UACES Facebook It Is Possible to Diet and Have Your Dessert, Too

It Is Possible to Diet and Have Your Dessert, Too

Could it be possible to be on a diet and yet still enjoy delicious desserts, within reason of course? Sure! Sweets and treats aren't off limits; you just have to choose carefully.

TEXARKANA, Ark. –

Could it be possible to be on a diet and yet still enjoy delicious desserts, within reason of course? Sure! Sweets and treats aren’t off limits; you just have to choose carefully.

This time of year, many are on one type of diet or another. It may be low fat, low carb, paleo, gluten free, and all the others that flood the market this time of year.

The key is to make your desserts taste good and healthy. Learn how to bake with less fat and less sugar. For healthier versions of sweets, look at the calories, fat and sugars found. When “rich,” “creamy” or “dark” is used to describe a dessert, it should send up a red flag. These are usually key words meaning higher in calories.

Sugar is essential to desserts; it adds flavor, volume, texture and the browning effect which occurs when heat is applied to a dish. Sugar comes in many forms, including white, brown, honey, corn syrup, molasses and maple syrup.

While we know that sugar is essential, there are things we can do to modify that recipe and still get a quality product. Try reducing sugar by one-quarter to one-third in baked goods. This works best with quick breads, cookies, pie fillings, puddings and fruit crisps. It may not work for some cakes.

When a recipe calls for frozen fruits, substitute unsweetened frozen fruit, fresh fruit or fruit canned in its own juice or water.

Increasing the amount of cinnamon or vanilla in a recipe to enhance the impression of sweetness is also a good trick. Just don’t use too much cinnamon or it will become bitter.

Don’t forget all the sugar-free products on the market such as puddings and gelatins. These usually substitute perfectly in refrigerated desserts and congealed salads.

Now that we have tips on reducing the sugar, we need to look at making desserts with less fat. Try reducing fat by one-fourth to one-third in baked products. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, try 2/3 cup. This works best in quick breads, muffins and cookies, but may not work as well for cakes. Decrease fat and calories by substituting skim or low-fat (1%) milk for whole milk. Another tip is to reduce the amount of nuts in a recipe by one third, without changing the flavor. Of course, you can always use 2 egg whites or an egg substitute product instead of one whole egg to reduce the fat even more, yet still get a quality product.

There are desserts which can be flavorful without all the fat, calories and sugar. Many recipes these days are already low in fat and reduced in sugar, therefore relatively low in calories. If your favorite recipe needs to be modified, use the above suggestions to modify it on your own.

If you would like more information on healthy desserts, contact me at the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture in the Miller County Courthouse, call 870-779-3609, e-mail me at chaley@uaex.edu or visit www.uaex.edu/counties/miller. You can also get tips on facebook at MillerCountyFCS or twitter #MillerCountyFCS.

If you stick with healthier recipes—and less-frequent, reasonable portions—you can have your cake and eat it too!

A healthy Pecan Pie seems impossible, but this recipe has been shared with me lately and you will not know it is sugar free. If someone hadn’t told me, I would have never known it.

Sugar Free Pecan Pie

3 eggs, or egg substitute equivalent

Two third cup sucralose-based sweetener

One fourth teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar free syrup or sugar free honey

One third cup melted margarine

1 nine inch pie crust

1 cup pecan halves or pieces

One and one half teaspoon vanilla

 

Beat egg substitute, sucralose based sweetener, syrup or honey and margarine by hand. Stir in pecans and pour into unbaked pie shell that has hole pricked in bottom. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until set. Move to cooling rack and allow to cool before slicing and serving.

 



By Carla Haley Hadley M.S.
County Extension Agent
Family & Consumer Sciences
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Carla Haley Hadley M.S.
County Extension Agent
Family & Consumer Sciences
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
chaley@uaex.edu