When you’re starting out on a keto, Whole30, Primal/paleo, or other type of clean-eating diet, giving up treats and desserts can be a struggle that might have you surrendering with a white flag. Even if you’ve adapted to a lower-sugar, lower-carb lifestyle, there always seems to be some sort of celebration, school bake sale, book club meeting, or family potluck that necessitates creating sweet offerings. And, if you live with children, there’s no way they’re going to abide by a no-sugar-allowed-in-the-house rule (even if you don’t buy it, they’ll sneak it in somehow). For any of these times, it’s well worth it to have easy dessert recipes on hand that have ingredient lists you approve of—and can even sample, if you wish (we know you do!).
The last time you indulged in an ice cream sandwich was probably during your childhood or teenage years, but why? Perhaps this two-for-one handheld sweet seems a bit greedy for a grown-up dessert, but we’ll ask you to reconsider. The cocoa-rich, almost fudgy frozen cookies encase creamy emerald-toned avocado ice cream spiked with coconut and vanilla. Keep them small if you must, but add this back into your treat rotation—you’ll thank us.
Can no dairy, collagen-enriched cheesecake be a tasty treat? Tasting is believing, of course, but the sight of this frosted berry-covered cake with a thick and creamy-looking core and nutty, crumbly crust will seduce your sense first. Sweetened with your choice of monk fruit or maple syrup and two types of blueberries—fresh and freeze-dried—the lemon juice adds a barely noticeable acidic undertone that helps cut through the richness of cashews, pecans, and coconut.
This sip-able treat may be enjoyed ideally in front of a crackling fire on a frosty night, but it’s also a sweet snack to whip up for the kids when they dash indoors to defrock after a snowball fight. No sugar-filled packets of dusty cocoa punctured with pebble-sized freeze-dried marshmallows here—our version includes collagen-enhanced dark chocolate melted into a mix of almond and coconut milk topped with homemade toothsome, fluffy, thick vanilla-scented marshmallows.
Similar to tapioca or rice pudding, chia seed pudding is a thick, creamy mixture that can be sweetened or not and dotted with fresh fruits for an easy-to-tote treat. Chia seeds create a gel-like thickness when suspended in liquid; they’re a great way to mimic the texture of grain- or starch-based puddings. This one uses dried butterfly pea tea flowers to give it a startling azure hue and, topped with an array of brightly colored fresh fruit, is a pudding that even the kids will enjoy.
There are two types of brownie lovers: ones who adore the crackly, almost crisp top and pan-hugging side with a springy, cake-like interior, and those who covet the looser texture reminiscent of fudge or half-baked cookie dough of the middle-of-the-pan pieces. This recipe caters more to the latter, and offers up bites that are so moist and sublimely chocolatey that you might forget these are keto.
These no-bake peanut butter cookies contain whey protein powder, but that’s secondary to the sweet-and-savory, melt-in-your-mouth delectable flavor of these babies. Sweetened naturally with date paste, these cookies require only four ingredients and a bit of time to firm up in the refrigerator.
Lush, velvety and almost mood-enhancing, this chocolate pudding comes together quickly with a bit of sifting and whisking over the stovetop. The most arduous effort you’ll exert making this pudding involves the restraint you’ll need to demonstrate as you wait for it to set in the refrigerator for three hours.
If summertime could be captured in a pie, this would be it. Even the most staunch fat-adapted devotee can appreciate the occasional sublime pairing of berries and whipped cream. Contained in an almond flour crust, the ballet pink filling is a cross between cheesecake and loosely set whipped cream. Try this method with any berry; peaches, mangos, and even coconut would make lovely substitutions.
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