Contributed by Kate Harveston, Health & Lifestyle Journalist
Sugary treats are tempting, especially during celebrations like birthdays and parties. Consuming too much sugar can take its toll, and many people form an attachment to refined sugars. From tooth decay to impact on mood to heart problems, refined sugar is a risk that comes with only a temporary reward. But naturally occurring sugars in fruits, vegetables and organic foods are beneficial and can offer mouthwatering tastes.
To fight dependency on sugar and desserts full of artificial sweeteners, individuals can get creative with their treats. Guilt doesn’t have to be involved when health is the top priority, and satisfying natural options aren’t too difficult to find. Here are eight healthy alternatives to cake that make fun and flavourful desserts for any celebration.
1. Fruit-Based Cake
Imitate the shape of the cake without pouring batter into a pan by constructing a fruit-base. Cakes don’t need a soft bread-like texture to fit into the category. Regular cake has a high-calorie content without sufficient nutrients, which means it’s not worth including in meals. But a cake with a foundation of watermelon is a different story. With fresh and light taste, real fruit can build a vibrant and tasty alternative.
2. Coconut Ice Cream
Milk is high in saturated fat and often undergoes substantial processing. Ice cream goes through the same processes, except it’s topped with extra refined sugar and additional ingredients. Coconut milk is a non-dairy substitute which can produce rich ice cream. A thick and creamy frozen dessert can strengthen a person’s system and boost their energy. While coconut milk still contains saturated fat, there are more nutrients to enjoy.
3. Peanut Butter Pudding Pops
Some carbohydrates can affect blood sugar and keep fibre from fortifying the body. So low-carb or natural-carb options are wise choices that enhance health. One low-carb dessert choice, peanut butter pudding pops, is simple to make and delicious. Protein-rich peanut butter can help manage the appetite and boost the metabolism, too. These pops require a blender, a few ingredients and popsicle molds.
4. Yogurt-Dipped Strawberries
The useful bacteria in yogurt can improve the immune system and reinforce digestive health. In addition to eating a regular bowl of yogurt, you can also use it as a coating for a fancier way to consume strawberries. These yogurt-covered strawberry bites go in the freezer after the dipping process is complete. A final garnish of dark chocolate nibs or coconut flakes can dress them up, too.
5. Chocolate Covered Bananas
Chocolate can bolster well-being if it’s the right kind. Dark chocolate can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. The flavonols and minerals in chocolates with lower levels of processing and smaller percentages of milk and sugar can add to people’s health. Managed portions of chocolate are the key, which works best with bite-size pieces. Another natural indulgence, bananas, pairs well with chocolate to make delectable chocolate-covered banana bites. They’re the perfect dessert for any event.
6. Cashew Cheesecake
Substitutions can turn a favourite dessert into a natural alternative. And cheesecake made from cashews, dates and zucchini is a surprising combination that pulls through with an appealing flavour. The cashews in this dish are especially effective in aiding skin and hair health. They can also help with weight loss. As a no-bake option, this is a time-saving alternative to cake, which requires more effort and longer hours.
7. Crustless Pumpkin Pie
Typical pumpkin pie packs large amounts of butter into the bottom layer. And this kind of crust is full of refined flour and processed ingredients. Saturated fats affect cholesterol, but opting for healthier fats like coconut oil is a better choice for overall well being. A crustless pumpkin pie achieves this by highlighting the main component of the pie — hearty pumpkin. It offers a smooth and sweet option without excessive sugar or gluten.
8. Oatmeal Fruit Pizza
Fruit pizza is a fun crowd-pleaser, but its sugar cookie crust reduces its benefits. Instead, a whole-wheat crust with oatmeal makes this festive snack a healthy dessert option again. Many people avoid gluten even if it’s in whole wheat, but whole wheat foods can provide vitamins and fight heart disease and obesity. An oatmeal fruit pizza with natural ingredients offers a customizable design that’s suitable for parties.
Choose Desserts That Improve Health
Even with an all-natural diet, sweet treats can contribute to well-being. With whole foods and natural products, desserts can taste exceptional without hindering health. These tasty options can replace cake, the go-to food for celebrations, and satisfy cravings for sugar.
Kate Harveston is a freelance writer from Pennsylvania. She has written for a variety of sites on nutrition, fitness, and self-care. If you enjoy her work, you can visit her at her personal blog, So Well, So Woman, or follow her on Twitter @KateHarveston.
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