Sunday, November 7, 2010

Do I Have to Give up Desserts COMPLETELY??

Most of us hear the word dessert and our brains automatically let off a craving signal. Desserts are created to make you want more and more, but then most of them are loaded with calories, sugar, salt, and fat so we know they are bad for us. However, more often than not, our cravings win and we settle for that lava cake, or that blueberry cheesecake… I can feel my mind wandering off… What was I saying again?

It seems impossible to fathom that the words ‘healthy’ and ‘dessert’ can ever go together. Well, I thought I’d do some research and come up with some healthy dessert options you can try if you’re a dessertaholic. And no, that’s no actually a word. But maybe I can get it added to the dictionary like ‘bootylicious’ was. Anyway, moving on…

So what are some 'healthier' dessert options? Here goes:

Strawberries and dark chocolate: The issue here is that most people tend to eat milk chocolate (and tons of it). If you buy dark chocolate instead, you’re giving yourself a healthier treat with tons of antioxidants as well. But even just watching the amount of chocolate you use with each strawberry can go a long way. Each medium dark chocolate covered strawberry is about 30 calories.

Jello dark chocolate mousse: Now, if you’re lucky enough to be in a location where they sell Jello, yay! This dessert is only 60 calories and it’s delicious. If you have a chocolate craving, go ahead and have one. But if you don’t like chocolate mousse, that’s okay. We’ll find another option for you.

Fruit salad: There are so many fruits to choose from and all you need to do is chop them up together into this sort of medley. The great thing about fruit is that you have the sweet ones like bananas, the tangy ones like oranges, and the sour ones like berries. Mix them all up and it tastes great. I remember lots of these at parties in Nigeria. After you have finished the jollof rice, you settle in for the fruit salad. It is pretty yum too. But if your brain works like mine, where it simply wants something that is bad for you, you can put in a dash of ice-cream to give it some sweetness. The number of calories here varies depending on the type of fruit you use.

Fruit and custard: Instead of whipped cream or icing, why not try some custard? I usually assume that a banana can go between 60 and 100 calories depending on the size, and custard is about 60 calories for a tablespoon (that is in powder form). So if you chop a banana and top it with about three tablespoons of cooked custard (I’m assuming one dry tablespoon would translate to three cooked tablespoons), you’d be getting about 120 to 160 calories. For a dessert, that’s a great option! That’s less than a cookie!

Pumpkin pie: Pies generally contain a looooot of calories. But pumpkin pies tend to contain the least amount of calories compared to other fruit pies. But since most of the calories come from the crust, why not minimize the amount of crust you eat, and just focus on the delicious filling? One slice of pumpkin pie (crust included) is about 170 calories. Note that this is for one-eighth of an 8” pie.

Baked Spring roll: While we are on the topic of pies, let's skip the meat pie today and go for the baked spring roll. There are so many ways to make this healthier. Use whole grain flour instead of regular processed white flour, fill it with fresh vegetables instead of just cabbage, and bake it instead of frying it. In fact, this goes for the fish pie as well. Fill them both with fresh vegetables, use whole grain flour, and throw them in the oven to bake. 

Frozen yogurt: Haagen Dazs has a variety of frozen yogurt flavors that are about 100 calories for ¼ cup. Even the mallam on the corner usually has great fresh natural yogurt. Just make sure you know where it's coming from. Here’s what I suggest with frozen yogurt. Use a relatively small amount and load it with fresh fruits like chopped mangoes, blueberries, strawberries, or even some great nuts like almonds. Since one strawberry is less than 5 calories, you can considerably reduce the total number of calories by mixing yogurt with fruit.

Dark hot chocolate: If you’re craving chocolate, you could cut down a bunch of calories by going the liquid way. An 8 ounce mug of dark chocolate is only about 80 calories. With a dash of milk, that’s about 100 calories. Thanks Nestle! And Cadbury!

Coconut juice: Don't pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about. That fresh coconut where the seller has chopped of the top just large enough for a straw, and you sit there with your man/girl sharing the juice from the same coconut. No? Well, this is usually only in the tropical parts of the country, but you can definitely get fresh coconut around the beaches. 

So if you’re craving something sweet, these are great options. Please share if you have more healthy dessert ideas.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

1 comment:

  1. Haha! Coconut juice straight out of the coconut is fantastic!

    I don't know about dark chocolate though (it doesn't taste very nice). Why do some things that are good for you taste so bad?

    Frozen yoghurt is the best thing since, well ice-cream (apologies for mentioning this very calorific but very delicious dessert). Lol at 'the mallam around the corner'!


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