–By Ayushi Pandey
Why must we always come up with ways to make our favourite foods less enticing so they can be included in our diets? Why can’t we just accept sweets for what they are? The fact is that any item, including your favourite desserts, can be a part of a balanced diet. By replacing sugar with healthy options, such a balanced diet can become enjoyable. You can treat yourself occasionally and have a cheat meal or two but make sure the majority of your food is prepared mindfully. Otherwise, you’ll only be adding unnecessary calories and poor nutrition to a diet you are already struggling to maintain.
In a recent survey from Datassential, 53% of people claim to have eaten a dessert the past day. Nowadays, the market is filled with desserts advertised as healthy or diet-friendly, and the internet has countless healthy dessert recipes. But which ones do we trust to help us stay on course? Be it desserts or regular food, mindful nutrition makes all the difference. Outweigh the amount of nutrition-rich foods with taste-satiating items while staying within a healthy calorie range. An example would be to balance protein, fibre, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals with sugar, trans fats, and empty calories. We can make our sweets healthier while savouring every bit of them!
Add fruits as a sugar substitute
Adding fruits to your desserts is the simplest and the most underrated way to make them healthy. Fruits naturally contain sugar, so they can easily raise the nutritional value of your desserts. Here are some ways in which you can squeeze in some fruits in your desserts:
- Top your dessert with a small dollop of whipped cream mixed with a bowl of chopped fruit.
- Chop up a banana and mix it with some peanut butter and chocolate chips. Consider dark chocolate chips to add to the flavour with minimal sugar.
- Mix up a selection of fruits that go well together with a little low-fat yoghurt and a handful of almonds.
- Add a mixture of fruits to ice cream. Try replacing half of the ice cream of your regular scoop with diced fruit.
Control your sugar and fat intake
By reducing the amount of sugar and fat in your dishes, you may immediately lower the consumption of empty calories. Sugar and fat enhance flavour and texture in almost every dessert imaginable but the majority of beneficial fats, especially heart-healthy oils, can be a disguised source of calories and fat. Some of the most common foods you should avoid include butter, oil (including coconut oil), white or refined flour, sugars such as table sugar, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave, thick creams, condensed milk with added sugar, egg yolks, and more.
Healthy alternatives to the above ingredients
For additional nutrients like protein and fibre, choose healthy fats like avocado, nuts, seeds, and nut butter. Doing so will balance the unhealthy amount of sugar. Replace artificial sugar with natural sugar, which you can get from fruits and dried fruits, as well.
Any opportunity to use naturally nutritious products is one you can’t afford to pass on. Fruits and vegetables are great alternatives for fat and sugar. They also fall under the high-nutrition category as this enables you to add more fibre and fewer calories to your recipe. While carrot cake seems like a good place to start, here are some other ideas to consider:
- Use beet juice to make a red velvet cake.
- Fresh or frozen berries can be used to top cakes and tarts.
- Fruit or shredded vegetables can be added to bread and muffins.
- Blend frozen fruit to make a simple sorbet, or combine frozen fruit with Greek yoghurt and refreeze for a healthy low-sugar frozen yoghurt.
These alternatives may sound like a great way of consuming desserts frequently, but it is important to remember that they are still a special treat. Strive to make your desserts a healthy source of nutrition by consuming them in moderate quantities.