An apple a day keeps the doctor away and a big piece of dessert can put a smile on your face! So why not combine the two? While apples certainly make for a delicious snack on their own, a little TLC can transform this popular fruit from ordinary to extraordinary.
Apple Nutritional Facts
Along with being a tasty and very versatile fruit, researchers have linked apples to some impressive health benefits such as improved heart health, lower risk of diabetes, good gut bacteria, strong bones, boosted brain health, and even weight loss. Apples also contain compounds that have been known to fight cancer and asthma. All of these health benefits are thanks for apple’s rich nutrients. Here are some quick facts for you based on one medium apple:
Fat: 0.3 grams
Carbs: 25 grams.
Fiber: 4 grams.
Potassium: 195 mg
Protein .5 grams
Vitamin C: 14%
Vitamin K: 5%
Manganese, copper, and vitamins A, B, and E: Under 4%
While we don’t typically view dessert as the nutritional part of a meal, snacking on one of these 20 treats is way healthier than a pack of store-bought cookies, processed ice cream, or refined sugar-filled cake.
No-Bake Healthier Dessert Recipes
1) Apple Cookies – These crisp apple slices are smothered with nut butter and then topped with shredded coconut, walnuts, and chocolate chips. As is, this recipe is loaded with fiber from the apple, healthy fats and protein from the nut butter, and extra vitamins from the toppings. Get creative and play around with toppings, though, to make this treat your own unique creation. Some other healthy topping ideas include chia seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, homemade granola, and sliced strawberries.
2) Apple Nachos – A plate full of nachos is always fun. Well, except after you’re done eating them and you’re left with a bloated stomach and sluggish feeling. If you’re looking for a healthier nacho alternative for your next tailgate or watch party then try these apple nachos. Rather than greasy chips, the base is nothing but fresh apple wedges. You also replace that fake, processed cheese with melted peanut butter. Then, instead of fatty beef topping, you’ll sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top of your “nachos” to bump up the sweet factor! Have some fun and add sliced berries too. Overall, this dessert is super simple to make, delicious, and healthy.
3) Apple Cinnamon Cookie Energy Bites – Energy bites are typically viewed as a wholesome snack idea, but they also make for a great dessert too. This no-bake treat is perfect for all ages. They’re made from fiber-rich oats, flaxseeds, cinnamon, protein-packed almond butter, vitamin-rich honey, and vanilla extract. Seriously, that’s it! Just mix all of the ingredients together, roll into little balls, and pop them in the refrigerator. Enjoy them when you’re ready for a sweet treat!
4) Apple Slice Pops – These chocolate and caramel apple slice lollipops are a fun twist on the fall classic, but they’re way easier to eat. One look at this recipe, though, and you’ll know it’s somewhat high in sugar. For that reason, I wouldn’t recommend eating these pops every day, but they definitely made for a healthier every-now-and-then dessert idea.
Make this treat even better for your body ditch the refined-sugar filled milk chocolate and opt for dark chocolate instead. More specifically, look for dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao content. The higher the cacao content, the more likely you are to reap the health benefits such as improves heart health, reduced stress, boosted brain health, and good gut bacteria! Wait … chocolate has health benefits?! YUP! That’s mainly because chocolate is rich in two compounds: flavonoids and theobromine. Adding milk, sugar, and butter to chocolate, though, can counterbalance some of the potential positive health effects. That’s why opting for dark chocolate is a better idea!
5) Samoa Girl Scout Apple Cookies – Okay, so I wouldn’t go so far as calling this recipe “healthy,” but it’s definitely way better for you than the original girl scout version. It’s simply apples cut into rounds, coated with a caramel/coconut chip mixture, and topped with a melted chocolate drizzle (again, opt for dark chocolate to make this recipe a bit healthier). So next time girl scout cookie season comes around and you’re yearning for a box of processed Samoas, reach for an apple instead!
6) Apple Pie Chia Seed Pudding – Apple chia seed pudding is not only delicious, but it’s also nutritious. We already went over the health benefits of apples, so now let’s talk about chia seeds. This superfood is rich in fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, and magnesium. Researchers say, thanks to these nutrients, chia seeds can fight free radicals, boost energy, support heart health, support healthy digestion, help build muscle, and aid weight loss!
7) Sugar-Free Apple Pie Chia Seed Jam and Parfait – This parfait recipe is very similar to number six but way crunchier. So if you’re craving a crunch, this recipe is perfect for you. It’s also gluten-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, and soy-free. You know what that means, right? I’ll take two, please!
8) Apple Pie Protein Ice Cream – Hands down, ice cream is one of the best desserts of all time. It’s one of those foods that bring back childhood memories and always seem to bring a smile to people’s faces. The only problem is, ice cream isn’t so waistline friendly. That’s where “nice-cream” comes in handy! It’s basically a homemade, healthier version of ice cream made from frozen fruit. This dairy-free “nice-cream” recipe calls for a banana, unsweetened applesauce, almond butter, protein powder, almond milk, and spices. So dig in without all the guilt.
Note: Since this is not true ice cream, the recipe’s creator warns that it will freeze solid if left in the freezer for longer than a few hours. So it’s best to eat it a couple hours after you make it.