I love to cook..but I'm not a baker. I guess I'm not really a big desert fan. I've tried to play around with recipes and make deserts "healthier" but it never works. I guess you can't really make a desert healthy. Well, perhaps we are so used to rich, sugar-filled, calorie loaded deserts and therefore, it is almost impossible to find healthy deserts. And I'm not talking about a marni desert of fruit and nuts, a sugar free/fat free frozen fudge pop or sugar free/fat free pudding (I know, it is sad what Karel has to live with, hehe). You can only find so much sugar-free food before you start finding low calorie foods which are loaded with sugar alcohols and who knows what chemicals, additives and perservatives. I'm all for low sugar/high protein but I still believe the less ingrediants the better. But when it comes to deserts, I'm talking about rich breads, cakes, cookies, brownies and ice cream. You know, the real stuff. We live in a society where the yummy stuff is loaded with calories. And therefore, we see those foods as "bad, off limits, too much sugar for our training/performance and diet unfriendly". It isn't your fault that you can't have those foods! If anything, a little bit of everything is fine in moderation. I'd be lying if I told you I didn't have a little piece of a chocolate chip cookie cake that my lab partner brought to class today. :) However, it is nearly impossible to have a little of something because we are tempted by the big servings! we eat with our eyes and therefore we aren't "full" until the food is finished and cleared from the plate. Think about it, you have a snack size snickers or a medium/large snickers. If offered either one you would eat it and probably not be full regardless of size. HOwever, your craving would be satisified with either one. That goes to show you that sometimes we just need to satisfy a craving. I know it is hard to avoid all deserts but don't be afraid to create your own. And when offered deserts, don't be afraid to pick off a piece or have 1/2 of a cookie. I am a picker so if I want a desert, I will just have a little piece of everything. I will just pick off a little piece and enjoy the bite. I'm sure it is annoying to see a cookie, piece of desert with a little mouse size chunck out of it, but it is the only one I will feel satisfied without overdoing it on calories (and of course, sugar!). So I don't do it all the time but why are deserts so big? why is it that indulging food is so big and loaded with calories? Why can't we have bit size deserts? And more so..why do we always need deserts? I would say that most people know they want something sweet after dinner BEFORE eating dinner. Probably because you know that ice cream or cookie is waiting for you and therefore, your mind is telling you to crave for it. So, if that food wasn't there, you wouldn't crave it and you couldn't eat it. BUt if you know you want something which is semi healthy and within your calorie range (because you cut back on 100-200 calories at dinner) go ahead in indulge. Just be sure you are prepared for the after effect of that desert. Even if you are within your calorie guidelines and portion control, the body reacts to all food that you digest. Therefore, even if you only have 200 calorie worth of a desert and cut back on 200 calories in your dinner meal and eat within 100 calories of your daily recommendations and you exercised for 2 hours early that day...the body will still react to those calories, sugars and fats. Your performance the next day may suffer and you may find that you have trouble controlling your blood sugar and consequently, you crave everything and can't stop eating..ok, so this may be in extreme but try to combine carbs (sugars) w/ protein. So when you want that desert, have a few nuts, a glass of milk or a piece of cheese before eating that desert.
Since i don't bake, I like to create my own deserts. Karel likes the Pillsbury low fat croissants (which come in a container, by the butters, eggs and milk) and he puts low-sugar jelly in them. I took my on spin on things and got really creative one night. First i prepared some fruit (strawberries and bananas) and melted dark chocolate w/ a little vanilla soy milk (my version of milk chocolate). I then drizzled the chocolate on the fruit. Yum! Karel licked the spoon and was heading for the bowl (before I stopped him! :) hehe.
When the oven was heating I took the croissants (each around 90 calories before adding my ingrediants) and opened them up. I spread them with fat-free cream cheese, sliced almonds and strawberries. I got really creative on some of them by tearing the croissants in half (before baking) and rolled them w/ a little PB and chocolate no sugar added powder and raisins inside (YUM!). On the side I also french toasted two piece of bread with raisins (I french toast my bread a lot..what better than egg whites on bread..perfect protein-carb combination!). Even though I'm not a baker and not even a big desert fan (You give me bread, however, and I will be one happy camper!) I really enjoy taking the healthy foods in my place and dressing them up to make healthy deserts. Enjoy!