Yep you read right, there are healthy junk foods out there… that is, when you take the little time necessary to prep and DIY. Not just for kids these are amazing! 😀
1. Avocado chocolate pudding
Nothing says comfort food like a bowl of chocolate pudding, but this version is not only a lot lower in calories than your traditional chocolatey treat – it’s actually good for you! With the potassium, fibre and good fats from avocado, and the sugar replaced with honey, you can pretty much eat this for breakfast. Yes, really!
3 ripe avocaodos
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
3 tbsp cocoa powder
Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy
Serve chilled and as an extra treat top with chocolate nibs and/or sliced strawberries.
2. Beetroot Chips
If you’re a slave to the siren song of a bag of chips, you’re not alone! Swapping the potato variety for these anti-oxidant-filled beauties is not only a great way to cut down on calories, it’s also an excellent way to get a sneaky serve of veggies in!
Makes about 2 cups
- 650g beetroot (450g peeled and sliced)
- Olive oil spray
- Salt and pepper
Heat oven to 135°C fan forced (so about 160 conventional), line 2 baking trays with baking paper and spray lightly with oil spray.
Peel beetroot and slice as thinly as possible (about 1-2mm) – I use a mandolin.
Lay out beetroot on the baking trays, spray lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper.
Bake in the oven for 2 hours (it’s good to open the oven every now and then to let the steam out).
Do keep an eye on the beetroot as the cooking time will depend on your oven and the juiciness of the beetroot – you’re looking for darker, crispy edges.
Turn the oven off and allow the chips to cool completely – this is when they crisp up. They’ll store in an air tight container for days, if you’ve got any left that is.
- If you’re not a fan of beetroot, try pumpkin chips, potato, sweet potato or even parsnip. Cooking times will vary all depending on the moisture in the vegetable so start checking after about an hour (I know pumpkin chips take about anhour as do potato, sweet potato takes a little more).
3. Flourless orange cake with coconut lime cream and choc ganache
This flourless orange cake is actually as healthy as you can get while still eating cake! Sugar and gluten free, it’s small enough so that if you ‘accidentally’ end up eating the whole thing in one sitting it won’t matter too much!
40 grams Rapadura
2 Tablespoon Maple syrup
125 gm almond meal
½ teaspoon baking powder
Place orange in saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook like this for 1 hour, until orange becomes very soft.
Remove from saucepan and allow to cool slightly.
Grease and line a 10cm pork pie tin – this is deeper than a usual cake tin. If you don’t have one, you can use two 10cm spring form or whatever you have of similar diameter. When lining allow an extra 5cm of baking paper to extend above the top of the tin. The cake will rise quite a bit and you want it to remain contained by the paper instead of drooping over the edge of the tin.
Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
Once cooled slightly, cut orange into quarters and remove any seeds. Place in a food processor and blitz into a paste. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
Place eggs and sugar into a bowl and beat with an electric beater until the sugar has dissolved and mixture is thick (about 4-5 minutes). Add orange and maple syrup and continue to mix through. Whilst beaters are still running, slowly add the almond meal and baking powder. Continue to mix until it is well combined and smooth. Pour into prepared cake tin and bake for 50-60 minutes or a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to rest for 15 minutes then remove from cake tin and cool completely before icing.
Coconut Lime Cream
¼ cup coconut cream
zest one lime
Juice half lime
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
60 good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa!)
¼ coconut cream
Immediately before assembling the cake, gently heat coconut cream in a small saucepan. Add finely chopped chocolate and stir over low heat until chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
When cooled completely, cut cake into three equal pieces. Spread some lime and coconut cream on the top of each piece of cake (not too thick), leaving enough cream to brush around the outside once it is assembled. Follow this by spreading a layer of choc ganache on top of the coconut cream. Layer the pieces of cake on top of each other carefully. Gently brush the remaining coconut cream on the outer edges of the cake – you don’t want it dripping off however, just a thin layer. Using a small spatula spread the chocolate ganache over the entire cake, blending it with the coconut cream as you go. Once finished, place in the fridge so that the chocolate firms up.
Decorate with a flower, candles or you could even try candied nuts or fruit!.
4. Cauliflower pizza
Trying the low-carb thing but can’t get your head around a pizza-free existence? Cauliflower to the rescue! This versatile veggie lends itself to all kinds of different dishes, and can disguise itself as a junk food.
- 4 cups riced cauliflower
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 cups pizza blend grated cheese
- 4 tsp dried oregano
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 pinch salt
Step 1. To rice cauliflower, roughly chop 1 head cauliflower.
Step 2. Place in the food processor and pulse 8-10 times. Repeat with the rest of the cauliflower.
Step 3. Place in a lidded dish and microwave for 10 minutes. Now you have riced cauliflower. Preheat oven to 220°C conventional (200°C fan-forced). Cover two pizza trays with baking paper and set aside.
Step 4. In a big bowl, mix four cups of riced cauliflower, egg and cheese until combined. Add the oregano, garlic and salt and mix until combined.
Step 5. Place half of the mixture on each tray and pat into a round shape that is around 1cm thick.
Step 6. Bake for around 15-20 minutes until the base is golden. Add your favourite toppings and return to the oven just until the cheese is melted.
5. Choc-chop cookie dough
Chocolate chip cookie dough is kind of the (un)Holy Grail of junk food. Sugar and butter do their devil dance on your tastebuds, making it the hardest to resist of any naughty treat. Fear not, a 100 percent wholegrain version that is not only low-sugar, but high in fibre and protein has arrived!
- 96g (6 tbs) Raw Almond Butter (or any other neutral nut butter)
- 3/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 tsp Butter Extract
- 1 tsp Stevia Extract
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 126g (6 scoops) Vanilla Brown Rice Protein Powder (I used SunWarrior)
- 40g (1/4 cup) Brown Rice Flour (other flours may work)
- 1/3 cup Mini Dark Chocolate Chips (I used EnjoyLife!)
- In a stand mixer bowl with beater attachment, mix the almond butter, almond milk, extracts and salt on low speed.
- Add in the protein powder, then add in the brown rice flour.
- Take the bowl off the mixer and fold in the chocolate chips. Serve immediately or wrap and refrigerate for later!
6. Homemade milk chocolate
This melt-in-your-mouth choc is sure to satisfy the sweet tooth in your family. It’s free from heavy cream, refined white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavourings and preservatives. THAT’s how healthy it is. Bring. It. On.
- 4oz Unsweetened Chocolate, broken into chunks (I used SunSpire)
- 128g (1/2 cup) Raw Almond Butter*
- 1/2 cup Powdered Erythritol, sifted
- 1/16 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla Paste
- 1 tsp Butter Flavor (this is all-natural and vegan)
- 1/2 tsp Stevia Extract
- In a double boiler, add the unsweetened chocolate and almond butter. Place over medium-low heat and stir occasionally until completely melted.
- While the chocolate/almond butter is melting, sift the erythritol and salt into a small bowl. Set aside.
- When the chocolate/almond butter is completely melted and smooth, stir in the vanilla paste, butter flavor and stevia extract.
- Toss in the sifted erythritol and stir together (the chocolate will seize, that’s totally fine). Keep the mixture over the heat for a couple more minutes while stirring/folding. Make sure all the erythritol is dissolved and incorporated thoroughly
- Remove from the heat and scoop the mixture into the chocolate molds of your choosing (I used a Hershey Kiss mold, a chocolate bar mold and a chocolate diet pill mold.
- Chill in the refrigerator until hardened (a couple hours or so), then remove from the molds and wrap in thin tin foil or cellophane wrapping. To store, keep tightly wrapped in the refrigerator
*You can use another other neutral nut butter you like (cashew butter, walnut butter, macadamia butter, etc) if you don’t want to use almond butter. I recommend using raw rather than roasted because its flavor is subtle and you don’t taste it. Do not use peanut butter or flavored butters because it will overpower the chocolate. This recipe is ALL about the milk chocolate flavor! 🙂
7. Red Velvet cheesecake dip
Cheesecake dips are all the rage at the moment (or is it just me that spends hours fantasising and salivating over Pinterest and the hundreds of examples that live there?). In any case, this red velvet cheesecake dip uses cottage cheese, beetroot and strawberries and is every bit as creamy and sweet as the junk food version. Oh, and it’s got a mere 80 calories per serve. Less than a cup of coffee.
- 16oz Fat-Free Cottage Cheese (low-fat works too)
- 120g (1/2 cup) Roasted Beet Puree (see this post for instructions)
- 1 tbs Vanilla Paste (I used homemade!)
- 1 tbs Butter Extract
- 1/2 tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
- 30g (6 tbs) Regular Cocoa Powder (unsweetened)
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened Soy Milk (or milk of choice)
- 1+1/4 cups Stevia in the Raw (other sweeteners may work here too)
- In a blender or food processor, add the cottage cheese, beet puree, vanilla paste, butter extract and vinegar. Puree until smooth.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and soy milk. Pour into the blender/food processor and puree again.
- Add the stevia in the raw to the blender/food processor and puree one more time. Give it a taste and add more sweetener or cocoa to taste. Make sure it is super smooth and creamy!**
- Pour into serving bowls and serve with fruit (strawberries, sliced bananas, sliced apples), crackers (animal crackers, graham crackers), dark chocolate or spoons!
*Make sure you blend the mixture well. You don’t lose anything by overblending but you will definitely lose something by underblending (unless you like chunks of beets in your dessert… yuck). If you have a Vitamix or Blendtec or other high power blender or food processor, use it. No shortcuts with this dip 😉
8. Nutella frozen yoghurt
Did you know that some frozen yoghurts have more sugar in them than ice cream? A healthy frozen yoghurt recipe (Nutella-flavoured, no less) with only 150 calories per serve.
- 32oz Plain, Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- 396g (1+1/2 cups) Healthy Homemade Nutella
- 2 tsp Stevia Extract
- 2 tsp Butter Extract
- 1 tsp Vanilla Paste (I used homemade!)
- 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
- 1/8 tsp Pink Himalayan Salt
- Freeze your ice cream maker bowl for 24+ hours (I used my Cuisinart)
- In a stand mixer bowl with whisk attachment, add the yogurt, nutella, stevia extract, butter extract and vanilla paste. Whisk on low.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the xanthan gum and salt. Slowly add this into the mixing stand mixer and increase speed to medium. Whisk until the mixture is even, and scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
- Take whisk attachment off stand mixer and place inside the bowl. Freeze for 1 hour.
- Reattach the whisk onto the stand mixer and whisk mixture on medium speed. When the mixture looks even, turn off the stand mixer and remove the bowl.
- Place the frozen ice cream bowl onto the ice cream machine and turn the machine on. Scoop the ice cream mixture into the spinning ice cream bowl and churn for ~12 minutes.
- Scoop the ice cream into a freezer-proof container and freeze until it is the texture you like (~2-4 hours)
- Scoop into chilled bowls and serve!
9. Chickpea choc-peanut butter pie
Chickpeas are an excellent ingredient for creating creamy, bulky texture without laying on the fat. This dairy-free, gluten-free, low-sugar whole food creation looks too good to be true – but it’s not. Finally, peanut butter and chocolate can live together without feeling guilty about it.
100gm nuts of choice (I used a mixture of pecans and hazelnuts)
180gm desiccated coconut
¼ cup coconut oil melted
¼ cup honey
pinch of salt
1 x 400gm can chickpeas
½ cup peanut butter (only use the good stuff made from 100% peanuts)
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon baking powder
50gm good quality dark chocolate
Choc – Coconut Top
Extra 50gm good quality dark chocolate
1 Tablespoon of organic cream, milk or coconut cream for dairy free
1/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
Grease & line a 22cm shallow pie dish. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Place all crust ingredients into a high-speed blender and process until a fine crumb is achieved and mixture stays together when pressed between fingers.
Using fingertips, firmly and evenly press the crust mixture into the pie dish and up the sides. Set aside in the fridge to chill.
Place all of the filling ingredients except for the chocolate into a high-speed blender and process until a smooth consistency is achieved. Using a sharp knife roughly chop the chocolate into small pieces and sprinkle evenly across pie base. Spoon chickpea mixture into the pie base using the back of a spoon or your fingertips, and evenly spread the mixture. The mixture is quite thick and sticky, so I found it easiest to use wet fingertips to do this. Place pie into preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes.
When pie has cooled, finely chop the remaining chocolate using a sharp knife. Heat milk or cream in a small saucepan over low heat and when warm add the chocolate. Stir continuously until all the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth and runny chocolate sauce. You may need to add a little extra milk/or cream to achieve a drizzling consistency. Drizzle chocolate over the pie and place in the fridge to set.
Sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes before serving.
10. Beetroot chocolate whoopie pies
‘Whoopie pies’ are a kid-friendly favourite, usually consisting of cream and jam wedged in between decadent chocolate cake. By using beetroot and wholemeal flour, and replacing the cream with yoghurt, these ‘sometimes’ treats can be enjoyed a bit more often.
- 2 large fresh beetroot
- 1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup medjool dates, roughly chopped
- 2 cups wholemeal flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup raw cocoa powder (or regular cocoa powder)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup Greek yoghurt
- 1/2 cup raspberry jam
Preheat the oven to 180°C or 160°C fan-forced.
Wrap the beetroot in foil and roast for an hour or until soft.
Meanwhile, grease and line a 12 hole whoopie pie tin.
Peel and place the beetroot in the bowl of your food processor and blitz for a couple of minutes. Then place all remaining ingredients in the bowl of your food processor and blitz until you have a smooth batter.
Spoon this into prepared tins, about 3/4 full and bake for 10 minutes if using the whoopie pie tins or 25 mins if making one large cake.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. To serve, sandwich whoopie pies between a little natural yoghurt and jam.
- You could just as easily use a muffin tin for this recipe – in this case I would fill each muffin hole 3/4 full and then once cooled slice them in half with a serrated knife and fill with the yoghurt or jam.
- Alternatively make one large cake – a 24cm springform cake tin would be ideal. In this case bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and the cake is pulling away from the sides.