Do you have a sweet tooth? It’s hard not to this time of year. When cakes, cookies and other treats abound, it’s easy to indulge. Unfortunately, filling up on decadent desserts can leave you feeling crumby the next day. Making it a habit can also derail your diet and fitness goals.
But that doesn’t mean you have to give up sweets, altogether. You just need a few lighter alternatives. Luckily, there are plenty of simple and unique desserts with hidden health benefits so you can have your cake and eat it, too.
1. Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse
It’s no wonder some people refer to avocados as superfoods. This creamy fruit is chock full of healthy fats that keep you feeling fuller, longer. Avocados also provide you with beta-carotene, lutein, magnesium, fiber and dozens of other nutrients. Luckily, they’re just as good in desserts as they are on toast. Whip up a dessert that’s nutritious and delicious in as little as 10 minutes.
Just toss all the ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Spoon the mousse into ramekins and chill for an hour — or dig in right away if you simply can’t wait. Top with a dollop of cool whip or whipped cream and chocolate shavings. You can also add nuts, seeds and whatever other healthy garnishes you have on hand.
2. Fudge Pops
Don’t let their name fool you. These fudge pops are filled with veggies and brimming with health benefits. Plus, they’re highly customizable so you can substitute ingredients to your heart’s content. Add a banana for potassium, zucchini to support eye health and kale to boost digestive health. Nut butter, milk and honey also star in this quick and easy dessert.
Simply combine the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Portion out the mixture into ice pop molds and freeze until solid. Now, whenever a chocolate craving strikes, you can sneak of to the freezer for a sweet — and healthful – treat.
3. Chocolate Almond Pannacotta With Mirin
Maybe you’re in the mood for a dessert with a more jello-like consistency. In this case, you’ll want to make chocolate almond panna cotta. In this recipe, rich chocolate flavors take on the complex and intoxicating notes of mirin. With ingredients like unsweetened almond milk and maple syrup, you can enjoy the dessert guilt-free. Plus, you’ll enjoy a boost of vitamins E, D and A.
First, make the gelatin according to packet instructions. Combine cream, maple syrup, mirin and salt in a saucepan. Heat and stir until the milk begins to scald. Reduce the heat, add the gelatin and stir until it dissolves. Add the chocolate and almond milk and stir until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before transferring the liquid to ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to four hours before enjoying.
4. Sweet Potato Cookies
Sweet potatoes — especially the orange and purple varieties — are brimming with nutrients and potential. Chock full of vitamins A, C and B6, manganese, potassium and fiber, these delicious tubers are great for your health. Plus, they’re super versatile, which means you can turn them into practically anything — toast, casserole, even cookies!
Turn the starchy veggie into sweet potato cookies with just a few simple ingredients, including apple sauce and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Simple mash the potatoes and fold them into the wet ingredients. Combine the dry ingredients separately and fold in the flour mixture by hand. Add the chocolate chips, stir and portion onto baking sheets. Bake and cool before serving.
5. Red Velvet Beetroot Brownies
Adding beets to brownies might sound intimidating, or gross if you’re a picky eater. However, this root vegetable is packed with essential nutrients and you’ll barely taste it when it’s mixed with honey, chocolate chips and other tasty ingredients. This recipe also contains cannellini beans, coconut oil, flax seeds, rolled oats and cacao powder, all of which have various health benefits.
Steam the beets before adding them to a blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth, fold the chocolate chips in and pour the batter into a lined baking tray. Dot with fresh raspberries and bake for about 25 minutes. Allow that bright red slab of brownie to cool before cutting it into squares and digging in.
Eating Healthy Without Sacrificing Taste
2022 is right around the corner, and many people plan to prioritize health in the new year. If you’re one of them, try out these healthy desserts recipes to curb your cravings and reach your wellness goals. They’re much better for you than a tub of ice cream or a bag of candy. Plus, they’re sure to impress friends and family whenever you bring them to dinner parties or gift swaps. Who knew healthy eating could taste so good?