It's not often that the words "healthy" and "dessert" are used together in a sentence. But it is possible to create a healthy, low-calorie dessert. There are also ways to incorporate metabolism-boosting lean protein into your after-dinner treat. Use these easy dessert recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth and keep your diet on track.
Healthy Dessert with ProteinEating more protein may help to boost your metabolism and improve your ability to lose weight. Eating a moderate amount of protein will also help you to feel full faster. While it's easy to incorporate lean protein into the three main meals of the day, few dessert recipes contain a significant amount of this important nutrient.
This dessert recipe comes from Smart Workout in New York City. The company specializes in fitness vacations where guests explore the city, exercise and learn to eat well at home and in restaurants. The creamy dessert takes just minutes to prepare and requires ingredients that you'll find at your local grocery store.
Raspberries with Lemon Cream
- 3 ounces Neufchatel (lowfat cream cheese)
- ¾ cup low fat yogurt
- 3 tsp raw honey
- 2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
- ¼ cup raspberries (about 10 berries)
Drain off any liquid from yogurt. Put everything in a food processor and mix for a minute until smooth. Chill before serving.
Nutrition per 1/3 cup serving: Calories 87, Fat 3.7 grams, Carbohydrate 9 grams, Protein, 10 grams.
Low-Calorie Dessert Cookies
Cookies can be addicting. Eating them is great, but even baking them is fun. If you love to spend your afternoons in the kitchen and you enjoy splurging on dessert, then the meringue cookie is for you.
Meringue cookies are made from whipped egg whites and sugar. They contain only a few ingredients and most are fat free. Depending on what kind of sugar you use, the calorie count will vary. Try one of these recipes.
- Lemon Meringue Cookies: Calories per cookie 28, calories from fat 0
- Chocolate Peppermint Meringue Cookies: Calories per cookie 15, calories from fat 0g
- Peanut Butter Meringue Cookies: The peanut butter will add fat and calories to this recipe, but peanut butter is a good source of protein when eaten in small amounts.
Shopping for Healthy Desserts
Even if you don't like to cook, you can still enjoy a diet friendly store-bought dessert. You just have to be careful about what you buy. Use a few shopping guidelines when trying to find a low-calorie dessert at the grocery store.
- Avoid packaged baked goods. Skip the cookie aisle, altogether. Not only are most of these products loaded with calories, but many of them contain trans fat. Trans fat is known to lower the body's levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and increase the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL).
- Shop the perimeter of the store. You'll find the healthiest desserts in the outer rings of the grocery store. Get berries, pineapple, and other fresh fruit in the produce section. Then head to the dairy aisle to find low fat or non fat yogurt, pudding or cottage cheese. Dairy products are a good source of protein and calcium and will help you to feel full and satisfied.
- Drink your dessert. Most diet experts will tell you not to drink your calories, but for dessert, it might be a healthy option. On a cold winter's night, make a cup of skim hot chocolate after dinner. If chocolate is not your favorite flavor, make a skim hot or cold decaf latte to top off the night.