Most sweets and other treats are off-limits if you are going for a heart-healthy, low calorie diet. If you want to continue enjoying these delectables, you just have to choose carefully by going for easy yet healthy desserts.
High fat content like whipped toppings, butter, icing, and other saturated fat can cause high cholesterol levels in the body. Prolonged levels of elevated cholesterol can lead to heart attacks, strokes, sluggish circulation, kidney problems, obesity and diabetes, just to name a few health issues. These are the reasons why you should opt for healthy fruit desserts and other kinds of guilt-free treats.
These recipes for healthy desserts are low in saturated fat and reduced in calories compared to their regular counterparts. If you stick with healthier recipes and less-frequent and reasonably smaller portions, you can actually have your cake and eat it too! These are all easy healthy desserts that you can come up with in the convenience of your own kitchen. Simple healthy desserts need not be a big extravagant event if you want to come up with them.
Here are variations of some beloved treats that are very easy to do, but promise to be healthy desserts.
1. Low-Cal Mini Cheesecakes
This easy recipe for cheesecakes gets a healthy makeover to make these creamy delights more of a guilt-free indulgence. That’s why they are mini-cheesecakes to address portion size to begin with. These little desserts are always a sure hit!
2 dozen low fat vanilla wafers
8 ounces of softened low fat cream cheese
4 ounces of softened fat-free cream cheese
3 ounces of melted and cooled white chocolate baking squares
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of fat-free milk
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla
1 lightly beaten egg white
Optional: Chocolate curls, Sliced strawberries, Sliced kiwifruit
1. First, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Next, line a muffin pan with twelve 2-1/2-inch foil or paper baking cups instead. Place a wafer on the bottom of the cups and set aside for now.
2. Next, in a medium size bowl, beat cream cheese using an electric mixer at moderate speed for 30 seconds. Mix in sugar, milk, white chocolate, and vanilla until well combined. Bring in the egg white mixing it with a spoon. Pour mixture into cupcake liners with a spoon until each liner is about three-quarters full.
3. Place muffin pan in the oven, baking about 20 minutes or until muffins set. Once cooked, place pan on a wire rack. Allow 10 minutes to cool. Remove cheesecakes from pan; cool on wire rack 1 hour. Cover and chill 3 to 24 hours.
4. Remove baking cups before serving. Garnish with chocolate curls, strawberries, and/or kiwifruit if desired.
2. Baby Tiramisù
Any fan of this classic Italian dessert will love this variation of Tiramisu. Try this easy to make, reduced calorie version the next time you need a dessert real quick. The ladyfingers, either spongy or crunchy will work well with this formula.
1/2 cup or 4 ounces of non-fat ricotta cheese
2 tbsp of confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
1/2 tbsp of vanilla extract
1/8 tsp of ground cinnamon
12 ladyfingers cookies
4 tbsp of brewed espresso or strong coffee
2 tbsps of melted bittersweet chocolate chips
1. Combine the ricotta cheese, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon into a medium bowl.
2. Next, put 6 ladyfingers in a 9-by-5-inch or similar size loaf pan and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons espresso or strong coffee.
3. Now spread the ricotta mixture over the ladyfingers. After that, place another layer of ladyfingers over the ricotta and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbsp of espresso or strong coffee. Sprinkle with the melted chocolate. Now keep this in the refrigerator until the chocolate is set, or about 30 minutes.
4. Serve chilled. Now wasn’t that easy?
3. Milkshake Smoothies
Frozen chunks of banana and vanilla extract make this fruit-filled smoothie a healthy, delightful, rich and creamy milkshake, but minus all the unwanted fat. Most children love fruit smoothies, and you can make them a treat again by using frozen bananas. Adding a pinch of vanilla and your favorite fruits, pulsing them into complete smoothness with a few ice cubes if necessary can really bring them to life. The smoothie will take on a creamy texture that is as close as most kids will ever get to ice cream, but minus the fat.
1 frozen peeled banana
1/2 tsp of vanilla
1/2 cup of orange juice
1-2 ice cubes or as needed
1/2 cup of any additional fruit (strawberries, blueberries, water melon, cantaloupes etc).
1. Place the banana, fruits, juice, and vanilla in a blender and mix until you get a smooth puree.
2. While the blender is running, use the feeder opening to add in 1 or 2 ice cubes to thicken the smoothie further if desired.
3. Serve while chilled.
4. Strawberry Shortcake
This time-honored dessert can sometimes be loaded with lots of fat and calories. Ingredients like sugary cake and whipped cream can make a strawberry shortcake a real calorie bomb. With the healthy tweaks on this version, we doubt if you will notice the difference from the original. You will love it just as much as the unhealthy version. This easy variation also uses store-bought dessert shells to cut down on preparation time. You will need 6 ingredients for this quick and easy Strawberry Shortcake recipe. You taste buds won’t believe this sumptuous, classic dessert is actually healthy and low in calories.
1 tbsp of calorie-free sweetener
1 tbsp of cornstarch
1 cup of orange juice
1/4 tsp of almond extract
1 1/2 cups of sliced fresh strawberries
6 spongecake dessert shells
1. First, combine the sweetener and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Next, mix in orange juice and bring to a boil while stirring constantly.
2. After one minute or until the mixture thickens and turns bubbly, remove from heat, and stir in extract. Allow to cool completely.
3. Next, bring in orange juice mixture and strawberries in a bowl; stir gently. Cover and chill for 30 minutes.
4. Spoon sauce over dessert shells and serve.
5. Simple Baked Apples
This is an all-American classic. The spices can be swapped or removed, depending on your tastes. This is a family standard that has been loved for generations. The nuts, raisins and spices, can be interchanged or omitted. Aside from serving it as desserts, this is also a great healthy breakfast or side dish.
6 peeled apples that are cored and sliced
1/2 cup of white sugar
3 tbsp of all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp of ground cloves
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of whole milk
2 handful of raisins
1. First, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Next, grease a 2 quart casserole dish, or coat with a non-stick cooking spray.
2. Now place the apples in a large bowl, while in a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, flour, nutmeg and cloves.
3. Stir the spice mixture into the apples until it is equally distributed. Now fold in raisins and walnuts. Spoon this into a prepared dish. Now pour milk equally over apple mixture.
4. Now bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until it is soft and bubbly. Allow to slightly cool before serving. Serve this dessert while warm.
The sinful desserts that you love do not have to be banished from your list of indulgences. Just look for healthier alternatives that are both fat reduced and easy to do, and you can still enjoy some of the most delectable desserts. Creativity in the kitchen is the key. Draw inspiration from these easy recipe variations and you too, can still enjoy these guilt-free healthy desserts.