8 Incredible Sweet Snacks For When You Crave Dessert, But You’re On A Diet
Satisfy your sweet tooth without packing on the pounds
Even with all their clean eating knowledge, nutrition experts are still human—which means that they get plagued by sugary cravings just like the rest of us.
What they don’t do? Let a hankering for something sweet turn into an all-out dessert-fest. They know that it’s entirely possible to tame a sweet tooth with something that’s both satisfying and actually good for you. Here’s exactly how they do it and how you can, too.
PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY
“One of my favourite treats is a good old-fashioned PBJ. The sweetness of a spoonful of jam atop that earthy, nutty peanut butter on a crispy, toasted slice of bread or bagel half makes me feel that I’ve had a real treat—even though it’s actually healthy. I like wholewheat bread or bagels.” —Sharon Palmer, registered dietician
DIY FROZEN YOGURT
Make your own frozen yogurt (or ice cream) in a food processor using frozen fruit and Greek yogurt. Add some walnuts or almonds and dried cranberries for texture. It’s creamy and delicious, light in calories, and also provides protein, calcium, and a wide range of other nutrients—the perfect guilt-free treat, says Sandra Woodruff, registered dietician and author of The Fabulous Fiber Cookbook.
“I freeze thin slices of banana, then top them with cocoa powder. You get natural sweetness from the banana (no added sugar) and the health benefits of dark chocolate. They taste great, and they’re less than 10 calories each.” —Dawn Jackson-Blatner, registered dietician and author of The Superfood Swap
“I make homemade fruit slushies by blending real fruit (like berries), ice, and sparkling water. You get the sweet flavor of the fruit, without any added sugar or artificial ingredients. Kids love these as much as adults, and you can add mint, lemon, or other flavors to mix things up.”—Nicole Beurkens, licensed psychologist and certified nutrition specialist
“I love having a fresh date with almond butter and a dark chocolate chip. It tastes like a candy bar and is completely satisfying! Dates are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin A, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium—and they’re naturally sweet. The almond butter provides protein in a creamy, sweet texture and the chocolate chip brings it all together in one delicious bite.” —Caryn O’Sullivan, integrative health coach and founder of Appetites for Life, LLC
COCONUT, CHERRY, AND CHOCOLATE SMOOTHIE
“Of all the ‘desserts’ I’ve found that work well for me, my coconut, cherry, and chocolate smoothie is one of the most satisfying… I blend together 200 mls of coconut milk, 140 grams of frozen dark cherries, and 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. Honestly, it’s so healthy that it could be eaten any time, but I don’t want myself to get used to the idea that everything should taste like chocolate.” —Stephanie Dunne, registered dietician and Integrative & Functional Nutrition Certified Practitioner
“When my sweet tooth strikes, there’s nothing more satisfying than a tablespoon of raw honey alone, or mixed with half a tablespoon of raw cacao powder and a tablespoon of coconut oil. Raw honey is a great source of enzymes; cacao is one of the highest foods in antioxidants (especially when raw) and a proven longevity food. Coconut oil is rich in medium chain triglycerides, which give me energy and help burn fat. Best of all, it’s a one-minute recipe.” —Susan Schenck, author of The Live food Factor
WHOLE FAT YOGURT
“I love a little bit of whole fat yogurt with frozen banana and peanut butter flour. A little bit goes a long way for full fat yogurt, so you don’t need much: I’ll use 1/4 cup yogurt, a pinch of cinnamon, some frozen banana slices, and a tablespoon of peanut butter flour. A little bit goes a long way, so you don’t need much.”
—Sarah Schlichter, registered dietician