Just because your dessert is sugar-free doesn’t mean it should be bland and uninspiring. An unappetizing dessert beats the purpose of indulging as this part of your meal is supposed to stimulate a certain feeling of pleasure in the brain.
Sweetness is associated with excess sugar and carbohydrates, which is not sustainable if you want to stay healthy. You must be asking yourself if it’s even possible to eat that cake and have the health benefits.
Well, you are not alone. A lot of research has gone into this topic over the years, and many dessert lovers have somehow found that sweet spot where savory desserts comply with health requirements. This article shares a range of sugar-free, low carb dessert recipes and how to have a delicious treat without overindulging in things like heavy whipping cream, chocolate cake, cheesecake, or ice cream.
We want to enable you to enjoy the treat without feeling guilty, as you will be indulging in something that is also nutritionally beneficial to the body.
Sugar Free Low Carb Dessert Ideas
1. Crispy Peanut Butterscotch Pie
This frozen pie has a cool creaminess that contrasts well with the crunch of its oven-toasted rice cereal. The instant butterscotch pudding mix and a tinge of honey give it that dessert appeal, and you will be forgiven for not realizing it falls in the low-carb section.
To make it, combine rice cereal with peanut butter and a little honey then cover it with a whipped topping. If you’re craving chocolate, you can swap the butterscotch pudding for chocolate pudding.
2. Peanut Butter Banana Pudding
This pudding recipe is as easy to make as it is delicious. It is basically vanilla wafers topped with banana slices, pudding mix, and a whipping cream topping. Try to ensure the ingredients are fat-free or have reduced fat. Toss the bananas in lemon juice to preserve their color and texture. If you want to try something different, swap out the peanut butter for your favorite nut butter.
3. Strawberries with Crunchy Almond Topping
Make this sweet natural treat by marinating strawberries in sweetened amaretto, an almond-flavored liqueur, for up to eight hours, then sprinkling crushed amaretti cookies on them. You can top it up with sour cream for a gorgeous presentation and to add flavor. It is best served cold to preserve the texture and retain as many natural nutrients as possible.
4. Sour Cream Pound Cake
This pound cake is a lighter version of regular sour cream pound cake with lower carbs. The cleverly tweaked ingredients ensure there is no noticeable difference in flavor. It uses light sour cream and less sugar than your regular pound cake.
5. Super Seed Snack Bars
This cookie bar recipe is surprisingly nut-free. Instead, it contains chia, hemp, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds. The result is packed with nutrients, like protein, fiber, minerals, and healthy fats. Mix the seeds with tahini and a small amount of honey, and then bake.
The cookie bars are also gluten, soy, and egg-free, so chances of triggering an irritation are minimal. The bars also pack well, and you can even have your dessert outdoors when picnicking or hiking.
6. Strawberry-Chocolate Greek Yogurt Bark
This healthy dessert can also be used as a snack and is great for both kids and adults. It is only sweetened lightly using maple syrup or honey. It is low in calories, carbs, and fat and is gluten, egg, and nut-free.
Scatter the strawberries on top of the yogurt and sweetener mix, then sprinkle chocolate chips on top of it and let it freeze until it becomes firm. Then, cut your bark, just like regular chocolate bars, into as many portions as you like.
7. Dark Chocolate Hummus
This creamy dip is a clean, healthy food as all the main ingredients – dark chocolate, tahini, and chickpeas – are superfoods in their own right. You blend all the ingredients, adding olive oil or coconut oil and natural sweeteners as needed.
You can then dip your bananas, apple slices, strawberries, or any other dessert course into the sweet dessert hummus.
8. Crispy Peanut Butter Balls
This simple healthy crispy treat requires only four ingredients: peanut butter, crispy rice cereal, maple syrup, and molten dark chocolate chips. It’s a great alternative to a sugar-filled peanut butter cookie. The peanut butter, maple syrup, and rice cereal are first thoroughly mixed, rolled into balls, and allowed to freeze so they can firm up. Then they are rolled in the molten chocolate and allowed to freeze some more.
It is vegan and free from gluten, eggs, soy, and dairy. You can also make it peanut-free by replacing peanut butter with almond or sunflower seed butter.
9. Diabetic Carrot Cake
This low-carb dessert can fit in a low-sugar diet comfortably, and it will handle those intense cravings that threaten to make you stray from your diet. The cake even has a fluffy cream cheese frosting, just make sure you use reduced-fat cream cheese, light whipped cream dessert topping the smallest amount of sugar possible.
Bake the shredded carrot part separately from the flaxseed part, and then layered them with fluffy cream cheese frosting in between and as the top layer. Garnish with coarsely shredded carrots for presentation.
How to Make Sugar Free Low Carb Desserts
The FDA defines sugar-free food as food with less than half a gram of sugar, whether it is naturally occurring or added. Naturally occurring sugar here means the sugar that the food has in its natural form. Many dessert ingredients will have some form of sugar because people seek that sweetness in the dessert.
The amount of sugar varies from one component to another depending on countless variables, including how they were grown, how ripe they are, their natural composition, and the combined contribution of the ingredients. It is therefore extremely difficult to guarantee half a gram when making the dessert, and it is taken as a guide rather than an absolute figure when classifying desserts as sugar-free.
The goal is to reduce the amount of sugar that makes up the finished dessert as much as possible and to make it such that a small portion is sufficient to satisfy the craving for sweet food, keeping actual consumption within the sugar-free threshold.
There are many tricks to achieve this, which are easy to execute and have been applied throughout our low carb desserts above. Note that while some of these desserts may be keto-friendly, they may not all work for a strict keto diet.
Use Naturally Sweet Ingredients
Using naturally sweet ingredients eliminates the need to use sweeteners and avoid complex recipes loaded with carbs. Watermelons, strawberries, bananas, carrots, and other fruits are naturally sweet. Milk comes with its own lactose sugar as well as many other foods.
Natural sugar is not as concentrated as commercially available sweeteners and won’t immediately impact your blood sugar. The gradual infusion into your body helps you maintain that nice feeling longer, warding off the urge to consume more calories. Wholesome foods also deliver other nutrients to the body, which somewhat justifies any calories they might add to the diet.
Use Natural Sweeteners When Necessary
Sometimes you need to enhance the taste; some natural dessert ingredients like dark chocolate tend to be bitter while others are bland tasting and don’t offer the kick you seek in a dessert.
Natural sweeteners are more likely to add nutritious value and are less potent in their sugar content than an artificial sweetener. Natural sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit have very low caloric content, their contribution to the carb content in a recipe is negligible. Others, like honey, maple syrup, and agave, have calories. Because they are wholesome, though, they are also filling and promote portion control.