Today, October 14 is National Dessert Day, and it’s time to celebrate! Most of us enjoy a sweet treat at the end of a meal or as a yummy snack, but we may not like the calories and fat that accompany it. Fortunately, there are now a growing number of healthy dessert trends that can satisfy your sweet tooth without the added calories. The average dessert item can range from 250 to more than 500 calories, while the following items range from 50 to 100 calories with other nutritional benefits like organic ingredients and added protein.
OUR TOP PICKS
DELIGHTED BY DESSERTS
Two words you may have thought you would never hear together; dessert hummus has become one of the hottest food trends. Delighted By Desserts creates vegan, gluten-free, non-gmo and kid-approved desserts that are low in sugar and free from bad-for-you ingredients. This dessert hummus has 80 calories with one gram of protein and five grams or less of sugar per serving. Available in thousands of stores nationwide. Visit delightedbydesserts.com to locate a store near you.
The Smash line of products offers guilt-free snacks. Try the Smash Mallow products which feature 100-calorie-per-serving marshmallow treats in a variety of flavors including cookie dough, cinnamon churro, strawberries and cream, and mint chocolate chip. Available at Target. smashmallow.com
Unreal offers a line of chocolate products like peanut butter caramel bars, dark chocolate almond butter cups and dark chocolate with crispy quinoa. All of their products are vegan, contain organic ingredients and are certified gluten-free with nothing artificial. Available at Whole Foods. getunreal.com
HALO TOP ICE CREAM
Available in a variety of flavors and products, Halo Top ice cream is a healthy alternative to traditional ice cream. One pint of traditional Halo Top ice cream is 280-380 calories, and the light variety is 90 calories per pint. They also offer dairy-free ice cream and ice cream pops, and all products are made with organic ingredients. Available at Target. halotop.com
OTHER DESSERT TRENDS
GREEK YOGURT BARS
Yasso developed an “ice cream bar” made of Greek yogurt that is available in over 18 delicious flavors like sea salt caramel, chocolate chip cookie dough and black raspberry chip. This sweet treat has only 80-150 calories but is filled with protein and void of high intensity sweeteners. (Publix in freezer aisle).
COCONUT DESSERT POTS
Coconut-based products continue to soar in popularity. The Coconut Collaborative offers a line of dessert pots in both chocolate and salted caramel, which can be eaten as is or used in recipes like vegan chocolate cake or fruit and pistachio coconut bowl. Free of dairy and gluten, these dessert pots are low in sugar, are vegan and contain just 130 calories per serving. (Whole Foods).
CHOCOLATE AVOCADO PUDDING
Avocado based recipes are also a huge trend because of the many health benefits of the green fruit. But rather than just using it for guacamole, avocados can also be part of sweet treats. Avocados are high in fiber and can lower cholesterol with their “good fats.” Tasty.com’s recipe calls for throwing the flesh of the avocado, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, honey or maple syrup, vanilla, a touch of salt with regular or almond milk into a blender and mixing until smooth. Add a touch of more syrup or honey as needed.
Food and Wine hailed beets as one of the hottest food trends of the last few years. Beets are full of fiber and have many vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy ingredient. They are high in fiber and can help to lower blood pressure. Once pureed, beets blend well with sweet flavors. Head over to justbeetit.com for a number of recipes including beet chocolate cupcakes or brownies or vanilla cupcakes with beet-dyed pink coconut cream frosting. What’s even better is that most of the recipes are vegan or gluten- free (or both!)
PRODUCT PHOTOS COURTESY OF MANUFACTURERS