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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7/4/2012 10:14:20 AM

MONTREAL12's SparkPage
Love it! Thank-you!


6/25/2012 3:43:45 PM

I use stevia instead of artificial sugar or real sugar. It's completely natural.


6/24/2012 12:55:59 PM

I'd forgotten that baked apples could be so good! I'm off to see if we have any raisins


6/21/2012 10:35:44 AM

Does anyone out there count the sugars in fruit in their daily allowance? I find myself eating lesss fruit than I should, only because if I have used up my amount for the day I don't want to add more. Fresh berries, pineapple and grapes seem so innocent but can they really be bad for you?


6/20/2012 10:47:17 PM

VXWALL1942's SparkPage
Whereas the recipes have a good deal of appeal, it is very important that a diabetic especially limit their fresh fruit because of the natural sugars. Now portion control with only one of these goodies might just cut it.


6/19/2012 7:29:24 PM

While these suggestions may have no added sugar, fruit has natural sugar---so your title is mis-leading.


6/19/2012 2:03:44 PM

lovely idea


6/19/2012 2:03:44 PM

lovely idea


6/19/2012 1:11:17 AM

I agree with DB. But I do have to say that even tho fruit has fiber and antioxidants and a whole host of other amazing stuff that's good for you it does fall under the "in moderation" catagory. So as much as I think I'd LOVE the banana ice cream or the strawberry queso I'd only do one serving as a snack. lol


6/18/2012 10:29:05 PM

Some of these ideas are fantastic, and some of them raise an eyebrow.

I love banana ice cream, but if you're looking for something really decadent, let me one-up it by saying add some avocado or some nut butter. It does raise calories, but it's so good and it's completely natural. I passed up homemade cupcakes at a party today because I would rather have my banana-avocado ice cream with lots of unsweetened cocoa powder mixed in and fresh berries chopped on top.

The ones with all the artificial sweeteners are the ones that make me hesitate. I'm not a fan of that stuff.

I do not understand the attitude that the fruit-based treats here are bad because fruit has sugar in it. Yeah, it has sugar in it, but it also has tons of fiber and doesn't spike insulin the way added sugar and processed desserts do. Besides, with all the vitamins available in fruit, are you really going to eschew fruit just because it has some natural sugar? Fruit is not the enemy --- overprocessing is.


6/18/2012 9:16:49 PM

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

LRCOTE's SparkPage
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.

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