8 great summer desserts without sugar and white flour, so that you can indulge without feeling guilty or worrying about fitting back into your summer clothing!
What is a dessert without sugar?
This seems like a super simple question- a dessert without sugar and white flour is one which has no sugar or white flour in it! However, what do we mean by sugar? Is it just refined sugar we're talking about? Are artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, considered OK? How about sugar substitutes, such as molasses, agave, xylitol or stevia or yacon syrup? Or if you're on a keto-diet, then some sugar is OK but not too much!
To be honest, I think that is quite a personal decision- "sugar free dessert" will mean different things to different people. Thus, I've included something for everyone:
- a section with completely sugar free recipes (no flour, no sugar, no artificial sweeteners)
- a section which uses maple syrup/ honey
- a section that features monkfruit (a sugar substitute also known as Luo Han Guo.)
I will keep updating this list as I find better dessert recipes without sugar and white flour 🙂 For regular Asian desserts, click here.
Sugar substitutes: better for you?
Many people say that honey or maple syrup or xylitol etc is good for you because it has nutrients/ vitamins etc. According to Mayo Clinic,"Natural sugar substitutes may seem healthier than sugar. But their vitamin and mineral content isn't significantly different...It's OK to choose a natural sweetener based on how it tastes rather than on its health claims. Just try to use any added sweetener sparingly."
Some artificial sweeteners may even be worse for you! (The jury is still out but there have been disturbing reports on side effects.)
I've written more about sugar substitutes in this post, which is available through the link.
Fruits are a great way of adding natural sweetness and flavor to your sugar free desserts- think banana, date syrup, applesauce and even CARROTS! Make sure you use the freshest fruits possible, so they'll be brimming with sweetness, and not sour!
Preheat the oven to 200F or 93.3C.
Core and thinly slice your apple and sprinkle with cinnamon powder. Spread the slices out on a baking sheet, making sure they're not touching (or they'll steam!)
Once the oven temperature is right, place the trays in the oven for 2hours 15 minutes or till the chips are crips, switching the trays around at the 1h mark. (i.e. moving the top tray to the bottom and the bottom tray to the top.)
Switch off the oven- you can leave the baking trays inside to further crisp up as the oven cools (unless they're burnt of course!)
Jellies are a great dessert which don't have white flour. For more Asian jelly recipes, click through this link.
Blitz very ripe strawberries with a touch of lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and the teeniest pinch of salt. Freeze for at least 45 minutes then mix and serve. Maybe garnished with some mint leaves?
The key here is to make sure the strawberries are SUPER ripe.
Date energy balls
Dates are your friend if you want to master the world of desserts sans sugar. (Just note the date flavour is strong, so you need to like the taste!)
Soak around 10 dates in hot water till soft (about 10- 15 minutes), then remove the seeds- don't throw away the water! (People usually use Medjool but I've tried jujubes as well.) Blitz with ½ Cup of rolled oats and ½ Cup of nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans- your choice), till the oil of the almonds has come out and you get a paste.
Add ½ Cup of almond butter- some people like peanut butter, but almonds are sweeter- and process again. Add 3 Tablespoons of ground flax seeds, a pinch of salt, and process till it's all well-mixed and you get a dough.
If it looks dry, VERY slowly drizzle the date soaking water in- keeping drizzling and blending till the dough can stick together to form balls.
Roll into balls and serve with some coffee or tea!
With Maple Syrup/ Honey
Mix ½ Cup of lime juice- I love the floral flavor of calamansi lime!- with 2 Cups of water and ½ Cup of honey (or to taste.) You can include some zest and mint leaves to make this no sugar ice cream prettier.
Mix well then freeze in a popsicle mold for 6-8 hours.
Voila, an easy sugar-free dessert with no flour involved!
With Monk Fruit
Using "sweet flours" such as coconut flour or almond flour, as per the no sugar cupcake below, will also help to make the fact that you've not added refined sugar less obvious! (Note: coconut flour and almond flour have different chemical properties to white flour, so they can't be substituted 1 for 1!)
Let me know if you think I've missed out on any great desserts without sugar and white flour that's perfect for summer! If you've found this list useful, please do share it on social media!