Just Desserts for the Holidays

The holidays always call for plenty of desserts. Whether I’m throwing a party, giving gifts of food, or reliving holidays past through sweet treats, desserts are integral to my life this month. I’ll share a few of my favorite recipes with you.

Every year I host a Christmas caroling party at my home. Choirs from churches all over the area stop by to sing in my living room. Sometimes a Filipino celebrity or two will perform. My guests just love it. I like to put out a dinner buffet so that the choirs have something to eat before they go home. The buffet always includes pretty bite-size desserts. My Brazil Nut Tarts are dainty, healthy and delicious. Brazil nuts provide selenium, vitamin E, and omega 3 fatty acids. All of these FoodTrients keep your skin healthy, revitalized, and elastic. The singers gobble them up.

I love to give food as Christmas presents. One year I made batches and batches of my Prune and Walnut Bars as gifts. I cut them in pretty triangles, set them on decorated plates, and wrapped them up with cellophane and ribbon. Prunes and walnuts are loaded with antioxidants, so these bars are a holiday treat that come with age-defying side effects. Prunes also are a great source of vitamin C. I’ve combined these two age-defying powerhouses into one great dessert.

Prune and Walnut Bars


3/4 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped prunes
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup Smart Balance, softened
2 Tbs. coconut butter
1 1/4 cup organic sugar or xylitol
2 large eggs
1/2 cup egg substitute

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a bowl, combine the white rice flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the prunes and walnuts. Mix well and set aside.
3. In a stand mixer or using beaters, cream the butter substitute until fluffy. Add the coconut butter and sugar a little at a time.
4. Separately combine the eggs and egg substitute and whisk until smooth. Add to the creamed butter mixture.
5. Combine the creamed butter-egg mixture with the dry flour mixture.
6. Spread into greased and floured 8″ X 8″ baking pan and bake at 325 degrees until the center is firm, about 40-45 minutes.
7. Cool for 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.


About Grace O

Grace O has been cooking and baking professionally and recreationally all of her adult life. As a child in Southeast Asia, she learned the culinary arts by her mother’s side in her family’s cooking school. She became so well versed in hospitality and the culinary arts, she eventually took over the cooking school and opened three restaurants. She is widely credited with popularizing shrimp on sugar-cane skewers and being one of the first culinarians to make tapas a global trend. She has cooked for ruling families and royalty. Grace O’s move to America precipitated a career in healthcare, inspired by her father, who was a physician. Twenty years and much hard work later, she operates skilled nursing facilities in California. Grace O strives to create flavorful food using the finest ingredients that ultimately lead to good health. Her recipes, although low in saturated fat, salt, and sugar, are high in flavor. Grace employs spices from all over the world to enliven her dishes, creating food that is different and delicious. She believes that food can be just as effective at fighting aging as the most expensive skin creams. And since she’s over 50 herself, she’s living proof of that. foodtrients.com
What Do FoodTrients Do?
Ai Anti- inflammatories

Reduce inflammatory process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease.

Ao Anti- oxidant

Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.

IB Immunity Boosters

Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response.

MB Mind

Improves mood, memory, and focus.

F Disease Prevention

Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.