If you’re wondering how to stick to a healthy food plan through the holidays – well, you’re probably in for a challenge. Beyond the abundance of rich dinners and richer desserts, many people view this time of year as an opportunity to throw caution and kale to the wind and leap right off the health wagon. (With the intention, of course, to hop back on come January 1.)

While we believe it best to approach holiday eating with a sense of balance, we understand the realities of temptation. So to help, we’re sharing one of our favorite recipes from Ella Woodward, raw food blogger, author of Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward and friend of Headspace. These sweet potato brownies, consistently one of the most popular recipes on her blog, offer a healthier alternative to traditional Thanksgiving desserts.

Makes 10–12 brownies

2 medium-large sweet potatoes (600g)

14 Medjool dates, pitted

2/3 mug ground almonds (80g)

1/2 mug buckwheat or brown rice flour (100g)

4 tablespoons raw cacao powder

3 tablespoons maple syrup

Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C).

Peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into chunks and place into a steamer for about 20 minutes, until they become really soft.

Once they are perfectly soft and beginning to fall apart, remove them and add them to a food processor with the pitted dates. Blend until a smooth, creamy mix forms.

Put the remaining ingredients into a bowl, before mixing in the sweet potato and date combination. Stir well.

Place the mix into a lined baking dish and cook for about 20–30 minutes, until you can pierce the brownie cake with a fork and bring it out dry.

Remove the tray and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. This is really important, as the brownies need this time to stick together!

Top tip

If you don’t have any raw cacao powder, then you can use conventional cocoa powder, but you’ll need to at least double the quantity.

Recipe extracted from Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward, out now published by Yellow Kite, £20 © Ella Woodward 2015