Quick Recipes and Easy

Dig In: We’ve Got 5 Diet-Friendly Desserts

Goodbye sweet days of chocolate cake, sayonara my gorgeous banana split, farewell my flavorful flan and hasta la vista my scrumptious apple pie. I know we’ve shared some savory mouthwatering memories together but there’s just no room for you in my new balanced healthy diet. It’s time for me to buckle down and ignore my sweet tooth from sending me back your way.

Did you know that the word desserts spelled backwards spells stressed? For many of you out there that’s exactly what it brings. Trying to stop yourself from your favorite temptations can trigger a terrible amount of tension. It’s no wonder that something as tasty as treats can turn into a dieter’s worst nightmare.

Place away your handkerchief because it’s time to kiss and eat up! You don’t have to reach for the sky to get to your pie. It is possible to dig into tasty desserts without damaging your diet. You shouldn’t feel restricted from eating foods you delight in. Depriving yourself will most likely just lead you on the road to dieting disaster when willpower runs out. Instead of giving up your favorite treats, reckon about what goes in them and use some imagination.

The most common diet destroyers in desserts are dairy and fats. Other nutritional factors to consider may include how much sugar, cholesterol and sodium the product contains. It’s vital to always check the nutritional facts on the sides of packages. Don’t let the words low stout or low carb fool you. It’s always excellent to compare items and read the marks carefully. Make sure you know what you are buying. Simple substitutions can make a world of difference.

An average ice cream bar can contain 180 calories and 12 grams of stout — not exactly a dieter’s friend. And some of the best-known brands are significantly higher than that. A Dove Bar has 350 calories and 22 grams of stout, while the new Breyer’s Magnum Bars pack 14 grams of saturated stout (20 grams total stout) each!

What’s the alternative, you question? How about a rich, smooth pudding pop? The store-bought versions average 100 calories and 2 to 3 grams of stout, but you can cut the stout even further and add a small nutrition by making your own.

Susan Burke, eDiets VP of Nutrition Services, says: “You can modify any recipe, especially desserts, to make it healthy. The recipe section on our site can give you fantastic thoughts. It can be as simple as using egg whites instead of a whole egg or reducing the amount of sugar in a recipe. If the recipe calls for a cup of sugar, use only one-third cup instead. There are even stout-free chocolate chips so you can replace the full-stout ones.

“But, some desserts are simpler to modify then others. For example, it’s hard to modify angel food cake because of its high sugar content. But there are sugar substitutes, such as Splenda, that are fantastic for baking. The key to staying healthy is making healthy choices wherever you go. The best thing to do is EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT, EXPERIMENT!”

There is nothing incorrect with digging into your favorite delights. But even diet-friendly desserts can become hazardous to your waistline. Moderation is the key to enjoying treats every now and then. Remember to always check the serving size. What you eat is vital. But understanding how much you’re eating is crucial. Creativity is also essential. Try new recipes and satisfy your sweet tooth using sensible substitutions. After all, as Forest Gump once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”

Here are five deliciously divine desserts that are low in guilt and high on flavor. Go ahead… indulge!

Apple Cider-Caramel Cake

Cider “syrup” is folded into this cake for a rich caramelized flavor.

2-1/4 cups apple cider, divided

2-1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided

1 Tbsp. stick margarine or butter

3 cups sliced peeled cooking apple (such as Braeburn, Rome or McIntosh)

Cooking spray

2-1/2 Tbsp. dry breadcrumbs

1/2 cup stick margarine or butter, softened

1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind

1 (8-oz.) block stout-free cream cheese

3 large eggs

6 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, divided

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup low-stout buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. powdered sugar

1. Bring 2 cups cider to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan over high heat. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 20 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-high; stir in 1/2 cup granulated sugar. Cook five minutes or until sugar dissolves and cider is thick and dark-colored, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool one minute. Stir in 1 tablespoon margarine. Stir in apples; cook 15 minutes over medium-high heat or until the liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; cool. (If apple mixture hardens, place it over low heat until softened).

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

3. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; dust with breadcrumbs.

4. Combine 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1/2 cup margarine, lemon rind and cream cheese in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of a mixer until well blended (about five minutes). Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in apple mixture. Pour into prepared pan; bake at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 hours or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

5. Combine 1/4 cup cider, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup lemon juice and vanilla; let stand until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Cool cake in pan five minutes, and pierce with a wooden skewer in several places. Pour cider mixture over cake in pan, and let stand 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack. Sift powdered sugar over top of cake.

Makes 18 servings. Nutritional values per serving: 286 calories (22 percent from stout), 7.1g stout (1.6g sat, 3g mono and 2g poly), 5.8g protein, 50.1g carbohydrate, 1.2g fiber, 39mg cholesterol, 1.4mg iron, 253mg sodium and 94mg calcium.

Recipe Copyright © Cooking Light Magazine

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