I love baking and I love desserts, but I also love being healthy and feeling good. A few years ago, I never would have thought that healthy and dessert could be part of the same sentence. Three years ago, I started having issues with gluten where I would get headaches, numbness and tingling in my arms and legs, and horrible brain fog for weeks. After about a month of suffering, multiple doctor visits, and a normal MRI scan, no one knew what was wrong with me. A friend suggested I go off gluten and to my surprise, it worked! My symptoms were gone within days and I haven’t gone back since. It was then that I realized that food has the power to harm, but also to heal our bodies. I started doing research and reading about the power of food. I also realized that foods that are good for us not only heal our bodies, but can taste awesome at the same time. There are a lot of healthy alternatives out there, you just have to experiment. I began experimenting, looking up different recipes and trying new things. While we don’t eat dessert every day, it’s nice when we have company or are just in the mood for something sweet. These four desserts (all gluten and refined sugar free with dairy free options as well) are favorites in my family and my four-year-old twins definitely approve!
1.) Fruit Crisp (9 x 9 pan size)
– ½ stick of butter (or ghee)
– 1 ½ cups of (gluten free) oats
– ½ cup almond meal (I buy mine at Trader Joes)
– ¼ cup coconut sugar (This has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar and I also buy this at Trader Joes, but I’ve seen it also at Target)
– 1 tsp. of vanilla
– 1-2 tsp. of cinnamon
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray the bottom of the pan. (I usually use a coconut oil spray or a little butter to coat it.)
- Wash and cut up the fruit into small pieces and spread on the bottom of the pan. The fruit should fill the pan at least half way if not higher.
- Soften butter and then mix together the remaining ingredients.
- Spread across the top of the fruit.
- Bake, uncovered for 20-30 minutes. The fruit should be bubbling and the crisp should be golden brown.
- Eat plain or serve with a whipped topping (see recipe at the bottom) or a small scoop of ice cream.
2.) Banana Ice Cream (For 2-3 people)
– 4 very ripe bananas (ideally with spots)
– other add ins (blueberries, strawberries, chocolate chips, peanut or almond butter)
- Peel and slice the bananas.
- Freeze at least two hours but better if frozen over night.
- Put the bananas in a food processor and keep scraping down the sides until the banana is a smooth texture.
- If adding other frozen fruit (cut into pieces) or peanut butter, you’ll need to process a few more times until smooth.
- If adding in chocolate chips or whole blueberries, you can mix them in with a spoon.
- If you enjoy it right away, it will be a softer texture. Otherwise you can throw it back into the freezer for a harder, more ice cream -like, texture.
3.) Real- Deal Chocolate- Chip Cookies (from Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain cookbook)
Here is the recipe that I use. I follow it almost exactly, except I use butter
instead of palm shortening because my family does ok with butter (dairy) and instead of pure almond flour, I use the same almond meal, which I use in my crisp. It’s cheaper and I don’t mind the texture in the cookies. If you want a more “real” flour tasting cookie, I’d stick to the finely ground almond flour. This recipe only makes about 12 cookies, but it’s good because then there aren’t cookies hanging out around the house staring at me. My family loves these cookies right out of the oven when they are still warm. Oh, and a little bit of ice cream in the middle is to die for. YUM!
4.) Fruit and Whipped Topping
– Any kind of fruit (We love bananas or any kind of berry.)
– Whipping cream (or a can of coconut cream that is chilled for 24 hours-scrape the cream off the top of the can right out of the refrigerator)
- Cut up as much fruit as you need and put into bowls.
- Pour half a container of whipping cream or coconut cream into a large bowl.
- Beat until it becomes fluffy and peaks form, usually 1-2 minutes.
- Add in honey, a teaspoon at a time, while still beating until it’s sweetened to your liking.
- Add a spoonful or two on top of the fruit and enjoy!
I’d love to know if you try these and like them or if you have a healthy dessert that your family enjoys! Cheers to healthy options!