Delicious dairy-free desserts for a slimmer summer

June 21, 2018 Providence Health Team



Approximately 65 percent of the world is lactose intolerant.

Dairy products can be healthy; however, overconsumption may pose health risks.

Milk and other dairy foods are generally considered healthy — when consumed in moderation. They are nutrient-rich foods that contain calcium, vitamins A and B12, vitamin D, potassium, magnesium and riboflavin. In fact, getting the recommended servings per day can help build muscle mass, which leads to stronger bones and teeth.

However, dairy foods can also be high in calories, saturated fat, and cholesterol. So, eating too much, too often may result in unintended weight gain and inflammation.

If you are among the 65 percent of people in the world who are lactose intolerant, eating or drinking lactose-containing dairy products, likely causes abdominal pain, bloating, gas or diarrhea shortly after eating or drinking them. For many, the health risks outweigh the benefits and they have sought out alternative options.

Delicious alternatives to dairy

Whether you are lactose intolerant, interested starting a vegan or paleo diet, or just want to ditch dairy to help reach your weight loss goals, here are some tasty trade-offs:

  • Use olive oil instead of butter
  • Try yeast flakes instead of cheese
  • Select soy or coconut milk over cow’s milk
  • Add avocado to recipes that call for sour cream
  • Treat yourself to sorbet instead of ice cream
  • Substitute tofu for feta cheese

Whether you have lactose intolerance or not, trading dairy products for delicious alternatives can help you make a more nutritious meal. Check out these other smart substitutes to give your home cooking a healthy makeover.

3 delicious, dairy-free dessert recipes just in time for summer

There are a lot of tasty dairy-free treats you can enjoy this summer. Here are some easy-peasy, no-bake options, courtesy of Popsugar:

Mini vegan strawberry cheesecakes

100 calories per mini


  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked at least four hours)
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 6 dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free chocolate chips


  1. Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
  2. Add the pecans, dates, coconut, and sea salt to a food processor and process until a slightly sticky, crumbly dough forms.
  3. Press dough into the bottom of 22 mini cupcake wells using the back of a spoon and your fingertips. This makes the crust for the cheesecakes.
  4. Place them in the freezer while you make the strawberry cheesecake filling.
  5. Clean and dry the food processor. Drain the cashews and add those plus the strawberries, maple syrup, coconut oil, and lemon juice to the food processor and turn on for a couple minutes until a thick, creamy filling forms.
  6. Take the muffin tin out of the freezer and fill each with the strawberry cream filling. Sprinkle with a few chocolate chips and freeze for at least an hour.
  7. Allow them to thaw for 15 minutes before serving.

Dairy-free peppermint patties

64 calories per cookie


  • 1 cup raw cashews (soaked at least four hours)
  • 6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips


  1. Drain water from the soaked cashews and pat dry with a towel.
  2. Add the cashews, dates, coconut oil, soymilk, and peppermint extract to a food processor or high-speed blender and mix until smooth.
  3. Scoop out peppermint filling into a mini muffin tin, filling 20 wells about one-third full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth them out.
  4. Freeze for at least an hour.
  5. Remove the pan from the freezer and use a butter knife to gently pop the peppermint pieces from the muffin tin.
  6. Place them in a glass container in the freezer to re-firm up.
  7. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler. (Be sure to do this slowly on low heat to prevent burning the chocolate.)
  8. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  9. Take about half the peppermint pieces out of the fridge and place them on the cookie sheet. (Leave the rest in the freezer so they stay hard.)
  10. Once the chocolate is melted, turn off the heat and allow it to cool slightly before dunking each peppermint piece into the chocolate. Do this one at a time, using a spoon to spread it around evenly and smooth it out.
  11. Place each chocolate-covered Peppermint Patty on the lined cookie sheet.
  12. Place them back in the freezer to set for 10 minutes.
  13. Store leftovers in the freezer or fridge.

Chocolate chip banana ‘nice’ cream bites

39 calories per bite


  • 4 medium or 3 large bananas
  • 4 tablespoons dairy-free mini chocolate chips


  1. Peel and slice bananas, and place them on a plate in the freezer for at least two hours.
  2. Take the bananas out of the freezer and let thaw for a few minutes while you get out your mini muffin pan(s). Spray lightly with cooking spray.
  3. Add the bananas to a food processor or high-speed blender and turn on until a thick, creamy ice cream forms. (This may take several minutes.)
  4. Set aside one tablespoon of the mini chocolate chips (to be sprinkled on top later) and stir the rest of the chips into the banana ice cream.
  5. Scoop out the chocolate chip banana mixture and fill 18 wells. Sprinkle each with a few chocolate chips.
  6. Freeze for at least an hour.
  7. Pop each one out carefully with a butter knife. Allow to thaw for a couple minutes and enjoy!
  8. Store them in a glass or stainless steel container in the freezer.

Do you have a delicious dairy-free dessert you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments below. Subscribe to our blog to get the best healthy recipes and tips directly in your inbox.

This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your health care professional's instructions.


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