Need a Healthy Dessert? Try A Diet-Friendly Fruit Pizza

Birthday dinnerFor the past several months, my daughter has been following a strict no-sugar, no-grains, and no-dairy diet. She’s had great results with this diet, experiencing the benefits of lowered inflammation and weight loss. So, when her birthday rolled around this month, I wanted to surprise her with a dessert that she could feel good about eating.

It’s not that easy to find a healthy dessert recipe that is sugar-free, grain-free and dairy-free—that will accommodate birthday candles on top. I knew that she loved fruit, however, so I came upon a recipe for a cookie-crust fruit pizza made with coconut flour and NO refined sugar.

Still, the recipe didn’t seem quite right: it called for a layer of coconut yogurt spread on top of the cookie crust, and while I thought that would taste good, I knew it would never support birthday candles.

Just when I was about to give up on the idea entirely, I spied something at my local health food store that made me want to shout “hallelujah!” Something I had never noticed before was in their refrigerated dairy section: a tub of cream cheese substitute made from almond milk! This sounded pretty good, so I snatched up the last tub remaining on the shelf, checked out at the register, and went home with my prize.

Creating the Anti-Inflammatory Fruit Pizza

I found the original recipe for the fruit pizza with the sugar cookie crust at ScratchMommy.com, so I looked over the list of ingredients again, and decided to leave out most of the 3 tablespoons of maple syrup the recipe called for. Instead, I thought I would try using only 2 teaspoons of maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons of xylitol to sweeten the cookie dough.

By the way, when you’re first forming the dough into a ball, don’t despair if it seems a little too crumbly to make a dough that will hold together. The directions for this crust call for sticking the plastic-wrapped dough in the freezer for about 15 minutes before pressing it out flat, and this worked for me like a charm!

Fruit pizza cookie doughIf you’ve never tried a fruit pizza before, you should know that they’re really fun because you can be as creative and “personalized” as you want with your fruit toppings. (Google “fruit pizza” images for ideas.) Since berries are such wonderful anti-inflammatory fruits, I picked out organic strawberries, blueberries and blackberries for my healthy birthday creation.

The fact that the crust has to bake and cool before you can spread on the cream cheese topping and add the fruit is actually a good thing. You have plenty of time to wash and prepare your fruit for the beautiful topping.

Anticipating the Moment of Truth

Since my daughter was turning twenty-eight, I had gone with two big numeral candles, “2” and “8”, for the top. By putting a little extra “mound” of cream cheese substitute in the center of the cookie crust, the candles stood perfectly.

After adding a generous amount of fruit and arranging it around the candles, I decided to sprinkle some xylitol granules all over the top of the fruit, because they added a little extra sparkle.  Then I popped the fruit pizza in the fridge, ready for the “moment of truth” when I would surprise my daughter with dessert.

Did she like the dessert? Well, the fact that she had “seconds” said it all. She loved it, and loved that she felt great after eating it. It was the perfect ending to our birthday dinner.

Anti-inflammatory fruit pizzaRecipe:  Anti-Inflammatory Diet-Friendly Fruit Pizza

Dairy-free, grain-free and refined sugar-free! (Recipe inspired by ScratchMommy.com.)

Ingredients

Sugar Cookie Crust

  • ¾ cup coconut flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder (aluminum-free)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup coconut oil (organic, virgin)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure grade B maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons xylitol granules
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Dairy-Free Pizza ‘Sauce’

  • 1 cup almond-based cream cheese substitute (I used Kite Hill, plain)
  • 1 tablespoon xylitol granules

Toppings

  • Approx. 2 cups of mixed berries (washed and/or sliced if desired). I used strawberries, blueberries and blackberries.
  • Optional toppings: toasted coconut, chopped nuts, xylitol granules, fresh mint

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, combine the coconut flour, baking powder and salt and stir to blend.
  • In another bowl, whisk the coconut oil (melted), eggs, vanilla, maple syrup and xylitol until well-combined.
  • Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until well-blended.
  • After stirring, the dough should start coming together to form a ball.
  • Turn the dough onto a kneading board or plate and finish shaping it into a ball.
  • Wrap up the shaped ball of dough in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes (but NO longer!).
  • After removing the dough from the freezer, take off the plastic wrap and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Press the dough out into any shape you like, until it’s about ¼ inch thick. It may crack a little as you roll it out, but that’s okay. You can seal any cracks back together with your fingers.
  • Once you have achieved your desired shape, set the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 12-14 minutes. It is done when it starts to brown around the edges, but still feels a little soft in the center.
  • Remove the cookie crust from the oven and let cool.
  • When it is cooled, spread the cream cheese substitute over the top of the crust, leaving a ¼ inch border around the edges. Sprinkle xylitol granules evenly over the cream cheese ‘sauce.’
  • Top with anti-inflammatory fruits  of your choice, and pile on as much as you want!
  • Add any extra desired toppings.
  • Serve immediately or refrigerate up to 4 hours before serving. Serves 8.

Recipe Notes and Tips:

  • Although I worried right up until serving that the cookie crust might disintegrate into a mass of crumbles when it was sliced and served, it held together beautifully!
  • I used a large skillet lid to help me shape my crust into a perfect circle.
  • This fruit pizza would make a great anti-inflammatory breakfast!
  • Other fruits could be substituted for the berries, if you are wanting to “personalize” it to someone’s taste.

 

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing on this site or blog is intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

12 Replies to “Need a Healthy Dessert? Try A Diet-Friendly Fruit Pizza”

  1. Hey,

    Yum, yum. What an amazing idea.

    I have shown this article to my girlfriend as she loves desserts and I think a healthy one that is like a pizza will definitely be appealing.

    I’m not a great eater of desserts but one that is like a pizza I think I will try out.

    I have forwarded this post onto my family and friends who will be interested (thats almost all of them).

    I’ll keep an eye out for future posts as your site is excellent.

    All the best and keep up the good work.

    Tom

    1. If you don’t like food that is excessively sweet, and if you are fond of berries, I think you will love this fruit pizza like my family did. Thanks for the encouraging feedback, and I wish you and your family many healthy desserts!

  2. I am drooling right now after reading this and seeing the finished fruit pizza! You did a great job of describing how to make this dessert. My daughter-in-law makes a fruit pizza, but it isn’t the healthy type. It look very much like yours and it is amazing. I have a niece that would love this and she is gluten free. I am sending her you post.
    Thank you for such a great post and for this amazing recipe.

    1. This is the first time that I had ever tasted a fruit pizza that wasn’t the “unhealthy” type, but I was not disappointed! These days, it is getting harder and harder to fix family meals that fit in with everyone’s ‘special diet’ for food sensitivities or allergies. This recipe comes closer than most, though, and will work better in extended family get-togethers. Thanks for your comments, and happy eating!

  3. Hi!

    I love all kind of berries so this must be good for me 😁

    I had never heard of a fruit pizza before I read your article so this was very interesting AND inspiring to read. I can’t wait to try to make this as a dinner desert for my family. Everyone in the family is actually eating berries so this one should be appreciated.

    Has this desert been known for a long time or is it a new one?

    Regards, Jan

    1. I couldn’t say just how long fruit pizza’s been around, but I’ve known about the not-so-healthy version for maybe 15 years or so. Most of the traditional recipes tell you to just go buy a package of refrigerated sugar cookie dough and roll it out for the crust, which is convenient but not very diet-friendly. I hope your family enjoys this healthier version of the fruit pizza “berry” much!

  4. wow, this is super appetising looking
    I must show this page to my wife and I think she will not resist the urge to make this wonderful and artistic dish
    just wondering if I could leave out the xylitol granules as I’m not a fan of this?

    this is a beautiful website, everything about it is so earthy and vibrant
    I’m bookmarking this as I think it will be a good resource for health and eating habits in the future

    oliver

    1. I’m glad you liked the recipe, Oliver, and you could certainly use any form of sweetener that you prefer to make this! I only picked xylitol because of its low glycemic index, taste and appearance. I wouldn’t recommend using any sugar alcohol such as this in very large amounts, but there are only approx. 3 tablespoons total in this recipe.

  5. I love fruit pizza and it has been so long since I have had some. I am going to print out this recipe and give it a try. I like that it is diet friendly 🙂 Can I get the almond based cream cheese substitute at the grocery store? I am not familiar with that at all. Thanks!

    1. So far, I have only seen the Kite Hill almond-based cream cheese in one local health food store chain, and I think it is a pretty new product. I have seen some of their other products in regular grocery stores (health food section), so I’m hoping to see this product available in more stores. The Kite Hill website (see my link in recipe) says their products are available at Whole Foods, Sprouts, Publix, Target and other retailers. Click on “Where to Buy” at the top of their homepage to see which stores in your area carry their products. If you’re avoiding dairy products, this cream cheese substitute is a pretty nice indulgence.

  6. Hi Abbee,
    What a great idea and it looked really super. When you are gluten intolerant it is fabulous to see a dessert that looks so scrumptious and that you know will not give you discomfort or worse after eating it.
    You did a great job.
    Thank you for this, recipe I will give it a try (or two).

    1. Yes, Jill, I know what you mean about the discomfort of being gluten intolerant. It is really nice to be able to celebrate a special occasion with something “yummy” and not have to pay for it later! I have found that the coconut flour agrees with me and my family members just fine. I hope you enjoy this dessert as much as we did!

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