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Don't desert your desserts!

Updated on September 23, 2013

We all love that sensation of every single cell in our bodies leaping to awareness as another cool, creamy confection makes its way past our lips. With so many beautiful desserts out there, one has to wonder what cruel twist of fate there was that made vegetables good for you and sweets, desserts and chocolate not?

We could continue to lament the fact or we could look at the bright side and no, that doesn’t entail eating chocolate coated carrot sticks or celery, though some out there may be tempted to do just that. But rather replace the ingredients in existing desserts so that you still have that superb delicious taste, but that’s much kinder to your waistline.

Whilst you’re chewing on that thought and beginning to digest the idea, here are some really cool dessert thoughts and chocolate humor to keep you going…

Hmmm......definitely food for thought
Hmmm......definitely food for thought
Do you have a winning attitude?
Do you have a winning attitude?
What a refreshing way of looking at the merits of dessert!
What a refreshing way of looking at the merits of dessert!
Nothing brightens up a day faster than a good cupcake!
Nothing brightens up a day faster than a good cupcake!

Now that we’ve had a few laughs and shaken our heads at the dessert humor, let’s focus on what we can do to switch up the order of things by replacing some of the more traditional ingredients so that you can enjoy the same delicious taste with fewer calories.

At the most basic level, you can make small changes to switch up your desserts from the heavy, hot and the stodgy, to light, healthy and fresh in an instant.

Here’s what to do…

1. Swap candies and sweets for fresh fruit

Instead of decorating fridge tarts and cakes with sweets and candies, you can easily swap out some of those treats in favor of delicious fresh fruit. Mind you, don’t always reach for the fruit preserves, syrups and coulis, as those are usually concentrated and super high in syrups and sugars. Instead, try to make use of chunks of fresh fruit as you decorate your preferred dessert. Don’t forget on a very basic level you can still try the good old fashioned dark chocolate dipped strawberries for an instant hit of fruity freshness.

2. 'Double up' cups

When it comes to getting your fix of delicious yet healthy sweetness don’t forget that you can be crafty by doubling up your dessert in a container style mechanism to get an added hint of sweetness. For example, when making a delicious fruity mousse, you can always create dark chocolate cups to go with it, so that you have the ultimate eating pleasure. A dessert that’s delicious and a cup that’s edible? How’s that for a double whammy in dessert eating pleasure?

3. Make use of apple sauce in baking to add moisture

Most desserts and baked goods call for an awful amount of melted butter and fats especially when it comes to cake batters. You can easily replace some of the fat required with apple sauce for that additional moisture. Think about it, you will probably reduce the fats and calories by half and still get succulent, moist, delicious flavor.

4. Replace traditional dessert toppings with Greek yoghurt

First off, let’s explain why so many people are touting Greek yoghurt as some kind of amazing wonder food. Greek yoghurt contains a higher amount of probiotics than its traditional counterpart as it is twice strained and the nutrients are condensed. There is a higher protein count, fewer carbohydrates and it is lower in sodium than most other yoghurts.

Greek yoghurt is very versatile and useful, you can use it in a number of ways in dessert making. Think cheesecake, you can easily substitute half your cream cheese with Greek yoghurt and still enjoy a silky delicious confection with the added benefit of a delicious and zesty tang. Equally you can use Greek yoghurt to dress waffles and pancakes and even replace traditional butter in frosting as a more nutritious way in which to have an extra trimming on your confection.

Bearing in mind some of the tips dispensed above and just to help get you going on the fitness track, take a look at some of these fantastic recipes that we felt really hits the mark on both the health and the taste front.

Trick the system

There are some sneaky and surprisingly easy ways in which to trick your system and psychology into enjoying more guilt free ways of eating dessert.

1. Head for splitsville

Calories shared are calories halved, if you and your best friend/boyfriend or girlfriend /family member are jonesing for a sweet treat why not go half and half?

2. Keep it out of reach

Let’s face it the more it’s in your face, the more you are going to want it. Leave dessert for special occasions, once a week or go out for it and make it ceremonious. Go out to a café or eat it at a restaurant rather than have a ‘happy cupboard’ at home chockfull of tasty sweets and treats. Learn to make the association of eating dessert away from home this means that you are less likely to make a habit of it.

3. Favor quality over quantity

Instead of eating mounds of dough in an oversized muffin and not feeling satisfied, go for a few sweet, salty, chewy macaroons. If you’re craving a heaped bowl of ice cream, how about frozen yoghurt or mini cheesecake made with some Greek yoghurt instead? Make simple swaps- change high volumes of empty calories with not much satiety value for items that are smaller and sharper in flavor. Though certain items may be heavier in calories they contain more food value and go further in stemming your taste buds and cravings.

4. If you ate it, negate it

At the end of the day, if you feel that you have tipped the scales too far and had too much of a good thing, please spare everybody the diatribe and the moaning and groaning. You are what you eat, and if you have in fact upset the balance, go to gym, hit the road, cut back and make certain adjustments to get your body back to where you would like it to be. If you ate it, negate it. Be mindful of what you eat.

There are simple and easy choices that you can make in order to remove the nutritional back slide into calorie-ville. It is up to you to make those choices, not just for your body, but for your spirit and sense of wellbeing.

However it is your choice to indulge, we hope that with the tips, information and recipes that we have given you, you are able to make healthy dessert substitutions and literally see that in life you most certainly can ‘have your cake and eat it too’.

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    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      Great hub. I love, LOVE the photos!!!

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