Do you have a sweet tooth?
I’ve loved chocolate for as long as I can remember. Pair it with mint or peanut butter and I’m in absolute Heaven!
So, how can you satisfy your cravings for sweets without packing on the pounds or piling on the guilt? Enjoy one of these quick, healthy dessert substitutions – GUILT FREE – and rest assured that you are fueling your body with the nutrients it needs instead of undoing all the progress you’ve worked so hard for!
As an added bonus, these sweet treats won’t spike your blood sugar like typical desserts. This helps regulate your metabolism and energy levels instead of causing a “sugar high” and subsequent “crash” that leaves you feeling lethargic and increases your sugar cravings. Try them out, post your review below, and share your favorite healthy “dessert” recipe in the comments section!
1. Chocolate Peanut Butter “Pudding” – Mix 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use nonfat), 2T Natural Peanut Butter, 2T unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1-2 T honey or a pinch of pure Stevia. Makes 2 servings. You can also add ½ cup of fresh berries (I use raspberries) to make it a complete, balanced “meal” – Greek yogurt for protein, Natural PB for healthy fat, and fresh fruit for your carbohydrate.
2. Strawberry “Cheesecake” –Mix ¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese, ½ tsp vanilla extract, a pinch of pure Stevia (or other natural sweetener), and a dash of ground cinnamon. Top with fresh strawberries or the berry of your choice. (This recipe is 21 Day Fix Friendly and counts as 1 red and 1 purple container.)
3. Homemade Trail Mix – Leave out the M&Ms and replace them with dark chocolate chips or raw cacao nibs, both of which are packed with heart-healthy antioxidants. Add raw, unsalted nuts (my favorites are almonds, peanuts, or pecans), no sugar added dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricots, etc.), and pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
4. Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars – Mix 4 scoops of Chocolate Shakeology (or the chocolate protein powder of your choice), 2 cups old-fashioned oats, 1/3 cup chopped peanuts or walnuts (optional), 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, and ½ cup natural peanut butter (or almond butter). Press into an 8X8 pan and refrigerate for a few hours. Cut into bars and enjoy! (If you’d like 4 scoops of Shakeology to make these, please email me.)
5. Chia Superfood Pudding – whether it’s chocolate or fruity you crave, these healthy little seeds are a great way to add fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, and tons of other micro nutrients to your sweet treat! Here’s a great gluten-free, vegan, Chocolate Chia Superfood Pudding from tasty-yummies.com. I use a pinch of pure Stevia in place of the pure maple syrup and add 1/2 banana to create a thicker consistency if I can only let it sit for a few hours. If you prefer “fruity” desserts, try this recipe from Raspberry Chia Pudding from the Beachbody Blog. Both are delicious!
6. Baked Sweet Potato – Does this really qualify as a dessert? Why not? Brush a sweet potato with a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle it with salt and pepper (optional), and bake at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Then, mash it into a bowl and top it with some chopped pecans, ground cinnamon, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup. It’ll satisfy your sweet tooth while supplying your body with lots of fiber; vitamins B6, C, and E; beta-carotene; and manganese – an added bonus!
7. Baked Cinnamon Apples or Peaches – Melt 1 Tbsp. coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl (20 seconds in the microwave should do it). Cut your apple or peach into wedges and toss in the bowl with the coconut oil, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until soft. Or, to save time, cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap or a lid and microwave on high power for 2 minutes. My kids love this one!
8. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt – Mix ¾ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt (or 2%) with 1 Tbsp. natural almond or peanut butter, 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (or a natural sweetener of your choice; I use a pinch of pure Stevia), and ¼ tsp vanilla extract. Top with mini chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate chips). To chill, allow it to refrigerate for 30-60 minutes before serving. This is a great substitute for ice cream!
9. Peanut Butter Banana Roll Up – Peanut butter and banana go together almost as well as peanut butter and chocolate! Spread 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter on an Ezekiel tortilla (found in the freezer section of the health food aisle) and top with banana slices. Roll up and enjoy! If you don’t have sprouted grain or whole grain tortillas, you can spread the peanut butter on a slice of bread (make sure it’s whole grain) or an unsalted rice cake.
10. Protein Smoothies – there are SO many great recipes out there, but I’ll start with my all-time favorites. For additional recipes or for samples of the Chocolate or Vanilla Shakeology (a complete nutrition, high protein health shake), please email me.
Peanut Butter Cup Super Food Smoothie – Think Reese’s Pieces in a cup. Need I say more? Blend ½ frozen banana, 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter, ¾ cup water (or milk), one scoop Chocolate Shakeology (or the chocolate protein powder of your choice) and ice to taste.
Thin Mint Smoothie – Yes, it tastes just like the Girl Scout cookie! Blend ½ frozen banana, ½ tsp. vanilla extract, ¼ tsp. peppermint extract, 1 ½ cups water, one scoop Chocolate Shakeology (or the chocolate protein powder of your choice), 1-2 handfuls of spinach/greens, and ice to taste.
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie – It might remind you of Thanksgiving, but this sweet treat can be enjoyed any time of the year! Blend ½ cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling – it shouldn’t have any added sugar), 1 Tbsp. chopped raw pecans (optional), ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk (or water), 1 tsp. pure maple syrup, 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology (or the vanilla protein powder of your choice), and ice to taste.
For additional Shakeology recipes, click here.
11. Yogurt Parfait – most store bought granolas are laden with refined sugars, but you can make a batch of your own that tastes just as good and will last for days. This almond vanilla granola is one of my favorites. I layer non-fat plain Greek yogurt with granola (½ cup total) and fresh berries, mango, or banana for a protein-packet treat. If you are not used to the tartness of Greek yogurt, use regular yogurt or sweeten it with a drizzle of honey, pure maple syrup, a pinch of Stevia or coconut sugar, or sugar in the raw.
12. Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Quinoa Energy Balls (click on the link to access recipe from Simply Quinoa) – The perfect mix of salty and sweet with the added health benefits of dark chocolate and quinoa. I store these in my fridge and grab one (or two) when I need a little something sweet after my meal.
Coming soon: Guilt-free Mint Chip “Ice Cream” Pie – second to my love of chocolate and peanut butter is my love for chocolate and mint. My all-time favorite dessert growing up was mint chocolate chip ice cream pie. I’m still perfecting my “healthified” version of this dessert so stay tuned for the recipe. Subscribe to my blog to be the first to get it!
Call to Action: What’s your favorite healthy “dessert” or other nutritious swap? Share it here, along with any modifications you make to the recipe, so I can add it to our recipes page!