Eating healthy on a regular basis doesn’t mean that you can’t have dessert! Who ever said that dessert had to be unhealthy?
In fact, there are many healthy desserts that can be baked and made fairly easily. Not all desserts have to be made with sugarcoated icing and fat filled ingredients. It is very possible to make healthy desserts with our dessert recipes.
No matter what your sugar tooth cravings are, I’ll be sure to help make your dessert decision fairly quickly!
With these healthy dessert recipes, you will be able to enjoy desserts again without having to worry about the added pounds.
If you would like to add the following dessert recipes to your cook book, click the button to download and print.
Coconut Oil Chocolate Chunk Cookies
The first one obviously being coconut oil. If you guessed coconut oil, you’re right! These days you can’t even log onto Facebook without seeing your friends raving about the benefits of coconut oil.
It is believed that 84% of coconut oil’s calories come from saturated fats. Doctors used to think that too much saturated fat would lead to heart disease. In February of 2015, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) suggested eliminating warnings about dietary cholesterol and said that dietary fats have no impact on cardiovascular disease risk.
Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). These have been shown to increase 24-hour energy expenditure by as much as 5%. This can potentially lead to significant weight loss over a long period of time. Not a bad perk for eating some cookies, huh?
The second important ingredient gets us to switch over to the dark side. I like to add in dark chocolate chunks and avoid milk chocolate.
Dark chocolate offers 11 grams of fiber per 100 grams of dark chocolate made from 70-85% cocoa. We touched on the different fibers in our previous post. Here are a few reasons fiber is important in your daily diet and nutrition:
- Assists is normalizing bowel movements
- Helps control blood sugar levels
- Lowers cholesterol levels
Using dark chocolate is the healthiest way to enjoy these amazing cookies.
Ingredients (Yields 8 BIG cookies):
2/3 cup (148g) light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons (20g) potato starch
1/3 cup (75g) refined coconut oil, melted (but not hot)
1/4 cup (56g) Califia Farms unsweetened almond milk, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons real deal vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/3 cups (185g) all purpose unbleached flour
1 1/2 ounces good quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and potato starch until evenly combined.
- Stir in the coconut oil and whisk for 30-45 seconds, just until the mixture starts to thicken. Add the almond milk and vanilla extract; whisk until combined then let set for about 1 minute to thicken, before mixing again.
- Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; mix with a wooden spoon or spatula, just until combined then quickly/gently mix in the dark chocolate chunks.
- Using a 1/4 cup cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet then roll into round balls, if desired.
- Bake at 350˚F for 10-11 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for ten minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies can be kept in an air tight container, at room temperature, for up to five days. But they won’t last that long!
- You may be tempted to use chocolate chips in this recipe but it’s worth noting that chocolate chunks are superior to chips, 99.9999% of the time.
- DO NOT try to add the coconut oil and almond milk at the same time; adding the oil first is crucial for thickening the oil + sugar mixture and resulting in a dough that’s the proper texture and consistency.
Black Bean Avocado Brownies (Vegan and Gluten Free)
Ok, so this sounds like a really weird combination of ingredients to put into a dessert, trust me, I’m aware. I had to try it out for myself after reading Monique’s post at Ambitious Kitchen. Let me tell you, for about 35 minutes worth of preparing and cooking, these brownies are out of this world!
This healthy dessert recipe is made with black beans instead of flour and with avocado instead of butter or oil.
Let’s take a second and talk about Hass avocados. They provide a variety of essential nutrients such as low sugar and a number of phytochemicals. Avocados contain mono, poly, and, regular saturated fats, which help promote healthy blood lipid profiles and enhance the bioavailability of fat-soluble vitamins.
This means that avocados help maintain healthy levels of:
- Total cholesterol
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C)
- Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)
Maintaining these healthy levels can reduce your risk of developing heart disease and cardiovascular complications. Using avocados to replace fatty butters and oils is definitely the healthier option.
I usually don’t associate black beans with brownies. When I hear of black beans, I think more along the lines of Chipotle or Qdoba.
Black beans fall into the category of legumes. Legumes consist of peas, beans, alfalfa, lentils, soybeans, etc. The USDA recommends 3 cups of legumes per week to help regulate blood sugar and fight colon cancer.
In a recent study of 64,227 middle aged Chinese women, scientists saw a 38% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes when consuming legumes on a regular basis. Legumes contain a low glycemic index, which keeps glucose levels depressed. This means you can avoid less insulin secretion by over working your pancreas!
Having troubles with your digestive tract? Incorporating black beans into your daily diet can help. Black beans contain protein and fiber, which actually help clean out your digestive tract as well as prevent colon cancer.
In a six-year study of over 32,000 patients, they were able to see a 50% reduction in colon cancer risk in the patients who ate legumes at least twice a week.
- 1 large flax egg
- 1 – 15oz can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 medium to large ripe avocado
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup vegan or dark chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×8 inch baking pan.
- Place flax egg, black bean, avocado, vanilla, and brown sugar and process in a food processor until smooth. Add in cocoa powder, coconut oil, baking soda, and baking powder and process again until smooth. Batter will be thick. If batter is way too thick and won’t process, you can add in a tablespoon or two of almond milk. This batter needs to be very thick in order to produce fudgy brownies. Fold in chocolate chips or sprinkle onto batter then transfer to prepared pan and use a spatula to spread evenly to sides. Sprinkle top of batter with 2 tablespoons of remaining chocolate chips.
- Bake for 22-30 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out somewhat clean. We don’t want these to dry out, but we also don’t want them completely raw either! The top of the batter should be completely set and no longer jiggle. Cool pan completely on wire rack then cut into 12 bars.
- You may be able to sub the brown sugar for honey, agave or maple syrup. I would reduce to 1/3 cup though.
- The brownies are best when made in a food processor so that beans can blend together better.
- The brownies are best when served at room temperature or cold. They should be stored in the fridge. I love eating mine chilled.
- You can also freeze these and thaw out for an easy treat.
Banana & Berry Hemp Seed Pudding
This is a brand new dessert recipe from Dana at “Minimalist Baker” that I have not tried out just yet. This recipe is great because you can easily do a lot with this pudding! After the gym you may even be able to add your protein mix into this dessert!
There are only 6 ingredients in this dessert recipe, which makes it an easy one to whip up quickly in the kitchen.
What you can expect in this healthy dessert is:
- All 20 amino acids from the hemp seeds
- Omega 3’s and protein from the chia seeds
- Fighting antioxidants
Hemp seeds contain a variety of 20 different amino acids and all 9 of the essential amino acids like our earlier post on flax.
Many people associate hemp with marijuana. Hemp is in the same family as the cannabis plant, but contains only 0.3% THC which is no-where near marijuana levels that are 25% or higher.
Having trouble sleeping at night? Do you suffer from insomnia? Hemp seeds have shown to reduce suffering from insomnia in some patients. Hemp contains a high mineral content including magnesium.
Magnesium has stimulating effects on hormones and enzymes that induce sleep. When magnesium is administered, serotonin is released converting to melatonin in the brain which is a powerful sleep aid. Consuming hemp seeds doesn’t make you drowsy so don’t worry if you eat this in the morning.
Eating hemp seeds in any form could also aid, if not heal, people suffering from immune deficiency diseases.
- 2 just ripe (not overripe) bananas, peeled (if too ripe, the flavor can be overwhelming)
- 2 cups (300 g) organic berries* (fresh or if frozen, thawed)
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) light coconut milk (or almond milk)
- optional: maple syrup or pitted dates to taste
- 2 Tbsp (20 g) hemp seeds*
- 2 Tbsp (24 g) chia seeds
- 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
- Add bananas, berries, and coconut milk to a food processor and mix to combine. Then taste and adjust sweetness if needed, adding either maple syrup or pitted dates (optional) and blending to combine. You can also add your protein shake after your workout!
- Next add hemp seeds, chia seeds, and cinnamon, and pulse to combine. Transfer to 3-4 serving dishes.
- Cover and refrigerate to chill for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. Will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- For the berries, I used Trader Joe’s organic berry medley, which has blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
- Hemp seeds can be difficult to digest for some people. If you have trouble tolerating them, substitute an additional 1-2 Tbsp chia seeds, or flax seed meal.
Pumpkin Bread with Maple Cheese Spread (optional)
This loaf of bread comes from a very popular website called Food52. I suggest lessening the amount of sugar added (or not add any like here) to the maple cheese spread. You should avoid added sugar at all costs in your diet when possible.
This nice little breakfast dessert hides an important vegetable inside! Usually we see fruits in desserts such as berries, but this recipe has mixed it up on us!
Pumpkins are considered a vegetable and are a high nutrient source ofvitamins, minerals, and, antioxidants but very low on calories. It is also one of the best sources of beta-carotene, which provide almost 50% of vitamin A needed in your daily nutrition.
Beta-carotene found in pumpkins is used to help:
- Decrease asthma symptoms
- Prevent certain cancers
- Treat AIDS
- Help prevent Parkinson’s disease
- and more
Beta-carotene is an antioxidant. It protects the body from damaging molecules called free radicals. These little guys damage cells over time. This can lead to a number of chronic illnesses.
Ingredients (Makes One Loaf):
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, gently melted
- 1/4 cup kefir
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/4 cups cup buckwheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 teaspoons turbinado sugar
- 2 tablespoons toasted pepitas
Maple Cheese Spread (optional)
- 5 ounces fresh cheese
- 2 ounces butter
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease your loaf pan with a bit of butter.
- In a large bowl, beat together the oil and syrup. Add eggs and beat until no strings of egg white remain. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, kefir and vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, flour, and baking soda.
- Add dry ingredients to wet, and fold together in about twelve strokes. Do not over stir.
- Pour batter into greased loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar and pepitas (pumpkin seeds).
- Bake for 55 – 60 minutes. Be sure to use a clean butter knife to test for doneness. If the knife pulls out clean, you’re good to go. Let cool for 30 minutes.
- While the bread is cooling, beat together the frosting ingredients until smooth.
- Cut into generously thick slices. and serve with heavy smearing of cheese butter.
- I would suggest eating this without the spread. It doesn’t need the spread and the spread is packed with a lot of sugar. The loaf is fantastic without it!
Chocolate Chia Ice Cream
As I am writing this post, the weather outside is beginning to change, as we get closer to summer. You know what that means, ice cream season is just around the corner!
Why not try a healthier, more delicious summer dessert that you can make yourself? 19 year old, Izy Hossack, from Top With Cinnamon shared her dessert recipe.
This dessert is all about the chia seeds. The key to this healthy dessert is to make chia pudding first then churn it in the ice cream maker like Izy. (I did a quick Google search in case you don’t have an ice cream maker, check this post out. Maybe that will help?)
Chia seeds pack a big punch of nutrients and health benefits. You can expect to get a boost in fiber, protein, antioxidants, and, omega-3’s.
A study in 2014 showed that chia seeds help promote weight loss and can reduce your waist circumference. 1 tablespoon contains 69 calories, 2 grams of protein, 4.5 grams fat, 6 grams carbohydrates and 5.5 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals.
Chia seeds are healthy for everyone including people who have diabetes. There has been research showing that chia seeds in your daily diet can help control blood sugar and lower heart disease risk factors.
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- 1⅔ cup milk (2%, cashew, almond or coconut work well)
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
- 4 pitted medjool dates
- optional: dark chocolate curls, cacao nibs for serving
- Stir all the ingredients (except for the dates) together in a medium jug until completely combined. Stir in the dates then chill the mixture overnight (or for at least four hours).
- Pour the soaked mixture into a high-powered blender and blitz until completely smooth. The mixture should be thick and creamy. Transfer the mixture back to the jug and chill until you’re ready to churn it.
- Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions. Transfer the churned mixture to a lidded container and freeze until firm enough to scoop. Serve with chocolate curls (created using a peeler on a bar of chocolate) and cacao nibs if you want!
Vegan Strawberry Shortcake
This isn’t your ordinary strawberry shortcake dessert that you find in the supermarket. This vegan strawberry shortcake is just as simple to make BUT vegan!
For some of you who may not be familiar with what a vegan diet is, let me fill you in. Vegan diets are those in which you exclude meat, eggs, dairy products and all other animal-derived ingredients. It has picked up over the years by celebrities such as Jay-Z, Beyonce, and President Bill Clinton.
So this recipe is for you vegan eaters out there. I wanted to be sure to include something for you as well. This light sugar recipe comes from Kelly at The Pretty Bee and is not too sweet nor is it too heavy.
Strawberries contain a lot of nutrients and vitamins such as:
- Vitamin C
- Folate (B9)
If you can incorporate about 8 strawberries into your daily diet, you have a better chance of lowering your risk of various cancers, improving your heart health, and lowering your blood pressure.
Strawberries contain phytonutrients and potassium, which help maintain low blood pressure. In a study of over 93,000 women they discovered that 34% of the women who ate strawberries and blueberries were less likely to have suffered a heart attack than women who ate less strawberries and blueberries.
1 12g strawberry contains 7.1 mg of vitamin C according to the USDA. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has an ample array of uses in your body. A deficiency in vitamin C may lead to anemia, bleeding gums, infections, dry and splitting hair, and, poor wound healing.
A study in 1999 was conducted in women who had a history of breast cancer in their family. The study found that those who consumed foods heavy in vitamin C may reduce premenopausal breast cancer risk by 63%.
Be sure to add more fruit toppings to this delicious dessert to get more vitamins and nutrients.
- 2 cups white spelt flour (all-purpose works fine, too)
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla coconut milk yogurt
- 4 Tablespoons vegan buttery spread
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (I use SO Delicious brand)
- more sugar for top
- 16 ounces strawberries, sliced
- 3 Tablespoons organic cane sugar
- non-dairy ice cream of your choice
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the spelt flour, 3 Tablespoons sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together.
- Add the vegan butter spread and use a pastry blender to cut it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add the yogurt and coconut milk and mix until just combined.
- Use a ¼ cup measure to drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Shape the dough into round biscuits. You should have 8 biscuits. Sprinkle sugar on top of each biscuit.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes until biscuits are golden brown.
- While the biscuits bake, put the strawberries and 3 Tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl and stir so that all the strawberries are covered with sugar.
- Once the biscuits are done, let them cool on the cookie sheet.
- To assemble shortcakes, slice them in half and then put a scoop of ice cream in the middle. Pour strawberries and juice on top. Enjoy!
All desserts don’t necessarily have to be unhealthy and filled with lots of sugars and fatty flavors. Here are a few of my favorite healthy dessert recipes to whip up! I haven’t tried only one in this list but will be making it soon.
Put your health first and start adding more fruits and substituting some ingredients for a healthier alternative. There is a lot of studies and documented benefits to the ingredients I mentioned above.
How do these recipes sound to you? Which one will be the first one you put your chef hat on to make in your kitchen? Let me know by commenting below!