A dessert should be so delicious that you can’t wait to finish the main course of your meal just so that dive into the dessert. It should be sweet, satisfying and something special you won’t get from prepackaged brownies or box mix cupcakes. It should also be something you can enjoy without feeling sick later or that can lead to health issues from too much indulgence. When you make desserts from naturally delicious, healthy ingredients, it can be all of these things and more. It can also be simple, even something you keep on hand regularly that guests, friends and family can enjoy on a whim whenever they please. Nothing’s better than having something especially tasty you made yourself to offer an unexpected visitor who stops by, with nothing more needed than a brewing of coffee or tea to accompany the dessert. You don’t have to be a home cook or fancy chef to keep healthy desserts on hand at all times either. You also don’t need a fridge full of ingredients to make it happen. Here are some of the healthiest, easiest desserts you can make without dairy and refined sugar that most anyone will love.
May these not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but also leave you anticipating them before you even finish your main course!
1. Dairy-Free Banana Pudding
Banana pudding does not have to be made with the traditional Nilla wafers and dairy-based whipped cream. It’s actually much better without it and just as easy to make healthy. Try this easy method instead: Mix 1 cup of ground flax seed with 1 cup shredded coconut. Toss well. Spread it out over the bottom of a large casserole dish, just enough to cover completely, about 1/4 an inch tall. You’ll have some leftover, so reserve it. Next, peel and slice 5-6 ripe bananas. Layer those on top of the flax and coconut “crust” and keep layering evenly until all the banana slices are gone. Then spread one 16 ounce container of vanilla coconut yogurt or vanilla soy yogurt on top of the bananas. You can also use unsweetened if you prefer. Spread evenly to coat all the bananas. If your dish is particularly large you may need more. Add the remaining “crust” mix on top so it’s like a graham cracker topping. Garnish with fresh banana slices, pecans, sliced almonds, or even vegan whipped cream if you desire. Refrigerate to set for 1 hour. This yummy dessert keeps for one week in the fridge, covered well in the freezer for two months, and you can even make your own yogurt at home to make this even healthier if you like!
You can also try these other dairy-free banana recipes: Coconut Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding, Banana Split Cheesecake Parfait, Raw Chocolate Banana Pie, Banana Toffee Pie, Banana Bread Pudding, and Frozen Banana Bourbon Pie. Also see How to Use Bananas to Replace Common Dairy Foods for other simple healthy desserts using one of nature’s most perfect fruits!
2. Chocolate Ice Cream
Remember those days as a kid where you enjoyed cones of chocolate ice cream, piled almost too high for you too eat them fast enough? Such good times. Who says you have to give up chocolate ice cream just because you want to eat it healthier? There are many easy ways to make chocolate ice cream, and even make it without dairy cream, eggs, or even refined sugar. One of the easiest ways is to keep it healthy is to make your own instead of just buying low calorie or dairy-free ice creams at the store. While those are fine in a pinch, many have lots of additives that your body might not digest very easily, while others are just as high (or even higher) in sugars than what you could make at home.
Try this instead: Keep several ice trays of frozen non-dairy milk on hand. Unsweetened vanilla or even a light vanilla milk are great options to use to freeze in your ice cube trays. When you want ice cream, use one tray’s worth of the cubes and put them in your blender or food processor with 1/4 cup raw cacao powder or cocoa powder, 1 tsp. liquid sweetener of your choice (stevia, maple syrup or coconut nectar are best), and 1/4 cup non-dairy milk to help it blend. If you like bananas, you can also use 1 chopped frozen banana too. Puree and blend until you get a thick ice cream mix. Serve in a parfait dish, or make a big batch and keep in individual mason jars in your freezer for easy thawing on a whim. See how easy that is? If you want it even thicker and creamier, freeze frozen non-dairy yogurt in place of non-dairy milk. Both methods are cheaper than store bough options, much lower in calories and much less fake tasting too.
Here are some other chocolate frozen dessert options: Decadent Caramel Banana Ice Cream, Easy Banana Cacao Ice Cream, Ice Cream Tarts With Chocolate Sauce and Pecans, Cacao Nib and Mint Chocolate Ice Cream, Healthy Chocolate Fudgesicles. You can also explore even more vegan ice cream recipes for other flavor ideas.
Fruity, frosty, and perfect for the warmer temps most of us are experiencing right now, sorbet is a great change of pace when you want something lighter than ice cream, but still sweet and satisfying. It’s a perfect dessert to serve after a cookout or barbecue, or perhaps even as a light afternoon snack. Sorbet is fruit-based instead of milk or cream-based, though many brands at the store often have added skim milk and lots of refined sugar. Skip those options and make your own sorbet at home. All you need is frozen fruit and either a high speed blender such as a Vitamix, or really high quality food processor (like a Cusinart). You can use any fruit you want and make as little or as much as you want. Basically, you just add the fruit to your blender or food processor with any flavorings that you enjoy (vanilla, almond, and maple extract are great) and then process. Generally, just one cup of fruit is all you need to make one serving, while 4-5 cups will make a large batch enough to feed your family or make a sorbet dessert as a serving dish. They also freeze nicely in a large container or individual cups for easy on-the-whim servings.
Most brownies are thought to be enjoyed hot and still gooey after just coming out of a warm oven, but brownies also make excellent chilled desserts too. When kept in the fridge or freezer, they actually get sweeter and taste more like a mix between a cake and a cookie! You can make vegan brownies using either raw ingredients like dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and some cacao or cocoa powder that you blend in a food processor, or you can just bake them with any flour you choose and chill them in the fridge or freezer. They can be also be made lower carb and gluten-free using coconut flour or almond flour, and even be made out of whole oats for a more wholesome option. If you’d like to freeze your brownies for easy desserts to serve to friends and family, be sure you cover them well in a large freezer safe container. You can even layer them with vegan ice cream for easy homemade ice cream sandwiches!
Try these vegan brownie recipes: Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies, Caramel Fudge Brownies, Almost Raw Vegan Brownies, Java Infused Vegan Brownies, and Raw Vegan Chocolate Brownies. Still hungry? See more brownie recipes here for flavor variations of all kinds!
5. Chilled and No Bake Pies
It’s hard to beat a nice slice of frozen ice cream pie or even just a chilly, silky smooth one. While warm pies are nice in the colder months, they’re a bit too heavy in the spring and summer unless eaten chilled with ice cream. No bake and chilled pies are also much easier and normally require less steps, but are still simple enough to make with healthy ingredients. Though typical no-bake pies use whipped cream, sour cream, or regular yogurt, you can easily make a vegan version without these dairy-based ingredients. Cashews can be pureed into a silky smooth vegan cream cheese to replace regular cream cheese, and non-dairy yogurts can easily replace dairy-based yogurt. Coconut whip cream makes a much more satisfying topping than dairy-based milk cream, and the layers you choose to include in your pie are completely up to you. Whether you go for apple and use fresh apple slices or even pureed apples, bananas, sliced strawberries, cherries, peaches, fresh or frozen blueberries, raw coconut meat, and even blackberries and mangoes, pies are full of endless possibilities.
Try these easy pie recipes: No Bake Misssissippi Mud Pie, Raw Coconut Pie, Raw Fig Pie, Elvis Mousse Pie, Raw Lemon Cream Pie, Banana Toffee Pie, BellyBusting Banoffee Pie, and Chocolate Coated Key Lime Coconut Pie. For both cooked and no-bake pie recipes, see all of our pie recipes for more ideas.
Desserts are one of the easiest recipes to make healthy and without one bit of cream, butter, milk, dairy yogurt, cream cheese or anything else animal-based. If you would like more tips on how to make desserts healthier, try these 10 Hacks That Make Sweet Treats Healthier, How Avocado Can Easily Replace Dairy in All Your Favorite Creamy Dishes, and Healthy, Easy Dairy-Free Desserts You Can Make in Your Blender.
Lead Image Source: Cacao Nib and Mint Chocolate Ice Cream