We all have that one friend. The one who rolls their eyes at our desire to be health-conscious and plant-based. Well, have you ever had the opportunity of giving them a fudgy, chocolatey brownie that is vegan, gluten-free, and made with black beans? After they finish their crave-worthy treat, that's when you tell them that they just satisfied their cravings with a treat full of nutrients and black beans. Their faces will be priceless! Seriously, get your camera ready.
There are so many healthy desserts that will fool you by their taste. The options are endless. From decadent chocolate and cinnamon desserts, strawberry tarts, mousse, popsicles, or ice cream, you will never be wanting for taste, and your body will be doing a little healthy dance. Here are some mouth-watering dessert ideas that will fool anyone who tries them. Even you will have a hard time believing it, and you made them!
Healthy Alternatives to Traditional Recipes
Before we get into specific healthy desserts that will fool anyone, let's talk about some ways to swap out ingredients to make traditional family favorites more healthy. Introducing people to a healthy way of life that still includes sweet treats is a great way to demonstrate that it's not all about what you have to take out. Of course, baking is still a science, so you may want to experiment with the recipe before you sign up to bring it to the next potluck.
Change Up Your Flour Game
Just a simple switch of flour can do wonders for your health. You can use prepackaged gluten-free flour made from a different grain if you’re looking to cut out gluten, which is usually a one-to-one switch. This would be the best option for a novice baker to keep things simple.
You can also switch out your all-purpose flour for almond flour, coconut flour, or oat flour. These are not always a one-to-one swap, and sometimes they need another binder like guar gum, but overall, it’s a pretty easy switch to make.
Fruit Puree Instead of Oil
By now, you have probably heard that applesauce is a perfect substitution for oil. Did you know that also stands true for other fruit purees? Is your mouth agape? Ours too! You can use applesauce, banana puree, pear puree, or pumpkin puree. The flavor may change a bit with some of these options, but what a fun way to mix things up and keep them healthy!
This is one of the simplest swaps. You can take out the oil in your baked goods and swap it for your fruit puree. The best part? It is a one-to-one ratio, so there is no math needed! This swap leaves cakes fluffy and moist, with just a hint of fruit that pairs especially well with chocolate.
Ah, sugar. The reason so many things taste so good and are so craveable. Unfortunately, sugar is not the best thing for you, as it can cause weight gain and negatively affect your overall health.
One way to substitute sugar is with sugar-free maple syrup. When using maple syrup, it is a one-to-one ratio, but reduce another liquid in the recipe by three to four tablespoons for each cup of syrup used. This will offset the liquid in the syrup.
Cracking the Code on Egg Substitutes
There are a lot of options for replacing an egg. The easiest option is to purchase an already made egg replacer. With these products, just read the packaging and mix the powder with water, and then add it into your recipe as you would an egg.
Another option for replacing the egg is a flax egg or a chia egg. For a flax egg, the ratio is one tablespoon of flaxseed meal to three tablespoons of water. For a chia egg, the ratio is one tablespoon of chia seed to two and a half tablespoons of water. Both flax and chia seeds are loaded with nutrients, fiber, protein, and minerals, making them a great healthy substitute for eggs.
Have you heard of aquafaba? It’s the liquid in the can of chickpeas. Did you know the liquid you drain out of the can and into your sink can actually replicate eggs? It is the strangest thing, but it works! You can whip up the liquid just like an egg, and it will give you meringue. Anywhere you need to whip eggs or egg whites and fold them into your recipe, you can swap it out for aquafaba.
Healthy Dessert Recipes that Make you Say Yum!
Okay, okay, now for the part that you came here for. Here are some delicious healthy desserts that you’ll make over and over again.
Black bean brownies are fudgy, chocolatey, and decadent. No one will know there are black beans in your brownies unless you spill the beans. There can be gluten-free, egg-free, and white sugar-free, too. Don’t forget to add in your chocolate chips!
Zucchini Chocolate Cake
Yes, you read that right… zucchini in a chocolate cake! Something magical happens in the oven, and the zucchini just melts into the batter to create this ooey, gooey chocolate cake. All you have to do to the zucchini is use a box grater and shred it.
Do you have a food processor? Then you can easily make dairy-free avocado mousse. All you need are avocados, cocoa powder, dark chocolate to melt, almond milk (or your favorite plant-based milk), and sugar-free maple syrup.
These simple ingredients turn into this luscious, creamy mousse that will bring you back to your mom making you stove-top pudding. Only now, you can feel good about going back for seconds! This dessert is also naturally keto-friendly, so there are no worries there.
Popsicles are so easy to make at home. After all, what is a popsicle? It's basically just frozen fruit juice or puree.
Buy yourself some fun popsicle molds and get creative! You could make citrus creamsicles using orange juice and coconut milk or add in some blueberries and vegan Greek yogurt for an extra fruity twist. Try making a coffee popsicle. Make up your favorite creamy iced coffee drink, and you’ll have a perfect summertime treat.
Fruit tarts seem like they would be healthy just by the name, but a traditional fruit tart is often full of sugar, butter, and regular flour.
Luckily, you can also make a delish vegan fruit tart with ingredients like maple syrup, coconut oil, and almond flour. As for the fruit, sweeten it with honey or more maple syrup. As for the crumble, which is undeniably the best part, use gluten-free rolled oats, coconut, almonds, maple syrup, and coconut oil.
Ice Cream Sundae Anyone?
Whether you’re five or 95, everyone loves a good ice cream sundae. There are great, easy ways to make your favorite frozen treat healthy, and no one will know the difference.
The best way to make vegan homemade ice cream is with bananas! That's it. All you need are bananas, a food processor, and a freezer. Once your beautiful banana ice cream mixture takes shape, you can add in anything you want! Maybe some peanut butter chips?
If you’re looking for a super easy ice cream topping to make at home, try out a chocolate shell. All you need to do is melt your chocolate chips (or even a combo of peanut butter chips and chocolate) and add in coconut oil. The coconut oil will harden as soon as it touches the ice cream for a crunch that’s truly out of this world.
Another easy topping to make at home is coconut milk whipped cream. Grab a can of coconut milk and put it in the fridge. Do not shake it. Shaking it will mix the fat back into the liquid, and you need the fat to make whipped cream. After a few hours, open the can (no mixing!) and scoop out all of the firm white fat from the top. Put this in the mixer and let it whip up! You can add a sweetener or vanilla to amp up the flavor, but it is perfect on its own.
The Healthy Dessert Options You’ve Been Waiting For
You don’t have to be an expert baker to make healthy vegan dessert options. Truth be told, sometimes the healthy options are easier (and tastier!) than their traditional counterparts! Whether you are taking your family favorites and making them healthier or trying a new healthy recipe, you will be the talk of the text group!
Are you ready to fool your friends? Don't forget to grab your camera! Any of these recipes are sure to shock them with how tasty they are. Once they find out they are actually healthy for them, they will be singing your praises! Now you will always have a surprisingly healthy option to bring to any get-together.