Week 8! Keep up the great work! It’s about that time when you are looking to satisfy your sweet-tooth. Dessert is often an area where people fall off the diet bandwagon, but it doesn’t have to be!
7 Desserts that won’t leave you feeling guilty
You know that feeling. The feeling of bliss over-shadowed by the guilt of calculating just how far you need to run to negate the effects of that rich, sinful chocolate dessert. Was it worth it?
From a nutritional prospective, you want to consume foods that have the most nutrients for your buck. Or in other terms, you want the highest amount of vitamins and minerals per calorie.
But what about desserts? Where do they fit in?
Desserts do not typically have nutritional value. I like to call many traditional desserts, which have lots of added sugar and white flour, “empty calories.” In fact, these desserts do not just have empty calories, but harmful calories. For example, sugar can suppress the immune system and send your blood sugar skyrocketing.
But what if we could change that? What if I told you that you could indulge, guilt-free, on several desserts without that little voice inside your head counting calories?
I want to share 7 easy recipes that put the nutrients back into desserts without sacrificing the taste. Each one of these desserts has redemptive qualities by substituting nutrient-poor ingredients with nutrient-rich ingredients from whole foods. In addition, these recipes will have:
Within this blog post and others to come, I will show you how to substitute white, wheat flour for sweet potatoes or black beans, table sugar for fresh or dried fruit, and butter for healthy oils, along with many more quick and easy substitutions that won’t hurt the taste. These nutrient-rich ingredients have health benefits worth indulging on.
Note: As with anything, eat these desserts in moderation. They still have calories and can lead to weight gain if eaten in excess. Think of these desserts as a safe substitute for an occasional treat.
1. Double Chocolate Brownies
Dairy and Gluten Free!
This is by far my favorite brownie recipe. It’s so moist and chocolatey. Palm sugar doesn’t raise blood sugar as high as regular sugar does and gives this dessert a rich flavor. The unsweetened cocoa powder is a superfood, full of antioxidants. The nuts make these brownies dense and filling, while preventing blood sugar spikes.
• 1 cup almond flour
• 1⁄4 cup cocoa powder
• 2 eggs
• 100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa), about ½ cup
• 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
• 1⁄4 cup coconut oil, melted
• 1⁄4 cup palm sugar
• 1 tbsp vanilla extract
• 1⁄4 cup dark chocolate chips
• 1⁄4 tsp almond extract (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease with coconut oil, and line an 8x8 baking dish with 2 overlapping sheets of parchment paper.
2. In a double boiler,or a bowl placed over simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring often. Once 3⁄4 melted, remove from heat, and continue to stir. Once the chocolate is melted, add the coconut oil and stir until melted.
3. Mix together eggs,sugar,vanilla, and almond extract (if using). Once mixed well, add the almond flour and cocoa powder.
4. Slowly add the chocolate mixture, stirring constantly. Finally, mix in the chocolate chips.
5. Bake at 350F for 20–25 minutes until just set. Cool in pan before cutting.
2. Berry Chocolate Avocado Mousse
Dairy, Gluten, Egg free
This is a very simple and easy recipe. It tastes just like chocolate pudding and you don’t taste the avocado! It’s loaded with healthy fats that will keep you satisfied while curbs your chocolate craving at the same time.
1. Halve and scoop flesh of avocados into a food processor or blender.
2. Add the almond milk, cacao powder, chia powder, sweetener and
almond extract. Mix until smooth (about 1 minute).
3. Taste and adjust with extra sweetener if needed.
4. Scoop the avocado chocolate mousse into pretty glasses or ramekins (Or use a piping bag). Add fruit if desired.
5. Refrigerate the avocado chocolate mousse for at least 30 minutes before
serving. Garnish with berries and mint.
Recipe adapted from As Easy As Apple Pie: http://aseasyasapplepie.com/avocadochocolate-mousse/
3. Fudgy Black Bean Brownies
Makes 16 Servings
Dairy, Gluten, Nut free
This recipe uses black beans, which count as either a serving of vegetables or a serving of protein. Choose these brownies for a tasty alternative with extra fiber. You can’t tell the difference!
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil or coat an 8 x 8-inch baking pan or dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Place the black beans in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy (a Nutribullet works just as well). Add the eggs, oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt and process until smooth. Add one-half of the chocolate chips and pulse a few times until the chips mix with the batter.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips.
4. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before slicing into 2-inch squares. (For easy removal and uniformed brownies, try using a cupcake pan with cupcake baking cups.)
Nutrition Information per serving: 120 calories, 5g fat (0.3g omega-3), 95mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 3g protein
Recipe adapted from: http://mealmakeovermoms.com
4. Apple banana chocolate chip cookies
Makes 12 Servings
Dairy, Gluten, and Egg free
This recipe uses apples and bananas instead of flour for added fiber and a sweeter taste. Kids love these.
1.Blend apple, bananas, sugar, water, nut milk, cinnamon, and vanilla until smooth.
2.Mix in oatmeal and chocolate chips.
3.Bake at 350F for 15 minutes.
Nutrition Information per serving: 114 calories, 2.7g fat (0.4g omega-3), 5 mg sodium, 22g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 2g protein
5. No Bake Carrot Cake
Makes 12 servings
Dairy, Gluten, and Egg free
These tasty bites have no added sugar, but the raisons and dates
sweeten the recipe naturally. Try these at your next party – always
1.Blend the oats and carrots in a food processor for about 10 seconds. Then, add the rest of the ingredients except for the reserved oatmeal and raisins. Blend for another 20 seconds until well-mixed. Don’t over blend!
2.Remove the dough and stir in the reserved oats and raisins by hand.
3.Form into bite-size balls. If needed, refrigerate dough to make less sticky and easier to work with. Store in refrigerator. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information per serving: 67 calories, 1g fat (0g saturated, 0g trans), 3.2mg sodium, 14.8g carbohydrate, 1.4g fiber, 1g protein
6. Protein bites
Makes 20 servings
Dairy, Gluten, and Egg free
For the peanut butter lovers out there, these little bites have high protein and will leave you feeling satisfied, curbing your appetite with the protein and fiber.
• 1 cup quick cooking oats
• ½-cup flaxseed
• 1 cup peanut butter
• ⅓-cup honey
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• ½-cup coconut
• ½-cup pecan pieces
1.Combine all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl.
2.Chill in the refrigerator for fifteen minutes.
3.Roll into bite-sized balls and enjoy!
Nutrition Information per serving: 156 calories, 10.5g fat (1.8g saturated, 0g trans), 48.6mg sodium, 11.3g carbohydrate, 2.5g fiber, 4.7g protein
7. Frozen fruit sorbet
Makes 2 servings
Dairy, Gluten, and Egg free
This is a favorite. A refreshing treat for that balmy, hot summer afternoon and an easy way to consume a serving of dairy and fruit.
1.Blend ingredients in blender.
2.Freeze until hard.
Nutrition Information per serving: 65 calories, 1.2g fat (1.2g saturated, 0g trans), 11.1mg sodium, 6g carbohydrate, 0.8g fiber, 0.5g protein
That’s it! You can use any frozen fruit you want. I don’t add any more sugar, but you could add a drizzle of maple syrup or honey or extra fruit on top if you want.
For frozen yogurt, just use a yogurt flavor of your choice (I think vanilla or plain would work best) and blend with your choice of frozen fruit.
For coconut ice cream (vegan), pour coconut milk into ice cube trays and freeze. Then blend about half the tray of the coconut milk cubes with fruit OR 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder and a small handful of raw almonds.
1) Substitute an unhealthy treat or a dessert with a healthy one this week!