Most of us enjoy a treat every now and then – – life is worth living right?
Some people don’t think dinner is done until the dessert has been eaten.
How can we give ourselves the treat and our just desserts without derailing our health goals?
We have worked hard to establish our health goals and commit our action plan down on paper. We have committed our lives to healthy change but know that temptation can create an obstacle to achieving success.
Eating Healthy But Like Our Desserts
We are limiting our portions, avoiding sugar sweetened beverages, getting enough physical activity, or whatever action step we choose to meet our health goals.
We want to eat healthy foods and not fear eating some of the things we have loved throughout our lifetimes just because they may be high in calories, fat and sugar.
Here at Nutrition for the Health of It, we encourage and assist you to eat the foods you love by renovating them to fit into your personal health goals.
Desserts are foods that we shouldn’t fear — but renovate!
Let’s look at ways to renovate our desserts so that we can treat ourselves and our families without feeling deprived as we stay on track for our health.
Health Friendly Desserts
Getting a bit of a treat doesn’t have to send your good intentions off the edge!
There are several sweet things we can add to our meals to not only capitalize on adding nutrition to our plates but also have the taste we crave.
Add fresh fruit in old and new ways:
- apple wedges with hazelnut butter dip
- fresh fruit salad with in season varieties
- fruit compote (cooked on the stove)
- cut up fresh fruit dipped in Greek yogurt
- banana on a stick rolled in some nut butter and chopped nuts or coconut
- homemade sorbet made from fresh fruit
- frozen grapes
- orange wedges
- baked apples
- fruit crisp topped with granola chunks, oatmeal, chia seeds
- fruit smoothie with fruit and yogurt
Renovate your favorite recipes to reduce the amount of calories, fat and sugar that lurk in the original versions:
- Substitute fruit purees like applesauce, prune puree, or mashed bananas for the oil in equal amounts.
- Use the same fruit purees in place of half the sugar called for in the recipe.
- Try a different sweetener instead of refined sugar such as honey, maple syrup or agave; you don’t need the same amount to replace it since these sweeteners are sweeter than sugar (1 cup sugar=1/3 cup honey).
- Depending on the recipe that your are using, reduce the sugar by 1/3 without adding any other sweeteners. You will still get the taste you desire without extra sugar.
- Use Greek yogurt in place of oil and even butter in the recipe to increase protein and reduce fat calories. This is especially tasty in quick breads, muffins, cookies and pancakes.
- Use egg whites in place of the whole egg (1 whole egg=2 egg whites).
- Use low fat dairy in place of higher fat dairy ingredients such as milk, cottage cheese, sour cream and cream cheese.
Pump up the nutrition using non-traditional ingredients in desserts:
- Add in some shredded vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, zucchini, kale, spinach, or eggplant, to baked goods to increase the nutrients and reduce the fat.
- Substitute half the white flour with whole wheat flour, experiment with other flours too like buckwheat, almond, amaranth, chickpea, quinoa and tapioca.
- Add nuts to baked goods, both in the product and as a topping.
- Add ground flax seeds or oatmeal to cookies.
If you would like us to renovate your favorite recipes, send them to Recipe Renovation™ for a free renovation if you allow us to share it!
In addition to adjusting the ingredients to make all our desserts fit into our health plan and get their place back on our plates, it is important to remember that portion control is still the key.
Eating too much of even a healthy food is no longer healthy!