In the never ending quest to be healthy, sticking to a responsible diet can be exhausting. It takes an ongoing flow of willpower to walk past cookies, deny dessert, choose water instead of soda and stick to suggested portions.
While the benefits of healthy eating habits are sky high, all that hard work earns you a treat every once in awhile! Here’s how to do it without destroying your hard-earned progress.
Don’t Just Dive In
The hardest part about indulging in sweets after not having them for some time is not overdoing it! Baking or preparing a delicious dessert that works out to 4 servings and then sticking to that one serving is much easier said than done! Stay strong and follow these tips before you even “pick your poison”.
Control Your Impulses
It’s Friday night and you just got done with dinner, but you could still go for something else. You think about whipping up a fully loaded sundae… but there is a moment between the thought and the follow through that you need to catch!
This scenario is the most important and discipline building time to resist the craving and shut down the idea. Unless there is an impromptu reason to celebrate or you have worked the treat into your meal plan for that week, resisting the urge is much more rewarding than giving in. 1.) You stick to your diet – woohoo! 2.) you don’t set yourself back 3.) you’ve avoided the guilt that often follows giving in. (but even if you do break, don’t ever regret it. Just learn from it and move on.)
Make It An Occasion
You’ve been portion-perfect over the last month, but recently you can’t seem to kick your craving for cookies/cheesecake/chocolate/sweets. The good news is there is a recipe for a healthier version of just about everything nowadays (more on that below!) and you’ve earned giving it a go. It’s time to find a recipe worthy of giving in to that craving!
Make It Yourself
Things are always better when you put in the work for it. Apart from holding a hand in your dessert it is likely you will be avoiding processed ingredients when you do it yourself.
Set A Limit & Stick To It
It is remarkably easy to disregard the serving size, but as soon as your sweet treat is finished measure out your portion and put away the rest. To avoid temptation in the future, you can also measure out each serving before putting it away.
Once your treat is complete, don’t just dig in! Set the table for yourself. Light a candle. This is the treat you’ve worked so hard for, treat it like one!
Savor each bite. Make it last as long as you can. Or wolf it down, it’s up to you.
Healthy Dessert Ideas and Alternatives
Banana cream pie, gingerbread, cookie dough, mocha, apple crisp, salted caramel – there are practically no limits when it comes to dessert smoothies! Usually made with a base of banana and your choice of milk, spices, oatmeal, flavored protein powder, Greek yogurt and fruit are blended together to mimic your favorite desserts. The best parts of this dessert alternative is they rarely need sweetener due to sweetness of fruits, they are filling and you get to finish the whole thing.
Chocolate Covered Fruit
There is a reason chocolate covered strawberries are the perfect bring along for any and every occasion! The simple combination of sweetness from the chocolate and natural sugars from the fruit is a two-in-one of pleasure for any die-hard sweet tooth. While strawberries might be the most popular fruit to be dipped in chocolate, the same method is fantastic with bananas, apples, mandarin slices, kiwi, cherry, pineapple, grapes and anything else you can think of! Chocolate dipped fruit is an easy treat to make at home. Simply melt down your favorite chocolate, dip your fruit, lay it out on a baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours before enjoying.
Avocado Brownies & Mousse
Want to make some low carb, sugar-free and gluten-feee brownies that are super creamy? Try these avocado ones! The avocado makes the brownies super creamy and delicious! These are sweetened with @nowfoodsofficial stevia powder and erythritol plus @lilys_sweets_chocolate dark chocolate chips! . Recipe link in bio 🙂 #keto #recipe #lchf #sugarfree #pcos
If you ever find yourself craving something sweet and have 1 or two avocados lying around, you’re in luck! Scoop your avocado into a processor with some honey, cocoa powder and milk, you’ve got chocolate mousse! Melt down some chocolate and combine with avocados, honey, vanilla, cocoa powder, some flour and oil and you’ve got batter for brownies. The consistency of your brownies will be thick like fudge, but the richness of the chocolate really shines through with the avocado base.
DIY Fruit Sorbet
For something that will make a small bump on a healthy diet, there is nothing like homemade sorbet. For most sorbets you only need frozen fruit (strawberry, raspberry, peach, pineapple, honeydew melon), a sweetener of choice (honey, maple syrup, stevia, fruit juice), a squeeze of lemon, a blender and a bowl to serve it in. Simply blend in bursts (so you don’t warm the fruit) and serve.
This is a relatively new method that is best when limited to one apple per serving. Simply slice and arrange your apple on a plate, drizzle with honey, melted chocolate, caramel, glaze, peanut butter, whipped cream, etc, top with pecans, chocolate chips, crushed pretzels, cinnamon sugar, sprinkles, etc., and enjoy. This is a visually stunning as well as healthy dessert to be shared as well!
You can use either yogurt or chocolate to make bark, but be warned – it is addictive! Simple pour out your yogurt or melted chocolate to a parchment lined baking sheet, drop on your favorite toppings like nuts, berries, cereal, oatmeal, chocolate chips, pretzel, etc., freeze, break apart and enjoy. Use greek yogurt for an extra protein punch!
Whether its grilled in the summer or baked, there is much magic to be made when it comes to baked fruits. Fan favorites lean towards apple, pears and peaches, but you can also experiment with pineapple, grapefruit, plums, bananas and more. Butter, sugar (natural or conventional) and spices are all you need to bake up a delectable treat you and your family can enjoy guilt free.
The same can be done for fruit on the grill using aluminum foil or a tin!
My first ever mug cake!!!! A simple little funfetti cake with frosting and sprinkles. Fast word 3 years and I have over 100 microwave recipes both sweet and savory including pizza in a mug and a doughnut in a mug #eeeeeats #easyrecipes #recipe #buzzfeast #Homemade #buzzfeedfood #bhgfood #huffposttaste #foodblogfeed #eater @spoonuniversity #spoonfeed @tasty @tiphero #mugcake @foodgawker
Perhaps one of the most amazing desserts to enjoy despite your fitness or diet goals is the mug cake. The answer to everyone who has ever dreamt of finishing a whole cake, the mug cake allows you to do just that. Whether your favorite is double chocolate, peanut butter, blueberry oatmeal, cinnamon roll, birthday cake or chocolate chip, there is a mug cake for you!
Check out our recipe for mug cake here! (Makes 2 portions)
Tips For Making Healthier Desserts
Want to know what makes our caramels taste so great? Locally sourced raw honey! We’ve started getting ours from @hollowtreehoney and their bees are making some seriously delicious stuff. With their hives just down the road in Davis, Utah, and Salt Lake Counties, nothing is more than 100 miles away. The honey itself is coarse filtered and cold processed, meaning all the goodness that the bees put in stays in. Plus they give you a packet of wildflower seeds with your purchase! Taste the difference this weekend @farmersmarketogden and @wasatchfrontfm! #buylocal #sourcelocal #artisan #bakery #caramels #honey #rawhoney #beesknowbest #HollowTreeHoney #IndulgeEats #treatyoself
Instead of using regular white sugar in your recipes, try using raw honey or authentic maple syrup. The reason? It’s all natural! Where regular sugar is processed, the honey and syrup are as you would find them in the wild. This makes them easier for our bodies to digest and metabolize. The same goes for flour. Try using almond or coconut flour instead of the conventional bleached counterpart.
In some recipes there are ingredients that can be swapped for healthier options. You can use unsweetened applesauce in place of cooking oil, butter or egg (about ¼ cup applesauce per 1 egg) to cut fat and calories. Another healthy swap for oil can be plain yogurt. You simply replace ½ cup of oil with ¾ cup of yogurt. You can even use chia seeds instead of eggs for some healthy omega-3’s! Mix 1 tbsp. of ground chia seeds with 3 tbsp. of water and let thicken for 5 minutes, then use as you would in place for 1 egg.
Sneak In The Good Stuff
There are a multitude of recipes out there incorporating non-typical vegetables and ingredients for their numerous health benefits. Look around and you’ll find quinoa muffins. Zucchini bread. Carrot cake. Sweet potato, black bean, beet and even kale brownies. Avocado cookies and ice cream, among the numerous add-in’s like walnuts, almonds or chia seeds.