Low-carb, gluten-free, vegan, Paleo – these aren’t the typical words I use to describe the desserts I feature on this blog.
But today is different! Today we’re going to talk about some healthy desserts. January is filled with a lot of dieting and healthy eating resolutions, but while I stand by my belief that it’s best to start the year with something sweet and buttery, I’m also a big advocate of balance.
To me, balance means that on some days, I eat something cake-like for breakfast, but on most days I eat Greek yogurt or eggs. It means that on some nights, I eat a rib eye steak with a side of broccoli, and on other nights I eat mostly broccoli with a side of tofu. It means having a glass of red wine in one hand, and a glass of white wine in the other.
Did I just ruin the moment?
But seriously guys, sometimes we just have to push the Salted Caramel Crunch Brownies aside (to store in the freezer for future consumption) and eat a healthy dessert. And I’m not talking about fresh fruit. I’m talking about healthy desserts that taste like TREATS. Sweet, delicious, and good-for-you.
Here’s five of my favorites:
Coconut Chia Pudding (pictured on top) – this is so darn healthy, it’s almost annoying. Chia seeds – a great source of protein and omega-3s – are soaked in vanilla almond milk and light coconut milk, and it plumps up to a slightly weird looking but delicious pudding. I mix in a little shredded coconut and turbinado sugar, and top with fresh blueberries, but it’s easy to customize to your liking. A little cup makes for a nice light dessert or snack.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream – this soft serve is a dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, vegan dessert. It’s cold, creamy, chocolate peanut butter and banana flavored ice cream, studded with dark chocolate chips and walnuts. Freeze it a little longer and it will mimic the texture of regular ice cream, but I prefer this softer version.
Pumpkin Quinoa Yogurt Parfait – I admit that just saying the word quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) makes me feel all healthy and wholesome. I go through phases where I eat it a lot of it, get tired of it for a few months, then re-ignite my appreciation for it. I’m in a phase now where I just want to eat quinoa salads. But this isn’t a salad, it’s a parfait. Quinoa is mixed with pumpkin puree, then layered with Greek yogurt mixed with peanut butter, and cut with bananas and pecans for added flavor and texture.
Chocolate Cherry Smoothie – I call this my Cherry Garcia smoothie because it has all the flavors of my favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Low-fat, vegan, gluten-free, and filled with fiber and protein. Taste like Cherry Garcia, but it’s much more nutritious. And you don’t have to be a Deadhead to like it.
Chocolate Coconut Avocado Pudding – I just made this a few weeks ago and really, really loved it. It’s the healthiest and most chocolatey recipe that I have made that actually DO NOT taste light nor healthy. This chocolate pudding tastes rich and velvety and decadent. Thick and creamy dreamy goodness with a sweet coconut crunch. It’s so ridiculously good.
These desserts aren’t all low-calorie or low-fat, but they are packed with heart-healthy fats. I’ve categorized almost all of these as breakfast food, too, because I’ve eaten all of them for breakfast. Just not all at the same time. Balance, remember?