Healthy fruit dessert recipes
Try these recipe changes to get fruit treats without guilt.
By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
Weight loss clinic WebMD – Column of experts
What do I not like about fruits for dessert? You have "something sweet" and at the same time you get a piece of fruit, complete with fiber and vitamins and phytochemicals that promote health. But how often do we sit in a fruit bowl for dessert?
Think of our favorite fruit desserts, such as strawberry cakes, potato chips and cakes, fruit tarts and pies, upside-down cakes, are anything but calories. Yes, we like our fruit, but we love chocolate-covered, covered with ice cream or whipped cream, or layered with cake or pie dough.
The good news is that there are some easy ways to make your favorite fruit dessert recipes healthier instantly. Take a look at some of these ingredient switches:
Prepare your dessert "a la mode" with a spoonful of cookies (1/4 cup) of light or low-fat ice cream instead of a tablespoon of 1/2 cup of full-fat ice cream. You'll save 130 calories, 10.5 grams of fat, 6.6 grams of saturated fat, 59 milligrams of cholesterol and 8 grams of carbohydrates. Add a small spoonful (1/8 cup) of light whipped cream instead of a large amount of heavy whipped cream (1/2 cup). You'll save 162 calories, 17.5 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat and 65 milligrams of cholesterol. Serve your fresh fruit on top of a slice of angel cake (weighing 50 grams per slice) instead of butter cake (85 grams per slice). You'll save 95 calories, 14 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 80 milligrams of cholesterol and 16 grams of carbohydrates. When the recipe for your cake requires spreading butter or margarine on top of the filling or on top of the crust, simply skip this step. You'll save 100 calories, 11.5 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat and 30 milligrams of cholesterol for each tablespoon of butter you set aside. Reduce the sugar that is requested in any fruit dessert recipe by 25%. Sometimes you can cut the sugar even more, by 1/3 or half, depending on the recipe. You will save 49 calories and 12.5 grams of carbohydrates for each tablespoon of sugar you cut. Do not add oil or melted butter to cake mixes. There are already about 4 grams of fat per dry mix portion. Add something liquid but low in calories, such as sour cream without fat, apple sauce, strong coffee or light yogurt. You will save 54 calories, 6 grams of fat, 0.5 grams of saturated fat per serving (if the cake mix requires 1/3 cup of oil and makes 12 servings). Instead of a two-crust cake, opt for a crunchy fruit covered with a mixture of oat crumbs. (To save even more calories, use a healthier recipe for crumb coverage with more fiber and less sugar). You'll save 100 calories, 10 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat (if you enjoy a slice of our Crispy Apple Pie (see below)) instead of a small slice of apple pie.
To demonstrate these renewal tips, here are four recipes for healthy (or at least healthier) fruit desserts.
Light berry discharge cake
To make half a recipe, use a 9×9 inch square baking dish, 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons cake mix and half the required amount of the remaining ingredients. The baking time will be approximately the same.
3 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries (or use frozen partially thawed)
3 1/2 cups of fresh blackberries (or frozen partially thawed)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
1 box (18.25 ounces) of yellow cake mix
6 tablespoons of sour cream without fat
1/2 cup half and half fat-free
1 teaspoon butter extract (optional)
Canola cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the inside of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with canola cooking oil. Combine cranberries, blackberries, cinnamon and powder sugar in a large bowl. Place them evenly in the prepared baking dish. Cover the mixture evenly with the dry cake mixture. Combine the fat-free, half-fat-free, half-fat sour cream and butter extract (if desired) in a medium bowl with whisk or pulse until smooth in a food processor or blender. Spray the mixture evenly over the cake mixture in the prepared baking dish (do not stir). Cover the top generously with canola cooking spray. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve hot or cold. If you cut the short end of the tray in 3 columns and the long end of the tray in 6 columns, you will make 18 portions.
Yield: Makes 18 servings.
Nutritional information: Per serving: 169 calories, 2 g of protein, 33 g of carbohydrates, 3.7 g of fat, 0.6 g of saturated fat, 1 mg of cholesterol, 2.5 g of fiber, 208 mg of sodium. Calories of fat: 20%.
Quick lemon custard with fresh fruit topping
1 box (4 servings) of lemon pudding without instant sugar
1 1/2 cups cold milk low fat 1% (or skim milk)
1 cup of vanilla yogurt (whichever type you prefer, light or low-fat)
1-1 1/2 cups fresh fruit, sliced (or blackberries, raspberries or blueberries)
Pour the cold milk into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the pudding powder on top. Beat at medium-low speed, scraping the sides at least once, for 2 minutes or until well blended. Add the yogurt and beat in medium-low briefly to mix. Spoon evenly into 4 dessert plates (about 1/2 cup each). Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, cover with fresh fruit.
Yield: Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information: Per serving (using low-fat vanilla yogurt): 138 calories, 6 g of protein, 25 g of carbohydrates, 1.7 g of fat, 0.9 g of saturated fat, 8 mg of cholesterol, 2 g of fiber, 378 mg of sodium. Calories from fat: 11%.
9-inch cake cut, baked (use whole wheat if available)
3/4 cup of water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups sliced strawberries, well packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
About 4 drops of red dye (optional)
4 cups of whole strawberries, cut from lids and rinsed and dried.
8 tablespoons of light whipped cream or similar (optional)
Bake the cake dough as indicated on the package (be sure to puncture several times with a fork before baking). While baking the pie dough, prepare the strawberry syrup. In a small bowl, combine the water with the cornstarch; set aside. Pour the sliced strawberries into a medium non-stick pan and mix well with the potato masher. Add the sugar and add gently. boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Gradually mix the cornstarch mixture in the strawberry mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, stirring constantly (approximately 5 minutes). Let cool. Arrange the whole strawberries in the baked and cooled cake batter. Pour the mixture evenly over the berries in the piecrust. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. Serve each slice of cake with a dollop of light whipped cream, if desired.
Yield: Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition information: Per serving: 222 calories, 2 g of protein, 40 g of carbohydrates, 6.4 g of fat, 1.5 g of saturated fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 3 g of fiber, 147 mg of sodium. Calories from fat: 26%.
Crispy Apple Pie
With the wonderful crumb coverage, you will hardly notice that there is no crust.
1/2 cup of nuts
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons margarine without trans fat with 8 grams of fat per tablespoon, melted (melt in a microwave or in a small saucepan)
3 tablespoons maple syrup, pancake syrup or light pancake syrup
4 cups of apples with heart and thinly sliced (pippin and Granny Smith work well), packed tightly
1/4 cup of sugar (or substitute 2 tablespoons of Splenda)
1 teaspoon of apple pie spice
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cover a 9×9-inch baking pan, a 9-inch cake pan, or a deep-dish cake pan with canola cooking spray. Toast the nuts by spreading them in a baking dish and heating them in the oven until fragrant (approximately 7 minutes). Chop the medium-thin walnuts. Combine the flours, brown sugar and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle melted margarine and maple syrup on top and mix at LOW speed until crumbled. Add the chopped nuts and mix well. (Coverage can be prepared a week in advance and refrigerated). Put the apples in slices in a large bowl. Add the sugar and spice of the apple pie to a measure of 1 cup, then pour over the apples and mix. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over the apples and mix gently. Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish. Place the cover on the apples, pressing slightly downwards. Place the dish on a baking sheet (if necessary) to catch any overflow. Bake on the center shelf of the oven until the top is browned and the juices have thickened slightly, about 35-45 minutes. Serve hot with a light vanilla ice cream.
Yield: 8 servings.
Nutritional information: Per serving (using margarine Take Control): 227 calories, 4 g of protein, 37 g of carbohydrates, 7.5 g of fat (0.7 g of saturated fat, 2.7 g of monounsaturated fat, 3.8 g of polyunsaturated fat), 0 mg of cholesterol, 3 g of fiber, 35 mg of sodium, 1 g Omega-3 fatty acids, 4 g 0mega-6 of fatty acids. Calories of fat: 35%
Recipes provided by Elaine Magee; © 2008 Elaine Magee
Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the "Doctor of Recipes" for WebMD Weightloss Clinic and author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Your opinions and conclusions are yours.
Published on April 25, 2008.
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