These bariatric desserts can help satisfy your sweet tooth while continuing your commitment to lifelong health. Like your other food choices, bariatric desserts should be designed to help you meet your protein needs, minimize added sugar, and emphasize healthy fats after weight loss surgery. They should also be lower in calories, so you don’t derail all your efforts.
With that being said, here’s a roundup of some of my favorite bariatric-friendly dessert recipes. These can all be adjusted for personal texture needs and flavor preferences. I think you’ll find something you love!
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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bites – Bariatric Meal Prep
These can be made in less than 10 minutes by using a food processor to combine the ingredients. The protein comes from a combination of nut butter, black beans, and protein powder. These bites use pitted dates to sweeten and are rich in fiber. They offer around 4 grams of protein and 6 grams of net carbs per bite. I recommend enjoying no more than two bites at a time to make sure you tolerate the ingredients well. Note that these bites should only be enjoyed once you’re in the regular diet phase after surgery.
High Protein Chocolate Banana Chia Seed Pudding – Bariatric Meal Prep
This is an easy-to-make combination of banana, chocolate protein powder, milk, and chia seeds that becomes a tasty, high-protein dessert or snack. While you can choose dairy or plant-based milk, check your surgeon’s guidelines to make sure the milk you use is appropriate for your phase of healing. This pudding shouldn’t be consumed during the pureed phase. Note that chia seeds should never be eaten raw after bariatric surgery as they will expand in the stomach and could cause pain. This recipe allows the chia seeds to moisten and expand before you enjoy them.
Chocolate Mousse Dip – Bariatric Food Coach
Super easy to make, this dip is a combination of fat-free cream cheese, cocoa powder, unsweetened plant-based milk, and natural sweetener of your choice. It goes well with healthy dippers, like apple slices, strawberries, or bananas. For extra nutrition, you could fold in some unflavored protein powder.
High Protein Cottage Cheese Berry Ice Cream – Abbey’s Kitchen
It’s amazing what fruit, cottage cheese, and the freezer can create! Here’s a high-protein, antioxidant-rich recipe using only two ingredients – cottage cheese and berries of your choice – that are pureed and frozen to make a creamy, delicious dessert. Make sure your berries don’t contain any added sugar.
Caramelized Cinnamon Stuffed Pears – Bariatric Meal Prep
Pears are a great snack any time. Stuffing them with a high-protein cottage cheese or Greek yogurt, and topping with cinnamon, can also make them a healthy and satisfying baked dessert. This recipe also uses a small amount of coconut oil to add a small amount of healthy fats and sweetness. Just be aware of the “health halo” effect, which can lead to overeating when you perceive something as being healthy enough to eat as much as you want.
Coconut Avocado Popsicles – Bariatric Meal Prep
Sweetened with a stevia/erythritol blend, these creamy frozen treats are full of healthy fats, soluble fiber (which can be helpful in preventing constipation after surgery), and vitamin C. It’s also an ideal recipe for adding in some unflavored protein powder. Unless you’re enjoying them in the pureed stage, you can add some coconut flakes to the outside.
Pistachio Protein Green Tea Ice Cream – Abbey’s Kitchen
Pistachio ice cream is underrated, and this homemade version is not only delicious, but full of nutrients. It blends cottage cheese, natural sweeteners, bananas, and matcha powder with pistachio butter to make a refreshing frozen dessert. If you’re in the regular phase of eating, you can top with additional pistachios and berries.
Portion size matters with this recipe. Since this recipe includes healthy fats, it’s also high in calories. I would suggest only eating one-fourth of this recipe at a time, and omit optional honey and fruit topping.
Mixed Berry Protein Chia Pudding – The Real Food RDs
Moistened chia seeds work so well to make a thick pudding that I wanted to include another version using berries. Rather than using the collagen peptides in this recipe, you could substitute an unflavored protein powder of your choice to improve the protein quality. If you don’t have berries, you could of course substitute another fruit like bananas or frozen peaches.
Dairy Free Almond Butter Banana Nice Cream – The Real Food RDs
Nice cream is a dairy-free dessert (typically using a base of frozen bananas) that can be adjusted in a number of ways to make it your own. This one calls for almond butter and unsweetened non-dairy milk, but you could substitute peanut or cashew butter and a milk of your choice. Optional add-ins can give it more texture and flavor if you’re in the regular eating phase, such as fresh berries.
This recipe is more suited for those in the maintenance phase.
Honeydew Melon Fries with Lemon Poppyseed Cherry Dip – Abbey’s Kitchen
I love this idea of making fruit fries with dip. All you have to do for this recipe is cut the melon into fry shapes that are easy for dipping, and then combine the dip ingredients.
This dip uses plain non-dairy yogurt but to make it higher in protein I suggest using Greek Yogurt. I would also suggest eliminating the dried cherry topping and omit the maple syrup. Once again portion size matters. Typically keeping fresh fruit to less than 1/2 cup is recommended.
Low Carb Brownie Bites – Bariatric Meal Prep
Who doesn’t love a good brownie bite? In this recipe I use almond flour instead of traditional flour and avocado as a source of healthy fat. The addition of real chocolate chips provides this recipe its yummy chocolate flavor. These are great to make and have on hand throughout the week when you want something “a little sweet.”
Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothies – The Real Food RDs
These smoothies combine high-protein yogurt and cottage cheese with ground flax seed, frozen strawberries, and milk. I would suggest substituting unsweetened yogurt here and omitting the graham crackers. You can also choose to use an unsweetened plant-based milk if you like. If you’re not in the mood for smoothies, or just want to save the extra for later, pour what’s left into popsicle molds and freeze!
If you want even more protein you can add unflavored protein powder.
These are just a few ways to enjoy healthy sweets while sticking to bariatric surgery guidelines. Find more of my recipes on the blog here.
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