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10 Desserts That Won't Derail Your Diet

author image Valerie Cogswell
A unique blend of Chef and Certified Nutrition Coach rolled into one, Valerie Cogswell attended Johnson & Wales University, where she earned degrees in both Nutrition and Culinary Arts. For the past 12 years, Valerie has worked one-on-one with thousands of clients, helping them let go of their dieting pasts and get fit with the food they love. You can find more of Valerie's restaurant-worthy recipes in the New York Times Bestseller Body Confidence or Social Media.

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10 Desserts That Won't Derail Your Diet
Courtesy of Valerie Cogswell

For people trying to get (and stay!) in shape, staying away from high-calorie dessert can be a battle. Not anymore: This collection of rich desserts will satisfy your sweet tooth without sabotaging your waistline. These desserts are deceptively high in protein and/or fiber, and some are even gluten-free. All of them are packed with natural, good-for-you ingredients like fruits, fiber-rich oats, chia seeds and protein-rich Greek yogurt. Best of all, these desserts are easy to prepare, family-friendly and many don’t even require an oven! Read on for 10 deceptively healthy and weight-friendly desserts.

1. Banana, Coconut and Salted Macadamia Nut Ice Cream
Courtesy of Valerie Cogswell


Have a craving for salty and sweet? This dairy-free, island-inspired dessert will cure your cravings without all of the excess fat and sugar of traditional ice cream. Whipped, frozen bananas serve as the base for this creamy dessert and are loaded with potassium and fiber. Macadamia nuts add crunch and heart-healthy fat. Slice bananas the day before and store overnight in the freezer in an airtight container to make this nutritious dessert the next day. NOTE: You’ll need a food processor for this recipe. CALORIES: 225

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

2. Warm Sweet Potato Pudding in a Jar
Courtesy of Valerie Cogswell


Sweet potatoes make for an inexpensive and nutrient-rich base in this warm and creamy pudding. Loaded with fiber and vitamins A, C and B6, sweet potatoes are a welcome addition to any healthy diet. Fragrant spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and pure vanilla add rich, sweet flavor without additional calories. A final spoonful of creamy mascarpone takes this pudding to a whole new level. You can make this satisfying treat and store in mason jars to eat throughout the week: Just reheat uncovered in the microwave with a tablespoon of almond milk if the pudding gets too thick. CALORIES: 270

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

3. Cherry-Mango Crumble
Courtesy of Valerie Cogswell


While most crumbles are made with nutritionally void white flour and sugar, Cherry-Mango Crumble gets its sweet, high-fiber crust from just oats and dates. Fresh, juicy mango and tart cherries are the stars of this all-natural dessert. Cherries are full of antiaging antioxidants and can even help to combat inflammation. Lush mango provides fiber and vitamins A and C. Serve this crumble after dinner with a dollop of all-natural light whipped cream or even as your carbohydrate choice for breakfast. This is one sweet treat you can feel really good about. CALORIES: 290

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

4. Chocolate Protein Chia Pudding
Courtesy of Valerie Cogswell


Chia seeds are popular because of their versatility and health benefits. Full of omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and protein, chia seeds swell when immersed in a liquid to form a decadent, tapioca-like pudding. Mixing in protein powder adds metabolism-boosting protein, and all-natural raw cacao powder lends additional rich, cocoa flavor without all of the fat and sugar found in traditional cocoa mixes. This simple yet indulgent pudding will satisfy your chocolate cravings while keeping your waistline from getting out of control. Top with fresh berries and enjoy for breakfast or dessert. CALORIES: 178

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

5. Date and Coconut Yogurt With Pistachios
Courtesy of Valerie Cogswell


This understated dessert is creamy and rich in protein from the Greek yogurt. The yogurt also helps balance the carbohydrates from the dates, which add sweetness, texture and fiber. A garnish of pistachios gives not only crunch, but also healthy fats that may help to lower cholesterol. CALORIES: 389

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

6. Raw Oat and Cacao Cookie Bites
Courtesy of Valerie Cogswell


Rich in fiber, these cookie bites are a nutritious substitute for traditional cookie dough. They have just the right amount of sweetness and will satisfy your craving for the real thing. Cacao nibs provide a rich chocolate crunch and antioxidants. Enjoy these energizing bites following a lighter meal that includes protein to help stabilize blood sugar, or enjoy with a quick protein shake on the side for a balanced breakfast. CALORIES: 135

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

7. Skillet Berry Cobbler
Courtesy of Valerie Cogswell


This gluten-free cobbler is delicious and simple to make. Traditional fruit cobbler includes a batter made of white flour and sugar, which can spike blood glucose levels and lead to fat storage. This version uses Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose flour, which has three grams of fiber per quarter-cup. A few handfuls of blueberries add powerful antioxidants to help slow aging and minimize inflammation. Strawberries -- also rich in antioxidants -- add fiber, folate and vitamin C. Use a quality nonstick skillet or fry pan for best results. Garnish with fresh berries and all-natural whipped cream, if desired. CALORIES: 293

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

8. Banana-Berry Protein Ice Cream
Courtesy of Valerie Cogswell


This ice cream is sweet, fruity and has a great balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat to stabilize your blood sugar levels and help you to naturally burn fat and boost your metabolism. Frozen whipped bananas add a nutritious dose of potassium and fiber. Raspberries lend this creamy treat fiber, potassium and powerful antiaging antioxidants like vitamin C, carotenoids, ellagic acid and quercetin to neutralize free radicals and help prevent aging and disease. Hydrolyzed whey protein powder helps to balance the natural carbohydrates from the fruit and makes this an ideal pre- or post-workout snack too. Top with fresh berries right before serving. CALORIES: 184

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

9. Mango-Berry Chia Parfait
Courtesy of Valerie Cogswell


Load up on muscle-building protein and fresh, antioxidant-rich fruits in this simple and satisfying dessert. Plain Greek yogurt has a whopping 20 grams of protein per cup and very little sugar compared with traditional yogurt. Sweet, juicy mango adds a dose of vitamin A, and strawberries are full of vitamin C and potassium. These high-fiber fruits pair beautifully with the tart yogurt. Chia seeds pack a nutritional punch -- they're high in protein, fiber and omega-3 heart-healthy fats. While chia seeds soften and swell when added to yogurt and left overnight, they add the perfect amount of texture when mixed with yogurt and eaten right away. CALORIES: 294

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

10. Chocolate Almond Protein Cocoa
Courtesy of Valerie Cogswell


This drink/dessert is rich, chocolaty and loaded with protein, so you can stay lean and boost your metabolism while indulging. A high-quality protein powder can help to build and repair muscle tissue and stabilize your blood sugar to prevent energy spikes and crashes. Almond butter helps to smooth out the cocoa and pairs beautifully with chocolate. Almonds are also high in monounsaturated fats, calcium, vitamin E and magnesium. Serve this family favorite with a dollop of all-natural light whipped cream to add flavor and creaminess with very little calories. CALORIES: 277

Related: See Complete Recipe and Nutritional Info in LIVESTRONG.COM’s Calorie Tracker

What Do YOU Think?
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Love delicious and deceptively lean recipes that actually help you get in shape? Which dessert are you looking forward to trying most? Did you learn any tricks to lighten up your favorite sweets? What sweet, healthy treats would you like us to whip up next? Let us know here!

Related: For more information, please visit Valerie Cogswell.

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