Summer is upon us, bringing with it fun parties, picnics and BBQs. Looking for a cool dessert to bring to a summer event? Instead of using a traditional dessert with fruit, check out these creative desserts made with vegetables! They are sure to be a hit at your next gathering.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake

This rich and decadent dessert incorporates canned pumpkin with a dash of strong spices (cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg) for a creamy treat baked in a graham cracker crust.  Not only is pumpkin delicious, but it is a great source of healthy fats and is rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene, which is good for healthy skin, good eyesight and a strong immune system.

Get the recipe for pumpkin cheesecake here.

Chocolate Pudding Cakes (with Beets)

With today’s varied dietary needs, a gluten-free option is a must. These chocolate pudding cakes are enhanced with the natural caramel notes of roasted beets. The beets are roasted, then pureed and mixed with classic baking ingredients and melted chocolate. Whipped cream is the proverbial icing on the cake.

Get the recipe here.

Flourless Chocolate Chip Chickpea Blondies with Sea Salt

This next treat is also gluten-free, as well as vegan (and quite tasty!). The nutty chickpeas mix with peanut butter (or substitute your preferred nut butter, like almond butter), maple syrup and chocolate chips. This is a quick recipe that takes less than half an hour. The result is a fudgy, chewy treat packed with fiber and protein. Holy yum!!

Get the recipe here.

Zucchini Coconut Chocolate Cookies

Shred up a delicious zucchini and blend with oatmeal, coconut, and chocolate chips for a sweet and healthy cookie. The summer squash is low in calories, high in antioxidant value, and a great source of potassium. Added bonus — these cookies taste great frozen!

Get the recipe here.

Spiced Parsnip Cupcakes

These cupcakes are rich and moist; the parsnips add a sweet spiciness and mix well with cardamom spice. Parsnips are packed with vitamins, minerals and nutrients, including fiber, potassium, vitamin C and folate. The cupcakes are simply irresistible when paired with a cream cheese frosting.

Get the recipe here.

Sweet Potato Pound Cake

Some nutrition experts believe sweet potatoes are among the healthiest vegetables you can eat. Mix them into a pound cake, which is a fresh twist on sweet potato casserole. Cinnamon or nutmeg gives the dense pound cake an extra kick.

Get the recipe here.

Cardamom-Spiced Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

No veggie dessert list would be complete without carrot cake. This classic treat is moist, perfectly spiced and topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting. The carrots are good for anti-aging efforts, cancer prevention, improved vision, good oral health and much more. The recipe also calls for a dash of ginger, which has digestion-friendly and anti-inflammatory properties.

Get the recipe here.

Kabocha Squash Cakes with Brown Sugar Cream

It’s time to familiarize yourself with butternut squash’s underappreciated sister: kabocha. Known by some as Japanese pumpkin, kabocha is a low calorie source of beta-carotene, iron, vitamin C and B and fiber. It pairs nicely with conventional baking ingredients (plus a little bit of beer!) to make a moist, tasty cake. The brown sugar cream is indulgent and scrumptious.

Get the recipe here.

Eggplant Tarte Tatin with Black Pepper Caramel

Although eggplant is classified botanically as a fruit, you probably wouldn’t think to add it to a dessert. Eggplant cooks up like apple or pear, and goes nicely into a classic French tarte Tatin. The black pepper caramel is a creative way to add sweetness, and vanilla ice cream is the perfect accompaniment to the dessert.

Get the recipe here.

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