Nutrient-Packed Sweet Treats You’ll Love
Everyone loves a sweet treat now and then, but it can be tough to stick to your health goals when you’re craving dessert. Luckily, there are all kinds of healthy dessert snacks out there that you’ll love—it’s all about getting creative. Nutritious dessert options are often actually tastier than more traditional sweets, so before you know it, you’ll be choosing avocado mousse over chocolate bars every day of the week.
It’s important to opt for healthy dessert snacks to cut back on sugar.
One of the key ingredients that make more traditional desserts unhealthy is added sugar. Sugar is a huge part of our everyday lives, and is often in foods you wouldn’t expect. It can be addictive, and the short-lived energy high it offers tends to come with a frustrating crash. You’re just as susceptible to that hyperactive “sugar rush” you see in young kids who’ve just had candy—you just might not notice it as clearly because you’re not running around your living room in circles!
Too much sugar can be rough on your system. It contains lots of calories even in smaller servings, and that can lead to an unhealthy amount of weight gain. Weight gain, in turn, can compromise your immune health and put you at risk for heart disease and other issues. Sugary foods usually are not high in nutrients or healthy ingredients. Consuming lots of sugary foods in addition to a nutritious eating routine piles extra calories into your daily life. On the other hand, consuming sugar instead of healthy foods, you won’t be getting the nutrients you need to thrive.
Sugar in high quantities is also especially harmful to anyone living with diabetes or a similar condition. Sugar can increase your risk for certain heart issues, the fat levels in your blood, and your likelihood of experiencing high cholesterol. Sugar may also increase your risk of hypertension.
There's also been some research that has shown that added sugars increase your risk of high blood pressure. And added sugars seem to promote inflammation, and more and more we find that inflammation is not good for the heart. Oh, and just like your childhood dentist always said, excess sugar can lead to tooth decay.
Of course, it’s fine to have a sugary treat every now and then. However, with all the drawbacks that come with consuming excess sugar, it’s a great idea to opt for healthy dessert snacks that can satisfy your sweet tooth with fewer consequences.
When it comes to creating a healthy dessert, it’s important to focus on switching out less nutritional ingredients for more beneficial ones. Sweeteners like honey and agave are great options, and fruit is a great ingredient as it has enough natural sugars to satisfy your sweet tooth. Vanilla, avocado, Greek yogurt, and nut milks are also common alternatives to less healthy dessert ingredients.
Below are some of your favorites healthy dessert snack options, which you can enjoy after a meal or snack on midday for a pick-me-up.
Healthy dessert snacks you’ll love, from avocado mousse to fruity popsicles.
This rich, creamy option can help satisfy chocolate cravings. You can make it by combining avocado, cocoa powder, milk, and vanilla extract and popping them into the blender.
The avocado in this dessert provides a great source of potassium, and is beneficial for heart health. You’ll also get lots of fiber from the avocado, and it may help to lower your cholesterol. In addition, cocoa powder is thought to reduce the risk of blood clots, potentially lower your blood pressure, and help you to feel more mentally sharp.
Berries And Raw Honey
Sometimes simple treats are the best treats! For this easy snack, simply combine berries of your choice in a bowl and drizzled them with raw honey. You can also add nuts, a dash of nut milk, or other mix-ins to taste.
Raw honey is jam-packed with health benefits and a natural way to sweeten your snacks. If your batch of honey is local, it can help reduce your pollen allergies over time. It provides natural energy and antioxidants, and is a great immune booster. Many types of berries are also excellent sources of antioxidants, so this snack is a win-win for your immune system.
Banana Ice Cream
This incredible treat is about as easy to make as it gets. To make it, pop some frozen bananas into your blender. (You can add a bit of milk to the mix if you’d like, but it’s not required.) When you finish blending, you’ll find yourself with a rich dessert that looks and tastes almost exactly like ice cream—without all the nutritional downfalls.
Bananas are rich in fiber, so you’ll stay full for a long time after enjoying this treat. They can also aid in digestion, and are a great food option for someone experiencing high blood pressure. With this snack, you’ll experience the benefits of countless nutrients, as well as bananas’ high levels of potassium, which can lead to a healthier heart rate and blood pressure. Potassium also keeps the brain sharper, so this recipe is a perfect afternoon snack on a long workday or study day.
Chocolate Acai Bowl
There are lots of different preparation and ingredient options for making your acai bowl a chocolate lover’s dream, but they all taste amazing. You can enjoy this bowl for breakfast or as a sweet treat later in the day.
To start, you’ll need acai, either in powder form or as a frozen puree. Then, you’ll want to blend the acai with ingredients like bananas, nut milk, almond butter, and, of course, cocoa powder. You’ll end up with a smooth, sweet, chocolatey delight.
Acai is full of antioxidants and fiber. When you consume acai, you’re setting yourself up for a healthier immune system, a reduction in inflammation, better bone health, and a potential lowered risk of heart issues. Cocoa powder, on the other hand, is a great source of iron, magnesium, and zinc. When it comes to health benefits, chocolate acai bowls are like a double whammy for your wellbeing.
For absolute bliss on a hot summer day, pop some grapes into the freezer. Pull them out a few hours later for a sweet, refreshing, and cooling combination. Grapes are great for eye health, blood pressure, and colon health. They’re also rich in antioxidants, and may help reduce your risk of heart disease. It also doesn’t hurt that grapes are low in calories.
Healthy Baked Apples
Baked apples can be an indulgent treat, but they can also be prepared with healthier alternatives for a delicious and healthy experience. For a more nutritious option, say no to the heavy syrup and sugary add-ins that usually accompany baked apples. Instead, stuff the apples with whole, healthy ingredients like oats, nuts, and cinnamon. You may need to include a bit of butter or sweetener, but keep the amount minimal. Vanilla can be a fun option for this!
Apples may help lower your risk of cancer, high blood pressure, and heart issues. They can also help your mind stay sharp, and they’re a great source of vitamin C.
Making your own popsicles is a fun boost to your creativity. All you need is a popsicle mold, and from there, the sky’s the limit. You can combine and freeze any ingredients you choose. A popular and simple option is to blend two of your favorite fruits, but it can also be fun to combine them with greek yogurt, coconut flakes, or juice. Then, simply put them in the freezer and you’re good to go.
Healthy sweets are a great addition to a balanced routine. Living a healthy life is all about balance, and that means allowing yourself the occasional indulgence. However, if you’ve got a bigger sweet tooth than you’d like, the dessert options above can keep you satisfied while keeping your health in check. It’s the best of both worlds!