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Mar 27, 2007 07:08 PM

Looking for healthy desserts that are tasty

Any recommendations for healthy cookies,cakes..etc? I love sweets but have found "healthy" versions to be either not too tasty or not really healthy because they're often loaded with butter and/or sugar. My 2yr old and 7yr old won't eat the stuff I bring home.

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    1. Here's my fix... Fat free cottage cheese, mixed with splenda, cinnamon and vanilla, then mix in a little cooked brown rice or my preference, barley, and nuke it all in the micro til it gets a bit gooey. Instant rice/barley pudding.

      Granita or sorbet w/ sweetener. Using my juicer, I'll process through frozen fruits, and sweeten the puree if desired.

      Bake apples; involve the kids as you core out the middle and stuff w/ whatever you desire. Pears are good too.

      Grilled fruit can be fun too.

      I was on a kick for a while w/ plain yogurt sweetened w/ splenda and topped w/ cinnamon unsweetened applesauce.

      I take La Tortilla Factory whole wheat tortillas, sprinkle with water, then sprinkle with cinnamon and splenda blended; sometimes I bake them to crisp whole, or slice into chips to bake and crisp.

      Zen Bakery makes great cinnamon buns that I top with my own homemade FF cream cheese frosting (FF cream cheese, splenda, vanilla, and a little Smart Balance).

      You can also make pudding using tofu and unsweetened cocoa powder.

      I make crepes using egg whites only--just spread thin in a Pam-sprayed pan, let firm and flip. I fill them w/ sweetened FF cottage cheese, secure with toothpicks and reheat and brown in the pan; then I serve w/ sugar free or low sugar preserves from TJ's.

      One other thing I do is make pancakes from oatmeal and egg whites, and serve w/ sugar free maple syrup. A satisfying dessert or breakfast really.

      Pavlova can be done w/ artificial sweeteners if desired.

      Personally, I find it difficult to make cakes and cookies b/c the artificial sweeteners don't hold up well under baking. However, mashed bananas can be a great substitute for sweetness in muffins/cupcakes, and applesauce or prune puree makes a great sub for fat in similar recipes.

      Sorry for the incessant rambling!

      6 Replies
      1. re: Emme

        Great post. Here's a one alternative for the yogurt since I'm not a fan of artificial sweetenters and I'd be worried about using them for children that young. For the yogurt, instead mix in fruit-juice sweetened sugar-free jam. Or even better fresh fruit mixed in to plain yogurt. You could add a little sugar to their taste, at least it isn't overloaded with sugar like the flavored yogurts.

        I have been into making my own jello that is easier than the junk in the box and SO much better. Use any 100 percent juice ... I used a cherry apple mix recently ... 2 cups juice ... 1 package gelatin ... put one cup of juice in a heat-proof bowl and sprinkle with gelatin ... bring other cup to a boil ... add to gelatin mixture ... cool (about 2 hrs) ... serve.

        Nice to mix in fruit too. Strawberries are great ... canned peaches ... a can of crushed pineapple makes a mouth watering jello. If you use fruit, add it to liquid to be boiled..

        This can also be frozen for healthy popsicles ... and they taste good.

        1. re: Emme

          Thanks for these tis. I'm definitely going to try some of these. I have a few questions...

          What are the proportions for the cottage cheese and brown rice, 1:1 or a just a bit of brown rice?

          For the crepes, you use egg white mixed together with crepe flour or just the egg whites?

          1. re: Jacey

            For the pudding, I do a cup of FF cottage cheese, and then I add somewhere between 1/2 and 2/3 cup of barley or brown rice. It really depends when I'm eating it, and how much carbs I'm wanting/needing to digest. Honestly, for me, rice pudding is less about the actual rice than about the flavor of the goo, so a little rice/barley for textural contrast goes a long way.

            For the crepes, I literally just beat egg whites for twenty seconds til frothy, then pour a little in a Pam-sprayed pan, and tilt the pan to spread out. I let it set then flip to brown the other side briefly. I let them rest while I cook the others. Then, I mix up my filling, warm a little in the micro, fill the crepes, secure with toothpicks, return to pan to brown for a few, then serve w/ a little low-sugar jam.

            1. re: Emme

              Not to nitpick, but it seems like your "crepes" are actually omelettes. They're great (I eat them too), but they won't fulfill a crepe craving.

              1. re: piccola

                nitpick away, they fill my craving when pinned up in crepe shapes, made thin thin like crepes and stuffed with cottage cheese and/or ricotta sweetened...

                1. re: Emme

                  than that's all that matters :)

        2. Try a Clif Bar. The Chocolate Chip variety is (almost) just like a regular chocolate chip cookie.

          And it's 70% organic, with no HFCS.

          1. Sugar is not inherently unhealthy. A little sugar isn't going to hurt your kids -- it's the overconsumption of sugary foods (and foods with HFCS) that's "unhealthy" plus eating "fake" foods with artificial ingredients and additives.

            When I was a kid dessert was not a regular part of our dinner menu. Most nights, the answer to "what's for dessert" was "have a piece of fruit."

            If you're family is dead set on dessert, try something like a yogurt parfait: good quality (no additives) low fat or fat free yogurt swirled with some jam/preserves/fruit spread or honey and layered with fresh or frozen fruit.

            Frozen yogurt is another option. I've recently become addicted to Dreyer's Slow Churned Frozen Yogurt blends -- the chocolate and vanilla swirl. Not as pure as I'd like, but nothing awful in it, either.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              I second Ruth's suggestions. Fruit is the best healthy dessert, and it goes really well with yogurt. But a little cake or a cookie or two now and again won't hurt anyone. The vast majority of the cakes eaten in our house are those I make myself. At least that way, I know what's in them. The trick is to eat reasonably and not overindulge every day.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                Good idea, but for kids 2 and 7, assuming no weight issues, I would personally serve a full-fat yoghurt. I think for babies under 2 all dairy is supposed to be at least 4% fat. Still a lot less fat than a cookie.

              2. Grilled pineapple is great - with a little smidge of nutella or other chocolate sauce on a special occasion!

                Many quickbreads can be made healthy by using applesauce instead of oil - you could make pumpkin bread, banana bread, or carrot cake like that.

                As far as store-bought (or homemade) cookies, maybe merengues? They are sugary, sure, but very low in fat and a little goes a long way. I also like low-fat vanilla wafers, but then I am 27, not 7. I probably would have found them a little disappointing 20 years ago.