Summer is officially less than a month away, which means summer diets are in full swing. However, between now and the last day of school, there will no doubt be a stressful final push as we are swamped with assignments, papers, and finals. For many (or for me at least), this stress comes with a craving for desserts. So, how do you balance your goal of a dream summer body with a simultaneous desire to stress-eat chocolate chip cookies? The answer is more simple than you think...healthy sweets!
There are tons of ways to incorporate healthy desserts into your summer diet. Look for recipes that omit certain ingredients such as flour, refined sugars, butter, or eggs. Not every recipe must exclude all of these components, but cutting down on even just one or two of these ingredients can make a dessert much more diet-friendly!
Now, I know what you must be thinking: how can any dessert taste good without tons of sugar and butter? I promise you, there are desserts that can satisfy your cravings while not sacrificing your goal. Here are two of my favorite healthy sweets recipes:
- Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oat Bites
Total Time: 40 mins • Yields: 12
· 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (can use almond butter, cashew butter, or nut butter of your choice instead)
· 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or honey
· 1 tbsp vanilla
· 1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
· 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
· 1/2 tsp salt
· 1/2 cup chocolate chips (can also use nuts, dried fruit, or mix-ins of your choice)
1. Line a plate or baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, add the peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth and well combined.
3. Add the oats, cinnamon, salt, and chocolate chips. Stir until dry ingredients are fully incorporated into wet mixture.
4. Scoop out a tablespoon of mixture and roll into a 1 ½ -inch ball. Transfer to prepared sheet and continue until mixture is used up.
5. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm.
- Healthy Banana Cookies
Time: 20 mins • Yields 24
· 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
· 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil
· 1 large ripe banana
· 1 egg
· 1 tbsp vanilla
· 1/2 tsp baking soda
· 1/2 tsp baking powder
· 1 tsp salt
· 3 cups rolled oats
· 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
· 1/2 cup nuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Grind oats in either food processor or blender to create oat flour. Add in baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pulse to combine and then pour into a large bowl.
3. In a pan, melt butter and banana together. Mash banana until mixture is fairly smooth, then add to a separate bowl.
4. In the bowl with banana mixture, mix in maple syrup. Add egg and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
5. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir well until fully combined. Add in chocolate chips and nuts (if using).
6. Scoop tablespoon of mixture onto prepared pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes.