Celebrate Spring With These Veggie-Filled Desserts You Can Enjoy Year-Round

When my children were young, I used to “sneak” vegetables into kid-friendly foods, including desserts. This might surprise you, but vegetables actually lend themselves beautifully to sweet treats like muffins, tarts, and other baked goods.

All ages can celebrate the upcoming spring season with fresh, bone-nourishing veggies that are remarkably suited to dessert recipes, like the three I share in today’s post. Each one of these scrumptious treats are pH-balanced and you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to include bone-healthy veggies in sweet treats.

These desserts are still indulgences, but why not make them as nutritious as possible? That’s what the following recipes are all about.

So here’s a delicious way to usher in spring in the Northern Hemisphere with bone-smart treats that can be enjoyed year-round!

Sweets And Your Bones

It’s important to clarify where desserts, sugar, and sweets in general fit into the clinical nutrition-based plan of the Save Our Bones Program. Because refined, white sugar is harmful to your bones and overall health, it’s consumption is significantly reduced on the Program, while nutritious foods are encouraged to “fill the void” and stave off the inevitable sugar cravings.

Here is a brief recap of sugar’s detrimental health effects:

  • Damages your immune system.
  • Depletes your body of bone-building vitamins and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, copper, and Vitamin C.
  • Promotes the formation of Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs), which weaken collagen and are implicated in degenerative brain disorders, particularly Alzheimer’s.
  • Acidifies your pH.

For a closer look at the science behind sugar’s bad reputation, and for more information on sugar in general and tips on cutting back, please check out my posts on this topic, including the Top 3 Reasons To Avoid Sugar and Are You Still Eating Too Much Sugar? This Will Help You To Stop.

Here is where clarification is needed: sugar causes this kind of harm when it is eaten in large amounts at a nearly constant frequency. And that can happen more easily that you think! It’s not unusual for white sugar to find its way into almost every meal and snack, even when you don’t realize it. Sugar “hides” in foods like pasta sauce, yogurt, and salad dressing.

So while it’s perfectly fine to “cheat” now and then and indulge in a sugary snack or dessert, that’s entirely different from continual sugar consumption, which will greatly compromise your health and your bones.

Now For The Recipes!

One of the best ways to avoid overindulging in sugar is to make your own desserts and sweet treats that have minimal sugar and optimal nutrient content. Here are three delicious ways to do just that.

1. Spinach Chocolate Muffins

12 Servings
pH-Balanced

Who says eating your spinach has to be dull and flavorless? Dark green spinach leaves, rich in Foundation Supplements magnesium, manganese, silicon, and Vitamin K, add valuable nutrient power to these chocolatey delights.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole-grain flour, preferably sprouted whole wheat or spelt
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup raw honey (adjust to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 5 ounces baby spinach leaves (about 1 cup loosely packed leaves)
  • 1 banana
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup dark chocolate mini chips (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners or oil cups with coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients; set aside.
  3. In a blender, place the coconut oil, almond milk, honey, banana, spinach, and vanilla; whirl at high speed for 30 seconds to one minute, or until ingredients are thoroughly puréed.
  4. Fold the purée into the dry ingredients until blended; fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into muffin cups, filling each cup about ¾ full. Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

2. Gluten Free Beanie Blondies

36 Blondies
pH-Balanced

Creamy lima beans (also known as butter beans) make a delectable, alkalizing purée that lends moist richness and bone-smart nutrients to these classic dessert bars. As an added bonus, these blondies are gluten-free.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups lima beans, cooked and drained
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ⅓ cup raw honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon each baking powder and baking soda
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
  • Coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil an 8-inch square baking dish or deep pie plate with coconut oil.
  2. Place the lima beans in a blender and purée until smooth. Spoon the purée into a large bowl.
  3. Add the almond butter, honey, vanilla, salt, and baking powder and soda; stir well to combine, or use an electric mixer.
  4. Fold in ½ cup of the chocolate chips, setting ¼ cup aside for topping.
  5. Pour batter into the oiled baking dish and top with remaining ¼ cup chips. Bake for 23-26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

3. Sunny Carrot Tart

8 Servings
pH-Balanced

Chock-full of no fewer than 11 Foundation Supplements, bright orange carrots lend nutrition and sunny color to this tart. Plain yogurt adds a subtle, tart flavor dimension that balances the sweet carrots. This makes a beautiful addition to a bone-healthy, springtime brunch.

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 1 ½ cups whole-wheat flour (preferably sprouted) or whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon natural sugar (such as evaporated cane juice)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter, unsalted, grass-fed if possible
  • 2 large eggs
  • Ice-cold water

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 4 medium-sized carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, unflavored or vanilla
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup natural sugar
  • 1 cup plain, organic yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for the topping:

  • 1 large carrot, sliced into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 teaspoon natural sugar
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Directions for the crust:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt; cut in the butter with a pastry blender, a fork, or two knives until the butter is in lumps no larger than peas.
  2. Lightly stir in 3 tablespoons ice-cold water until dough forms a ball (add up to a tablespoon more ice water if necessary). Flatten dough into a thick disc and wrap in waxed paper. Place dough in refrigerator for at least half an hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. When dough is chilled, roll it into a circle about 10 inches in diameter. Place crust in a 9-inch pie tart pan or deep pie plate, trimming excess dough from the edges.
  5. Beat the eggs and brush the crust with 2 tablespoons of the beaten eggs, reserving the rest for the filling (below).
  6. Bake crust for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Directions for the filling:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine carrots and almond milk; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer about 10 minutes, until carrots are tender. Pour into blender and whirl until smooth.
  2. In a medium bowl, pour the remaining beaten eggs and add the egg yolk. Whisk in the sugar until the mixture is light-colored and aerated.
  3. Stir in the plain yogurt, vanilla, and puréed carrots; whisk well and strain through a mesh strainer. Pour into crust.
  4. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes; the center should still be soft and a bit “jiggly.”
  5. Cool and refrigerate until filling is set.

Directions for the topping:

  1. In a medium bowl, toss together the carrot ribbons and sugar and sprinkle over the tart; sprinkle on the pecans last. Serve chilled.

These recipes really showcase the amazing versatility of vegetables!

Vegetables Play Many Delightful And Bone-Healthy Roles

While the Save Our Bones Program does not advocate a strictly vegetarian or vegan diet, its emphasis on vegetables means you’ll discover more about the incredible variety of colors, textures, and flavors of plant foods than ever before.

To help Savers make the most of the rich world of vegetables (and all Foundation Foods), I created a cookbook, Bone Appétit, based on clinical nutrition that is scientifically proven to build and renew bone. The recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert include ingredients that are carefully chosen for their bone-smart nutrient value.

Building bone with delicious foods makes so much more sense than taking dangerous osteoporosis drugs, dealing with the side effects, and compromising your bones’ integrity.

I’m sure you’ll agree with me: eating your way to younger, stronger bones makes a whole lot of sense, and it’s much easier than you think with Bone Appétit guiding you every step of the way!

Eat Your Way to Stronger Bones!

Discover over 200 mouth-watering bone healthy recipes for breakfast, smoothies, appetizers, soups, salads, vegetarian dishes, fish, and plenty of main courses and even desserts!

Learn More Now →

Till next time,

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19 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Donna April 25, 2017, 12:29 pm

    Please comment on the use of garbanzo beans in the recipe. Also the value of using them to make flour. I have been grinding them to make my own flour. Also how does raw honey differ nutritionally from sugar? I can’t buy your collection because I do not have internet service only on my phone.DRAT!!!!! Thank you

  2. catherine April 8, 2017, 3:33 am

    Hi Vivian,
    What are your thoughts on Kangen water? I would invest in the unit if I thought it would improve bone density.

  3. clarise March 30, 2017, 9:34 am

    could you give the carb count for these recipes? thanks.

  4. Sara March 24, 2017, 3:38 am

    How about using stevia instead of sugar?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 25, 2017, 7:50 pm

      Stevia is an excellent choice of sugar-free sweetener, Sara!

  5. Pat March 23, 2017, 11:22 am

    Thanks for the excellent recipes!
    Is there a baking powder substitute?
    Perhaps add eggs & increase flour?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 23, 2017, 12:55 pm

      Hi Pat,

      Baking powder reacts to the acid ingredients in a recipe to produce air bubbles, which lightens the final product. If you prefer, you can substitute baking soda, which has a similar leavening effect. But you will need to add a little more. For example, to substitute 1 teaspoon of baking powder, you’d need 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda.

  6. Sue March 23, 2017, 11:18 am

    Vivian,
    I turn 60 tomorrow. I was diagnosed with osteopenia about 6 years ago. I threw out soda pop forever and became faithful to my calcium supplements. (Can you please, please recommend your favorite calcium supplements?)

    I most recently happened upon your information and I’m so thankful that I did. I read every one of your emails.
    I am extremely, extremely grateful for everything you do for us and our bones.
    Thank you so very much.
    God bless you.
    Sue

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 23, 2017, 12:53 pm

      Happy (almost) Birthday, Sue! If you’ll search this site for “calcium” you will see lots of posts that include recommendations. 🙂

  7. Janell March 23, 2017, 10:40 am

    For the Beanie Blondies, is the 1-1/2 cup of lima beans a dry measurement before cooking, or is the measurement 1-1/2 cups after cooking?

    Thank you.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 23, 2017, 12:51 pm

      Hi Janell,

      It’s 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans, so you would measure the beans after cooking.

  8. nala March 23, 2017, 10:22 am

    Hi Vivian, For the gluten free blondies, can you replace the lima beans with other beans like northern beans? I am not a fan of lima beans.

    Thanks for gluten free recipes.

    regards!!!!!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 23, 2017, 12:47 pm

      Hi Nala,

      Yes, you could substitute cannelini or white beans, but it would make the blondies acidifying; lima beans are one of the few alkalizing beans. So if you used a different bean, you would need to balance your other food consumption accordingly. 🙂

  9. FM March 23, 2017, 10:19 am

    Hi Vivian, Definately going to make these desserts, thank you.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 23, 2017, 12:44 pm

      Feel free to share your experience with the recipes, FM!

  10. Dennis Wheway March 23, 2017, 8:12 am

    I notice that spinach is mentioned in a recipe given as beneficial because it contains calcium. I want to share a cautionary tale about spinach and how it can take calcium out of the body.

    Spinach (plus rhubarb, beetroot and almonds) are extremely high in a chemical called oxilates. If oxilates build up in the body they can cause thrush like symptoms and even kidney stones. Calcium binds to oxidants to take it out of the body and so depleats calcium.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 23, 2017, 9:16 am

      Thank you for mentioning that, Dennis! While laboratory studies have shown that oxalates may interfere with calcium absorption (it doesn’t actually leech calcium from the bones), the reduction is relatively small and should not prevent you from eating spinach, which contains many valuable nutrients. 🙂

  11. Marc March 23, 2017, 6:11 am

    YUMMY.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA March 23, 2017, 9:18 am

      Glad you feel that way about the recipes, Marc! 😀

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