My cousin asked me for a healthy dessert that he could make when he was in the mood for something sweet. My first response was, “don’t you read my blog?!” I was joking of course, but it actually made me realize that I don’t post my healthy recipes on here as much as I should. When I bake for others and for special occasions, I make regular sweets full of butter and sugar. However, these are not the recipes that I eat myself. So I thought I’d put together a round up of the healthy treats I actually eat.
My first answer to my cousin was dates dates dates! I told him about the vegan rolos (pictured below) and also how good dates are just dipped in peanut or almond butter. However, if you want something a little more sophisticated, I always love a good date “truffle.”
There are many versions out there and I have yet to try a recipe I don’t like, but lately I’ve been enjoying these Super Seeded Protein Bites from Oh She Glows. The protein content and chocolate flavor from the cocoa powder make these a tasty treat I feel good about snacking on. For a more decadent dessert try the coconut pecan ones I’ve posted before. In my opinion, you really can’t go wrong with a recipe that has dates as the main ingredient!
I’ve mentioned before how much I love granola bars. They are the perfect snack to have on hand and are great for breakfast or dessert as well. I’ve tried so many different recipes and variations and am constantly trying new ones. Some of my recent favorites include:
Fruit & Nut Bars from the Daily Garnish – I really love the apricot and ginger in these. They are similar to the Copycat Kind Bars (pictured above) I’ve posted before but are softer and chewier, which I really enjoy.
Basic Glo Bars (similar recipe here) from the Oh She Glows cookbook. I used a little less sweetener than the recipe calls for and half peanut butter/ half PB2 (which is powdered de-fattened peanut butter) to make these a little healthier. However, they are already pretty nutritious and packed with nuts, seeds, gluten free oats and no refined sugar. Also, since they are no-bake bars, it’s quick and easy to whip up a batch.
Quick breads are probably my favorite sweet snack to have in the house. Lately I’ve been baking about 1 a week to have with breakfast and for a small treat after dinner. I love banana bread, but have a hard time keeping bananas on hand for baking so I often make breads with pumpkin puree in them. I typically try to keep these low in sugar (and often replace refined sugar with coconut palm sugar) since I eat them as part of my breakfast but if I want to make them more of a dessert I just throw in some chocolate chips!
Gluten Free, Vegan Banana Bread – This is the latest version of banana bread I’ve made. To make it even healthier, I replaced the white sugar with coconut palm sugar, the brown sugar with sucanat, the oil with pumpkin puree and used a chia “egg” instead of one from a chicken. Next time I think I’ll use the coconut oil as I think it could use it, but overall this was great.
Paleo Cinnamon Raisin Bread – This bread is surprisingly delicious for only having 1/4 cup of honey and no sugar. I love that it’s full of protein from the eggs and almond flour. I leave the walnuts out since it’s made from mostly nut flour but I think the raisins are a must since they add a little bit of sweetness :)
Pumpkin Buckwheat Bread – I double the recipe for these buckwheat bakes to make it into a loaf. This bread is barely sweet making it perfect for breakfast. I usually spread some honey, jam or peanut butter on it too. Yum!