Although I generally advise against eating sugary foods, I do believe that you can indulge your sweet tooth once in a while without going overboard, and that there are delectable ways to make your favorite sweet treats a whole lot healthier!
When it comes to healthy dessert recipes, I’m a big fan of dark chocolate – the darker, the better! Dark chocolate not only brings healthy compounds like antioxidants and flavonoids to the table, it’s known to boost “feel-good” chemicals in the brain, and is also contains minerals and fiber – not a list most other sweet treats can boast!
Another tasty and simple way to make dessert recipes healthy is to include fruit. And while avocado may not be the first fruit to come to mind when thinking of chocolate dessert recipes, its rich, smooth texture makes it a great addition to many recipes. To boot, it offers an unparalleled nutritional boost from healthy monounsaturated fat, fiber, and essential nutrients and antioxidants like glutathione and vitamin E.
I also love incorporating berries into desserts because they are lower in sugar than most fruits and they pack a powerful antioxidant punch. Sometimes I work in whole grains like oats and nuts to make dessert recipes healthier, because they add healthy fats and protein to help balance sugar content. In my healthy dessert recipes, I also swap out processed sugars (which lack nutritional value) for natural sweeteners that contain more minerals, vitamins and amino acids, like raw, unfiltered honey.
By doing these few simple things, you’ll be amazed at how satisfying and delicious healthy dessert recipes can be!
Here are some recipes for my favorite easy chocolate desserts:
*Choose organic items whenever possible
Chewy Chocolate Oat Cookies
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup flax seeds
1 large egg
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 cup almond or peanut butter
1/4 to 1/3 cup honey
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 to 1/2 cup of dark chocolate, broken into very small pieces (at least 70% cacao)
Optional: 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut or pumpkin seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then mold into 2-inch cookie discs and bake for 14-16 min.
Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries
8 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao or more), chopped
1 pound strawberries, rinsed
Use a double boiler (one pan inside of another with water) to melt the chocolate. Bring the water in the bottom pan to a simmer and melt the chocolate in the top pan over medium heat. Place wax paper along the bottom of a sheet pan or other flat surface. Dip each strawberry into the melted chocolate, turning it until well-coated, and place on the wax paper surface. Refrigerate strawberries for at least 15 minutes before serving to allow the chocolate to set.
Heavenly Chocolate Pie Recipe
2 cups almonds or walnuts or pecans
8-10 medjool dates, pitted
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 cup walnut or almond butter
10 Tbsp cocoa powder
½ cup raw honey
½ cup coconut butter
¼ cup water
1 Tbsp vanilla
To make the crust: Pulse the nuts in a food processor until finely ground. Add the dates, coconut oil and spice(s), and pulse until they are thoroughly ground and mixed. Press mixture into bottom of a 9.5-inch deep dish pie plate and refrigerate for an hour.
To make the filling: Warm the coconut butter on low heat until barely melted, then process it with the remaining ingredients in the food processor until the mixture is smooth and creamy; for thinner consistency, add more water. Pour chocolate filling into chilled pie plate and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Serve with fresh raspberries.
This healthy dessert recipe originated with Ali Segerston and Tom Malterre, authors of The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook.
Coconut Dark Chocolate Fudge
1/2 cup melted unrefined coconut oil
1/4 cup raw, unfiltered honey
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Mix together the coconut oil and honey and then add in the rest of the ingredients, except for the chopped nuts. Mix until well combined. Pour mixture into a silicone baking dish, or a parchment lined dish. Sprinkle the nuts on top and press gently into the fudge mixture. Place in the fridge and allow to cool until firm, about and hour. Cut and enjoy!
This easy chocolate dessert recipe adapted from this one at Wholefully.com
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
1 ripe medium sized avocado cut open, flesh scooped out
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp raw unfiltered honey
6 Tbsp coconut milk
2 Tbsp shredded coconut
2 Tbsp granola
Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Place mixture into 2 small dishes and top each with half the shredded coconut and granola.
This healthy and easy chocolate dessert recipe has been adapted from theprettybee.com.
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