Published: 03/24/2016 - Updated: 11/24/2016
Desserts are the closing course of our meal and sometimes what we look forward to most when it comes time to eat. Eating desserts is a pleasure that very few can do without as there really is nothing quite like giving yourself a treat on a special occasion, or turning a sad day into a joyful one, with a spoonful of sweet goodness.
For those with a sweet tooth there are alternatives to consume desserts without it being a problem. On the contrary, there are many dessert options where we have the opportunity to incorporate healthy and convenient foods that will benefit our health. Clearly we cannot eat a cake every day, but for those special occasions we can always opt for healthier desserts, thus saving us from excessive calorie consumption or increasing fibre, instead adding good fats and sugars to the menu. So, with that in mind, today I want to introduce some tips to achieve this and thus can enjoy a rich dessert in a lighter form.
Tips for making lighter desserts
Use egg only when necessary: Although egg is a staple ingredient for many simple baked goods recipes, it can be completely or partially replaced. For example you can substitute it with plain egg whites, as they are much lighter and help us achieve the desired texture of our dessert recipe.
Another way to replace egg, especially for people allergic to this product or people who do not consume egg, is with flaxseeds or chia seeds. Both chia and flaxseed have mucilage which helps give the required viscosity and texture to cakes and pastries. To replace an egg, you need:
- ¼ cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of chia or flaxseeds
1. Place these two ingredients in a bowl and let stand for about 5 minutes or until thickened.
Prepare biscuits with vegetables or tubers: Opting for vegetables may not sound appetising, but they are excellent for replacing fat, flour and milk when preparing cakes. Courgette (zucchini), beetroot, pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes (yams) are some of the options you can choose in terms of vegetables or tubers. Tubers may be higher in carbohydrates than some vegetables, but by providing creaminess and consistency they are a great substitute for butter. Some vegetables like courgettes (zucchini) provide texture and moisture so when you have an opportunity, take advantage and put a twist into the cakes you have always made in the same way.
Decrease the amount of sugar: It is true that to prepare a meringue or types of candy, the proportion of sugar is important, but it is not always essential for all desserts and we can choose to add flavour and depth to our desserts with other ingredients like vanilla, spices, seeds and cocoa. Another option you can choose is to use sweeteners such as stevia which is free of calories and can be an excellent choice when you want a really sweet dessert like ice cream or jam.
Reduce the amount of fat with fruit: Various fruit purées can be an excellent idea when we want to replace fats like oil or butter when making muffins or pastries; The most popular choice is banana, but applesauce or pear are good substitutes and avocado can add a great creamy texture as well as healthy fats to our cakes.
Swap lactose products with plant milks: Although milk is not bad, it may contain higher quantities of fat, so when it comes to making lighter desserts we can choose vegetable milk or milk with less fat. Vegetable milks are an excellent choice for those who are lactose intolerant, or another substitute that can be used are fruit juices which also add extra flavour to cakes and desserts.
Of course these are just some tips you can implement to make lighter desserts and sweets, but this does not by any means signify that they are zero calories, nor that because they are “light”, we consume them every day or every hour. Do not forget to take care to moderate your dessert portions and make sure to balance your diet in order to achieve good health and a good quality of life.
Lastly, I would like share a recipe so you can implement some of the tips I have mentioned in this article.
Light Raspberry Cupcakes
- 125g. Flour
- 1 Banana
- 65 g Greek yogurt
- 110 g Sugar
- 70 g raspberries
- 1.5 tsp. Vanilla essence
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. Grated lemon rind
- ½ tsp. Baking powder
- 4 Egg yolks
1. Sift flour with baking powder and salt, then set aside.
2. Mash bananas and mix with sugar and yogurt.
3. Add the egg whites and beat until incorporated.
4. Pour in the vanilla essence.
5. Gradually add the mixture of dry ingredients.
6. Add the raspberries and lemon zest to the mixture and set aside a few raspberries for decoration.
7. Fill the molds to ¾ full each.
8. Bake at 180 ° C for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.