Healthy Cooking

‘I’m a Nutritionist and This Is My Favorite Dairy-Free Dessert’

Allie Flinn

Consider this your guide to healthier baking. Chef Mia Rigden and Jenny Dorsey team up to show you how to revamp some of your favorite baked goods to make them healthier and loaded with better-for-you ingredients—without skimping on flavor. See All

Looking for a versatile dessert without dairy? Try this delicious dairy-free pavlova recipe

New strains of COVID: tired. New additions to your stress-baking to-do list: wired. In this episode of Well+Good’s YouTube series Alt-Baking Bootcamp, chef and nutrition coach Mia Rigden shows us how to make a dairy-free pavlova, which is one of her favorite desserts. “Pavlovas originate from Australia and New Zealand, and they’re traditionally a summer dessert,” she says. “But it’s summer in Australia so I figure it’s okay to be making a pavlova now.” (Also, time has no meaning anymore anyway.)

If you’re not a regular viewer of The Great British Bake Off, a pavlova is made with meringue topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. It’s a “light, fresh” dessert that is naturally gluten-free, and relatively versatile given that you can use whichever fruit you have on-hand. In her spin on the traditional dessert, Rigden uses full-fat coconut cream and vanilla extract for the whipped cream (a recipe you’re probably a little familiar with if you’ve seen other episodes of Alt-Baking Bootcamp). Additionally, she uses only a half cup of cane sugar, thus reducing the amount of sugar that’s consumed. Experts agree that cutting back on sugar intake is beneficial for a host of health reasons, as eating too much sugar contributes to health issues like heart disease and mood disorders. Also, less sugar in the recipe really allows the sweetness of the fruit to shine.

Rigden adds that part of the beauty of pavlovas is their really abstract shapes—which is excellent news for those of us who do not have promising futures as food stylists (me) but also want to Instagram our food (also me). Ready to whip up this refreshing dessert? Watch the video to get the full dairy-free pavlova recipe.

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Experts Referenced

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