One of the most important of living a balanced lifestyle is just that, being balanced. As humans, there is no sustainable way that we can always be perfect healthy eaters. Special events, birthdays, weddings, social events, and just run-of-the-mill cravings invite sweets and desserts into our lives. And for most of us, we can only say no so many times until we cave. But honoring these desires is not bad. In fact, if we do it a moderate and controlled amount, we can enjoy all the goodies while still staying on track. For some healthy dessert inspiration, keep reading.
Chocolate Chip Baked Oats
Oats are a low-cost, healthy food choice. The fiber and carbs keep us full and energized for the rest of your day. And with a little creativity, borning old oatmeal can become a sweet treat that you won’t have to feel guilty about.
- 1 Cup Oats
- 1 Banana
- 1 Egg
- 1/2 cup milk of choice
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tbsp agave
- 1 tbsp nut butter of choice
- 2 tbsp chocolate chips
- Protein tip: add a scoop of protein powder for extra protein (if adding, add an extra 1/4 cup milk)
To start, preheat an oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Mix together all the ingredients with the exception of the chocolate chips. Blend until smooth. Once combined, fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into a greased oven-safe dish, like a ramekin. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!
Healthy Chocolate Pudding
One of the more difficult parts of eating healthy is when we’re on the go. It is easy to grab a prepackaged processed treat to take with us. But these options are generally packed with excessive sugars, fats, and oils. For a pick-me-up that tastes like a childhood favorite, check out this chocolate pudding recipe.
- 2 tablespoons Dutch-process or dark cocoa powder (not regular cocoa powder!)
- ½ cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
For this minimal ingredient recipe, mix all the ingredients into a bowl. Continue stirring until everything is smooth and well incorporated. It should thin out as you mix. If the mixture still feels too thick, you can ½ to 1 tablespoon of water. Taste your pudding and adjust the cocoa powder and maple syrup until it reaches your liking. Enjoy!
Lemony Yogurt Pound Cake
The best desserts are the ones you can also eat for breakfast. Yes, for breakfast (don’t worry we won’t tell!). While pound cake is traditionally a heavy, relatively unhealthy dessert, this yogurt version packs the same amount of flavor with less of the sugars and fats. The touch of lemon makes for a delightful not-too-sweet taste that is sure to tingle your taste buds.
- Nonstick baking spray, for coating loaf pan
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup plain low fat (2-percent) Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup low fat (1-percent) milk
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 large egg
Start by preheating your oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Mix together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingers, rub together the lemon and sugar. To this, add the yogurt, olive oil, vanilla, milk, egg whites, and 1 whole egg. Whisk together until completely combined. Pour the dry ingredient mix into the wet and fold until just combined (don’t over mix). Add your batter to the greased loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool briefly before removing it from the pan. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake
For a dessert that will wow any crowd, even if it’s just your family, try this frozen strawberry cheesecake. The crust, composed of nutritious, tasty whole foods will put any other biscuit base to shame. The fresh taste of the sweet strawberries makes this lighter option feel indulgent.
For the cheesecake:
- 250g raw cashews, soaked overnight
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 125ml (1/2 cup) light coconut cream
- 250g light cream cheese, at room temperature, chopped
- 2 tbsp honey or rice malt syrup
- 250g fresh strawberries, hulled
- Strawberry powder, to serve (see Notes) (optional)
- Edible fresh flowers, to serve (optional)
For the base:
- 100g (1/2 cup) raw buckwheat
- 100g natural almonds
- 45g (1/2 cup) desiccated coconut
- 10 fresh Medjool dates, pitted, chopped
- 1 tbsp honey or rice malt syrup
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
To begin, preheat your oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Place the buckwheat and almonds on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned (roughly 10 minutes). Once cooled, add the mix to a food processor and blend until it reaches a bread crumb consistency. Then add the coconut and dates. Process the mix again until everything is finely chopped. Transfer the mix into a bowl and add the honey or syrup and coconut oil. Grease a square baking pan. Press the base mixture into the bottom until it is level. Freeze overnight.
For the cheesecake filling, add the overnight soaked cashews to a blender. Add the lemon juice, coconut cream, and vanilla. Blend together, being sure to scrape down the sides so it all can get incorporated. It should start to look thick and creamy. Then add the strawberries, cream cheese, and honey or syrup. Continue to blend until these added ingredients are incorporated. Pour over the base until it’s even and freeze for 8 hours. When you’re ready to serve, take the cheesecake out and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Cut into squares and enjoy!
There is nothing wrong with indulging in a sweet treat every once in a while, whether it’s been healthy-fied or not. But if you’re looking to put together something that is both dessert-like and healthy, then these recipes are for you. Balanced lifestyles are about making room for the things we like and for the things that are good for us.