Whenever we think or hear about dessert, we always think of rich, calorie-laden and overly sweet foods that we might have after every major meal. Some people even eat dessert before going for the main course and then having dessert again after. With the rise of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer because of an unhealthy diet, there are times when people tend to blame desserts. But not all desserts are bad. However, the choices that we make, the food culture and the food itself are the things that make us unhealthy or overweight. Let’s take the US for example, but take note that this is not meant to ridicule citizens of the US, but to point out what is obvious and what is backed up by studies and research. The US is addicted to processed foods. It might be a Texas-size serving of anything from a candy bar to a can of soda. Since changing their food preference from natural, fresh food to canned and processed foods rich in sugar and salt, America became fat. And because of this, dessert has become synonymous with unhealthy food.
Not all desserts are unhealthy or evil. And it’s not bad to have some dark chocolate cake or an apple pie from time to time. You just have to balance everything. A desert can be healthy and not boring. You don’t have to eat hippy food or some hipster mix cocktail to be healthy, you just have to make the right choices and lifestyle changes to enjoy the little things in life, like a good dessert.
Why Most People Can’t Resist Desserts?
Most of us cannot resist desserts because the stomach is flexible. Whenever we consume a large meal, the walls of the upper section in our stomachs relax to make room for more food. How full anyone feels is linked to the pressure inside the stomach. Experts also stated that there are 3 factors that can trigger the stomach to relax further – the sight and/or smell of food, the pressure of the food on the stomach walls and the duodenum that tastes the food components.
Why is there always room for dessert? Sugar or glucose stimulates the relaxation reflex of the stomach. It minimizes the pressure on the stomach wall and lowers the sensation of being full. But this doesn’t mean that you will inhale all the dessert at the table, have a small bite of some dessert to balance everything.
Healthy Desserts That You Can Enjoy And Love
As mentioned above, there should be balance, lifestyle changes and making the right food choices to start and maintain a healthy body. If you’re a dessert person, you can start making changes by making your own healthy dessert rather than buying a sugar-filled treat from the corner 7-11.
Below are healthy and easy dessert recipes that you, your family and friends can enjoy.
1. No-Bake Peanut Butter-Chocolate Bars
For the crust:
24 pieces, chocolate wafer cookies
3 tbspn melted unsalted butter
4 Oz melted semisweet chocolate morsels
For the filling:
4 Oz reduced-fat cream cheese
½ cup of all natural creamy peanut butter
½ cup of 2% Greek yogurt
2/3 cup of confectioner’s sugar
For the topping:
¼ cup of chopped, unsalted peanuts
For the crust
Lay down some foil on an 8 inch square pan and lightly coat it with cooking spray. Put the cookies in a food processor and ground finely. Add the melted butter into the cookies until the mixture is well blended. Use a spatula to press the cookie mixture into the prepared pan. Cover the mixture and then refrigerate.
For the filling and topping
Add the cream cheese, yogurt, sugar and peanut butter to the food processor and process until well blended. Pour the mixture over the prepared crust and smooth it using a spatula. Top with ¼ salt and peanuts. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Before serving, cut it into 12 bars and serve it chilled.
2. Blueberry Chocolate Smoothie
1 cup almond milk or regular milk
½ cup of whole milk yogurt
½ small avocado
3 Brazil nuts
½ cup of fresh blueberries
1 tbspn of cacao powder
1 teaspoon of cacao nibs
1 tspn of lucuma
1 teaspoon of Maca
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
2 drops of vanilla extract
1 serving of protein powder of your preference
Place everything in a high speed blender and blend for 60 seconds or until it reaches your preferred consistency.
3. The Bananarama Smoothie
1 ½ cups of almond milk
1 fresh banana
1 cup of spinach
2 tbspn of Greek yogurt
½ fresh strawberries
½ cup of fresh mango
1 tbspn of coconut oil
1 teaspoon of bee pollen
1 tbspn of Chia seeds
1 tbspn of organic honey
1 teaspoon of hemp seeds
1 cup kale
Place everything in a high speed blender for 45 seconds to a minute.
4. Gluten-free Chocolate Pots
2 tbspn cornstarch
2/3 cup of granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt
3 cups of whole milk
4 large egg yolks
6 Oz of bittersweet chopped chocolate
½ unsweetened cocoa powder ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
Combine the cornstarch, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Add the 1/3 cup of milk and stir to form a smooth paste. Whisk in the remaining milk and egg yolks.
Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickened for 12-15 minutes. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat
Add the chocolate and vanilla. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture smooth. Pour in 8 4oz ramekins, tea cups or shot glasses. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Sprinkle with cocoa powder before serving.
5. Broiled Fresh Mango
1 large mango, peeled and sliced
Lime or lemon wedges
Line broiler pan with foil. Preheat broiler. Arrange the mango slices in the prepared pan. Broil the mango slices for about 8-10 minutes or until you see brown spots. Squeeze the lemon or lime wedges and serve.
6. Poached Pears
1 ½ cup of red wine
1 peeled naval orange
¾ cup of sugar
1 cinnamon stick
½ split vanilla bean or ¼ vanilla extract
4 medium sized peeled pears
Off the heat, combine wine, orange juice, vanilla, cinnamon stick, cloves and one of the squeezed orange quarters,
Add the pears and then bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer, uncovered. Turn the pears occasionally, until tender for about 25 minutes. Transfer the plates into individual plates.
Remove and discard the spices and orange quarter. Let the liquid simmer or until it becomes into a syrupy consistency. Spoon the sauce over the pears and serve.
7. Pineapple Raspberry Parfaits
2 8 Oz of nonfat peach yogurt
½ pint of fresh raspberries
1 ½ cups of fresh pineapple chunks
To prepare, layer the yogurt, pineapples and raspberries into 4 medium-sized glasses. Serve.
8. Gluten-free Maple-Baked Apples
4 large apples
½ cup of walnuts
¾ maple syrup
¼ cup of raisins
2 tbspn of unsalted butter
Vanilla ice cream
Preheat oven to 400F
Remove the apple cores and trim a ½ inch slice from the bottom of each of the apple to let them sit flat. Place the apples in an oven-proof skillet or baking dish.
Drizzle the apples with the maple syrup. Divide the raisins and walnuts among the apples. Fill the apple cavity with the walnuts and raisins. Dot the apples with the butter and then bake for about 40-50 minutes.
Pour the collected liquid into a skillet and bring it to a boil on medium heat. Spoon the sauce over the apples before serving.
So you see, tere are many ways of eating a healthy dessert. Try to use substitutes to make your dessert a healthy part of your day and imporve nutrition. Eat right and enjoy your dessert