The 6 Best Vegan Desserts for Weight Loss, According to RDs
After rounding up the best plant-based breakfasts for weight loss in mid-October, we’re here to give you the scoop on waistline-friendly, vegan desserts. Easy to make with rich, nuanced flavor, here are six healthy vegan desserts nutritionists can get behind. Now, we guess the only question is, shall we make the Dark Chocolate Dried Fruit Bites or Avocado Chocolate Pudding first? We’re going to go ahead and answer for you: Make both and thank us later. P.S. If you’re looking for more tantalizing plant-based desserts, check out these keto vegan almond cups and this simple raw chocolate cake with mixed fruit.
1. Dark Chocolate Dried Fruit Bites from Chef Vahista Ussery, MS, MBA, RDN of To Taste
How to make it: Purée 14 ounces of dried fruit of choice, two tablespoons of water, and two tablespoons of nut butter together in a food processor until you have a smooth paste. Scoop the mixture into your hands and roll into one-inch balls. Place on a baking sheet or parchment/wax paper. Melt one cup of dark chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring between each. Using a fork, dip fruit bites in melted chocolate. Let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl, then place back on the baking sheet or parchment paper. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Place in the refrigerator until chocolate is set (around 30 minutes). Store covered in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Why it helps with weight loss: “This recipe is [a solid choice] for those trying to lose weight because it is portion-controlled and contains healthy fats and fiber that will keep you satisfied for longer. It also has a rich flavor that will give you the sweetness that you crave without excessive amounts of fat, sugar, or calories,” says Ussery. To mix up the basic five-ingredient recipe, you can adjust in countless ways. Try raisins instead of apricots as the base fruit, or mango instead of figs. For your nut butter, almond butter, cashew butter, and sunflower butter are good options. Some of Ussery’s go-to combos? Raisins and peanut butter; Apricots and almond butter; dates and sunflower butter, and mango and cashew butter.
2. Avocado Chocolate Pudding from Jinan Banna, PhD, RD
How to make it: Place an avocado in the refrigerator ahead of time to chill it. In a high-powered blender, add ½ an avocado, one Medjool date, one tablespoon cacao powder, and ¼-cup almond milk. Mix until creamy and smooth. Adorn with a berry, edible flowers, or a pinch of fresh mint on top
Why it helps with weight loss: Yes, your weight loss journey can taste this good.“This recipe provides fiber and heart-healthy fat to help you stay full while trying to lose weight,” comments Banna. “It's important to focus on foods that provide a sense of satisfaction and don't have a lot of empty calories to leave you hungry again quickly.” We totally won’t judge you if you eat any leftovers for breakfast the next day.
3. Baked Sweet Potato Dessert from Talia Hauser, RD, LDN, a dietitian in The Colony, Texas
How to make it: Poke a few holes in a sweet potato and microwave on high for approximately five minutes until completely soft and cooked through or bake in the oven as you usually would. Split in half (save the other half for another meal or dessert) and top with ground cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Why it helps with weight loss: If you love sweet potato pie, this certainly hits that note. “Sweet potatoes, like bananas, are high in fiber and are naturally sweet. Cinnamon adds tons of flavor and maple syrup will help satisfy your sweet tooth,” shares Hauser. “Just be sure to use only a couple teaspoons to avoid adding too much extra sugar.” Bonus: Pure maple syrup is high in antioxidants, “which can reduce free radical damage and inflammation,” adds Hauser.
4. Banana-Chocolate Nice Cream from Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN, who serves on the advisory board for Fitter Living
How to make it: Combine one-to-two frozen bananas (peel them before freezing) and one-to-two tablespoons of cacao or unsweetened vegan cocoa powder in a blender and blend in a blender until it resembles soft-serve ice cream. If desired, add spices like cinnamon or ginger, fruit, and/or vegan coconut cream.
Why it helps with weight loss: Girl’s gotta have her chocolate ice cream. “This dessert is [a good bet] because it’s nutritious, filling, and most importantly, satisfies a chocolate ice cream craving,” says Kostro Miller.
5. Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse with Mixed Berry Coulis from Ansley Hill, RDN, LD of Clean Green Simple
How to make it: Measure ½-cup of dark chocolate chips and melt them in the microwave or over a double boiler on the stovetop. Peel and pit two large, very ripe avocados (or four small ones) and place the pulp into the bowl of a food processor. Add the melted chocolate, ½ -cup of unsweetened cacao powder, ¼-cup pure maple syrup, two teaspoons vanilla extract, and a dash of sea salt to the avocado. Process all ingredients until they're well combined and smooth. Divide the mousse into four small ramekins and refrigerate for at least two hours, or overnight. When the mousse is well-chilled and ready to serve, add one cup of frozen mixed berries and a drizzle of maple syrup to a small saucepan. Heat the berry mixture over medium heat and cook until a sauce forms—about five-to-10 minutes. Divide the berry sauce over each of the four mousse dishes and serve immediately.
Why it helps with weight loss: Decadent, chocolate goodness...what’s not to adore? “I love this rich, chocolatey mousse because it won't deprive you of anything you love about dessert. It still uses a real sugar source, but the main focus is on what we’re adding. It features a variety of nutrient-dense ingredients—like avocado, cacao, and whole berries—which provide fiber, antioxidants, and healthy fats to keep your appetite satisfied and your blood sugar balanced,” comments Hill.
6. Banana-Nut Nice Cream from Talia Hauser, RD, LDN, a dietitian in The Colony, Texas
How to make it: Like the Banana-Chocolate Nice Cream above, this riff on ice cream uses frozen bananas as the base, here, with the addition of nut butter for added texture and flavor. First, peel and freeze a ripe banana. Once it's completely frozen, put it in a high-speed blender until it's smooth. Add flavor with a few drops of vanilla extract, a couple of teaspoons of nut butter, and a few vegan chocolate chips, if desired. You can also top this dish with shaved, unsweetened shredded coconut.
Why it helps with weight loss: “This is a great dessert for someone trying to lose weight because it is high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber,” explains Hauser. “Fiber can help you feel full and adding nut butter adds heart-healthy fats that can help with satiety as well.”