Dates are the fruit from a palm tree and can be referred to as the date palm. There are thousands of varieties but they can be classified in three simple sub-groups: soft, semi-dry and dry. Depending on your recipe or your preference will determine which kind of date you look for.

Dates also happen to be a mineral and vitamin rich food as well as a great source of dietary fiber. Recent studies show that dates can contribute to several health benefits such as can help lower cholesterol, improve bone health, promote digestion and so much more. They may be high in sugar but like other fruits, it’s the natural kind. So when introduced into the diet correctly, the sugar and calories can be harmless. Considering they contain natural sugars this makes them the perfect addition to many sweet recipes. We have discovered 15 sweet yet healthy recipes that are also vegan-friendly that you are definitely going to enjoy.

1. 3-Ingredient Date Caramel

Caramel is delicious but typically not very healthy. It is often made with refined sugars and sometimes artificial flavors. This recipe provides a healthier alternative. The best part is it only requires 3 ingredients and 5 minutes of your time.

This caramel is made from pitted Medjool dates, non-dairy milk and sea salt. It is so gooey and sweet you’ll be tempted to eat it with a spoon. If you have enough self-control you can save it for the perfect caramel sauce that can be added to many delicious desserts. PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: VEGANOSITY

2. 5-Ingredient Homemade Twix Bars

Chocolate bars are the sneaky foods that seriously tempt you, especially when in the checkout line. They’re delicious but are seriously unhealthy when consumed often. The next time you reach for the candy bar leave it there. Instead, make this delicious homemade Twix bar. Its the perfect healthy alternative you’ve been looking for.

It’s time to replace the highly processed foods with real, wholesome foods. Firstly, these Twix bars begin with a coconut flour shortbread cookie and is then topped with a caramel made of dates. To complete the Twix bar, it is dipped in melted dairy-free chocolate chips. PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: THE ORGANIC DIETITIAN

3. Chia Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Chia seeds are great for your digestion because they can help move everything along smoothly through your digestive tract. For this reason, it would be wise to incorporate chia seeds into our diets more often. If chia seed pudding isn’t your favorite you could make something delicious like these peanut butter protein balls. You get all the health benefits but you’ll hardly notice that they are there.

These protein balls take 10 minutes and only need 4 ingredients. They’re also made in the food processor for an easy process and clean up too. The dates help give these protein balls a sweet flavor and the peanut butter helps make them very filling. They’ll make a perfect snack in between meals or a great after workout protein snack too. PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: VEGAN FAMILY RECIPES

4. Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

The taste and smell of apple pie always reminds me of family time. This is because at almost every family gathering apple pie is there. I love how the smell of warm flavors fill the kitchen as it bakes. These bars take on the flavors we love about apple pie but enhances them ever so slightly.

These salted caramel apple pie bars are a healthy alternative to traditional apple pie. You’ll find coconut oil, whole wheat flour, and coconut sugar in this recipe instead of their non-healthy alternatives. The salted caramel sauce is made from dates. Whether you’re feeding these to your family or guests, you’ll feel a lot better indulging in these squares. PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: HAPPY HEALTHY MAMA

5. No-Bake Dairy-Free Strawberry Cheesecake

This heavenly cheesecake is creamy and delicious and is completely dairy-free. The color alone is so vibrant that it will capture everyone’s attention. Once they bite into it they’ll taste all the fragrant and fresh flavors that it has to offer.

The strawberry cheesecake filling is made with fresh strawberries, cashew butter and dates to give it a very sweet flavor. The crust is made with 3 easy ingredients; dates, sea salt, and almonds. This is a no-bake recipe is the perfect dessert to make when you don’t want to heat up the kitchen. You will, however, still want to make this ahead of time because it needs several hours to freeze. PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: FEASTING ON FRUIT

6. Chewy Raspberry Protein Brownies

It’s hard to resist a soft and chewy brownie. Add fresh flavors like raspberries and then they’re even harder to resist! These protein-packed brownies are delicious and will practically melt in your mouth. You’ll have a hard time holding back from eating the entire batch.

You can feel good about eating and serving these brownies too because they’re refined sugar-free. Instead, you’ll find Medjool dates and pure maple syrup that sweeten them ever so nicely. The dates also give these brownies their ooey-gooey texture that you’ll love. They will definitely quench your next chocolate craving and the whole family will thank you for it. PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: FORKLY

7. Healthy Carrot Bread With Dates

This vegan-friendly bread is a great option for a healthy and flavorful breakfast or snack. It has no sugar added but is still slightly sweet thanks to the dates. Even though this carrot bread is healthy it has the decadent flavors of carrot cake making it the perfect healthy treat.

This recipe calls for fresh ginger which gives the bread a bright flavor with the perfect amount of spice. You’ll also find traditional flavors of carrot cake like cinnamon and shredded carrot that make a great addition to this moist carrot bread. Finish the bread by drizzling it with a sweet coconut yogurt glaze. PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: OCCASIONALLY EGGS

8. Healthy No-Bake Samoa Cookies

I love easy recipes especially when they call for minimal ingredients. This recipe does just that, with only 5 simple ingredients. Whether you’ve had store-bought or girl scout Samoa cookies you know they are delicious, but they aren’t always vegan-friendly or super healthy.

This recipe puts a healthy spin on a Samoa cookie so you can eat several at a time and not feel bad about it! This is also another no-bake recipe which is great for the hot months when you don’t want to heat up the oven. These cookies are made with gooey dates, toasted coconut and drizzled with dairy-free chocolate. Your whole family will love these. PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: THE PRETTY BEE

9. Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Truffles

You don’t need to leave truffle making to the professionals because this recipe proves how easy it can be to do all on your own. Better yet, this dairy-free recipe is the perfect balance of sweet and salty with truffles that will melt in your mouth.

The salted caramel peanut butter balls are dunked in a dairy-free chocolate making the perfect truffle. They are crunchy on the outside and super soft and delicious on the inside. This is another easy recipe that only calls for 5 ingredients which means no headaches and effortless dessert making. PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: MINIMALIST BAKER

10. Ridiculously Healthy Carrot And Oat Cookies

Following a healthy regime can feel hard when we restrict ourselves. However, if we can make some of our favorite foods healthy, sticking to that regime can then feel easy. These cookies will help you do just that. They are sweet enough to fulfill your cookie craving while remaining healthy to help you stay on track.

You won’t need any elbow grease in this recipe because all the ingredients are finely chopped in a food processor. All you will need for these cookies is a carrot, a banana, dates, walnuts, old-fashioned oats, and cinnamon for extra flavor. These cookies are flavorful, soft and chewy and you and the kids will love them. PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: KITCHEN AT HOSKINS

11. Chai Spice Granola

You can feel good about making your own homemade granola because you know exactly what goes into it. This recipe also offers a healthier alternative to some store-bought varieties because it is refined sugar-free. Instead, this granola is sweetened with yet again, dates.

This granola is oil-free and uses the dates to help hold the chunks of granola together. It has warm flavors of chai spice that’ll make your breakfasts a little more inviting. Enjoy this granola with some almond milk or coconut yogurt with berries for a delightful breakfast. PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: EMILIE EATS

12. Date Baklava

Baklava is known as a Middle Eastern dessert that is often made of a pastry filled with nuts and is then soaked in honey. This recipe takes a traditional Middle Eastern recipe and puts a slightly healthier and vegan-friendly twist on it.

The filling is made up of sweet dates and mixed nuts. Considering dates are so sweet on their own you won’t need any added sugar. Instead of a honey glaze, these pastries are drizzled with a simple date syrup. The syrup is very inexpensive and effortless to make. This delightful dessert is made of sweet flavors with the perfect hint of spices and zest from oranges. PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: LAZY CAT KITCHEN

13. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bars

Warm flavors of pumpkin taste perfect especially when fall rolls around. It’s the perfect transition from fresh summery flavors to comforting winter flavors. However, these pumpkin bars are so delicious you’ll find yourself making them all year round.

The savory middle layer is made from pumpkin puree and sweet dates. That delicious layer is then engulfed between layers of an almond oatmeal crumble. These bars will make a great snack but are sweet enough to be served as a dessert. PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: MY DARLING VEGAN

14. Oil-Free Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon buns were always a specialty dessert in my house. For good reason, they’re warm, sweet and delicious. But they are often high in sugar. This recipe puts a fun and healthy spin on a traditional cinnamon roll. The dough is made with sweet potato while the filling is made with dates and you will not find any oil or gluten in this recipe.

To top off these delightful rolls you could add a dollop of coconut whip cream. Considering these cinnamon rolls are a healthier variation, you could eat these for breakfast and feel good about it too. PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: FEASTING ON FRUIT

15. Magic Bars

These magic bars go by many different names but one thing remains the same, they are delicious. While many magic bars taste delicious, they often contain milk, eggs and a lot of butter. This recipe maintains an enticing flavor but is made healthier and secretly vegan, no one will even notice.

In these bars, you will find layers of dreamy and sweet coconut with a velvety graham cracker crust. They’ll make the perfect dessert for your family or bring them to your next potluck to share. These will definitely be gobbled up in no time. PHOTOS AND RECIPE HERE: CHOCOLATE COVERED KATIE

Clarissa Vanner

Clarissa loves experimenting with food of all cultures to make unique healthy dishes. When she’s not browsing Pinterest for new recipe inspiration she likes to pick up a DIY project and use her creative hands to make art or crafts. In her down time you can find her watching the latest documentaries on Netflix or going for nature walks.

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