A healthy sundae recipe?
There’s nothing like the sweeter things in life. A piece of rich dark chocolate can remind you why life is worth living, and there’s no better way to conjure summer than in a slice of pie. But dessert is best served without a side of guilt – and we see no reason why a little indulgence should get in the way of your healthy lifestyle (and vice versa!). In fact, constantly depriving yourself of treats can actually make you more likely to abandon your diet or binge eat. Believe it or not, it’s possible to have your cake and eat it, too, with some simple food swaps.
Try these 6 healthy takes on the classic ice cream sundae:
Base – Sundaes are built around ice cream. Try swapping it out for coconut ice cream, frozen yogurt, homemade banana ice cream, or something else entirely. What I love to do: slice a pear in half, remove the core, poach it for 15 minutes, then sandwich a square of dark chocolate between the two halves to melt. Top with a small scoop of ice cream (or not) for a healthy treat so rich and indulgent your taste buds will do a double take.
Fruit – From raspberries to golden berries, there’s an antioxidant-rich superfood out there for your sundae. Add dried fruit for a concentrated burst of flavor or make your own fruit sauce with no added sugar for a simple superfood sundae.
Sprinkles – Nuts and seeds will add substance, protein, and a wonderful crunch to your dessert. Mix and match your favorite raw nuts with other toppings – think pecans with fresh cherries, or hazelnuts with roasted peaches. Pretty soon you’ll have forgotten that ice cream was ever a part of the occasion (kidding – we all know that’s impossible!). We also love adding coconut curls and cacao nibs for a superfood crunch.
Extras – This might not sound like the tastiest tip, but topping your sundae with a little chia, hempseed, or PGX granules will it out by adding fibre, which in turn will help your body handle the extra sugar and even help you feel full sooner. To take this from good advice to irresistible addition, toss flaxseeds in a drizzle of maple syrup and dehydrate on low temperature. Whole flaxseeds give you fibre – grind them to unlock even more nutrients.
Spices – A hint of vanilla bean, some fragrant all spice, or a dash of cinnamon – spices are great ways to add flavor without adding calories. Cinnamon especially is known for its ability to regulate blood sugar levels already within the normal range, so it’s a great addition to any sweet treat.*
Sauces – Let’s face it, when it comes to sundaes, ice cream is just a (delicious) vehicle for chocolate sauce and caramel. Look for healthy versions of these decadent toppings – like cacao nibs, or melted high quality organic dark chocolate. You can do amazing things with dates – like make your own caramel or fudge sauce.
Healthy Caramel Sauce
½ cup dates
½ cup almond, cashew, or coconut milk (or regular milk)
¼ tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 ½ tbsp. cocoa powder (for fudge sauce)
Blend equal parts dates and milk of choice (for this recipe, ½ cup of each, but you can easily adjust to make more or less – this is a very forgiving recipe) with vanilla extract and pinch of salt.
Transfer to a saucepan and heat on low for 5-10 minutes, until it reduces to half the original volume (about ½ a cup).
If you’re going for straight caramel sauce, you’re ready to go. If it’s fudge sauce you’re looking for, stir in cocoa powder.
Serving suggestion: Drizzle warm over ice cream, fresh fruit, oatmeal, or yogurt and top with chopped nuts.
Looking for a healthy precursor to your sundae? Explore the PGX recipe page for yummy options to suit any time of day.
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.