No matter how many times my husband tries to convince me that sugar is the devil, I just cannot give up sweet stuff. When I imagine a life without sweets, I imagine it to be a sad one. Now that I’m attempting to eat healthier, I’m having a particularly rough time avoiding desserts after meals. So I don’t.
Instead, I looked for healthier alternatives. Below is my list of desserts to make life a little happier while on a diet.
They’re so happily-colored, like candy, that you may think you’re eating something sinful and delicious. Take away the ‘sinful’ and that’s what you get with gelatin. With no cholesterol and a minimal amount of sugar and sodium, it is an excellent alternative dessert. There are sugar-free versions for those who are watching their sugar intake down to the last microgram (either diabetics or crazies).
For special occasions, use pandan flavored jelly, add some coconut meat, some cream, a bit of conedensed milk and you’ve got yourself a festive buko pandan salad.
2. Fresh Fruit Popsicles
When it’s hot outside, a happy way to cool yourself down would be with a sweet popsicle. As an alternative to your regular store-bought pops, homemade fruit popsicles are the way to go. They’re easy and cheap enough to make. My current favorite is the Strawberry Banana Yogurt popsicle. All you need to do is to puree a couple of bananas (or simply mash with a fork) and mix in a cup of strawberry yogurt. When that’s done, pour the mixture into your popsicle molds, and freeze. A few hours later and you’ve got yourself a healthy summer dessert.
Go crazy and mix and match your favorite fruit and yogurt combination (throw in some cucumber while you’re at it). They’ll all turn out delicious.
3. Buko Sherbet
The name sounds fancy, no? Don’t be fooled, it’s one of the easiest desserts to make especially in this country where coconuts are easy to come by. Pour the contents of 2-3 coconuts in a container you can freeze (an old ice cream tin would work) and scrape the meat into the tin as well. Depending on taste, add in one or two packets of Stevia or any sugar substitute and freeze. Take out of the freezer every hour or so and mix it until you get your desired consistency.
Coconut isn’t called the fruit of life for nothing. It has been known to have several positive benefits for health- it can increase your good cholesterol, help prevent strokes, boost your metabolism, among a few.
4. Fruits on yogurt
Fruits are always a healthy source of sweetness. Toss in some of your favorite mixed fruits cut up into bite-sized pieces in a bowl and dig in for a sweet and healthy dessert. Jazz it up with plain yogurt (Greek yogurt is the best nutrition-wise) and drizzle with honey if you want to sweeten it up some more and you’ve got yourself a healthy and sweet palate cleanser. Add in an avocado when you can. That sh*t has so many nutritional benefits it’s almost unbelievable.
5. Frozen banana + Nutella
When I have extra bananas that are already about to be overripe (which is every week), I slice it into small pieces, freeze in a freezer-friendly container and leave it there for whenever I need a pick-me-up. When that time comes, I get my pre-frozen bananas, scoop out a teaspoon of Nutella and indulge in healthy (ish) self-gratification.
I know that Nutella isn’t as healthy as the world would like it to be since one serving (2 tbsp) has 21 grams of sugar. But if you only get one teaspoon (just enough to satisfy a sweet tooth craving), it’ll cut down the sugar to a third, or just 7 grams, which is semi-acceptable.
Don’t completely deprive yourself of all the happy things in life. From time to time, give in to your cravings. It’s better to be chubby but happy rather than be sexy but dying inside.