I get a lot of requests for healthy recipes from our customers. And more than anything, people want recipes for healthy dessert. Everyone loves sweets…including me.

But here’s the thing: many of our customers are trying to cut back on sugar. Either they’re diabetics who want to keep their blood sugar in check or they’re trying to fight sugar addiction…one of the leading causes of obesity in America.

I’ve got good news if you’re trying to limit your sugar but not ready to give up on desserts…these delicious raspberry walnut bars are high in fiber, rich in healthy fats and loaded with protein.

They’re free of grain, free of dairy and are sweetened naturally – there’s no added sugar in these treats at all. Plus, they’re loaded with other benefits:

1 – Fiber: Fiber helps your body regulate blood sugar. Your body doesn’t absorb all types of fiber, and it doesn’t require insulin to digest what it absorbs, so you don’t produce a big rush of insulin when you eat a fiber-rich food.

Foods rich in fiber also tend to have a lot of bulk, which helps keeps you full for a long time.

2 – Fat: Now I know that fat gets a bad rap, but eating fat won’t make you fat…certain fats actually have proven health benefits. This recipe features olive oil, which helps stabilize blood sugar.

How? olive oil, along with other monounsaturated fats, has been shown to slow the body’s glucose absorption, preventing sugar spikes and crashes.

3 – Protein: The walnuts in this recipe are rich in healthy. Along with helping you feel full longer, protein helps draw the sugars you consume into your cells and convert it to energy efficiently.

Ready for the recipe? I love that this recipe works with pretty much any fruit. I love it with raspberries, but peaches, blueberries, and strawberries are also delicious.

Supplies You’ll Need:

8” x 8” baking dish Food Processor or Blender Measuring Cups
Large Mixing Bowl Small Mixing Bowl Measuring Spoons
Saucepan Spatula Parchment or Cooking Spray

Ingredients:

For Crust

  • ½ pound walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup pitted dates
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For Filling

  • 2 cups no sugar added 100% fruit raspberry spread (or fruit of your choice)
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries (or fruit of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

For Crumble Topping

  • 1 cup walnuts
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

Step 1: First, prepare your baking pan by either lining it with parchment or spraying it very thoroughly with cooking spray.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: In a saucepan, combine the raspberries, the spread, and the sea salt. Cook on medium for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add vanilla when  the berries are warm and soft all the way through and the fruit spread has melted.

 

Step 3: In a food processor or blender, pulse the walnuts until they form a fine powder. Add the other ingredients and pulse until it begins to stick together. Empty into the baking dish and pack firmly, covering the dish with an even layer of  crust. Bake for 15 minutes.

Step 4: Combine all  the topping ingredients your blender and food processor and pulse until crumbly and combined. Set aside. You’ll use it in step 5.

Step 5: Pour berry mixture over the crust mixture.  Top with the crumble you made in step 4.

Step 6: Return to oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until filling is bubbling slowly through the crumble and appears set at the edges. Allow to cool completely, then cut into 16 squares (4X4) to serve.

Now, this isn’t an especially low calorie treat… is dessert after all.  But if you’re like many people on our list and trying to avoid added sugar, this is a great option for a special occasion.

And even if you’re not trying to avoid sugar, this dessert is vegan, grain-free and dairy free, so if you’re cooking for someone with dietary restrictions, it’s a great recipe to have on hand.

I hope this sugar free, grain free, dairy free treat helps solve some of your dessert dilemmas. Whether you’re looking for healthy desserts or copycats of your favorite fast food restaurants, leave a comment and let me know.

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About the Author

Dr. Amy Lee

Dr. Amy Lee has board certifications in internal medicine, physician nutrition and obesity medicine specialty. She practices internal medicine with a heavy emphasis on nutrition, wellness and weight management. Her Clinical nutrition fellowship training at UCLA has allowed her to incorporate realistic lifestyle modification in all her medicine patients.