A resolution to eat better does not mean that you need to give up on dessert! For many of us, a treat at the end of the day is oh-so necessary. So don’t be ashamed of your sweet tooth—try these ideas to lighten up your favorite desserts or whip up our banana-avocado “ice cream.”
- Add superfoods to your sweets: Toss some of your favorite superfoods into a no-bake cookie mix to transform your treats. Goji berries, chia, and flax are all great additions.
- Substitute with Applesauce: Unsweetened applesauce is a great sub for oil, butter, sugar, and eggs. This fruity option is especially great in muffins and sweet breads, like banana and zucchini, to help keep them moist.
- Swap with Pumpkin Purée: If you aren’t a fan of applesauce (or if you are a big fan of pumpkin), then pumpkin purée is the perfect oil replacement for you! The ratio of pumpkin to oil is one-to-one, so it is a very easy swap. It doesn’t add a strong pumpkin flavor, we promise.
- Use Coconut Sugar or Coconut Oil: Unlike regular sugar, coconut sugar contains nutrients and has a comparably low glycemic index. Plus, it’ll give your treat a subtle coconut flavor. As far as coconut oil goes, we use it for everything, from savory cooking to sweet treats to skin moisturizer.
- Add Cinnamon for Sweetness: If you aren’t a fan of coconuts, cinnamon is another great replacement sweetener. This flavorful spice will trick your buds into tasting the sweetness you crave. We love it on top of yogurt with fresh (or frozen) fruit and flax seeds swirled in.
- Mix with Unsweetened Cocoa: If you’re craving the taste of chocolate but don’t want the sugar, scoop in some unsweetened cocoa power into your next smoothie. Our fave: banana, almond milk, almond butter, cocoa powder.
- Ditch Dairy for Frozen Fruit Desserts: Use frozen bananas as a base for a delicious dairy-free and vegan homemade ice cream. Try making our avocado and banana soft serve with pistachios (pictured above)!
Banana-Avocado “Ice Cream”
2 frozen bananas
1/4 cup pistachios
1 tablespoon shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Coconut milk or almond milk (optional)
Make sure that your bananas have had some time to thaw or you might have a difficult time blending them. Blend bananas, avocado, coconut, vanilla extract, and almond extract until it’s completely smooth. (This will make it feel like soft serve ice cream.) If your “ice cream” is still slightly chunky, add coconut milk or almond milk to make it creamier. Spoon it in a bowl and add crushed pistachios on top. (We also added coconut flakes. This dessert is great with a variety of toppings.)
Recipe inspired by Divine Healthy Food.