We know how easy it is to consume way too much sugar. Soda, juice, a tablespoon of honey in a cup of tea, a jam and brie sandwich, a mini candy bar at the bank, sugar lurks in every corner.
As we cut sugar-filled drinks and processed foods from our life, we’ve got to admit something: After dinner, sometimes we want something sweet.
We’ve gathered 10 awesome recipes for desserts that only use the natural sugars in fruits and vegetables. Yup, that’s carrot cake, chocolate mousse, apple tart, sesame cookies, frozen fruit pizza (what?!), and more. Yum.
Before we dive in, let’s quickly clarify what we mean by no sugar added: it’s not the same as sugar-free, it just means we didn’t add anything extra beyond plant-based forms of sugar.
If you have diabetes, these recipes will still raise your raise your blood sugar. If you’re counting carbs, you’ll still need to count the grams of carbs for the fruits and veggies, just the same as if it contained white table sugar.
As with anything sweet, the total amount of sugar daily should be minimized for optimum health. We don’t want you think that that “no sugar added” is a free pass to eat as many of these cookies and brownies as you like. Remember: all things in moderation.
Chocolate cake without sugar? When puréed dates and unsweetened baking chocolate meet, it’s possible. These rich, fudgey squares taste anything but no sugar added.
This dairy-free mousse gets its creaminess from our BFF avocado, and is sweetened with dates. This bowl of fluffy goodness has just the right counter balancing dash of Himalayan sea salt.
Make this frozen dessert when ripe, juicy peaches are in season. The only other ingredient in this no-dairy dessert is coconut milk.
No fancy ice cream maker needed. Just blend frozen peach slices with coconut milk in a food processor, and freeze. How easy is that?
And yes, you can use packaged frozen peaches from the grocery store, though they might not be as sweet.
This frozen dessert has a cashew-date crust, a layer of Greek yogurt, and a layer of fresh fruit that you can change up according to the season.
It tastes even better the next day, making it a convenient do-ahead dessert for friends and family.
This dessert looks fancy (if you arrange the apple slices in a pretty pattern), yet it’s as easy as filling pre-made all-butter pastry crust with sweet Honey Crisp apples tossed with unsweetened applesauce.
There’s a reason dates are called “nature’s candy” — they’re naturally sweet. Here figs sweeten the nutty, oatmeal crust, and are also whipped into a rich, gooey caramel like topping. This is a dessert for sharing.
Forget about memories of too-sweet creamsicles and their artificial flavorings. This grown-up version uses clementines and coconut milk to flavor chia pudding.
Top with toasted unsweetened coconut flakes. Toasting brings out the natural sweetness in the flakes.
Honey is a common sweetener in Greek desserts, but here, date paste sweetens a tahini-based cookie studded with sesame seeds. These are awesome to nibble on with a small espresso in the afternoon or after dinner.
Since date paste, agave nectar, and coconut crystals are all natural sweeteners, there’s no cane sugar needed, but still remember to add these in moderation.
Dates add to the natural sweetness of everyone’s favorite vegetable in cakes: carrots. This recipe calls for real cream cheese for the icing, sweetened with dates or applesauce.
Sweet potatoes are the base of these truffles, which can be rolled in nuts, seeds, unsweetened coconut flakes, or cocoa powder.
Sounds pretty “out there,” but think about it. You know how when you roast a sweet potato and the syrup bubbles the holes you pricked, and the soft flesh of the skin gets caramelized? That’s natural sugar.
We’re fans of the age-old adage “everything in moderation.” We love cane sugar, but if there’s no sacrifice on taste, why not mix it up with alternatives like date paste or coconut crystals?
To balance out your sugar intake and still satisfy your sweet tooth, use the natural sweetness of fruits and vegetables. You’ll hardly even notice the difference. Pretty amazing what nature can do.