Beautiful cream, balls of happiness, chia pudding: five treats approved by dieticians



As someone with a sweet tooth, I know that sometimes only the true sweet pairing will suffice. As a dietitian, you will be happy to hear that I believe these foods can be part of a healthy diet.

Ice cream, chocolate, cakes, cookies, pastries – you name it, you have my permission to include these so-called “unhealthy” foods in your diet without any dietary guilt.

The trick, however, is to enjoy it mindfully and every once in a while (read: not every day of the week). As boring as it sounds, moderation really is the key.

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That being said, it can pay to have healthier sweet recipes up your sleeve that will satisfy a sweet tooth without all the kilojoules, sugar, and saturated fat that typical candy provides.

So, in honor of International Dessert Day, here are five healthier dessert ideas to try when you’re looking for something a little lighter.

1. Nice blocks of cream ice cream

Healthier ice cream = “beautiful” cream. Made from ripe bananas that have been frozen and then blended in a food processor until smooth, the beautiful cream is a surprisingly creamy alternative to traditional frozen confectionery.

You can add any flavor to your banana mix that tickles your fancy – I like to use mixed berries or frozen mango, or both! Once mixed, put the mixture into block ice molds and freeze again, and you have better-for-you “ice cream” on your hands.

2. Chocolate balls of happiness

Made with dried fruits, nuts and cocoa powder for a chocolatey touch, the Balls of Happiness are absolutely delicious. The trick with them, however, is to make them small and not demolish an entire lot at once.

Although they are made with healthy ingredients, they can be quite high in calories. I would also suggest skipping the coconut oil which is often requested in happiness balls recipes as it is loaded with unhealthy fats.

3. Dates stuffed with peanut butter

Rich in heart-healthy fats and vegetable proteins, peanut butter is a staple in any healthy kitchen.

I would recommend a “natural” variety made from 100% peanuts instead of the type of peanut butter you probably ate small (read: one with lots of added sugars, oils, and salt). When the craving for sweet calls you, halve a date or two and fill them with a teaspoon of PB. Delight.

4. Berry chia pudding

Chia seeds might be tiny, but they offer BIG health benefits. It is one of the few plant-based foods that contain special omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and very good for your ticker.

They are also a wonderful source of vegetable protein and gut-loving fiber. For a delicious chia pudding, I like to soak the chia seeds overnight in a mixture of mashed banana, milk, and vanilla. When ready to serve, mix the pudding and garnish with fresh berries and macadamia.

5. Frozen yogurt bark

A simple flavoring idea, frozen yogurt rind is simply yogurt that has been spread thinly on a flat baking sheet, topped with crushed nuts and berries, then frozen.

Once solid, remove the rind from the freezer, break it into small pieces and enjoy. For a healthy, calcium-rich base, I would recommend plain Greek yogurt over anything flavored or sweet.

Melissa Meier is a Certified Practicing Dietitian based in Sydney. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.

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