Dec 13, 2017430 views

[Ongoing] Cheating on Dessert

My fiancée and I routinely create food or exercise challenges for ourselves as a way to create more opportunities to be intentional about what we're cooking / eating and have new activities to share.
One of our usual challenges is: No added (non-fruit based) sugar or artificial sweeteners for a month.
With this particularly difficult challenge which we've taken on for multiple 1, 2 & 3 month periods, I always attempt to figure out a way to "get a sugar fix" without cheating.
I'd like to dedicate this thread for anyone to post healthy dessert recipes which have no sugar or artificial sweeteners added. I've added one to start us off below.
Bonus points to people who post healthy desserts which make you happy to cheat on the real thing!

JustinLai, TooDutch, and 17 others

Black bean brownies
This is a recipe I slightly modded to my liking based on the one I found on pinterest:
1 can black beans - drain and rinse well. If you don't like using the canned ones, you can use the raw beans too but you will need to soak and cook them so they have the same texture as canned beans. 2 tbsp cocoa powder 1/2 cup quick oats 1/4 tsp salt 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, honey, or agave - I use maple syrup. 4-5 dates (original recipe calls for 2 tbsp sugar) 1/4 cup coconut or vegetable oil - I use vegetable oil 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (I use about 1/2 cup and sprinkle a few more in later)
Recipe above makes about 10 brownies in a 8*8 pan, I normally double everything up and just make them in a 13*9 pan. 10 brownies don't last too long.
Keep chocolate chips aside. Combine remaining ingredients in a food processor or a blender. If you like them to be more chewy , use a food processor. I personally use a blender because , well, I dont have a big food processor and I normally make two batches. I found the brownies closer to a real brownie when I made them with a blender. Might be personal preference though. Blend well till the mixture looks all ground up , no chunks of beans. Stir in the chips with a spatula and pour into a greased pan and sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top . Presentation is everything especially when you are faking it ;-) . Put the brownies in the middle rack and should be done in around 15-18 minutes. They might look undone sometimes but they generally firm up once you take them out .
These have been a huge hit at home and all potlucks , enjoy !!!
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The round ones look more loved. Sadly have 11 days left of no added sugar.
I will happily sample these any day of the week.
Here's an Avocado Chocolate Banana Pudding recipe I discovered on Pinterest. TBH, my first response was "eeww!" My sister will tell you that I eat strange foods, and she's right. One of my food mottos is, I'll try very-almost anything once. So I'm one of the people who runs toward such things instead of away from them, lol. Most of the notations in parentheses are mine.
Ingredients 1/2 large avocado (about 100 g) 1/2 large banana (about 50 g) Stevia to taste (start out with 1 packet's volume. Original recipe calls for 1 Tbsp dark maple syrup or more to taste; I've used a combo of stevia and/or agave, what I had on hand) 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I've usually used Hershey's Special Dark Unsweetened Cocoa Powder) cocoa nibs for serving (optional, I haven't used nibs so far)
Instructions Add all the ingredients to a food processor (or use a good hand mixer or immersion blender) and process for a couple of minutes until everything is smooth and creamy. (I've even beaten it with a strong spatula.) Refrigerate for 30 min or more to set the pudding and enjoy. (This setting time is critical. I know it's easy to start eating your creation out of the bowl. But it will be worth the wait.) If you'd like, add some cocoa nibs.
That is an excellent motto and this pudding sounds delicious, I've seen a number of energy ball recipes which also use avocado to facilitate a mousse like texture.
Louis! Preheat an oven to bake at 350 or so. Pick up some apples....I like pink lady apples for this. Core them and slice them into thin slices. Place in a pyrex dish. Cut a stick of butter into pieces and put on top of the apples. Doesn't need to be covered, but just strategically across the pyrex spread of apples.. Sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg and, if you have, some all spice. Take a some granola and sprinkle over the dish as well. Not caked on, but just a good dusting of it. Then, place in oven and bake for 20 minutes and watch it.
Meanwhile, get some heavy whipping cream............grab some cinnamon, some nutmeg and blend with a hand mixer until it's whipped nicely. Put aside.
Then....check on the apples. They should be sizzling, etc. Take the dish out of the oven and let cool a bit. Then scoop some of the apples out into a bowl, top with a dollop of the whipped cream and it's pretty amazing. Not crazy sweet, but is sort of a natural cobbler. And easy.
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AND??????? Taste?
Buttery deliciousness.
I love dates for adding in some natural sweetness. I also recently discovered date sugar, which is just dried, ground up dates. It's incredible! I use it for adding a little sweetness to yogurt and stuff like that. Haven't tried baking with it as a sugar replacement yet cuz it's a little pricey.
Here is one that is just too good of a cheat. Super rich, decadent, no-one-can-tell-it's-actually-vegan-and-doesn't-have-butter-in-it chocolate frosting.. made out of avocados! You can use it to dip fruit in or add to yogurt (apparently I add everything to yogurt), but I usually make it with this fudgy chocolate beet cake (you could sub the sugar for date sugar or something). Both of those recipes are here:
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You won't regret it! I love bringing this cake to parties and then seeing everyone's face when I let them know it's vegan + gluten free.
Sneaky sneaky.
would LOVE to see drops for healthy dessert kits (or pre-made)!
The Ferrero Rocher Energy Ball (gluten free, dairy free, no added sugar or artificial sugar)
Dry Ingredients 3/4 - 1 cup roasted hazelnuts 1/4 cup raw cacao  1/4 cup dried, unsweetened coconut shreds 1/8 - 1/4 cup chia seeds
Wet Ingredients 20 goji berries 1/6 cup fresh ground peanut or almond butter  7 pitted dates (or more, do it to taste)
Instructions 1. Add all dry ingredients to food processor until blended into a mealy texture. 2. Add gojis and blend until mixed, meal starts to stick together. 3. Add ground peanut butter / almond butter & pitted dates, blend until dough starts to stick together and move as a unit. If it does not, add some more dates or butter. Also mix up clumps of any wet ingredient if not getting separated. 4. Roll into 1in balls. 5. Freeze at least 1 hour.
This recipe is the bomb !! Was surprised my 4 year old liked it, in her words - " its quite nice, dada"