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6 Easy Dessert Recipes That Use Natural Sweeteners

  • Dawn Jackson Blatner

    Carrot Cake Energy Bites

    Perfect before or after a workout, these superfood-packed treats from Dawn Jackson Blatner, registered dietitian and FITNESS advisory board member, use Medjool dates for a sweet bite. Make a batch at the beginning of the week and enjoy a few—one has about 70 calories—each time you need a healthy dose of carbs to fuel your workouts, she says.

    Makes 10 bites

    • 6 Natural Delights Medjool dates, pitted
    • 1 carrot, finely grated (1/2 cup plus extra for topping)
    • 1/4 cup raw walnuts
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut (plus extra for topping)
    • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

    In a food processor, puree dates, 1/4 cup grated carrot, coconut, nutmeg, and salt until smooth. Pulse in remaining 1/4 cup carrots and walnuts, leaving mixture somewhat chunky.

    With your hands, form 10 balls and roll each into extra coconut. Add extra carrot on top, if desired. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

  • JJ Virgin

    Chocolate Avocado Mousse with Cacao Nibs

    Don't let avocado in a dessert surprise you—it adds a creamy richness to the mousse. Serve up this recipe from JJ Virgin, celebrity nutritionist and author of The Sugar Impact Diet, for your next girls' night in.

    Makes 4 servings

    • 2 ounces 70% dark chocolate or higher, chopped
    • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
    • 3/4 plain cultured coconut milk
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons monk fruit extract
    • 4 teaspoons cacoa nibs

    Place 3/4 of the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring between each until just melted. Stir in the remaining chocolate until melted and smooth; cool 3 minutes.

    Combine the avocado, coconut milk, and monk fruit extract in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on the highest setting until well combined; add the melted chocolate and beat in until the mixture is light and fluffy. Divide among 4 bowls and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.

    Just before serving, sprinkle with cacao nibs.

  • Leanne Ely

    Baked Apples

    Baking apples brings out the natural sweetness of the fruit. This recipe from Leanne Ely, certified nutritionist and author of Part-Time Paleo, adds raisins and honey for more complex texture. She recommends taking it a step further by drizzling cold coconut milk for a tasty hot-and-cold dessert your whole family will love, no sugar required.

    Makes 1

    • 1 Fuji apple
    • Raisins, as desired
    • Cinnamon, as desired
    • Honey, as desired

    Core a Fuji apple, stuff with raisins, cinnamon, and honey, as desired. Bake for about 20 minutes.

  • Dawn Jackson Blatner

    Skillet Granola

    Forget dropping too much cash on a bag of trail mix. This homemade skillet granola from Blatner keeps your sugar count in check and is perfect atop a cup of Greek yogurt. Watch this video for a step-by-step tutorial.

    Makes 3 1/2 cups

    • 6 Natural Delights Medjool dates, pitted
    • 1/4 cup almost-boiling water
    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
    • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    • 2 cups rolled oats
    • 1 cup raw nuts and/or seeds (pick your favorites)

    In a food processor, puree dates, water, oil, cinnamon and salt until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and stir date mixture with oats, nuts, and seeds.

    In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, cook the mixture about 12 minutes, stirring regularly, until toasted and golden. Let cool and keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

  • Rocco DiSpirito

    Sweet Potato and Chocolate Truffles with Coconut

    No, we haven't gone off the deep end combining sweet potatoes with chocolate. This recipe from celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito, author of Cook Your Butt Off!, harnesses its natural sweetness, and the monk fruit gives it an extra sweet boost to send these truffles into "give me your secret now" territory.

    Makes 2 truffles

    • 1/2 cup peeled, grated sweet potatoes
    • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 packets monk fruit powder (such as Monk Fruit in the Raw)
    • 1 packet stevia extract (such as Stevia in the Raw)
    • Kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon unrefined coconut oil
    • 2 1/4 teaspoons unsweetened reduced-fat shredded coconut
    • 1/2 teaspoon erythritol

    Place the sweet potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a microwave-safe plate, and microwave on high until the potatoes are just about tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

    Remove from the microwave and add the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, monk fruit powder, stevia extract, and coconut oil. Stir well, season with salt, and place in the freezer to cool, about 4 minutes.

    Place the coconut and erythritol in a shallow bowl.

    Form the sweet potato mixture into 2 loosely packed equal-size balls, and roll them between your hands to tightly pack them. Place each ball in the erythritol and coconut mixture and press the mixture into the sweet potato center, covering the outside of each ball completely. If not serving immediately, keep chilled in an airtight container.

  • Dawn Jackson Blatner

    Chocolate Superfood Protein Smoothie

    Craving a milkshake? Opt for this smoothie recipe from Blatner instead. It uses dates—instead of calorie-heavy ice cream—for the sweet factor you're after.

    Serves: 1

    • 2 Natural Delights Medjool dates, pitted
    • 1 cup unsweetened plant or dairy milk
    • 1 cup baby spinach
    • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/2 cup ice

    In a blender, puree dates, milk, spinach, hemp seeds, and cocoa powder until smooth. Puree in ice for thicker consistency.


Samantha Lefave

Samantha is a writer who is living, eating and sweating her way through NYC. You can find her running half-marathons like it's her job, Instagramming her favorite food and fitness finds or, let's be honest, eating peanut butter straight from the jar.

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