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31 Wholesome Holiday Treats

31 Wholesome Holiday Treats

If you’re on the hunt for holiday cookies and treats, I’ve got you covered! All of these recipes are made with whole grains and many are naturally sweetened as well. I’ve left notes for which are vegan and/or gluten free so you can find just the right sweet fix. I’d like one of each, please.

Maybe you want to deliver or ship some edible gifts—my top picks would be the dark chocolate-dipped macaroons, whole wheat pancake mix, salted oat fudge or peppermint bark popcorn.

Looking for a last-minute gift? Don’t forget that my cookbook, Love Real Food, is perfect for home cooks, dog lovers, and anyone who might benefit from some healthy recipes! More gift ideas here.


Dark Chocolate-Dipped Macaroons

Gluten free

These gorgeous macaroons look lovely on holiday tables. They’re made with raw sugar and that sugar is so worth it.

Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

Easily gluten free and vegan

These chocolate chip cookies are easy to make (no mixer required) and surprisingly don’t call for butter or eggs.

Spicy Molasses Cookies

These not-too-sweet, grown-up cookies are fantastic on their own or with an afternoon cup of coffee.

Peanut Butter Oat Cookies

Gluten free and easily vegan

These peanut butter cookies are tender on the inside, chewy around the middle, and just barely crisp around the edges. For a festive spin, make these monster cookies instead, using red and green M&M’s (they’re almost the same recipe).

Healthier Gingerbread Cookies

These gingerbread cookies are made with whole wheat pastry flour, molasses, coconut sugar and coconut oil. No flour substitutions, please.

Lemon, Rosemary and Olive Oil Shortbread


This untraditional shortbread is made with olive oil instead of butter. Lemon and rosemary play well with olive oil’s herbaceous flavors.

Baked Goods

Fluffy Cranberry Orange Muffins

Easily gluten free and/or vegan

These cranberry orange muffins are fluffy and delicious. Make them for your holiday breakfast, brunch or parties.

Vegan Banana Nut Scones


Everyone loves these scones. Coconut oil is easier to work with than butter, so they’re easy to make, too. Also check out my pumpkin scones recipe.

Healthy Banana Bread

Easily gluten free and easily vegan (see notes)

This one bowl, honey-sweetened banana bread is wildly popular. Have you made it yet? Also available as a banana muffin recipe, and check out my pumpkin bread, too.

Coffee Chocolate Chip Blondies

Crazy delicious chocolate chip blondies recipe with toasted pecans. Made with coconut sugar and whole wheat flour, so they’re a little healthier than most.

Breakfast & Brunch

Apple Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Gluten free and vegan

Apples and steel-cut oats cook together in the same pot until they are creamy, delicious perfection.

Very Best Granola

Gluten free and vegan

This granola is beyond easy to make, and you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry already. You’ll never want store-bought granola again.

Gingerbread Granola

Gluten free and vegan

Molasses and maple-sweetened granola with cranberries. Choose a mild molasses or go for intense flavor with blackstrap molasses.

Orange & Almond Granola

Gluten free and easily vegan

This granola is truly incredible. It’s made with orange zest, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, almonds and golden raisins.

Whole Wheat Gingerbread Pancakes

Easily gluten free and vegan

I made these molasses pancakes for my family and my brother declared them Best Pancakes Ever.

Whole Wheat Pancake Mix

This whole wheat pancake mix is a cute, thoughtful and affordable holiday gift. Your friends and family will love it. You can also make a single batch of whole wheat pancakes with this recipe.

Gluten-Free Banana Oat Waffles

Gluten free

This incredible gluten-free banana oat waffles recipe requires only one kind of flour—oat flour! Also check out my gluten free oat waffles (no banana), pumpkin oat waffles, buckwheat waffles and whole wheat banana pancakes.

Cranberry Orange Granola Bars

Gluten free and easily vegan

These wholesome granola bars are the perfect grab-and-go breakfast or snack. They really do keep you fueled for a few hours.

Sweet Treats & Savory Snacks

Easy Salted Oat Fudge

Gluten free and easily vegan

Like a cross between classic fudge and no-bake cookies. That’s about all you need to know.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Fudge

Gluten free and vegan

This chocolate peanut butter freezer fudge is surprisingly easy to make. The swirled pattern on top makes this naturally sweetened fudge look so beautiful.

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Party Nuts

Gluten free

A tiny bit of butter, maple syrup and cayenne pepper turn raw nuts into an irresistible snack. This salty, savory snack would provide welcome contrast on a table full of sweets.

Easy Chocolate Bark

Gluten free and easily vegan

Chocolate bark is so easy to make. Here’s my favorite version, made with dark chocolate, chopped nuts, cranberries and flaky sea salt.

Perfect Stovetop Popcorn

Gluten free and vegan

Stovetop popcorn is a quick and irresistible snack, and it’s so much healthier than microwave or movie theater popcorn.

Sesame Caramel Corn

Gluten free and vegan

This naturally sweetened caramel popcorn recipe is made with tahini, sesame seeds and maple syrup. It tastes like halva, in the best way.

Peppermint Bark Popcorn

Gluten free and easily vegan

This popcorn is remarkably simple to make and tastes a million times better than the store-bought stuff.

Cinnamon Maple Caramel Popcorn

Gluten free and vegan

This popcorn has a super simple and nutty caramel-like topping.


Orange Poppy Seed Pound Cake

This is traditional pound cake’s sophisticated older sister. It’s made with olive oil, yogurt, orange zest and poppy seeds. So good!

Gingerbread Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This wholesome gingerbread cake is topped with rich cream cheese frosting—the best of both worlds.

Gluten-Free Apple Crisp

Gluten free and easily vegan

This honey-sweetened apple crisp is covered in an irresistible oat, almond meal and pecan topping. Apple crisp is much easier to make than apple pie!

Pear Cranberry Crisp

Gluten free and easily vegan

This cranberry-studded pear crisp is delicious and quite simple to make.

Naturally Sweetened Pecan Pie

This pecan pie recipe is extra delicious because it’s sweetened with maple syrup instead of corn syrup and sugar.

P.s. More resources you might appreciate: what to cook this December, my 2019 holiday gift guide and 33 meatless Thanksgiving options (all of which would work for Christmas, too!).