What's more fun than a yummy dessert? How about a HEALTHY dessert? Most of these recipes are very quick to make, and some could be served as breakfast.
We're getting the dessert ball rolling with 3 quick puddings, a 2 minute apple-sauce, then moving up to dried fruit balls, an exotic candy and ending your excursion into healthy, pretty quick to make desserts with ice cream.*
Who doesn't like pudding? So quick and easy to make with a heavy-duty blender
(either a Vita-mix or a K-tec/Blendtec)
Banana Papaya (or mango) Orange Sunset Pudding
Approximate prep time: 5-7 minutes
Serves 1 or 2
1 banana, peeled and cut in chunks
1 cup peeled seeded papaya
Blend until smooth
1. Serve with blueberries on top
2. Add 1 Tablespoon of almond butter, blend
3. Add 2 teaspoons tahini, blend
Approximate prep time (once nuts are soaked, drained, rinsed, drained): 6 minutes
1 cup cashews, soaked 10-12 hours
1/4-1/2 cup water
1 banana, peeled, cut up
Soak cashews overnight, drain, rinse, drain. Place in blender with banana and enough water to make a pudding consistency.
Variation: Pour over 1 cup of fresh strawberries
Approximate prep time: 5 minutes
1 ripe banana
1/2 ripe avocado
1/4 cup berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries)
(either fresh or frozen and thawed)
Blend banana and 1/2 Avocado. Put in bowl and adorn with berries.
Best Applesauce Ever
If you haven't tried raw applesauce you are in for a treat!
Approximate prep time: whole apples 5 minutes, peeled cored apples 10-12 minutes
1-2 whole, organic apples, cut in chunks
Dash of cinnamon
Core apples, if using organic, leave the skin on for good fiber and nutrition.
Peel if apple is not organic. Blend, using a small amount of water or apple juice if necessary to enable blender to do its job. A heavy duty blender is required for this recipe.
Note: If using organic apples, some people use the entire apple, except for the stem
Note: Not for young babies. For an infant, peel and core apple, just use the white fruit. Be sure to blend very well. To get a smooth baby-food consistency, strain after blending well.
Dried Fruit Balls Rounds
Approximate prep time: once nuts/fruits are soaked: 20-30 minutes, divided
Yields approximately 30 pieces
This recipe calls for a food processor.
1 cup dried apricots, soaked 20 minutes
1 cup dates (preferably Medjool dates) soaked 20 minutes (reserve soak water)
1/2 dried figs, soaked 20 minutes
1 cup almonds, walnuts or pecans (see overnight soaking instructions)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
30 extra nuts (optional)
Soak the nuts in water to cover, overnight or for 8-10 hours. Drain. Rinse. Drain.
In a food processor, process the nuts until fairly fine uniform bits. Gradually add the apricots, dates, figs and coconut until well-mixed.
Using 1-2 Tablespoons of the date soak water if necessary to create a dough-like consistency.
Place in bowl and refrigerate for several hours.
Roll into small balls and press a whole nut into the top of each one.
These balls will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Variation: For a rich chocolate type treat, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of carob or chocolate powder while processing, to taste.
Open Sesame Halvah
Halvah is a candy popular in the Middle-East, where it is usually made from ground sesame seeds. Tahini is a smooth version of ground up sesame seeds, it has a consistency much like peanut butter.
Approximate prep time: 15-25 minutes, divided
Yields 20-24 pieces
This recipe calls for a food processor.
1 1/2 cup almonds (not soaked)
1/2 cup raw tahini
3 Tablespoons honey**
1 teaspoon vanilla
optional: 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon carob or cocoa powder.
In a food processor, process the almonds until finely ground. Add remaining ingredients, process thoroughly. On a plate or pan, spread mixture out until it is around 1/2″ thick (don't worry about filling the dish or pan, just press the mixture out until it is the correct thickness). Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or more, then cut into bite-size pieces and roll into balls.
Variation: For a two toned effect, (more work, longer prep time) before spreading mixture out, divide in half. Add carob/cocoa to one half. Mix well for uniform color. Pat the plain mixture in pan, to 1/4 inch thickness. Then pat the cocoa mixture in your hands until it is approximately the same 1/4″ thickness and shape as the plain one in the pan. Place the cocoa mixture on top of the plain mixture. Press together to form a 1/2″ thick, two-colored slab of halvah. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour or more, then cut into bite-size pieces and roll into balls.
Keep in refrigerator.
**honey works best in this recipe both for the authentic halvah flavor and because its stickiness holds it all together.
Banana Ice Cream
Traditionally, Banana ice cream is made in a juicer that has a blank screen (Champion, Tribest, Samson) this type of juicer has a ‘snout'. However, with the advent of powerful blenders, it's possible to use the blender method. The bananas should be allowed to defrost for a few minutes with the blender method to avoid straining or breaking the blender.
Approximate prep time: not counting time to peel and freeze bananas, 1-2 minutes per bowl of ice cream
Makes 1 serving
Freeze very ripe, peeled bananas. Use 1-2 bananas per serving. When frozen solid, push through the juicer with the Blank screen in place. Awesome just like this, but also super yummy if you add another frozen fruit such as blueberries, strawberries or mango. Alternate banana and other fruit so that each serving bowl has some of each. You may never crave dairy ice cream again! Great with hot fudge sauce on top too.
Hint: Always keep frozen peeled bananas and berries in the freezer for desserts and smoothies. Very ripe bananas means way more ripe than most people would eat them.
* all recipes adapted from The Raw Gourmet, Simple Recipes for Living Well, by Nomi Shannon ©Nomi Shannon
Kevin Gianni is co-founder and CEO of Annmarie Skin Care, an award winning skin care company that produces organic and wildcrafted facial oils, serums, and cleansers. Annmarie Skin Care has been one of Inc500’s Fastest Growing Companies and also was recognized as one of Inc500’s Best Workplaces. The company and products have been featured by many media outlets including The New York Times, Huffington Post, Forbes, and Organic Spa Magazine. He is also the author of Kale and Coffee: A Renegade's Guide to Health, Happiness, and Longevity published in 2015 by Hay House.