Redefining Dessert: 24 Low-Sugar Ways to End a Meal (And Be Satisfied)

Sugar. It’s wonderfully delicious, addictive as cocaineandtragicallyunhealthy.Sugar caneven make us sick, but ditching refined sugars — like white or brown sugar, corn syrup, or agave syrup for example — isn’t easy.

First, because sugar goes by all kinds of names, it can be hard to spot added sugar on product labels. But also, sugar makes everything taste good, so we want to eat it. When we eat sugar, it activates our brains’ pleasure centers, so we feel good eating it. And, if we eat it on a regular basis, we could experience withdrawal symptoms from removing it from our diets.

If you love dessert and have a sweet tooth as I do, this can sound like bad news. Delicious and decadent desserts are not out of the question, however. It’s completely possible to create a wonderfully sinful dessert without damaging your personal health goals. That’s right; you get to have your cake and eat it too.

You just need one sweet and not-so-secret weapon: Fruit.

Dessert: Redefined

Fruit is full of fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals, and is an excellent source of sustainable energy. Not only is fruit an important part of a healthy diet, but fresh or dried fruit can easily (and deliciously) replace sugar in desserts. Swapping out refined sugars for a whole food sweetener such as fruit is a healthy way of satiating your sweet tooth while keeping your overall sugar consumption low.

It’s important to note that the sugar content of the fruit will affect the overall sweetness of a recipe. Dried fruit and fruit juice will have a higher concentration of sugar content than fresh fruit as an example.

Here are 24 sweet recipes that are free from refined sugars and sweetened only with fruit. Bring on dessert!

Fruits that are lowest in sugar

  • Avocado
  • Blackberries
  • Cranberries
  • Lemon or Lime
  • Rhubarb
  • Raspberries

Try these recipes:

Lemon Bar Recipe - Care2

Creamy Lemon Bars from MInimalist Baker

Low to medium sugar fruits

  • Apples
  • Fresh Apricots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Coconut
  • Grapefruit
  • Paypaya
  • Peaches
  • Strawberries

Try low-to-medium sugar fruits in these recipes:

Coconut Blueberry Bars Recipe - Care2

Coconut Bars with Blueberry Compote from Your Daily Vegan

Fruits with medium to high sugar content

  • Kiwi
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Plums

Try these recipes:

Hasselback Pear Recipe - Care2

Hasselback Pears from Salted Plains

Fruits with the highest sugar content

  • Bananas
  • Cherries
  • Fresh Figs
  • Grapes
  • Pomegranates
  • Mangoes
  • Dried fruits such as raisins, apricots, figs, or prunes

Try these desserts:

Maple Fudge Cake with Ganache Recipe - Care2

Fudge and Maple Cake with Chocolate Ganache from Your Daily Vegan

Related at Care2:

Is your sweet tooth as big as mine? Let’s talk about healthy, low-sugar desserts in the comments and don’t forget to share your favorite recipe, too!

Feature Photo Credit: Thinkstock. Recipe photos via recipe authors.


Ruth S
Ruth S18 days ago


Carole R
Carole R18 days ago

Thanks for the ideas.

Chad A
Chad Anderson4 months ago

Thank you!

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen4 months ago

Thank you

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen4 months ago

Thank you

Peggy B
Peggy B4 months ago


Greta H
Past Member 4 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Teresa W
Teresa W4 months ago

From now on my only pleasure will be... pride on having kicked the only pleasure that I sometimes allowed myself....

Teresa W
Teresa W4 months ago

OK. I rarely eat sweets, but if I do, it's my only pleasure.

Magdalen B
Magdalen B4 months ago

Sugar is the root of all toothrot and quite a few illnesses.