Following a clean eating lifestyle does not have to mean ditching your desserts. We wouldn’t hear of it!
Our issue with most desserts is that they are packed with excess added sugars and processed ingredients that can be damaging to your waistline and your health. As most of you are learning, it’s the added sugars that can be most troubling not only for increasing your risk of diabetes, but an overall state of inflammation which can contribute to heart disease, cancer, arthritis, memory problems, gut dysfunction and much more.
But what if you could make a quick and simple dessert that was actually nutritious? That’s how we roll here in the Nourishing Guru kitchens, where we aim to find and/or create dishes that can make your taste buds sing while enhancing your health at the same time. In fact, these “desserts” are so nutritious they could double as an energizing snack. What could be better than that?
Our general rule of thumb when making desserts is to wind up with a finished product that has no more than 4 grams of added sugar per serving (which is the equivalent of 1 teaspoon). The first recipe, Fro-Yo, actually avoids using ANY added sugar and relies solely on the sweetness of ripe bananas. This one is fun as you can play around with the add-ins and create so many delicious variations.
The second recipe, our Lemon Berry Puree, uses a combination of anti-oxidant packed berries, fat/protein/fiber-rich cashews, and a small amount of coconut milk for blending. We were able to reduce the added sugar to just one tablespoon for the whole recipe (newbies may start with 2 tablespoons).
FYI when making desserts, you can also give Lakanto a try, one of our new favorite sweeteners. Made from a combination of monk fruit and erythritol, this zero-calorie healthy sweetener does not affect your blood sugar OR your gut bacteria, and is considered natural and chemical free. You can read HERE about why we are not fans of most sugar substitutes.
Without further ado, here are three wonderful recipes just for YOU!
Banana Fro-Yo (yup, only two ingredients)
This is absolutely delicious on its own. But oh so fun to play around and mix in other stuff!
- 2 frozen bananas (peel ripe bananas, cut into chunks, and freeze for use in desserts and smoothies)
- ¼ cup full fat coconut milk from can (like Native Forest)
Place bananas into your food processor and process while slowly adding the coconut milk until you have the consistency of frozen yogurt. You may not use all ¼ cup of milk. Here are some fun additions to blend in or put on top (create your own toppings bar – great for kids!):
- 1-2 tablespoons of cacao powder (for chocolate treat), raw cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- other frozen fruit such as mango, strawberries, pineapple (may have to let these thaw slightly before blending in)
- nuts such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.
- natural mint extract and pistachio nuts
- pomegranate arils
- shredded unsweetened coconut
Lemony Berry Puree
Makes 4-6 servings
This could be even be served as a breakfast topped with added hemp seeds for extra protein.
2 cups frozen mixed berries
3/4 cup raw cashews
½ cup full fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons raw honey or Lakanto
Soak cashews in hot boiled water for about 30 minutes to soften. Drain. Mix all ingredients together in food processor or blender till completely smooth. Add a little water IF needed to help blend. Eat right away or keep in fridge for later.
Pineapple Greens Fruit Cubes/Bars
Makes 5-6 popsicles or 20+ small cubes depending on size of your molds.
2 cups pineapple (fresh or frozen)
1 ripe banana
3/4 cup coconut milk (full fat or lite from a can)
1/2 cup spinach (or any other greens)
Zest and juice of 1/2 – 1 lime
1 tablespoon raw honey or maple syrup (optional)
Puree all ingredients in a blender until completely smooth. Pour into your favorite Popsicle mold and freeze 3-4 hours, or until completely solid.
Note: if you use frozen pineapple and frozen banana, and decrease the coconut milk to 1/3 cup, you can puree this in a food processor and make “ice cream”!