upgrade your favorite desserts
We would NEVER ask you to give up your favorite foods because there’s room in any balanced meal pattern for dessert. I mean, that’s pretty much the definition of balance, is it not? If you missed it, we have everything you need to know about balanced meal patterns in our previous article on Tips for Dining Out.
Fruit contains natural sugars that can sweeten any dessert option and count toward your 2+ cups of fruit recommended per day. You may even be surprised to learn that vegetables can be snuck into sweet treats to improve texture and nutrient content without sacrificing taste. Don’t believe me? See for yourself:
Yogurt & berry parfait: starting niiiice and simple here. Get some vanilla yogurt, mix in your favorite berries (and anything else you want) and enjoy this quick and easy treat.
Warm apple cinnamon wedges: stepping it up a little bit. Cut an apple into ~ 16 wedges and sprinkle some cinnamon and add sugar, honey, or syrup if desired. Put in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 5 minutes. Perfect for fall!
Chocolate covered banana medallions: a delicious way to enjoy any fruit. Stop in the baking aisle for some melting chocolate and follow package directions on melting it without burning it. Set aside to cool. Slice bananas into thick (1/2 inch) medallions.
No-bake peanut butter black bean brownies: you heard right, no baking. You will need a blender, a deep pan (8x8 for this recipe), and a freezer though. Take a can of black beans, a cup of pitted dates, ¾ cup maple syrup, ¼ cup your choice of oil (we like canola), ½ cup cacao powder, and ½ teaspoon vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix ¼ cup PB, 1 tbsp oil, and 1 tbsp maple syrup. Mix peanut butter mixture with batter and freeze for 3 hours.
Chocolate avocado muffins: Now you need to put your chef’s hat on ‘cause we’re getting more involved. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside. Get one bowl for dry ingredients and one bowl for wet ingredients.
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
½ cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¾ cup chocolate chips
½ cup mashed avocado
1 container (5.3 oz) fat free plain Greek yogurt
1 cup fat-free milk
¼ cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
Mix dry and wet ingredients separately and then mix them together. Fill muffin tin with mixture up 3/4s of the way. Place in pre-heated oven and bake for 35 minutes until toothpick (or fork) comes out mostly clean.