A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

3 Easy and Healthy Dessert Recipes

Are you constantly looking for a way to remake recipes to be healthier without sacrificing flavor? If so, you are not alone; this is a continuous uphill battle for me, but its part of the fun of cooking! Trial and error is also one of the best ways to learn, and when it’s in the kitchen, you can still have tasty, edible errors.

The hardest recipes to give a makeover are baking recipes as science plays a major role in the end product. I have accepted this and deal with my dense, less flavorful creations with grace by still using them and trying again next time. My biggest issue is replacing the volume of sugar called for since I use liquid stevia which only takes several drops for the same sweetness equivalent. I will tend to use less flour with pumpkin puree, mashed banana, plain yogurt, or applesauce as a replacement. Also, there are a lot of egg whites and protein powder involved. Regardless, I’m happy with most of the results, but they need work if I were to ever ask anyone else to try.
I was ecstatic when I stumbled onto this healthy dessert blog where the blogger shares her tasty but healthy recipes; most of them remakes of old favorites. Although there are numerous recipes to try and savor, I found 3 that you should give a try today.

“Blondie Batter” Dip

• 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained) (250g)
• heaping 1/8 tsp salt
• tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/4 cup nut butter (or even a combination of applesauce and oil, and then use less milk)
• 1/4 cup plus 3T nondairy milk (or more or less, as needed) (Use less if omitting flax)
• Sweetener (see note below, for amount)
• 1/3 cup chocolate chips
• Optional: I add 1/4 cup flaxmeal for omega 3s and a fun texture (you can also add quick oats!)

Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a blender or food processor, and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips.
Sweetener Notes: I used 2/3 cup brown sugar when I made this for the party. I’ve also used stevia before. And liquid sweeteners (agave, maple, etc.) are fine as well.

Carrot Cake Milkshake

• 1 extremely-ripe, large banana (frozen)
• 2/3 cup non-dairy milk (For an extremely rich, “ice cream”-like shake, try coconut milk. Also, use more or less, depending on desired thickness.)
• If, like me, you prefer smoothies in a bowl, reduce milk, or add a pinch of xantham and guar gums.
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• heaping 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1 small carrot (50g or so)
• scant 1/16 tsp salt (to bring out sweetness)
• Optional: coconut oil or homemade coconut butter.
Steam your carrot first, then blend all of the ingredients together in your blender, food processor, or even a Magic Bullet. (Note: This still tastes delicious if you just use almond milk. But it’s more of a carrot cake smoothie than a true milkshake.)

Fudge Munchkins
(makes 14-18 brownie bites)

• 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1/2 cup ww pastry flour (or white, or you can try spelt)
• 1/4 tsp baking powder
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/2 cup sweetener (see link, below, for lower-sugar version)
• 1.5 oz mori-nu firm (or lite firm) tofu (about 1/8 box)
• 1/3 cup applesauce (use only 1/4 cup if using 3T oil)
• 1 to 3 T oil (I use coconut oil. Canola is ok too.)
• 2 T non-dairy milk
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Combine dry ingredients, and mix very well. In a blender, combine wet ingredients and blend until smooth. (I use a Magic Bullet cup.) Pour wet over dry and stir, then pour into a 4×6 oiled pan (or double the recipe and use an 8×8) for regular brownies, or mini muffin tins for brownie bites. Cook for 12-18 minutes at 325F. I’m not sure why this is the case, but these brownies seem to taste ten times sweeter if you don’t eat them for at least an hour after they come out of the oven!

Click for lower-sugar version, as well as Calorie Information.
Notes: If you’re expecting these brownies to taste like brownies from a boxed mix, you’ll need to use dutch cocoa processed with alkali as your cocoa powder. Also, you can use agave or maple syrup as your sweetener. Reduce applesauce to 1/4 cup, but be aware that your brownies will be a bit denser.

Fudge Daddies

My personal favorite: If you want extreme fudgey brownies—as in “so gooey you need a fork to eat them”—cook the batter in a 4×6 pan (or double the recipe and use an 8×8) for only 10 minutes. Then put the pan in the fridge to cool for at least a few hours.

I plan on trying other recipes very soon (like these PB Cookies), but these really stand out for me. In places where she calls for flour, I will replace up to half of the amount with a natural and stevia sweetened vanilla whey protein powder. Also, I tend to use less oil than usually called for and a puree of some sort as I mentioned above. Although these recipes are pretty healthy, I look for ways to omit all sugar and only have stevia for sweetener; using mashed bananas help to add a natural sweetness too.
The Blondie Batter Dip and Carrot Cake Milkshake are great to make while it’s still hot outside. Another plus to me, is that the healthfulness of these recipes make it possible to eat as part of breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Give one or all of these recipes a try and let me know how you like them and if you changed anything.

No comments:

Post a Comment