For those with a sweet tooth, just the thought of giving up sugary treats is enough to make us demolish a Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie. Dieting doesn’t have to mean deprivation and it especially doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to desserts. It also doesn’t mean substituting sugar for the fake stuff or pretending that slimming power bars taste good. Healthy desserts are those that are low in saturated fats and refined sugars but taste as if you’re indulging yourself. To keep from breaking your diet, whip up just a single serving of one of these healthy desserts or set aside a serving for each night of the week. Here are our top 5 healthy desserts:
5.) Angel Food Cake
When you need a carb fix, go to a slice of angel food cake. The light and spongy dessert has no fat in it because it doesn’t include butter or the use of whole eggs, just the egg whites. One slice of the angel food cake is usually about 70 calories. However, packaged angel food cake mixes contain 128 calories per slice. This is still a low amount of calories in comparison to a serving of a chocolate cake made from a packaged mix.
For an added healthy touch, top your slice with mashed berries, including the berry juices, mixed with a touch of agave nectar or brown sugar.
4.) Grown-up Fruit Cup
Definitely one the of the easiest healthy desserts. Forget canned fruit cocktails or those packaged products with gelatin and fruit bits. They are usually covered in heavy syrup and copious amounts of sugar. Make yourself a fruit cup worthy of your fine taste using 1/2 cup of your favorite fruits, lime juice and a drizzle of agave nectar. Brighten up the dessert with fruits like pineapple, strawberries, kiwi or oranges, and use mint leaves as a garnish.
Another idea for a fruit-filled dessert is to grill the fruit to bring out its flavors. Some great fruits to grill include watermelon, pineapple, peaches, pears, plums and bananas (remember to keep them in the peel).
- Brush the fruit with grapeseed oil or melted unsalted butter.
- Grill the fruit over high heat for 3 minutes
- Flip and cook for a further 1 to 3 more minutes
Sorbets are frozen treats that usually don’t have any dairy in them, making them low in fat and refreshing. To make a simple sorbet, add 2 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of your favorite natural fruit juice. Place the mix into the freezer. When the liquid is firm enough to spoon out with an ice cream scoop, dish it out into small freezer-safe containers so you can thaw and devour the sorbet when you need something sweet without having to scrape at a block of ice. For a bright combination that will remind you of a spritzer, mix together lemonade with chopped mint leaves and whole blackberries before freezing. For a sinfully sweet, substitute 2 pounds of sliced strawberries for the fruit juice and add a splash of lemon juice.
A fun alternative to sorbet is frozen yogurt. There are so many healthy frozen yogurt recipes to choose from but we’ve got a delicious vegan idea recipe (via popsugar.com).
- 1 1/2 ripe avocados
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons stevia (or to taste)
- 2- 4 oz containers soy yogurt
- 1/2 cup soy/almond milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Set aside the lemon zest, and place the rest of the ingredients in a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth
- Transfer to a bowl or ice cream maker and stir in the lemon zest. If not using an ice cream maker, freeze in an airtight container for at least 2 hours
- When ready to use, let it thaw slightly, giving it another stir
A parfait is a healthy answer to an ice cream bar. A parfait is served in a tall glass with layers of different ingredients with the main ingredient being yogurt. Usual add-ins include fruit or granola. Low-fat and fat-free yogurt are a good source of protein, calcium and probiotics. A 1 cup serving of yogurt contains 448 milligrams of calcium and 13 grams of protein. Additional fruit provides and vitamins and a naturally sweet touch. Raw honey is another sweet addition that will boost the immune system and reduce inflammation throughout the body.
Here’s a simple parfait recipe:
- 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
- ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup granola
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Combine strawberries and sugar in a small bowl and let stand until the berries start to release juice, about 5 minutes
- To assemble parfait, layer yogurt and the strawberries with their juice in a 2-cup container. Top with granola.
- Make Ahead Tip: Assemble the parfait up to 2 hours ahead.
For chia seed fans, here’s a recipe you’ll love.
1.) Baked Apples or Pears
Apples and pears naturally release succulent, sweet juices as they bake. For a simple treat, cut a fruit into thin slices, dust some powdered sugar and cinnamon over the top and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. If you want to get a little fancy, cut a pear or apple in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a melon ball spoon. Put some of your favorite granola into the hole that you made, add a sprinkle of brown sugar and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Just before enjoying your treat, add a drizzle of chocolate syrup or a dollop of whipped cream over the top of the fruit.
Well we’ve sorted you’re dessert dilemma with these healthy desserts but what about snacks during the day?