When I think dessert, I think ice cream, cake or cookies. But there are so many alternatives that are easy, healthier treats. Below are just a few examples to kickstart your dessert creativity.
1. Hot cocoa
The extra serving of milk will get you protein and calcium, as well as vitamin D. Use half cocoa mix and half cocoa powder to get a more interesting, less sugary cocoa. Also try adding cinnamon and nutmeg, or mint extract.
2. Candied nuts
Take 0.5c nuts, 0.25c water, 0.25c sugar and cook them in a saucepan over medium high heat until the liquid browns and thickens. Let cool briefly and enjoy. Use walnuts for the highest dose of omega-3s.
3. Frozen bananas
Peel a banana and put it in the freezer when you start cooking dinner. By dessert time, it will taste exactly like the banana ice cream in Ben'n'Jerry's Chunky Monkey--that is to say, incredible. This is a great way to use up slightly old bananas.
4. Frozen blueberries or grapes
These can be pre-frozen blueberries or you can take a pint of blueberries/grapes on their last leg and throw them in the freezer. I suggest letting them warm up for about 5 minutes before digging in.
5. Baked pear
Slice a pear in half and scoop out the seeds with a grapefruit spoon or paring knife. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and a bit of butter and put it in a 400°F oven until the pear is soft (~10-15 minutes).
6. Chocolate sorbet with raspberry jam
Good chocolate sorbet is a great alternative to chocolate ice cream, and good raspberry jam makes it feel infinitely more sophisticated. Please don't use Smuckers...
7. Nutella on a banana or whole wheat bread
Nutella is quite easily enjoyed straight from the jar. If you'd like your jar to last longer than a week, though, it is equally scrumptious when diluted with banana or whole wheat bread. Plus, you'll be adding some extra fiber to your diet.
8. Chocolate- or vanilla yogurt-dipped strawberries
Of course, summer strawberries on their own are an acceptable dessert. But to make it feel a little bit more special, melt some chocolate chips in the microwave with a dab of butter and dip away. This is also good with the sickly sweet store bought vanilla yogurts.
9. Microwave cupcakes
Ok, making a batch of cupcakes is admittedly dangerous. I'll make 12 and the next day we have no cupcakes left. Fortunately, microwave cupcakes make one cupcake at a time--much safer. There are tons of recipes out there!
10. Whipped cream
Although you probably ask for no whip on your morning frapuccino, it's actually a pretty innocent dessert. Instead of filling your bowl with ice cream, fill it with cold whipped cream and enjoy with a spoon.
What's your go-to dessert? What do you make on special occasions?
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment or emailing me at piquantprose [at] gmail [dot] com.
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