Now that the holiday season is over, many of us may be looking to ditch desserts for a while to make up for the many treats that were consumed throughout December. Instead of completely ruling out anything sweet, if you are looking for a healthy swap, here is a way to "hack" your dessert plate: Raw Desserts.
Raw desserts are an awesome way to get your dessert fix without consuming processed sugars. Most raw desserts use raw nuts to make amazing things. Seriously, those two raw cheesecakes pictures below are made with cashews! And they are awesome. As in really, really deliciously awesome.
What is a Raw Dessert?
Raw food hasn’t been cooked, processed, microwaved, irradiated, genetically engineered, or exposed to pesticides or herbicides. It includes fresh fruits, berries, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and herbs in their whole, natural state. Proponents say cooking destroys most of the vitamins in food and crucial enzymes. In general, the temperature determined to be the cut off is around 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Raw desserts are desserts made using raw foods.
I am not a proponent of eating entirely raw foods, but dessert seems to me to be one of the areas where the raw versions flat out trump the processed versions. I don't seem to get any of the negative consequences traditionally associated with eating desserts if they are raw. My blood sugar doesn't spike (probably because there are always good fats, fiber and protein included in raw desserts via ingredients such as nuts, seeds, coconut oil, whole fruits and veggies.) I don't get a food coma after eating them and they digest well.
Raw desserts often use dates as the sugar, sometimes maple syrup/agave/raw honey, but never any processed sugars. Personally, I'm not a big fan of agave, so maple syrup and raw honey are my go-to sweetners when a liquid sweetner is required. I also like using Brown Rice Syrup since it is fructose-free. And, because raw desserts are chock full of goodies like raw cacao, raw nuts, and other whole-antioxidant-rich foods, raw desserts are full of lots of vitamins and minerals, unlike most processed desserts which are completely devoid of nutritional value. Not to mention that processed desserts are often incredibly detrimental to our bodies. Therefore, for anyone who fears that they can't possibly satisfy their sweet tooth without consuming crap, I say "Fear not! Make yourself a raw dessert!"
They are pretty simple to make usually, unless you want to get all kinds of fancy. Which you can. You can make raw desserts that would bring the house down if you'd like. Or you can keep it simple and still blow the minds of any naysayer out there.
Pictured above are this cheesecake recipe from The Wellness Warrior via Eat Awesome and this chocolate cheesecake recipe from Detoxinista. (Surprise: The chocolate cake has an entire cup of zucchini in it! And it's soooo good!)
Happy Raw Dessert Eating!