Healthy Dessert Alternatives
Have a sweet tooth but trying to eat healthy for the New Year? A little sweet indulgence can still be okay as long as you watch the portion size and don’t do it every day! Also, if you make a few baked treats from scratch you will have more control of what goes into it and can use healthy substitutions like pure honey for sugar or unsweetened applesauce for butter. Below are a few go to sweets I love to incorporate in my healthy lifestyle to satisfy sweet cravings and have a little fun!
Protein Black Bean Fudgy Brownies
- 1-3/4 cups cooked unsalted black beans, drained
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup chocolate protein powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup pecans
- Preheat oven to 350* F. In a food processor, blend beans, melted coconut oil and honey until beans are smooth.
- Add in cocoa powder, protein powder, sea salt, and vanilla, and puree until mixed in.
- Add eggs and pulse to mix.
- Finally, add in pecans and pulse to chop and mix in.
- Spray a 8×8 or 8×10-inch pan with cooking spray and pour in batter.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top starts to crack and brownies are set and not runny when you push down gently in the center.
- Allow to cool, cut into squares and store in the fridge, these are best at room temperature or chilled.
(Adapted from Health, Home and Happiness)
Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
- 3 Large Ripe Bananas, Peeled, Chopped and Frozen
- 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 T Peanut Butter (unsalted and no added sugar)
- Optional: 2-3 T Almond, Coconut or Cashew Milk (Chocolate Milk is an option too)
- Add bananas, cocoa powder and 2 T of peanut butter to a blender.
- Process until ice cream consistency is reached. You may need to scrape down the sides occasionally but this should only take 1-3 minutes. Add milk if you want a thinner consistency (milkshake)
- Stir in 1 other tablespoon of peanut butter to create “chunks”.
- Eat immediately or store in freezer until ready to eat and scoop out like ice cream.
- Note: Can opt out of adding peanut butter for just chocolate flavor or both peanut butter and cocoa for a plain banana flavor!
(Adapted from The Healthy Maven)
Protein Nut Butter Buckeyes
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter or almond butter (unsalted and no sugar added)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
- 2 T honey or pure maple syrup
- 1 cup dark chocolate
- 1 T coconut oil, melted
- Combine peanut butter (nut butter), vanilla extract, protein powder, and honey in a medium-size bowl. Mix until the texture is like cookie dough.
- Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a 1 T cookie dough scooper, scoop dough into your hand. Roll into a ball and place on paper. Repeat.
- Place baking sheet in freezer for about 30 minutes, or long enough for the balls to settle and firm up a bit.
- While your balls are chilling. Place 1 cup chocolate chips in a small bowl. You want it to be big enough to fit the chocolate chips, but small enough so that you can dip the balls. Microwave for about 60 seconds. Then, add in coconut oil and mix.
- Once your balls have firmed up, it’s time to dip and place on a cookie drying rack to prevent any rings from forming. Place a ball on the end of a fork. Dip ball into chocolate, leaving a ring at the tip. Hold your fork with your left and and use your right hand to tap your wrist, so that any extra chocolate drips off. Finally, use a toothpick to slide the ball off the fork onto your drying rack. Repeat.
- Place cookie rack into the freezer to speed up the drying process.
- Best eaten frozen!
(Adapted from FitFoodieFinds)