Since the start of my healthy living journey, my approach to dessert has transformed completely. During the earlier days of my journey when I was losing weight, I was all over desserts deemed low-calorie or low-fat. Skinny Cow ice cream bars were my jam and I spent way too much money on those Weight Watchers dessert pots. Moving a few years on, I became more clued up about ingredients in foods. I tried to eat a more of a ‘clean’ (i.e. unprocessed & natural) diet and my dessert choices reflected that. I opted for desserts made from natural ingredients which were low in oils & refined sugars and also made from alternative flours. ‘Nice cream’, also known as banana soft serve (i.e. frozen bananas blended with a few tablespoons of milk)? Oh heck yes! Chocolate cake containing black beans? Extra fibre is what I’m talking about. Energy bars bursting with dates & nuts? Squeaky clean so I’ll take 2. Gluten-free tarts made from almond flour? Let’s do it!
Eleven years into my journey and my dessert choices have taken a full 180. These days when I crave dessert, I rather eat the real deal and savor it guilt-free, whether that’s chocolate cake made from all-purpose flour, butter-filled cookies, or ice cream containing heavy cream. While that’s probably contradictory to what you’d expect from a nutrition specialist, I’ll explain my reasons:
1) When I indulge in the real deal, I almost always end up eating less: a few bites are enough to satisfy me most of the time, even more so when it’s a rich dessert.
2) I am more likely to nip the craving in the bud and move on with my life. While in a dream world we’d be able to satisfy our chocolate cake craving by eating avocado, in reality that’s far from the case. More often than not, attempting to kill a craving with healthy alternatives tends to leave us feeling unsatisfied and reaching for more…not to mention still fixated on the initial craving.
3) Although nutritious, most healthy desserts tend to be a calorie-bomb in their own right. Often containing ingredients like dates, almond flour, nuts, seeds and avocado even a small portion ends up being calorie-dense. Just because they’re healthy doesn’t mean you can go to town with how much you’re eating, even more so if you’re trying to lose weight.
4) Sure I eat chocolate daily but a proper dessert? A couple of times a week at the most. And given that, I think the rest of my week of eating a nutritious diet helps balance out the not-so-healthy treats.
That being said, of course I’ll still eat “healthy” desserts…BUT only if they actually taste delicious. And I mean they gotta be legit or I rather not bother. A perfect example of the former are these Peanut Butter & Banana Muffin Bites I experimented with last week. Vegan, gluten-free (if you use GF oats) & low in sugar, these bad boys hit the spot every time!
Whether you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth or want a lil pre-workout snack, these are for YOU! And of course if peanut butter isn’t your jam,
our friendship is questionable either replace it with another nut/seed butter or eat the muffin bites naked. You guys, I know dessert so take my word & GO MAKE THESE PEANUT BUTTER & BANANA MUFFIN BITES NOW!
- 1 ½ cups oat flour*
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup mashed very ripe banana
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2/3 cup milk*
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- ¼ cup natural creamy peanut butter*
- Preheat oven to 180*C. Line a mini muffin tray with mini cupcake liners or coat with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, add the oat flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt & cinnamon.
- In a separate bowl, add the mashed banana, oil, milk, & vanilla essence. Mix to combine well. Fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Gently stir until combined well.
- Pour batter into each mini muffin cup until ¾ full.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and transfer to a wire rack to completely cool.
- Once cooled, remove muffins and transfer to a plate. Using a knife, gently frost each muffin with peanut butter.
- i) For gluten-free muffins, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
- ii) Any milk would work fine- I personally prefer to use either soy or unsweetened almond milk.
- iii) I use Skippy Natural Creamy Peanut Butter.
What’s your favourite not-so-healthy dessert? Ice cream wins for me any day!