How to Make Healthier Versions of Fall Guilty Pleasures

Written by Erin Quinn-Kong

Live Fit Girls Apple Cider Donuts Recipe

There are so many reasons to love fall: The crisp chill in the air, the beautiful changing leaves, wearing sweaters and boots again. But there's also the food. From apple cider donuts to pumpkin muffins to caramel apples, there are so many delightful seasonal treats to enjoy while visiting a pumpkin patch or fall festival. 

But it's also fun to make these treats at home for friends and family. And it's even better when you can serve versions that are lighter and less sugary but still delicious. We've rounded up recipes for healthier versions of three fall guilty pleasures, so you can have your cake and feel good about eating it too.

Apple Cider Donuts Recipe

Healthy Apple Cider Donuts


Makes 6 donuts

3/4 cup oat flour (or whole wheat)

1/4 cup good-quality vanilla protein powder

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup all-natural apple cider

1 large egg

2 tablespoons milk of choice

1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For sugar topping

1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

2 tablespoons organic sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Check out the full recipe at The Live Fit Girls.

Vegan Pumpkin Crumb Muffins

Vegan Pumpkin Crumb Muffins 


Makes 9 muffins

1 1/2 flax eggs (1 1/2 Tbsp flax seed meal + 4 Tbsp water)

2 Tbsp mashed ripe banana

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

2/3 cup muscovado sugar, packed (or sub organic brown sugar or coconut sugar)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup almond meal (ground from raw almonds)

3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats

1 cup gluten-free flour blend

Crumble top

3 Tbsp muscovado sugar (or sub organic brown sugar, organic cane sugar, or coconut sugar)

3 1/2 Tbsp gluten-free flour blend

2 Tbsp roughly chopped pecans, pepitas, or walnuts

1 1/4 Tbsp coconut oil

Pinch each cinnamon + pumpkin pie spice


Find them at Minimalist Baker

Healthy Caramel Apples Recipe

Healthy Caramel Apples


Makes 4 Apples

4 large apples

4 craft sticks

10 Medjool dates, chopped

3-4 Tbsp almond milk (or another non-dairy milk like coconut milk)

2 Tbsp coconut oil

2 Tbsp almond butter

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 cup toasted nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts), chopped

pinch of salt


Head over to The Harvest Kitchen for the full recipe. 

Photos courtesy of The Live Fit Girls, Minimalist Baker and The Harvest Kitchen.