I love sweets! Especially on Valentine’s Day! But too much sugar may lead to increased inflammation in our bodies so it is something many people are trying to include only moderately in their daily intake. But on special occasions, desserts can be a special treat and the desserts that I am sharing with you in this post are made from fruit like mashed bananas, applesauce or dried fruit, sweet potatoes without the added sugar so they have the fiber, the vitamins and minerals plus phytochemicals. What is even better is that they taste great too! These fruit desserts are a great way to get more of a thing that is good for us and I hope that you get a chance to give them a try!
This recipe from a blog post two years ago was almost free from added sugar and got a lot of it’s sweetness from dates so I was inspired to see if I could make a recipe using entirely dates instead of the maple syrup and brown sugar from this recipe. Both of these little chocolate cakes are delicious!
Mini Heart-Shaped Chocolate Cakes
I adapted one of my chocolate cakes to make these sweet little cakes that are vegan and gluten free too. These cakes are very rich, almost like chocolate truffles. I made a raspberry sauce that is with pureed dates. My grandson tried them out and gave the new version using dates, a thumbs up.
Makes 4 servings.
6 ounces chopped dates
1/4 cup Earth Balance Margarine
6 ounces baking chocolate
3 tablespoon ground flax seed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup ground almonds
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
Garnish with coconut flakes or shaved white chocolate
Baking pan with six hearts like this pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Chop up dates and simmer them in a medium sauce pan with 1/4 cup water until they start to dissolve in the water. Let cool and add to a food processor and blend until smooth. Let set for a few minutes. In the sauce pan add baking chocolate, ground flax seed and the rest of the water. Heat until it is all melted together. Take off the stove and add the date puree, almonds, vanilla and pinch of salt. Grease heart shaped pans well and divide cake batter between them. Bake 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes and carefully take out on a serving platter. When the cake is cool and close to ready to serve, make the raspberry sauce and pour over the cake. Decorate with shaved white chocolate or coconut flakes. Add a few whole raspberries on top.
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 ounce chopped dates
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoon corn starch
In a small or medium sauce pan, add raspberries, chopped dates and water. Allow to simmer until dates start to dissolve. In a custard cup, make a slurry with the cornstarch and about a tablespoon of water and add to the sauce. Allow it to thicken and then cool. After the sauce has cooled, blend until smooth in the food processor!
Charlene Pors, Registered Dietitian from Euphoria Nutrition shared two of her favorite desserts using dates and applesauce as the sweetener.
Registered Dietitian, Judith Scharman from Food with Jules made these Cherry Power Balls sweetened with dates that are just so delicious that fellow registered dietitian, Krista Ulatowski recommended them to me to share!
Sarah Schlichter, Registered Dietitian from Bucket List Tummy shared a chocolate pudding recipe that uses coconut sugar to sweeten it!
Amy Gorin, Registered Dietitian shared a frozen chocolate dessert recipe that uses bananas for the sweetener. I love all the garnishes that she used to decorate, add texture and flavor too!
A collection of naturally sweet desserts would not be complete without one using sweet potatoes and I think this looks like a great one from MCKel Hill from Nutrition Stripped.
I hope that you get a chance to try these recipes and that they inspire you to start trying dates, applesauce, bananas and coconut sugar in recipes in place of some regular sugar. You may create something so rich and creamy that you won’t believe that it is so good for you too!
Do you have a favorite dessert that you naturally sweeten that you would like to share! I would love to know! As a registered dietitian nutritionist living in Asheville, I love sharing recipes to help clients live healthier more delicious lives! I am so glad that you stopped by the blog and check out the chocolate cake that inspired me to create my new little Valentine cakes!