3 Dessert Smoothies That Are Actually Good for You

Who needs ice cream when you can cool off with these delicious nutrient-packed treats?

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Chocolate tahini dessert smoothies Photo: Stephanie Clarke

In the mood to satisfy your sweet tooth with something cool as the temps warm up? We whipped up three dessert-inspired smoothies and gave them a healthy twist. Grab your blender and choose from a unique and rich combination of chocolate and tahini, an energizing matcha milkshake, or a tropical coconut and strawberry smoothie bowl.

The Nutrition Scoop

Although we had dessert in mind when we came up with these treats, they’re suitable for a healthy breakfast or snack, too. That’s because they don’t go overboard on the added sugars, and the sugars they do contain are balanced out by a healthy combo of protein, carbohydrates, and fat to help keep your energy levels stable—something everyone can benefit from.

 

More on Healthy Eating

Plus, the ingredients featured in these recipes give the smoothies health perks you might not expect. 

• The unsweetened cocoa powder in the chocolate tahini smoothie contains fiber along with additional antioxidants. The tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds, provides heart-healthy fats.

• Matcha is a type of powdered green tea with a light earthy flavor. It contains a moderate amount of caffeine along with a compound called L-theanine. The combination gives you a steadier (less jittery) energy lift compared with coffee. Plus, it’s packed with powerful antioxidants to help keep your cells healthy.

• Strawberries and other berries are among the best sources of antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins, pigments that give red, purple, and blue fruits and vegetables their colors. In addition to helping protect against inflammation, some research suggests anthocyanins may help with weight control.

Feel free to swap one type of milk for another, keeping in mind that, with the exception of soy and pea milks, most plant milks don’t contain much protein, which means the smoothie will have less protein than is shown in the nutritional information we provide. Each recipe makes one serving, but you can double, triple, or even quadruple these recipes.

Chocolate Tahini Smoothie

(shown above)

½ cup unsweetened vanilla soy milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 medjool date, pitted and chopped (if it is hard, soak in warm water for about 20 minutes first)
1 banana, frozen in chunks
2 tablespoons tahini (substitute almond or peanut butter, if desired)
1 tablespoon whipped cream
Black sesame seeds (optional garnish)

Directions

Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of sesame seeds, if desired.

Makes 1 serving

Nutrition information per smoothie: 244 calories, 5 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 54 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 31 g sugars (0 g added sugars), 7 g protein, 46 mg sodium

Matcha Milkshake

A matcha milkshake in a glass

Photo: Stephanie Clarke Photo: Stephanie Clarke

⅓ cup low-fat milk
½ cup vanilla ice cream
1 teaspoon matcha powder
½ banana, frozen in chunks

Directions

Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into a glass and sprinkle with extra matcha powder.

Makes 1 serving

Nutrition information per smoothie: 215 calories, 8 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 33 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 25 g sugars (8 g added sugars), 6 g protein, 75 mg sodium 

Strawberry and Coconut Cream Smoothie Bowl

A strawberry smoothie bowl

Photo: Stephanie Clarke Photo: Stephanie Clarke

½ cup lite coconut milk
½ cup plain regular low-fat yogurt
1½ cups frozen strawberries
1 teaspoon honey*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon shredded unsweetened coconut
2 fresh sliced strawberries
2 tablespoons granola

*If you prefer a sweeter drink, add another teaspoon of honey. This will add 20 calories and 5 grams of added sugars to the amounts below.

Directions

Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. Pour into a bowl and top with shredded coconut, fresh strawberries, and granola

Makes 1 serving

Nutrition information per smoothie: 273 calories, 12 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 38 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 23 g sugars (6 g added), 9 g protein, 100 mg sodium

Top Blenders From CR's Tests

These four blenders, listed in alphabetical order, will serve up smooth smoothies.


Stephanie Clarke RD

Stephanie Clarke

Stephanie Clarke, RD, is the founder of C&J Nutrition, a nutrition consulting, communications, and workplace wellness company. She lives in the Washington, D.C., suburbs of Maryland with her husband and two young daughters.