Healthy Sweet Treats

Healthy Sweet Treats | Dr. Ali Ghahary

Whether cakes, cookies, chocolates or other baked goods, these sweet treats are things that people like to indulge in from time to time – and while it can be okay to “treat” yourself every now and then, it’s always important to remember not to overindulge. These bakery favourites are high in sugar, which contains calories. In turn, consuming too much sugar can lead to some fairly significant problems with your health down the line – including weight gain and an increased risk of developing heart disease. Aside from baked goods, sugar is also found in other common foods and beverages, such as sodas and fruit juices, while it can also be hidden in things like canned vegetables, pasta sauce, breakfast cereals, breads, and even other “diet” foods and snacks.

If you’ve recently removed (or are planning on removing) sugar from your diet but still find yourself with a sweet tooth every now and then, you don’t have to deprive yourself completely – as there are plenty of healthy dessert options out there that can fulfill those cravings you’re having – except without being detrimental to your wellbeing. Below are some examples of the most common sweet treats that are considered healthy, as well as some simple recipes that you can whip up on your own at home.

Ice cream, for example, is perhaps the most common go-to sweet treat – especially in warmer, summer months (though some people like it year-round.) However, ice cream, of course, contains sugar – so if you’re still looking for not only that sweet taste, but also feel like something cold and refreshing, too, then frozen yogurt (or “fro yo” as it is commonly called) can be a good alternative. That being said, keep in mind that most store-bought frozen yogurts are also high in sugar so it may be a good idea to make your own at home – all you need are a few simple ingredients and a blender! A personal favourite is the Keto-friendly blackberry frozen yogurt. Just combine 4 cups of frozen blackberries with 1 cup of Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Another frozen favourite are popsicles – but, again, when purchased from the store, these too are high in sugar. The good news is these are just as simple to make on your own and can be made using anything from plastic cups to popsicle molds to ice cube trays. All you need to do is blend together 9 tablespoons of water, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and 5 to 6 ounces of your favourite fruit (such as raspberries, strawberries, kiwi or mango.)

While sugar-free cookies don’t sound too appealing, what about cookie dough? If you happen to be wondering whether or not cookie dough should be consumed raw – the answer is, it shouldn’t. However, this particular type of no-bake cookie dough that I’m about to tell you about, is not only safe to eat (as it doesn’t contain any raw eggs), but it also uses stevia – a healthy substitute that can sweeten up some of your favourite foods without the negative effects associated with refined sugar. This particular recipe is also vegan, paleo and gluten-free! Simply combine ½ to 1 tablespoons of stevia, 2 tablespoons of almond flour, ½ a tablespoon of coconut flour, 1 tsp of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of milk of choice (more or less for your desired consistency), and 1 to 2 teaspoons of unsweetened chocolate chips, mixing well.

If you’re looking for a stamina boost, try energy bites. They’re not only going to give your body some added fuel, but they can also curb those sweet craving you’re having – and you don’t even have to bake them! All you need is to combine 1 cup of old-fashioned oats, 2/3 cup of toasted, unsweetened and shredded coconut, ½ cup of unsweetened creamy peanut butter, ½ cup of flaxseed (ground), 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (optional), ½ cup of unsweetened chocolate chips (optional), and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. After combining these ingredients, it’s best to let it chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Following this, you can roll into balls approximately 1’’ in diameter. This recipe should make at least 20 to 25 bites and you can store them in the fridge for up to 1 week.