3 quick, healthy recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth

After some sweet treats that won’t cause a sugar blowout? Keep It Cleaner’s Laura Henshaw shares some of her favourite recipes.

Laura Henshaw

Laura Henshaw

Laura Henshaw is a student, entrepreneur and model with a keen focus on mental and physical wellbeing.

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In my opinion, healthy eating shouldn’t be about depriving yourself. Instead, it’s all about moderation and making some clever tweaks to make your meals even better for you. The same is true when it comes to sweet treats. With some easy swaps in your baking, you’ll end up eating something that not only hits the sweet spot ¬– it won’t completely load you up with sugar, either (which means you avoid that crash and burn).

The other benefit of cooking up your own treats is the visibility it gives you over what goes into your body. Often when you buy something from the shop and it’s got a long shelf life, it’s probably also got a lot of preservatives and chemicals to get it to that expiry date. So, if you're buying something or making something that is natural, it's already a lot better for you.

Here are three of my favourite quick – and healthy – recipes that will satisfy your cravings for something sweet.

Choc banana muffins

I make these once a week, and they are one of mine and my business partner Steph’s favourite recipes. It’s a great one for using up those super ripe bananas you’ve been saving in the freezer. For this recipe, there is no such thing as overripe – infact the riper, the better! You don’t need to add much sweetener here because of the beautiful sweetness the bananas bring and if you like, you can make a big batch and freeze half to save time.

Ingredients

3 ripe bananas

2 large eggs

½ cup almond milk

1/3 cup Greek yogurt

2 tbs rice malt syrup

¾ cup almond meal

1 cup spelt flour (or gluten free if required)

1tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

½ cup dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C and line a 12-hole muffin tray with patty pans.
  2. Mash bananas in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, almond milk, Greek yogurt and rice malt syrup to the banana mixture and mix together.
  3. In a separate bowl combine almond meal, flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips. Add the wet mixture to the dy mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes, or until muffins are cooked through and golden brown on top.

Clean choc chip cookies

This is one of our oldest and most special recipes. They are crunchy and delicious like the traditional version – but a much healthier alternative. Just beware they may not last very long…they are VERY delicious.

Ingredients

1 cup spelt flour (or gluten free flour)

2/3 cups almond meal

6 medjool dates

1/3 cup Greek yogurt

2tbs almond butter

2 tbs rice malt syrup

1tsp vanilla extract

6 tbs coconut oil

1 tsp baking powder

50g dark chocolate (85%), finely chopped or ½ cup dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Combine flour, almond meal and dates in a doof processor on high to form a paste
  3. Add remaining ingredients, except the chocolate and blend again on high to combine. Mixture should by quite ‘doughy’. Fold through chocolate
  4. Roll tablespoons of mixture into small balls and transfer to tray. Use the back of a wet tablespoon to flatten balls into cookies.
  5. Bake for 12-13 minutes, but checking the cookies at about 11 – they burn very quickly!

Espresso Balls

Bliss balls are one of our favourite healthy treats. They are so easy, requiring no cooking time and a great healthy option for when you feel like something sweet for a 3pm pick-me-up.

Ingredients

1 cup almonds

160g medjool dates, pitted

1 tsp vanilla extract

15 ml cold-drip or espresso coffee

1 tsp maca powder (optional)

100g vanilla protein powder

Method

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined and all ingredients come together
  2. Roll mixture into 10 balls and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks
Smart swaps

While butter and oil are fine in moderation, I’ve found that Greek yogurt makes a great alternative. It adds a surprising richness to recipes and is packed with protein. Another regular substitute I make in my baking is rice malt syrup or various fruits in the place of refined sugar. Rice malt syrup is super sweet, so you only need a couple of tablespoons to stand in for one or two cups of sugar.

Laura Henshaw

Laura Henshaw is a student, entrepreneur and model with a keen focus on mental and physical wellbeing. She co-founded Keep It Cleaner, an online health and fitness program, and will soon publish a book designed to encourage young women to live their best lives. The information in this article is general information only and is not intended as medical, health, nutritional or other advice. You should obtain professional advice from a medical or health practitioner in relation to your own personal circumstances.