You know those people who claim to not really like dessert? Well I’m not one of them 🙂
Chocolate and sweet treats have always been a big thing for me. I’m generally a pretty clean eater and opt for salads, veggies, grain bowls, and healthy scrambles (most of the time). But I can’t resist a gooey fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookie—can you?
I used to feel VERY guilty about indulging. After all, sugar gets a bad rap and is typically the first thing eliminated on a diet plan or cleanse. But personally, the times in my life when I craved sweets the most were times when my diet was the most restricted. While prepping for my first bikini competition I dreamed of frozen yogurt and dark chocolate (my first “meal” post-show). That first bite was pure bliss.
I’m not recommending eating a pint of ice cream a day, but complete elimination of your favorite foods long-term can make it harder to stay on track. You can indulge in sweet treats AND reach your health goals (phew!). My recommendation is to aim for a post-dinner treat of 50-150 calories; something to hit the spot without leaving you with the extra guilt.
Ready to treat yo’self? Snatch up these 12 healthy(ish) dessert items, easily available at your local grocery store.
Halo Top tastes like the real deal. From birthday cake (buy in bulk at Costco) to oatmeal cookie to s’mores, it’s a struggle to stop at one scoop. The low-calorie, high-protein, and low-sugar ice cream is made with all natural ingredients. The best part? They just released 7 new flavors!
I have a soft spot for this San Diego-based company (no pun intended). I love supporting a local team of dessert connoisseurs crafting Fit Frozen Desserts. With both creamy and chunky pints available, there are several flavors to choose from. I always go for chocolate chip cookie dough or brownie blast for that extra bit of chocolate chunk!
Diana combines two of my favorite foods, banana and chocolate, for a delicious dairy-free frozen treat. The perfectly ripe and sweet bananas are picked in the jungle, quick frozen, and dipped in REAL bar chocolate. Yum!
I love Yasso Greek Yogurt Bars. The low-calorie, high-protein ice-cream is made with real Greek yogurt, hormone-free milk, and high quality ingredients. After a hot summer day, the chocolate fudge is the perfect treat. And at only 80 calories, I can indulge without the added guilt.
I tried the Garden Lites brand at the Gluten Free Expo earlier this year, and they were phenomenal. Just pop a muffin in the microwave for 35 seconds, and dig in. The mini “lava cake” satisfies my craving for a decadent dessert at only 120 calories (my husband and I fight for the last bite— I always win). Bonus: They are gluten, dairy, and nut free!
I love almond butter on just about anything: banana, toast, rice cakes, oats, etc. And when I found out about the Wild Friends Dark Chocolate Almond flavor, I immediately bought a jar. Made with crunchy almond pieces and rich unsweetened dark chocolate, it tastes delicious paired with fresh berries. For portion control I buy pre-portioned packs (190 calories a pouch).
With only three ingredients—fruit, water, and organic cane sugar—these popsicles are probably one of the best choices in the freezer aisle. Go fruity with strawberry, mango, tangerine, pineapple, or mango, OR opt for chocolate (my personal favorite).
The rich Fudge Bar is a chocolate lover’s dream. Added bonus: the “good-for-you” ice cream bar is low in fat and sugar, with 70 calories. Chocolate not your thing? Enlightened has 10 bar flavors, ranging from red velvet to cold brew.
Dairy free? So Delicious Mini Vanilla Soymilk sandwiches taste a bit like Oreo heaven. And at 90 calories a piece these minis are the perfect snack. Warning: you may finish a mini in 2-3 bites 🙂
I’ve never seen a Banana Cinnamon frozen pop before, so I had to try this one. Made from bananas, skim milk, cream, and ground cinnamon, this unique flavor is quite tasty (borderline addictive). It doesn’t taste like a banana per se. More like the cinnamon toast crunch I used to eat growing up—even better!
I credit my husband for this dessert idea. Instead of heading out for froyo (so tempting), we keep a few greek yogurts in the fridge. Beyond vanilla, you can now find flavors like raspberry chocolate, tiramasu, and toasted marshmallow. With only 80 calories and 7 grams of sugar, I can indulge in a post-dinner treat and avoid the extra bloat, and toppings bar.
If you plan to eat dessert frequently I highly recommend keeping dark chocolate around. One ounce of dark chocolate is chock-full of antioxidants and flavanols, vitamins, and nutrients. The health benefits are backed by science, so go ahead—enjoy! My husband and I first tried Lake Champlain Chocolates on our honeymoon, and we instantly fell in love with their chocolate. I’ve only been able to find it at Whole Foods, so it’s extra special when we find a bar to share.
Mmm..I think it’s time for dessert. What about you? What are your favorite healthy(ish) desserts?