What would life be without dessert?? Boring, I say!!! My Pinterest binder of recipes (you can find more in my post Organizing My Pinterest Recipes) is about one-third desserts and all other food categories make up the other two-thirds. When I began my health journey several years ago and found out I had intolerances to both dairy and wheat, my doctor turned me on to the website www.chocolatecoveredkatie.com. What a lifesaver! You will find several of the healthy summer desserts I share are from this wonderful site.
So the recipes I chose to share in this post are all either no-bake or you can bake them in a toaster/convection oven so you do not have to heat up your kitchen. I love cookies BUT I don’t love opening and closing my oven and sticking my head in there several times over an hour+ time frame! So I usually save cookies for the Fall and Winter months and stick to bars and no-bakes during the rest of the year.
These are the favorites of mine and my one son who likes to eat healthy. They are using alternative ingredients (no refined sugars, flours, etc.) and less sugar so if you’re not already used to eating this way, they may not taste quite like you’re used to. But if you’re interested in “having your cake (or bar) and eating it too,” then I think you’ll enjoy these faves. Ahem—I noticed that they are mostly chocolate recipes! Sorry to my non-chocolate fans, but head to the end where I have a couple of delicious fruit-based recipes.
No-Bake Recipes – All Things Chocolate!
Now, EVERYONE (including my sugar-lovin’ husband!) loves this one … and how could you not? Chocolate, oatmeal and peanut butter – yum!!! Tips: only changes I have made is to cut the oatmeal back to about 2½ cups. It seems to spread better as it’s a little more wet. I have also experimented with using sunflower seed butter for part of it as well which gives a unique taste twist. I will sometimes stick these in the toaster oven for about 10+ minutes at 350 degrees. This does make it taste a little more like traditional oatmeal chocolate bars, but it is totally not necessary. I think these will become a family favorite too!
If you’re wanting ooey-gooey brownies – these are the ones you want! For this one, it is required to have a high quality food processor. While I don’t own a VitaMix, I do have a Ninja Blender that works quite well. It just takes a little longer than it might otherwise. I have experimented with the frosting several ways – no frosting (still very yummy and gooey), adding peppermint extract to the frosting or adding peanut butter to the frosting. Side tip: Costco is the best place to get a tub of dates for a good price if you’re going to be using a lot of them.
Peanut Butter Stuffed Dates with Chocolate
So one of my favorite candy bars is a Snickers Bar. This recipe is such a wonderful substitute for that, and I don’t feel ONE BIT guilty eating one (or two) after my lunch or dinner. Truly a happy place! They are a little messy to make so I usually triple the recipe since they store indefinitely in the fridge.
Paleo Chocolate Almond Sea Salt Bars
Ever have a craving for a chocolate bar? These are a wonderful healthy alternative. I just cut them into small bite size pieces and keep them in my fridge and when I need a bite of chocolate, they’re sitting there waiting for me!
Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars
Yup, still on that chocolate kick! These are soooo good. Only adaptation I’ve made is using a mixture of coconut sugar and monk fruit. She suggests a variety of flours but I’ve stuck with the gluten free ones. I promise this one will be at the top of your list if you’re a chocolate and peanut butter freak like I am…and another fave of my Honey!
** Where not specified, I use Enjoy Life chocolate chips to avoid the dairy or Lily’s brand to avoid the sugar.**
Strawberry Oatmeal Bars (or any berry)
Finally! A fruit recipe for my non-chocolate loving friends! So, I have made these with blueberries more frequently than strawberries but I love them both or a combination of berries. Wonderful, light summertime dessert. I also make these using a gluten free flour. I have yet to add the glaze she shows for a topping as frankly, it just doesn’t need it. It’s a great way to use up extra fresh fruit that is going to go bad before you can eat it.
Last but not least … this is a true “comfort” dessert, and best when shared directly out of the oven. The smell is so good you won’t be able to stop yourself anyway! I have made this both in an 8x8” pan and in the ramekins as the recipe states and both work well. I have also used frozen (and thawed) triple berry mix from Costco for this recipe if I don’t have enough fresh fruit available. Only change I make is using coconut sugar for the brown sugar. If you’re serving while warm, adding a scoop of non-dairy vanilla ice cream or non-dairy cool whip (I use Coco-Whip) makes it out of this world.
Now, my biggest decision is which of these I’m going to go make this afternoon? Every single one is so good, I’ll just have to try to narrow it down. To be honest, two of these are already in my refrigerator right now—haha! Good thing I’m a fan of intermittent fasting! It limits my eating window so goodies last a lot longer than they used to!
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