Dessert after brunch is a tough call; yes you’d like something to satisfy your sweet tooth in the middle of the afternoon, but you’ve already had a full meal (and maybe a cocktail or two). But a light, healthy dessert strikes exactly the right note. Try out these 9 healthy dessert recipes that are just sweet enough and won’t push you over the edge of your post-brunch food coma.
1. Tropical Fruit Salad with Cacao Nibs
With amazing tropical flavors and a crunch textures (thanks to the cacoa nibs and hazelnuts), this fruit salad is a delicious nod to summer. The freshly squeezed lime juice will keep the kiwis from browning and adds a pleasant tang. Get our Tropical Fruit Salad with Cacao Nibs recipe.
2. Lemon Meringue Pie in a Jar
This recipe somehow manages to be both delicious and gluten- and dairy-free! The individual jars are perfect for serving to a crowd and can be made in advance. With chia seeds, coconut oil, and a number of other healthy additions, this is so good for you that there’s no need to feel guilty about eating a second dessert. Get the recipe.
3. Triple Melon Fruit Salad
If you like melon, you’ve met your match. This salad combines watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon with fresh mint, lime, and a bit of sugar for a memorable and unusual combination. Get our Triple Melon Fruit Salad recipe.
4. Raw Almond Butter Cups
These are the healthy food lover’s alternatives to Reese’s peanut butter cups. Made in a muffin tin, these treats contain raw almond butter, oats, almond meal, and a number of flavorings, as well as a coconut oil, maple syrup, and cocoa powder topping. Get the recipe.
5. Apple Crumble with Oat and Nut Topping
One of the most delicious desserts, apple crumble is a healthy way to incorporate a large amount of fruit into the dessert course. The oat and nut topping contains chia seeds, ground flax seeds, and spices for a tasty and beneficial combination. Get the recipe.
6. Greek Yogurt Cake
This cake manages to taste decadent without being boring–an impressive feat for a cake made with a full cup of Greek yogurt and whole wheat flour. This pairs perfectly with fresh berries and is a delightful end to brunch–make it ahead of time and keep a loaf in the freezer for last-minute entertaining. Get the recipe.
7. Banana Pudding
Coconut butter and tofu manage to sneak their way into this delectable dessert. Made with cream or butter, it’s hard to believe how smooth and creamy this banana pudding. Get the recipe.
8. Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
You can make this pudding with either almond milk (or traditional milk) but the higher the fat content the creamier the pudding will be. Add in vanilla extrat for flavor and make it the night before to have an easy breakfast addition that requires no preparation. Get the recipe.
9. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies
A full cup of creamy, natural peanut butter are what pushes these oatmeal cookies to center stage. You can add in peanuts, dark chocolate, honey, or any number of ingredients to change up their consistency, but be sure to watch the clock and that they’ll take the same amount of time in the oven. Get the recipe.
Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC's best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.