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The Four

Wellness for the Family: Holiday Desserts

In a Tasting Table survey, pie was voted the most popular sweet treat during the holidays with 37.2% of the votes, followed by cookies at 31.4%. It goes without saying that sweets are a big part of the holiday season, but the ingredient lists can get lengthy. For your holiday baking needs, try these two minimal ingredient recipes that feature healthy swaps:

4-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookie

Made with only four base ingredients, this peanut butter oat bran cookie is a heart-healthier alternative to many cookie recipes. For some extra holiday magic, the cookie gets half-dipped in dark chocolate and topped with festive sprinkles.

1 large egg, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup oat bran
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
Optional: ¼ cup dark chocolate melting wafers
Optional: 2 Tbsp. red and green sprinkles
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until smooth, then add all other ingredients and mix until smooth.
Roll approximately 2 tablespoons of the batter into a ball. Place on ungreased baking sheet and flatten with a fork.
Bake for 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Optional: Warm dark chocolate wafers according to package instructions until texture is smooth and runny. Dip half of the cookie in the chocolate, then drizzle green and red sprinkles over the chocolate before it cools and hardens.

Dairy-Free Pie Crust

In this recipe, almond and all-purpose flour come together with milk and salt to create a four-ingredient pie crust. You can use this versatile crust to make sweet as well as savory pies.

1 ½ cups almond flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
~½ cup milk (dairy or alternative)
Optional for a sweeter crust: 2 Tbsp. brown sugar

In a bowl, whisk flours together to combine.
Gradually add the milk, stirring as you go. The amount of milk varies every time. Use just enough milk so the dough holds its shape when you squeeze it together in your hand, feels supple and will be easily rollable.
Bring the dough together into a ball. Roll out the pastry with a rolling pin on the counter, or press the dough into a baking dish with your hands. Prick the dough all over the bottom with a fork.
Can be baked according to pie instructions or at 350°F for 15 minutes for a no-bake pie.


registered dietician, Shanthi Appelo, joined the four to share the yummy recipes.