Photography by Dan Austin
Recipes by Sheila Barceló

Eating healthy doesn’t necessarily always mean cutting out every craving. There are plenty of alternatives available to satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising taste. Check out some healthy dessert recipes to remind yourself that it’s OK — and sometimes necessary — to have some dessert.

Desserts are not typically the first foods to come to mind when talking about a healthy diet. Though it can be painful to admit, anything that satisfies our sweet tooth is most likely not going to be considered healthy and nutritious. So, does this mean that in order to eat healthy we must wave goodbye to desserts altogether?

The short answer: no, you do not have to purge all sweets from your life in order to eat healthy. We’re here to say that it is possible to live a healthy lifestyle without living completely devoid of sweets. Sometimes having what you crave is better than complete withdrawal of certain food groups, which can often lead to unmet goals, disappointment, and little chance for long-term success with a healthy diet. Science has actually shown that banning all indulgences makes it more difficult to stick to a plan and more likely to take on unhealthy eating habits.

A more effective approach, that reaps long-term results, is to satisfy your craving in controlled portions and take the extra time to find healthy (but also tasty) alternatives. There are plenty of healthy ingredients out there to satisfy your sweet tooth. And although delectable desserts are not typically absent of sugar, you can aim to abstain from refined sugars and opt for sweeteners from natural sources. Adding nuts, dates, strawberries, avocados, grapes, peanut butter, and even chickpeas are great alternatives and easy ways to add superfoods and additional nutrients, like fiber and protein, into your sweet treats.

We’ve provided a few recipes to remind you that yes, you can eat the dessert. Because eating healthy is all about moderation, which means enjoying a good dessert every once in a while for good measure.