When health is a top concern — whether it is because you’re dieting or simply living a healthy lifestyle — desserts can seem off-limits. But they don’t have to be! There are several ways to satisfy a sweet tooth without jeopardizing your health goals.
It’s important to note that when looking for a healthy dessert, what one person considers “healthy,” another wouldn’t. For instance, someone who avoids gluten may not be too concerned about sugar content, and someone watching their carbs might still be pro-dairy. Each dessert should be weighed against what your objectives and methods are. Still, there’s something on this list for everyone!
1. Maple Cinnamon Applesauce
This dessert could just as easily be served as a warm breakfast when you feel like indulging in the morning. It uses maple syrup as the sweetener, and would be best with local, in-season apples.
2. Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies
Another recipe sweetened with maple syrup, these cookies are loaded with healthful ingredients like oats, cinnamon, carrots, and coconut oil (if you are watching fat, be mindful of coconut oil’s high saturated fat content).
3. Paleo Strawberry Crumble
Yes, you can eat a crumble dessert and stay paleo. This one uses almond flour to create a crunchy topping.
4. Roasted Strawberry, Rhubarb, and Yogurt Parfaits
The ingredient list is short on this one, which makes it quick and easy. Using fresh fruit, including the winning combo of strawberries and rhubarb, this dessert includes Greek yogurt to boost your protein intake.
5. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
We’ve all done it — risked a stomachache by eating raw cookie dough. But with this recipe, you don’t have to worry about getting sick, as there are no raw eggs. It also uses stevia in place of much of the sugar.
5. Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Two ingredients? Yes. Sweetened only by ripe bananas, this indulgent treat is as simple as it gets.
7. Fresh Mango Ice Cream
The tropical flavor of mangoes makes this sweet frozen treat a great summertime dessert. The recipe does include sugar, but you can keep it diet-friendly by watching your portion sizes.
8. Chocolate Truffles
Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can actually fit into a healthy diet plan! This recipe uses a darker chocolate, almond butter, Greek yogurt, and cocoa powder, and rolls it into mouth-sized bites that can satisfy your craving without damaging your waistline.
9. Cherry Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
This is a vegan version of ice cream, using coconut milk sweetened with maple syrup. You don’t have to be a vegan to appreciate this.
10. Fresh Mango, Kiwi, and Raspberry Pops
Frozen fruit treats like these pops are a great way to beat the summer heat. They have a little bit of sugar added, but you could just as easily leave it out if you like things a bit more tart.
11. No-Bake Energy Bites
You want dessert, but you also want to stay committed to wellness. This solution allows you to do just that without even turning on the oven.
12. Nutella Fudge Protein Bars
Is Nutella really healthy? Well, you certainly could do worse than this dessert. It uses protein powder to up the nutrition factor, too.
13. Chocolate Peanut Butter Avocado Pudding
Before you turn your nose up at using avocado in a pudding, think of the texture (not the color). Avocado is a great way to get a smooth pudding while contributing healthy fats!
14. Two-Ingredient Cookies
Can you make cookies with just two ingredients? The answer is yes. This is the base recipe for some creative cookie-ing. If you have raisins, chocolate chips, or nuts — feel free to make this batch your own!
15. Three-Ingredient Banana Cups
They may look like peanut butter cups, but inside is a banana surprise! These banana cups are both easy to make and a great way to beat a chocolate craving.
16. Healthy Cookie Dough Blizzard
If you’re tempted to hit your favorite ice cream spot, freeze! Try this healthy hack instead. Using frozen bananas for the “ice cream” base, this option will do far less harm to your healthy efforts.
17. Frozen Banana Bites
You don’t have to be a vegan to eat like one. Similar to the banana cups, these require very little work for a very sweet reward.
18. Roasted Honey and Cinnamon Peaches
Sweetened with honey, this dessert is a great way to make use of farm fresh peaches in the spring. Served over Greek yogurt, it’s a guilt-free indulgence.
19. Secret Fruit Salad
Fruit salad is a classic healthy dessert, but this recipe has a secret. Hint: It’s in the dressing.