Soups, sauces, and smoothies are pretty standard fare for a blender. Now, expand the handy kitchen appliance’s repertoire to include dessert! Yep—you can make anything from raw pies to cookie batter using this multifunctional machine, and we’ve found 27 healthier sweet treat recipes that use it for at least one step during their preparation (and amazingly enough, oftentimes the only step). Whether you own a standard or state-of-the-art version, your blender will start earning its counter space after giving these a go.
Cakes and Pies
No more staring at plantains at the supermarket without a clue how to use them—pick up a couple of these zinc and beta carotene-rich cousins of the banana, throw them in the blender along with apples, eggs, and spices, and whirl them into gluten-free cake batter. Thanks to the natural sugars from the fruit, only a third of a cup of maple syrup is needed to achieve the perfect light sweetness in the baked results.
With bananas, honey, and nut butter standing in for flour, sugar and oil, this grain, dairy, and refined sugar-free treat is a significantly lower-in-gluten take on the timeless chocolate-peanut butter combo. No need to sprain your arm trying to blend the peanut butter into the fruit, either—let the blender take it away.
Along with saving you the work of mixing the batter by hand, this blendable recipe makes life even easier by eliminating the need for baking. A date-walnut mixture forms the perfect crust alternative to fussy kneaded dough, while sliced apples are softened up by a lightly spiced, date-based caramel sauce. The merits of eating raw may be up for debate, but there’s no question that this pie is raw food (and food in general) done right.
As nutritious as they are pretty, these vegan cheesecake slices boast three layers of healthy ingredients, from the antioxidant-filled raspberries to the cholesterol-lowering nuts and coconut milk. Made entirely in a blender and then chilled, the end product looks fancy but couldn’t be simpler to put together.
Dessert isn't usually our go-to for protein—but this one is making waves. Thanks to the quinoa, coconut flour, and eggs on the ingredient list, this gluten-free treat boasts at least 7.5 grams of protein per slice—not bad for a dessert with “cake” in its title! With a sweet potato-based frosting, the entire recipe is an unconventional yet delicious way to satisfy a dessert craving with superfoods instead of refined sweeteners.
Part-vegan cheesecake, part-apple crumble, and totally mouthwatering, this dessert is the perfect fusion of two traditionally dairy-infused ones. While it’s not light (by any means), grab a slice knowing that the fats from the coconut oil can boost “good” cholesterol, and that the five cups of mixed nuts can do wonders for your cardiovascular health.
With their heavy emphasis on nuts and seeds, raw foods can be a bit...dense. This one eases up on the nuts, using just half a cup of ground almonds for the crust. With avocados lending that light green hue for the filling, though, each of these tangy, no-bake, single-serving pies still comes with healthy fats galore, giving you all the heart-protecting benefits while keeping them light enough to end a meal with.
Puddings, Mousse, and Frozen Treats
Frozen fresh fruit provides the base—and most of the natural sweetness—of this refreshing treat, with milk rather than heavy cream cutting back on the saturated fat, and no harm done to the velvety consistency. No need for a pricey ice-cream maker either; it turns out perfectly doable (perfectly peachy) just in the blender.
Despite the extra steps of chilling the mixture, this recipe still couldn’t be easier to pull together, with just a quick blend between the refrigeration. With protein and fiber from the chia in addition to the pick-me-up power of the espresso powder and brewed coffee (hey, it has plenty of healthy benefits!), we’re thinking this healthy dessert may be best served at breakfast.
Each serving of this dairy-free pudding will give you an entire banana’s worth of hypertension-reducing potassium, not to mention extra fiber and sweetness from the dates, and protein-filled staying power from the cashews. Date fruit: chemical composition, nutritional and medicinal values, products. Tang ZX, Shi LE, Aleid SM. Journal of the science of food and agriculture, 2013, May.;93(10):1097-0010. Whipped up by a blender into super-creamy submission, it’s a nutritious, no-cook solution to a sweet craving.
No need to travel all the way to the Dole plantation (or Disneyland) for this iconic frozen concoction! Mix it up in mere minutes (and, obviously, a fraction of the airfare cost) with a blender. Splash in some almond milk to help break down the inflammation-easing bromelain enzymes in the pineapple. Garnished with a pineapple wedge, it’s vacation in a glass.
Skip the sugar-laden fro-yo joints and whip up a much more wholesome version with just four ingredients tossed in a blender, then frozen until just scoopable. Blueberries and honey ratchet up the antioxidant levels, while Greek yogurt gives it a protein-packed thickness you won’t find in the self-serve stuff. Honey as a source of dietary antioxidants: structures, bioavailability and evidence of protective effects against human chronic diseases. Alvarez-Suarez JM, Giampieri F, Battino M. Current medicinal chemistry, 2014, Jan.;20(5):1875-533X. The effects of increased dietary protein yogurt snack in the afternoon on appetite control and eating initiation in healthy women. Ortinau LC, Culp JM, Hoertel HA. Nutrition journal, 2013, Jun.;12():1475-2891.
If a dessert can taste like clouds of fruity sweetness while simultaneously containing ingredients that can help fight breast cancer, we’re here for it. Polyphenol-rich mangoes are puréed and layered with orange slices and walnuts. Finished with a dusting of ground pistachios, the pretty-as-a-picture result is easy on the eyes and on the body.
Muffins, Bars and Cookies
You could dip a flip-flop in chocolate and we’d eat it, so when it’s an almond butter-and-oat crust getting a silky cocoa coating, it’s a no-brainer. With a thin layer of melted chocolate, a sprinkling of raisins, and a dash of metabolism-aiding cinnamon, one of these sumptuous bars has just the right balance of nutty, sweet, and slightly salty.
With fiber-filled black beans replacing the flour, and vitamin E-packed avocado swapped in for the butter, these fudgy, intensely chocolatey, blender-made bites are proof that healthy ingredient swaps don’t compromise taste or texture. They’ve even got the all-important crackle-top and those extra-chewy edges—non-negotiables.
A blender helps the classic flavor combo take muffin form, with almond butter lending some vitamin E-enhanced protein and ground oats stepping in for the flour. A dollop of all-fruit jelly hides in the center of each, so that it’s just like the sandwich, but even sweeter.
Skip the artificial food coloring for a much more natural source of minty green: avocado. The fact that it’s a nutrition-packed superfood is a welcome bonus. Blended with honey and peppermint oil and topped with a coconut-infused chocolate layer, it makes the end product look and taste just like the original.
A lazy baker’s best friend, the blender ensures that homemade cookies don’t have to mean a mess in the kitchen. Mixing four simple ingredients—none of which are butter or oil!—the handy appliance allows the oaty, low-fat, and vegan batter to come together in seconds. Then it’s just a matter of minutes in the oven until you’ve got a plateful of cookies and minimal clean-up.
If healthier, quicker, peanut butter-swirled brownies sound too good to be true, you’re in for a happy surprise: This recipe uses heart-healthy oats instead of white flour, ditches the butter and oil, and even offers the option of refined sugar alternatives to create a better baked good. The future of oats in the food and health continuum. Clemens R, van Klinken BJ. The British journal of nutrition, 2014, Nov.;112 Suppl 2():1475-2662. Mix in a blender for easy prep, and top with a thick peanutty layer. You’ll be blissed-out in (healthy!) chocoholic heaven from the first fudgy mouthful.
If carrots can be turned into cake in a mixture, why not transform them into fudge with a blender? These bite-size morsels are spiced with the classic trio of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and topped with a “frosting” of coconut cream to keep things dairy-free. Go ahead, add an extra piece to your plate. It’s not every day you can get your vision-boosting vitamin A fix from dessert!
By now, zucchini is used so frequently in healthy dessert recipes that it’s hardly a secret ingredient, but there’s a good reason it’s so popular: It provides plenty of essential moisture without requiring a boatload of butter. Here, it’s combined with high-fiber coconut flour and eggs for a veggie-packed, grain-free cupcake that’s even wholesome enough for breakfast. Glycaemic index of different coconut (Cocos nucifera)-flour products in normal and diabetic subjects. Trinidad TP, Valdez DH, Loyola AS. The British journal of nutrition, 2003, Oct.;90(3):0007-1145.