Healthy Desserts? Yes, Please

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Since we’re friends by now, I don’t feel right lying to you guys. Instead, I’m going to let you all in on a little secret: this may come as a surprise, but I’m not the most willing person when it comes to sharing food, especially dessert. However, I’m also not the kind of foodie who hoards dessert recipes that are both nutritious and delicious (there’s a rhyme I’m sure none of you have heard before).

I like to indulge in something sweet once a week in order to satisfy my everlasting sweet/salty/savory tooth (if you couldn’t already tell, I love all types of food). When I think of having dessert, I think of having a snack that rewards all of the hard work I put into healthy eating throughout the week.

Oddly enough, I’m not the only one who loves to enjoy a good old fashioned snack. In fact, Americans today eat about 25% of their calories from snacks. This is why it’s so incredibly important to surround yourself with foods, including desserts, that won’t make you feel like you cheated on your healthy diet after you’ve eaten them. If you’re done feeling ashamed about your dessert cravings like I am, then you’ve come to the right place.

It all started with yet another Cosmopolitan tweet (I swear, they have some of the best recipe suggestions!). Here are a few chocolatey, fudgey and (un)dangerously delicious dessert recipes that’ll make you want to preheat your oven ASAP.

It’s no secret that the world is full of chocolate lovers, me included. Luckily for us, maintaining a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean giving up an ingredient that dates as far back as 1400 B.C.E., when it was originally prepared as a bitter drink that was sometimes fermented.

Crazy Healthy Good Chocolate Chip Coconut Pan Cookie

This recipe comes to you from Sweet Anna’s and has me wanting to run to the store and buy all of its ingredients despite currently being in the midst of a snowstorm.

The ingredients include:

  • 3 cups garbanzo beans (2 cans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned or quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded or flaked coconut (either sweetened or unsweetened is fine)
  • 1/2 cup Wholesome Sweeteners organic coconut palm sugar (can substitute for more brown)
  • 1 cup Wholesome Sweeteners organic dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • (optional: additional chocolate chips and coconut for sprinkling on top)

After you’ve preheated the oven to 350ºF and greased a 10″ cast iron skillet, or a 9×13″ baking dish, combine all the ingredients except the chocolate chips into a food processor and pulse until well combined.

Then, dump the dough into a large bowl and stir in the chocolate chips. Spread everything into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.

After the batch has cooled for 10-15 minutes, you’re ready to serve this insanely good-for-you dessert to all of your unsuspecting friends and family. They won’t even know what hit ’em (it’s nutrition, in case you missed that).

Anna, the blogger behind this recipe, swears that what makes this recipe so healthy are two specific ingredients: garbanzo beans and apple sauce. If this unlikely combination doesn’t intrigue your taste buds, then I don’t know what will.

Flourless Fudge Cookies

I promised you fudgey in the beginning of this post, and fudgey you shall get. Even though the last recipe was definitely worth sharing, it’s ingredient list is quite extensive and can be intimidating to baking newbies (don’t worry, I myself am one).

Thus, I bring you a cookie recipe from i heart eating that is a bit easier to follow without making you sacrifice flavor.

All you need is:

  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of semisweet mini chocolate chips

After you’ve preheated the oven to 350ºF and sprayed your baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray, whisk together the powdered sugar with cocoa powder and salt. Next, stir in the vanilla and egg whites and whisk just until the batter is moistened (ugh, does that word make anyone else cringe?).

Then, stir in the chocolate chips and spoon out bits of your batter by the teaspoonful onto the baking sheets. Let them bake for 8-10 minutes, let the cookies cool, and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Or if you’re anything like me, eat them while they’re still cooling and burn the roof of your mouth (no regrets, in case you were wondering).

Healthy Frozen Yogurt

Some say that you should save the best for last. While this recipe may not necessarily be the best for everyone, it can certainly be deemed the simplest.

Did you know that if you freeze a ripe banana and blend it, it comes the texture of frozen yogurt? This banana trick, which I learned from 52 Kitchen Adventures, literally changed my life and makes for the easiest, cheapest and healthiest sweet treat.

After peeling your bananas and freezing them for 24 hours, remove your bananas from the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. After processing the bananas in a food processor or blender until smooth, you’re ready to enjoy your frozen dessert.

I don’t know about you guys, but a serving of froyo without toppings looks incomplete to me. Personally, I love decorating mine with different kinds of fruit (especially raspberries and blueberries) and some dark chocolate chips.

If you’re still hesitant about how legitimately healthy these recipes are, here’s a reason not to be. Cocoa, a central ingredient in two out of the three recipes I’ve provided, contains vitamin E and some of the B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin and niacin), as well as minerals such as magnesium, copper, phosphorus and zinc.

In addition to this, chocolate causes the brain to release endorphins, chemicals that make us feel good. In a way, you’d be doing yourself and everyone around you a favor by indulging in some of these recipes.

You’re welcome. Now, get cracking on whipping up these yummy and nutritious dessert ideas! You deserve it.

xo

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