- a) McDonald’s hydrogenated hot fudge Sundae with carrageenan and polyglycerol esters of fatty acids.
- b) double fried dough in slimy soybean oil with artificially flavored icing
- c) chocolate covered crickets rolled into a Twinkie
- d) GMO sugar cubes dunked in corn syrup and sprinkled with powdered sugar
- e) rainbow cotton candy with extra red dye 40 and a coke
- f) coconut ice cream.
I wouldn’t object to crickets, actually, but we prefer coconut ice cream for a healthy dessert. However, when someone comes out with a coconut cricket ice cream, we’ll buy it! But I digress…
What are the Good Food Fighter’s criteria?
What are some healthy desserts?
Coconut Ice Cream
The company So Delicious pioneered this food category in the late 90s but now there are lots of brands on the market. See what’s available near you. Always check ingredients.
Nadamoo. This is my favorite, born in Austin but now in stores everywhere. Stick with the simple flavors—Vanilla, Dutch Chocolate, Java Bean, even Himalayan Salted Caramel. Once you get into combining lots of things, like in their Rockiest Road the ingredient list will triple and you’ll find offenders like canola oil and sunflower lecithin.
Coconut Bliss. All organic with simple flavors like Vanilla Island, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Naked Coconut, all with minimal and pure ingredients. More complex flavors contain some undesirable ingredients. All their cocoa, chocolate, vanilla and coffee are from certified fair trade sources. Also, the coconut trees where they source from are protected by termite mounds which apparently eliminates the need for pesticides!
Thai Fresh ice cream. An Austin favorite, Thai Fresh boasts a vegan ice cream counter with unique flavors like Golden milk turmeric, Salty tamarind, Lavender caramel swirl, and Ginger lemongrass. Rich and pure, made with evaporated cane juice and local seasonal fruits.
Dairy Ice Cream
Julie’s Organic. Their ingredient lists are short and sweet and feature organic fruit. I recommend the ice creams and sorbets. Try Blackberries and Cream: milk, cream, sugar, blackberries, egg yolks, vanilla extract, guar gum, locust bean gum, lemon juice concentrate. Most ingredients are organic. The ice cream sandwiches are tasty but use regular wheat flour.
Three Twins Ice Cream. Their Madagascar Vanilla contains only organic milk, organic cream, organic sugar, organic egg yolks, organic nonfat milk, and organic vanilla extract. No gums, extra sugars (like corn syrup or dextrose), soy or seaweed products (like soy lecithin and carrageenan). That is first class! Their vanilla comes from Nielsen-Massey, a dedicated vanilla company that supplies Williams-Sonoma. Sugar content is high at 17g a serving but still lower than a lot of competitors.
Lick Honest Ice Creams. Farm to table ice cream! They can trace every ingredient they source, and everything is made in their kitchen—sauces, syrups, even marshmallows! All their milk and cream comes from a local, family-owned dairy in Central Texas. Nothing artificial and no preservatives. The flavors are a real adventure: Cilantro Lime, Dewberry Corn Cobbler, and Goat Cheese, Thyme, and Honey. They also have vegan/non-dairy flavors. Ingredients of their Coffee with Cream: Mill King milk, cane sugar, cream, brown rice syrup, cane syrup, coffee, tapioca starch, Madagascar vanilla extract, organic guar.
Victory Gardens Goat Milk Gelato. Yes, it really is from goat milk! If you’re lucky enough to live in the NY area, you can pick some up locally. Otherwise, the company ships it! Try the Honey Lavender, with goat milk, organic cane sugar, honey, and dried lavender buds.
Lifeway Probugs. I don’t love skim and lowfat milk because they are nutritionally inferior to whole milk. Also, once you take away the natural fat, the product requires more sugar to enhance the flavor. But this has the benefit of probiotic cultures because of the kefir. Also, if this will keep you away from Blue Bell and Dreyers, then it’s worth it 😉
Ruby Rockets Fruit & Veggie Pops. Cool and interesting flavors with a colorful array of fruits and vegetables. Galaxy Green contains organic kiwi, avocado, green apple, banana, and spinach. Far Out Fudge contains white grape juice concentrate, sweet potato puree, acai puree, dutch coca, banana puree, beet puree and monk fruit extract. The Fudge one also lists “natural flavors”, which could mean almost anything, so they get dinged a point for that! No added sugar and 4 grams of sugar per bar. Dairy and gluten-free.
GoodPop. A popsicle with no added crap. Free of the top 8 allergens. Check the sugar content—it varies from pop to pop. The Coldbrew Coffee has only 8 g of sugar. The Coconut Lime bar (organic coconut cream, filtered water, lime juice, pair trade organic agave nectar, organic coconut, organic guar gum, sea salt, fair trade vanilla extract) is a little high at 11g of sugar and The Hibiscus Mint contains too much at 17g of sugar.
Guiltless Goodies. All products are gluten, grain, dairy, soy, yeast, and preservative-free and non-GMO. Also, low-carb, keto and paleo-friendly. Made from an organic 7 seed blend of chia, flax, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin, poppy, and sesame Seeds. For recipes requiring a sweetener, they use organic coconut palm sugar sparingly and real dark chocolate. They grind their own seed flour fresh for each batch, protecting the valuable enzymes. Grinding is important because it removes the tough outer shell, releasing the minerals and nutrients inside. This is what’s used for their Superfood Seed Flour. The muffin has 8g sugar. Available through their website, and in various retail outlets.
Treasured Earth.These are a soft, moist, fudgey cookie lightly sweetened with low-glycemic coconut nectar. Made with almonds and walnuts instead of grains for a satisfying, yummy snack. Other ingredients: organic dried coconut nectar, applesauce, unsweetened cacao, vanilla extract, baking soda, salt. Available at Whole Foods in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. 9g sugar for two cookies.
Cappellos Cookie Dough. This is the purest cookie dough you’ll find out there. Made from almond and arrowroot flour, dark chocolate, organic cane sugar and Vermont maple syrup. You can even eat it raw! 6g sugar for one cookie.
Sweetish Hill Coconut Macaroons. Five ingredients: sugar, coconut, egg whites, rice flour, vanilla extract. Moist and naturally gluten-free. Sweetish Hill is a full-fledged bakery in Austin that also serves breakfast and lunch. They specialize in cake and offer a huge array of pastries and muffins. I’m highlighting the macaroons because the sugar content is relatively low at 9g for two.
Tate’s Bake Shop Ginger Zinger Cookies. You can’ even tell that these are gluten-free. Made with crystallized ginger, it won a 2015 Sofi Awards Gold winner for Outstanding Gluten Free Cookie. A little high in sugar at 13g for two but makes a good treat. I don’t recommend the non-gluten flavors.
Jovial Organic Einkorn Cookies. Einkorn was the world’s original wheat before it was hybridized and, basically, wrecked. Jovial seeks to create products that are as close to this original grain as possible. Ingredients are simple: Einkorn flour, cane sugar, palm fruit oil, eggs, cocoa, baking soda and salt, mostly organic. They make gluten-free products as well but I don’t like their ingredients.
Simple Mills Crunchy Cinnamon Cookies. Made with coconut sugar, which is one of the best kinds, and tigernuts, which is a prebiotic root vegetable.
Sweet Bars, Balls and Bites and more
Wella Bars. Organic, simple, and delicious, they use peanut butter, cashew, and almond butters as a base and sweeten with wildflower honey and maple syrup. Whole milk protein powder and egg whites provide protein. Interesting ingredients include sour cherry and tahini. I consider this more of a dessert than a power bar. Try the flavors with the least sugar—almond and hazelnut, which have 8g and 10g respectively.
Hail Merry. Step aside, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, here comes something much better! “Creamy almond butter and rich dark chocolate ganache melt together in sweet and salty perfection.” Owner Susan O’Brien isinpired by the power of superfoods, living foods, and raw plant-based dietary fats to improve health. The ingredients are mind-blowingly simple: organic maple syrup, almond butter, almond flour, dark cocoa, organic coconut oil, sea salt. They make cups and bites and tarts.
Transform Fitness Protein Bites. These little treats have no added sugar and the company rotates fun fresh flavors like pumpkin almond and red velvet.
Peoples Pharmacy Chocolate Covered Strawberries. Organic strawberries and really rich dark chocolate. So luscious and available year-round at this holistic Austin Pharmacy/Deli.
Sticky Toffee Pudding Company. Local to Austin, this company uses ingredients you could find in your grandmother’s kitchen. Their toffee pudding contains date paste, water, unbleached flour, sugar, butter, whole liquid eggs, espresso powder, and salt. The sauce is made from brown sugar, butter, heavy cream, pecans and salt. They also make an award-winning tart lemon pudding. Disclaimer: the sugar content is quite high at 21g so you may want to share a serving with a friend! Shipping via Fedex.
Peoples Pharmacy Chia coconut pudding. This is one of my staples—a creamy coconut dessert that’s sweetened only with maple syrup and fresh strawberries.
The Chia Co. Pods. An Australian wheat farmer established the company to positively impact global health by making the nutrition in chia available to everyone, every day. Indeed, chia is one of the most powerful superfoods. Flavors include: coconut, mango, banana and vanilla bean. The Dark Cocoa is the yummiest and contains sun-ripened chia seed, almond milk, cocoa, and coconut sugar. Sugar content is nice and low at 7g.
Whole Foods Tapioca Pudding. Most of their baked goods contain soybean and canola oil and carrageenan, but this item is fairly pure with only milk, cream sugar, tapioca, cage-free eggs, sea salt, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean. And it’s delicious!
Peoples Pharmacy Flourless Chocolate Cake. Hard to believe, but it’s one of the best in town. The recipe was created by a French chef. You’ll find it in slices in their deli but you can also order a full cake. Ingredients: pasture-raised eggs, callebaut dark chocolate, organic butter, turbinado sugar, espresso extract, vanilla extract, sea salt. If you are gluten-free and want something that’ll knock your socks off, this is it.
Gem City Fine Foods makes gluten-free cakes that are relatively harmless. Here are the ingredients on their Triple Berry Streusel Cheesecake: cream cheese (pasteurized milk and cream, cheese culture, salt, xanthan, carob bean, guar gums), cane sugar, sour cream, cage-free eggs, brown rice flour, brown sugar, , butter, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, pecans, orange juice, molasses, potato starch, baking soda, spices, salt. Some cakes have better ingredients than others. The company is based in Utah but ships their products on Amazon.
Whole Foods Market. Whole Foods is better than the Big Box chains, but there are still some unfortunate ingredients in their cakes, like soybean and canola oil, carrageenan, corn syrup, sodium acid pyrophosphate, etc. They claim no artificial colors or flavors or preservatives and are certainly better than a lot of junk out there, but I wouldn’t call them clean. Here’s their list of unacceptable ingredients which are not in the foods they sell, including their cakes. It’s a start, but some undesirable chemicals and oils (like those mentioned) slide by.
It’s always best to get a locally made cake if you can, so ask Google (or Alexa) for a list of bakeries in your area! Just remember to check sugar content and the list of ingredients—now you know what to look for 😉
Paleo Bakehouse is a new concept—a subscription service that ships desserts to your doorstep. They make things like Acai Coconut donuts and Cinnamon Swirl cake and ship them to you. All with no grains, refined sugar, or dairy. Sweetened with coconut sugar and honey.
Did I miss something that you love?
Please send me your suggestions and I will vet them! And check back often because this list will grow and grow and pretty soon everyone in every corner of America will have good options.