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6 Easy Sugar-Free Desserts Just Perfect for Summer

These healthy sweets are high in flavor and easy to make.

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Six Summery Sugar-free dessert laid out on a table with sunflowers and bright blue background
Photographs and prop styling by Caitlin Bensel (Food stylist: Torie Cox)
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While summer fruits are undeniably sweet and delicious, sometimes we all want something a bit sweeter without the extra calories. Enter these six dessert recipes that are guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth, without added sugar As a cooking class instructor and owner of The Speedy Vegan, my sweetener of choice is dates. They are a whole, unprocessed fruit, high in natural sweetness, fiber and antioxidants — and oh-so delicious!

Glass bowl of Chocolate Mousse garnished with bright raspberries
Photographs and prop stylist: Caitlin Bensel (Food stylist: Torie Cox)

Chocolate Mousse

For those who believe “if it’s not chocolate it’s not dessert," you will love this healthy treat. Make it with tofu for added protein or with avocado for a silkier texture. Either way, it is delicious!

Serves 2-4 

7 ounces silken or firm tofu or 2 large ripe avocados

10 large Medjool dates, pitted

½ cup raw cacao powder

½ cup unsweetened plant-based milk

½ cup fresh raspberries or strawberries

Add the tofu or avocado, dates, cacao powder and plant-based milk to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Spoon the mousse into individual glasses or bowls and top with fresh berries.

Chef’s Note: Use a piping bag or Ziploc bag with the corner cut out to pipe it into glass serving containers for a prettier look.

Grilled Pineapple overhead on a yellow background
Photographs and prop stylist: Caitlin Bensel (Food stylist: Torie Cox)

Grilled Pineapple

Grilling pineapple caramelizes the natural sugars in the fruit and highlights its sweetness without adding additional sweeteners. This light summery dessert is so simple and the grill marks make it feel more than a little bit fancy.

Serves 6

1 pineapple

2 sprigs fresh mint
 
Heat up a ridged cast iron grill pan for 5 minutes. Cut the crown off the pineapple and slice off all the skin. Slice the pineapple into ½-inch thick slices and place them on the hot grill. To get the grill marks, cook for 3 minutes and then use a spatula to rotate the pineapple 45° and cook for 3 minutes more. Press down on the pineapple slices with the spatula to get that great-looking sear. Flip the slices over and cook for another 3 minutes and then use the spatula to rotate the slices 45° and cook for another 3 minutes. Serve warm with fresh mint sprinkled on top or with a dollop of Vanilla Nice Cream.

Two Date Shakes in tall glasses with green glass straws
Photographs and prop stylist: Caitlin Bensel (Food stylist: Torie Cox)

Date Shake

Raise your hand if you grew up loving milkshakes. This super healthy shake has all the nostalgic flavors of my favorite childhood vanilla milkshakes but without dairy or sugar. All the sweetness comes naturally — from the dates and bananas.

Makes 1 large or 2 small shakes

2 large bananas, frozen

4 Medjool dates, pitted

1 tablespoon almond butter plus extra to drizzle on top

½ teaspoon vanilla powder or extract

1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk

1 cup ice cubes

Pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon

Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish with an extra drizzle of almond butter and maybe a sprinkle of nutmeg or cinnamon.

Brigth red strawberry popsicles surrounded by ice on a bright blue background
Photographs and prop stylist: Caitlin Bensel (Food stylist: Torie Cox)

Strawberry Popsicles

Looking for a sweet treat that’s big on flavor but low on calories? Strawberry popsicles are the answer! And get this: Strawberries are packed with antioxidants, which support disease prevention and healthy aging. So, enjoy them all summer long — and get the health benefits as an added bonus!
 
Makes 6

2 cups strawberries, washed and hulled (can use frozen)

2 tabelspoons lemon juice
 
Instructions

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a date or two if you prefer sweeter popsicles. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds, leaving a little space for them to expand. Insert the popsicle sticks and freeze overnight.

Vanilla "Nice Cream" in a golden dish garnished with mint
Photographs and prop stylist: Caitlin Bensel (Food stylist: Torie Cox)

Chocolate & Vanilla Nice-Cream

Beat the heat with this low-calorie, cool-down treat when you are craving ice cream. The key to this dessert is to make it in a high-speed blender. I love my Vitamix, but Blendtec or Ninja are great options as well.

Serves 2

4 very ripe bananas, frozen

2 tablespoons plant-based milk

2 tablespoons cacao powder (for chocolate)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or powder (for vanilla)

Add the frozen bananas, plant-based milk and either the cacao powder or vanilla powder to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If you want it to be sweeter, just add a date or two and blend again. Spoon into bowls or sundae glasses and serve right away.

Carrot Cake Bites on a glass plate with orange props and background
Photographs and prop stylist: Caitlin Bensel (Food stylist: Torie Cox)

Carrot Cake Bites

This sugar-free recipe is a delicious way to include health-promoting spices in your diet, including cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and nutmeg. These bites are perfect to serve at the end of a meal or to keep in the freezer as a quick, super snack.

Makes 14 bites

Ingredients

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal

8 Medjool dates, pitted

1 cup walnuts or pecans(optional)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ginger

¼ teaspoon turmeric

1 pinch nutmeg

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

Add all the ingredients, except the shredded coconut to a food processor and pulse for a couple of minutes until the mixture is well combined but not a paste. Use a small cookie scoop to scoop out 2 tablespoons of the mixture and roll it into balls. Roll the balls in the coconut and serve them right away or chill for 30 minutes before serving. Store the bites in the refrigerator for 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Here’s another quick, healthy summer snack: Pit a bowl of fresh juicy cherries, or use pitted frozen cherries, dust them with cacao powder and serve. You could also pit a few dates and stuff them with walnuts when the urge for instant sweetness hits. A delicious and healthy summer to all!



What's YOUR favorite summer dessert? Let us know in the comments below.

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