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Chocolate Banana Cream Pie Parfaits (Vegan, Gluten Free)

These chocolate banana cream pie parfaits are full of rich chocolate and banana flavor. This recipe is vegan, gluten free, and easy to make!

chocolate banana cream pie parfaits

If you’re a banana lover, then banana cream pie is a must try! It’s full of creamy banana filling, fresh sliced bananas, and fluffy whipped cream. If you’re like me though, you know that banana is always better when chocolate is involved!

These chocolate banana cream pie parfaits are filled with all the banana and chocolate goodness you could ever want. They are made with good-for-you ingredients that won’t let you feeling weighted down after. Can you guess what makes these parfaits extra creamy?

chocolate banana cream pie parfaits

How to Make these Chocolate Banana Cream Pie Parfaits

These pie parfaits are made up of a few different elements, each of which bring something delicious to the table. Here are the steps you’ll take:

  • Bake some vegan, gluten free crust “cookies”, which you will crumble into your pie parfaits.
  • Prepare the creamy chocolate filling by blending together bananas, avocado (the secret creamy ingredient!), peanut butter, maple syrup, cacao powder, melted chocolate, and a little sea salt.
  • Make coconut whipped cream.
  • Thinly slice a banana, then layer everything in small jars – crust cookie crumbles, chocolate banana filling, banana slices, and whipped cream.
  • Sprinkle with cacao nibs and dig in!
crust cookies

What Do You Need to Make These Pie Parfaits?

These are the main ingredients you’ll need to make these delicious pie parfaits.

  • Bananas
  • Avocado
  • Almond Flour
  • Oat Flour
  • Coconut Oil
  • Maple Syrup
  • Cacao Powder
  • Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Flax Meal
  • Coconut Milk

A Few Recipe Notes

  • You want to have very ripe bananas and avocados for this recipe. The bananas will be sweeter if they are spotty and beginning to brown.
  • You can sub a different liquid sugar for maple syrup, such as agave or honey.
  • If you are not vegan, you can sub regular whipped cream for the coconut whipped cream.

If you love this chocolate banana cream pie recipe, you may also like these other banana recipes:

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Chocolate Banana Cream Pie Parfaits (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: dessert

Description

These chocolate banana cream pie parfaits are full of rich chocolate and banana flavor. This recipe is vegan, gluten free, and easy to make!


Scale

Ingredients

Crust Cookies

  • 1 tbsp flaxmeal + 3 tbsp warm water to make 1 flax egg
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Filling

  • 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips, melted
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder

Coconut Whipped Cream

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours
  • 2 tsp powdered sugar

Toppings

  • 1 large banana, sliced into coins
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make a flax egg using the flaxmeal and warm water by whisking together in a small bowl. Let sit until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Combine crust ingredients in a food processor, and blend until everything is the texture of a fine meal.
  4. Form crust into a ball, then roll into a 1/4 inch thick layer using a rolling pin.
  5. Use a cup or cookie cutter to make 12-13 round cookies from the crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bottoms are browned and cookies are crunchy.
  6. While the cookies bake, prepare the filling by blending together all filling ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Place in fridge.
  7. If making the coconut whipped cream, scoop the coconut cream from the top of the chilled coconut milk can into a mixing bowl. Use a stand or hand mixer to whip the coconut cream with powdered sugar until light and airy.
  8. Crumble the cookies into chunks, then layer everything in 4 small jars – cookie crumbles, chocolate banana pudding, whipped cream, and banana slices. Sprinkle with cacao nibs. 
  9. Enjoy right away, or cover and refrigerate until eating.


Notes

  • Recipe will keep well, covered in the fridge, for up to 2 days.

Keywords: banana cream pie, chocolate banana cream pie, healthy desserts, vegan, gluten free

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Almond Butter Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Chips

This zucchini bread is a more nutritious version of your favorite summertime baked treat. It’s filled with whole grain flour, almond butter, and one whole zucchini! Bake up a loaf (or two!) today if you’ve got zucchinis to use up from the garden.

almond butter zucchini bread

Zucchini bread will always remind me of sweet summer days. I grew up going to Martha’s Vineyard every summer, and my family would frequently have a loaf of Morning Glory Farm‘s zucchini bread around. Their version is the best – it’s not too sweet, super moist (sorry), and incredibly soft.

I’ve been on a baking kick lately, and have made a few recipes using almond butter that I’ve loved. I decided to test out an almond butter zucchini bread recipe. It’s instantly become one of my new favorite recipes! Ben and I polished off the loaf in a matter of days, so I think another loaf needs to happen ASAP.

almond butter zucchini bread

This zucchini bread is healthier in a few ways. White flour is replaced with whole grain spelt flour. Instead of oil, almond butter provides moisture and healthy fats. While I’m usually not the biggest fan of nuts in my quick breads, the walnuts in this recipe are a MUST. The toasty flavor and crunch are so good!

I also used Bolthouse Farms new Plant Protein Milk! This milk alternative is SUPER creamy. It’s made with pea protein, so it has 10 g of plant-based protein per 8 oz serving (plus, 50% more calcium than a serving of dairy milk)! This is definitely becoming a new staple in my kitchen. Check out their store locator to find some near you.

slices of zucchini bread

How to Make Almond Butter Zucchini Bread

  • Mix together dry ingredients – spelt flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and apple pie spice.
  • Mix together wet ingredients – egg, applesauce, maple syrup, Plant Protein Milk, and vanilla.
  • Grate zucchini and squeeze out excess water.
  • Mix wet ingredients into dry. Fold in zucchini, then chocolate chips and walnuts.
  • Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
sliced zucchini bread

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Zucchini: One of my favorite summertime veggies, zucchini is super versatile and full of nutrients. It is high in antioxidants, including vitamin C, plus vitamin A. It’s also a hydrating vegetable as it is high in water. Zucchini contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber helps bind cholesterol in our bodies, and it also feeds the good bacteria in our gut!
  • Bolthouse Farms Plant Protein Milk: This plant-based milk alternative is one of my new favorites! It’s got 10 grams of pea protein per 8 oz serving. Pea protein is one of the most easily digestible plant based protein sources. It is high in Branched Chain Amino Acids, which may promote muscle growth. This milk alternative also contains 50% more calcium than a serving of dairy milk, which is wonderful for those who cannot or choose not to consume dairy.
  • Walnuts: I recently wrote about walnuts in this post, but they are a wonderful nut to include in your diet. They are high in ALA omega-3 fatty acids – higher than any other nut. These anti-inflammatory healthy fats are essential in our diet, because we cannot make them ourselves.
  • Spelt Flour
  • Unsweetened Applesauce
  • Egg
  • Cinnamon
  • Almond Butter
  • Maple Syrup

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Almond Butter Zucchini Bread

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes – 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 slices 1x
  • Category: baking

Description

This zucchini bread is a more nutritious version of your favorite summertime baked treat. It’s filled with whole grain flour, almond butter, and one whole zucchini!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-large zucchini, finely grated
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp apple pie spice
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup Bolthouse Farms Plant Protein Milk
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Grate zucchini and use a clean tea towel to squeeze out excess moisture.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine spelt flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and apple pie spice.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together almond butter, plant protein milk, maple syrup, applesauce, egg, and vanilla extract.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined.
  6. Fold in zucchini, then chocolate chips and walnuts.
  7. Pour batter into loaf pan. Top with additional chocolate chips and nuts if desired.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool before slicing and serving.


Notes

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  • Almond butter can be replaced with other types of nut butter, but the flavor may be slightly altered. 

Keywords: zucchini bread, healthy zucchini bread, whole grain

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Thank you Bolthouse Farms for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

Featured

Blueberry Matcha Avocado Popsicles (Vegan, Gluten Free)

These blueberry matcha avocado popsicles are a cool and creamy summer treat. They’re full of good-for-you ingredients like healthy fats and antioxidants. You just need six simple ingredients and a few hours of freezing time to make these pops!

blueberry matcha avocado popsicles

Nothing feels quite like summer more than frozen treats! I decided to ring in my favorite season with a delicious new popsicle recipe. These blueberry matcha avocado popsicles taste like a decadently creamy version of matcha latte.

All you need are six simple ingredients to make these popsicles. I used blueberries, coconut milk, matcha powder, maple syrup, lemon juice, and California Avocados. Putting avocado in a dessert may sound a little strange, but they actually give homemade frozen treats the creamiest, dreamiest texture! Their mild flavor blends beautifully with the coconut milk, matcha, and blueberries.

blueberry matcha avocado pops

Nutrition Notes About Avocado

I love using avocado as ingredient not just for the creamy texture, but also for the amazing health benefits.

  • Avocados have nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin K, and B-vitamins.
  • 1/3 of a medium avocado contains 3 grams of fiber, which has a host of health benefits, including lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • Avocados are rich in heart healthy monounsaturated fats. The fat in avocados actually helps us absorb fat soluble vitamins better (Vitamins A, D, E and K)!
popsicle

How to Make Blueberry Matcha Avocado Popsicles

  • Heat blueberries in a pan with water until their juices release, and stir in maple syrup.
  • Blend avocado, coconut milk, matcha powder, maple syrup, and lemon juice in a high powered blender or food processor.
  • Spoon blueberries into popsicle molds, then fill them to the top with avocado matcha mixture.
  • Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for 3+ hours until solid before removing.

If you don’t have a popsicle mold, you can still make popsicles! Try using paper cups, ice cube molds, or a muffin tin. You can also use a loaf pan and slice into popsicles once frozen.

popsicles

If you love these blueberry matcha avocado popsicles, you may also like these other avocado recipes

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Blueberry Matcha Avocado Popsicles (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 popsicles 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Description

These blueberry matcha avocado popsicles are a cool and creamy summer treat. They’re full of good-for-you ingredients like healthy fats and antioxidants.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp maple syrup, divided
  • 1 ripe California Avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp matcha powder
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Heat blueberries and water in a shallow pan over medium heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until juices release. Stir in 1 tbsp maple syrup and remove from heat.
  2. Blend remaining maple syrup, avocado, coconut milk, matcha powder, and lemon juice in a high speed blender or food processor until creamy.
  3. Spoon blueberries evenly into popsicle molds. Then, fill the remaining space of molds with the avocado matcha mixture.
  4. Place popsicle sticks in molds and freeze for at least 3 hours until hard.
  5. Remove from molds when ready to serve.


Notes

  • If using a silicone popsicle mold, you can remove the popsicles easily by pressing up on the popsicle from the bottom of the mold.
  • These will keep well in the freezer for up to one month.

Keywords: matcha, healthy dessert, healthy popsicles, avocado popsicles

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pinterest graphic

Thank you California Avocados for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which help keep Daisybeet running. I truly love all the brands I link to, and use them frequently in my daily life!

Featured

Avocado Key Lime Bars (Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free)

These key lime bars are a no-bake, vegan version of one of my favorite summertime desserts – key lime pie! They’re full of healthy fats and pastel green color thanks to avocado (nope, you can’t taste it). Grab a fork and dive into one of these creamy, dreamy treats!

key lime bars

While it might not be the most patriotic, key lime pie reminds me of the 4th of July. My mom, an excellent baker, has made one for the holiday for the past five years or so. When you really think about it, it truly is the perfect summer dessert! It’s served cool, full of fresh, zingy flavor, and feels light enough to eat after an afternoon of barbecued food.

As a Registered Dietitian who loves sweets and baking, I love to experiment with more nutritious versions of my favorite desserts. I view these recipes as additions to my diet, rather than substitutions to the the original. Creating a treat that tastes delicious, and provides me with important nutrients at the same time? Such a win! But, life is all about BALANCE and living in the moment, so I’ll never pass up a slice of my mom’s key lime pie on the 4th of July. (PS – this is the recipe she uses, if you’d like to try that)!

key lime bars

The avocado in these key lime bars may sound strange, but I promise, you can’t taste it! Avocado makes these bars thick, incredibly smooth, and creamy. Plus, it adds that beautiful green hue!

Why These Bars are the Perfect Summer Dessert

  • No oven required. These key lime bars are no-bake and no-cook, because they are raw and set in the freezer!
  • Easy to make. All you need to do is throw ingredients into a food processor and pour them into a baking pan.
  • They’re cool and creamy. These bars are served chilled, so they’re wonderful to serve after an afternoon in the sun. Plus, they’re super creamy – just like ice cream!

How to Make Key Lime Bars

  • Combine crust ingredients – dates, nuts, coconut, molasses, cinnamon, and salt – in a food processor and blend until crumbly.
  • Squish down crust ingredients into a pan in an even layer.
  • Clean out food processor and blend together lime filling layer ingredients – coconut milk, avocado, lime zest + juice, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  • Freeze, then slice and serve with (optional) coconut whipped cream.
key lime pie bars crust
key lime pie filling

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Avocado: One of my all time favorite healthy fat sources is avocado. It’s high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, and potassium. Replacing saturated fat with mono- and polyunsaturated fats can lower cholesterol and risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Walnuts: Almonds get all the glory these days, but walnuts are where it’s at! They’re higher than any other nut in alpha-linolenic-acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid. These anti-inflammatory compounds are mostly found in animal products (primarily fatty fish), and are essential for our diets, because our bodies do not produce them. Include walnuts in your diet for a good plant-based source of omega-3s!
  • Lime: Just like all citrus fruits, limes are an excellent source of Vitamin C! In fact, British Royal Navy sailors were called “limeys” in the 1800s because they were given lemon and lime juice to prevent scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) on the ships. Limes are also full of other antioxidants – plus they have such a zingy flavor!
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Coconut Cream
  • Molasses
  • Dates
key lime bars

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Avocado Key Lime Bars (Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 9 bars 1x
  • Category: dessert

Description

These bars are a no-bake, vegan version of one of my favorite summertime desserts – key lime pie! They’re full of healthy fats and pastel green color thanks to avocado (nope, you can’t taste it)


Scale

Ingredients

Crust

Filling

  • 1 can coconut cream (or full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours)
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 2 limes (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Coconut Whipped Cream

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated for 24 hours
  • 2 tsp powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Combine all crust ingredients in a food processor. Blend until ingredients are crumbly and stick together easily, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Line a 9″x9″ baking pan with parchment paper, and pour crust “batter” into pan. Use your hands to press crust firmly into the pan, forming an even layer. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. Rinse out the food processor (or use a high speed blender), and combine all filling ingredients. Blend until very smooth and creamy, until avocado is fully pureed. 
  4. Remove crust from freezer, and pour filling on top. Smooth into an even layer.
  5. Place pan in freezer, and freeze for at least 1 hour, until filling is hardened enough for slicing.
  6. Remove from freezer when ready to serve. You may need to let it sit for 10-15 minutes before slicing to soften a bit, depending on how long it was in the freezer.
  7. If using, make coconut whipped cream right before serving bars. 
    • Place metal mixing bowl in the freezer to chill.
    • Scoop the thick layer of coconut cream from your refrigerated can of coconut milk into the chilled bowl. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then increase speed and beat for 1-3 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Add powdered sugar in the final 30 seconds or so of beating.


Notes

  • Keeps well covered in the freezer for up to 1 month

Keywords: vegan, gluten free, key lime pie, raw key lime pie, vegan key lime pie, healthy desserts, , key lime bars

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Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This edible chocolate chip cookie dough is perfect for cookie dough lovers! Say hello to your new favorite healthy dessert.

edible chocolate chip cookie dough

Are you one of those people who eats spoonfuls of cookie dough before it makes its way to the oven to become cookies? I definitely am, and think cookie dough is one of the most delicious things to eat! While I’ve never personally gotten sick from eating cookie dough, it’s not good food safety practice to eat it because it contains raw eggs.

This edible chocolate chip cookie dough eliminates the risk of food poisoning because it doesn’t contain eggs. It actually doesn’t contain any other traditional chocolate chip cookie ingredients (except for chocolate chips). Made with chickpeas, tahini, oats, and maple syrup, this cookie dough is actually a good source of fiber and healthy fats!

edible cookie dough jar

How to Make Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

While it sounds strange, chickpeas make an excellent base for edible cookie dough. They have a mild taste and a super creamy texture when blended. Here’s how to make the most delicious edible cookie dough:

  • Purchase low sodium chickpeas. This will allow you to better control the amount of saltiness in your cookie dough!
  • Remove the skins from the chickpeas. This takes about 10-15 minutes, but is totally worth this extra step! This process allows your cookie dough to become even more creamy and smooth. To remove the skins, rub the drained and rinsed chickpeas between a clean tea towel. You’ll see that this removes some of the skins. Gently pinch the chickpeas to push them out of their skins, then discard the skins.
  • Combine chickpeas, maple syrup, tahini, oats, ground flax, vanilla extract, and salt in a food processor. Blend together very well for 3-5 minutes until super creamy. Stop blending occasionally to scrape down the sides so everything is well combined.
  • Stir in mini chocolate chips. Your cookie dough is now ready to eat!
edible cookie dough in food processor

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

  • Chickpeas: Chickpeas are a part of the pulse family. Pulses also include beans, legumes, peas, and lentils. Pulses are an incredibly healthy and affordable source of plant-based protein. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals. In fact, pulses are staples in the diets of those living in the world’s Blue Zones (areas where people live longer than average)!
  • Tahini: Tahini is a good source of heart healthy polyunsaturated fats. These fats are important to include in your diet because they can help lower LDL cholesterol, and therefore have a positive impact on heart health.
  • Ground Flax: Flax is also a good source of polyunsaturated fats, and is one of the few plant based sources of omega-3 fatty acids! It’s also a good source of fiber, plant based protein, Because we are unable to digest the hard outer shell of whole flax, it is important to consume ground flax in order to get all the nutritional benefits.
  • Oats
  • Maple Syrup
edible chocolate chip cookie dough in jar

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Description

This edible chocolate chip cookie dough is perfect for cookie dough lovers! Say hello to your new favorite healthy dessert.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 can low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Remove skins from chickpeas by rubbing them between a clean tea towel to loosen the skins. Use your fingers to gently pinch the chickpeas out of the skins, discarding the skins.
  2. Place chickpeas, tahini, oats, flax, maple syrup, salt, and vanilla extract in a food processor. Blend for 3-5 minutes, until very smooth and creamy. You may need to scrape down the edges a few times to fully incorporate all the ingredients.
  3. Stir the chocolate chips into the dough. Serve immediately or store in the fridge.


Notes

  • This edible cookie dough will thicken slightly in the fridge, just like regular cookie dough.
  • Store in an air tight container for 3-5 days.

Keywords: edible cookie dough, edible chocolate chip cookie dough, vegan, gluten free, healthy desserts

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Six Healthy Snack Ideas from a Registered Dietitian

Looking to step up your snack game? This post outlines how to choose a healthy snack, along with six easy, healthy snack ideas approved by a Registered Dietitian – me!

As an RD, people ask me all about snacks. Are they good for us? How often should we have them? What are some healthy snack ideas? Snacking is ingrained in American food culture – we are bombarded by snack advertisements in the media every single day. From fruit roll ups to 100 calorie packs, this post will help you weed through the media messages and give you nourishing, filling, and simple snack ideas.

Is Snacking Good or Bad?

Like most questions about nutrition, the answer to this one is not black and white. Snacking is neither inherently good nor bad, and it may benefit some people more than others. Remember that our nutrition needs are highly individualized, and what works for one person may not work for the next.

Snacking has been studied as it relates to weight status, blood sugar level, and hunger prevention. Overall, snacking is probably not necessary for the average person to maintain weight status OR maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day. But, studies show that snacking may prevent hunger, and therefore prevent overeating at mealtimes later on.

Given this research, it is important to consider a few things when snacking. First, contemplate your motivation for snacking. Are you craving food because you are truly hungry, or does it relate to an emotion like boredom or stress? Second, snacking is highly individualized. A very active person will probably benefit from more frequent snacking, as they are naturally expending more calories than a sedentary person. Finally, it’s WHAT you snack on that really matters. Consuming balanced snacks, just like balanced meals, will have positive effects on weight, blood sugar level, and hunger prevention.

How to Make Healthy Snack Choices

Here are some of my tips for making mindful, balanced snack choices.

  • First and foremost, tune in to see if you are truly feeling hungry. Many of us, myself included, fall into emotional eating to satisfy a need that is not based on hunger! Take a step back before reaching for a snack to determine your motivating factor. If you find you’re not really hungry, do something to tackle the negative emotion you are feeling, such as taking a walk around the block.
  • Be mindful of portion size. Snacks are not meant to be as energy dense as meals. While I don’t count calories, a good size snack for most people is usually around 200 calories. This may vary based on age, gender, body composition, and health goals.
  • Start with fiber. Fiber is a nutrient many Americans don’t eat enough of. Since it slows digestion and absorption of nutrients, fiber helps keep us full. It also has a host of health benefits, which include promoting gut health, lowering cholesterol, and keeping our bowel movements regular. Use high fiber foods as your starting point for a balanced snack, such as whole fruit, whole grain products, or vegetables.
  • Add protein and/or healthy fats. Pairing your fiber-rich snack with some protein or healthy fats will further help slow down digestion and keep you fuller for longer. For those looking for snacks to help regulate blood sugar levels, choosing higher protein snacks seems to be best, based on research. Choose proteins like yogurt, egg, nuts/nut butter, and seeds, and healthy fats like avocado, olives or nuts/nut butter. The combination of fiber + protein/healthy fats makes us feel more satisfied, so we are less likely to keep reaching for more.
  • Make it simple and tasty. Snacks shouldn’t take you tons of time or energy to prepare – you’ve got other things to get done during the day! Keep it simple, and make sure your snack is enjoyable 🙂

Six Healthy Snack Ideas

Apple Nachos

Cut a small apple into wedges. Drizzle with 1-2 tsp nut butter, add 1 tbsp granola, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Serve with ¼ cup low fat yogurt for dipping.

apple nachos

Mini Protein Box

This is a totally customizable snack. Mix and match different sources of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Some examples include a hard boiled egg + small handful of nuts + 3-5 strawberries, or ½ cup grapes + 1 string cheese + 5 whole grain crackers.

mini protein box snack idea

Popcorn Trail Mix

2 cups air popped popcorn + ¼ cup of your favorite trail mix makes for a voluminous, portable snack that is great for munching.

popcorn trail mix healthy snack idea

Steamed Edamame

1 cup of steamed and lightly salted edamame is the perfect snack, as it contains fiber, protein, and healthy fats!

steamed edamame healthy snack idea

Bell Pepper + Quick Guacamole

A refreshing snack to much on in warmer months. To make quick guacamole, mash ½ of  ripe avocado with a squeeze of lime juice + a dash of both salt and garlic powder. Top bell pepper slices with guacamole and enjoy.

bell pepper and guacamole healthy snack idea

Chocolate Coconut Balls

These little bites are delicious, easy to make, and portable for on-the-go snacking. Filled with nuts, dates, coconut, and cacao powder, they only take 10 minutes to whip up. They taste incredibly decadent and dessert-like, so if you’ve got a sweet tooth, this is the snack for you!

chocolate coconut balls

What makes these balls a healthy snack? They’ve got fiber from the dates and oats. Healthy fats and protein come from cashews and coconut. Plus, they’ve got a boost of antioxidants from the cacao powder! One or two of these little guys will tide you over until your next meal.

chocolate coconut balls

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Chocolate Coconut Balls

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1012 balls 1x
  • Category: Snacks

Description

A sweet, chocolately, and delicious snack to make. These chocolate coconut balls are full of fiber, protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants!


Scale

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Blend together for 3-5 minutes, until a sandy consistency is reached. Scrape down the edges occasionally, if necessary.
  3. Remove “dough” from food processor and use your hands to form a large ball. Break off ~1 tbsp sized pieces and roll into 10-12 smaller balls.
  4. Roll each ball in additional shredded coconut, if desired.


Notes

Best stored in the refrigerator. 

Keywords: chocolate coconut balls, coconut, healthy snacks, healthy snack ideas

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Freezer Cookie Dough Fudge (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This cookie dough fudge is super rich, creamy, and made from plant based ingredients. You just need a few simple ingredients to make a batch for yourself!

cookie dough fudge

Those who know me best know that I have a crazy sweet tooth. I definitely inherit it from my mom, who is one of the best bakers I know. I like to have something sweet pretty much every day, sometimes more than once!

Lately, I’ve really enjoyed making simple dessert recipes in batches that can easily be stored in my freezer, including No Bake Samoas and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles. I love desserts that keep well in the freezer! They are instantly available when I have a sweet craving, and don’t require any prep once I’ve made a batch, and I don’t feel the pressure to consume them all at once before they go bad.

stack of cookie dough fudge

One of Ben’s all time favorite treats is frozen cookie dough. While cookie dough is SO delicious, it’s definitely not the safest thing to eat in terms of food safety! This idea inspired me to create this creamy cookie dough fudge. you’ll get all the taste of cookie dough, but none of the food-borne illness risks!

cookie dough fudge

Main Ingredients + Some Nutrition Notes

This cookie dough fudge recipe only requires 7 simple ingredients, some of which you probably already have in your pantry!

  • Cashew Butter: Cashews are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, so they can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol when replacing saturated fats in the diet. They are also good sources of vitamins and minerals, including iron and magnesium. Research shows that eating 2 servings of nuts per day may lower your risk for certain diseases like heart disease and diabetes, as well as help with weight management.
  • Coconut Oil: While coconut oil is high in saturated fat, many of the fats in coconut oil are medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are metabolized differently than the other fats in our diets. They are broken down and absorbed more quickly and go right to our livers to be used for energy. MCTs are wonderful for people with fat malabsorption issues for this reason. There is some research that links MCTs with weight management, because they are used for energy and less likely to be stored as fat, but we still need to learn a lot more about it! Coconut oil can be part of a healthy, balanced diet when used in moderation.
  • Maple Syrup
  • Almond Flour
cookie dough fudge

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cookie dough fudge

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Freezer Cookie Dough Fudge (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 816 servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert

Description

This cookie dough fudge requires simple ingredients and takes less than 15 minutes to make! Store it in the freezer for instant access to a yummy treat.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy cashew butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp almond flour
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt

Instructions

  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Combine cashew butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a saucepan on low heat. Melt everything together, stirring occasionally, until smooth and creamy.
  3. Remove from heat, then stir in almond flour.
  4. Let cool for 5-10 minutes to room temperature. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth it out using a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with sea salt and additional chocolate chips, if desired.
  6. Place in the freezer and freeze until solid, 20-30 minutes. Slice into 8-16 pieces. Enjoy immediately, or return to the freezer to store.


Notes

This cookie dough fudge will begin to melt a bit and soften significantly when left at room temperature, due to the nature of coconut oil. Store in the freezer and enjoy immediately for best results.

I’ve not tried other nut butters, but I imagine different creamy versions would work well! The texture will be similar, but the flavor may be altered. 

Keywords: cookie dough fudge, vegan, vegan desserts, gluten free

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