Trying to lose weight does not mean desserts are completely off the menu for you. There are many ways to cut calories without sacrificing flavor and texture.
Low Calorie Substitutes
Fat adds the most calories to all food. With its nine calories per gram, it wreaks the most havoc for dieters. By replacing the traditional sources of fat, like butter, shortening and oil, with lower fat alternatives, desserts can remain delectable without the calories.
Since many desserts tend to be high in calories due to their sugar quantity, reducing the amount of sugar will reduce the calories per serving as well. Sugar substitutes, such as sucralose, raisins and other dried fruit will add sweetness in each bite. Fresh fruit desserts, such as the Strawberry-Yogurt Pie recipe below are both nutritious and a refreshing treat. Low-calorie whipped cream, jell-o and puddings are common ingredients used in creating reduced-calorie desserts.
A few substitutions to save on calories include:
- Applesauce or apple butter for the oil, vegetable shortening, or other fat (one to one measure)
- 2 egg whites for every whole egg
- Pureed prunes (jarred baby food works great) for butter or oil (replace in equal amounts)
- Low-fat versions of dairy products, such as low fat cream cheese, sour cream, milk or buttermilk, etc.
- Low fat plain yogurt for fats
- Fresh fruit in season for fruit-based desserts
- Ripe bananas for sweetness
Eating sweets can be difficult to control. For this reason, dividing the dessert into individual servings is a great way to stick to your calorie and point allotment. Freezing excess servings will help moderate portions and preserve taste and freshness. Reminding yourself to enjoy each mouthful of the dessert, without guilt, will assist you with discipline and appropriate serving amount. You will be thankful for the weight loss at the end of the week too.
Reduced Calorie Chocolate Trifle Recipe
- 1 (18 ounce) package light devil's food cake mix
- 1-1/3 cups water
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 large egg
- Cooking spray
- 3 cups cold skim milk
- 1 (4 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
- ½ cup Kahlua or ½ cup strong prepared coffee
- 1 (8 ounce) container fat-free whipped topping, thawed
- ½ cup chopped reduced-fat chocolate toffee bars (4 bars of Hershey's Sweet Escapes)
- Preheat oven at 350 degrees. Mix together first five ingredients in large bowl; beat on medium speed until well blended.
- Coat 13-x 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray; spoon in batter and bake for 25 minutes or until cooked in center.
- Remove from oven and pan; let cool completely.
- Combine milk and pudding mix in medium bowl; prepare according to package directions.
- Tear cake into bite-size pieces and place half in trifle bowl. Pour half of the Kahlua or coffee over cake pieces. Top with half the pudding, half the whipped topping and half the chopped chocolate bars. Repeat for second layer. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Servings and Nutrition Information
Makes 16 servings.
One serving size equals 1 cup.
265 Calories, 4 g Fat, 1 g Fiber, 48 g Carbohydrate, 4 g Protein, 16 mg Cholesterol, 475 mg Sodium.
Recipe for Low Calorie Real Vanilla Wafers
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons margarine, melted
- 1 large egg
- 1 vanilla bean, 6 inches in length, split lengthwise
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray and dust with 1 tablespoon of flour; set aside. Combine sugar and next 3 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into bowl. Add ¾ cup flour, baking powder, and salt; stir until smooth.
Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove cookies from pans and let cook on wire racks.
Nutrition and Serving Information
Yields 3 dozen cookies
Serving size = 2 cookies
32 Calories, .5 g Protein, .8 g Fat, .2 g Saturated Fat, 5.6 g Carbohydrate, .1 g Fiber, 6 mg Cholesterol, 17 mg Sodium
Strawberry-Yogurt Low Fat Pie Recipe
- 1-1/2 cups low-fat graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted margarine, melted
- 3 cups sugar-free strawberry nonfat yogurt
- ½ cup fat-free whipped topping, thawed
- 3 cups fresh strawberries, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9" pie plate with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, mix cracker crumbs and margarine until moistened. Press on bottom and sides of pie plate and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely.
- In a large bowl, blend yogurt and whipped topping until smooth; fold in strawberries. Pour into crust and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
Servings and Nutrition Information
Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 210 calories, 6 g Fat, 3 g Fiber, 32 g Carbohydrate, 6 g Protein, 0 mg Cholesterol, 205 mg Sodium.
Dieting Doesn't Mean Deprivation
Dieting doesn't mean a life devoid of sweets. It simply means you have to be more careful in your dessert selection. If you make wise dessert choices, you can indulge from time to time.