By Taylor Kainz • [email protected]

Calling all sweet-tooths: If you like desserts but don’t like the added calories, here are some options to lighten the load. All of these desserts use healthier alternatives such as black beans and avocados, while still packing a punch in the flavor department. Avoca-don’t you want to try some?

Black Bean Brownies

Ingredients:
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed very well
⅔ cup rolled oats
½ cup apple sauce
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder,
regular or dark
⅔ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup mini chocolate chips, melted
¼ cup mini chocolate chips, not melted

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease two mini-muffin pans and set them aside.
3. Place all ingredients, except the unmelted chocolate chips, into a blender or food processor and blend or
process until the mixture is well-blended and the beans and oats are totally broken down.
4. Add the remaining ¼ cup unmelted chocolate chips to the batter.
5. Spoon the batter by the heaping tablespoon to the mini muffin pans.
6. Bake until the tops are set and a toothpick stuck in the center of a brownie bite comes out clean, about 15 minutes.
7. Enjoy!

Banana Ice Cream

Ingredients:
4 ripe bananas
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon
vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Slice up bananas into ½ inch disks and freeze overnight or until they are rock hard.
2. Put bananas into a food processor and blend until they come together into a puree, scraping down the sides periodically.
3. If your food processor blades are spinning but nothing is happening, press the banana mixture down into the blades with a rubber spatula. You may need to repeat this process a few times.
4. Once the bananas have come together into a puree, scoop the banana mixture into a mixing bowl.
5. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and, using a rubber spatula, fold the mixture
together until it is mixed, smooth and one uniform color.
6. You can either eat the ice cream right away or put it in the freezer to firm up.

Greek Yogurt Cheesecakes

Ingredients:
For the crust:
1/2 cup graham cracker
crumbs
2 tablespoons butter melted
1 tablespoon sugar

For the filling:
5 ounces cream cheese softened (you can use low fat or regular)
1 5.3 ounce container of Vanilla Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup fresh berries

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a muffin tin with 6 paper liners.
3. In a small bowl mix together the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar until thoroughly combined.
4. Spoon one tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture into each liner and press down to flatten.
5. In a medium bowl, using a mixer or a whisk, beat the cream cheese until very smooth, 2-3 minutes.
6. Add the Greek yogurt, sugar, egg and vanilla extract, beat 1-2 minutes to combine.
7. Pour the cheesecake filling evenly over the crusts.
8. Bake for 25 minutes or until centers are set.
9. Remove from oven and cool at room temperature for 20 minutes.
10. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.
11. Remove paper liners and top the cheesecakes with berries. Serve
immediately.

Dark Chocolate Avocado Truffles

Ingredients:
1 avocado, ripe, medium
½ cup dates
¼ cup cocoa powder, dark
1 ½ tablespoon coconut flour
1 dash sea salt
1 ½ tablespoon coconut oil

Directions:
1. Blend the ingredients for 5 minutes until the batter is smooth and creamy
(depending on the size of your avocado, a little extra coconut flour may be
required, add a tablespoon at time, until the right consistency is reached).
2. Roll the batter into bite-sized balls.
3. Transform them into decadent truffles by rolling them over a piece of
parchment paper with dark cocoa powder sprinkled on top.
4. Once they’re dusted, transfer to the refrigerator to harden 1-2 hours.
5. Store them in the refrigerator when they’re not being eaten to maintain
firmness.