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Can't have chocolate or fatty foods, so what's for dessert?

On account of stomach issues, chocolate is verboten. So are fatty foods and caffeine.

This comes from my doctor.

My favorite dessert WAS homemade chocolate ice cream. Coffee ice cream, too.

I like to finish my meals with something sweet.

Making pies is too much work.

Suggestions anyone?

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  1. Fried bananas? Flambeed?

    Low/no fat Greek yogurt tastes supercreamy, cold and delectable. Try mixing in some cocoa. Or, in summer, fresh peaches. Low/no fat ricotta works very nicely mixed with some cocoa and something sweet. Coffee yogurt?

    A baked apple?

    A fruit smoothie? Sorbet? Fruit smoothies frozen in cubes, then slushed?

    1. Fat free plain yougurt with fruit works for me. Also, homemade applesauce with cinnamon and nutmeg is very tasty and satisfies that craving for something sweet. It's not easy giving up your favorite dessert, but maybe you'll get some good suggestions here, and can try different things until you find something that satisfies you. Good luck.

        1. I'd ask your doctor for a bit of clarification only because if you're truly not allowed to have any dairy, you can't do pies (butter in the crust). I'm moderately lactose intolerant, and I've learned what I can and cannot have (ice cream makes me bloat, but there's a local gelato that I can eat in moderation). I think the responses you've gotten so far are great, but that's not my idea of dessert. I want something rich and decadent.

          I honestly would try to nail down what, apart from chocolate (which has fat and caffeine normally), your doctor is steering you from.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Mestralle

            I'd ask your doctor for a bit of clarification only because if you're truly not allowed to have any dairy, you can't do pies (butter in the crust).
            she didn't say anything about dairy...?

              1. re: Mestralle

                no need to apologize to me! i just didn't want to add any unnecessary additional limitations to the suggestions for her. of course it's totally possible that dairy is off-limits as well and she forgot to list it specifically :)

                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  When I hear the no-fat thing, I just flash back to an old flatmate I had. That was the first time I started dealing with restricted diets. I guess I just associate most dairy with fat, particularly when baking (butter, cream, etc.).

          2. Pavlova? I use Bill Grangers recipe with is divine and if you want you can make the meringe part in advance and store them until you want to serve them. You could also make lots of little ones instead of one big one. I like how it uses half greek yoghurt and half cream, so it not only has a significantly lower fat content, but tastes fantastic. You can top with whatever fruit you like, I personally like a combination of strawberries, blueberries and kiwi fruit. Mmmmm.


            1. a couple of others have beaten me to the ricotta & Greek yogurt suggestions. other ideas that would totally appeal to me if i had your restrictions:
              - low fat rice pudding
              - low fat butterscotch or vanilla pudding
              - low fat quick breads or muffins (less labor-intensive than pie!)
              - poached pears
              - grilled fruit
              - sweet polenta or Indian pudding
              - sorbet

              2 Replies
              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I also immediately thought of sorbet, especially since the OP loves ice cream.

                Sidenote: ghg, did you see we got pulled from the I Hate Trader Joe's thread?! ;)

                1. re: invinotheresverde

                  i realized it when the thread disappeared from my "recent posts" list. bummer because you & rworange made good points. oh well, can't win 'em all! ;)

              2. At first I had trouble thinking of anything but rock candy, lollipops and gummy bears but I did come up with a few ideas.

                coconut brittle
                popcorn balls
                cheese popcorn
                candy coated nuts and spiced nuts
                poached pears
                fruit salad
                candied orange peels
                strawberries and balsamic vinegar (the good stuff)

                If you can handle some egg which is pretty fatty, there are a lot of cake options.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Hank Hanover

                  If you can handle some egg which is pretty fatty, there are a lot of cake options.
                  or just go with angel food cake.

                  ooh, that reminds me of another option...egg white souffle!

                  good call on the popcorn balls...but since she said fatty foods are off-limits i'd skip the candy-coated or spiced nuts and coconut would be problematic too.

                  1. Great resource for healthy recipes: http://eatingwelllivingthin.wordpress...
                    by Linda Farnsworth, a bariatric chef. See the index on the right side of the home page.

                    I haven't eaten sweets or simple carbs in 5 years (and I'm now half the woman I used to be). My favorite substitute for ice cream has been protein shakes (don't turn up your nose yet!!)....made properly they are wonderful.
                    See Linda's archives for protein shake recipes....the varieties are endless. If you'll use a small personal blender and lots of ice, you'll have something as thick and frosty as a milkshake.

                    1. Hi,

                      I've had GI issues for years and have to stick to a very low-fat diet to help with my stomach... I have a crazy sweet tooth that hits about an hour after dinner and can't get to bed without some dessert. Here are a few things I've come up with that are fast, easy, and hopefully fit your criteria.

                      1) Crisps and crumbles. Literally take 5 minutes to prepare--stick them in the oven before dinner and they'll be gooey, crisp and tender by dessert. Usually these are made with lots of butter in the topping, but I've found substituting margarine works fine. I usually will cut the butter that's called for in half (or even less) when subbing margarine and leave out any salt. I've even served this to co-workers and no one noticed the absence of the butter and they gobbled it right up (especially the men). You can mix and match fruits, but I prefer a plain old chopped apple (Granny Smith mixed with Honeycrisp) tossed in cinnamon, and brown sugar. Top with a crumbly mixture of flour, brown sugar, oats, and margarine. Bakes quickly if you do single-serve portions, or make a few in ramekins, freeze, and pop in oven (no need to thaw).

                      2) Cookies! Homemade cookies are the way to go. I've made plenty of batches with either margarine, applesauce, or smashed bananas substituting for the butter with great results. I used to have a client who was vegan and I'd bake big batches of vegan cookies (subbing above for both eggs and butter) and even the non-vegans loved the cookies. The trick (for me at least) is to keep the white flour, not sub out sugar, and add in lots of yummy extras (toffee bits, caramel, peanut butter chips, chopped nuts, dried fruit, etc.) so they don't taste like health cookies. gross. cookies are good too because you can make a batch, shape into cookies, and freeze them between wax paper so you can bake a few any time you want.

                      3) Cakes/Cupcakes/Muffins: These have been tricky to convert, but I have a few recipes which have totally worked. My banana streusel cake has even been added to all of my family's holiday get-togethers. It contains no milk, lots of fruit, no butter. I'll add it at the end of this post. As for other cakes, I always make them without butter, cream, milk, etc. You can easily get away with subbing low-fat plain yogurt in many recipes (sub for either butter or milk), vegetable oils for butter, skim milk for whole milk/cream, skim milk mixed with vinegar for buttermilk, or soy/rice/almond milk for milk/cream. I found a recipe a while back for a rustic fruit cake which is very versatile and great for making fruit cakes/muffins. I'll add that at the end of this post too.

                      4) Sorbet. These should always be low in fat, as they should really consist primarily of fruit with no cream or dairy. There are chocolate sorbets... You may want to ask your doc what it is about choclate you can't have, by the way. Is it the actual cocoa or the milk/fat content? Chocolate has pretty minimal caffeine?
                      These have become my go-to frozen treat, free of milk and low in fat, but do contain cocoa: http://www.turtlemountain.com/product...
                      I get them at Whole Foods. They are really freaking good. If the cocoa is completely out of the picture then maybe you could try some of their other frozen "ice creams."
                      They're all relatively low in bad fats, but do have healthy fat from coconut. I've found my stomach tolerates this very well, while even the thought of eating anything deep-fried makes me want to die...
                      The other thing that may satisfy your iced cravings are granitas (super easy--puree fruit/fruit juice of choice with water/ice, sugar, and maybe some lemon/lime/orange/apple/etc. juice then freeze and scrape with fork every hour or so to achieve a slushee consistency).
                      One more! I remembered seeing these in Martha Stewart Magazine a while back. Super yummy and easy to swap out fat-free ingredients: http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/b...
                      http://www.marthastewart.com/article/... (recipe links at bottom of article
                      )and Rachael Ray (don't judge me!) http://www.rachaelraymag.com/search/i...

                      Chocolate really does a number on me but I can't go without it sometimes... I think creamier substitutes satisfy that craving the best. The coconut ice cream for some reason really is a good substitute. I hate coconut, but can't taste it in there. Anyway, hope this helps some and sorry it's so long!!!

                      BANANA STREUSEL CAKE/MUFFINS (Makes 12) These freeze very well once baked!

                      --1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
                      --1 tspn. EACH baking soda and baking powder
                      --1/2 tspn. salt

                      Mix and set aside.

                      --3 bananas, mashed
                      --1/2 cup brown sugar
                      --1/4 cup white sugar
                      --1 egg (can be omitted
                      )--1/3 cup vegetable oil

                      Beat on med/high until all is thoroughly combined. Stir in flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon into 12 lined muffin tins or into a cake pan (9x13" will be thinner and cook faster, 9"x9" will be thick and need to cook for at least 30-40 mins).

                      Bake in a 375 oven for 10 minutes.

                      Meanwhile, combine:

                      --1/3 cup packed brown sugar
                      --2 tbspns. flour
                      --1/8 tspn. cinnamon
                      --1 tbspn. margarine/butter (optional--won't be crumbly but still tastes good)

                      Mix by hand, with pastry cutter, or with two forks until resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over muffins after they've baked 10 minutes and bake 8-10 minuts more.

                      5-MINUTE PREP RUSTIC FRUIT CAKE--literally comes together in a few minutes in one bowl

                      Preheat oven to 350.

                      Mix in a bowl:
                      --1 cup flour
                      --1 tspn. baking soda
                      --zest of one lemon

                      Then add:
                      --3/4 cup sugar (can mix brown and white, or just white)
                      --2 eggs
                      --1/2 cup vegetable oil

                      Combine thoroughly. Pour into a greased 8" or 9" pan and smooth top. Press in any combination of chopped/sliced fruit (haven't tried frozen but hear it works just as well with no need to thaw). I like to use sliced peaches, nectarines, thinly sliced apples, any type of berries, pears, etc. Just make sure to slice hard fruits thin (like apples) or they won't cook through. And press fruit INTO batter or they may get scorched if sitting on top of cake. Another option would be grating or chopping and mixing them in with batter.

                      Top with raw sugar. Bake 35-50 minutes (depending on size of pan and your oven. Mine are usually done around 35 or 40).

                      1. To answer some questions, it pertains to acid reflux.

                        Chocolate relaxes the LES, allowing acid to move into the esophagus. Caffeine does the same thing.

                        As for fatty foods, I'm not completely eliminating fat from my diet. I'm just reducing it, particularly before bedtime. I eat healthy, but homemade ice cream made with 38%+ fat content cream, whole milk, and chocolate is far too rich.

                        The idea for sorbet is a good one that I hadn't thought of. Thanks!

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: NotJuliaChild

                          So we could still tempt you with pies, tarts, crème brulees, cream puffs, coconut cakes and éclairs?

                          1. re: NotJuliaChild

                            My husband and I have also been diagnosed with acid reflux. I have my piece of Dove chocolate early in the day now. :-) We try to eat dinner early these days and then nothing afterwards and it has helped a lot.

                            When I'm giving up sweets for Lent, I'll sometimes have a graham cracker with strawberry "Simply Fruit" on top--or a piece of toast with butter and jam. (My husband prefers peanut butter for both.) Year 'round I'm also good with the suggestions above of rice pudding, quick breads, or cinnamon raisin bread. Even one cookie lets me feel I've had some kind of dessert.

                            1. re: NotJuliaChild

                              ah, you're dealing with GERD. knowing the issue makes suggestions easier...fortunately we can keep all the lower-fat dairy suggestions on the list :)

                              have you tried any lower-fat ice cream/yogurt recipes? and another i forgot to add to my suggestions last night - how about a pavlova or meringue cookies?

                              1. re: NotJuliaChild

                                This is strictly anecdotal and you can take it or leave it, but back in the years when the low carb forums were extremely active, one of the three most common observations that newbies reported upon switching to low carb was sudden, complete resolution of GERD (and IBS and athsma). I can't furnish studies, only that if you decide to try it, you should know almost immediately if you're on the right track or not. Wheat is often noted as the worst offender.

                              2. I don't particularly care for sweets so I make berries with some Cointreau (or whatever) and sugar or splenda.

                                BTW, I have severe gastritis and my mother died of esophageal cancer. I take omeprazole twice a day (for the rest of my life) and eat whatever I want :)

                                1. you are in good company - i'm allergic to chocolate and on a low-fat diet... I like the following:

                                  -a good quality low-fat (not fat free) whipped cream (like cabot) on fruit
                                  -australian licorice
                                  -rice krispie treats (cut down on the margarine)
                                  -low fat rice pudding with rosewater. Rosewater is also a good way to add appeal to otherwise bland desserts

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: PotatoPuff

                                    Oh yeah, Rice Krispy Treats!

                                    Really one of my all-time favorite desserts that I hardly ever think about. My birthday's next week, think I'll make a batch!

                                    But I have to say that I don't cut down on the butter/margarine: it's what makes them so good--and divided over 24 squares or so, I don't think it's all that bad. (No, I don't eat all 24. ;-)

                                  2. Several years ago, I worked with a woman who discovered she was lactose intolerant -- and she was well known for being a real ice cream hound.

                                    I had an ice cream freezer at the time, so we walked through a few ideas, and I made her a batch of ice cream using soy milk and soy creamer (I made a custard with some egg yolks, as egg didn't bother her in the least) -- I then added some strawberries that had been marinated in vodka (the alcohol keeps the fruit from becoming rock-hard) -- and some that had been just pureed.

                                    She nearly kissed my feet -- and went out that evening and bought herself an ice cream freezer. She took that base recipe and made herself every flavor you can think of, and had great success (and fun) with it.

                                    1. check out this recipe from recent nytimes for huguenot torte:


                                      description is "the brown crust is like the ideal macaroon, and the center has the gooey, custardlike texture of a proper pecan pie." and the only fat comes from two eggs! you could top it with reduced fat whipped cream per potato puff's suggestion.

                                      you could also try mark bittman's cornstarch ice cream which has a great deal less fat than regular:


                                      1. plus any merinque-based recipe that seems appealing and not too fatty.

                                        1. Sugar free jello (or chocolate pudding... if that 'kind' of chocolate is OK according to doctor)

                                          Can you have things 'dusted' with chocolate powder? I often use Natural Hershey's cocoa powder and put it in/on things, so that I never crave chocolate and everything tastes like it. You can dust Pizzelles, fortune cookies, or merenges with it.. then even dip them in this DECAF chocolate tea.


                                          Also if you can have powdered chocolate then sprinkle some on some microwave Kettle corn. Or if you cannot, then maybe just end your meal with microwave Kettle corn.

                                          Trader Joe's makes a Fat Free caramel corn but I avoid it because I eat the whole bag--and there is no way it is actually Fat Free...

                                          1. My first choice would be Meringue. They are fat free and delicious with fresh berries.
                                            Trader Joe's makes a good packaged one, but they aren't too hard to make yourself and will keep for a good week if they are baked until dry and stored in a cool, dry, airtight container.

                                            1. Thank you for all the suggestions.

                                              I've looked over a lot of recipes for sorbet. Many of them look great! I forgot about sorbet when I was making ice cream. This was a great suggestion.

                                              I love apples, so it occured to me a crisp, tart apple drizzled with salted butter caramel sauce would be good as well. I'll be making this later in the week.

                                              1. Either buy really good quality dried fruit or pour hot juice over supermarket dried fruit and let it sit until the fruit gets tender. This way the flavor is intense enough to satisfy the craving for something sweet to end your meal.