Deceptively healthy desserts

Posted on February 11, 2016 by Brynna Gabrielson

Chia seed puddingSometimes a nice pudding is the best way to top off a meal. Unfortunately most desserts are high in calories, sugar, and fat making them difficult to justify when eating healthily is on your agenda. Eating well is an important part of taking care of your everyday health, but once in a while it's nice to have a treat. And the good news is that not all treats are terrible for you. Using natural ingredients and steering clear of processed sugars and fats, you can make many delicious desserts that won't make you feel too guilty. Check out this list of delicious desserts that aren't nearly as sinful as they taste!

Chia seed pudding
If you haven't tried chia seeds, then they're certainly worth checking out. They pack a great nutritional punch as they're high in great things like fibre and omega-3 fats. They're also an excellent source of magnesium, calcium, and even protein1!

But how do you take these little seeds and turn them into a delicious dessert? It's not that tricky! See the great thing about chia seeds is that they can absorb a lot of liquid and when soaked they create a thick gel that can be turned into a tasty pudding. You can even blend the gel to make a smooth mouse, or leave it as is for something akin to rice pudding. If you're up for giving a chia seed pudding a try, we suggest this great recipe from Minimalist Baker! 

CheesecakeMini cheesecakes with Greek yogurt
We love cheesecake, and we bet most of you do too. It seems to be a crowd pleaser in general. Sadly there's no magical way to make cheesecake a proper health food, but this great little recipe cuts back on the sugar and uses equal parts cream cheese and Greek yogurt to create a creamy baked cheesecake that won't bust the calorie bank. You'll need a small ramekin for each mini cheesecake you make.

For two mini cheesecakes you'll need: 6 tbsp. of light cream cheese, 6 tbsp. of low fat Greek Yogurt, 3 tbsp. of icing sugar, 1 egg and a tiny splash of vanilla. Combine ingredients in a small bowl with a fork and evenly pour the mixture into each ramekin. Bake your cheesecakes at 180C for 20-30 minutes and then cool them in refrigerator for at least 60 minutes before eating. If you're missing the crust, try crumbling half of a digestive biscuit on top of each before serving. 

Sweet potato brownies
When you're craving something sweet what is better than a thick, gooey brownie packed full of chocolatey goodness?  We love brownies but we know how shockingly full of sugar and fat they can be. They certainly don't top any lists for healthy snacks.  That's why we love this recipe from Deliciously Ella so much!  These delicious, gooey brownies find their base in sweet potatoes and are made from natural unrefined ingredients like medjool dates and ground almonds.

Baked AppleBaked apples
Apple crumble is a delicious, traditional dessert staple, but it isn't the healthiest of options. Sure it includes fruit, but there's also lots of butter, sugar, flour etc. We love apples, especially when they've been baked. So instead of burying them under a layer of crumbly topping, why not make them the star of your dessert?

All you need to do is take your apple and de-core it. Then in a small dish combine a tablespoon of oats with a tablespoon of brown sugar, a drizzle of honey, and a dash of cinnamon. Stuff the mixture into the hollow of your apple, and then place in a baking dish and bake at 200c for 20 minutes, or until your apple is tender through. Of course you don't need to add the filling at all if you feel like just having a nice baked apple on its own.

Avocado pudding
Avocado with its rich, creamy texture makes a great base for this chocolate pudding. And it's easy to make too. What you need is two large avocados both peeled and pitted, 60 grams of unsweetened cocoa powder, 100ml of honey, and 65ml of either coconut or almond milk. For extra flavour you can also add a few drops of vanilla, or a tsp of coffee powder.

Simply place all of your ingredients in a blender or food processor and blitz until smooth. The result will be a thick, chocolatey pudding that you won't believe is made with avocado! Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. This should make four servings.

While this dessert is certainly healthier than a cupcake heaped with icing, or bowl of ice cream, do keep in mind that honey is still an added sugar, and that while Avocado contains healthy fats, nonetheless it is still higher in fat and calories.

1. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3610?fg=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=35&offset=&sort=&qlookup=12006

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