Tag Archives: healthy dessert

Healthy Orange Julius

When I was a kid one of my favorite treats to get at the mall was an Orange Julius.  I loved that delicious combination of oranges, sugar and ice and would spend those afternoons at the mall sipping my beverage as content as could be.  It’s been a long time since I had one of those drinks, and decided to try my hand at making a healthy Orange Julius. For additional juice options visit www.orangina-na.com/products/. 

Healthy Orange Julius PinI found that it’s ridiculously easy to make a healthy orange julius, because the ingredient list is so short!  Just some fresh oranges, a hint of banana, vanilla, ice, and unsweetened almond milk and you are done.  That’s it.

The banana adds a nice creaminess and sweetness to the drink so you don’t even miss the sugar.  The vanilla, ice and oranges give it that traditional Orange Julius taste, and the unsweetened almond milk finishes it off.

If you wanted to make this an “adult” healthy orange julius, I recommend adding some Veev Coconut Colada or even a splash of rum to give it a tropical beverage feel.  I may or may not have had some spiked healthy orange julius drinks while watching some Sunday football.  Ahem

Bottom line is, you need this drink in your life.

Healthy Orange Julius GlassesHealthy Orange Julius (makes 1 large or two smaller servings)


1 orange, peeled

1/2 frozen banana

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 cups ice


Place ingredients in blender.  Blend until nice and smooth.  Add a shot of liquor if you feel so inclined.

Healthy orange Julius close upDrink, and enjoy!

What was your favorite snack at the mall as a kid?

Flourless Pumpkin Brownies

We recently spending an afternoon cleaning out our pantry and I stumbled upon a few cans of pumpkin that had been sitting pretty since last fall.  I’m a firm believer that pumpkin tastes good any time of year and after some quick googling, decided to whip up a batch of flourless pumpkin brownies.

I’ve actually been a fan of flourless desserts for quite some time now but for whatever reason never make them.  I think my appreciation for the flour-free dessert stems back to when one of my former employers took our staff to a cooking school for a team bonding activity.  We were broken up into teams, and then in true Iron Chef fashion had to create a variety of dishes using a secret ingredient.  We were then judged and could enjoy our dishes as our dinner.  Of course for this challenge the secret ingredient was corn, so I couldn’t eat really any of the dishes with the exception of a flourless chocolate cake that was made for dessert.  So while the rest of my team chowed down on corn-studded guacamole, I enjoyed a dinner of flourless chocolate cake which was oh so delicious.

But back to these brownies.  They are made with pumpkin, egg, cocoa powder and almond butter which adds a nice flavor.  The original recipe called for unsweetened cocoa powder and agave syrup, but I had neither so I used semisweet cocoa powder instead.

The Englishman and I enjoyed these as a Sunday night treat while watching Nik Wallenda walk across the Grand Canyon on a wire.  Did anyone else see that?  So stressful.  Thank god we had brownies to comfort us.

These brownies are a perfect treat when your sweet tooth strikes but you don’t want to go too overboard.  Of course, if you made these into a brownie sundae, I wouldn’t object.

Flourless Pumpkin Brownies (adapted from this recipe)


  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup semisweet cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.  In a large mixing bowl add your pumpkin, egg whites, cocoa powder, almond butter, vanilla and baking soda.  Mix until well-blended.

Pour your batter into a greased brownie pan and top with chocolate chips.  Because this is a flourless mixture, the batter will be much thinner than traditional brownie batter.

flourless brownies bakedBake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.  Remove from oven and let the brownies cool for 15 minutes before cutting into slices (I didn’t wait long enough for mine).  The brownies will be light and gooey and delicious!


Vegan Black Bean Brownies

I have seen black bean brownie recipes all over the web and nearly every recipe claims that the brownies are crazy delicious, event though the brownies have little to no butter and sometimes no eggs at all.  I mean, black beans in brownies?  Aren’t brownies supposed to be full of eggs and butter?

I decided to go the vegan route with my first attempt at black bean brownie making and I am pleased to say it was a success!  While the texture is more dense and not as gooey as a brownie, you cannot taste the black beans at all.  It’s a nice low-calorie dessert with a little extra fiber with a nutritional boost.

If you are looking for a decadent brownie, then this is not it, but if you are looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth while not being a sugar bomb, then bake away my friends!

Vegan Black Bean Brownies (adapted from this recipe)

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and filled with new water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of water
1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt and baking powder.  Add in the cocoa, brown sugar and maple syrup and blend well.

Drain your can of black beans (to remove the salty residue) and rinse well with water.  Once the beans are clean you can either puree them or just add them to the mixture.  I personally did not puree the beans and the brownies still came out nice.

Add the beans to your dry ingredients and blend together.  Add your cup of water (you might need to add another 1/2 cup) and chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 pan, or you can use this nifty dessert bar pan I used from Bed Bath and Beyond.

This pan is perfect for brownies because they come out in little squares.

Bake for 25-30 minutes and make sure not to leave them in too long or the brownies will become too dry.  Let brownies cool completely and cut into squares.

The Englishman loved these brownies and he HATES black beans (he couldn’t taste them at all), so if that isn’t a testimonial as to the deliciousness of these brownies, I don’t know what is!

Lightened Up Gluten-Free Berry Crumble

It isn’t a secret that I am a fan of fruit-based desserts.  All you have to do is take a peek at my recipe page where you will find things like the Fall Harvest Crumble and the decadent Mile High Apple Pie.

I was recently contacted by the kind folks at Driscoll’s Berries to come up with a delicious berry recipe that was not only tasty, but gluten-free as well.  Of course I jumped at the chance especially since I am quite the berry fan.  Now came the tricky part, what to make?

After much contemplation (this is serious business you know), I decided to go with a lightened up berry crumble that not only tasted great, but was gluten-free as well.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the traditional crumbles loaded with brown sugar and butter (see: Fall Harvest Crumble), but for a nice light dessert or snack this was pretty delicious.  Plus this crumble topping is versatile enough that you can use it on yogurt for an afternoon snack or even mixed with more fruit and nuts for a muesli of sorts.

Thanks Driscoll’s for the opportunity and providing me with coupons to use your delicious berries in a dish!

Lightened Up Gluten-Free Berry Crumble


Fresh berries of your choice (I went with blackberries, blueberries and raspberries)

1 cup gluten-free oats

1/3 cup gluten-free oat bran

1/3 cup pecans

1/3 cup honey (to make this crumble vegan, use maple syrup)

1/4 cup water

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tbsp sugar (you can add the sugar if you want, but the honey already provides enough sweetness)


Preheat your oven to 350F.

Wash and rise your berries and place them into ramekins or another small baking dish.

In a small bowl mix the oats, oat bran, pecans and cinnamon together.  Pour in the honey and water and mix well.

Cover berries with the crumble mixture.

Sprinkle the top of the ramekins with sugar and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the crumble turns light brown.

Let the ramekins cool, and dig in and enjoy!  Preferably with some ice cream.