We all try to eat healthy throughout the day so we feel less guilty when indulging in dessert. Perhaps you even stick to sugar-free or dark chocolate options, but you shouldn't drive yourself too crazy. There are many healthy dessert recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth, so why don't you give one of the below a go!
Apple Cider Donuts
Did you know that donuts can be healthy when they are baked instead of deep fried? Eliminate the grease and still enjoy their cute shape with this healthy dessert recipe.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and set out 2 nonstick donut or muffin pans (make 12 donuts). Lightly spray the pans with vegetable oil cooking spray.
- Pour 1 cup of apple cider into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook down until reduced by half (about 10 minutes).
- Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter to melt in pan, then set aside and let cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 large egg, and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
- Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir a few times. Add 1/2 cup of buttermilk and apple cider mixture and stir until smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly between the rings in the prepared pan(s). Bake until the donuts are puffed and golden (about 12 to 15 minutes). Let cool for a few minutes before turning out of the pans.
- In a small bowl, stir together 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Roll the warm donuts in the cinnamon sugar to coat, gently shaking off any excess.
- Now serve the apple cider donuts or store for up to 2 days!
Hazelnut Popcorn Balls
If you want an addicting dessert filled with healthy fats and protein, then you must try these hazelnut popcorn balls drizzled in dark chocolate.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine 6 cups of air-popped popcorn, 1/2 cup of toasted hazelnuts, and 1/2 cup of hemp seeds.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm 1/2 cup of maple syrup and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, swirling occasionally until the coconut oil has melted. Bring this mixture to a simmer and cook 5 to 7 minutes.
- Wearing oven mitts, carefully pour the maple syrup mixture over the popcorn, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and immediately stir with a wooden spoon or a silicone spatula until the popcorn and nuts are evenly coated.
- When the mixture is cool enough to handle but still warm and pliable, shape it into balls! Lightly oil your hands, and roll 1/4 cup portions of the mixture between your palms, gently pressing the popcorn so everything sticks together. Place the popcorn balls on the prepared pan and let cool until hardened (about 30 minutes).
- Then in a microwave-safe measuring cup, microwave 1/3 cup of dark chocolate on high in 30 second intervals. Be sure to stir each time, until melted and smooth (about 1 to 2 minutes).
- Use a fork to drizzle the melted chocolate over the popcorn balls, and let cool until the chocolate has hardened.
- Enjoy the popcorn balls right away, or store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours!
Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins
Muffins are a baker's staple, as they are great for breakfast or a dessert. Don't feel guilty when grabbing this healthy dessert recipe!
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
- Rinse and trim 1 zucchini, leaving it unpeeled. Then shred on the large holes of a box grater-shredder.
- Place the zucchini on a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess moisture. Then measure out 1 cup shredded zucchini and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of canola oil, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 2 large eggs, and 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 1/2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir. Next add 1/2 cup of milk and stir just until smooth. Finally add the zucchini and 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips last.
- Divide the batter between the cups in the prepared pan and bake until the muffins are puffed and golden (about 20 minutes).
- Now serve warm, cool, or store them for up to 3 days to enjoy later!
Crispy Peanut Butter Bars
If you're a huge fan of crispy treats, then you'll love these peanut butter bars filled with dark chocolate and raspberries. Not only do they taste great, but you'll receive a healthy dose of antioxidants!
- Line a square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Then pour 3 cups of a puffed multi-grain cereal into a large bowl.
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together 1 cup of peanut butter and 1/2 honey until warmed through and loose (about 1 to 2 minutes).
- Remove from the heat, whisk in 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract, and immediately pour the mixture over the cereal. Stir with a silicone spatula to combine.
- Next, pour the cereal mixture into the prepared pan and press down firmly with the bottom of a measuring cup.
- Now combine 6 oz of bittersweet chocolate and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a microwave-safe measuring cup. Microwave on high at 30 second intervals, stirring each time, until the chocolate is melted and smooth (about 1 to 2 minutes).
- Pour the chocolate over the cereal mixture in the pan, spreading it with an offset spatula, and sprinkle 1/3 cups of freeze-dried raspberries over the chocolate.
- Cover and chill until the chocolate is set (about 30 minutes). Finally cut into 16 squares and eat chilled!
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