Yes, you can cut down on refined sugar but still enjoy a sweet treat.
While they’re not exactly healthy, these picks are mostly sweetened with bushels of fruit instead of mounds of refined sugar.
The only thing sweetening this recipe is the natural sugars in apples and apple cider. That’s right, zero added sugar. Peeled apples are simmered in apple cider with a cinnamon stick for about 30 minutes so they taste like apple pie. Crunchy hazelnuts and a dollop of yogurt finises off the dish.
Get the recipe: Cider Poached Apples
Ten ounces of fresh cranberries (or thawed frozen ones) plus 3 diced apples go into this vibrant red crisp. The streusel is made from rolled oats, salted macadamia nuts, and a touch of cinnamon—all healthy ingredients! Yes, there’s a cup of light brown sugar, but divided the recipe serves 6 so chances are you’ll just be eating a few tablespoons. For a healthier version of this dessert, skip the vanilla ice cream.
Get the recipe: Cranberry Apple Crisp
Grapefruit With Ginger Syrup and Ice Cream
A whole fresh grapefruit gets sliced and drizzled with homemade slightly sweetened ginger syrup. It’s okay to sub out the ice cream for a big dollop of Greek yogurt—but we say a smidgen of the rich stuff won’t hurt.
Get the recipe: Grapefruit With Ginger Syrup and Ice Cream
Rice Pudding With Banana, Pomegranate Seeds, and Caramel
A rice bowl meets dessert? We’ll take seconds. Freshly sliced banana and pomegranate seeds bejewel creamy, slightly sweetened rice. Drizzle on some caramel at the end, or go nude.
Get the recipe: Rice Pudding With Banana, Pomegranate Seeds, and Caramel
Lemon Crepes With Sweetened Ricotta
These delicate pancakes get tons of bright citrus flavor from lemon zest and the thinly sliced fruit. A dollop of honey-sweetened ricotta on the side adds a touch of decadence.
Get the recipe: Lemon Crepes With Sweetened Ricotta
Pears With Rosemary Sugar
The slightest dusting of chopped fresh rosemary and granulated sugar elevate sliced pears from fruit salad to subtle dessert. Because the pears are tossed in fresh orange juice first, they don’t turn brown immediately.
Get the recipe: Pears With Rosemary Sugar