I have a confession to make. I have a massive sweet tooth. I crave a sugar hit after every meal and sometimes a piece of fruit alone just doesn’t cut it. When I get these insanely intense cravings, all I really want is a good dessert for a change.
But the important question is – are there really any healthy desserts out there? Can you possibly indulge yourself a little bit while still consuming minimum calories and not overdosing on sugar? I did my research peeps and don’t fear – there are some yummy dessert options that let you indulge without a guilty conscience.
My Thoughts On Eating Dessert
Before I go into the healthy desserts recipes, I just wanted to share some thoughts with you on eating dessert and maintaining a healthy diet simultaneously. Sweets and treats shouldn’t be off-limits or life can get very boring without them. However, as the ever so oft-quoted mantra goes – “everything in moderation.” So if you’re eating a piece of cake once every 7 to 10 days, while eating clean and exercising religiously the rest of the time – it’s not bad! It’s perfectly normal and don’t beat yourself up over it. Just don’t overdo it, okay?
Why Eat Healthy Desserts?
Desserts are usually the prime suspect for being the cause of high cholesterol levels in our bodies. A buttery cookie or an extra helping of whipped cream all add up to gradually contribute to problems such as heart disease, poor blood circulation, diabetes, kidney issues and even stroke. Besides, a diet of processed, high fat, high sugar foods is no good for your waistline either.
Healthy Dessert Recipes to Try
To avoid long term health problems, it’s important to have some healthy options for dessert on hand. When I say healthy desserts, most people get a little bit worried because you know, if a dessert is healthy, it wouldn’t taste very good would it? That’s not true at all. You can have desserts that are healthy and tasty. Check out the list I have here.
Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits
Fruit parfaits are one of the easiest healthy desserts that are easy to make so you can try and mix with whatever fruits you enjoy! The ingredients list is short and the prep oh so simple!
- 16 oz of Greek Yogurt
- 1 ½ cups Blackberries
- 1 ½ cups Bananas
- Place ½ cup of each fruit at the bottom of each glass.
- Layer the yogurt over the fruit.
- Finish by placing the remaining cups of fruits over the yogurt.
- Top with a teaspoon of honey for an added touch of sweetness. Easy, simple, and fast!
This is all you need to make 4 small glasses (servings) of an amazing tasting fruit and yogurt parfait. Of course I used the fruits that I wanted to eat as a dessert because they are not only some of my favorites, but also because they are good for you. Greek yogurt is non-fat and has a decent daily amount of protein and calcium. Bananas are packed full of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, which keeps your muscles and nervous system healthy. Blackberries are a natural antioxidant to assist with digestive toxins in your body.
Note: Don’t substitute the Greek yogurt with “flavored” yogurts, They may sell themselves as “low fat” but I can promise you they are very high in sugar!
This is a great recipe I found awhile back on the Eating Well website, and I’ve been using it ever since. So all you have is another short and sweet list to follow with a quick preparation time.
- 2 Bananas
- 4 Teaspoons Cocoa Powder
- 4 Teaspoons Toasted and Unsweetened Coconut (coconut is already sweet in it natural form)
- Place the cocoa and coconut in separate small plates.
- Slice up the bananas into decent-sized slices, or basically double the slice size than the ones you would put in cereal.
- Roll those banana slices in the cocoa powder, and then dip the flat ends into the coconut.
- Plate and serve.
We already discussed the health benefits of bananas, so let’s move on to cocoa powder. Cocoa is actually not a bad as most would think, and gets its bad reputation from manufactured goods. However, the American Heart Association performed a study that showed cocoa actually lowered levels of high blood pressure when consumed in minor amounts on a daily basis! And then we have our delicious coconut, which is packed full of minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Islanders even use it as a form of natural remedies against illnesses.
No Bake Chewy Truffle Cookies
This is a slightly more complicated recipe than the first two but definitely worth a try. The original recipe is from Food Network, but I tweaked some the ingredients to make it even healthier.
- 1 cup dried pitted dates, 4-ounces, chopped
- 1 cup water
- tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat chunky peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 8 full sheets whole wheat graham crackers, finely ground, about 1 1/4 cups
- Simmer in a medium saucepan dates, water, and lemon juice over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until a paste forms.
- Stir in butter, peanut butter, honey, and cocoa until fully mixed.
- Add in oats and graham crackers.
- Place on a baking sheet, and then store in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Remove and serve.
I have a thing for no-bake recipes. This was a fun and creative recipe that I found made some very tasty cookies.
On a normal day, these little things can be packed with fat but this recipe from Health.com has some clever substitutions that allow for guilt-free indulgence.
- 1 tablespoon calorie-free sweetener
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries (about 1 pint)
- 6 spongecake dessert shells (5-ounce package)
- Combine sweetener and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Stir in orange juice. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat, and stir in extract. Cool completely.
- Combine orange juice mixture and strawberries in a bowl; stir gently. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
- To serve, spoon sauce over dessert shells.
Tip: This luscious sauce is also good spooned over no-sugar-added ice cream, angel food cake, or fat-free pound cake.
This recipe makes 6 servings (6 cakes) with each serving coming at a total of 113 calories and only 0.3g of saturated fat per serving.
Desserts can often be the best part of a meal so instead of trying to give them up altogether, try to pick a healthy option instead. Instead of depriving yourself, improvise!
And before you go, just a reminder – make sure sure that you are actually exercising and leading a healthy lifestyle. A healthy dessert isn’t your get out of jail free card. Without exercise, no healthy dessert will save you from an unhealthy lifestyle.
Do you have any healthy dessert recipes to share? I’d love to add to my list so do share.