Healthy dessert is one of those terms that at first seems like an oxymoron. Cue the groans from the family, your less-health-conscious friends at the potluck, or anyone who cares a great deal about good food. But creating a treat that flatters the waistline doesn’t have to sacrifice anything when it comes to taste.
We’ve put together a quick guide to making easy, healthy desserts for fruit fiends, chocolate lovers and everybody in between that will make you wonder why you ever ate traditional cookies and cakes in the first place. Others might laugh, but you’ll breathe easy knowing you can have your cake and eat it without that heaping slice of guilt that comes along with it.
Here’s a look at some easy, healthy dessert recipes that range from some basic food processor magic to full-fledged baked goods that hold their own against buttery treats. Enjoy!
1. Chocolate PB & Banana Ice Cream
As far as easy, healthy dessert recipes go, this vegan ice cream simply cannot be beat. Bananas are an easy swap-out for the heavy creams and refined sugars found in your conventional ice creams. Bananas and cocoa powder work perfectly together, creating a sweet and chocolaty dessert that is as easy as pie, and twice as delicious.
- • 2 frozen bananas
- • 6 tablespoons almond milk
- • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- • 3 tablespoons almond or peanut butter
In a food processor or blender, combine bananas, almond milk, cocoa powder and nut butter. Blend on high until ingredients have been completely mixed together.
Stop the machine before the ingredients get too liquid-y.
Divide into two fancy serving bowls, such as our red Magma stripe ones, and top as you would ice cream. Add sprinkles, coconut shreds or chocolate chips to dress things up, or even stick it in a cone.
Note: The food processor is your best bet in this recipe, as sometimes the blender is stuck when working with thicker ingredients.
2. Green Smoothie Sundae
Yes, this is a smoothie. However, before you write us off for trying to incorporate kale and spinach into the dessert menu, keep in mind we’ve loaded this guy up with tasty toppings that’ll elevate this smoothie beyond the breakfast nook.
- • 1 cup spinach
- • 1 cup kale
- • 4 ounces of coconut water
- • 1 cup almond milk
- • 1 cup frozen mango
- • ½ cup coconut shreds
- • ½ cup fresh strawberries
- • ¼ cup granola
- • ½ banana
In a blender or food processor, combine banana, spinach, kale, almond milk, mango and coconut water until thoroughly blended.
Add the granola to a bowl, such as our Ameriwhite® Alexa cereal bowl.
Transfer the mixture into the serving bowl over the granola.
Top with sliced strawberries, banana and coconut.
3. Creamy Coconut and Greens Popsicles
If you’re sick of smoothies galore all the time, try this twist on your usual drink. Perfect for hot days or when you’re just looking for something fresh, tasty treat provides a little bit of greens alongside your sweet tooth.
For best results, you’ll want to use a set of popsicle molds, but if you don’t have any, you can sub in your ice cube tray and make mini popsicles.
- • 2 cups of coconut cream
- • 2 cups of spinach
- • 1 banana
- • ½ cup of pineapple
- • 6 dates
In a food processor, blend dates, spinach, coconut cream, banana and pineapple. Blend until all ingredients are completely smooth, eliminating any lumps and bumps in the mix.
When ready, pour the liquid contents into a set of popsicle molds. Insert popsicle sticks and store in the freezer. It should take about four hours for the popsicles to freeze. They’ll keep for about a week.
As a note — you can add this mixture to any size mold, but this will make about eight four-ounce popsicles.
4. Vegan Vanilla Shake
A healthier take on a soda shop classic, this vegan vanilla shake skips the dairy in favor of a bit more on the vanilla front. Soymilk provides a hit of protein and creaminess, while coconut meat and dates bring a little more oomph to the table.
- • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- • 2 cups vanilla soy milk
- • 6 dates
- • 1/3 cup of coconut meat
- • ½ banana
In a food processor or blender, add the vanilla extract, soymilk, dates, banana and coconut meat. Blend until perfectly smooth.
If you’d like a bit more of an ice cream-like texture, add a bit of ice or sub in a frozen banana for a fresh one.
Transfer to a large glass or two and drink up.
5. Mixed Berry Crustless Pie
A little healthier than the typically butter-laden pie, this mixed berry delight is sure to be a crowd pleaser, even for those skeptics who aren’t sold on the concept of a healthy dessert. However, fresh fruit and a little brown sugar goes a long way — this pie will have everyone clamoring for seconds.
- • 6 cups of frozen mixed berries, thawed with excess juice drained
- • 12 tablespoons of vegan butter
- • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- • ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
- • 1 cup of steel cut oats
- • ¼ cup almond flour
- • Honey, for drizzling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a separate mixing bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, oats and almond flour.
In a small bowl, such as our microwave-safe Alexa bowl, microwave vegan butter on high for about 30 seconds or until it becomes slightly melted.
Stir vegan butter into the dry mixture, mixing until it becomes slightly crumbly.
Pat out about 2/3 of the dry mixture onto the lined baking sheet, and then top with fruit.
Sprinkle the remaining dry mix over the top of the fruit and place the sheet in the oven.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until the fruit begins to bubble and the top looks golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool. Spoon mixture into serving bowls, and drizzle honey over the top.
6. No-Bake Raw Cookie Dough Bites
For those of you whose idea of a good time is plunking down in front of the TV with a loaf of cookie dough to munch on, we’ve got a delicious swap for you. These no-bake bites provide none of the risk that comes along with consuming raw eggs and have minimal added sugar, as they’re sweetened with dates and maple syrup.
- • ½ cup almond butter
- • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- • ½ cup of coconut flour
- • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- • 5 dates, chopped into small pieces
- • 4 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
- • 1 tablespoon flaxseed
- • 3 tablespoons of almond milk
In a large mixing bowl, add almond butter, vanilla extract, flaxseed, coconut flour, dates, maple syrup and almond milk. Blend together with an electric mixer or one of our stirring spoons until completely blended together. You’ll want to make sure the dough is pliable, yet not overly sticky.
Gently stir in the chocolate chips using the same spoon.
Roll the dough into balls. This should make about 15-20 depending on the size.
7. Guilt-Free Cheesecake
There’s nothing healthy-seeming about this decadent favorite, but we’ve taken the cheesecake and made it vegan. With silken tofu and strawberries blended in, this no-cheese cheesecake is destined to be a crowd pleaser, no matter where you bring it.
- • 8 graham crackers, crushed
- • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- • ¼ cup maple syrup
- • 1 package vegan cream cheese
- • 1 package silken tofu — drained and rinsed
- • 1 ½ cups of sugar
- • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- • ½ cup coconut flour
- • 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and coat a spring-form pan with non-stick spray.
In a mixing bowl, such as one of our Ceramic Stoneware sets, stir together the coconut oil, crumbs and maple syrup.
Press the crust mixture in the pan and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven.
In a large mixing bowl, add tofu, vegan cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Blend until ingredients are completely smooth and mixed using an electric mixer. You can also do this in a food processor, if you have access to one.
Slowly add in the coconut flour and cornstarch, blending until evenly distributed.
Add the cheesecake batter to the pan and bake for an hour.
Remove from heat and let cool. Store in the fridge.
8. Better for You Brownies
These brownies look to the guacamole bowl for healthy inspiration. With avocado’s healthy fats, coconut flour and, of course, chocolate, these brownies are just as gooey and decadent as their boxed counterparts, but a whole lot better for the waistline and blood sugar.
- • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- • 2 whole avocados, skins and pits removed.
- • 4 eggs
- • 1 cup of honey
- • 1 cup coconut flour
- • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and coat an 8” baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, mash the avocados along with vanilla and honey.
Add the eggs, and use an electric mixer to cream ingredients together.
Meanwhile, to a separate bowl, add the semi-sweet chocolate chips and microwave for about a minute or until they have melted.
Let the chocolate cool — place in the fridge for a few minutes, if needed — then fold it into the larger bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Fold in the coconut flour and cocoa powder and blend the ingredients thoroughly.
Add the dish to the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes. To see if the brownies are done baking, poke the center with a toothpick. If the pick comes out clean, you’re all set. Otherwise bake for an additional 5 minutes, keeping a close eye on the dish.
Remove from heat and serve when cool.
9. Apple-Pear Oatmeal Cookies
Part pie, part fruit, these delicious cookies feature a few easy swaps making this recipe a guilt-free accompaniment to your favorite cup of coffee or tea. Bring these to any function, and no one will miss the refined sugar or butter.
- • 1 cup of quick cooking oats
- • ¾ cup coconut flour
- • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- • 1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
- • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- • 1 egg
- • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
- • ½ cup apple sauce
- • 1 cup diced pear
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl such as our 4 Qt Red Mixnbowl, whisk together the coconut flour, oats, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and cinnamon until the ingredients have been evenly dispersed.
In a separate mixing bowl, add the egg, applesauce, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Blend together using an electric mixer until all ingredients are smooth and free from lumps.
Slowly add dry mixture to the bowl containing the wet ingredients. Stir until ingredients have been thoroughly blended, but do not overwork. Stir the pear into the mix, and cover the bowl.
Store the dough in the refrigerator for about 30-45 minutes.
Coat a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Divide the dough into 12-15 balls and flatten them slightly.
Place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. The edges should look golden brown.
Let cool for at least ten minutes and serve.
10. Raspberry Chickpea Blondies
Though chickpeas seemingly fall firmly under the savory umbrella as a star ingredient in lunch standbys such as hummus, salads and soups, these little legumes are also a powerful dessert ingredient, replacing flour and adding a little bit of protein while they’re at it. We’ve added a swirl of raspberry jam for a little extra tastiness too. Dive in.
- • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- • 1/3 cup almond or cashew butter
- • 1/3 cup of maple syrup
- • 1 cup of raspberry jam
- • 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
- • ½ teaspoon of salt
- • ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
- • ¼ teaspoon of baking powder
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and coat a baking dish like our 24 oz. Ovenex Midnight Black oval serving and baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl, combine chickpeas, nut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Use an electric mixer for best results, and combine until the ingredients are completely smooth, taking care to eliminate any lumps or whole chickpeas in the batter.
Pour the batter into the baking dish, spreading evenly, so the blondies cook consistently.
Using a wooden spoon — we are partial to this solid wood cherry spoon — scoop the jam into the baking dish, so it goes into the batter.
Then use the spatula to “marble” the jam throughout the dish, creating a swirl effect.
Place the dish in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. The edges should appear golden brown, but be careful you don’t overcook them, or they may become dry. Test the blondies by poking the center with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, they are done.
Let cool, then slice and serve.
Get Cooking Those Quick and Healthy Desserts — Shop Xtrema and Ovenex
Whether you’re getting creative in the kitchen by reinventing the ice cream cone or simply making a healthier twist on your mom’s secret chocolate chip cookie recipe, we’ve got a wide range of bakeware perfect for all your culinary endeavors.
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