Healthy Thanksgiving Makeover: Desserts

Healthy Thanksgiving Makeover: Desserts

Thanksgiving desserts

Although the Thanksgiving meal is all about rich and decadent ingredients, that doesn't mean you have to compromise on health or flavor. The art of raw food preparation is a unique way to create beautiful desserts without settling — raw food desserts are often more filling and flavorful than the originals! You might be surprised how rich and decadent raw desserts made with chocolate taste compared to baked ones, or the creaminess of a pie made with nuts. These recipes surpass any cooked treat you could bring to the Thanksgiving table, in both nutrition and taste.


Pumpkin Pie with Shortbread Crust 

This pie is a surprisingly authentic take on the classic without any of the refined or canned ingredients. We use carrot juice instead of pumpkin to mimic the flavor and color of pumpkin. It keeps well in the freezer so it can be made ahead — making it an ideal holiday treat!


½ cup shredded coconut

2 cups cashew flour

2 Tbsp agave

2 Tbsp powered sucanat or maple sugar

1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp salt

Directions: In a dry Vitamix make a flour out of the coconut flakes. Process to make as fine as possible. Then, in a food processor combine cashew flour, coconut flour, and remaining ingredients. Do not over blend, you want the mixture to be light but to hold together when pressed between your fingers. Press into 9-inch tart pan and chill until ready for use.


½ cup cashews

¾ cup agave

½ cup carrot juice

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 vanilla bean scraped

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

½ tsp ginger

pinch of cloves

¼ tsp salt

½ cup coconut oil liquefied

Directions: Blend all ingredients except for coconut oil until smooth. Slowly add coconut oil and continue to blend until well combined. Assembly: Pour filling into crust and refrigerate at least an hour before serving. Makes one 9” pie.


Thanksgiving desserts

Banana Cacao Pudding Tart (nut free)

Makes 1 12- inch tart


¾ cup cacao powder

¾ cup fine oat flour, sifted

¼ cup  dry coconut nectar crystals, sifted

¼ cup maple syrup

2 Tbsps coconut oil

pinch salt

Directions: Combine everything in a food processor, adding a little more oil, if necessary to get it to come together. Press into a greased 12-inch tart pan and chill to set. Make sure shells are set before making fillings.

Banana Filling:

6 bananas

½ cup  coconut nectar crystals

1 Tbsp mesquite meal

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

Directions: Combine everything in blender. Dehydrate in a big, shallow pan for 6-8 hours, until thick. Blend with ¼ cup coconut oil.

Chocolate Pudding Filling: 

2 cups coconut meat

1 banana

1/3 cup maple syrup

½ cup agave or coconut nectar

2 Tbsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp sea salt

½ cup cacao powder

Directions: In a Vitamix, blend the first five ingredients until totally smooth, stopping to scrape sides as necessary. Once smooth, add the cacao powder and blend until smooth.

Assembly: Take prepared shell and fill with a thin layer of banana filling. Freeze to set. Continue filling with chocolate pudding filling, making sure the top is totally smooth. Freeze to set, remove from metal shells. Serve chilled with banana chips or other garnish of you choice.


Meredith Baird is a certified raw food chef and instructor. She is also the creative director at the Matthew Kenney Academy where chefs and health foodies can learn the art of making raw food. 

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.