by: Ali B, RD, LD
If you’re anything like me, your sweet tooth will never be a thing of the past. At least once (or twice, or three times) a week I get a craving for something sweet. My typical go-to is a piece of fruit, but sometimes that just doesn’t do the trick. I’m a pretty lazy cook, so it took me a while to find sweet snacks that are quick and easy to make. Here are 6 of my favorite paleo-friendly sweet treats.
Dessert bullet. I refer to my dessert bullet multiple times a week in conversation and use it nearly as much. If you don’t know what a dessert bullet is, check out our blog post explaining it. A simple banana with a little vanilla extract has been my staple lately and has stopped the urge to drive through Dairy Queen on multiple occasions. I think my favorite part is that it requires no preparation. All you need is a bag of frozen fruit (which I keep on hand anyway) and the machine.
Baked apples. Before we get too far, let me disclose that this is a Feed Your Vitality recipe from the SHAPE/hCG line. The photo below is borrowed from FYV, and an official recipe can be found in Ashley Nanney’s “SHAPE ReClaimed: Simple Recipes for Phase 1”. I make this regularly at home when I’m wishing for something “apple pie-esque”, but I truly can’t make it taste as delicious as the team at FYV.
All you need is an apple, cinnamon, stevia, apple pie spice, and orange juice. FYV also uses cloves and cinnamon sticks, but I don’t typically have those on hand at home.
All you need to do is cut the apple in half and remove the core. In a small bowl mix about 1/4 cup orange juice, cinnamon, apple pie spice, and stevia to taste. Top the apple with the mixture, wrap in foil, and bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes.
A variation of this includes cutting the apple into small chunks, marinading with the orange juice and seasonings, and topping with Nut Thins (or any other gluten-free/dairy-free cracker) before baking. This adds a great crunch to the dessert. The apple can also be replaced with a grapefruit, peach, or any other fruit you desire.
Muffin in a jar. This is a delicious and EASY dessert to make when you are craving a cake or muffin. Simply get a coffee mug and mix together 1/4 cup flaxseed, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 2 Tbsp stevia (powder), 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 egg, 1 tsp applesauce, and 1/4 cup of your favorite fruit (I chose peaches). Once the ingredients are thoroughly mixed, put the mug in the microwave for 1 minute. Be careful when you take the muffin out of the microwave because it will probably be hot. Let it sit for 1 minute and enjoy!
Substitute sugar for anti-inflammatory sweeteners. One way I squash my sweet tooth in the winter is by adding honey to hot tea. (Plus, drinking tea is much better when you have a cute tea infuser like this one).
You can also swap out sugar in your classic recipes for one of these paleo-friendly sweeteners and use almond flour in place of all-purpose flour!
Smoothies or “milkshakes”. This is another time when keeping frozen fruit handy can help with your sweet tooth. Make a smoothie by blending together frozen fruit and almond milk. (Tip: add carrots for a sweet serving of veggies). I’ve also created a faux-milkshake by mixing frozen strawberries, almond milk, and a bit of coconut milk. The coconut milk gives the shake a creamy texture, similar to what ice cream would provide.
Larabars. Yep, the pre-packaged energy bar is both paleo-friendly and satisfying. Their ingredients include dates, almonds, and whatever ingredients needed for each flavor. For example, the apple pie Larabar has dates, almonds, apples, walnuts, raisins, and cinnamon. The banana bread Larabar has almonds, dates, and bananas. Individual Larabars can be expensive (more than $1 each), but I just found a box of 18 at Sam’s for $5.50.
Do you have any other “sweet staples” that are good for those following a paleo diet? Leave suggestions in the comments below!