The great thing about the Mediterranean diet? There are no off-limits food groups or intense restrictions…and that includes dessert. Since this popular eating plan is all about incorporating healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and low-fat dairy, you really can have your cake and eat it too. (And no, it doesn’t have to taste like “diet food,” aka treats that taste sweet-ish but don’t actually satisfy your cravings.) We’ll prove it: Try one of these Mediterranean diet desserts (like avocado chocolate mousse, brownie bites and lemon bars), none of which will derail your plan.
13 Mediterranean Diet Desserts to Indulge Your Sweet Tooth
1. Orange Flower Olive Oil Cake
Yes, this cake has sugar in it—but it’s also made with heart-healthy olive oil instead of butter. Aside from being a staple on the Mediterranean diet, it will keep the cake ultra-moist for days.
2. Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Rich, creamy and intensely chocolaty, this treat is also dairy-free and plant-based thanks to avocado. And because we know you’re wondering: It doesn’t taste anything like a vegetable.
3. Peaches-and-cream Ice Pops
If you want to reduce the amount of sugar when roasting the peaches, be our guest. (If the fruit is ripe and in season, it should be sweet enough that this won’t affect the taste.)
4. One-ingredient Watermelon Sorbet
A simpler dessert doesn’t exist. FYI, we think seeded watermelons have more flavor, but if you don’t want to deal with removing them, just use a seedless melon.
5. Baked Pears With Maple Syrup And Almond Crumble
You can use any kind of pear, but Bosc and Anjou pears will hold their shape best in the oven. (And for the record, we think this dessert would taste delightful with apples too.)
6. No-bake, Gluten-free Rose Petal Brownies
The rose petals are optional, but the cocoa-maple glaze is not. Oh, and the whole treat happens to be sugar free.
7. Aran Goyoaga’s Peanut Butter–banana Cookies
A cookie that’s packed with good-for-you ingredients like banana and nut butter? Be still our heart.
8. Rosé Poached Pears With Ginger And Vanilla
These pears are simmered in an entire bottle of rosé because YOLO.
9. 5-minute Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Parfait
Who needs ice cream when you have thick, rich and creamy spiced pumpkin yogurt? You can top these parfaits with anything that inspires you, like dark chocolate chips or toasted nuts (or both).
10. Easy Fruit Compote
Choose your favorite fruit, simmer it down and spoon it on top of whatever you please. (We’re starting with Greek yogurt.)
11. No-bake Vegan Brownies With Chocolate Ganache
They’re impossibly fudgy and rich, thanks to soaked Medjool dates. You don’t have to include the frosting, but we think you probably should.
12. Healthy Lemon Bars
The old-fashioned classic got a modern makeover with maple syrup and almond and coconut flour. (And the result is delicious.)
13. Raw Vegan Brownie Bites
Nothing to see here, just more proof that dates are magical, and you can always find a way to incorporate chocolate in your diet if you get creative.