Most people think eating healthy means skipping dessert. This is certainly understandable, as most desserts are loaded with fat, sugar, and calories.
However, giving up those wonderful sweet treats isn’t the answer. Instead, finding creative ways to make desserts healthier will please that sweet tooth and let you enjoy a sweet ending to many meals.
Substituting A Few Ingredients Can Make Most Desserts Healthier
Many people don’t realize it, but you can make those unhealthy desserts healthier by substituting a few unhealthy ingredients for ones that are healthier, or cutting out some unnecessary ingredients.
For example, in most cases you can leave the salt out of almost any dessert recipe, especially those that use baking soda, thus reducing sodium. Substituting crushed pineapple or apple sauce for butter or oil, not only reduces calories, but also reduces the fat content of your cake, muffin, or other dessert, and in some cases, may enable you to reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe as well.
While making simple substitutions such as these will help you eat healthier, you still must remember that these types of desserts should not be eaten on a daily basis, and adjustments for the extra calories in these desserts will need to be considered, when planning the rest of the days menus.
Low In Calorie Extremely Healthy Desserts
While you can make any dessert healthier, there are some ways for you to create extremely healthy desserts, that are low in sugar, fats, and calories, and actually have some great nutrition in them.
For cool summertime desserts like popsicles, and low calorie ice cream, and shakes to pies, there are a variety of ways to create healthy desserts, and in most cases, these desserts have increased nutritional value over those store bought desserts.
Here are a few basic ingredients that you can use to create a number of healthier desserts:
- Plain gelatin: Plain gelatin contains no sugar or artificial flavorings, and can be used to create everything from flavored jello type desserts using real fresh fruit, to low calorie and delicious cheesecakes, and even fruit pies. Plain gelatin allows you to create sweet desserts with less sugar, and in many cases with no sugar at all.
- Fresh Fruit: Various fresh fruits can be juiced to make healthy popsicles and sorbets, can be used in pies, and mixed with other ingredients to make sweet, wholesome, and healthy desserts of all types.
Some Simple Healthy Desserts
One of the nice things about healthy desserts is that they often take less time to make than those high fat and high calorie desserts, and they taste absolutely great! Take for example this simple recipe for making a healthy and tasty ice cream or shakes. From this simple basic recipe you can make blueberry, cherry, strawberry, peach, walnut, and other flavored ice creams, by simply adding the fruits or nuts you like the best:
- 1 full cup of whole milk or low fat milk, your choice (you can even substitute low fat evaporated milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (or even peppermint)
- 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
Pour the cup of milk into ice cube trays and freeze. Once the milk is frozen, place in a blender with vanilla or almond extract and the teaspoon of sugar if desired. Add fresh berries or nuts and blend until the consistency of ice cream. Divide into two sundae dishes and enjoy!
If you want to make a shake instead of ice cream, then start by adding your berries, peaches, or bananas and blend into juice. Then add the frozen milk and other ingredients and blend until shake consistency.
The difference in calories between this homemade quick ice cream and store bought is 78 calories per serving (vanilla). This quick ice cream has 81 calories, while store bought ice cream has around 158 for 4 ounces and is loaded with sugar and often contains artificial coloring. So as you can see, it not only has fewer calories but is much healthier than the ice cream you normally buy.
If you have a juicer, then juicing fresh juice, adding a bit of water and making your popsicles or sorberts also gives you a sweet dessert that is healthier than the store bought versions. They do sell real juice popsicles in the store but, many of these contain added artificial colors which apparently can cause food sensitivities in some people.
When choosing fruits for popsicles and sorbets, try and choose the sweetest fruits possible, as this will allow you make these wholesome desserts without adding any sugar at all. Popsicles and sorbets (depending on how much water you add), have about 50 calories per popsicle and ½ cup sorbet.
Making healthy desserts can be incredibly fun, so simply let your imagination go and get creative, and you will be able to make a variety of healthy desserts that your entire family will absolutely love.
Have you tried creating your own healthy desserts? What type of desserts have you made? What’s your absolute favourite dessert?