We are a culture that love desserts: ice cream, cake, cookies, granola bars, and more. But often times desserts are sugar-laden, which can take a negative toll on our bodies. Too much sugar intake can lead to diabetes, weight gain, hypertension, and more (let’s not forget tooth decay). But don’t let us get you too depressed! Health and Wellness Coach Emily Whipple of Aspen Elevated Health, based in Aspen, Colorado has some insights into the healthy dessert game so you can indulge your sweet tooth without doing too much damage.
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Whipple says, “We all love dessert—who doesn’t?! But we also love our health and want to enjoy foods that help increase our health and provide energy. I’m a big believer in not depriving yourself of sweet treats, and I find that I am constantly experimenting with new recipes—with my goal to make desserts that are not only good for you, but taste great, too.”
Below are 5 desserts Whipple has selected that include nutritious and healthy-driven ingredients that will nourish your body without you having to sacrifice your own sweet indulgences.
It’s all about balance, after all.
If you’re craving chocolate (who isn’t?), and need a quick fix, try this Freezer Fudge, which is decadent, healthy, and easy to make. These fudge bites contain little-to-no-sugar (if you use stevia), are full of healthy fats from coconut oil and protein-packed almond butter, and they give you an antioxidant boost from the cacao powder. They are finished with a sprinkling of pink Himalayan salt or Maldon sea salt, which creates that perfect marriage of sweet and salty—and you only have to wait 30 minutes to eat them. Get the Freezer Fudge recipe.
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These are also great for making single-serve bites of freezer fudge!
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If you love tart, citrusy, and tropical-inspired treats, this “fat bomb” may do the trick. This sweet treat is chock-full of coconut oil, a healthy fat and anti-inflammatory ingredient, which the body processes more slowly while it simultaneously helps keep blood sugar spikes at bay. This dessert is also vegan, keto-friendly, and completely sugar-free. Plus, you can put your leftover lemon peels (from all of that warm lemon water you’ve been drinking first thing in the morning) to good use by using the empty peels as the vessel of the fat bomb—you might have seen it done before with sorbet or Jello shots, but this is definitely healthier than either of those. Get the Lemon Coconut Fat Bomb recipe.
Many of you may be familiar with the “nice” cream dessert craze, an ice cream-like dessert made in a blender, which substitutes bananas for dairy. It has a cult following among vegans and dessert-lovers alike. With only 4 ingredients—including frozen bananas, which are full of potassium and fiber—this tasty treat is easy to make and boasts a similar creamy texture to ice cream without the heavy dairy, processed sugar, and lots of excess calories. Get the Healthy Chocolate Nice Cream recipe.
For you Girl Scout cookie novices, Samoas are the creamy-crunchy caramel, chocolate, and toasted coconut cookies that are often touted as a favorite among cookie aficionados. However, these cookies are sugar-laden and full of processed additives. So when Whipple stumbled upon a healthy alternative, she was quite skeptical. But after making a batch herself, she claims that there’s no question that these are better than the original. Additionally, these cookies feature just 4 ingredients, which you will recognize and be able to pronounce, such as dates, which are high in fiber, and dark chocolate, which boasts antioxidants. These cookies are also gluten-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly…so perfect for your next get together with family and friends! Get the 4-Ingredient Samoas recipe.
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With autumn around the corner, it may be time to bookmark these healthy baked apples. This is a great dessert to make after your first (or second) trip to the apple orchard. Apples are an excellent source of fiber and potassium, and they promote healthy gut bacteria. The apples are stuffed with raisins, walnuts (which are high in omega 3s), and cinnamon (which is a natural—and delicious—anti-inflammatory spice). Get the Healthy Baked Apple recipe.
This post was written by Marisa Olsen in collaboration with Emily Whipple, Health and Wellness Coach.
Header image by Chowhound