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Joy Bauer shares 3 better-for-you, sweet-tooth-satisfying desserts

These treats are decadent and healthy at the same time.

Join us on September 18 for a virtual Start TODAY meal planning event sponsored by Instacart. Registered dietitian Vanessa Rissetto will show you how to prep five delicious, healthy and family-friendly meals that’ll last you all week. Click here to buy your tickets!

Indulging in your favorite treats doesn’t have to derail your commitment to a healthy lifestyle. In fact, it’s possible to enjoy decadent desserts while still prioritizing your well-being. This week, I’m sharing healthy hacks to satisfy your cravings without compromising on nutrition. From an irresistible chocolate fudge mug cake cooked in the microwave to scrumptious chocolate pecan turtles made with dates as a base and frozen yogurt pops made right in the yogurt container, these recipes are designed to please your taste buds while keeping your health in check.

Check out this cool and refreshing trick that turns baby yogurt cups into creamy, fruity popsicles. These pops are perfect for both kids and adults (I can vouch for that!) and are perfectly portioned for an any-time-of-the-day snack. To make them, simply chop up your favorite fruit into small pieces (like mango, strawberries, kiwi, or you can use whole blueberries), mix them into the yogurt cups, insert a stick and pop them in the freezer. That’s it— no popsicle mold required. When you’re ready to enjoy your homemade popsicles, break off a cup and run the outside of the container under warm water for 10 to 15 seconds to loosen it up, then pull out your pop and enjoy your delicious frozen treat! 

Turtle Dates

Joy Bauer

My recipe for healthier chocolate turtles reimagines this classic confection, turning it into a nutritious snack that’s super delicious. In this rendition, I replace the traditional caramel with fiber-rich dates and use a thin spread of nut butter for that creamy, delightful center. And let’s talk about those rich, buttery pecans: I love them so much for their addictive flavor, gentle crunch and heart-healthy fats. Of course, no turtle is complete without its hard outer shell which in this case is made from a luscious layer of semisweet or dark chocolate. To elevate these treats even further, I like to garnish them with a sprinkling of sea salt and/or chopped pecans, adding that perfect touch of style and sophistication. They’re so adorable and delicious, I recommend making a big batch because these turtles move fast.

Microwave Chocolate Mug Cake

Joy Bauer

This hassle-free hack creates a single-serve dessert that’s as easy as 1, 2, 3! It’s a super-fudgy, chocolaty mug cake that’s perfectly portioned, ready in less than two minutes in the microwave and requires only three simple ingredients. It will most definitely hit the sweet spot. It’s shockingly rich and indulgent; I love to enjoy it warm with a squirt of whipped cream and pinch of cocoa powder. And as a big bonus, there’s no temping leftovers calling your name, because it’s a one-and-done deal. You can also customize this mug cake to make your own delicious variation. Love mocha? Add a dash of instant coffee or espresso powder to the batter. Bananas for banana or berries? Stir in some chopped fruit. Crazy for chocolate peanut butter? Mix in a teaspoon of your favorite nut butter and be ready to drool. Thanks to this single-serve creation you really can have your cake and eat it, too. You’re welcome.