15 healthy dessert recipes for a sugar fix
Sometimes, you just crave something sweet. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's all about what kind of sugar you eat. Unrefined sugar is the best kind – natural and unprocessed. White sugar has been over-processed and contains little nutritional value; it can stimulate your appetite, cause high or low blood sugar and dips in energy. Natural sugars such as agave nectar, stevia and sugar from fruits are a far healthier choice. We've come up with a pretty foolproof list of vegan desserts packed with natural sugars, fibre and vitamins that are perfect anytime your sweet tooth is calling.
#1. Vegan vanilla chia seed pudding
With healthy, dairy-free almond milk, sweetness from maple syrup and vanilla pods and of course chia seeds, this pudding is delicious yet good for you. Chia seeds are one of the healthiest foods around. They're from South America and were once an important food for Mayans and Aztecs. Packed with fibre, protein, calcium and antioxidants, they're the perfect addition to this creamy vanilla pudding.
#2. Avocado, chocolate and sweet potato pudding
Choosing Raw's great range of vegan dessert recipes includes this little number. It's reminiscent of 'Angel Delight' which you may have eaten as a child – but this version is packed with beta-carotene rich sweet potato, a source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C, avocados (a source of healthy fats) and natural sugars from the dates. Avocado is a great addition to desserts and helps create that creamy texture we all crave so much. Gorgeous served alone or with fruit such as pears or satsuma segments.
#3. Vegan chocolate doughnuts
You heard us right, gooey chocolate doughnuts that are vegan and gluten-free! These doughnuts boast a surprisingly healthy list of ingredients; far better for you than additive-laden Krispy Kremes or supermarket doughnuts. These contain coconut flour and rice flour, flax meal, almond milk, pumpkin puree, healthy coconut oil and antioxidant rich vegan dark chocolate. Just make sure you don't make them everyday!
#4. Vegan banana split
Banana splits are a popular childhood dessert – that classic combo of banana, ice cream, chocolate sauce, cream, chopped nuts and other toppings was so tasty! Fine as an occasional treat, but for a more grown-up take on the traditional split, this vegan version from Oh She Glows is just the ticket. There's still bananas, cherries, sprinkles and chocolate sauce – but this time the sauce is home-made, sweetened with dates, and home-made chia seed strawberry jam and vegan ice cream are in there too. This is the perfect indulgent desert for special occasions or nostalgic moments. A little of what you fancy does you good!
#5. Almond butter rice crispie treats
If you're not a fan of desserts but are still looking for a sweet treat to enjoy with coffee or a cup of tea, these rice crispie cakes are perfect. No baking required – and no marshmallows either. Instead, natural brown rice syrup and chocolate drizzle add sweetness whilst chunky almond butter gives a great texture and crunch, plus plenty of protein!
#6. Raw lemon poppyseed squares
Another great treat served with a cuppa, these raw, gluten-free, vegan squares of goodness are totally moreish! The base and icing are packed with chia seeds whilst raw almonds and cashews add protein and healthy fats. Vanilla extract, agave nectar and vanilla stevia are used for sweetness – there's no refined sugar here. This is another great use for any cashew nut butter you have left after trying our nut butter ideas.
#7. Peach and apple cobbler
This recipe from Oh She Glows is a real crowd-pleasing comfort food that's great to cook for family and friends. It has a gluten-free biscuit topping made with rolled oats, cinnamon and gluten-free oats. You could use other fruit combinations, such as pears and blackberries, but we love peaches and apples. Serve with vegan ice cream for a yummy dessert!
#8. Raw cheesecake with cacao nutritional
This raw vegan cheesecake is gluten and soy-free. We should all try to eat more raw, unrefined foods, yet sometimes salad and vegetables can be boring. Liven up dinner parties or weekday dinners with this creamy cheesecake that's perfect when a sweet craving strikes. Dates are a great natural sweetener, rich in B-vitamins as well as vitamins A and K. They also contain selenium which boosts your immune system and 23 types of amino acids. Chia seeds feature again in this recipe, along with yeast and gluten-free cacao nibs in the cheesecake crust. This is one recipe you'll never tire of.
#9. Vegan caramel banana bread and butter pudding
Something warm and comforting after a long day at the office or working from home – this bread pudding is pure cosy, comfort food. Simple sugars from dates and fruit are a great source of energy that will leave you feeling satisfied. Make your own date paste with medjool dates and hot water; you can add this to fruit smoothies and all kinds of recipes. This recipe uses cinnamon raisin bread, but you can use other bread with added spices and raisins. Coconut milk adds a delicious flavour to this recipe.
#10. Chocolate chia pudding
When chocolate cravings strike, give in with this decadent yet good-for-you dessert. With maple syrup, unsweetened almond milk and plenty of cocoa, plus fibre packed chia seeds, it's creamy, comforting and healthy too!
#11. Banana bread
Deliciously Ella's banana bread tastes amazing spread with home-made nutella or nut butter. It has just seven ingredients, so it's easy to make – bananas, almonds, pecans, chia seeds, brown rice flour, maple syrup and cinnamon. Just make sure you use over-ripe bananas as the key to making this bread is in the sweetness.
#12. Blackberry and apple crumble
What better dessert to enjoy after one of our healthy soup recipes than this blackberry and apple crumble? It might not taste healthy, but the delicious crumble topping is made with oats, almonds, coconut oil, cinnamon and maple syrup. It's super-easy to make and great if you're expecting guests (or even if you're not!)
#13. Raw vegan pecan pie
Pecans are AMAZING. They're high in mono-unsaturated oil, oleic acid, antioxidants and vitamin E, which can help prevent heart disease. They're also packed with minerals. This raw pecan pie uses walnuts, pecans, medjool dates and shredded coconut for the pie crust, with a spiced date and pecan filling. It's so divine, you'll invite friends for dinner just so you have an excuse to make it!
#14. Chocolate mousse
We know what you're thinking; chocolate mousse isn't healthy. Yet as a light dessert after a run, this healthy version is easy to make. Gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free, it contains protein-packed almond butter, avocado, which is packed with good fats, bananas, a source of potassium for a healthy heart and antioxidant-rich cacao. Could this be a guilt-free pudding? We think so. It's best to whip this up in a food processor for a really creamy, smooth texture.
#15. No bake peppermint patty bars
Chocolate and mint is a classic combination and these no-bake bars are vegan and perfect for afternoon tea. With dark chocolate, almond milk, rolled oats, walnuts, almonds and of course coconut oil, they take just minutes to make. Tempting!