The Great Dessert Debate

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Well Bridget and I (Sam) were just discussing a topic we discuss far too often!  As I make it very public, I am a huge dessert addict.  I love anything and everything sweet.  Dates, coconut, agave nectar, maple syrup and yes even protein powder– I ADORE IT ALL.  I couldn’t really care less about salty or savory and yet, I would pretty much eat a pile of dog crap if it was covered in powdered sugar.  Well, I would at least lick the sugar off of it 😉

So anyway, being the fitness freak, diet queen that I am, I’m always looking for the healthiest way possible to satisfy my brutal sweet tooth.  And Bridget has been witness to many of my concoctions such as Chickpea Cookies or Molasses Carrot Muffins and shakes her head at me.  She agrees that they all taste okay but that’s just it – they’re OKAY.  Her opinion is that if you’re craving something sweet, just go and indulge and be done with it.  Go eat a piece of rich, decadent chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and leave the Oatmeal Zucchini Bread to the squirrels!

I, however, disagree!  I love baking and inventing new, insanely healthy (although perhaps bland & boring) desserts.  And well, I was just showing Bridget a recipe I came across on “The Burlap Bag” website (haha, love that name.)  A cookie recipe that contained just TWO ingredients: banana and oats.

Recipe is at:

Bridget thinks this recipe looks like mashed up baby food.  The recipe says you may add a handful of chocolate chips.  Bridget says “just eat the damn chocolate chips!  Why add mashed bananas and oats to the mix?!?!”

What do The Vegan Project readers think?  Who do YOU agree with on this subject?  Maybe you have an insanely healthy recipe that you think could win us BOTH over!  Share your comments and any recipe links in the comments below.  Inquiring vegans want to know!


  1. I love a vegan danish as much as the next guy, but I am with Sam – love it when we can create a healthier alternative to ‘treats’ – mostly so I can gorge on them with less guilt. but also so we can give them to kids or boyfriends without having them go squirly from sugar OD.

    and I love a 3 ingredient recipe.
    like frying a banana (in a wee tiny bit of oil – something changes in the banana flavour when its heated) and then topping with walnuts and chocolate chips, or maple syrup. easy and pleasing. yum!

  2. For me a treat is a treat. It’s something special. It’s supposed to be sweet and rich and creamy. I won’t eat much of it, as I don’t have a sweet tooth. But a sweet dessert after a good meal rounds up an excellent menu. Some grainy healthy mushy cracker would be disappointing.

  3. It’s all about feeling GUILT-FREE as you chow down on an entire cake, in one sitting, baby haha. Sure I would prefer if it was entire cake made of pure chocolate, sugar and peanut butter but alas, sometimes you have to forgo the REALLY bad stuff and enjoy a happy medium such as what Carolyn suggested above. The simplicity of cocoa, nuts and dates or banana is amazingly sweet and satisfying!

    • Hmmm, I think I’m starting to understand your side, and mine more – I don’t think I experience guilt around food so the lure of the ‘healthy’ hog fest is not very appealing 😉

  4. I find cooked apples ( like apple pie ) hits the spot .. since cooking apples , you can add cinnamon,maple syrup( or agave), raisins, dates.. at times I just cook and eat and others I will add a healthy crusts that tastes indulgent ..very satisfying , healthy and low cal ..
    btw saw a healthy choco pie crust on a site that you can add something that goes with chocolate on top of it .. not my recipe but looks great at 45 calories per slice..

    30-Second Chocolate Pie Crust

    (gluten-free )

    2 tbsp cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
    1/2 cup raw cashews (or almonds, walnuts, pecans, or macadamia nuts)
    1/2 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
    1/8 tsp salt
    scant 1/2 cup pitted dates (8 small dates) (Readers have said that raisins work as well.)
    Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend. Then transfer to an 8-in baking dish or aluminum pan (as shown above). Using a piece of wax or parchment paper, smush into the pan and pour desired filling on top or refrigerate until ready to use. (Notes: I like Sunmaid dates, as they’re softer. Also, you can probably use a blender, but I haven’t personally tried it and therefore cannot vouch for it. And feel free to double or triple the healthy pie crust recipe for a bigger pie.)

  5. Yes CC!! I make homemade apple sauce all the time!! I just add cinnamon and date sugar to it. Love the little pie crust idea. I make one that’s similar with just dates and ground hazelnuts and water and it’s so good! Side note to Bridget, I love that I’m kicking your ass in this debate 🙂 You owe me a date square from Whole Foods.

  6. You guys are BOTH right! Sam, those oat cookies were bland and boring! Please don’t try to pass those ones by us again as a legit dessert…. They definitely have nothing on your carrot-cake balls! The dates in them make them super sweet and will totally satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth! It’s definitely worth it to test out and invent new recipes using natural ways to create wonderful baking; as long as it, doesn’t compromise on flavor.

    If we want to enjoy the best health benefits from our food, I’d definitely feel better not settling for my desire of processed white sugar and go with a natural sweetener. And the more I do that, the less I crave it.

    Maybe your oat “cookies” (more like, oat pucks) needed some cinnamon or nutmeg to distract my taste buds with another flavor other than focusing on the absence of sugar?

  7. I think the answer to this debate depends on activity level, your natural body type/metabolism & how big your sweet tooth is. I am definitely not one to live my life based on genetics but they do play some part! I have to work so hard to be a size 4/6! I mean seriously I have to be careful & watch my carb, sugar & sodium intake. Last year & a half I decided to say F*** It!!!!!! I am so tired of portioning food & eating “oatmeal zucchini bread” as my treat. 😉 Well indulging in those damn PB cups & vegan blondies got me up 18lbs, 2 sizes bigger, spent $$ on new clothes & a whole mess of guilt w/ my new round body type! lol I was still pretty active too! Working out at least 5 hrs a week & Ashtanga asana practice on top of that. So now I am back on my oat & protein powder balls spending 2-3 hrs in the gym a day. Lost 8lbs & one pant size. It was soo hard to do though!

    On the other hand my best friend can work out minimally 3 days a week & eat anything & everything she wants & stay’s a size 2 no matter what she does. haha seriously fried foods, sweets, as much brown rice as she wants & she’s a size 2.

    I have to agree with Sam on this one because of my personal struggle with maintaining a healthy weight to height ratio. 🙂 Bridget & Sam, is staying a thin healthy weight hard for you?

  8. No Denise I am the same as you!! Bridget is a naturally thin person whereas like you, I definitely can’t just eat whatever the hell I want. In fact, I just came on here to post that I am eating homemade banana yam pudding right now and it looks like vomit!! Tastes okay… could really go for an entire bag of Double Stuffed Oreos right now but alas I would rather not have to do two hours of cardio tomorrow to make up for it! Thanks for agreeing with me and being able to relate!

  9. I am with you Sam! The more treats, the merrier! I haven’t had a “real” cookie or cake in so long, and I’m now convinced that my healthy vegan treats are absolutely divine. Occassionally, I’ll give a bite of something to my husband (who indulges in everything, all the time) and he’ll remind me that my taste buds are apparently warped…..I guess for p eople whoeat real sugar and real chocolate all the time, our healthy treats are not as yummy!

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