Health: Make Desserts Without Added Sugar

July 7th, 2021

Your sweets can still be sweet without all that extra sweet

One of the best desserts without added sugar Image

You can still eat dessert if you’re eating less sugar. Just scale it back and choose treats that are lighter on the sugar or free from added sugar entirely. A modest amount of sweetener is fine; you can still have foods like dark chocolate (what’s life without chocolate?). But when you want sweet desserts without added sugar, give these a try.

1. Trade up your ingredients.

Eating more of the healthiest foods, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, can be fun — even when it comes to dessert. Instead of a sugar-cookie crust, trying making a dessert pizza with a round slice (instead of a wedge) of juicy watermelon as the base. And instead of frosting use yogurt, with or without a drizzle of honey.

2. Use fruit for sweetness.

Fruit is naturally sweet and, unlike cakes and candy, comes in a nutritious package with fiber and vitamins and minerals. Fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream, minimizing sugar spikes. And fruit provides key nutrients like potassium, vitamin C and folate. Frozen grapes make a great dessert when you need a sweet bite. After washing grapes, pat dry and freeze for about 45 minutes. Let stand at room temperature for 2 minutes before eating.

3. Make copycat desserts without added sugar.

Sure, you could eat your fruit as is or cut it into regular slices and it would be a wholesome way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Core an apple, slice into rounds and turn into “doughnuts” with a little creativity. Try apple “doughnuts” using almond butter as frosting and coconut flakes for sprinkles.

4. Make it beautiful.

Who doesn’t love eating Instagram-worthy treats? And you don’t need to go crazy to make something beautiful — nature did most of the hard work for you. Have fun with a rainbow fruit kebab or fruit salad. Fruits come in a rainbow of natural colors: deep purple blackberries and grapes, dark blue blueberries, soft green kiwis, orange mangoes and tangerines, and bright red strawberries and raspberries. Full of color, free of artificial anything and zero added sugar.

5. Make your own “nice” cream.

Literally, think outside the box and make cleaned-up versions of your favorite treats. Skip the frozen desserts aisle at the grocery store and make your own fruit “nice” cream. This recipe is all fruit, dairy-free, vegan and contains no added sugar. And this three-ingredient dessert is super-fast and easy to prep. Serve it as a snack or light dessert on the hottest days of the summer — or anytime you want a refreshing treat.

  • Strawberry-Mango “Nice” Cream
  • 12 ounces frozen mango chunks
  • 8 ounces frozen sliced strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

1. Place mango, strawberries and lime juice in a food processor; process for 1 to 2 minutes. Stop the processor and scrape down the sides.

2. Continue processing until smooth, an additional 2 to 3 minutes, adding up to 1/2 cup water to help process the fruit, if necessary.

3. Serve immediately or store in the freezer. Allow it to soften at room temperature for about an hour before serving.

And for even more wellness tips, visit our health page!

EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at

©2021 Eating Well, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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