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Guilt-Free Desserts

Anyone with a sweet tooth knows that dessert is non-negotiable. But if you’re trying to find more options that leave you feeling satiated rather than bloated or blah, you’ve come to the right place. Before diving in, it’s worth mentioning that you should never feel guilty about treating yourself in the first place. That being said, after-dinner treats that have extra nutrients or are free of a particular ingredient aren’t as easily accessible right off the shelf if that’s what you’re in the mood for.

Fortunately, there are some brilliant recipe developers, taste testers, food bloggers, and dessert lovers (just like us!) out there who have found the perfect balance between a delicious dessert and a healthy treat. And you’ll be pleased to hear that options really are endless. “Guilt-free” means something different for everyone. You may prefer keeping grains and gluten to a minimum, or perhaps you lead a vegan lifestyle. Maybe sugar is something you stay away from. No matter what your preference, there is something for everyone. 

Vegan White Bean Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Eating cookie batter is one of life’s simplest pleasures. But to avoid any possible hazards from raw egg, or if you’re simply looking to make a healthier kind of dough, this scrumptious recipe from Unconventional Cooks is exactly what you should whip up. It’s the delectable flavor you crave with just the right level of sweetness thanks to the maple syrup and vanilla.

What You Need

  • 1 cup oats (swap for gluten-free if necessary)
  • ½ cup white beans (Unconventional Cooks used Great Northern Beans), drained and rinsed
  • 4 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 Tbsp nut butter (almond, peanut, cashew)
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 Tbsp mini chocolate chips

What to Do

  1. Place the oats in the food processor. Blitz until it becomes flour.
  2. Add all the other ingredients except chocolate chips into the food processor, blitz till smooth. Stop periodically to scrape down your machine to help it combine better.
  3. Transfer to a clean bowl. Mix in the chocolate chips (I find using your hands is easier than a spatula).

In total, this recipe will make 22 balls, according to the Unconventional Cooks. You can then eat them fresh or pop them in the refrigerator to cool.

Guilt-Free Coconut Vanilla Macaroons

This is another delicious vegan recipe that satisfies your sweet tooth without making you feel lethargic after. Nikki’s Plate crafted a recipe for macaroons that only takes five minutes to prep and 15 to bake. 

What You Need

  • ​​​​2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 6 Tbsp pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

What to Do

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the almond milk and maple syrup (do not boil, just heat).
  3. Add flours and stir until combined evenly and clump free. Then increase the heat and boil the mixture. Boil for approximately 3 minutes (or until thick).
  4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and shredded coconut. Scoop mixture by spoonfuls onto the baking sheet (approximately 1 tbsp).
  5. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Cool then eat!

This makes about 24 cookies, according to Nikki. But they likely won’t last long!

Three-Ingredient Chocolate Cake

It sounds impossible or too good to be true, but a three-ingredient chocolate cake most certainly exists. Alina of Glutenfree.healthy dreamed up this recipe that’s free of gluten, oil, sugar, and animal products. As she explains in her post, fans of chocolate lava cake will absolutely melt at how similar this tastes except that this recipe is more nutritious. 

What You Need

  • 150 g brazil nuts
  • 10–15 dates
  • 20 g raw cacao powder (or more if you prefer)

What to Do

  1. Blend the brazil nuts in your food processor until you get a creamy consistency (takes about 2 minutes, depending on your food processor).
  2. Add dates and cacao powder.

These tasty cakes are a little too easy to wolf down. Alina adds that you can put them in the fridge for an even better taste.

Coconut Almond Date Bliss Balls

Nirvana will be a frequent state of being once you start making these delicious Bliss Balls. Consisting of tasty morsels of cacao nibs and toasted coconut, you only have to wait 15 minutes to chow down on these yummy bites from Tisha’s Veggie Eats.

What You Need

  • 18-20 dates
  • 1/2 cup almonds (or your choice of nuts)
  • 2 Tbsp almond flour (or your choice of flour)
  • 1/2 cup cacao nibs
  • 1/2 cup shredded toasted coconut⁠
  • 1 Tbsp ground chia seeds⁠
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⁠

What to Do

  1. Blend your dates, nuts, and flour in a food processor until evenly chopped. Pulse for at least 2-3 mins straight.⁠
  2. Then add in your cacao nibs and toasted coconut. Blend again until evenly mixed.⁠
  3. Finally, add in your chia and flax seeds.⁠
  4. Continue to blend until the mixture starts to stick together. This may take a few minutes but you want the almonds to start releasing their natural oils—this will help bind the mixture.⁠
  5. Scoop out about a tablespoon of each of the mixture and carefully roll into a ball (squeeze tight to bind). Place on a parchment-lined dish and refrigerate for at least an hour.⁠
  6. Before popping them out, add about 2 tbsp of baking chocolate chips into a small bowl.
  7. Add a tsp of coconut oil and microwave for 30 seconds (or until melted).⁠
  8. Take out your bliss balls from the fridge and drizzle on the chocolate.
  9. Sprinkle on some crushed almonds and more toasted coconut. 
  10. Add back to the fridge for another few minutes for the chocolate to harder or enjoy as is.

This recipe makes about 16 scrumptious little balls!

Healthier Sugar Cookies

One of the most classic recipes in a dessert book is a sugar cookie. And, while it may sound far-fetched, there’s a way to make them healthier. This delectable recipe from Ruthanne of The Bigley Basics will fulfill your hankering for the frosted morsels you’re craving. 

What You Need

Cookie dough ingredients:

  • Oat flour
  • Coconut sugar or monk fruit
  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut butter
  • Regular eggs or flax/chia eggs
  • Unsweetened yogurt of choice
  • Maple syrup/honey
  • Berries
  • Salt
  • Vanilla
  • Baking powder/soda

Icing ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut butter, melted
  • 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1/3 cup berries of choice (Ruthanne used strawberries)

What to Do

  1. First, preheat the oven to 325° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. While the oven is preheating, mix together your dry ingredients in a large dish until well combined.
  3. In a separate medium sized dish, whisk together your wet ingredients.
  4. Slowly add your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients, whisking well to combine.
  5. Once fully mixed, scoop your cookies with a cookie dough scooper and place them on your prepared cookie sheet.
  6. Bake cookies at 325° for 10 to 12 minutes, until set.
  7. Remove cookies from the oven and place them on a baking rack to cool.
  8. Once cookies are cooler, top them with icing and sprinkles (sprinkles optional).

If you like your sugar cookies with icing, Ruthanne also has the directions for a delicious frosted topping:

What to Do

  1. Add your coconut butter to a small dish and microwave it for 1 minute, or until melted (you can also heat it on a small saucepan over medium-low heat).
  2. Once the coconut butter is melted, mix in your maple syrup/honey and stir until smooth.
  3. In a separate small dish or saucepan, heat your berries until they are cooked through and hot (usually 1 minute in the microwave).
  4. One heated, mash your berries with a fork until smooth and add them to your coconut butter and maple syrup mixture.
  5. Stir together everything until a smooth icing forms and then spread on top of your cookies. Enjoy!

Three-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

Another fabulous recipe that requires just three ingredients to make is this tasty chocolate mousse. The vegan blend comes from Plant Based Kat and provides a rich chocolaty taste without animal-based ingredients and uses a very unique main component: tofu. 

What You Need

  • Silken tofu
  • Maple syrup
  • Melted chocolate

Kat noted that the quantity of tofu, maple syrup, and chocolate depend on your own liking and taste testing as you go. 

What to Do

  1. Blend ingredients in a blender.
  2. Leave in the fridge overnight.
  3. Top with your favorite toppings.

Now that you’re equipped with a few dessert recipes, it’s time to get mixing, mashing, and baking! These treats are ideal for saving for a rainy day or making on a weekend and munching on throughout the week. As previously mentioned, dessert or any kind of food should never make you feel guilty, but if cutting out certain ingredients or finding a few healthier options is important to you, this list is a fabulous place to start. 

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