The Best of All Sugar Free Desserts: Creamy Chocolate Demise
I am exceedingly fond of desserts. When traveling, I always gravitate toward bakeries and patisseries and love to drool over beautiful confections in shop windows. While in college, I found work at both a chocolate factory and a cupcake shop- just to satisfy two lifelong dreams about being surrounded by beautiful, delicious treats for hours on end.
I am also acutely aware that desserts are typically flawed pleasures. Aside from being notoriously unhealthy (not to mention expensive), desserts often leave one craving more after a good meal, which somewhat negates that satisfied feeling one would like to have after eating.
"Surely there are desserts out there that do not leave one wanting more..." you must be thinking. Indeed there are! Consider cheese courses! Cheeses aren't packed with sugars that are likely to leave our brains demanding more. But then again... cheese isn't all that dessert-like, at least in an American sense, plus most cheeses are still pretty high in the saturated fat arena.
Well, I am happy to report that, after much experimentation, I have found a solution to this classic dilemma. I refer to this surprisingly satisfying, healthy, and delicious concoction as Creamy Chocolate Demise.
Creamy Chocolate Demise - The Perfect Dessert
What is it?
Creamy Chocolate Demise is a mixture of nonfat unsweetened yogurt (as smooth/creamy as you can find) and Dutched cocoa powder (I use Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa, which is actually a blend of Dutched and non-alkalized cocoa) that has been blended together with a whisk. It is tart, bitter, rich, smooth, and incredibly satisfying. Though it completely lacks sugar, you may still enjoy it- especially if you like black coffee. It has that sort of rich complexity to it.
|Serving size: 1 bowl (250 grams)|
|Calories from Fat||27|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 3 g||5%|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 34 g||11%|
|Fiber 12 g||48%|
|Protein 15 g||30%|
|Cholesterol 5 mg||2%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Why is it healthy AND satisfying? (In addition to being delicious, of course)
Creamy Chocolate Demise is low in fat, high in protein, nutritious, rich, satisfying, and delicious.
At 167 calories, it has the same caloric value of two apples or a bowl of plain oatmeal. That's quite low and packs quite a punch, nutrient-wise.
But why is this dessert satisfying in a way that a bowl of veggies or fruit can't be? What is particularly good about its two ingredients? Let's consider them independently.
The Yogurt: Perks and Benefits
The yogurt helps to make this dessert especially satisfying because foods that are high in protein are lower on the glycemic index and less likely to cause blood glucose levels to spike. Compare this to the typically high-carbohydrate desserts you usually eat, and you'll notice there's quite a difference in the potential effect they'll have on your body.
To help bolster this concept of yogurt in particular being good with aiding appetite satisfaction, a 2006 University of Washington in Seattle study found that men and women gave lower hunger ratings and higher fullness ratings after having yogurt snacks (as opposed to peach juice and a peach-flavored dairy beverage). What's more, a recent MIT study found that yogurt helped to fight age-related weight gain, plus it also gave lab mice shinier coats, and... boosted fertility in males.
As an added bonus, yogurt is high in calcium, good for your gut, and a 2005 study even suggests that yogurt can help stave off bad breath!
The Cocoa Powder: Perks and Benefits
How can cocoa powder lead to greater post-meal satisfaction? For one thing, the theobromine in the cocoa solids can also cause loss of appetite.
As an additional perk, theobromine dilates blood vessels, reducing blood pressure.
What's more, this stuff is also high in dietary fiber! The amount in my recommended recipe covers 50% of the recommended daily value.
Cocoa powder also low in fat and high in flavonoids, which are also found in fruits and veggies and are associated with cardiovascular health. A 2012 San Diego State University study, for example, found that study participants consuming dark chocolate (as opposed to white chocolate) had lower blood glucose levels and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the bad kind). So as an ingredient that is typically associated with indulgence, cocoa powder has a pretty good record!
- 220 grams / 8 ounces nonfat plain yogurt, creamy is best (I use nonfat plain Lucerne yogurt from Safeway)
- 30 grams / 6 tablespoons Dutch processed cocoa, Hershey's Special Dark cocoa powder is best
- Place coca into a bowl
- Add yogurt on top
- Begin stirring slowly (to avoid powder explosion) then faster until smooth
What about you?
What do you crave from a dessert?
Does this seem like your kind of dessert?
I'll admit that we all have different tastes, and that Creamy Chocolate Demise is not for everyone. Some people really do crave sweets, and I'll admit that after my stints at the chocolate factory and cupcake shop, I lost that hunger (let's just say I ate a LOT of icing.....). Others crave foods that are crunchy. Others really like things that are salty, warm, simple, or fresh.
That said, this dessert combines a lot of elements that make up what is traditionally seen to be a great ending to a meal. It...
- Offers complex flavors
- Is very rich
- Is very filling
- Is cool and refreshing
And it's also surprisingly inexpensive and easy to prepare. If you give it a try, let me know what you think of it!