The Perfect Dessert Alternative Doesn't Exist—

 

As someone who was raised with dessert as the expected fourth meal of the day, you can imagine the internal conflict that I had been battling as more and more studies revealed the truly addictive and toxic qualities of sugar. Should I stop consuming bowls of ice cream and brownies which are loaded with overwhelming amounts of sugar and additives? Probably. Am I willing to give up my favorite meal of the day? No way! Thankfully, I have discovered that I do not need to completely give up desserts in order to preserve my health, I simply have to reinvent it. Choosing healthier alternatives doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste.

Here are some of my favorite DIY desserts that I have actually made at home and absolutely LOVE. And remember: half the fun is in the creating process so experiment with different ingredients and discover what really hits the spot for you!

 

1. Chocolate Covered Almond Butter Stuffed Date​

What You’ll Need: dark chocolate, dates, almond butter

This is one of my favorite new desserts and so easy to make! Simply melt some dark chocolate in a saucepan on light heat. While the chocolate is melting, gently slice the dates on one side so that you can open it up and remove the pit. Fill in the center with a small scoop of almond butter (or peanut butter!) and reclose the date. Dip the entire date in the chocolate sauce and place in the refrigerator to harden. Enjoy this delicious dessert while also knowing that its sweetness is coming from natural sugars and healthy nut fats!

2. Coconut Almond Bark

What You’ll Need: dark chocolate, almonds, coconut

Homemade coconut almond bark is the perfect alternative to store bought candy bars; same great taste without all the unnecessary additives. Want to satisfy that chocolate craving fast? Not a problem! Melt some dark chocolate in a saucepan, pour the sauce onto a piece of parchment paper, crush up almonds to your liking and sprinkle over the chocolate along with some coconut shavings for the final touch. Freeze for approximately 15 minutes or until hardened and enjoy immediately! Leave extra in the freezer for next time you want to break off a quick snack.

3. “Peppermint Patty”

What You’ll Need: coconut oil, raw honey, vanilla extract, peppermint essential oils, dark chocolate

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this fun twist on a candy classic! Made with no refined sugar, artificial colors, or preservatives, this guilt-free paleo snack is sure to hit the spot. Combine ½ cup coconut oil (warmed up until soft), ⅛ cup raw honey, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 4 drops of peppermint essential oil in a bowl and stir until well mixed. Melt the dark chocolate until it turns into a thick liquid. After lining a mini muffin pan with cupcake or silicone liners, fill each liner with about 1 teaspoon of the melted chocolate to coat the bottom and freeze for about 5 minutes until the chocolate is solidified. Then remove from freezer, scoop about 1 tablespoon of the coconut/peppermint mixture into each liner, and return to freezer for another 5 minutes. Finally, remove from freezer, top off the remaining melted chocolate, and put back into the freezer for 10-15 minutes once more. This recipe may take a little more effort than the others, but the results will be a deliciously layered chocolate peppermint patty that you won’t be able to resist!

4. Banana Ice Cream

What You’ll Need: bananas, almond milk, chocolate chips, nuts

You will be astonished by how easy it is to transform such a simple list of ingredients into such a tasty, refreshing treat. While this recipe calls for a little more preparation than the others, I guarantee is it completely worth it. Cut a few bananas into halves or quarters and put into a ziplock bag to freeze overnight. The next day all you have to is put the bananas in a blender or magic bullet, add a small splash of almond milk (start small and add more if needed), and blend to desired thickness. Complete your “sundae” with some toppings such as chocolate chips, almonds, walnuts, or coconut shavings and voila! It’ll taste like real ice cream, but your body will thank you later!

5. Berry Sorbet

What You’ll Need: frozen berry medley, almond milk, chocolate chips, coconut

Similar to the banana ice cream but with no prep time at all, homemade berry sorbet is a great option for those who need that “little something” before bed. This recipe is super light and refreshing. Blend up some frozen fruit (potentially from a medley mix) with a dash of almond milk and sprinkle on some toppings. Once again, cater to your own preferences when picking the toppings. My personal speciality is to add some chocolate to the fruit blend to make it more decadent.

 

See! There is no need to deprive yourself of the treats and sweets you love. Get creative and find ways to reinvent your favorite desserts so that you can satisfy your cravings without punishing your body. Utilize the internet, experiment in the kitchen, and have fun putting your own spin on your favorite dishes!

 

Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6