5 healthy, no-bake holidays desserts to enjoy without the guilt and weight gain
What if you could indulge in a delicious dessert this festive season without imposing on your waistline?
It doesn’t matter what sort of a diet you are on. If you have a sweet tooth, you will crave a few spoonfuls of a sweet-something after a meal, especially during the festive season. If it’s Christmas or New Year’s, your self-control levels are likely to be at their lowest, and you might end up indulging in that rich and scrumptious chocolate cake - and then comes the guilt of cheating on your diet.
But what if you could indulge in a dessert this festive season without adding to your waistline?
If you are thinking that whipping up a healthy dessert will be hard work, or that these desserts won’t be that tasty, think again. Healthy eating is not about compromising on flavour or taste but choosing the right ingredients. For example, if you eat a cake made of almond flour, olive oil, coconut sugar and low-fat milk, the chances of gaining excess weight will be quite low.
Here are five easy-peasy, delicious desserts using healthy ingredients that you can try immediately - they'll serve a family of four quite sufficiently.
1. Chocolate brownies
You might think that making a healthy version of chocolate brownies is impossible, but anything is possible with the right ingredients.
Mix together half cup each of almond butter and coconut sugar with one-third cup honey, one-fourth cup olive oil (extra virgin would be best), two eggs (or one cup low-fat milk if you want eggless brownies) and half teaspoon vanilla essence in a large bowl. Add half cup almond flour, three-fourth cup unsweetened cocoa powder and one teaspoon baking powder. Whisk until you have a smooth batter.
Pour the brownie batter into a microwave-proof bowl or mugs (the mugs should only be half- to two-thirds full), and cook for two minutes in the microwave (adjust according to the voltage of your device). Check if the brownies are done by inserting a skewer or toothpick. If it comes out clean then it’s ready! These brownies will taste rich and chocolatey, but the ingredients are actually so healthy that you won’t be guilt-ridden after a slice or two.
2. Baked fruits
Depend on the natural sugar and texture of fresh, seasonal fruits and you will immediately have a healthy dessert on your hands. And no, baked fruits don’t have to be dead boring, because you can jazz them up with more healthy trimmings than you can imagine. Wondering how?
Take an apple, deseed and slice it up and then put it in an oven-proof dish. Add half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder, a tablespoon of honey, mix well and top with chopped nuts like almonds and walnuts. Now, bake it until the apples are golden and the nuts are crunchy and enjoy!
You can give this basic concept a twist any time you want with berries, pineapples, peaches, plums, etc tossed in cinnamon powder, honey, coconut sugar, oats, dried fruits and nuts. If you want a richer-looking dessert you can always drizzle some more honey or maple syrup on top or pair it with a scoop of dairy-free ice cream.
3. Superfood chocolate barks
So you might be holding back from indulging in a rich chocolate bar, but nothing should stop you from rustling up these healthy chocolate barks at home either. Just get some 70% dark chocolate and melt it in a microwave. Line a tray or pan with butter paper and pour in the molten chocolate. Spread the chocolate evenly across the tray, then quickly top with all the superfoods of your choice: almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, dried fruits, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, flax seeds, peanuts, etc. You can even drizzle some peanut butter on top, and then freeze the chocolate bark until it’s ready. Break the bark into shards and store in an airtight jar. See? Easy and oh-so healthy.
4. Chocolatey fruit bites
If you don’t like the taste or texture of baked fruits then there is another way you can go with them to whip up bite-sized sweet treats. Take fruits of your choice (bananas, kiwi, pineapple, peaches, apples, etc) and cut them into any size you feel comfortable with. If you are using strawberries, then you can add them whole (that’s also less work for you). Now melt a cup of 70% dark chocolate and pour it into an ice-cube tray. If you want to go gourmet with these then you can add chopped nuts and seeds to the molten chocolate first, or a teaspoon of rum for a boozy effect. Once the chocolate is in the ice-cube tray push in the chopped (or whole) fruits and berries. Freeze until the cubes are ready, de-mould them and store them in an airtight jar until that sweet craving hits you.
5. Chocolate truffles
Rich, decadent and so-not-healthy: that’s how you might describe regular chocolate truffles. But our version, while still tasting rich, is actually healthier. Melt a cup of 70% dark chocolate in a microwave, then add one medium mashed avocado, two tablespoons each of grated coconut, chopped nuts and seeds of your choice, a tablespoon of oats and mix well. Freeze the mix until it turns into a tight dough. Use a tablespoon or scooper to make equal-sized balls or truffles with this dough. You can smoothen the truffles by rolling them around in your palms, and then roll them in cocoa powder or grated coconut to give them that rich look. Store these truffles in the refrigerator.
Make some smart dessert choices this festive season by trying out these amazingly easy and super-delicious treats.
For more information, please read our article on Chocolate.
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