Amidst disrupted sleep schedules and mom’s juggling multiple roles at home, cravings for comfort food are at an all-time high. But with 66% of mothers reporting unwanted weight gain since the start of the pandemic, many want a sweet treat that doesn’t sacrifice their health. And while weight-loss are rushing in to profit off the “quarantine 15,” many promote restriction and guilt, rather than nourishment. Enter functional desserts—foods with added ingredients for a nutritional boost. And with a market projected to reach a value of $275 billion by 2025, there have never been more functional desserts to choose from—making it especially hard to find the right one for mom. We’ve done the work for you and rounded up some of the “sweetest” to gift this Mother’s Day.
Whether it was a food intolerance following a cancer diagnosis or the practical need for a more enjoyable means of getting in their daily vitamins—many of the mama-preneurs behind these brands created sweet treats with moms in mind. Not only do these desserts support busy schedules and healthy lifestyles, many of them are designed to heal, with adaptogens that specifically target some of our most pressing current needs—like immunity, stress and focus, all without compromising flavor. It’ll be hard to resist not treating yourself too.
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For the Reese’s fan in your life, this thick, creamy chocolate peanut butter is boosted with Chaga, a medicinal mushroom beloved for its immune-strengthening and inflammation-reducing effects. An over-decade long journey with fibromyalgia led Rooted Life Foods’ founder Ashleigh Fabian to discover the healing benefits of adaptogens. Tired of food restriction and disordered eating, the registered nutritionist wanted to share her newfound discovery by using a childhood favorite as the foundation. The result? Thick, creamy peanut butter that tastes as good as it makes you feel.
Whether mom is looking to swap out molasses in a baking recipe or simply wants to make that morning cup of coffee a little more decadent, this coconut nectar caramel—made with organic Maca from the Peruvian Andes Mountains—is sure to do the trick. Searching for functional alternatives to pantry staples, founder Ada Yarungsee naturally landed on Maca—the plant’s malty, sweet texture makes it an ideal sugar substitute. Better yet, the root has been reported to improve energy, libido, skin and mood.
Sonhab founder Kristen Blue’s deep appreciation for “the terroir of the cacao” results in handcrafted, ethically sourced works of art, like this new floral bark made in collaboration with Canadian artist JS Aurelius. “Cacao has a higher flavonoid content weight than any other food,” Blue tells Forbes. “It’s filled with antioxidants, iron, magnesium and feel-good chemicals like tyrosine, tryptophan and phenylethylamine.” Combined with healing adaptogens like Ashwagandha, Astragalus and goji berry, this beautiful bar is sure to deliver some sweet floral healing this Mother’s Day.
Breakfast in bed gets an upgrade this Mother’s Day with this medicinal maple syrup from Rainbo. The Canadian brand is sharing the many benefits of medicinal mushrooms—namely, improved immunity, which founder Tonya Papaniklov tells Forbes comes from the beta glucans found in the cell walls of fungi—with their full line of mushroom tinctures. But the Forest Juice is a standout. Sweet sap from Canadian maple trees is infused with Chaga, Reishi and Turkey Tail to create an earthy “fungtional” syrup, perfect for drizzling on mom’s pancakes.
With a recipe that calls for nothing more than a few bananas, oil, milk and sweetener—GoNanas mixes make the perfect Mother’s Day gift for the mom who wants to experience the joy of baking banana bread with none of the work. Founded by a best friend duo who rejects diet culture but still wants to make healthy food choices, their “modernized banana bread” mixes are vegan, gluten-free and filled with nourishing ingredients like oat flour, flax and millet. This bundle pairs their two limited edition, best-selling flavors—salted caramel and red velvet, but if mom is more traditional, their Original Banana Bread Mix is a classic.
From sleep to immunity; libido to energy, Eat Gold Organics makes a bar for every function. Moms in menopause will find relief with the Menopausal Goddess bar, made with soothing lavender and bee pollen. While expecting moms will love the milk production-stimulating New Mama chocolate, which contains hormone-balancing moringa and nettle leaf. Created by an on-the-go mama-preneur wanting to combine the benefits of her daily supplement-packed smoothie with her between-errand chocolate snacks, these chocolate bars are made with mom’s needs in mind. And Mother Earth—everything is fair trade, organic and handcrafted in small batches.
Light up mom’s pantry this Mother’s Day with the latest release from Butterfly—the superfood company known for their functional nut butters. This indulgent spread gets its blue hue from Spirulina, an iron-rich plant algae known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. With cashews, walnuts, macadamia nuts and MCT oil, it’s loaded with healthy fats and plant protein. If mom loves pink, opt instead for the Pink Panther, another new release made with bright pink dragon fruit. Or go all out with their Variety Pack, which combines their Cinnamon Vanilla, Chocolate Reishi, Classic and Rosemary flavors.
Single origin Ecuadorian cacao is infused with a blend of adaptogenic herbs formulated by Chinese and Ayurvedic practitioners to support specific functions. Like the Calm Bar, which eases stress with its ‘Bupleurum and Dragon Bone Blend’ of relaxation-inducing herbs such as Dragon Bone and Codonopsis Root. Mom in need of a skin and libido boost? The Lycium and He Shou Wu in the Glow Bar might help. This luxurious set adds their Focus, Resilience and Energy bars to make it a holistic chocolate treatment.
Born from a Finnish family tradition of brewing mushrooms as a coffee replacement, it’s no surprise this beloved brand makes one of the most delicious plant-based instant hot chocolates around. Organic, unprocessed cacao is combined with 500 mg of organic Reishi mushroom and cardamom, resulting in a sweet, soothing elixir, that relieves fatigue and supports the immune system. Easily dissolvable in hot water or milk, the single-serve packets are convenient for mom’s on-the-go.
Earthy Matcha-meets-rich cacao in this crunchy dessert granola, the latest creation from Lil Bucks, the first sprouted buckwheat brand in the United States. Inspired by the smoothie bowls and functional lattes founder Emily Griffith enjoyed in Australian cafes, it’s no surprise each flavor pairs perfectly with mom’s breakfast beverage. The Matcha Cookie Crunch gives the brain a boost with 1200mg of Lion’s Mane, an organic medicinal mushroom sourced from China, and Matcha, from coveted green tea brand Tenzo. Fungi fans will also love the Chocolate Reishi Clusterbucks, which contains 1000mg of organic Red Reishi mushrooms.
This decadent spread made in collaboration with chef Josh Reisner sure performs when it comes to the function of pleasure. Eight aphrodisiacs are infused into Gianduja—what founder Leif Friedmann describes as “the original Nutella”—with organic cashew butter, fresh ginger, Seville orange zest, Belgian chocolate and spices from the Sichuan region of China. It’s the latest limited edition product from Licked Media—a collective of young people disrupting the packaged food space with orgasmic food innovations, like banana chocolate ramen and handmade cereal designed to be eaten with coffee instead of milk.
Founded by an allergy-conscious mom, it’s no surprise 88 Acres snacks are non-GMO, nut and gluten-free, and made in a bakery that strictly prohibits the top eight food allergens. Instead, their granolas, bars, dressing and butters rely on the most nutrient-dense seeds as the foundation (think, pumpkin, flax, watermelon and sunflower), delivering healthy fats and plant-based proteins without compromising on flavor. This indulgent set includes their best-selling chocolate flavors—dark chocolate sea salt and dark chocolate mocha—in three ways: crunchy granola, convenient seed bars and rich sunflower butter.
This medicinal mushroom brand swaps supplement pills for honey—an easier, more indulgent way for mom to incorporate adaptogens into her daily routine. The Super Stack rounds out her whole nutrition needs with all three Mycro honeys, each designed for a distinct use. The full-bodied Vitality balances focus and mood with Ashwagandha and Rhodiola. Elderberry and Reishi mushroom in the fruity Immunity honey protect the body, while the floral Calm formula reduces stress and inflammation with lavender and passion flower extract.
The seven flavors in this indulgent truffle selection are designed to activate the seven chakras in the body. Think—a coconut truffle for clarity, cinnamon for the heart and mango strawberry for passion. Each chakra-chocolate pairing is complemented with a guided meditation track, making for a complete self-care ritual. Made without refined sugars, preservatives and dairy, Maya Moon Co. chocolate nourishes not only the body and soul, but the community too, by supporting small organic farmers in Peru and local, sustainable beekeepers.
Following a breast cancer diagnosis, founder Jodie Jones (“Jojo”) developed this low-sugar line of chocolate snacks as a way to curb her sugar cravings without sacrificing her health. Jojo has since passed away, but her son Sterling Jones continues to honor her legacy with delicious bites and bars made with simple ingredients, plant-based protein and nutrient-dense dark chocolate. The Assorted Bag gets mom a taste of their four signature flavors: Hawaiian, Peanut Butter, Raspberry and the Original (think, pistachios and cranberries).
These chocolate protein squares are a convincing alternative for the mom who loves fudge. A rich base made of stress-relieving Sacha Inchi protein, energizing Maca powder, sorghum and nuts, is topped with raw dark chocolate, making for a nutrient-packed protein bar that tastes more like a decadent dessert. The 12-pack gets mom a sampling of their most indulgent bars—fudge and almond—but peanut butter fans won’t want to miss the peanut butter bar too.
Rich in protein and Vitamin E, this nut butter nourishes with hazelnuts sourced from a sustainable, organic farm in Italy. But add raw Peruvian cacao and broad spectrum, hemp-derived organic CBD, and you’ve got a dessert spread that packs a nutritional punch: promising to reduce physical and mental tension, boost mood and improve sleep. Sweetened with unrefined coconut palm sugar from Bali, this “vibe-enhancing” condiment is sure to elevate mom’s next breakfast smoothie or evening dessert.
With two tea and bath bombs, a floral bouquet and Bloom planner, and six chocolate or rosé brownies, this set is the ultimate self-care kit for the chocaholic in your life. Created by registered nurse and certified sports nutritionist-turned mompreneur Cristie Besu, Eat Me Guilt Free brownies are packed with protein, making them perfect for post-workout replenishment. But no chalky protein bars here, these brownies are soft and sweet, available in fun flavors like birthday cake, chocolate peanut butter and pistachio, they make a convincing dessert.
Mom’s pint gets an upgrade this Mother’s Day with this gelato selection packed with medicinal mushrooms and healing herbs. With unique creations like the Matcha Mint Chip, infused with peppermint essential oil and ceremonial grade matcha, and the gut-friendly Tigernut Cookies N Crème made with activated charcoal and mucuna pruriens, Sacred Serve is as functional as it is flavorful. The variety pack adds their Saffron Chai Spice, Coconut Salted Caramel and Chaga Chocolate flavors to the mix—all handcrafted with organic coconut meat as the base.
Crafted with Cordyceps, Chaga, Lion’s Mane and Gingko Biloba—four functional fungi and herbs known to promote mental performance—Brainbow truffles live up to their name. This set gifts mom a taste of their two signature flavors: the Cacao Cashew Butter and Cocoa Butter Coffee—both rich in flavor, velvety in texture and packed with 1000mg of adaptogens. Convenient pocket-sized packs make it easy for mom to find a brain boost, and indulgence, on the go.
What better way to celebrate motherhood this Mother’s Day than with decadent boob-shaped truffles. Not only do these delicious bites ‘treasure the tatas’, they nourish the whole body too: instead of added sugar, dairy or gluten, milk chocolate is sweetened with coconut sugar and filled with elderberry, the fruit of the Sambucus tree known for its immune-strengthening properties. Recognizing that 80% of incarcerated women in jail are mothers, DADA has partnered with the Women’s Prison Association to donate 20% of all proceeds to mothers behind bars.