This no-bake fruit pizza makes for a healthy dessert, snack, or even breakfast!
Being a dietitian, I come across trendy diets constantly. Whether it’s a patient telling me that they’ve never felt better since starting X diet or an article trending on Facebook (thankfully I don’t have cable so I’m not bombarded with daytime TV shows preaching the newest “miracle” weight loss food), I can’t help but get a little curious. Usually my curiosity just means I spend a good day or two looking into the research behind the claims, but ever once and awhile I come across a theme in these fad diets that may actually be worth taking notice of.
I could easily go on a seven page rant on sugar and fat and how the low fat craze led to the creation of food products just loaded with sugar. But I won’t. At least for now. What I will say is I find it amazing how we spend so much time and energy into developing new “diets” when in reality, I believe, we already know and have known how to have a healthy diet: eat a variety of whole foods. We seem to get so bogged down on individual nutrients for health, which in turn makes nutrition seem so complicated. It’s no wonder many of us throw our hands up in surrender and just go back to our Western ways of eating. For general health, simply eat real, wholesome foods. The less overly-processed foods you eat and the more fresh vegetables and fruits, healthy fats, lean organic meats, and fiber-rich carbohydrates you eat, the more nutrients you are providing to your body. Simple.
*This is all for GENERAL health. Obviously some of us need special diets based on health conditions, medications, physical activity goals etc. but for that tailored of advice make an appointment with a registered dietitian, not through reading articles online!
Okay getting back on track. In an effort to get back to eating more whole foods, Bryan and I did a (mostly) no-added sugar challenge last October. The rules? we could only eat foods that naturally contain sugar – but not sugar sources themselves. For example, we ate fruit (including dried fruit like dates), vegetables (including starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes), unsweetened yogurt, unsweetened soy or almond milk, whole grains such as quinoa and brown rice, and of course proteins (eggs, chicken, fish, beef, beans, tofu, and LOTS of natural peanut butter 😉 ). But we avoided honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, white sugar, cane syrup – basically any simple sugar and products containing them. The one exception to this rule was bread. I did go bread-free for the month but with Bry’s activity level and limited lunch options we felt going no-bread would’ve been too strict for him and honestly unnecessary. Instead, I just made sure we bought sourdough bread from a local bakery in Somerville.
The result? Bry went from his usual breakfast of instant flavored oatmeal with a large dollop of Jiff peanut butter to sincerely loving the taste of plain oats flavored with just cinnamon and natural peanut butter (check out our go-to overnight oats) – he didn’t even want banana in it as bananas by the end of the month even tasted too sweet! But it wasn’t easy. Well, the first week was actually pretty easy once we made a list of all the foods to avoid – say goodbye to store-bought ketchup and BBQ sauce – and a list of foods to keep at home. The second week, however, Bry had a meltdown at the dinner table. Yes, it got real that second week. But by the third week our sugar cravings went away and by the fourth week we decided to just continue not buying foods with added sugars until we truly had a craving.
While we eventually went back to buying some foods with added sugar (I can’t live without a bowl of Original Puffins cereal every once and awhile), we really got used to snacking on fruits, homemade hummus, and nuts. Recently however, our bodies have been overloaded with the sweet stuff. One of the great things about getting married are all of the parties and celebrations leading up to the big day. But with parties comes so many desserts and rich foods. So, with one month before our big day (cannot believe how quickly it is coming up!), we decided to once again embark on a no added sugar month, this time with both of us allowing bread. So far WAY easier than last time! But the occasional sugar craving does hit. So, to please our sweets cravings, I merged together a childhood-favorite dessert with fiber-rich date balls to create this no-baked fruit pizza.
While we didn’t have it often, one of my favorite desserts growing up was fruit pizza. The crust was a giant sugar cookie with cream cheese frosting. It was then topped with brightly colored fruits. So, so good! But obviously not going to fit with the no-added sugar challenge. So instead, I replaced the sugar cookie crust with a mixture of dates, cashews, and a pinch of salt. The cream cheese frosting also got a healthier makeover of Greek yogurt, vanilla extract, and lemon juice, and the fruit topping, of course, got to stay.
Well technically this isn’t a pizza it also isn’t a tart. Bry and I spent a few minutes going back on forth on which word to use. I ended up calling it a pizza as you cut it and top it like you would a pizza, but feel free to go with tart if that feels right for you. Regardless of what you call it, I hope you enjoy this no-bake, no-added sugar fruit treat!
So here’s a toast to getting back to a whole foods way of eating!
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Hello! Could you add pistachios to the crust? Or or replace the cashews for pistachios?
I’ve never tried it but it should work!
Now that’s what I call a guilt-free dessert. I love, love, love this. Pinning it right now.
Yay!! I’m so glad you like it 🙂 Definitely give it a shot and let me know what you think 🙂
love this version! i remember the first time i saw a fruit pizza recipe i got really excited, thinking it was pretty healthy, then i saw what it was actually made of… haha.
I know! As a kid I always thought it was a healthier dessert too – hope you enjoy!!