For those on gluten-, dairy-, refined sugar-, and soy-free diets, holiday meals can be a drag — especially when it comes to dessert. You can choose to salivate quietly as others enjoy their traditional pumpkin pie and ice cream, or empower yourself with these delicious recipes that will satisfy the taste buds of all who gather ’round your holiday table.


Baked BananasThe Institute of Integrative Nutrition blog features a Baked Bananas recipe that only takes 5 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to cook. To serve four, use 4 firm bananas, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1-inch piece grated fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg, and 1/2 cup raisins — all organic, of course! Just preheat your oven to 375 degrees, peel and cut the bananas in half, lengthwise, then arrange on an oiled baking pan and sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins. Cover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.


Making Holiday CookiesOne of my favorite raw food chefs, Ani Phyo, shares her quick and easy Cranberry Coconut Almond Cookies recipe on her website. These sugar free, wheat free, gluten free, organic, raw food cookies are fun to make with your kids and require no baking. Place 1 1/2 cups pitted Medjool dates, 1 cup almonds (processed into chunks), 1/2 cup cranberries, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, and 1 tablespoon of alcohol free vanilla extract into a large mixing bowl. Use your clean, washed hands to mix well, then either form the batter into balls or press into cookie cutters to make fun shapes. Ani promises these will be devoured immediately. This recipe serves 12.


applesStewed Apples are simple to make and will go well with standard Thanksgiving fare. This recipe, adapted from Natural Home magazine, takes 5 minutes to prepare and requires 30 minutes in the oven. To serve 8-10, take 5 medium to large organic apples (cored and cut into bite-size chunks), 1/2 cup raw honey, 1 tablespoon fresh organic lemon juice (~ 1/2 lemon), 1/3 cup organic apple cider or filtered water, and a 2-inch cinnamon stick (optional) and combine in a large nonreactive pot. Stir well, place over medium-high heat, covered, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook covered, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Taste for doneness and adjust honey or lemon juice if necessary. The apple should be tender but not mushy, and the sauce should not be runny. Cook a little longer, uncovered, if necessary to soften the apple and reduce the sauce. Serve warm or at cool room temperature. Note: you can use all of the same variety of apple, or an assortment — green and tart, sweet and red.


Raw Pumpkin PieFor those who are set on a pumpkin pie but cannot eat a wheat crust, try the Raw Foods Witch’s Raw Pumpkin Pie recipe. For the Raw Pumpkin Pie Crust, you’ll need 2 cups pecans or walnuts, 1/2 cup soaked dates, and a dash of sea salt. Blend the crust ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor, then evenly distribute in the bottom of a pie plate.

For the Raw Pumpkin Pie Filling, use 2 cups shredded pumpkin, butternut squash, or sweet potato flesh, 1 cup soaked dates, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon freshly diced ginger, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon coconut oil, a dash of vanilla, and 1/4 cup almond milk or water to help blend.

Nathalie takes you through step-by-step in her demonstration video, or you can just follow the simple directions below:



To make the filling, either shred the pumpkin by hand, or cube and place in a high speed blender or food processor until itʼs nicely chopped. Then add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Add more liquid if necessary to blend well. Then pour into crust and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before serving.


Raw Banana Ice CreamWhen I was at the Hippocrates Health Institute in 2008, they made Raw Banana Ice Cream every Saturday night. Just take frozen bananas and run them through a single auger juicer or your Vitamix blender to create a creamy dessert that can be adapted with your favorite ingredients — experiment by adding soaked dates, shredded coconut, lemon juice, oil, avocado, and/or nuts to the mix. photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/freakgirl/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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