13 Sugar-Free Dessert and Snack Ideas

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Sugar-Free Desserts and Snacks

Written by Melinda Hershey, Health Educator

Put down the ice cream pint! There are better ways to satisfy those pesky sugar cravings. Check out these sweet suggestions for fun, simple desserts and snacks that will leave you feeling satisfied without the sugar crash.

Soft-Serve Banana Ice Cream

Yes, you can make fat-free, sugar-free soft-serve at home! You only need two things: frozen bananas and a food processor. Sweet and simple on its own, you can also top with dark cocoa powder, nuts, or sugar-free caramel sauce before you devour it.

Sugar-Free Blueberry Muffins

These sugar-free muffins make quick, portion-controlled snacks that will bust your sugar craving without wreaking havoc on your waistline. You can easily tweak this simple recipe to suit your tastes and dietary preferences. Don't like white flour? Use whole wheat pastry flour instead. Not crazy about blueberries? Substitute chopped apples, raspberries, or blackberries. The sky's the limit!

Microwaved Baked Apples

Apples are delicious raw, but warming them takes the texture and flavor up a notch and makes for a quick and easy comfort food.

Core an apple and put it in a microwave-safe bowl. Stuff the middle with dried fruit and nuts of your choice and pour a few tablespoons of water over the dried fruit to soften it. Dust the apple with cinnamon (and a sprinkle of artificial sweetener, if desired). Microwave on high until the apple is tender, about 5 minutes, and let it stand for 5 additional minutes before digging in.

Dried Fruit

Love gummy, chewy candies like licorice or gummy bears? Satisfy your cravings with dried fruit instead. It's a great way to get in some nutrients while quelling your sweet tooth. Just beware of portion sizes since dried fruit is highly concentrated, it contains more calories per ounce than fresh fruit. Additionally, make sure to select varieties that say "no sugar added" on the label, as many dried fruits are made with added sweeteners.

Faux Frosty

Skip the drive-thru and whip up a faux frosty at home for a satisfying dessert without the sugar crash later on.

Sugar-Free Candy and Gum

Sugar-free candy is a great way to get a taste of the sweetness you crave without the added sugar and calories. Keep a portion-controlled package of sugar-free sweets on hand to satisfy your cravings in a pinch.

Trail Mix

Trail mix is one of the easiest snacks to throw together. Simply mix up your favorite nuts, dried fruits, and sugar-free cereals and store in an airtight container. Try pretzels, nuts and raisins for a sweet and salty combination, or add in some plain shredded wheat for a boost of sugar-free fiber.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Love the taste of pumpkin pie but not all the calories? This crustless pumpkin pie recipe is a comforting, sugar-free, and low-fat way to enjoy the health benefits of pumpkin.

Apple Slices with Peanut Butter

A sliced crunchy apple mixed with smooth, creamy peanut butter is always a winning combination. Make sure to choose the natural variety of peanut butter, as conventional brands tend to be filled with hidden sugars. Sprinkle raisins on top for added chewiness!

Mock Kettle Corn

Who doesn't love the classic sweet-and-salty snack combination? Munch on this kettle corn for the crunch and flavor that you crave without all the added sugar and fat.

Luscious Fruit Dip

This dip tastes so decadent that you won't even realize it's sugar-free! It's a great vehicle for fruit, graham crackers, or pretzels. Try experimenting with different flavors of yogurt for even more variety.

Fruit Smoothies

When you make them right, smoothies can feel just as indulgent as milkshakes do--without all the calories. Experiment with your favorite sugar-free yogurts, frozen fruits, fruit juice and/or milks. Most fruit smoothies are so sweet and delicious that they don't even need any added sweetener.

Try this peanut butter-banana smoothie, which is sweetened with honey. To make it completely free of sweeteners, omit the honey and use plain or sugar-free yogurt.

Grilled Strawberry Sandwich

This recipe from Chef Meg makes for a sweet, creamy, and crispy afternoon snack, or a great alternative to sugary stuffed French toast.

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Member Comments on this Slideshow

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6/18/2012 9:16:49 PM

ELBALL's SparkPage
I also have an intolerance to artificial sweeteners and would love to see more low-sugar or no-added-sugar recipe collections that do not call for artificial sweeteners.


6/18/2012 4:34:35 PM

I'd like to see good desserts with sugar. I can't have artificial sweeteners, and it blows my mind when I find one lurking on an ingredient list. Moderation wins the weight race, as far as I'm concerned!


6/18/2012 3:56:58 PM

I agree with the other folks who do not use artificial sweetners. I do use stevia, however. And bear in mind that dried fruit is very high in sugar and carbohydrates.


6/18/2012 2:53:18 PM

FROSTFOX's SparkPage
Some of these snacks, like dried fruit, are very sugary.


6/18/2012 2:03:19 PM

Thanks for sharing.


6/18/2012 12:06:31 PM

I'll have to take issue with this article being termed "Sugar Free" desserts and snacks. While most of these items are free of ADDED sugar, one is sweetened with honey. Sorry folks, but honey IS sugar!


6/18/2012 12:02:31 PM

Thank you for this article. Saved several of the recipes to try. Sounds yummy!


6/18/2012 10:51:35 AM

I agree with SusanL224, I am also highly allergic to artificial sweetners. Also artificial sweetners are carcinaginic, people should not be using it.


6/18/2012 10:04:05 AM

SUSANL224's SparkPage
The title of this article was tempting and I was hopeful that I could find something in it until I started to look at the recipes. So many call for artificial sweeteners. As someone who is terribly allergic to all artificial sweeteners, most of these ideas won't work for me. Now, if you can come up with suggestions for snacks that do not use anything artificial and is low sugar, then I would be really excited.


6/18/2012 8:38:29 AM

These were some good ideas! I'll be trying a few myself!


6/18/2012 7:29:49 AM

Friuts are very healthy as snacks, each have it's own natural sugar but still have to be eaten in moderation.


6/18/2012 6:58:22 AM

LEANMEAN2's SparkPage
Thanks for sharing


6/18/2012 5:42:55 AM

I hope NO ONE gets fooled by the term "sugar-free" because these are NOT sugar-free.

Bananas have sugar, yogurt has sugar in it even when fat-free, blueberries have sugar in them, etc., etc., etc.


6/18/2012 4:36:29 AM

As a diabetic, I've found that Barley Malt and Brown Rice syrup add sweetness without spiking my blood sugars. I love to take 2 cups of raw pecans, add 1/2 cup of brown rice syrup and cook over medium high heat until the Brown Rice Syrup is absorbed and gets hard. These are crunchy and delicious as an alternative. You can add a little cinnamon for a delicious candy treat. It satisfies my cravings for sweets without spiking my blood sugars. They are absolutely yummy on plain yogurt with a little fresh fruit for sweetness. I don't usually eat more than a 3/4 cup serving with about 6 pecans sprinkled on top.


6/11/2012 4:04:21 PM

--KREN's SparkPage
It would be more helpful if, instead of just listing carbs and fiber, you also listed sugar grams. Thanks

Sugar doesn't have to be added to be there. I was all excited to try these for my diabetic Mother, but most of these snacks have a lot of carbs (ie sugar).

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