Recipes

Too good to be healthy: Viewers' guilt-free dessert recipes

Feb. 5, 2014 at 8:37 PM ET

Video: Nutritionist Joy Bauer joins TODAY for our installment of “Too Good to be Healthy” to chat about several desserts, including one for gluten-free black bean brownies, made by our three finalists. Find the recipes at TODAY.com

Add dessert to your dinner tonight and don't spend a moment feeling bad about it. As part of dietitian and TODAY contributor Joy Bauer's "Too Good to be Healthy" competition, here are three chocolate dessert recipes from viewers that are made with guilt-free ingredients.

Frozen Chocolatey Banana-Almond Butter Cups
Melissa King
Makes 6 servings, 155 calories

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (or creamy peanut butter)
  • 1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean (or vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (or 3 oz dark chocolate)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk ( or skim, unsweetened soy or coconut milk)

In a small bowl, mix the banana, vanilla and almond butter. Mash it together and set aside. 
Place 6 liners in a muffin tin and spray liberally with oil spray. Silicone muffin liners work best as it’s easier to remove the chocolate when it’s time to eat. Set aside and prepare chocolate.

In a saucepan, melt the chocolate and milk on medium heat, stirring constantly. Once you get a smooth chocolate, add a generous tablespoon to the bottom of each muffin liner. Once you have placed chocolate at the bottom on each cup, stick it in the freezer to firm up (about 10 minutes).  

Once the chocolate is firm, distribute the banana filling evenly onto each cup and spread out evenly with fingers. Then split remaining chocolate among each, using your fingers to spread each layer evenly. Place tin back in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight. Pop each “cup” out of the liners and serve immediately!

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Black bottom cupcakes
Susan Walter
Makes 18 cupcakes, 140 calories each

  • 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz.) ounce mini chocolate chips (or chopped semisweet chocolate)
  • 1/3 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • 12 prunes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg whites

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange muffin cups/liners in 2 muffin tins.

To make filling: In a small bowl or large Pyrex measuring cup, mix together the reduced fat cream cheese, sugar and egg until smooth. Stir in mini chocolate chips. 

To make cupcakes: In a food processor, pulse together yogurt and prunes. Combine yogurt/prune mixture with water and vanilla. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.

In another small bowl, beat the 2 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir a little of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate batter to lighten. Then, using a spatula, fold in the rest of the egg whites.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups. (Cupcakes will look about 1/2-full.) Spoon about a tablespoon of the filling into the center of each cupcake. Then bake for about 25 minutes or until a test toothpick comes out clean.

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Gluten-free black bean brownies
Amanda Rantz
Makes 12 brownies, 140 calories

1 16.5 oz can of black beans (rinsed & drained)
3 eggs
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of Special Dark Hershey's Cocoa Powder
1 pinch of salt
3/4 cup of granulated sugar 
1 tsp of coffee grounds (espresso roast, finely ground)
1/2 cup of Hershey's Dark Chocolate Chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist an 8x8 baking dish with oil spray. Combine all ingredients (except chocolate chips) into a high powered blender (black beans, oil, eggs and vanilla on bottom with cocoa powder, salt, sugar and coffee on top). Blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into the prepped baking dish. Sprinkle the dark chocolate chips on top of the mixture.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes (until edges start of pull away from the pan). Once done, place on cooling rack and allow to cool for approximately 20 minutes. Once cool, cut and serve. You can store in air tight container and in the refrigerator for about 4-5 days (if you would like to store longer, wrap in plastic wrap, store in air tight container, and place in freezer).



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