Friday, 13 February 2015

DIY - Easy Guilt Free Desserts

Trust me, this won't be a post to show off my awesome food staging skills, or to brag about my prowess in the kitchen, because I have neither of these things. What I do have is a constantly waging war between my huge sweet tooth and my lingering mommy tummy that I wish to be rid of. I actually hate to bake, because it always involves several tedious steps and so many things to clean up afterwards, but I also want to avoid store bought treats as they are full of fat and sugar and other undesirables. What is a girl to do?

Research! That's what! I have taken to the Internet to find easy, healthier recipes that will give me the hit of sweet I crave every night without adding an extra roll of fat to my figure. Allow me to share with you what I have discovered. Come along on this journey with me...

Flourless Brownies

I was immediately intrigued by this recipe on Delighted Momma because of how simple it looked. I've decided to research the Paleo diet to see if I can incorporate any of it into my own eating habits, but that was not what led me to this recipe. My mother is gluten intolerant, so I like the added bonus of it being gluten free, but mostly it just seemed like a really healthy way to enjoy brownies.

My husband was not so sure. He all but begged on hand and knee that I make regular brownies instead, and he made a scrunched up face of disgust when I handed him the first bite to sample, but then he promptly ate 3 brownies and sang their praises. These brownies are good. Very good. Light and cake-y with a serious punch of chocolate. Plus, they take no time to make (which is important with an impatient infant). I threw all the ingredients into one bowl, stirred it, and poured it into a pan. Forty minutes later, brownies were cooling on the counter. I can deal with cleaning one bowl! I really don't feel guilty eating this tasty combination of zucchini, almond butter, and honey (which is kind of dangerous because I have to stop at some point). They aren't as good as regular brownies, but they're darn good!

If I had to come up with a downside of this recipe, it would be the cost to make it. Almond butter is pretty expensive and raw honey can be, too. (Though, I used regular honey.) I always have almond butter in the house already, but it takes 3/4 of a $10 jar to make. Still, it's a small price to pay for such a tasty, guilt free treat.

Chocolate Chia Pudding

There are quite a few recipe iterations of this dessert to be found online, but I can only speak for the one I made (found on Oh She Glows). Other than the forethought of making almond milk ice cubes, this recipe could not be easier or faster. If you need a hit of chocolate right away, this pudding has got you covered.

Some people might not love the texture of this treat. It is definitely thick and creamy like a pudding, but the chia seeds give it a bit of a grainy texture (which I didn't mind). My blender was not really up to the task, though, so I had big chunks of dates in some bites. Not horrible, but not ideal. While I definitely thought this tasted good right away, the flavour started to annoy me after a few bites. It is actually *too chocolatey* maybe? It's hard to describe what exactly bothered me about it. I won't give up on this treat, however. I am going to try a few different recipes to see if there is a combination of ingredients that will please my pallette more, because I love chia seeds, I love pudding, and I hate feeling gross after indulging in a sweet treat.

Frozen Chocolate Covered Bananas

Note: These are not MY frozen bananas.
I didn't get an acceptable picture of mins so I borrowed this one...
Yum. You can't actually go wrong with bananas and chocolate, right? This recipe (which I pretty much just made up as I went along) is truly simple but requires advance thought. You need to allow time for the chocolate to cool in the freezer. I made them simultaneously while I made dinner and we enjoyed them at around 8 pm. They were pretty good, but they don't feel decadent or special. I used dark chocolate chips and Smores flavoured sprinkles as a topper. I think it's an easy go to treat on a week night.

All in all, this week I learned that there are options for me to satisfy my sweet tooth without sacrificing my healthy eating plans, but I will have to allow for a more traditional, (ie. bad for you) dessert once or twice a week because these alternatives aren't quite as good. I'm interested in expanding beyond chocolate based "healthy" desserts, so if you have any suggestions for me to try, please tell me about it in the comments below!

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