For some of us with a sweet tooth, a meal is incomplete if it does not end with a dessert. However, the problem is that many desserts are not just high in sugar but also high in fat. For example, gulab jammun is made by deep-frying balls of flour and powdered whole milk, which are then submerged in sugary syrup. This means that the dessert may have more calories than the entire meal. Also, these are “empty calories,” meaning that they do not contain much nutrition in the form of protein, vitamins and minerals. The other problem with desserts and sweets in general is that if you enjoy them today there is a high likelihood you will crave them the next day and the following day, thus creating a daily habit. This is especially true if you know there is a large tub of ice cream waiting for you in the freezer and all you have to do is to grab a spoon!
The good news is that you can enjoy desserts as long as you make healthy choices and practice moderation. Fruits are a great way to satisfy a craving for something sweet. Try strawberries with a dollop of non-dairy whipped cream and a slice of angel food cake for a real treat. Parfait made with low-fat Greek yogurt, frozen fruits and a sprinkle of granola is another dessert you can reach for when the sweet cravings hit.
Healthy eating doesn’t mean you have to skip dessert. There are many low-fat and fat free options in the market, which can be used to lighten up traditional desserts. Use fat-free evaporated milk and fat-free condensed milk instead of the full-fat varieties for creamy desserts such as ras malai and kheer. Applesauce is a great substitute for butter and oil in cake recipes. It helps keep cakes moist while lowering the fat content. Also, replace all-purpose white flour with 100% whole-wheat flour to make your homemade cakes more nutritious and filling. Also, with sugar substitutes such as Splenda and natural sugar substitutes such as Agave nectar and Stevia, you can enjoy sweets while keeping tabs of your sugar intake. This is not important just for diabetics, but also for those who are trying to manage weight and calorie intake. The recipes in this section are examples of some delicious desserts, which will help satisfy those dessert cravings. However, be careful as low fat doesn’t always mean low-calorie and it certainly doesn’t mean caloriefree. Even if it is low fat, eat in moderation.