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Davis, California

Sunday, March 3, 2024

Guiltless desserts for the fall


That time of the year has finally arrived again — the weather is slowly becoming chilly and Halloween and Thanksgiving are rapidly approaching. What better way is there to get ready for the season than making treats for yourself, friends or for fun fall parties? For those who feel candy corn is a little too sugary, here are a few recipes for healthy desserts that won’t break the bank.

Baked Apple Roses

This might not be the easiest recipe, but it is aesthetically pleasing. With this dessert, you’re bound to impress friends and family with your wonderfully artistic skills. Good looking food always seems to taste better anyway.


-three apples

-two sheets of puff pastry, thawed

-six tablespoons of apricot preserves

-four tablespoons of water

-two tablespoons of lemon juice

-Cinnamon (optional)

-Sugar (optional)


  1.     Slice the apples in half from top to bottom and remove the stem and core in the center.
  2.     Thinly slice the apples, fill up a medium-sized bowl halfway with water and fill the other half with the lemon juice.
  3.     Put the sliced apples into the bowl and microwave for about five minutes, or until they are slightly tender. Drain the apples.
  4.     Mix the apricot preserves and water together in a bowl.
  5.     Roll the puff pastries out with a rolling pin to flatten them out slightly.
  6.     Cut each pastry into six equals slices and put apricot preserve mixture onto each slice of pastry.
  7.     Place seven to nine apple slices along one half of the pastry slice with the peel side facing out.
  8.     Fold the pastry in half to cover the apples.
  9.     Roll the pastry and apples from one end to the other.
  10.  Place each rose into cupcake molds.
  11.  Optional: Sprinkle one to three tablespoons of cinnamon sugar on top.
  12.  Place a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven so the bottom of the pastries don’t burn.
  13.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.
  14.  Optional: For an extra garnish, top with a little bit of powdered sugar and voila!

Frozen “Boo”-nana Pops

If a Halloween party is in your near future, these banana ghost popsicles are the perfect thing to bring. They are cost efficient and time-effective, while also being absolutely adorable!


-one medium-sized banana

-one cup of low-fat vanilla yogurt

-eight mini semisweet chocolate chips

-four popsicle sticks


  1.     Cut banana in half lengthwise, then cut again in half to make four quarters.
  2.     Insert popsicle sticks into bananas and freeze bananas on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.
  3.     Dip bananas into the low-fat vanilla yogurt and place them back on the cookie sheet.
  4.     Add semisweet chocolate chips onto the bananas for eyes.
  5.     Place into the freezer until frozen.

Dark Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Truffles

Here’s another easy recipe that works great for parties. Fall is the season for everything pumpkin flavored: pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin scones, pumpkin pies — you name it. Basically anything pumpkin flavored tastes great in the fall, and these dark chocolate covered pumpkin truffles will taste extra great.


-one-fourth cup pumpkin puree

-six tablespoons coconut butter, melted completely

-two tablespoons pure maple syrup or raw agave

-one-fourth tablespoon pure vanilla extract

-one-eighth teaspoon cinnamon

-tiny pinch of salt

-Dark chocolate


  1.     Make sure ingredients are at room-temperature. Mix the pumpkin puree, coconut butter, maple syrup/raw agave, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt together until completely smooth.
  2.     Refrigerate for half an hour or until firm enough to roll into balls.
  3.     Take small chunks of the mix and roll them into balls with your hands or a mini cookie scoop.
  4.     Dip balls into melted dark chocolate, immediately putting them back into the fridge to harden.

Cherry Walnut Fudge

This is another recipe that requires very few ingredients. If you’re a die-hard chocolate lover, this combination of chocolate, cherries and walnuts will never fail to satisfy your craving.


-12-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces

-two-thirds cup sweetened condensed milk

-three-fourths cup snipped dried cherries

-three-fourths cup chopped walnuts

-one teaspoon vanilla


  1.     Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper.
  2.     Microwave chocolate pieces and sweetened condensed milk in a medium-sized bowl for one minute and stir. Continue microwaving in 30-second increments until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  3.     Stir in a half cup of cherries, and a quarter cup of walnuts and the vanilla extract.
  4.     Pour mixture on the prepared cookie sheet and spread.
  5.     Sprinkle with the remaining quarter cup of cherries and the remaining half cup of walnuts.
  6.     Chill for about 30 minutes or until firm. Cut into squares — there’s no way you can fudge it up with this recipe!

Caramel Apple Pie Grape Pops

It’s easy to eat multiple pieces of dessert at one time, but with these grape pops you won’t have that inevitable feeling of guilt that comes with overeating during the holidays. This healthy twist on caramel apples is bound to taste just as good as the original!


-one bag of fresh grapes

-nine-ounce bag caramels

-eight ounces vanilla Candiquick coating (or vanilla yogurt as a substitute)

-Graham cracker crumbs

-Ground cinnamon



  1.     Line a baking sheet with wax paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2.     Wash grapes and pat dry. Spear each grape with a toothpick.
  3.     Melt caramels in a microwave safe bowl in 30-second increments until smooth. Holding the end of the toothpick, dip each grape in the melted caramel and place on prepared wax paper.
  4.     Place grapes in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, or until the caramel is completely set.
  5.     Melt Vanilla Candiquick in tray according to package directions. (Skip this step if using vanilla yogurt).
  6.     Hold the end of the toothpick and dip each grape in the Candquick or vanilla yogurt, and allow excess coating to drip off.
  7.     Dip the bottom of the grape popper in graham cracker crumbs and sprinkle immediately with cinnamon.

8.     Refrigerate and enjoy. Fall has never tasted so healthy!


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