By Rebecca Fending
It’s easier said than done when it comes to eating your fruits and veggies to be healthy. Sure, you can eat carrots or broccoli or an apple, but is it really satisfying? It’s difficult to repeatedly eat what we should because it’s usually presented to us in a blah kind of way. Who wants just fruit for dessert? These three sweet treats are sure to get you excited about getting your fruits and veggies into your diet.
Sweet Potato Brownies
Okay, hear me out. Just because sweet potato is a key ingredient in these brownies doesn’t mean they’re sweet potato dessert bars. Sweet potatoes are actually a great healthy ingredient to mash up and incorporate into your baking to make your desserts fudgy and soft. Sweet potatoes also prevent the premature staleness that sets into our baked goods. Here’s how you can make these miraculously delectable treats, inspired by Chocolate Covered Katie:
- 1 cup of mashed sweet potato
- 1 cup peanut butter (use crunchy if you’d like some texture)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup flour (any variety)
- 1/2-3/4 cup chocolate chips (depending on your status on chocolate)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder (may replace with cacao powder for added nutrients and minerals)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- a pinch of salt
Begin by heating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an 8-inch baking pan well and set aside. In a large bowl, heat your peanut butter for 15-20 seconds or until just soft enough to evenly incorporate with other wet ingredients. Mix in the finely mashed sweet potato and vanilla extract.
In a separate medium-sized bowl, add all dry ingredients and mix well. Gradually fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Pour into greased 8 inch pan and bake for 20 minutes or until done to your liking*. Let cool and enjoy!
*Brownies will first appear underdone but are actually thoroughly baked. Since there aren’t any eggs in this recipe and the flour will be baked well, there’s no need to worry as much.
Okay, so maybe the sweet potato brownies haven’t sold you on incorporating vegetables into your desserts, but what about undercover fruit? These healthy avocado brownies, inspired by TheCastawayKitchen.com, are sure to please due to avocado’s mild flavor and ability to make the fudgiest brownies ever. This recipe is both flourless, modified to be healthier than traditional brownies, and couldn’t be easier:
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ripe, medium avocado
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 4 tablespoons almond butter
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup cacao powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chopped chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8-inch pan well. Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl or stand mixer. Mix until just combined to maintain fudgy texture. Pour mixture into greased pan and top with extra chocolate chips, walnuts, or coconut flakes and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares. Enjoy with a glass of milk!
Banana “Nice Cream”
Ice cream is a treat that’s great no matter the time of year, weather, or mood. This recipe is an ideal way not only to get yourself to eat bananas (they’re chock-full of vitamins and minerals!), but it also allows you to make a healthy, clean-eating version of your favorite treat. With countless flavoring and topping combinations (chocolate peanut butter or piña colada?), banana “nice cream” is the perfect snack. The only thing that stays constant between recipes is the frozen bananas and the addition of your milk of choice. Here’s how to make a cherry chocolate chip version:
- 4 frozen bananas, sliced
- 2 cups of frozen cherries, pitted
- 3 tablespoons of milk (traditional, almond, oat, etc.)
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
- 2 tablespoons of sweetener (sugar, honey, agave, etc.)
Add frozen banana slices and cherries to your blender. Next, add your milk and blend for about 3-4 minutes or until blended and creamy. Once blended, add your chocolate and either use the “stir” setting on your blender or fold the chocolate into fruit mixture in a separate container.
For a soft-serve texture, eat it right from the blender. If you’d prefer a more traditional and scoopable ice cream texture, transfer the blended mixture to a covered pan or container and freeze for 2-3 hours. Serve in a bowl sprinkled with the topping of your choice (I would choose just a bit more chocolate on top) and enjoy!