Christmas dessert alternatives

Alternative Christmas desserts

Kelly de Martin

These recipes were  supplied by Kelly de Martin, an Integrative Nutrition health coach and founder of Glow and Grow Wellness.

Learn more at

The holiday season can be a trying time for many; navigating numerous social events, work parties, family catch-ups and various end of year celebrations.

For some, these events can trigger bouts of stress surrounding the fear of over-indulging in the ‘wrong’ types of foods, which can lead to feelings of guilt or shame.

Rather than commencing this holiday season from a place of restriction, consider reframing your approach, enjoying an abundance of fresh wholefoods that will nourish both your mind and body.

The holiday season should be a time of celebration, relaxation and joy spent with loved ones. Avoid allowing those restrictions to control your experience of the special time by opting for helpful and satisfying foods that leave you feeling well and satisfied.

As an Integrative Nutrition health coach, I empower women to approach their health and wellbeing from a holistic standpoint, considering not only what is on their plate but also what impacts their wellbeing from relationships, mindset and their careers.

Food, in particular, has an incredible impact on how we think and feel and can be used as medicine for our mind and bodies.

With this in mind, here are four alternative desserts to try these holidays that will leave you feeling satiated and at peace. Because, let’s face it, the holiday season brings enough chaos as it is!

Yoghurt parfait

Berry yoghurt parfait

When you’re feeling pushed for time.

The beauty of this recipe is that anything goes and it can be whipped up for brekky or even as a dessert! Serve in individual glasses as a parfait or create one large trifle for all to tuck into. You can also get creative with the kinds of fruit to add.

Serves 4 | Vegetarian | Preparation: 10 minutes


3 cups natural yoghurt

2 tablespoons liquid sweetener (e.g. honey or maple syrup)

2 punnets of fresh berries (look for those in season)

1 cup natural granola – consider making your own, like this oat and almond granola, or purchase granola from the health food aisle with minimal sweeteners and preservatives

¼ cup slivered almonds (toasted)


Stir in the liquid sweetener and yoghurt until combined.

Layer the granola on the base of 4 large glass tumblers.

Next, layer the yoghurt, followed by the berries.

Repeat until the glasses are full.

Top with berries and toasted almonds.

Christmas Chocolate bark

Christmas chocolate bark

When you want something sweet to enjoy.

This is such a simple recipe that can be adapted to whatever you have in the pantry at any given time. I’ve also adapted this one to be used with natural yoghurt for a ‘white chocolate’ effect. It’s great to have on hand when you’re feeling peckish for that sweet kick over this festive season.

Makes approx. 15 pieces | Vegetarian and vegan | Preparation: 15 min + 30 min freezing time


¾ cup roasted nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts etc.) and/or goji berries

½ cup coconut oil

½ cup cacao

¼ cup liquid sweetener (e.g.honey or maple syrup)

1 tablespoon smooth nut butter (e.g. almond, peanut, cashew)


Line a tray with baking paper.

In a saucepan, melt coconut oil over a low heat.

Remove from heat and whisk in cacao powder, liquid sweetener and nut butter until combined. Stir in half of the nuts and allow the mixture to cool slightly.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tray and allow it to smooth out to approx 1cm in height.

Sprinkle the remaining nuts and coconut flakes over the top.

Place in the freezer for 30 minutes until frozen.

Once frozen, break up the bark into smaller bite-sized pieces to enjoy. Store in the freezer.

Mango sorbet

Mango sorbet

When you want a tropical cool-down.

With mango season in full swing, why not take advantage of these seasonal fruits and whip up a delicious (and healthy) sorbet. It’s the ultimate Summer treat.

Note: Best to chop and freeze mango in advance.

Serves 4 | Vegetarian and vegan | Preparation: 15 min + 2 hrs freezing time (optional)


3-4 cups of frozen, chopped mango (2-3 large mangoes)

¼ cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice


Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until your desired consistency. You may need to pause throughout and scrape down the sides.

For a firmer sorbet, return the sorbet to the freezer for two hours.

Store in the freezer for up to 14 days.

Raw cheesecake bites

Raw cheesecake bites

When you want to indulge. My spin on the classic raw vegan cheesecake.

These cheesecake bites are a great dessert alternative. They require a little bit of effort however, I promise you’ll be thankful in the long run. Once you’ve got the base sorted, you can get creative with your mix-ins and toppings each time.

Makes 12 | Vegetarian and vegan | Preparation: 60 min + overnight freezing time


1 cup medjool dates (pitted)

1 cup walnuts/almonds

1 ½ cups of cashews (soaked overnight)

¼ cup lemon juice

⅓ cup coconut oil (melted)

⅔ cup coconut cream (scooped off top)

½ cup maple syrup

Optional add-ins:

¼ cup berries (blueberries, raspberries etc.)

2 tablespoons nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew)


For the crust, blitz the medjool dates in a high-speed food processor and set aside.

Next, blitz walnuts until they become very fine, re-add the dates and the consistency should resemble a dough. The mixture should stick together when pressed, but add more dates or nut meal to adjust if required.

Lightly grease muffin trays (2 x 6 slot trays).

Scoop in a tablespoon of the crust and press firm to cover the base of each muffin hole. Place in the freezer.

Add remaining ingredients to a high-speed food processor and blend until smooth. Add lemon/coconut cream if too dry to ensure the mixture becomes creamy. If using one of the optional add-ins, blend in now. Taste the mixture and adjust to your preference.

Divide mixture on top of crust in muffin tins and freeze overnight.

Serve with fresh berries, mango or passionfruit. Store in the freezer for two weeks.

Kelly de Martin

These recipes were  supplied by Kelly de Martin, an Integrative Nutrition health coach and founder of Glow and Grow Wellness.

Learn more at