Because they are loaded with sugar and calories, desserts often get a bad rep for derailing a healthy diet.
But the term “healthy desserts” does not have to be an oxymoron. More and more cafe owners are catering to health-conscious Singaporeans by providing healthier treats that taste just as good as the sinful ones.
Using vegan/raw alternatives, organic ingredients, and minimal processed sugar, the desserts will satisfy your sweet tooth without adding to your waistline (if you eat in moderation, of course).
From acai bowls to cakes to ice-cream, here are 10 places around the island where you can indulge your cravings, guilt-free.
As the first and only shop in Singapore that offers acai soft-serve, Beriwell focuses on perfecting its exclusive menu of soft-serves and smoothies.
Acai comes with a host of health benefits, including antioxidants, fibre, essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, so you get the best of both worlds at Beriwell, where you can have an acai soft-serve that is as bright and cheery as the shop interior.
With its tropical tiki-bar themed decor, you can imagine yourself on the beaches of Hawaii while enjoying crowd favourites such as Coco Majik, which is made of blended Thai coconut, coconut water and spirulina (a healthy bacteria that increases antioxidant enzymes in the blood).
For smoothies, try the refreshing Lycopink, which contains goji berries, mint, watermelon and strawberries, or the savoury-sweet Peanut Butter and Joy, which contains peanut butter, bananas, almond milk and Maca root (which can help to reduce blood pressure).
Additional toppings include granola, crushed cookies and cut fruits.
At #01-01 19 East Coast Road, Singapore 428746, tel: 9182 0747. Visit www.facebook.com/beriwell
This eatery at the Keong Saik Road food enclave advocates a modern vegan lifestyle with plant-based dishes such as raw pizzas made of dehydrated almond crust, raw lasagne made of zucchini, as well as burgers with black bean and flaxseed patties.
Its dessert menu is a continuation of the raw foods theme, with creamy offerings such as the raw cheesecake, made of cashew cream fudge on a cashew crust with dates and drizzled with cold-pressed organic coconut oil and maple syrup, and lighter options such as the acai bowl of raw muesli, bananas, coconut cracker, raw berry compote, and salted tahini ‘caramel’ made of raw gluten, dairy- and sugar-free chocolates.
At 24 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089131, tel: 6224 8921. Visit https://afterglow.sg/
The new kid on the block, Kind Kones, presents a variety of gluten-free, plant-based vegan ice-cream and desserts made from scratch with natural, chemical-free ingredients. Instead of eggs and dairy products, the ice-cream flavours are made of coconut and nuts such as cashews and almonds. They also do not contain refined sugar, preservatives or emulsifiers.
Go for the signature flavour, Blue Planet, a planet Earth-lookalike (thanks to the natural blue pea flower dye) with a base made of coconut, cashew and almond milk, and consists of chunks of matcha cake. You can choose to pair your ice-cream with a cone (which come in wholemeal and flourless gluten-free options), cookies or brownies, or make it a banana split.
At B1-27, Forum The Shopping Mall, 583 Orchard Road, Singapore 238884, tel: 9010 8557. Visit www.facebook.com/kindkonesSG
This Scandinavian superfoods shop promotes the warm, fuzzy hygge lifestyle with a superfood diet full of Scandinavian flavours. Its dishes — mostly low-carb, high-protein salads and lean bowls — are focused on freshness, mindfulness and balance.
Where desserts are concerned, the Classic Acai Bowls at Haakon are a must-try. They contain a delightful medley of coconut flakes, blueberries and diced seasonal fruits such as mango, kiwi and dragon fruit, which add a natural sweetness without the need for artificial additives. Chocolate fans will love the Cacao Bliss, made of cacao and almond butter and consists of granola, chia seed parfait, almond flakes, cacao nibs and fruits. Super-healthy eaters can try the Green & Lean Bowl, which uses a spirulina and spinach base and is topped with goji berries, spinach, almond butter and more.
Best of all, there are four stores around Singapore where you can easily grab a post-meal treat.
Check out their website for store information.
If you’re a fan of avocados, you would probably have heard of All the Batter, because this avocado-themed cafe involves the fruit in almost every dish on the menu.
Aside from the savoury millennial favourite, avocado on toast, the dessert menu revolves entirely around the superfood as well. Think avocado cakes with alternating layers of avocado buttercream and chocolate (Avocado Rhapsody Slice), or sweetened with strawberry, matcha, gula melaka and lemon. For something nutty, the Avocado Nutty Galore is an avo-milkshake that will satiate with its richness. Pair it with a light snack such as the Fresh Avocado Milk Ball, a cream puff with a generous filling of milky avocado cream.
Vegan folks, not to worry. The store also offers egg-, gluten- and dairy-free vegan options, as well as low-GI versions of its popular dishes that are diabetic-friendly.
Ay 17 Jasmine Road, Singapore 576585, tel: 8510 6313. Visit www.facebook.com/AllTheBatter
Believe it or not, its ice-cream contains only 80 to 140 calories per scoop (compared to 300 or more calories in regular ice-cream), making it a much healthier alternative to your tub of Ben & Jerry’s. What’s the secret to Smoocht’s ice-cream?
It’s all down to its recipe, which uses organic brown rice milk and nuts or fresh fruit, instead of eggs, dairy and milk. There is also no artificial flavouring added to its all-natural decadent treats that come in flavours such as Earl Grey, gula melaka, Thai tea, matcha and hazelnut. Its ice-cream cakes are also not to be missed. The Mudpie Madness is one for chocolate lovers, made from premium hazelnut chocolate and French chocolate, embellished with sea-salt caramelised almonds and fresh fruits, and drizzled with homemade chocolate fudge.
At #01-03 Sin Ming Centre, 8 Sin Ming Rd, Singapore 575628, tel: 6456 6431. Visit www.smoocht.com
This little cake shop in the cosy estate of Whampoa has been making egg-, dairy- and additive-free cakes to its health-conscious customers since 2008. It also offers an array of vegan creations that do not contain sugar, wheat, or gluten, and most of its cakes do not contain allergens such as nuts or soy.
Yet, Delcie’s does not compromise on flavour. From banana hot fudge to hazelnut chocolate, mixed berries to tiramisu, vanilla pound cakes to durian cakes, its low-carb creations taste just like regular ones but without the extra calories.
The secret is a combination of three alternatives to cane sugar: coconut sugar, agave and organic stevia, which are all low GI.
Bonus: If you’re the sort who needs to know the nutritional value of everything you eat, you can find the nutritional breakdown of each dessert on Delcie’s website, so you can make a decision beforehand.
At #01-83, Blk 34 Whampoa West, Singapore 330034, tel: 6282 2951. Visit https://delcies.com/
Fuelled by a mission to provide healthy, wholesome food and raise awareness about the nutritional content of food, the founder of Kitchen by Food Rebel, Elika Tasker, set up this 40-seater cafe in the Central Business District to cater to vegans and vegetarians, clean-meat lovers, athletes, those with food intolerances and just health-conscious food-lovers in general.
The cafe’s philosophy is all about real food — unprocessed food that contains no preservatives, additives or hidden sugars. Everything from spreads to dressings is made from scratch, using locally-sourced organic ingredients.
Desserts are free of refined sugar, dairy and gluten, so you can indulge in their fruit tarts, avocado lime cake (which uses coconut oil and dissipated coconut sugar) and gula melaka chocolate brownies without guilt.
At 28 Stanley St, Singapore 068737, tel: 6224 7088. Visit www.foodrebelsg.com
This cafe along Bukit Timah Road has made a name for itself since 2011 for its clean, organic food that contains no refined sugar, red meat, dairy, preservatives and artificial colouring.
Instead, The Living Cafe is all about raw foods — dishes that are never chemically processed or cooked about 47°C in order to retain their original nutritional qualities.
Apart from mains such as brown rice bowls, wholemeal pizzas and zucchini noodles, it also offers a selection of raw desserts such as brownies, cheesecakes, tiramisu, chocolate avocado mousse, acai bowls and fresh berry waffles with coconut yogurt. The lemon and cranberry tart is a light affair that makes for a good tea-time snack. For smoothies, you can choose to add chia seeds, protein powder and a green mix for an additional dollar. If you’re game enough, try the Turmeric Tropicana, a zesty combination of mango, pineapple, coconut milk and turmeric.
At 779 Bukit Timah Rd, Singapore 269758, tel: 6468 4482. Visit https://thelivingcafeasia.com/
Trying to eliminate sugar from your diet but need your dessert fix? Sugalight has just the answer.
Instead of using artificial or refined sugar, this diabetic-friendly ice-cream parlour uses Xylitol, a natural sweetener found in corn, which contains fewer calories than sugar and does not spike blood sugar levels. (Xylitol is also recommended by dentists to fight tooth decay.)
The ice-cream is also high in gut-healthy probiotics, low in fat, and free of preservatives, but taste just as creamy and lip-smackingly good as regular ice-cream. In fact, this brand of Halal, vegan ice-cream has been named the “Healthier Snack” by the Health Promotion Board. Flavours include mango sorbet, cappuccino, Valrhona Chocolate, durian, avocado, matcha green tea, vanilla macadamia, Baileys Irish Cream, Jamaican rum and raisin, and more.
If you crave something for tea time, Sugalight also dishes out a line of Chinese New Year cookies, cakes and tarts — all non-sugared, of course. Come next CNY, you can order from its online store and have it delivered to your doorstep, or visit any of its partnering cafes for a tasting before making a purchase.
Tel: 6440 3644. Visit http://sugalight.com/
By Joyce Chua, August 2019 / Images: Instagram
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