Don’t get fatter over the holidays! …choose these healthier dessert options

14 December 2018
If you are anything like me over the holidays, I cannot wait to shove my face into the sweet desserts that seem to be everywhere. 
But, deep into middle age and with an expanding girth, jiggling thighs, flight level bat wings on my arms, a gut that makes my navel look like the Chunnel, and a butt that has a mind of its own, I know I need to be smarter about my food choices (I refuse to ever go on a ‘diet’ again.)
Check out these options:
Berries and cream
It’s a classic combo. Berries are sweet, juicy, and low in calories. They also have many heart-healthy nutrients, like antioxidants and fibre.   I use the fat free, sugar free yogurt and top it off with blackberries, blueberries and raspberries and a dollop of agave or honey.  You could then add a spoon of fat free whipped cream -- it adds 20 to 50 calories, but little to no sugar.
Dark chocolate
Enjoying an ounce a few times a week is not as bad for your diet as you might think. I eat a row of the Ritter Sport Dunkle Voll-Nuss available at local grocery stores.  You can get the kind that has no nuts.  Dark chocolate has less sugar and more cocoa than milk chocolate. That means fewer calories, but more nutrients like flavonoids. For the most benefit, look for cocoa content of 70 percent or more, but keep in mind that caffeine content goes up with the cocoa, too.  Plus, your kids won’t like the dark chocolate as much and they won’t sneak and eat all of the chocolate behind your back.

Oat apple crisp
In the mood for ‘sort-of’ apple pie? I use sliced apples, even the older ones that are going soft.  I then add a tablespoon of agave and honey as an extra sweetener.  I use coconut oil instead of butter and then mix in the uncooked oats, some walnuts (not too many!), wheat flour, vanilla extract, and the apples (I put them in raw) put it all in a Pyrex bowl, stir all together and bake it.  This ugly, but warm, gooey treat could hit the spot.  Baking the apples brings out their natural sweetness. Oats and nuts add fibre and healthy fats.
Fruit and cheese 
Try this instead of that double-fudge brownie or sweet potato pie. Fresh or dried, fruit’s sweetness pairs well with the satisfying creaminess of the cheese. Try brie, goat cheese, or feta with dates, figs, cranberries, prunes or apples. Watch the portion size!  One serving is an ounce and a half of cheese, and cheese is ‘fat food’ always.

Chocolate-covered frozen bananas
This dessert looks fancy and indulgent, but it’s pretty simple to make and not that bad for your diet. Freeze some banana slices and melt some dark chocolate. Roll the bananas in the chocolate, and sprinkle some nuts on top if you want. Then put them back in the freezer until you’re ready to eat. Enjoy two or three slices (about 70 calories) at a time.

Poached pears
To poach something is to simmer it gently in some liquid. You can do pears in lemon water, apple juice, red wine, and many other liquids. It’s a simple but elegant, healthy dessert -- one poached pear can have around 100 calories. Serve a bit of the poaching liquid with each peeled and cooked pear.  I tried this with frozen plain yogurt and it was great.
Avocado brownies
I found this recipe on Pinterest.  Check out or  Make sure you use brown flour if you can, coconut oil, unsweetened cocoa powder and use maple or agave syrup or honey.  Use vanilla extract, instead of essence for a more robust flavouring.  I made this delicious recipe several times.  Make sure the avos you use are very soft; around 116 calories per small square.


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