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Savour these healthy desserts without ruining your diet

We’d barely had a chance to recover from Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations when Chinese New Year arrived with its own series of feasts and indulgences. If you’re anything like us, you’re probably ready to cut back on the calories a bit, but that doesn’t necessarily mean getting rid of everything you love. For anyone with a sweet tooth who’s trying to watch their waistline, these healthy desserts will satisfy your cravings without making you feel guilty.

Peanut butter truffle at MANA!

These sweet treats are packed with protein from peanut butter and cashews.

Vegan fave and yogi hot spot MANA! serves up bite-sized wonders in the form of its popular peanut butter truffles (HK$30 each). The vegan and gluten-free balls of goodness are handcrafted with organic peanut butter, pink Himalayan salt, hemp seeds and chopped cashews. If peanut butter isn’t your thing, then the coconut or chocolate truffles should do the trick. Also worth trying at MANA! Café in Poho are the vegan ice creams in macadamia-caramel and chocolate-coconut flavours (HK$40 each).

MANA! Fast Slow Food, 92 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2851 1611, mana.hk
MANA! Café, 8 Tai On Terrace, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong; +852 2347 8555, mana.hk

Raspberry lime tart at Home – Eat to Live 

Home Eat to Live
Try a mix of assorted vegan dessert bites at Home – Eat to Live, including mini raspberry lime tarts.

This sustainable, energy-generating vegetarian restaurant has a huge assortment of desserts in their glass display case up front, from chocolate mousse and banana muffins to full-sized vegan cakes in coconut-strawberry or raw-chocolate-banana flavours — all vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free. We’re particularly fond of their raspberry lime tart (HK$60), which incorporates cashews and almonds in the crust to balance out the sweet berry and citrus zing with a satisfying crunch.

Home –  Eat to Live, Shop G01 & 101 Nexxus Building, 77 Des Voeux Road Central, Hong Kong; +852 2777 4777, homerestauranthk.com

Purple sweet potato muffin at Fresca 

Fresca’s nutrient-packed muffins are perfect for an on-the-go morning snack.

Vitamin A-rich sweet potatoes are one of the tastiest trending ingredients in the wellness industry these days, as they’re packed with nutrients and minerals. Friendly neighbourhood café Fresca embraces the much-loved yam in its purple-sweet-potato muffin (HK$20), one of several varieties in a line of gluten-free, steamed muffins made with low amounts of raw sugar and olive oil. Fresca is a bit of an outlier in the middle of all the Soho and LKF nightlife action, and with their clever range of healthy and homemade foods, what excuse is there really not to take a break from all the boozing?

Fresca, 54A Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2770 2282, frescahk.com

Raw tiramisu at Grassroots Pantry

Grassroots Pantry’s raw tiramisu is a satisfying end to a healthy meal at the farm-to-table restaurant.

Here’s the classic, all-Italian sweet ending as re-imagined by vegans: gluten-free, raw tiramisu made with macadamia-cashew mascarpone on a bed of vanilla sponge (HK$105). The winning dessert from Grassroots Pantry, Hong Kong’s pioneer of sustainable food sourcing and healthy eating, features raw, sprouted buckwheat barks from local chocolate maker Raiz-the-Bar and raw activated cashews blended in for a dose of healthy protein, with the coffee component composed of Ethiopian yirgacheffe koke single-origin espresso. Other desserts at the superfoods spot include raw raspberry donut holes made with rolled oats, rum-raisin cannoli, and a chocolate, oranges and cream concoction with Raiz-the-Bar raw cacao pudding. 

Grassroots Pantry, 108 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong, +852 2873 3353, grassrootspantry.com

Matcha bean cupcake at The Cakery

The Cakery
Matcha and red bean come together in cupcake form at The Cakery.

Matcha and red bean join forces in the form of an organic green-tea cupcake (HK$36) filled with red-bean paste and frosted with green-tea buttercream at healthy bake shop The Cakery. The aptly named “Matcha Bean” is a palate-pleaser fusing the ubiquitous Japanese ingredients in the most popular form of Western dessert consumption: the cupcake. At The Cakery, delicious baked goods are made with 100% all-natural, nutrient-rich ingredients, with exotic flavours ranging from goji berries to fig in a range of sweet treats. 

The Cakery, Shop 350, 3/F, Landmark Atrium, Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong; +852 6683 3833, thecakery.com

Vegan avocado brownies from The Elephas

The Elephas
The Elephas’ avocado brownies are a rich, creamy and indulgent post-workout snack.

No compromise is made between taste and nutrition when it comes to the freshly baked goodies at The Elephas Coffee & Health Bar. The gluten-free avocado brownies (HK$53) are particularly indulgent for a guilt-free dessert — rich, moist, chocolatey squares of delight with the mild-flavoured fruit packing in the protein and lending a creamy, rich mouthfeel. Located within Warrior Academy, a training facility in Sai Wan, The Elephas is the perfect pitstop for a healthy post-workout bite, with other must-try desserts including the raw chocolate tart and silky gluten-free banana cake made with coconut sugar.

The Elephas Coffee & Health Bar, Shop 118, 1/F, Hong Kong Plaza, 188 Connaught Road West, San Wan, Hong Kong; +852 2838 3979, theelephas.com

Julienne Raboca
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