Like That? Love This! Week 2

4 classic comfort-food desserts get a healthy makeover

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It’s week two of Like That? Love This!, a new series in which we give comfort food recipes healthier makeovers. We heard you loud and clear—that you loved our nutritious and delicious versions of mac and cheese, pizza, burgers and mashed potatoes…but are also aching for delicious, better-for-you desserts. And who can blame you?

We chose classic cookies and cakes to reinvent, amping up the nutrients without sacrificing any of the flavors. If you like carrot cake, you’ll love our updated gluten-free version. If you are a chocolate-chip cookie fan, you’ll crave this better-for-you cookie. Check out the wholesome, delicious desserts below, and come back next week, when we’ll be improving the quality and the taste of your favorite breakfasts!

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

We are all chocolate-chip cookie lovers but one cookie can have as much as 200 calories and high saturated fat. For these ultra-chewy and tender cookies, Daphne Oz removed some sugar and half the butter, just enough to keep it delicious, and swapped flour for oats and shredded coconut. The toasted, caramelized oats and coconut add a rich, deep flavor and extra-chewy texture to the cookies, plus they’re a great source of dietary fiber and healthy fats. Oats also provide extra B vitamins to help boost your energy, so this is one afternoon snack with staying power.

Positively Delicious Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
Gluten Free Carrot Cake

Finally, a cake you can feel good about eating. We swapped butter for no-cholesterol coconut oil and grapeseed oil, and used heart-healthy ingredients like walnuts and almond flour. Coconut oil is composed of medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) that provide a quick source of energy. (We love Thrive Market’s Coconut Oil.) Grapeseed oil contains twice the amount of Vitamin E as olive oil, and has a higher amount of Omega-6 fats than any other oil. Not only do walnuts lend a mild rich, nutty flavor, they contain Omega 3s, which fight heart disease. Whether you make the easy low-sugar vanilla frosting or not, this is absolutely scrumptious.

Honey Almond Snack Cake
Honey Almond Snack Cake

This recipe for Joanne Chang’s Honey-Almond Snack Cake reduces sugar drastically while keeping a lightly sweet flavor. Ingredients like coconut oil, almond flour, and honey not only lend the cake a soft, moist texture, they produce a deep, complex flavor that processed white sugar just can’t match. Honey, like Really Raw Honey, doesn’t spike blood sugar, and is packed with natural enzymes and nutrients. Almond flour has a mildly sweet flavor when baked and is lower in carbs and higher in healthy fats than traditionally processed flour.

Apple Spice Dump Cake
Apple Spice Dump Cake

How is this for a recipe for success? Dump four ingredients into a pan and pop it in the oven, and 25 minutes later you have a gooey, yummy cobbler-like cake. Apples are naturally low in sugar and high in fiber, while grass-fed butter (like Organic Valley butter) boasts elevated levels of beneficial fatty acids including Omegas 3 and 6. Adding just a pinch of cinnamon provides a heap of health benefits thanks to the spice’s anti-diabetic and anti-Alzheimer properties. To perfect the recipe, we recommend one of our favorite gluten-free cake mixes, including King Arthur Flour, Pamela’s and Cake Therapy brands.