Top 15 Whole Food Plant Based Desserts & Recipes

We all love a dessert don’t we? I know I certainly do! In fact, when it comes to literally anything chocolate, I’m anybody’s! But, we shouldn’t have to feel guilty about enjoying something sweet after our meals or indeed any time of the day, not when we choose our desserts and plant based snacks wisely at least.

This post will give you examples of some of the tastiest and healthiest whole food plant based desserts and recipes, proving that dessert no longer has to be saved for a treat, but can actually serve to enhance your health and well-being with the clever use of superfoods, healthy fats, fruits and even veggies.

What is a Whole Food Plant based Diet?

Many plant based eaters are now taking their health to another level by eating only whole foods. This, in essence, means eating foods in their whole and natural form just like Mother Nature intended, and not extracting certain compounds away by any of the below methods:-

  • Juicing (smoothies are ok, as you usually blend whole foods).
  • Isolated protein powders.
  • Myco protein products that can come in many forms, but are mainly found in all the new-fangled plant based burgers, sausages, fake minces, and all of the other heavily advertised products that seem to be dominating the plant based market.
  • Taking a fat away from its original food, as in the case of most oils i.e. coconut, olive, walnut, avocado and sesame oil, or vegan margarines and butters.
  • Refined sugar and syrups in the form of white sugar, agave nectar, maple syrup, brown rice syrup, and all the other refined sweeteners on the market. Remember, pretty much all forms of sugar are not whole foods.

Why is this considered bad?

Eating foods in their whole and natural state is deemed healthier simply because the body recognises and assimilates whole foods better. A whole food is already perfect for us as it is, so when we isolate certain parts we are missing out on the food’s other components that may help with the absorbability of its key nutrients. Not to mention the fact that isolating, refining or taking away integral part of a natural food will usually also remove nutrients and vital fibers that fill you up for longer and lower a its over-all GI rating.

How to make a whole food dessert

Using only whole foods in your diet can be hard enough at the best of times, and often requires a bit of skill and a lot of learning about how to put complete meals together, but desserts can sometimes prove even more tricky. So, instead of the usual fats and sugars that normally are abundant in your average dessert you can swap out for ingredients such as:-

  • Creamy avocados
  • Coconut
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Fruits both dried and fresh
  • Date paste

I have done my upmost to find almost 100% plant based desserts for this list, however, a small amount of these recipes may contain a little dark chocolate or maple syrup, both of which can either be omitted or swapped out for something else if you wish to stick to strictly 100%. However, the recipes you find here are still very healthy compared to your average high sugar vegan junk foods.

Equipment you may need

In order to make many plant based desserts, you will more than likely need a powerful, high speed blender. You will need this in order to make beautiful, creamy sauces, nutty biscuit type bases, smoothies, fruit coolies and so much more. In fact, I don’t think I could live without my blender these days, as I use it every day for making desserts, nut milks, protein shakes, smoothies and sauces.

15 Tasty, healthy and EASY Whole Food Desserts

1. High Protein Nut Bars

Honestly, these are just truly amazing if you love a granola type bar. You can just whip up a batch at the beginning of the week and you’re sorted – a very easily transportable and highly nutritious dessert, snack, or even a whole breakfast on their own.

The super high protein content of the nuts and nut butters in this recipe will keep you full and satiated for a long time, and combined with the rolled oats and the low GI sugars from the medjool dates you have a perfect meal.

Perfect to just run out the door with on your way to work or school, and a super healthy treat for the kids too!

How to Make Granola Bars (Just 4 Ingredients!)

Don’t imagine me devouring four granola bars while snapping these pictures. Just don’t do that. I had just gotten back from the gym and was s-t-a-r-v-i-n-g! You might remember how in the winter, (gawd that feels like an eternity ago), I was all into the weight lifting thing.

2. Chewy oatmeal and lemon biscuits

One thing I often crave is a chewy cookie, and the chewier the better if you ask me, and that’s why these homemade biscuits caught my attention straight away.

These are 100% pure and whole foods plant based and sweetened only with dates and apple sauce, making them a perfect breakfast or snack for the whole family. And easy transportability makes them perfect for busy, run-out-the-door mornings.

Chewy Lemon-Oatmeal Cookies | Forks Over Knives

The trick to keeping these chewy, flavorful cookies moist is the low-and-slow baking-45 minutes at 275°F-which allows them to bake through without drying out. From The Forks Over Knives Plan This recipe and other kid-friendly ideas are also available in our convenient iPhone app and newly released Android app.

3. Homemade Creamy and Nutty Ice-Cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice-cream as the saying goes. Ice-cream is usually something that is hard to make healthy considering that it traditionally contains lots of dairy and sugar. But, if you think it’s impossible, then think again.

Not only is this creamy, nutty ice-cream delicious, but it’s very, very healthy. Obviously, we need to remember the fact that all fats need to be eaten in moderation if you don’t wish to pile on the pounds, but other than that you have a dessert that’s high protein and nutritious too.

Almond butter and dates are its key components, and those two go so often go together in vegan desserts for very good reason, because they are a match made in heaven and taste delicious, almost caramely together. And the vitamin E, manganese and magnesium in almonds make them a great heart friendly snack in their own right.

No Churn, Dairy-Free Creamy Almond Butter Ice Cream (Vegan & Paleo)

Ready for the creamiest and simplest no-churn dairy-free ice cream ever? Because this is going to be it! This recipe is actually a total knock off of my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream – re-made with those in mind who don’t do peanut butter…

4. Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almond butter, dates, almond flour, molasses, vanilla and chocolate chips make up this decadent and outrageously delicious cookie that will have your friends queuing around the block for afternoon tea at your house.

TIP – Use very high cacao chocolate chips to keep the sugar content down to a minimum. At least 70% is a good starting point, but I go 85% myself. You’re taste buds will get used to darker and darker chocolate over time and with perseverance, but always exercise portion control with any kind of chocolate as it still contains lots of fat.

Healthy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies – Monkey and Me Kitchen Adventures

Chocolate Chip Cookies are truly the most quintessential satisfying cookie that just saying the name makes you smile, and these perfectly soft, ultra-thick, amazingly delicious Healthy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies are all that and more! Warm gooey melty chocolate chips are nestled inside a soft, chewy cookie that is sure to knock your socks off.

5. Cherry Ice-Cream

The thing I adore about homemade plant based ice-creams is just how FAST and EASY they are to make. Make a traditional homemade ice-cream and your looking at quite a bit of flaffing about, especially if you don’t have an ice-cream maker. Well, non of that malarkey is needed with your plant based version.

As long as you pre-freeze your bananas and cherries (and you really do want to make sure they’re properly frozen), then this dessert takes but a flash to knock up. Just make sure you have a pretty powerful blender if you’re going to wizz up hard and frozen fruits, or at the very least make sure they are chopped well.

If you want to make this purely whole food plant based then simply omit the chocolate chips or go for chopped nuts instead.

Cherry and Chocolate Soft-Serve Ice Cream Recipe

This is a vegan version of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream. It’s a delicious, refreshing, and guilt-free soft serve dessert.

6. Chocolate Orange Pudding

Orange and chocolate, chocolate and orange; whichever way you say it they are always the perfect couple. My love of this flavour combination started way back when I was a kid and used to receive a Terry’s chocolate orange in my Christmas stocking – what can I say, it was the 80’s!

But, this yummy dessert is miles away nutrition wise from the chocolate oranges of my childhood. This dessert is crammed full of avocados, and when combined with sweet dates and cacao are turned into a velvety dream with the use of a high speed blender.

Avocados are a plant based eater’s very good friend due to the fact that those amazing omega 3 fatty acids, along with vitamins C, E, K and B’s can help keep your brain and skin healthy. In fact, eat a little avocado every day and it’s high vitamin E content will make your skin positively GLOW.

Orange Chocolate Pudding (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, raw, oil-free, nut-free)

by Dreena Sometimes you need (want!) dessert in minutes. Raw Orange Chocolate Pudding to the rescue! This Raw Chocolate Pudding is from LTEV. It’s rich and delicious, made with whole foods, and can literally be prepared in minutes! Bit of background on this pudding…

7. Coconut, Chia Seeds and Mango pudding

Coconut and mango are purely the taste of the tropics. Need some winter sunshine? Eat a juicy ripe mango and you will surely feel sunny and happy on the inside due to its raw super nutrition and high amounts of antioxidants, and Vitamins A and C.

Chia seeds are another powerhouse of nutrition in their own right as they are loaded with fiber, protein, calcium (learn more about obtaining calcium through plant foods), manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and B vitamins.

Mango chia seed pudding (dairy free)

Last Updated on Mango chia seed pudding recipe – Impress your dinner guests with this dairy free exotic dessert made with coconut milk and chia seeds. Dessert time just got 100 times better with this mango chia seed pudding. Trust me if you’re a fan of all things mango and coconut then you’re in the right place.

8. Rainbow Fruit and Black Rice Parfait

I looked at this recipe and thought ‘wow’, that’s so different’! Looks like something really fancy; the kind of thing you could serve at a dinner party to bowl over the guests. And, best of all it literally has only a few ingredients, nutritious and exotic sticky black rice being one of them.

Being a life-long lover of rice pudding I am very aware of how great this grain goes in desserts, in fact, it’s the perfect comfort food. Black rice is perfect in this recipe as it is more nutritious than any other rice, and contains high amounts of protein, skin friendly antioxidants and vegan friendly iron.

You can swap up the fruits for anything you like and it will still taste SO good. I would say this also is good enough to be a plant based breakfast too, so make lots for your refrigerator.

Rainbow fruit and black rice parfait | Rainbow Nourishments

I hate having random leftovers in the fridge. But I love it when I actually use these leftovers to make something that’s not just edible, but DELICIOUS. This rainbow parfait was like a lively fruit salad party in my mouth. The pomegranate arils went BAM. The nectarine pieces cheered ‘YAY it’s summer.’

9. Easy Banana Loaf

Mmm, who doesn’t love a good banana bread? And as this recipe is ALL whole foods it makes for a highly nutritious meal in itself, and I’m talking breakfast, lunch or just an anytime snack.

Most of the ingredients in this recipe come from cheap and cheerful store cupboard staples, so it is wallet friendly too.

Vegan Banana Bread | The Whole Food Plant Based Cooking Show

Nutrient dense Banana Bread for an afternoon snack! This is a Nutritarian take on a traditional dish where we have replaced the low nutrient flour with nutrient-packed whole food goodness and mouth watering flavors! This bread fully qualifies as Nutritarian, Vegan SOS Free (No animal products, salt, sugar, or oil), Vegetarian, and gluten free.

10. Chocolate, peanut butter and Lentil Sundae

Yes, you heard that right! This sundae recipe calls for red lentils, but just think of that high protein intake when combined with peanuts and peanut butter.

Seriously, you could eat this beast of a sweet straight after a workout instead of a high protein shake, it’s that good.

Red lentils are amazingly nutritious, and contain superstar amounts of fiber, protein, niacin, B6, folate, thiamine, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, zinc, copper and pantothenic acid. In fact, all the nutrition a plant based eater needs in abundance.

Chocolate Peanut Butter High Protein Breakfast Sundae

I’m generally a pretty humble person, but I’ve got to say, I’m patting myself on this back for this one. I mean c’mon, what’s not to love??? √A sundae for breakfast! √Peanut Butter + Chocolate √Absolutely delicious with the perfect sweet/salty, crunchy/creamy combination! √High Protein Breakfast √Quick and easy~You can whip this up in 5 minutes!

11. 3 Ingredient Fudge

This fudge is exactly what it says on the tin. Just 3 ingredients and no baking, with minimum effort too!

This vegan fudge will satisfy your sweet cravings like nothing else, and it’s fatty, creaminess comes from the nut butter. Personally, I’d go for a macadamia nut, as it is highly prized for its powerful effects on skin and hair, and its high levels of palmitoleic acid helps to prevent premature aging, so a great treat if you want to look glowing and youthful (who doesn’t).

3 Minute Paleo Vegan Chocolate Fudge (Keto, Sugar Free)

Easy homemade paleo vegan chocolate fudge recipe ready in under 3 minutes and using just 3 ingredients! Made with just sugar-free chocolate and a smooth nut or seed butter, it’s smooth, creamy and absolutely fool-proof! Keto, Low Carb, Dairy Free. An easy fudge recipe made without condensed milk and ready in 3 minutes?

12. Chocolate Gelato

Made from peanut butter and cacao powder with ripe bananas and for sweetness. Totally refined-sugar free, and who needs sugar anyway when we can use whole and delicious fruits mulched up?

This chocolate ice-cream is made from just 4 healthful ingredients and takes only 5 minutes to prepare, and if you’re anything like me you will want fastness and ease in all your plant based dishes.

You could probably swap the cacao (as with all the other recipes) with carob powder instead. The benefits of carob over cacao (which I still love too), is it won’t be as stimulating as cacao which actually contains caffeine, and that can be a problem to caffeine sensitive people.

Healthy No Sugar Added Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream (Vegan, GF, Dairy-Free, Paleo option) – Beaming Baker

Healthy No Sugar Added Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream (V, DF): a super easy, 5-ingredient recipe for the BEST deliciously creamy and chocolatey no churn peanut butter ice cream. Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo option. First there was Banana Peanut Butter Swirl Ice Cream… then there was Chocolate Peanut Butter Homemade Frosty (and Strawberry Coconut Sorbet)…

13. Pina Colada Sorbet

Combine bananas, pineapple and coconut cream together and you have the makings of a tropical fruit dessert. If you love a Pina Colada (like I do), then you’ll love this sorbet; and you even have the option to add the rum to make it more grown up.

The great thing about this dessert is it could definitely be served (maybe with the addition of rum) as a legit dinner party afters and be an all round winner. Best of all it takes minutes to prep, after which you just leave it to chill for a couple of hours and you’re done.

Piña Colada Sorbet [Vegan, Raw]

Don’t you think that tropical food will keep us in a summer state of mind? It will let us stretch out the last bit of the season and trick us into thinking that it will never end. A vegan piña colada sorbet is the perfect thing to do just that.

14. Carrot, Almond and Coconut Energy Balls

Carrot – in a dessert! I’m a fan of all things vegetable in desserts, and have indeed used ingredients such as carrots, beetroot, courgettes, marrow, butternut squash and sweet potato to name just a few in past creations of mine. It really does work as long as you get your flavours and sweetness right, otherwise I can imagine it would be pretty awful.

These bites are full of flavour, and the addition of coconut is always a welcome texture in my opinion. Plus, the almond ensures good amounts of protein, making these bites suitable as a breakfast or nutritious snack any time of the day.

Carrot No Bake Energy Bites

I love healthy and delicious vegan treats. The easier the better! Ever since I had my first energy ball in a small vegan café in Montreal, I can’t get enough of them! The other day, I made these carrot no bake energy bites that turned out so delicious!

Raw Apple and Blueberry Tarts

Raw is always SO healthy, and I’ve been making a conscious effort to eat more raw foods for years, as raw foods really do indeed take your health to another level.

Get your daily dose of rawsomeness with these absolutely mind-blowingly delicious tarts. There’s absolutely no refined sugars, oils, or anything else bad in there, just pure whole foods.

The cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in this dish are all great digestive spices that are full of antioxidants along with the blueberries and other delicious fruits.

Raw Apple and Blueberry Tarts | Rainbow Nourishments

These raw apple and blueberry tarts are perfect for the holiday season or any time of the year! They don’t require any cooking (YAY, no accidental burning) and contain nutritious ingredients (shh, no one will know they are healthy unless you tell them).

CONCLUSION

Plant based desserts, as you now see, can be absolutely delicious and healthy at the same time. Going plant based has opened my eyes to a whole new world of food that I never knew existed before, and my life is 100% better for it.

Eating healthily brings your taste buds to life, and after a time you will realise that you can no longer tolerate junk foods and instead you will just crave the good stuff. Getting healthy and changing every cell in your body is a journey that just keeps getting better and better, and I truly hope this website can help you with that feeling of awesomeness that only comes from having a body that is thriving.

Before you leave, why not join up below↓↓↓ and never miss new recipes, pant based eating tips, guides, meal plans and so much more straight to your inbox.

Stefanie Taylor
Plant based eating is set to EXPLODE in 2020, not just for health reasons, but also to help keep our beautiful planet thriving. I have lived this healthful lifestyle for over 3 years, and created Zestforever to share my experiences, trials, errors, how I overcame them, and to show you how easy it is for you to do it for yourself and thrive too!

I have studied, tried and tested all manner of healthy lifestyles over the past 20 years, but nothing has come close to giving me the buzz that plant based eating has. I have also studied and worked as a Sports Nutritional Advisor, Nutritional Therapist, and Clinical Weight Loss Advisor, and have a Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer reviewing and contributing to posts.

This website is not intended to treat or diagnose any medical diseases or illnesses. It's merely meant to show you ways of potentially boosting your health through the eating of more nutritious plant foods in place of junk foods.

10 thoughts on “Top 15 Whole Food Plant Based Desserts & Recipes”

  1. Many excellent recipes that looked delicious!

    I make ice cream quite frequently so I’ll try those listed and let you know how they come out.
    I made an avocado ice cream recipe I found a few months ago and it was amazing!
    The energy balls look good too.

    Switching to natural can be a challenge for some people.
    Several years ago when I worked at a health club facility we switched our protein option from an isolate to natural.
    I remember the biggest challenge we had was the members complaints about the cholesterol and calorie counts being higher.
    We tried to explain to them the benefit of switching the product to natural vs the isolate we had.

    Reply
    • H Lee, glad you like the recipes!
      Wow, avocado ice-cream sounds awesome and I am definitely going to try it. I just can’t believe how many amazing and healthy desserts are out there. Honestly, it’s mind-blowing. There’s literally no need to ever eat refined fat and sugars again when you can make such delicious things out of whole plant foods.

      I used to be into protein powders a lot when I was going to the gym regularly, but I don’t have them so much these days and instead feel better on a more whole foods diet regardless of calories. I do believe your body lets you know it’s full when you put the right fuel in, so you naturally find that you don’t over eat.

      Reply
  2. These are great desserts and after gym snacks. They all seem to be fairly easy to make too which is a bonus. These are yummy dessert options.

    Reply
  3. Hi Stefanie,
    I really enjoyed this article. I did not realise that individual’s on plant-based diet could also have desserts that were filled with good nutrition. I will actually try them myself because I actually minimised my dairy intake. It was mainly due to the fact when I started taking more plant based milk my tummy felt a lot better whereas every time I take dairy It just seemed to have some unpleasant effect. I haven’t committed to fully having a plant based diet although I would love to. I just have a stubborn family member that wants to have meat all the time. Thank you for this.

    Reply
    • Hi Michelle, yes, desserts are one of the best things for me about the plant based diet haha.
      I’m guessing you’re probably dairy intolerant (like so many others) if you are having stomach issues after eating it. Best stick to plant milks I think, especially now they are available so widely these days.

      I know it’s hard to eat plant based when you have other family members who won’t follow suit. I’m kind of lucky as my other half works away all weekend so eats what he want there, then in the week he eats the same meals as me. He’s really getting used to it, and also feeling better for it. My advice would be to challenge this stubbourn family member to not eat meat for a week, and make them lots of delicious plant based meals in that week to see how they like it… and more importantly, how they feel in terms of energy etc. Good luck!

      Reply
  4. Hello Stefani,
    Oh Wow! There are not enough superlatives to describe your enjoyable, interesting, informative and oh so imaginative recipe content which has one completely and utterly won over from the start.

    I believe it is a non brainer to think of your offer regarding how plant based whole foods should be eaten in their natural state and to veer away from extracting their goodness through cooking as an example is a totally logical and easy concept to grasp. However when we arrive to your absolutely unrivalled recipes for desserts which are just simply heavenly!

    Your Granola Bars are most sensible, chocolate chip cookies and healthy to boot tantalising, the cherry and chocolate soft serve ice cream and chocolate orange pudding look absolutely a no way to miss done deal, paleo vegan chocolate fudge mesmerising and no Sugar Added Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream no way to be missed!!. To think that all these my absolute favourites and many more offered besides kindly by you are all vegan healthy alternatives is mind blowing.

    To think that you offer only what you have personally developed and tried given your authority on the subject of nutrition and surrounding subjects is physical evidence you wish to inform with the very excellent intentions to convey your passionate message to everyone you possibly can on the benefits to people’s health is not only patently obvious but comes across as totally genuine which in my eyes is undeniable. Thank you again so very much and I hope my equally genuine enthusiasm for your offerings and the unique way in which you present them is also obvious.

    Rami

    Reply
    • Hi Rami, wow, thanks for your amazing comment, it’s much appreciated!

      Yes, ALL these desserts are healthy, and that’s what makes them so great. I just love the fact that we can have naughty and nice things without worrying about too much fat and refined sugars. Kinda spoils the fun huh? I hope you make and enjoy the recipes as much as I do!

      Reply
  5. Those are very great and simple recipes. I honestly wasnt very keen on whole foods. The ones i ate were coinsidental and not really thought out. I am a victim of extracts because they are easy and quick but after reading through this article, i will try being more thoughtful when picking out foods. The oils and fats part is abit diffucult to switch though. I prefer the oils in my salad (Short cut). The Granola bars and coconut mango chia pudding sound like fun and yummy. Will definitly give them a try.

    Reply
    • Hi Janet, yep, whole foods are a whole new world of nutrition that I never even new about before, not even in all my years of being plant based. I was still using loads of coconut oil and plant based syrups in abundance and wondered why I couldn’t lose any weight.

      Now, I have drastically cut down my use of oils and refined sugars and it’s not half as hard as I though it was going to be. Not when you can still make so many delicious recipes, and there’s just so many out there on the internet now so never a problem to find something.

      There’s nothing wrong with having a little healthy oil on your salad, it can in fact help with the absorption of the fat soluble nutrients in the other vegetables and leaves in the salad. However, I do have an amazing dressing if ever you wanted to try a lower fat version, and it’s simple a mix of lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. I have this delicious dressing on all my salads now.

      Reply

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