Using Fruit to Make Desserts Healthy
When most people think about starting a diet the idea of deprivation quickly comes to mind. No fast food, no soda, and no delicious desserts. That idea is so ingrained in American culture we are practically born thinking it: sweets= bad. The good news is this is not always true. Look at so many European cultures that have far less diet related illness than the United States. For example, children in France are generally not given low fat milk, but whole milk. They enjoy artisan (not low fat cheeses), they indulge in rich desserts and do not have the health issues that we do. What is the difference? By choosing to consume whole clean foods (meaning minimally processed foods) the French can satisfy their cravings for sweets without eating as much quantity.
To pursue this European idea of eating better, here are some simple ideas for giving a healthy twist to standard desserts.
Angel "Fruit" Cake
You can easily adjust the flavor of a dessert simply by altering a few ingredients. Even English Trifles are being made with healthier ingredients. Another example is Angel food cake, which can easily be modified to a more healthier version simply by topping with fresh organic fruit. Another alternative is to slice the angel food case and sandwich the slices with the fruit along with organic yogurt and honey. Suddenly having fruit for dessert doesn't seem so boring.
Naturally Sweet Gelato
Gelato is the Italian version of American ice-cream. Although fairly similar in looks, the texture and taste is rather different. Gelato is made with less air blended into the mixture during processing, and therefore creates a much more creamy and smooth texture. It also uses 2% milk, or even water (although not really recommended) in place of cream.
Instead of making high calorie and sugar laden varieties, try adding in fresh fruit into the mixture. To even mix the fruit - such as raspberries, blackberries, peaches, etc., try processing them through a blender or food processor first. Then mix them in with the other ingredients and use your gelato maker to do it's magic.
Vitamin C Cocktail
A blender can be a great asset in the kitchen for making all sorts of quick desserts. One of the best is a vitamin C cocktail. To make this drink simply add chopped pineapple, raspberries, and strawberries into the blender and puree. Once evenly processed, serve as a smoothie.
Another common dessert which takes advantage of any season is a fruit tart - using the fruits which are in season. Any cookbook should have a decent recipe and feel free to cut back on any large amounts of sugar. Just make sure that the fruit exceeds the filling and one serving does not equal a nine inch tart - a slice will do.
Although it is not recommended to eat chocolate all the time, some chocolate can be healthy. However, we are not referring to candy bars and the like. Instead make your own chocolate to drizzle over your fruit by using 2 squares of semi-sweet chocolate and let melt in a bowl placed in a double boiler. As the chocolate melts, if it is too thick add some milk or even a drop of water. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Once melted simply pour over some of your favorite fruit such as apples or strawberries -even melon.
Use nature to fulfill the desire for sweets featuring honey or agave nectar as sweeteners opposed to refined sugar. Use fruit as the focal point of the dessert and be pleasantly surprised at how easily your sweet tooth cravings go away.
Liz enjoys writing about food topics and shares her ideas with people who have a passion for food. She helps share tips on how to make life easier in the kitchen by using appliances such as gelato makers to make homemade desserts - or how food
processors can chop and blend ingredients much faster than we can manually. She started cooking later in life after she married, and loves the relaxation it brings to her busy schedule.