Delicious

(Not So) Guilty Pleasures: Healthy Dessert Alternatives

There is room in this world for deliciously grilled fruit and for the days that you just need hot fudge lava cake a la mode.

I’ve had a major sweet tooth my entire life. My childhood was full of PopTarts, all the Little Debbie treats and countless pints of ice cream. While any food isn’t inherently bad or good, some definitely contain more nutrition than others. Growing older, eventually health became one of my priorities. I started making recipes for alternative desserts that were still just as enjoyable as my long-time favorite Cosmic Brownies. Here are some of my favorite ways to indulge while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle:

Spiced Up Fruit

Fruit is delicious on its own. But, if you begin hankering for a sweet treat that requires more than a plain old apple, there are tons of ways to enhance these sweet treats. One of my favorite quick fixes is roasting whatever fruit is in season and then topping it with a protein ice cream such as Halo Top or Arctic Zero (and don’t forget cinnamon)!

Easy Spiced Hot Fruit Bake! A delicious and healthy holiday breakfast bake! This gluten free spiced hot fruit bake also makes for a great topping for waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, or by simply by itself! A nutritious dish to add to your Christmas or New Year's Brunch! Vegan friendly.

I made this for Christmas this past year, and it was absolutely delicious. Although, I do recommend making it the night, or even a couple days, beforehand because it tastes better as leftovers.

easy-baked-peaches| HollysCheatDay.com

Fresh fruit salsa with cinnamon crisps recipe. This homemade fruit salsa is so easy and very delicious! It will be the hit of any party!

APPLE COOKIES from Rachel Schultz Substitute, Substitute, Substitute

You can still enjoy your favorite desserts in a healthy way by just substituting key ingredients for healthier alternatives!

Super-Moist Avocado Brownies are mouthwateringly delicious! Kids love this egg-free brownie recipe too and with just 10 minutes prep time and 30 minutes to bake, you can enjoy this healthier chocolate dessert in no time!

(P.S. don’t make these unless you are willing to share with others because they will always be eaten up)

Svelte Vegan and Gluten-Free Protein Shakes | Healthy Baking Substitutes Infographic

2 Ingredient Banana Coconut Cookies (Grain/Sugar/Dairy/Nut/Egg-Free, Paleo) | Fresh Planet FlavorSneak it In

Whether veggies or protein, there are countless ways to sneak nutrition into your desserts.

Dessert Alternatives Spinach Muffins. These kid-favorite muffins are 100% whole wheat, refined-sugar-free, and packed with fresh spinach!

high protein caramel mocha donuts Dessert Alternatives

No-Cook Options

If you aren’t exactly a pro in the kitchen, no worries! There are plenty of store-bought options to choose from.

Related imageQuest is one of my favorite brands. Warm up their protein cookies or bars in the microwave for a delicious and easy treat.

  • Low-Calorie Ice Creams

Image result for low calorie ice cream Dessert AlternativesImage via Consumer Reports

Halo Top, Arctic Zero, Breyers, Skinny Cow, and Enlightened are just a few of the major protein ice cream brands on the market right now. My personal favorites are Arctic Zero and Halo Top (especially the rainbow swirl and peanut butter cup flavors).

Image result for larabar Dessert Alternatives

Image via Go Dairy Free

Every product Larabar releases is delicious. They use minimal ingredients and processing as well, which is always a plus!

Dessert AlternativesThese are delicious either alone or with some nut butter and fruit.

As you can see, there are tons of ways to indulge in healthier ways. However, there is nothing wrong with partaking in the classic desserts either. Everything in moderation is perfectly okay. There is room in this world for deliciously grilled fruit and for the days that you just need hot fudge lava cake a la mode. Moral of the story: just enjoy. Please comment with any of your favorite products or recipes, I’d love to hear!

Cover image via Daily Harvest

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Sarah is a sophomore studying journalism at the University of Miami. She...