As much as us vegans hate to admit it, “vegan” doesn’t always translate into “healthy.” Vegan desserts are, unfortunately, the easiest example of this misconception. Vegan brownies, cookies, and cakes can contain just as much processed sugar as their dairy and egg-based cousins. Still, I’m a vegan with a huge sweet tooth and an unwillingness to settle. I’ve found it’s pretty easy to satisfy sugar cravings in a healthy, natural way, so here are just a few of my go-to foods when you’re desperately in need of a sugar high.
If you have 30 seconds: dates. Pitted or chopped, dates are one of my favorite snacks. Not only are they fat-free and high in fiber, but the sugar is natural and unprocessed. Dates are nature’s candy, and as long as you watch your serving size, they’re a quick and healthy way to satisfy sugar cravings. Dates are also a very common ingredient in vegan baking, so even if you don’t like eating them plain, it’s useful to have a bag lying around the house.
If you have 5 minutes: a vegan frosty. This twist on a fast food favorite requires just a little bit of overnight preparation, but is worth the extra effort. We’re probably all very familiar with the trick of cutting up bananas and putting them in the freezer overnight to make ice cream. For one banana, just add a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of chocolate non-dairy milk (depending on size of banana). In less than a minute, you’re in creamy chocolately bliss, all the while reaping the benefits of potassium. This is one of my favorite post work-out desserts because it allows you to indulge without any guilt.
If you have 30 minutes: vegan cookie dough. There are a couple of great chickpea-based vegan cookie dough recipes, all of which are surprisingly easy to make. Chocolate Covered Katie’s is probably the most well-known, but I personally prefer Fork and Bean’s recipe. Either way, you can pretty much eat a whole bowl and most of what you’ve consumed are chickpeas, whole grains, and some dark chocolate. Protein, fiber, and antioxidants? I’ll have a scoop of that.
So, who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? When it comes to satisfying your vegan sweet tooth, you can. (Well, maybe not exactly cake, but you guys get the idea…)