Desserts: Nutritiously Delicious!


Coconut Brownies topped with Coconut Ice Cream

One of the challenges with eating a healthier diet is that desserts have to go out the window. So I thought. White sugar and white flour are the main ingredients of most of those delicious desserts you see all over the place. As I have been eliminating these two ingredients over the last year or so, I have been on the hunt for making nutritious desserts that you cannot even tell are healthy. That’s what I always hated about healthy desserts…they just looked overly healthy and tasted so as well, and they incorporated expensive ingredients. I am here to say that it is possible!

At our home we limit dessert to once a week. Friday nights I aim to serve a nice dessert to my husband. He really enjoys these treats! One of the best purchases I have made towards providing nutritious desserts is the purchase of an ice-cream maker. This kitchen appliance is absolutely wonderful! No rock salts or anything added, simply plug it in, turn it on, and in 30 minutes you have a batch of wonderful homemade ice cream. You control the kind of milk, sweeteners, and additions, without additives, preservatives and all that other unhealthy and unknown additions. I have made several wonderful flavors, including vanilla, strawberry, coconut, peanut butter & chocolate, and pumpkin.

Over the next few weeks, I wanted to focus Tuesday Recipes on desserts. You want to join me? Here are a few of our favorite desserts for your enjoyment! The healthier eating lifestyle doesn’t have to be so hard! ;)

Coconut Brownies

An Edmonds Family recipe – thanks to my brother-in-law, Ben!

½ cup butter
1 cup rapadura ( or 2/3 cup honey and increase flour – I personally have not tried it with honey, so you will want to experiment!)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I have replaced half with carob powder)
½ cup whole wheat flour (increase if using honey)
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
¼ cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Combine all ingredients with a mixer and spread into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Do not overcook. Top with homemade coconut ice cream!

Coconut Ice Cream

1 can (15 ou.) coconut milk
2 cups whole milk
1 cup cream
½ – ¾ cup maple syrup
2-3 Tbls. Coconut extract

Mix all ingredients together and flavor with maple syrup and extract to your taste. Always maker it sweeter than you think, because it looks some of that flavor in the freezing process. You can use all whole milk, but it gives a creamer texture with part cream. Place in ice cream maker. For an icier version without the maker, you can simply freeze the mix and then serve.

Upcoming Recipes include the use of yummy berries, other great ice cream recipes, uses for extra milk, etc….please email me any successful nutritious dessert recipes you have made…love to share them!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

37 Responses to Desserts: Nutritiously Delicious!

  1. Katie May 30, 2012 at 3:09 pm #

    I’ve had this recipe flagged for over a year now and when I (finally) got an ice cream maker last night Chocolate Coconut Brownies and Coconut Ice Cream were the very first thing on my list. I’m days away from having my fourth baby and moving a little slower but I decided it doesn’t matter if dinner gets made tonight, the brownies and ice cream will get made today! These recipes certainly did not disappoint. The ice cream, especially, is absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to try out more of your ice cream recipes. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Mary May 17, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    You can make an equally delicious and dairy-free version of coconut ice cream by using the following ingredients:

    1 cup sugar (or honey or sucanat)
    1/2 cup water (heat both to make a syrup)
    add 2 cans coconut milk, then put in your ice cream maker

    No need to heat and cool milk, etc.

  3. Katie Mae April 9, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    I was craving brownies today and went looking through your archives for a nutritious version. I made a few small adjustments (I didn’t have shredded coconut, plus I’m one of those people who can’t follow a recipe) but mostly stayed true, and WOW! My husband said it’s the best brownie he’s ever eaten.
    Since I’m experimenting with salt, I added a little flaked sea salt to the top once they were done. It was really good but with shredded coconut too it might be too much going on.

    Thank you again for a recipe that tastes and feels great!

  4. April August 27, 2010 at 6:18 am #

    I’m get the ing. today so I can wat to make it. I’m eather going to make it tonight or tomarow.

  5. Melinda August 13, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    I have made these brownies twice and really like them, but I have a question. I’m still using regular brown sugar for baking and was wondering if I need to adjust the baking powder or add baking soda because of that? I thought they seemed a little flat.

    • Lindsay August 13, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

      No, they do not rise incredibly well when using whole wheat flour…that’s a standard result. You can get a better rise by using white flour, or doubling up…making a double batch in the same size pan (8×8).

      • Melinda August 13, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

        Thanks, Lindsay. I’m new to this:)

  6. Kelly July 5, 2010 at 5:54 am #

    Lindsay, where have you found coconut extract? I cannot find it anywhere, save WalMart–but I am not comfortable with it given the ingredients.

    I did make this using vanilla extract and it was so good, but we love coconut!

    • Lindsay July 5, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

      I honestly found it at my local Cash & Carry, so I imagine it is available at other places.

    • Annie February 20, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

      check target. archer farms brand is all natural last time I looked

  7. Megan June 22, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    I will be trying the coconut brownies very soon. I’ve decided to allow myself one small treat a day…most days ;)

  8. Rebecca Weiss May 28, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    Has anyone tried an alternative flour? (something not wheat = allergy)….I’ve done some gluten free baking, just wondered before i played with it. I did see one gal commented on black bean brownies….soaking is new to me, baby steps towards more healthy. Would love to know if anyone tried another flour before I go for it. Yummy sounding!

  9. billie gram May 16, 2010 at 6:50 pm #

    Hey again…

    I made these tonight but got confused (reading the recipe on the computer on one side of the room then heading over to the kitchen to execute it) and accidently put in 1 tsp of salt! Can you believe it (after my lentil rice casserole fiasco)?! :)

    I successfully fished most of it back out, though, so they turned out fine…I sprinkled coconut on top and decorated them with pecans.

    I hadn’t had chocolate in quite a while, so this was MUCH appreciated!

    So, once again, thanks for posting these recipes. Next time I should probably write down the recipe and just bring it to the kitchen with me, don’t you think?! ;)

    I’ll get this home made cooking thing down sooner or later…


  10. Leanne February 6, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    I just wanted to say THANK-YOU for the brownie recipe!!! They are the best brownies I have ever eaten!!! I have been using your blog a lot lately since we are do the switch to whole, healthy foods & we have been loving the recipes!! Have a blessed day!! Leanne

  11. Esther January 30, 2010 at 5:47 pm #

    Hi Lindsay,

    I know this post is older, but I was wondering: if I use the Cuisinart 1.5 qt ice cream maker, as opposed to the 2 qt that you have, would the recipe need adjusting or will the 1.5 qt also hold the amount of liquid that your ice cream recipes call for? Thanks for any help!


    • Lindsay February 1, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

      I am sure this would work in your ice cream machine as well. If not, make 3/4 of the recipe and try that. I am sure your instruction guide could inform you how much liquids your machine can hold. Measure out the recipe and see if that would work.

  12. Kristi October 7, 2009 at 1:31 pm #

    I just made black bean chocolate brownies. Lindsay, I was wondering if you have heard of those yet? My kids gobbled them up and so did the neighbor kids! Everyone said they couldn’t believe I used black beans and not flour. I adjusted the recipe, using sprouted cooked black beans, rapadura sugar, and coconut shreds. They turned out awesome! Just google black bean brownies and a whole new world will open up! :)

  13. Holly M August 18, 2009 at 10:42 am #

    Lindsay – Do you think the 1/2 cup butter could be replaced with 1/2 cup coconut oil?

    • Lindsay August 18, 2009 at 5:58 pm #


  14. Crystal April 7, 2009 at 3:18 pm #

    What is the cream that is called for in the coconut icecream? I do not have raw milk, so what is another source for cream?

    • Lindsay April 7, 2009 at 8:01 pm #

      Heavy whipping cream is the prefered choice, but you can also use all coconut milk, which is excellent too.

    • Jenni @ DrMomEssentials May 29, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

      I use yogurt to make our “icecream.” My friend makes me fresh goat yogurt, and it is delicious. Just try plain or organic instead of heavy cream for a healthy and yummy alternative.

  15. Mandy A April 1, 2009 at 8:05 am #


    I want to make the brownies this weekend… but was curious – can I use regular whole wheat flour or does this need whole wheat pastry flour? And I only have unsweetened coconut at home right now… would that work?

    Thanks so much! I am new to your blog and absolutely loving it and the information you have here!

    • Lindsay April 1, 2009 at 1:50 pm #

      Yes, you can definitely use regular whole wheat flour. You may want to increase the baking soda/powder to help it rise more effectively though. I also only use unsweetened coconut, so that is totally fine.

  16. Ali Joy January 29, 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    I’m making your brownies for the third time tonight after enjoying them twice before. My father, who is not into the whole wheat “thing”, was shocked to learn that these are whole wheat, which I of course didn’t tell him until he had admitted to me that these are the best brownies he has ever had. Can’t wait to eat them again tonight!

  17. Jasmine31 January 22, 2008 at 7:50 pm #

    The brownies and ice cream sound wonderful.

  18. Chrissy January 22, 2008 at 7:36 pm #

    Thanks for sharing!

  19. Mrs. M January 22, 2008 at 2:56 pm #

    Looks and sounds yummy. The idea of an ice cream machine sounds yummy too! My husband would love it.
    I enjoyed your post on Family In Missions too.

  20. Amy Best January 22, 2008 at 2:35 pm #

    Mmmmm, makes me hungry. :-) I have been meaning to try making coconut ice cream with only coconut milk as I can’t have dairy, but haven’t got around to it yet. I need your nifty ice cream maker- I only have the one that requires rock salt, etc.!

  21. I love coconut ice cream! I have also made it entirely with coconut milk and it has turned out really well. (This is great for those who can’t have dairy products). I am also experimenting with coconut flour, have you ever used it?

    I just tried my first recipe using it. You can see the results over at my new blog, :-)


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