Healthy Desserts: 5 Ways to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

February 11, 2013

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Hand in cookie jarIt’s easy to sit on the couch, especially with Valentine’s Day looming, and finish an entire box of chocolates in one sitting. Staring at an empty box of chocolates, you start beating yourself up for throwing your weight loss plan down the toilet. We’ve all been there, but healthy desserts do exist, and there are ways to lighten up your favorite baked goods and still satisfy your sweet tooth.

Ice Cream: The frozen yogurt craze is here to stay, and it’s the perfect, healthier substitution for ice cream. Watch out: Those self-serve yogurt shops aren’t as healthy as they seem, especially if you pile your cup to the top with fattening toppings. For a treat that tastes like ice cream with a fraction of the fat, simply toss your favorite cup of yogurt into the freezer, leave it there for two hours, and enjoy! If you’re feeling creative, try making a Greek yogurt parfait. Arrange your favorite fruit between layers of Greek yogurt for the perfect protein-rich treat.

Candy Bar: Studies show sugar can be addictive, hence, why it’s so easy to finish an entire box of chocolates. Next time you’re craving a Hershey’s bar, reach for a piece of dark chocolate instead. The antioxidant properties in dark chocolate will do your heart some good. Studies suggest it can lower bad cholesterol and has anti-inflammation qualities that may reduce your risk for heart disease.

Fruit Pies: Skip the crust, added sugars, oils, and processed flour. Fruit is nature’s natural sweetener, and it can stand on its own. Grilling fruit brings out it’s sweet flavors, and you’ll reap the fiber-filled benefits. Can’t decide what fruit to throw on the fire? Experiment with grilled fruit kebabs to savor all your favorite flavors. Bananas, apples, strawberries, pineapples, and peaches grill particularly well.

Cookies: Sometimes you just need a homemade chocolate chip cookie. While they aren’t the healthiest desserts in the bunch, if you bake them on your own, there are ways to reduce the fat. Replace white flour with whole-wheat flour to give your cookies a boost of fiber, use apple sauce instead of sugar, and mix in dark chocolate chips. This way, you can indulge without feeling quite so guilty. Just recognize that these substitutions don’t mean it’s healthy to finish the whole batch. Enjoy them as a lightened-up treat.

S’mores: You don’t have to be sitting at a campfire to enjoy this treat, and one s’more won’t derail your weight loss plan. Broil marshmallows in the oven on graham cracker halves to your toasted liking, then top with just a dollop of chocolate. The indulgence clocks in at just 100 calories, making it the perfect low-calorie treat to satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s OK to indulge every once in a while, as long as you recognize it as a treat.

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[…] more varieties hitting the supermarket shelves daily, it’s becoming harder to decipher the healthy yogurts from the not-so-healthy […]

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