If you’re anything like me, your meal isn’t complete until you have dessert. Unfortunately, eating chocolate cake and ice cream twice a day, everyday, eventually catches up to you. Instead of cutting out dessert completely, try out these 15 healthy swaps for when you’re craving something sweet.
1. Baked Apples
Instead of eating apple pie, try making baked apples. This healthy yet tasty snack is easy to make and can be made anywhere if you have an oven or microwave. You can either slice apples up or bake them whole.
If you slice them up, all you have to do is put a little maple syrup and a touch of cinnamon on top then stick it in the oven or microwave. You can also add some granola or nuts to the top, to make it seem more pie like.
Throwback to making popsicles during those hot summer days in 5th grade. This is a fun and yummy way to satisfy your craving with very few ingredients. You can use any fruit or juice you want whether its nectarines, orange juice, grapefruit or watermelon. You can even spice things up by making sangria popsicles.
3. Fruit Kebabs
Fruit kebabs are a great snack that you can experiment with. Personally, I like using apples, strawberries and bananas but you could use pretty much any fruit whether its grapes, pineapple, blueberries or melon. I also like to drizzle a little chocolate syrup or spread a tiny bit of Nutella on top. You could also put yogurt on top if you feel like mixing things up or are just not a huge chocolate lover (if that’s even possible).
If you would rather drink your dessert, try making one of these smoothies. All you need is your choice of fruit (strawberry + banana = yum), yogurt, milk and honey depending on what kind of smoothie you’re making. If you’re craving something similar to a creamy milkshake, try adding protein powder to your smoothie. If you’re looking for an even healthier smoothie, skip the yogurt and milk by using ice, extra fruit, and some juice.
5. Chia Pudding
Chia pudding is not only tasty, but it also has a lot of health benefits. Each tiny seed has 5 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. Chia seeds also have omega-3 and with the combination of these 3 benefits, you will actually stay fuller for longer. There are countless numbers of different chia pudding recipes, whether it’s creamsicle chia pudding, mango and coconut chia pudding, or even chocolate peanut butter chia pudding. While I would definitely recommend making one (or all) of these puddings, just make sure you set aside some time because it can take 2 to 24 hours to make depending on the recipe you choose.
This healthy dessert is packed with nutrients, like protein and vitamins, and is a lot more fun than just eating the ingredients plain. There is a wide range of possibilities when making a yogurt parfait. You can use any flavor of yogurt, any type of fruit, different kinds of granola, and you can even add some extra toppings like peanut butter, Nutella or coconut flakes. If you’re trying to get a good picture, you can make your yogurt parfait extra photogenic by putting the ingredients in a mason jar.
I’m not just talking plain old granola (although you could eat that too), I was thinking something more like maple pecan granola with cherries. If you don’t like cherries, try making this granola with a different fruit or just try another recipe all together. Tropical mango coconut granola is a great one to make for those summer days that are quickly approaching, and you can even make it in ball form.
8. Dessert Gum
This is definitely the simplest way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Extra has a special line of gums called Dessert Delights and they are actually delicious. My favorite is mint chocolate chip but there is also a cinnamon roll flavor, and they are both sugar free. Chewing bubble gum or fruity flavored gums are also good sweet options and almost every company makes at least one fruit flavor so this should be easy to find.
9. Frozen Strawberry Yogurt Bites
This three-step snack is super tasty and looks pretty cool too. All you have to do is take strawberries and dip them in yogurt (usually Greek yogurt but you could use any kind), put them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and stick them in your freezer until they are frozen. When they are frozen to your liking, take them out of the freezer and pop them in your mouth whole or cut them into bite-sized pieces.
10. Trail Mix
This one is only healthy if you eat everything in the trail mix, not just the M&M’s. If your making your own trail mix, start by adding different types of nuts, seeds and grains. Some grains include pretzels or whole grain cereals like Cheerios or bran flakes. In order to make the trail mix sweet, add a handful of M&M’s, dried fruit or both. Some other good sweet options to add to your trail mix include cacao nibs, yogurt covered raisins, or chocolate covered nuts.
WTF is sunomono? It’s a Japanese style cucumber salad that is sweet, sour, and delicious, all at once. This salad only takes about 10 minutes to make and although it sounds like you would need a bazillion ingredients to go with the salad’s fancy name, you really only need 5. The ingredients include cucumbers (duh), salt, vinegar, sugar and soy sauce. Some people also like to add seaweed, crab or shrimp for a more intense sunomono salad.
12. Açaí Bowls
Growing up in Los Angeles, I have tried a countless number of açaí bowls. There are probably at least 15 places where I can find an açaí bowl just within a 3-mile radius of my house. But now being in college and being car-less, it can be kind of a hassle to go and get an açaí bowl, which is why making one is a good option (not to mention cheaper).
Buying a pre-made açaí bowl from a restaurant can cost anywhere from $7 to $15, but if you buy the ingredients and make the açaí bowl at home, each bowl will only cost around $3. All you need is a pack of unsweetened acai, fruit of your choice, and toppings of your choice. Personally, I like putting mango, banana, strawberry, vanilla granola and honey on top but the options are endless.
13. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is filled with antioxidants, which can lead to smoother skin, and lower blood pressure. Not to mention, it’s delicious. There are so many things you can eat when it comes to dark chocolate whether it is chocolate covered berries, chocolate covered ginger, chocolate covered pretzels or just plain dark chocolate.
This vegan dessert looks good, tastes delicious, and is only 79 calories. All you need to make these peanut butter filled cookies, is 9 common household ingredients including peanut butter, oats and cinnamon. This recipe also doesn’t take that long since you don’t need to bake the cookies. You can either eat them right after you make them or put them in the fridge if you’re looking for a cold dessert or if you just want to save them for later.
This vegan ice cream has less calories and fat than normal ice cream and contains added health benefits since it contains fiber and protein. This is really easy to make and only uses 2 ingredients; bananas and peanut butter. All you need to do is peel and slice the bananas, freeze them for 2 hours, and then blend them with the peanut butter. If you aren’t a huge peanut butter fan, try making this low calorie cherry chocolate ice cream.