These recipes by Health's nutritionist all rely on the natural sweetness of fruit.

By Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD
February 27, 2018
Cynthia Sass

Who says dessert recipes have to involve cups of granulated sugar—or maple syrup, or honey? The truth is, you can whip up mouthwatering treats that involve no added sugar whatsoever. The three simple recipes below all rely on the natural sweetness of fruit. And because fruit comes bundled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, these are all desserts you can feel good about. I developed them for dessert-loving clients who are trying to kick a sugar habit. Each  of my recipes combines dates or cherries with spices like cinnamon and ginger, and other nourishing superfood ingredients.Your sweet tooth will thank you.

Chocolate-Avocado-Ginger Pudding

Serves: 2 

1 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil

1 whole avocado, pit and skin removed

⅓ cup raw, non-dutched cocoa powder

4 dates, chopped, soaked in 2 Tbsp. warm water

½ cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 one-inch cube of fresh, peeled ginger root

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup fresh raspberries

2 sprigs of fresh mint

Place all ingredients except berries in food processor and blend until smooth. Spoon pudding into serving cups, top with berries, and garnish with mint.

Cherry Almond Crumble

Serves: 2

¼ cup unsweetened crunchy almond butter

¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1½ cups frozen pitted cherries

1 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 Tbsp. water

½ tsp. fresh grated ginger

1 tsp. sliced almonds

In a small bowl combine almond butter, oats, and cinnamon to form a crumble. Set aside. In a small pan over low heat, sauté cherries with lemon juice, water, and ginger until warmed through and bubbly. Transfer cherries to a bowl, top with crumble, and garnish with sliced almonds.

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Nutty Coconut Cookie Dough Bites

Serves: 4 

¼ cup unsweetened cashew butter

4 dates, chopped, soaked in 2 Tbsp. warm water

1 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil

½ Tbsp. pure vanilla extract

¼ cup almond flour

2 Tbsp. chia seeds

⅛ tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

In a small food processor combine cashew butter, soaked dates, coconut oil, and vanilla, and blend until smooth. In a small bowl combine almond flour, chia seeds, and cinnamon. Fold cashew mixture into almond flour mixture to form a thick “batter.” Refrigerate batter for 10 minutes. Pinch off 8 pieces of batter, and pat into round balls. Roll each ball in shredded coconut. Place balls on a plate covered with wax paper and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes. Keep leftover bites refrigerated.

Cynthia Sass is Health’s contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a consultant for the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets.