10 Indulgent Desserts That Are Actually Good for You

By Ashley Marcin on 17 March 2015 0 comments

Dessert. It's my favorite part of the day, and I make a point to have something sweet after dinner almost every night. However, as I've entered my 30s, I've noticed that even with all the working out in the world, I no longer have carte blanche when it comes to eating extras. So, I've begun to rethink the mainstays of my past and exchange them for desserts that taste great and are actually somewhat healthy.

1. Cookie Dough

Stop yourself from buying that plastic tube of cookie dough and make your own cookie dough balls instead. These treats are healthy enough to snack on throughout the day, not just as an after-dinner indulgence. They're made from cashews, rolled oats, spelt flour, medjool dates, maple syrup, and dark chocolate.

2. Brownies

I've seen a lot of healthy brownie recipes, but I can't count the number of times this gluten-free sweet potato brownie recipe has been recommended to me. Most shocking is the short ingredients list, which is only six items long: sweet potatoes, almond meal, buckwheat flour, medjool dates, raw cacao powder, and maple syrup (and a pinch of sea salt).

3. Ice Cream

If you haven't tried banana ice cream yet, please promise me you'll go slice a few bananas right now to freeze ahead. The first time I whipped a batch together, I was skeptical. Now? I can't get enough of the stuff. After the bananas are frozen, you blend them in a food processor with peanut butter and other ingredients (totally customizable) until it turns creamy. Enjoy immediately for best results.

4. Doughnuts

Have you seen all the delicious baked doughnuts popping up in your news feeds? I'm drooling just thinking of them. You can buy a doughnut pan for less than $10 on Amazon and be on your way to healthier treats in no time. This particular recipe is made using whole wheat flour and ground flaxseed, both great sources of fiber not normally found at your bakery.

5. Milkshake

Here's all the smooth texture you love in a milkshake with less of a caloric punch. Try this vegan vanilla cashew shake made with chia seeds for thick texture and enhanced nutrition. If you prefer a chocolate shake (I do!), toss in a tablespoon or two of unsweetened cocoa powder for good measure.

6. Cookies

These healthy chocolate cookies have some explaining to do. They look incredibly fudgy and decadent, yet they don't contain flour, sugar, or butter. Not only that, but these cookies also provide a hefty dose of monounsaturated fat from avocado. Sounds too good to be true? Be sure to check out the comments from the many people who've given them two thumbs up.

7. Cheesecake

Cut down on calories and add protein to your favorite cold dessert with this Greek yogurt cheesecake recipe. If you want to make it even better, try using Neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese, which has fewer calories. The end result might be slightly softer with this additional substitution, but I like my cheesecake soft and creamy. Don't you agree?

8. Peanut Butter Cups

From baked items to candy, I often crave a dense peanut butter cup. So, I decided to make my own using healthier ingredients from my pantry. These vegan peanut butter cups are now stored in my freezer for quick thawing whenever I get a craving for the sweet stuff. And I can pronounce everything that's inside them — peanut butter, coconut flour, coconut sugar, maple sugar, chocolate, and coconut oil.

9. Cake

Almonds are teeming with vitamin E, monounsaturated fat, magnesium, potassium, and fiber, which makes them an amazing star ingredient in this cherry-almond cake. With less than 250 calories per serving, it's a dessert you can finish with little guilt. Those of you who aren't keen on cherries can experiment with other antioxidant-rich fruits — like blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc. — in the same ratio.

10. Cupcakes

By the nature of their individual size, you'd think cupcakes would help with portion-control. That's not always the case, but you can have confidence that these chocolate hazelnut cupcakes are good for you. They're made with zucchini and — get this — are appropriate for those of you who follow the Paleo diet. Three cheers because we can all enjoy this dessert!

What are your favorite mostly healthy dessert recipes? Please share in comments!

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