BELLA’s Favorite Healthy Desserts
For the last eight weeks, I (like everyone else) have been cooking up a storm – which I actually enjoy. However, I think desserts and baking have to be made simple, or I’m not interested at all!
Twenty years ago, my sister-in-law gave me the simple, low-fat, no-bake receipe below, and it has been my go-to dessert ever since – inspiring me to get the BELLA Team involved as well! Now that the weather is getting warmer, refreshing desserts are the perfect yummy treat and we wanted to share our favorite healthy versions with you! Who says dessert has to be unhealthy and fattening, anyway?
Lynette Barbieri, Business Development Associate
Fruit + Yogurt Low-Fat Pie
- 1 a Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 regular 8 oz low fat (or sugar free) Cool Whip thawed
- 12 oz Fat Free Strawberry Banana Yogurt (Any fruit you like will do)
- 1 Banana sliced 1 cup sliced strawberries sliced
- In a large bowl mis the cool whip and the yogurt completely together
- Fold in ½ cup strawberries
- Add sliced banana and the rest of the berries on top
- Refrigerate with cover on for at leas tan hour and serve
- Serve this with a nice cold fruity iced tea and enjoy!
*Notes: Any fruit flavored yogurt and fresh fruit you prefer will do!
Holly Volpe, CEO Holly Volpe Interior Design
I started making these scones because they are not only delicious, they are gluten free and have less butter and calories than the traditional biscuits. They are great with a cup of your favorite tea. These are a few more ingredients than the other recipes here, but they are still easy and so worth it.
Lavender Tea Biscuits
- 2 Cups blanched almond flower
- 11/2 Tsp Chopped dried lavender flowers
- 1 Tsp baking soda
- ½ Tsp kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 3 Tbls honey
- 1 Tbls finely grated lemon zest
- (Jam and/or butter on the side –optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- In a médium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, lavender, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, honey and lemon zest.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, continue to stir until a thick dough forms. It will be somewhat sticky.
- On the parchment paper pat the dough into a 6 inch diameter disk, about ½’ thick
- Cut into wedges.
- Place the wedges 2’ apart on the lined baking sheet
- Bake for about 12 minutes until Golden Brown and they spring back lightly
- Cool completely and enjoy
Original recipe + photo: SimplyGlutenFreeMag.com
Amanda Mactas, Food Editor
I’ve been doing SO much baking throughout quarantine, but it can be hard to keep it healthy. I’ve tried numerous healthy cookie recipes and this one from Well Plated has been my favorite so far.
Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Cookies
- 1 cup quick oats
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour or whole wheat flour (can use all-purpose flour)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 large very ripe banana
- 2 tbs virgin coconut oil
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup & 2 tbs light brown sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt until combined. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer, mash the banana, checking to make sure you have 1/2 cup. Add the coconut oil, egg, brown sugar and vanilla and beat on medium high until very well combined, at least three minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. The batter will be a little bit chunky and wet.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix on low speed, just until the flour disappears, about one minute. Mix in the chocolate chips. The batter will be wet, somewhat loose and sticky.
- With a large cookie scoop or a measuring cup, portion the dough in a 1/4 cup amounts and drop in round mounds onto the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow the dough to firm up, or cover the cookie sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the cookie sheet in the oven directly from the refrigerator and bake 10-13 minutes, until the cookies are dry set on the edges and feel set on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The cookies will look under-baked and will feel slightly under-baked when pressed. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
*Notes: recipe yields 8 large cookies
Raffaela Pontecorvo, Administrative Assistant
This has been my go to dessert during quarrantine. It is simple, healthy and tastes great!
Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding
- 3/4 cup Can Coconut milk ( Almond or Oat milk can be used)
- 3 TBSP Chia Seeds
- 1 TBSP Milled Flax Seed
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tsp Stevia or Monk-fruit sweetener ( liquid can be used)
- Add all ingredients to a small mason jar, cover, and shake well (I like to use mason jars with lids.)
- Chill for at least 4 hours, but best if sits overnight.
- Top with berries, nuts, shredded coconut, granola, and even sugar-free chocolate chips.
*Notes: For the chocolate version , add 1TSP of unsweetened cocoa powder. I like to use Can Coconut Milk it has a creamier texture when chilled.
Jennifer DeCillis, Publisher
I’m always looking for new, breakfast-style muffins or bars to try, because I’m typically on-the-go and a light eater earlier in the day. These flourless, gluten-free muffins are the perfect snack to grab on your way out the door!
Flourless Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
- 2 ripe bananas, peeled
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used reduced-fat)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons honey (I used organic + unfiltered)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup mini, semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Hershey’s milk chocolate chips)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a regular size muffin pan with cooking spray.
- Add all of the first 7 ingredients to a blender (do not add chocolate chips.) Blend until creamy and smooth.
- Fold in the chocolate chips by hand (I poured the batter into a large measuring cup, stirred the chocolate chips in there, and then poured into muffin pan.)
- Divide the batter between the 12 muffins (they should be about 3/4 of the way full.)
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops are set and a toothpick comes out mostly clean.
- Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
*Notes: These will come out very moist, due to the lack of flour, so try not to over use ingredients (as I did the first time with the bananas – they will be very doughy!)
Original recipe + photo: Chef Savvy
Kelly Bellucci, Contributing Editor
With summer right around the corner, we not only want to look our best, but feel our best as well… however, if you’re anything like me, you have a MONSTROUS sweet tooth that sometimes gets in the way of your better judgment. Well, my quarantine friends, I present to you one of my favorite clean treats: No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bites! These little guys are packed with tons of flavor, and can be whipped up in just 5 minutes. Each bite is refined sugar-free, and contains healthy fats, protein, and complex carbs to keep your energy levels high. So, turn those ovens off, grab your apron, and beat the heat with this sweet treat!
No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bites
- 1/3 cup unsalted almonds
- 5 pitted dates (cut in half)
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 2 Tbsp raisins
- 1 Tbsp water
- In a food processor, blend almonds, dates, vanilla extract, and cinnamon together until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
- Add in oats and pulse a couple times (you don’t want to break down the oats.)
- Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in raisins.
- Slowly incorporate 1 Tbsp of water, while working mixture with your hands. Continue to mix until dough is formed.
- Using a tablespoon sized amount of the mixture, roll into balls and you’re done!
*Notes: This recipe yields about 7 energy bites.
Mindy Gura, Fashion Stylist
I hope you enjoy my 3-ingredient muffins as much as my family does!
Simple Banana Oat Muffins
- 2 Ripe Bananas
- ½ Rolled Oats
- Bag semi sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat even to 350 Degrees
- Mash bananas in bowl until smooth
- Add ½ cup rolled oats and stir
- Add ¼ cup chocolate chips and stir
- Arrange in muffin tins
- Bake for 20 min
- Let cool and enjoy!
Paula Orlan, Fashion Stylist
I love this recipe because it is super simple and a lot of fun to make. I use Annie’s Graham Crackers, which are organic and dark chocolate which is rich in antioxidants. This is a great recipe to make indoors with the family, on a rainy day, or outside on the fire pit, when weather permits!
Antioxidant Rich S’mores
- Annie’s Organic Graham Crackers
- Mini Marshmallows
- Dark Chocolate Bar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Arrange mini marshmallows on ½ of a graham craker.
- Make 10and arrange on a baking sheet
- Put them in the oven for about 2 minutes or until marshmallows are golden brown.
- Crush the dark chocolate bar into small ittle peices
- Take out the tray sprinkle the dark chocolate on the top of the crackers.
- Put the other ½ of the cracker on top and enjoy!
Kristen Robertiello, Contributor + Fashion Stylist
Simple, quick and delicious chia pudding, packed with protein, omega-3, antioxidants and calcium.
Delicious Chia Pudding
- 2 cups coconut milk (I prefer the cans)
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
- 1/4 cup cinnamon
- Place all ingredients (minus the chia seeds) in a blender until smooth (60 seconds), including any other flavors you would like to add such as fruits or chocolate.
- Whisk in the chia seeds until fully mixed together.
- Pour into four glass containers and refrigerate for four hours. (note – it is best to mix the ingredients after one hour to help it gel evenly.
- Serve with fresh fruit on top or eat enjoy as it.
Original recipe: Katie Wells
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