Let’s face it, not many of us choose dessert because it’s “healthy”…but rather because it is satisfying and tastes good at the time. That said, who among us would argue with healthier dessert options that also hit the spot? Read on…
Of course, fruit is always a solid choice for a healthy dessert, but sometimes fruit alone does not satisfy the sweet tooth. Here are a few top-of-mind possibilities to maximize the good stuff, while limiting the, well not-as-good, in your next dessert!
- Dessert dips take fruit to the next level—try whipped cream piled with lots of cinnamon or reduced-fat cream cheese blended with flavored Greek yogurt!
- Sweet breads (think, banana, pumpkin, carrot, zucchini) or homemade muffins (apple cinnamon or cranberry orange anyone?); increase the nutrition by using half whole wheat or another specialty flour.
- Ever make banana “ice cream”? Freeze bananas and then throw in a blender with your other favorite ingredients to experiment. Try peanut butter to add protein and healthy oils…
- Freeze 100% fruit juice with chunks of fruit in them for popsicles the whole family can get behind!
- Pudding (choose your favorite flavor). Make with low-fat or fat-free milk. Yum!
- Homemade trail mix with your favorite nuts and dried fruit. Throw in some dark chocolate chips into your at-home creation for a perfect complement to the sweet and salty deliciousness!
- It’s October, which means, pumpkin everything! How about a Pumpkin Pie Shake? Brought to us by MyRecipes.com.
Remember, making desserts (or any dish) healthier is not an all-or-nothing prospect. Sometimes it’s about what you take out (saturated fat, sugar); sometimes it’s about what you put in (protein, healthy oils, fiber, vegetable fruit); and sometimes it’s just about balance (how often you choose to indulge and how much you eat at a sitting).
Whichever you choose, October 14 is National Dessert Day—enjoy without guilt!
Virginia Cancer Specialists Nutrition Team