Healthy Desserts Worthy Of Seconds

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FroYo_AffogatoIllustration by Austin Watts
We do our best to keep healthy around here. Some walk to work, others avoid gluten, and some of us just opt for low-fat cream cheese when schmearing our giant everything bagels. No one's regimen is the same, but there is one thing we all have in common: Dessert is mandatory. If you saw the hordes that gather at R29 office birthdays, you'd think that Oprah was giving away baby pandas.

Still, a little sugar goes a long way. The fact is, healthy desserts are easier than you think. We whipped up three ideal summer desserts that are junk-free and crazy-delicious. There's no magic to these recipes, no artificial sweeteners, and no faux-fat substitutes. Just straight-up goodness and no junk-factor. There's more to life than kale salad, people. It's time for dessert.

Mango_BruleeIllustration by Austin Watts
Mango Brûlée
We always love cracking the top of a freshly torched crème brûlée, but with heaps of egg yolk and cream, it's the kind of indulgence we can only justify once in a blue moon. But this fresh-fruit twist on the classic is quickly becoming a nightly occurrence in our summer kitchens. With mangos in season, grab a bunch and make your own variations. A squeeze of orange, a dash of sea salt, or a sprinkle of coconut all complement this baby beautifully.

Ingredients (per serving)
1/2 fresh mango
1 tbsp cane sugar (you can also use plain-old light brown)
1/2 fresh lime
1 tsp rum

Pre-heat your broiler and set an oven rack a few inches away from it.

Lay each mango half face up, and score with a sharp knife — basically, make a big hashtag on your mango.

Brush with rum and squeeze lime over the top. Finish by sprinkling sugar on top. Pop it into the broiler and check after five minutes. (If you're a real pro, feel free to whip out your brûlée torch and go to town.) Once it's reached a dark golden-brown, pull 'em out and serve immediately.

FroYo_AffogatoIllustration by Austin Watts
Froyo Affogato
Talk about easy cooking — there's virtually none in this recipe, unless you count brewing a pot of coffee. Affogato is a classic italian dessert of gelato "drowned" in espresso, and all you need to do to make the healthy version is sub out the high-fat ice cream. The key here is to buy good quality frozen yogurt. Make sure your vanilla is flavored with actual vanilla, and bonus points if it's got some seeds in there. You can up the richness by adding a 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, or, even better, a shot of liqueur.

Ingredients
1 scoop vanilla frozen yogurt
1 shot of espresso or 1/4 cup brewed coffee
Optional: 1 shot Amaretto or Frangelico

Put yogurt in a dish.

Pour liquids over it.

You just cooked.

Banana_TruffleIllustration by Austin Watts
Banana Truffles
Remember the first time you discovered the putting-bananas-in-the-freezer trick, and realized you were the culinary genius of the century? You're about to get even genius-ier. It is the truth universally acknowledged that all things get better once dipped in chocolate, whether it's strawberries or tax returns. So, take your already-awesome frozen bananas, chocolate them up, and roll them in whatever you please. After this, good luck eating anything else, ever.

Ingredients
6 ripe bananas (not frozen)
2 cups dark chocolate chips (sub in 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips for a creamier taste)
2 tbsp canola or coconut oil
Topping suggestions: crushed pretzels, cereal, sprinkles, coconut, salted peanuts, toasted almonds, hopes & dreams.

Cut bananas into 1/2 inch bites. Pour toppings into small separate bowls, or piles on a cutting board. Line a plate or baking dish with tinfoil and set aside.

Melt chocolate and oil together over a medium heat until smooth. Turn off the heat and leave it on the stove.

Using a toothpick, fork, or your fingers, dip a banana piece into the chocolate. Remove and shake off excess so it's evenly coated and not drippy.

Gently drop the banana into a topping. Sprinkle topping evenly over the banana, and place on the foil-lined plate. Repeat with remaining banana bites and pop the plate into the freezer. Depending on your freezer temp, they should be solid in 1-3 hours.

Note: Want to make these extra light? Dip just half of the banana into the chocolate before topping, then place chocolate-side on the foil before freezing.