Pumpkin bars

Photo: Ben Fink

A Smarter Pumpkin Treat
Bread, muffins, whoopie pies: goodies made with this now ubiquitous autumn squash have become so popular that bakeries now carry them all year long. But while pumpkin is a great source of vitamins A, K and E, as well as potassium and magnesium, many desserts that feature it also contain loads of oil and sugar. This recipe for moist, spiced bars from the new cookbook Recipe Rehab uses applesauce in place of oil, Splenda instead of sugar and oat flour for white flour. Each one comes in at less than 200 calories.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
Almond Biscotti

Photo: Tara Striano

The No-Gimmick Cookie
There are no tricks to Italian biscotti; no hidden ingredients or low-fat butter substitutes—just pantry staples that aren't necessarily decadent on their own, but when combined, deliver the perfect combination of sweetness and crunch. This recipe from cookbook author Stacy Adimando is totally customizable. Even if you don't tweak it, though, it's a wonderfully simple (and healthy) end-of-the-meal treat.

Get the recipe: Almond Biscotti

Photo: Teri Lyn Fisher

A Lightened-Up Milkshake
We've been seeing health-minded cooks sneak dates into everything from brownies to cookies lately, but these little nuggets of fiber, potassium and vitamins also do an excellent job sweetening and thickening milkshakes. Chloe Coscarelli, author of Chloe's Vegan Desserts, blends them with soy milk and dairy-free ice cream for a delicious and frothy liquid dessert.

Get the recipe: It's a Date! Shake

Photo: Victor Schrager

The 4-Ingredient Candy Bar
Dark chocolate, nuts, seeds and dried fruit—all rich in antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C—make this bark a great alternative to a candy bar filled with a long list of worrisome, unpronounceable ingredients. Plus, it's a cinch to make: stir pistachios, dried cherries and pumpkin seeds into melted chocolate; spread onto a sheet; let cool and break into pieces.

Get the recipe: Dark Chocolate Bark with Pistachios, Sweetened Dried Cherries and Pumpkin Seeds

Photo: Ben Fink

A Healthy Cookie That Doesn't Taste Like It
Low-fat chocolate chip cookies don't have to have the flavor and texture of sawdust—and this tasty version from Recipe Rehab proves it. Even though these treats are free of butter and oil, they're still soft and chewy—and laced with chocolate, thanks to both a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips and a smidgen of unsweetened cocoa powder.

Get the recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Next: 7 indulgences that aren't actually bad for you