetener like brown rice syrup, brown sugar, agave nectar, etc. (optional)

Directions:
Combine water, rice, and salt in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil, stir once, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed. Remove rice from heat, place in a bowl, and set aside. Add eggnog, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg to the pot. For a sweeter rice pudding, add optional sweetener as well. Bring to a very low boil over medium heat, stirring often so the milk doesn’t burn. Lower heat to medium/medium-low. Add in the cooked rice, and cook over medium/medium-low heat, stirring frequently. If a “skin” forms, just stir it back into the pudding. Simmer until the milk cooks down and the rice is creamy, about 30 minutes. It is especially important to tend to the pudding towards the end of the cooking time. Do not walk away from the stove, or your pudding will burn. Transfer rice pudding to a large bowl, and let cool. For best consistency, chill while covered overnight (the pudding will thicken as it sits and cools). Serve warm or cold.

Makes 4-6 servings.

Recipe provided by Healthy Food For Living

Blackberry Breakfast Pudding

Sticky dates and a dash of cocoa lend this fruity mousse a boost of sweetness. Blackberries are the standout food in this pudding; the tart, juicy berries contain antioxidants that give you youthful, radiant skin. With 200 calories per serving, it's a tasty, guilt-free way to start your day!

Ingredients:
2 ripe banana
1/2 c. blackberries
1 plum, pitted
5-6 dates, pitted
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
Berries for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until very smooth. Serve immediately, topped with berries if desired.

Makes 2 servings.

Butterscotch Pudding

This recipe replicates the decadent caramel flavor of a typical butterscotch pudding but leaves out the usual butter and eggs.

Ingredients:
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
3 tbsp. arrowroot powder
Pinch of salt
2 c. vanilla soy milk or almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:
Add brown sugar, arrowroot powder, and salt to a saucepan. Slowly stir in milk. Cook mixture over medium-low heat, stirring until it thickens. Remove the pan from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool for 10 minutes, stirring to keep surface from forming a skin. Serve warm or chilled.

Makes 2-3 servings.

Peanut Butter Banana Pudding

Sneak tofu into this banana pudding for an instant protein spike and a silky-smooth texture. Peanut butter and banana cleverly mask the taste of tofu, making this an undercover healthy dessert.

Ingredients:
1 package silken tofu
2 bananas, sliced
3-4 tbsp. soy, rice, or almond milk
2 tbsp. peanut butter
1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until very smooth. Pour into a bowl and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Makes 2-3 servings.

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