Whether it’s a mid-afternoon snack at work or a traditional post-dinner treat, these handy Mason jar desserts are tasty and can be made in advance. Plan for your inevitable sweet snack craving by keeping a healthy option nearby. By pre-packing a more virtuous treat, you’ll be prepared with a little dessert in a Mason jar when those cravings strike.
Pro tip: Each recipe can also be prepared in a ramekin or small mug.
1. TROPICAL QUINOA PUDDING
This quick recipe is one to have in your back pocket for when you have cooked, leftover quinoa or want a healthful and satisfying sweet breakfast!
To prepare on the stove: In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together 2 cups coconut or almond milk with 3 egg yolks and bring to boil. Lower the heat, and allow to simmer. Next, add 2 cups of cooked quinoa, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, and stir to combine. Simmer gently until the mixture thickens just slightly, then add a pinch each of cinnamon, salt and nutmeg (or to taste). Then, remove the pudding from the heat, ladle into 8-ounce glass jars and top with 1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut and 2 tablespoons dried papaya. (Makes 4 servings.)
To prepare in the microwave: In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine 2 cups coconut or almond milk with 3 egg yolks, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 cups cooked quinoa and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Cover and heat on high for 90 seconds. Stir thoroughly, and season to taste with a pinch each of salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Ladle into 8-ounce glass jars, and top with 1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut and 2 tablespoons dried papaya.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 354; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 11g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 138mg; Sodium: 295mg; Carbohydrate: 47g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 20g; Protein: 8g
2. BLUEBERRY & BLOOD ORANGE CRUMBLE WITH HAZELNUT GRANOLA
Other berries and any other fruit work here if you don’t have blueberries and blood oranges. Mix the crumble well, and watch it bake so it doesn’t burn.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare 4 8-ounce oven-safe glass jars.
In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed and drained if froze,), 1/2 cup blood, cara cara or navel orange slices (with the white pith removed), 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon honey, 2 tablespoons almond flour and a pinch of salt. Toss the fruit well to coat, then set aside.
In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup almond flour with 1/4 cup melted coconut oil, 3 tablespoons toasted and chopped hazelnuts, 1/8 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, 1/4 cup quick oats, 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
Spoon the fruit mixture evenly into the glass jars, then top with the hazelnut crumble mixture. Bake until the juices are bubbling and the crumble is fragrant, about 25–30 minutes. Check frequently to be sure the crumble isn’t burning, and cover with aluminum foil if it’s browning too quickly. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Top with ice cream, whipped cream or yogurt. Store crumbles covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Recipe makes 4 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 229; Total Fat: 23g; Saturated Fat: 13g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 73mg; Carbohydrate: 21g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 14g; Protein: 4g
3. CHOCOLATE-AVOCADO PUDDING
You’ll never guess that this creamy, dreamy chocolate pudding has a secret healthy ingredient — avocado.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal S blade attachment, combine 2 large avocados (pits removed) with the seeds from 1 vanilla bean (split lengthwise and scraped), 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 cup pure maple syrup, 1/4 cup agave nectar, 1/4 cup fresh orange juice and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. Divide the pudding evenly among six 8-ounce Mason jars and chill (uncovered) at least 2 hours.
To serve, top with 1 tablespoon each nuts (chopped and toasted) or cacao nibs. Pudding can be made 3 days ahead, covered and chilled. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 278; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 101mg; Carbohydrate: 42g; Dietary Fiber: 7g; Sugar: 30g; Protein: 5g