I enjoy a good dessert every now and then, but I can't bring myself to eat store-bought or restaurant-made desserts. The poor quality of the ingredients takes the joy out of these treats. Through trial and error, I have gathered a few dessert recipes that are nutritious, delicious and guilt free.

ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS: 

  • Choose the least-processed ingredients possible, preferably organic
  • Unsalted nuts and seeds
  • Sugar from fruit, honey and maple syrup
  • Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • Coconut oil
  • Natural and unsweetened chocolate powder
  • Any food processor with a large opening

Note: Most of these desserts contain a mix of protein, carbohydrates and fat, unlike popular desserts that are full of fat and sugar. As a result, the texture and sweetness depend on the ripeness of the fruit you use, so you might need to adjust the recipes accordingly.

 

BLACK BEAN CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Ingredients:

  • 2 super-ripe pears
  • 1/2 cup black beans, cooked and chilled
  • 1 TBSP chocolate powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • Almond milk (optional)

Directions: Core the pears and add to the food processor. Add beans and blend well. Add the chocolate and salt; blend. Add vanilla and pecans; blend to the consistency of soft-served ice cream. If it's too thick, add a small amount of almond milk. If it's too runny, add more pecans. Pour into bowls and chill before serving.

 

ADZUKI BEAN CHOCOLATE BALLS

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pitted dates (or more, to taste)
  • 1/2 cup adzuki beans, cooked and chilled
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1 TBSP chocolate powder
  • 2 TBSP peanuts, crushed (garnish)

Directions: In the food processor, blend the dates and adzuki beans together to make a fine paste. Add the rest of the ingredients (except peanuts); blend until smooth and thick. Spread half the crushed peanuts evenly on a plate. Use a melon baller to scoop even balls of mixture onto the plate. Sprinkle the remaining peanuts on top. Place a toothpick in each chocolate ball. Cover with plastic wrap and chill before serving.

 

OATMEAL BANANA MUFFINS

Oatmeal cranberry banana muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1 cup oatmeal, coarsely ground
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries 
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions: In the food processor, blend together the first four ingredients ingredients. In a large bowl, mix together the next four ingredients. Pour the first (wet) mixture into the second (dry) mix. Stir in the raisins, dried cranberries and walnuts. Let sit for 10 minutes, until the consistency is thick and chunky. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Pour the mixture evenly into a 12-muffin tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

 

CHOCOLATE BITES/BAR

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut oil, at room temperature or liquid
  • 1/2 cup chocolate powder
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • Orange extract (optional)

Directions: Stir the chocolate powder into the coconut oil. Add the maple syrup and salt (and a drop or two of orange extract, if desired); stir well. Quickly pour into a bar mold or paper cupcake liners. Place in the freezer until frozen solid. 

Optional: Place a raisin, dried cranberry or pecan in each well before pouring in the chocolate mixture. Be quick, before it solidifies!

 

ICE CREAM

Ingredients:

  • 2 ice cream scoops of plain full fat Greek yogurt (lightly frozen)
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP crushed cashews

Directions: Scoop the yogurt into an ice cream bowl. Sprinkle the cashews on top and drizzle with honey. Enjoy.

 

MANGO ICE CREAM

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (refrigerated)
  • 1 TBSP peanuts, crushed
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup (optional)

Directions: In the food processor, blend the yogurt and mango together. Scoop into an ice cream bowl. Sprinkle the peanuts on top. If desired, drizzle with maple syrup for sweetness. Enjoy.

Note: If you are avoiding dairy, replace the yogurt with half a ripe avocado.