Decadent Desserts Redesigned with Health in Mind


Deciding to improve your health by changing the way you eat can mean different things to different people. There are those of us who do better by avoiding temptation altogether. At The Local Grocer, we do our best to find ways to minimize the unhealthy elements of our favorite foods. Sometimes, that means eating fresh to avoid consuming pesticides. Other times, it means reading tons of labels and choosing products with short ingredient lists, featuring whole ingredients. And when it’s time for dessert, we get creative!

The first of our “redesigned” treats is a handy-dandy pumpkin spice-flavored milkshake. It’s a trendy, seasonally appropriate spin on a classic “Happy Days” staple. To send this delicious recipe into a better-for-you space, we swapped out the ice cream for a frozen banana. By changing one ingredient, we replaced high sugar content with a banana’s potassium, fiber, prebiotics, antioxidants, magnesium, and copper. You can use frozen bananas in just about any recipe that calls for ice cream.

If your sweet tooth finds baked goods more appealing, give this Vegan Snickerdoodle a try. Recent studies seem to suggest that individuals eating well-planned vegan diets are less likely to suffer from diet-related health problems like high cholesterol and hypertension. This recipe replaces animal fat with vegetable-based sources.

If sweets are your weakness, finding healthier options and indulging – in moderation – will prove to be a valuable part of your journey to a happier lifestyle.

coverdish1117-1Vegan Snickerdoodles


Outer Coating

  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon

Cookie Dough

  • ¼ cup + 2 T non-dairy milk
  • 2 Tbsp golden flax meal
  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup Regular Vegan Butter or stick margarine (1½ sticks, softened but cool)
  • ¼ cup Vegan Shortening


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Prepare outer coating by whisking together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk non-dairy milk, flax meal and cream of tartar until smooth. Set aside for about 10 minutes so the mixture gets thick and curdles.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. In another medium mixing bowl, cream together the 1½ cups sugar, Vegan Butter and shortening until well combined, which should take about 1 to 1½ minutes. Add the flax mixture from Step 2 and beat until well combined, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add half of the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until the mixture comes together. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix with your hands until just combined.
  6. Roll the dough into 1½ inch diameter balls and roll them in the outer coating. Transfer to the baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to squish each cookie to ¾ inch thickness. Using a slight twisting motion after squishing will allow the drinking glass to release from the cookie. Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking duration.

Store in a tightly sealed freezer bag at room temperature for up to ten days. This recipe makes about 30 Snickerdoodles.

Pumpkin Spice “Milkshake”


  • 1 large banana, frozen
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 tsp vanilla flax milk
  • 6 oz. canned coconut milk
  • 6 ice cubes

TO MAKE: Blend together, enjoy!

Photography by Eric Dutro


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