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Six Plant-Based Dessert Ideas for the Whole Family + My New Berry Crumble Recipe

Whether you’re craving a baked goodie to dunk in tea, a raw treat that can be whipped up in a jiffy, or a sweet that’s so healthy it could be eaten for breakfast, these plant-based dessert ideas are guaranteed to satisfy ye olde sweet tooth. 

If you’re looking for healthier versions of your traditional favourite desserts, you’re in the right place. Here are some of the best (in my very crumble oops humble and non-biased opinion) plant-based dessert ideas. 

Ready? 

Cookies

“I hate cookies!” said no sane person ever.

But seriously, who doesn’t love a good cookie? I believe cookies are the dessert that is destined to send your tastebuds back to a time where you were sitting in front of a fire, cookie in one hand, tea in the other, and smiles plastered across the faces of your favourite people.

My favourite cookie combinations are relatively straightforward to make. I usually combine almond meal with eggs or chia seed eggs, maple syrup, baking powder and a pinch of salt. For extra goodness, I’ll add choc chips, nut butter or mixed nuts. 

I genuinely believe cookies are one of the most comforting foods you’ll ever bite into. These Banana and Quinoa Cookies are for all my fellow cookie monsters.

Bliss Balls

What was once dubbed a revolutionary healthy and tasteless phenomenon has now become the new norm. These days you can find raw, vegan bliss balls at your local café and supermarket. That said, typical bliss balls are usually overloaded with sweeteners and dried fruit + sulphites, which means this ‘healthy dessert’ isn’t that healthy at all. 

While fruit is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, overconsumption of dried fruit can lead to gastrointestinal problems, weight gain and quick sugar highs. Save yourself the tummy trouble and keep the dried fruit in your bliss balls to a minimum. You’ll thank me later.

These hemp and tahini bliss balls are my go-to.

Raw Cheesecake 

Does anyone else have a soft spot for cheesecake? It wraps up two of the most delicious foods on the planet – cheese and cake – with a pretty bow.

But, for my friends who avoid processed foods, gluten, dairy, sugar and eggs, cheesecake probably sends you running in the opposite direction. Until now. 

It’s possible to craft a cheesecake that’s raw, gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free. Before you roll your eyes at me at the idea of a cheese-less cheesecake, just trust me.

My favourite cheesecake is a raw mango cheesecake

For the base, simply combine a mix of nuts, coconut, coconut butter and sea salt in a blender to get a crumbly yet firm foundation. You may need to add in some filtered water. Then, place it in a dish and pop it in the freezer.  

For the filling, combine cashews, mango, coconut butter, lemon juice, coconut milk and a bit of honey in your blender. Place the mixture on top of the base and place it in the freezer to set. 

Keep the cheesecake in the freezer for a few hours, and then serve with fresh berries. It’s sure to convert even the biggest sceptic. 

Sweet Nuts

Are you looking for a quick nibble? 

Sweet and spiced nuts are an excellent and easy sweet snack that you can make with your family. Sweet and spiced nuts are rich in both protein and fat, which means they keep us full. Simply combine mixed nuts with rice malt syrup, sea salt, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and maybe chilli if you’re a bit daring for a nibbly sweet and spicy snack. 

If you’ve got a chocolate craving, roast your nuts in the oven with a pinch of salt, melt dark chocolate over the stove and coat the nuts in the dark chocolate. Everyone will go nuts for them!

Banana Bread

Did you really experience lockdown if you didn’t venture into banana bread land? Banana bread is a relatively fuss-free loaf that holds its own. 

Bananas are incredibly nutrient-rich, containing fibre, several antioxidants and potassium, which supports a healthy heart and can even help lower blood pressure. Plus, bananas contain magnesium, which means they’re excellent for relieving cramps and aches.

The problem with bananas, however, is that they can ripen quickly. That’s where our saviour, banana bread, comes in. 

Who would have thought combining overripe bananas with flour, eggs, baking powder, a sweetener of your choice, and a bit of milk would create a dreamy, moist and satisfying dessert? My family goes bananas for coconut banana bread. 

Berry Crumble 

If any nutritionist says that a healthy breakfast needs to be savoury (read: boring), they’re wrong. It’s possible to make a crumble that’s so nutritious and pleasurable; you could eat it for breakfast. 

A good berry crumble feels like a soul-hugging dessert; it’s nourishing, guilt-free and perfect for savouring over a long and slow Sunday morning. 

While berries are traditionally used in a crumble, if they’re not in season, they can be expensive. So, this is your invitation to get creative and substitute berries for apples, pears, or whatever else you have sitting in your fridge or freezer. 

This is my favourite berry crumble recipe.  

 Start with the topping.  

Topping

  •     1 cup cashews, roughly chopped
  •     1/2 cup macadamias
  •     1/2 cup almonds
  •     3 tablespoons butter or you can use 2 tablespoons coconut oil for vegan
  •     2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  •     Pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place all the topping ingredients apart from butter/oil in a food processor and roughly chop.

Transfer to a bowl and rub the butter in or add coconut oil and stir and set aside.

Filling

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder, paste or one scraped out vanilla pod
  • 2 tablespoons almond meal
  • Zest of 1/2 lime
  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) mixed berries (can use frozen)

To make the filling, mix the maple syrup, vanilla and almond meal with the lime zest.

Place the berries in a saucepan and pour over the mixed syrup.  

Mix gently to combine, taking care not to break up the berries. 

Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.

Transfer to a pie dish and sprinkle over the topping ingredients. 

Place in oven and cook for 20-25 mins.

For the best result, serve this crumble straight from the oven with a generous dollop of chilled yoghurt or whipped coconut cream. 

This berry crumble is vegan-friendly, gluten-free and free of refined sugar, making it the perfect goodie to share with friends and neighbours.

There you have it, my favourite plant-based dessert ideas. I hope you enjoy them!

One Response to “Six Plant-Based Dessert Ideas for the Whole Family + My New Berry Crumble Recipe”

  1. Sue says:

    Thanks for these wonderful recipes and nutritional news

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