The holidays are here, which means it’s the time for extravagant baking and festive treats. If there’s any flavor that’s reminiscent of the holiday season, it’s peppermint. Sometimes baking isn’t always for everyone, though, and an overload on sugary sweets doesn’t end well. As an alternative, here are three easier and healthier peppermint treats anyone can make and enjoy this holiday season.

Paige Holloway / Daily Nexus

Vanilla Candy Cane Chia Pudding

Ingredients:

¾ cup of milk (I used almond)

2 tbsp of chia seeds

½ tsp of vanilla extract

½ tsp of peppermint extract

1 tsp of maple syrup

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients together in a jar.

2. Leave in the fridge overnight or for at least three hours.

3. Shake halfway through to prevent chia seeds from sinking to the bottom.

4. Top with crushed candy cane and fruit.

Enjoy in the morning with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate!

Paige Holloway / Daily Nexus

Peppermint Mocha Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 overripe banana

2 tbsp of raw cacao powder (cocoa powder works just as well)

1 tsp of peppermint extract

½ cup of coffee

1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (optional)

a splash of milk (I used coconut)

Directions:

1. Put all ingredients into high-speed blender.

2. Top with a candy cane and raw cacao nibs (or chocolate chips).

This smoothie can work as a filling breakfast, a post-workout snack or even a midnight treat.

Paige Holloway / Daily Nexus

No-Bake Chocolate Peppermint Balls

Ingredients:

1 cup of almonds

1 cup of pitted dates

¼ cup of cocoa powder

1 tsp of peppermint extract

4 tsp of milk of your choice

Crushed candy cane (topping)

Directions:

1. Place almonds and dates in food processor, pulsing several times.

2. Add in cocoa powder, peppermint and milk (one teaspoon at a time) until mixed well.

3. Form mixture into balls.

4. Roll in crushed candy cane as a topping.

5. Place in fridge overnight or for at least four hours.

6. Enjoy!

 

Each of these treats puts a healthy and manageable twist on everyone’s favorite holiday flavor. They also all can be made vegan just by using non-dairy milks or nut-free by eliminating the almonds in the peppermint balls!

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