5 Healthy Dessert Recipes That Will Make You Believe There Is A God

Everybody loves Nutella – but before you go sticking your entire face inside a novelty-size jar – know that your favourite spread is actually a little suspect. Tuns out, it’s not as healthy as the TV ads make out. Does everything that tastes amazing have to be bad for us, dammit? Well, no. We asked resident The Cusp expert and nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill to provide some alternative sweet treat options that can stand their own against the holy combination of chocolate and hazelnut.

Nutella is an old school favourite and no doubt still a permanent resident in many pantries, but the truth is that your fave hazelnut spread is more or less a sugar spread. So, without stealing the comfort of the quick spoonful of that delicious choccy goodness, we’ve created some bangin’ recipes to give you the hit you need, with mountains of flavour, and all the nutrition your body thrives on.

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First things first, this is your swap for swap alternative to the traditional Nutella we know. It’s a super simple combo of hazelnuts, vanilla, raw cacao, coconut cream and maple syrup. Refined sugars make no appearance and you’ll grab a good kick of vitamin E and B vitamins from the bounty of hazelnuts in this healthy recipe.
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1 ½ cups (200g) hazelnuts without skin+, roasted until slightly golden

2 tsp vanilla essence

1/3 cup raw cacao powder

2tbsp coconut cream

2tbsp maple syrup


Makes 300ml jar of healthy nutella – GF : DF : SF : V : PALEO

Place hazelnuts in high powered food processor or blender and until they become a fine nut meal.

Add remaining ingredients and process for a further minute or two, or until a uniform consistency is created. Remove from blender and store in sterilized glass jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Serve with your favourite sprouted bread or have a spoonful as a little treat to resolve any chocolate cravings.

+Pro tip: If your hazelnuts still have their brown skin, you can pop them on a tray in the oven (180C) for approximately 5-8minutes. Once removed from oven, rub the hazelnuts together and the skins should fall off easily. Discard the skins prior to processing. This means the recipe isn’t 100% raw but it still retains many of its wonderful nutrients and is a wonderfully healthy variation of the sugar laden commercial variety of Nutella.

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Raw Snickers Bar

Struggling to walk past the Snickers at the supermarket without grabbing one to take home for later? This wholesome option can be your go-to now. Using beautiful natural peanut butter (without the extra vegetable oils and sodium we find in commercial brands), fresh dates and a delish chocolate from coconut oil, cacao and maple, it puts the confectionary lane to shame.


2 cups fresh dates, pitted

1/2 cup natural peanut butter

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup activated buckwheat (buckinis) or puffed brown rice/quinoa

1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped (you can leave raw if you wish for 100% raw bar)

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

1 tbsp maple syrup

pinch sea salt


Serves 20 – GF : DF : SF : V : PALEO

Place the dates, peanut butter and vanilla in food processor and blitz until mixture comes together to form a paste.

Combine date mix, buckinis and 1/2 the peanuts in a bowl and mix to combine.

Line a loaf tin (20x15cm or thereabouts) with greaseproof paper, spread mixture evenly into tin and place in freezer to set.

Combine coconut oil, cacao powder, maple and sea salt in a separate bowl and whisk to combine.

Pour chocolate mix over the set date mix, sprinkle with peanuts and place back in freezer to set for an hour.

When ready, slice into small pieces and serve.

Store in fridge or freezer up to 3 weeks.

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Raw Vanilla Cashew Bars

Cashews are such a versatile nut to use in cooking in particular, to create an awesome creamy sensation without actual cream. Teamed with vanilla and coconut in this super scrumptious Raw Vanilla Cashew Bar recipe, you’ll give your body an awesome hit of essential fatty acids such as oleic acid to protect your heart, and lauric acid to reduce the likelihood of viral and bacterial infection in the body.



1 cup cashews

1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted

Good pinch of salt

1/2 cup coconut shredded

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

1/4 cup coconut nectar

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted


3/4 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup raw cacao powder

1 tablespoon coconut nectar

pinch sea salt

2 tablespoons cacao nibs to top


Makes 12 bars – GF : SF : DF : V : PALEO

Place cashews, dates, salt, shredded coconut, coconut milk, vanilla and coconut nectar in a blender and blend until uniform in texture.

Add coconut oil and blitz until smooth consistency.

Pour into small loaf tin lined with baking paper and place in freezer to set for 2 hours.

Just prior to removing filling from freezer prepare the chocolate coating.

In a small saucepan gently melt the coconut oil over a very low heat (you don’t want to heat the oil, just melt it).

Whisk in raw cacao powder, coconut nectar and sea salt.

Remove filling from freezer and cut into bars.

Do an initial chocolate coating and place on rack (best to put a sheet of baking paper underneath the rack to catch the chocolate drips), then aim for another coat or more of chocolate, depending on how big you decide to cut the pieces. On the final coat sprinkle some cacao nibs on top so they set with the chocolate.

Place back in the freezer on baking paper in a container to set.

Serve from and store in freezer up to 2 weeks.

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Raw Cherry Ripe Slice

Cherries, nuts, coconut oil, dates and cacao… a combo that is a guaranteed flavour bomb in your mouth and with beautiful fats from nuts and coconut oil, natural sugars in dates and cherries, and a bounty of vitamins and minerals will energise and lift your mood in one quick bite.



1 cup pecans

1/2 cup almonds

1/4 cup cacao nibs

1/4 cup coconut oil, melteds

1/4 cup rice malt syrup

1 tablespoon cacao powder

Pinch salt


2 cups fresh cherries, pitted

1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

1 cup almond meal

1/2 cup medjool dates, pitted (approximately 5 dates)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon beetroot powder


1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup cacao powder

1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup

Pinch salt

1/2 cup cherry halves



To make the base combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until well combined.

Line a rectangular tin well with glad bake and press the base mixture into the tin using your fingers. To create a smooth base use the back of a spatula to flatten it out evenly. Transfer to the freezer to set.

While the base is setting the filling can be prepared. Place all of the ingredients for the filling in a food processor and blitz to combine. You may need to process the ingredients intermittently for a few minutes to ensure a smooth texture.

Pour over the set base and smooth he mixture out with a spatula before returning to the freezer to set.

Once the slice has set for an hour the chocolate topping can be prepared.

Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan over a low heat. Once melted removed from the heat and whisk in the cacao, maple syrup and salt.

Remove the slice from the freezer and pour over 1/2 of the raw chocolate mix. Once again use a spatula to spread it out evenly. Return to the freezer and allow to set for 30 minutes.

Remove from the freezer and using a small spoon drizzle the remaining chocolate over the top of the slice and place the cherry halves on top of the drizzled chocolate.

Return to the freezer to set.

When ready to serve remove from the freezer and slice.

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Banoffee Pie Ice Cream 

You won’t want to share these – trust me – but if you do, it may just be the life-changing moment for the buddy by your side because these ice creams are hands down INSANELY yum and have nutrition to boot!


2 frozen bananas

1/4 cup coconut cream

1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract or powder

3-4 tablespoons almond butter

1/4 cup peanuts, chopped and toasted

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

1 tablespoon maple syrup


Makes 6 icy poles – GF : DF : SF : V : PALEO

Combine bananas, coconut cream and vanilla in blender or food processor until creamy.

Pour the mixture into icy pole molds filling half way, then adding a heaped teaspoon of almond butter fill each to the top with remaining banana coconut mixture, poke an ice cream stick down the middle of each and set in the freezer for 6 hours.

Once frozen, prepare the chocolate coating by whisking together melted coconut oil, cacao and maple.

Place a large piece of baking paper on a tray, remove ice creams from molds then dip into the chocolate, coating evenly, sprinkle with peanuts on each side and place on baking paper to set for a moment before repeating the process.

Eat immediately or pop back in the freezer to set and eat on another occasion – sooner rather than later (but I probably don’t need to tell you that).

Jacqueline Alwill is a qualified, practicing nutritionist, personal trainer, whole foods cook,founder and director of The Brown Paper Bag Nutrition. She is passionately committed to improving the health, wellbeing and happiness of all individuals.

(All images supplied)