15 Thyroid Friendly 'Kinda Healthy' Desserts (Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free)

15 Thyroid Friendly ‘Kinda Healthy’ Desserts (Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Options)

Everyone gets a sweet tooth now and then, even those (and sometimes especially those) with thyroid problems. 

If you do have that sweet tooth make sure that you are opting for 'healthy' versions of desserts to minimize any potential negative impact they may have on your thyroid. 

This article includes my favorite desserts including the ones that I recommend for my thyroid patients. 

Enjoy! 

More...

Desserts: Friend or Foe to your Thyroid? 

I'm a firm believer in the idea of 'all things in moderation' and this extends to your diet!

Many a diet has failed due to rigid guidelines which don't allow for many variations in what you are allowed to consume. Some of these diets, such as the AIP diet, may actually cause intolerances to certain foods over time. 

In fact, I don't even like the term 'diet' because it carries with it the connotation that whatever you are eating is finite. 

That's not the way you should approach what you eat. 

You need to be actively looking for a change in the food that you consume and your lifestyle. If you don't consider your 'diet' a lifestyle change then you will never achieve the results that you want (whether it be weight, mood, energy or something else). 

It may seem strange that I'm recommending you eat desserts and sweets, especially since I'm generally talking about how people

But here we need to consider the lesser of two evils:

Option #1: Is it better for you to avoid sugar and sweets 100% for 1-2 months only to fall back on the bandwagon of the Standard American Diet?

Or...

Option #2: Is it better for you to implement the 80/20 rule (or 90/10) rule which allows for some indulgences but which allows you to continue optimizing your diet and lifestyle over the long run?

From my own personal experience (both with my kids and myself!), I've found the second approach to be much more amenable to long-term success. 

With that in mind, let's talk about some Thyroid-friendly desserts that you can make. 

15 Thyroid-Friendly Desserts

I wouldn't let you dive into desserts without at least mentioning a few tips and tricks. 

These tips can help you not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also curb future cravings. 

Tips and tricks and other ways to modify the recipes below: 

  • Protein Powder - You can sub out a 1/4 cup of gluten-free flour in the recipes below with protein powder of your choice. I would recommend a thyroid-friendly protein powder such as this one, but most protein powders should work. The idea here is to increase the nutritive value of the food to help keep you full longer. 
  • L-glutamine - L-glutamine is an amino acid which comes in a powder form and can easily be added and blended into many foods, drinks, and smoothies. One of the main benefits of L-glutamine is that it can help reduce sugar cravings which is ideal if you are going to consume sweets. By using glutamine prior to eating sweets you can prevent sugar cravings for a second serving of dessert! 
  • Collagen - Collagen is a protein powder which doesn't really have a taste (it's very mild and hardly noticeable). This makes it perfect for adding to recipes to help up the protein content of the recipe. 
  • Appetite Suppressants - I'm not a huge fan of using appetite suppressants daily, but they can be used strategically to help you avoid accidentally 'binging' on sweets and desserts. If you know that you are about to go to a party where sweets will be available it may be a good idea to use a natural appetite suppressant before you head out to help you keep consumption down. 

Download my Free Resources:

Foods to Avoid if you have Thyroid Problems: 

I've found that these 10 foods cause the most problems for thyroid patients. Learn which foods you should absolutely be avoiding if you have thyroid disease of any type. 

The Complete List of Thyroid Lab Tests:

This list includes optimal ranges, normal ranges, and the complete list of tests you need to diagnose thyroid hypothyroidism correctly!

Download more free resources on this page

#1. Grain-Free Tahini Brownies

grain free tahini brownies

Photo credit: https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/grain-free-tahini-brownies-the-best-brownies-ive-ever-eaten/

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (70+%)

Notes:

When I make these I usually drop down to 1/4 cup of coconut sugar and use dark chocolate chips. You can also make this vegan by removing the chocolate chips or subbing for vegan chocolate. 

By reducing the sugar content you can still satisfy your sweet tooth and ensure that you don't overeat! 

#2. Coconut Chocolate Fudge

coconut fudge

Photo credit: https://thecoconutmama.com/cococnut-cream-chocolate-fudge-dairy-free/

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup homemade coconut butter (or pre-made if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup organic cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raw honey or natural sweetener of choice
  • 1/3 teaspoon sea salt

Notes:

Very simple and indulgent. You can cut down on the sugar content by reducing to 1/4 a cup of honey or sweetener of your choice. 

#3. Healthy Funfetti Protein Bars

healthy funfetti protein bars

Photo credit: https://whatmollymade.com/healthy-funfetti-protein-bars/

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons stevia or sugar substitute
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup cashew butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 tablespoons or more of almond/cashew milk
  • Optional protein glaze: 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil, 1-2 scoops vanilla protein powder, 1 tablespoon cashew milk/almond milk, and sprinkles

Notes:

You can substitute out any protein powder you wish but I would recommend using a plant-based protein powder and not a whey protein. Thyroid patients tend to do better with plant-based protein which is easily absorbed and utilized by the body! 

These are packed with protein and should help keep you full if used as a snack. 

#4. Frozen Banana Bites

frozen banana bites

Photo credit: https://www.nobiggie.net/frozen-banana-bites/

Ingredients: 

  • 3-4 bananas
  • 1/2 bag dark chocolate chips
  • Almond or Cashew butter

Notes:

Very simple and probably one of the healthier versions of the desserts listed here. If you have leptin/insulin resistance or are struggling with weight gain then these might be your first choice! 

#5. Paleo Almond Flour Banana Bread

almond flour banana bread

Photo credit: https://www.paleorunningmomma.com/paleo-banana-bread-no-sugar/

Ingredients:

  • 4 small/medium ripe bananas or 3 large ripe bananas
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups of blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

#6. Paleo Berries & Cream

paleo berries and cream

Photo credit: https://www.zak.com/blog-berries-cream-paleo-recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Notes:

Another dessert which is ideal for those with insulin/leptin resistance. You can also sprinkle some unsweetened cocoa powder on top for a chocolate twist. 

This is a go-to recipe for my family when the kids want something sweet. 


#7. Dark Chocolate Vegan Nice Cream

dark chocolate vegan nice cream

Photo credit: https://beamingbaker.com/dark-chocolate-nice-cream-vegan-gluten-free-dairy-free/

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium ripened bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Notes:

Must be consumed quickly after creating! It tastes great even without the sweetener. If you have leptin/insulin resistance you might find omitting the sweetener.

I find this recipe easy to make if you have a high powered blender such as a blentec or Vitamix but it may be hard with run-of-the-mill blenders. 

#8. Healthy Donuts with Cashew Cinnamon Glaze

healthy donuts with cashew cinnamon glazed

Photo credit: http://www.oddbake.com/2014/07/healthy-donuts-with-cashew-cinnamon.html

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons of melted honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 eggs
  • Ingredients for Cashew cinnamon glaze: 2 tablespoons cashew butter, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

#9. Flourless Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies

flourless peanut butter brownie cookies

Photo credit: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/flourless-peanut-butter-brownie-cookies/

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup honey roasted peanut butter at room temperature (can sub for nut butter of your choice)
  • 1/3 cup light or dark brown sugar (can sub for coconut sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (70%+ dark cocoa) 

#10. Dairy-Free Frozen Hot Chocolate

dairy free frozen hot chocolate

Photo credit: https://physicalkitchness.com/dairy-free-frozen-hot-chocolate/

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1 egg white
  • .75 ounces extra dark chocolate

#11. 1 Bowl Vegan Banana Oat Pancakes

vegan banana pancakes

Photo credit: https://minimalistbaker.com/1-bowl-vegan-banana-oat-pancakes/

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium ripe banana (brown with spots)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 - 1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk (unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk, can sub out for home-made almond milk)
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free oat flour (make your own by grinding gluten-free oats)
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour blend (DIY blend or store-bought)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Notes:

Not really a dessert but eating pancakes with maple syrup can definitely feel like a treat! You can also sub out the gluten-free oat flour for buckwheat flour or other alternatives if you tolerate those better.

I've made the recipe with different variations of gluten-free flour and they all work out great. 

#12. Paleo & Vegan Acai Bowl

paleo and vegan acai bowl

Photo credit: https://themovementmenu.com/recipes/paleo-vegan-acai-bowl/

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet organic unsweetened acai
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen mixed berries (strawberries/blueberries/raspberries)
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, almond or cashew milk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cashew butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds or chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons collagen peptides
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Optional toppings: bee pollen, cacao nibs, unsweetened coconut flakes, fresh fruit, your choice of nuts

Notes:

You can get almost all of the ingredients including the frozen fruit and acai packets at Costco. This recipe can also be modified heavily to fit your taste buds so feel free to experiment with different types of frozen fruits!

You can also make this into a smoothie by increasing the amount of liquid you put into it. The more liquid you add the easier it will be to drink it through a straw. The less liquid you put in then the thicker it will be and you may need to put it in a bowl. 

#13. Best Healthy No Bake Cookies 

best healthy no bake cookies

Photo credit: https://buildyourbite.com/healthy-chocolate-peanutbutter-no-bake-cookies/

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder (substitute with unsweetened cocoa powder as well)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond/cashew milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 cups gluten-free rolled oats

Notes:

The sweetener in this recipe can be subbed out for whichever you prefer. I have also found that you don't need to use the full amount to satisfy your 'sweet tooth'. If you can get by with less sweetener (honey or maple syrup), don't be afraid to do it!

Also, this recipe can be tough for those people who are still healing their gut from conditions such as SIBO or yeast overgrowth. If you have either of these conditions and you are in the 'elimination stage' of your treatment then you may not want to try this just yet. 


#14. Gluten-Free No Bake Granola Bars

gluten free no bake granola bars

Photo credit: https://amindfullmom.com/gluten-free-no-bake-granola-bars/

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons organic peanut butter (can substitute out sunflower butter or almond/cashew butter as well)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups gluten-free oats
  • Optional: chopped nuts, raisins, dark chocolate chips, dried fruit, sesame seeds, chia seeds, hemp hearts

Notes:

This recipe is probably not ideal for those with intestinal issues, SIBO, SIFO, or in those who struggle from irritable bowel syndrome. 

#15. Sauteed Apples & Pears with Coconut Butter (Paleo & Vegan)

sauteed apples and pears

Photo credit: https://www.paleorunningmomma.com/sauteed-apples-pears-paleo-vegan-whole30/

Ingredients:

  • 1 large apple or 2 small, peeled and sliced into 1/4 - 1/2 inch segments
  • 1 large pear or 2 small, peeled and sliced into 1/4 - 1/2 inch segments
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut butter

Notes:

Another simple recipe ideal for those with insulin and leptin resistance

A Word About Sugar

Sugar is often considered to be the enemy to most people because of its influence on both leptin and insulin. 

Basically, consumption of sugar stimulates insulin secretion which, over a period of time, can lead to weight gain and insulin resistance. 

This is absolutely true and one of the main reasons that low carb diets are so popular right now (and have been in the past). 

While I agree with the basic physiology proposed above, I think it's worth noting that not all sugars are created equal and have the same impact on your physiology. 

What do I mean?

Sugar from whole food sources such as fruits should not be placed in the same category as 

Even though both would be considered to contain sugar, how your body processes them is entirely different. 

With that in mind, it's important to realize that not all of the desserts listed above are equally unhealthy just because they contain sugar! 

In terms of the negative effect sugar has on your physiology, I would place refined sugar as the worse, followed by natural sources of sugar, followed by whole food sources of sugar. 

A practical example, from healthiest to unhealthiest, would look like this: 

Strawberries --> Honey --> White refined sugar

When you are thinking about making a dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth make sure you always consider the impact that the type of sugar you are about to consume has on your health and hormones. 

A little bit of sugar here and there probably won't cause much harm and will probably help you continue on a healthy lifestyle for a longer period of time than you otherwise would if you deprive yourself. 

Conclusion

It's possible to both eat healthily and then indulge in not so healthy foods at times without blocking or reverting all of the progress that you have made. 

If you choose to use any of these desserts make sure you pay close attention to the notes to make sure that they won't cause harm to your body. 

Also, make sure that you consider adding to the recipe with protein powders or amino acids that will help reduce future sugar cravings. 

Give these relatively 'healthy' desserts a shot and let me know what you think!

These are all recipes that I have used at some point in my life with my family. 

What other desserts have you tried that you feel are healthy? 

How do YOU handle cravings for desserts?

What type of dietary 'lifestyle' plan are you following? 

Share your questions or comments below! 

Westin Childs
 

Dr. Westin Childs is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. He provides well-researched actionable information about hormone-related disorders and formulates supplements to treat these disorders. He is trained in Internal Medicine, Functional Medicine and Integrative Medicine. His focus is on managing thyroid disorders, weight loss resistance, and other sex hormone imbalances. You can read more about his own personal journey here.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments