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Tested Healthy Desserts & Baking Recipes & Videos

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Low Fat Brownies

Homemade Applesauce

Fruit Salad

Low-Fat Brownies have a wonderfully moist and chewy texture and a deep chocolate flavor. Serve them plain or topped with fresh berries and/or a scoop of low fat vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt, or a fruit sorbet. more Homemade Applesauce can easily be made at home. All you need is some tasty apples. Great as a snack or as a side to pork and other meat dishes. more Fruit Salad (Fruit Cocktail) consists of a variety of fresh or dried fruits soaked in a citrus flavored sugar syrup. more

Applesauce Bread

Blueberry Bran Muffins

Chocolate Wafers

When you add applesauce, preferably homemade, to this Applesauce Bread it gives it a wonderfully moist texture, and a delicious apple flavor. more Blueberry Bran Muffins contain both white and whole wheat flours, along with wheat bran and fresh blueberries, that give these muffins a delicious wholesome flavor. more Although there are many chocolate cookies to choose from, I love to snack on these Chocolate Wafers. Their texture is wonderfully crisp and crunchy and their chocolate flavor is rich. more

Angel Food Cake

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Low Fat Banana Bread Recipe

Angel Food Cake has a sweet golden brown crust and a soft and spongy, snowy white interior. more This cake is also called an Angel Cake, so named as its airy lightness is said to be the "food of the angels." more Low-Fat Banana Bread has a wonderfully moist texture and tastes of sweet bananas, cinnamon, and vanilla. more
 
More Recipes Below

"Healthy Desserts" is a section that includes all sorts of baking, from muffins to granola to cakes to cookies to candies. It gives a variety of recipes, some of the recipes are virtually fat free or low in saturated fat, others are fruit based, some contain whole grains, and there are also some recipes that are just lower in fat than what you would normally find. 

Now there are some whole foods that are just naturally healthy. Fruits (fresh, frozen, and dried) are one example. They make really great desserts as they are naturally sweet, full of flavor, contain essential nutrients, and they are low in calories and saturated fat. When fresh fruits are in season, sometimes all that is needed to finish a meal is a bowl of ruby red Bing cherries, a slice of juicy sweet watermelon, a medley of lightly sweetened berries, or crunchy slices of apples. But there are also ways to incorporate fruits into our baking. Fresh, frozen, and dried fruits can be stirred into batters for muffins, scones, bars and squares, and quick breads for added flavor and texture. Berries (either fresh or frozen) also make delicious fruit sauces that can be poured over sorbets or frozen yogurts, or served alongside a slice of angel food cake or a Pavlova. You can use a variety of fresh and dried fruits to make delicious fruit salads, and berries make great fruit sorbets, fruit smoothies, a jellied fruit terrine, or jellied strawberry creams topped with jellied raspberry puree. And don't forget to add fresh berries or dried fruits to a bowl of granola or, better yet, layer the granola with fruit and yogurt for a lovely granola trifle.

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Pavlova

Amaretti Cookies (Almond Macaroons)

Honey Granola

This meringue cake, with its unusual soft sweet marshmallow center and crisp crust is produced by folding a little vinegar and cornstarch into the stiffly beaten egg whites and sugar. more Amaretti is the Italian name for macaroons, which means little bitter things. Crisp and crunchy on the outside and soft inside, these small domed shaped cookies originated in Venice Italy during the Renaissance period. more Honey Granola is a delicious mixture of oats, almonds, wheat germ, and seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame) that are coated in a sweet mixture of honey, brown sugar, and cinnamon. more

Blueberry Sauce

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

Brutti ma Buoni

This blueberry sauce has a tangy yet sweet flavor that makes an excellent sauce to pour over pancakes, waffles, ice cream, or stirred into your morning yogurt. more Whole Wheat Banana Muffins use whole wheat pastry and combine the sweet flavor of mashed bananas with pure maple syrup. more Brutti ma Buoni is a delicious Italian cookie that has a wonderfully crisp exterior with a texture that is soft and chewy. Very similar to a meringue cookie only with nuts. more

Oatmeal Porridge

Granola Trifles

Fruit and Nut Bars

The porridge of my youth started with 'rolled' oats which are oats that have been cleaned, toasted, hulled, steamed and then flattened into flakes and, depending on the thickness of the flakes, are labeled either 'old-fashioned' or 'quick-cooking' more Granola Trifles is a delicious combination of crunchy granola, yogurt, and fresh fruit. more These fruit and nut bars are chewy and crunchy and loaded with flavor. They are healthy for us as they contain lots of dried fruit and nuts and the batter has no butter or oil in it. more

Fruit Smoothie or Frappe

Blueberry Muffins

Irish Soda Bread

A Fruit Smoothie (or Frappe) is a combination of pureed fruit, yogurt (plain or flavored), juice, and crushed ice that makes for a delicious drink that is chock full of nutrients. more These Blueberry Muffins are moist and flavorful and bursting with sweet blueberries. They are also low in saturated fat which makes them a more healthy way to start the day. more Irish Soda Bread has a lovely golden brown crust with a tender, slightly moist interior that is served with buttered and jam. more

Pomegranate Jelly

Dried Fruit & Nut Loaf

Rice Krispies Treats®
Pomegranate Jelly is a beautiful two layered dessert that pairs a translucent, gold colored apple jelly with a shimmering, garnet colored pomegranate jelly. more This Dried Fruit and Nut Loaf is chewy and crunchy and loaded with flavor. It is healthy for us as it contains lots of dried fruit and nuts and the batter has no butter or oil in it. more This delicious candy-like square is made with rice cereal, melted marshmallows, and margarine. more

Blueberry Cornbread Muffins Irish Soda Scones Blackberry Sorbet
These muffins have the delightful flavor and crunch of cornmeal and are bursting with fresh blueberries. more As its name implies, soda bread gets its rise, not from yeast, but from baking soda (bicarbonate of soda). It can be made very quickly as it contains only four ingredients; baking soda along with flour, salt, and buttermilk. more Blackberry Sorbet is a beautiful deep burgundy color with a sweet flavor and soft and grainy texture. more
Frozen Fruit Pops Strawberry Sorbet Watermelon Bombe
Frozen Fruit Pops are made from a berry puree, sugar syrup, and fruit juice. more Strawberry Sorbet is a delicious frozen blend of pureed strawberries and sugar. more A Watermelon Bombe is a frozen dessert made by layering lime sherbet, vanilla ice cream and raspberry sorbet in a mold. This bombe is made to look like a watermelon and the contrast of flavors and textures is quite refreshing. more
Strawberry Creams topped with Raspberry Jelly Fruit & Nut Balls (Sugarplums) Almond Biscotti
This beautiful parfait combines a ruby red raspberry jelly with a soft pink strawberry Bavarian cream. more Fruit and Nuts Balls (Sugarplums) are a delightful mixture of nuts and dried fruits binded together with a splash of Grand Marnier or orange juice. more This is a traditional biscotti, for it does not contain butter or oil, and its moisture comes from the eggs. more
Chocolate Almond Biscotti Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti Homemade Marshmallows
In this recipe we pair the almonds with chunks of smooth dark chocolate. more This biscotti has a wonderful dark chocolate-colored dough, which comes from using both ground semi-sweet chocolate and cocoa powder. more Homemade Marshmallows have this wonderfully sweet vanilla scented airiness that makes them perfect for eating on their own. more
Cappuccino Biscotti Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti Meringue Mushrooms
This is a biscotti that combines the taste of coffee with chocolate, nuts, and spices. more This biscotti makes the perfect Christmas cookie, combining bright red dried cranberries with lovely green pistachios. more This does seem like a very long and involved recipe but the meringue mushrooms are really not difficult to make. more
Raspberry Sauce (Puree) Cran-Raspberry Sauce Strawberry Puree (Sauce)
Raspberry sauce has a sweet and tangy flavor and it has so many uses; from simply pouring it over a bowl of ice cream, to serving it as a sauce with a plated dessert, to flavoring creams and sauces. more Cran-Raspberry Sauce is a sweet and tangy sauce made with a combination of cranberries and raspberries, along with sugar and a little lemon zest. more For those times when strawberries are expensive or not at their best, frozen strawberries can be used to make this delicious puree (sauce). It has an intense strawberry flavor that comes very close to the taste of wild strawberries. more
Granola Jellied Fruit Terrine Pumpkin Muffins
This homemade Granola has a deliciously sweet flavor, a crisp and crunchy texture, yet it is low in fat. more A Jellied Fruit Terrine consists of layers of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries that are encased in a white grape juice jelly. more These pumpkins muffins taste great. They contain whole wheat flour, bran, pumpkin puree, raisins, and yogurt (or buttermilk). more
Oat Bran Muffins Meringue Cookies
Oat Bran Muffins contain both oat bran and whole wheat flour. These muffins have a delicious wholesome flavor that is complemented by brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, orange zest and raisins. more Meringue Cookies are so airy, sweet and crisp that they seem to almost melt in your mouth. more

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Other whole foods that would enhance our diets are ones that are high in fiber, both insoluble and soluble fiber. Wheat bran, oat bran, oatmeal, and even some pectin-rich fruits like apples, citrus fruits, and strawberries are all high in both fiber and minerals. Oat bran and oatmeal are soluble fibers which are said to help control blood sugar and reduce blood cholesterol. Wheat bran, wheat bran cereals, whole grain breads, and the skins of many fruit and vegetables, on the other hand, are insoluble fibers which may help with bowel functions and may help to prevent some cancers. It is a good idea to incorporate both types of fiber into our diets. Having a bowl of oatmeal or oat bran for breakfast would be a good idea as would a bowl of wheat bran cereal. Another idea would be to make muffins using oat bran and wheat bran or make your own granola which is ideal both for breakfast and as a healthy snack.

Of course we also need to talk about types of fat as there has been a lot of talk lately about obesity rates and heart disease with the amount of fat in our diets being labeled as one of the causes. But as Dr. Stephen R. Devries tells us in his book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Cholesterol "not all fats are created equal". We all need a certain amount of fat in our diets and, let's face it, fat tastes good. It is just that most of us eat too much of it (we should aim for only about 30 percent of our total daily calories to come from fat) and the wrong type. There are three types of fat, saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated.

Let's begin by talking about saturated fat, the fat that is mainly found in animal products, like butter, whole milk, cream, ice cream, high fat yogurt, cheese, and egg yolks. Although we can enjoy these foods, it is a good idea to be conscious of the amount we are eating as saturated fat tends to raise bad LDL cholesterol* which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. One saturated fat that is getting a lot of bad press, and for good reason, is trans fat or trans fatty acids. These are really nasty fats as they raise bad LDL cholesterol*, increase triglyceride levels, and lower good HDL cholesterol**. Trans Fats are made by bubbling hydrogen through vegetable oil (called hydrogenation) and can be found in a lot of stick margarines, some vegetable shortenings, commercially fried foods, some processed foods, and some commercially made baked goods and crackers, to name a few. Always, always, check ingredient labels on products to see if trans fats are listed (labeled as "partially hydrogenated oil" or "hydrogenated oil"). Keep in mind that nutrition labels do not always list small amounts of trans fat. Everyone's goal should be to avoid or at least try to reduce the amount of trans fats in our diets.

Now for the healthy fats, the foods and oils that we should try to use instead of saturated fats. First, monounsaturated fats are said to raise the good HDL cholesterol** and lower the bad LDL cholesterol*. Olive, canola, and peanut oils, as well as some tub margarines, fall into this category as do avocados, seeds, and nuts. The second type of good fat is polyunsaturated fats which are said to help lower blood cholesterol. Safflower, sunflower, soybean, fish, and corn oils fall into this category as do ground flaxseeds, and some soft margarines. But keep in mind that while these oils may be better for us than butter, they still have a lot of calories so use them sparingly.

In closing, I am not a dietitian so the recipes do not list the amount of calories or fat content. And while I am not against enjoying decadent desserts, I think it is a good idea to eat them in moderation. Below I have included a bibliography that you may want to read as it provides for further reading on cholesterol and it also lists a number of books that are devoted to lower fat cooking.

*LDL Cholesterol means Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol. This is what doctors call the "bad" cholesterol and if there is too much of it in the blood it starts to build up on the walls of the arteries forming plague. Diets that contain too much cholesterol, saturated fat and trans fat can raise LDL levels.

**HDL Cholesterol means High-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol. This is what doctors call the "good" cholesterol and high levels seem to protect us from heart disease. HDL carries the bad cholesterol from the arteries back to the liver. HDL levels can be affected by environment, weight, exercise, and medications.

Bibliography: 

Bittman, Mark. Food Matters. Simon & Schuster. New York: 2009.

Devries, Stephen R. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Cholesterol. Warner Wellness. New York: 2007.

Kowalski, Robert E. The New 8-Week Cholesterol Cure. HarperTorch. New York: 2002.

Lindsay, Anne. Lighthearted Everyday Cooking. MacMillan of Canada. Toronto: 1991.

Lindsay, Anne. Smart Cooking. MacMillan of Canada. Toronto: 1986.

Reisman, Rose. Divine Indulgences. Penguin Group Canada. Toronto: 2001.

Saulsbury, Camilla V. Enlightened Chocolate. Cumberland House Publishing, Inc. Nashville: 2007.

Spear, Ruth. Low Fat & Loving It. Warner Books, Inc. New York: 1992.

Stern, Bonnie. More Heart Smart Cooking with Bonnie Stern. Random House of Canada. Toronto: 1997.

American Heart Association website

 
 
     
 

 

 

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