Healthy dessert: it might sound like fake news, but we promise it’s a true story. You really can treat yo’self without totally undoing your hard work in the gym. In fact, these PT-approved desserts will even level up your diet with extra nutrients for your bod. How sweet is that?
Let’s be real: with the weather warming up we know we'll soon be craving frozen deserts. So, how about a scoop that doubles as your post-workout protein hit? Personal trainer Rikki-Lee Petrie, founder of women’s workout group Bod Squad, is a fan of Halo Top. “It’s easy to think that protein should always be steamed chicken and that sweets mean sugar,” she says. “Desserts packed with protein are far better for you than the average dessert for so many reasons – protein helps promote feeling full for longer, reduces cravings, aids in muscle recovery and generally they’re lower in refined sugars.”
Petrie’s pick? The sea salt caramel. “The caramel is sweet enough to take away all my cravings but I don’t get that feeling of congestion and bloating afterwards, like some other sweet treats.”
Kiwi and berry chia pudding
Craving something a little bit fancy? This fruity chia pudding will deliver with its soft, creamy texture and complex flavours. “I love this dessert for a few reasons,” says PT and dietitian Josh Reed. “For starters, there’s the smooth consistency of the soaked chia, as well as the sweet and sour double hit you get from the kiwi and blueberry combo. To top it all off, I know it’s serving my gut health as well, as it’s packed full of fibre and prebiotics.”
You’ll need to prep this one the night before so it’s a great do-ahead option for a dinner party (or a solo date with Netflix). Just combine ½ cup black chia seeds with 2 cups almond milk and 1 tsp maple syrup. Cover and refrigerate overnight, then divide the chia pudding between two glasses and top with slices of kiwi fruit, fresh blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup. Delish!
Cookie dough protein balls
Hands up if eating raw cookie dough is your guilty pleasure? Add these protein balls to your Sunday night prep list asap. But be warned, PT and health coach Camilla Bazley reckons they might not even make it to the fridge. “They are that good you’ll need a portion control strategy,” she laughs. “I only ever pack two in my container for work. They’re a great 3pm sweet fix because they’re high in protein and good quality fats, so you’ll be left feeling satisfied.”
To make them, melt ½ cup of coconut oil with 1 tbsp almond butter and 1 tbsp rice malt syrup. Then stir in 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder, ½ cup almond meal, 2 tbsp chia seeds and 1 tbsp coconut chips and roll into balls. Pop them in the freezer to set.
Avocado chocolate mousse
Lizzie Bland, PT and founder of Lean Bean Fitness, is our kinda girl: “When it comes to dessert, I go for chocolate every time,” she says. If you’re bored with your usual two squares of 75 per cent, try whizzing up this luxe mousse. “It’s ridiculously easy to make and so satisfying because of its creamy richness,” Bland says. “Avocado is also high in seriously good monounsaturated fats and fibre, so you won’t crave more sweet stuff afterwards.” Sold.
This recipe serves eight (if you’re good with portion control, notes Bland) or four if you’re feeling generous. Blitz the flesh of two ripe avos in a food processor, then add 1 tsp vanilla extract, 60g cocoa powder, and six soaked dates and blitz again until smooth. Divide between glasses and devour.
Banana PB bites
PT Rebecca Chambers is serious swole goals, and a proud doughnut enthusiast. She also has a delish solution for “snackmergencies”. “When I don’t have room for a doughnut, I would go for something simple like chopped banana with peanut butter spread on it,” she says. Here’s how she makes it a next-level treat: “Spread the PB and use it as the glue for two banana pieces, like a little PB sandwich, and freeze it. Banana tastes like ice cream when you freeze it and the PB makes it amazing.”
It’s low-sugar, satisfying and best of all, you’ve probably got both ingredients in your kitchen right now. Make a batch and keep them in a zip-lock bag in the freezer for a quickie dessert fix.