Absolutely delectable and filled with all the goodness of fruits, here are seven recipes that are low in calories and fat; yet taste divine.
Life is pretty much incomplete without a bit of indulgence. And what better way to enliven any meal than an exquisite dessert. But desserts are usually high in fat and sugar, causing much despair to most of us. So why not make something that has few calories, less sugar and fat, yet will satisfy your sweet tooth. It will be easy on your pocket and waist. It will also improve your overall health as you are cutting out the processed food.
While making these desserts, you will know exactly what goes into them, so you can regulate the amount of sugar you put in, or maybe replace the full-fat milk with skim or 2% milk. So here are 7 guilt-free dessert recipes you can try your hand at.
These recipes have been sorted in ascending order of difficulty.
Mango Lime Ice
A delectable treat, mango lime ice is pure goodness when it comes to nutrition. Plus, it is something that can be made easily since it just requires ten minutes. However, it has to be prepared beforehand as it requires freezing. This is eaten like a sorbet, but has significantly less artificial sugar, as the mangoes are naturally sweet and very filling.
- 4 ripe mangoes
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- 1½ cup water
(Makes 8 servings)
♨ Nutritional Information for 1 Serving
- Calories – 140
- Fat – 0.2 gms.
- Sugar – 27 gms.
- Rich in – Vitamins A, B6, B9, C, Potassium
- Peel the mangoes and chop them into small pieces.
- Combine all the ingredients and blend until you get a smooth puree.
- You can pass the puree through a sieve, but this is purely optional.
- Spread onto a tray, and freeze it for 3 hours.
- To make it smoother, you may repeat steps 2 and 4.
- Put it in the refrigerator for around 30 minutes, before serving.
- To serve, scoop out some mango lime ice and serve in a wide-rimmed glass, garnished with a lemon wedge.
Frozen Yogurt Affogato
A popular Italian dessert, Affogato is a perfect medley of hot and cold; sweet and bitter. It is usually made with vanilla ice cream, but for a healthier version, substitute the ice cream with homemade frogurt.
- 2 cups plain whole milk yogurt (can be replaced with low-fat yogurt)
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or any flavor of your choice)
- 2 shots freshly-brewed hot espresso
(Makes 2 servings)
♨ Nutritional Information for 1 Serving (1 cup)
- Calories – 149
- Fat – 8 gms.
- Sugar – 30 gms.
- Rich in – Calcium, Protein
- Mix the yogurt, sugar and vanilla extract, and blend it in an electric mixer or food processor.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Put a scoop in a cup or glass, when serving.
- Drizzle with a freshly-brewed hot espresso shot.
Note – The calories given here are for full fat plain yogurt. If you are using any other yogurt, the calories and nutrient quantity will vary. You can replace the plain yogurt with store-bought frogurt or flavored yogurt; but these generally contain far too much sugar, so it is best prepared at home. Do not use Greek yogurt though, at it is more tangy than plain yogurt, and won’t taste as good.
Sorbet Melon Parfaits
A dessert perfect for a hot summer night – lemon sorbet, melons and a dash of champagne. It is easy to make as well, but surprisingly filling and looks exquisite too.
For the Lemon Sorbet –
- (Makes 5 scoops)
- 2½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup lemon juice
- Zest of half a lemon
- 3¼ cups water
♨ For the Parfait –
(Makes 1 servings)
- ½ cup of mixed melon balls (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melons)
- ½ scoop lemon sorbet
- ¼ cup
♨ Nutritional Information for 1 Serving
- Calories – 130
- Fat – 2 gms.
- Sugar – 28 gms.
- Rich in – Vitamin A, Vitamin C
For the Lemon Sorbet –
- Warm the water in a pan and add the sugar.
- Keep stirring till all the sugar is dissolved.
- Stir in the lemon juice and zest.
- Heat for a couple of minutes.
- Stop heating and let the syrup cool down to room temperature.
- Put this in an ice cream maker and churn as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
- If you do not have an ice cream maker, just freeze for 2 hours, then blend it once and freeze again.
For the Parfait –
- Arrange the melon balls in a wine glass.
- Top them with a scoop of lemon sorbet.
- Pour the Champagne and garnish.
Berries, as you might be knowing, are filled with antioxidants, plus provide a refreshing, tangy feel to any dessert.
- 4 cups mixed berries
- 2 cups frozen raspberries
- 10 ladyfingers
- 2 cups low-fat custard
- 50 gms. white chocolate (grated)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons water
(Makes 8 servings)
♨ Nutritional Information for 1 Serving (150 gms.)
- Calories – 150
- Fat – 3.8 gms.
- Sugar – 18.7 gms.
- Rich in – Flavonoids, Vitamin C, Potassium
- Make the coulis by heating the raspberries, sugar and water in a pan, till the raspberries are all gooey.
- Strain the coulis through a sieve and keep aside for around 30 minutes for it to cool.
- Take a medium-sized bowl and make a base by lining the bottom with a single layer of ladyfingers, arranged parallel to each other.
- Pour half the raspberry coulis and spread it over the base.
- Follow this with another layer of ladyfingers.
- Add half the custard.
- Place the berries on top and pour the remaining coulis.
- Put another layer of ladyfingers.
- Pour the remaining custard.
- Chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
- Cover the top with cocoa powder and garnish with berries.
Clafoutis is a traditional French dessert, and can be best described as midway between a pancake and a cake. Traditionally stuffed with unpitted black cherries, it tastes just as great with any fruit you can think of.
- 2 cups black cherries
- 3 eggs
- 300 ml milk (approx 1¼ cup)
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup flour
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
(Makes 2 servings)
♨ Nutritional Information for 1 Slice (130 gms.)
- Calories – 230
- Fat – 4.3 gms.
- Sugar – 26 gms.
- Rich in – Vitamin C, Potassium, Antioxidants
- Heat the oven to 350°.
- Combine all the ingredients except the cherries, and blend till it’s all smooth.
- Grease a baking dish with butter and lightly dust it with flour.
- Pour the mixture in a baking dish so that it forms a ¼-inch layer.
- Keep the dish in the oven for around 10 minutes, so that the batter is slightly firm and the cherries do not sink.
- Take the dish out and put the cherries on the batter, do not mix.
- Bake for 45 – 60 minutes, depending on your oven. The clafoutis is ready when it looks brown and a toothpick comes out clean when it is inserted in the center.
- Let it sit on a wire stand for 5 minutes, and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
This is a low-fat, low-calorie version of crème brulée. Replace sugar with pineapple slices, to further lower the sin-factor.
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 cups milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ a vanilla bean or 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 strips of orange peel (optional, can be replaced with lemon peel)
(Makes 4 servings)
♨ Nutritional Information for 1 Serving (189 gms.)
- Calories – 325
- Fat – 8.5 gms.
- Sugar – 20 gms.
- Rich in – Protein, Calcium
- Mix the egg yolks and ¾ cup sugar till it becomes frothy.
- Add the orange peel and vanilla bean or cinnamon stick to this mixture.
- Take cornstarch in a bowl and mix with 2 tablespoons of cold milk thoroughly. Make sure no lumps are formed.
- Stir in the remaining milk and transfer to a pot, and put it on medium heat.
- Slowly add the egg mixture while stirring constantly, till you get a nice, creamy texture. Do not let it boil, as it might curdle.
- Remove the flavorings (cinnamon stick, orange peel, etc.).
- Transfer to 4 ramekins, or if you can get them, cazuelas, earthen pots in which the dessert is traditionally served, and keep aside.
- Once cooled to room temperature, put them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
You can serve the crema catalana two ways, the indulgent, traditional way or topped with baked pineapples. Pineapple too is pretty high in sugar, so for the healthiest version, top it with summer berries. This will also contrast nicely with the sweet and creamy crema catalana.
For the crispy sugar crust –
Sprinkle about a tablespoon of sugar on each ramekin, and burn the sugar with a blowtorch. You can also obtain the crust by placing the ramekins in a preheated broiler till the sugar browns. Traditionally though, the sugar is caramelized using a hot metal spatula.
For the fruit-some treat –
Peel and dice a pineapple in ½-inch pieces. Grease a baking pan with unsalted butter and place the pineapple pieces in a single layer. Heat the oven to 350º, and bake the pineapple for around 10 minutes or till they turn slightly brown. Use these to top the crema catalana, instead of sugar.
Angel Food Cake
This light and fluffy cake is surprisingly low in calories and fat, but has a moist, melt-in-the-mouth feel. This is pretty rare in most commercially-prepared cakes.
- 12 large egg whites
- 1 3/5 cup sugar
- 1 cup cake flour
- ½ tablespoon cream of tartar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(Makes 15 servings)
♨ Nutritional Information for 1 Slice (60 gms.)
- Calories – 127
- Fat – 0.1 gms.
- Sugar – 21 gms.
- Pass the sugar through a grinder to make it super-fine, and sift it to remove any large particles.
- Sift the cake flour too.
- In a bowl, combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Beat the eggs till they form soft peaks.
- Keep ¾ cup sugar aside, and mix the remaining with the cake flour.
- Add the ¾ cup sugar slowly to the egg whites and blend till stiff peaks are formed.
- Keep blending (on low), and add the flour mixture slowly, followed by the vanilla extract.
- Make sure the flour is mixed completely with no lumps. Stop the blender and fold in the batter from the sides and bottom, then give it a quick whiz.
- Transfer the batter very carefully to an angel cake pan (don’t grease the pan). Even it out with a spatula.
- Bake at 325° for 40 minutes, or till it becomes golden brown on top and springs back when pressed lightly.
- Stand the cake for around 5 minutes, then invert and let it cool completely.
- Remove it from the pan – run a blunt knife or firm spatula around the rim of the pan, then tap it on all sides. Flip it so that the bottom of the pan is on the top. Gently separate the crust from the pan with a knife. Your angel cake is ready to serve.
Many people feel that baking an angel food cake is a tough job, you need it to be light and airy, yet moist. Here are some tips to get the texture just right and make your angel food cake absolutely divine.
- Take only the egg whites, even a speckle of yolk will affect the lightness of this cake.
- The eggs must be at room temperature.
- Do not try this with any other flour, cake flour is a must.
- Grind and pass the sugar and flour through a sieve to ensure it is super-fine.
- Use a pan with a removable bottom.
- Do not grease the pan.
- Cool the cake flipped over, so that it does not collapse.
- The crust will look cracked and uneven, this is normal. Dust it with some icing sugar or cover it up with sliced fruits, and drizzle a compote of your choice to give it a better appearance and a burst of flavor.
These desserts are comparatively low in fat, sugar, and calories, and a great way to delight everyone. Just make sure that the portion is small, and enjoy them as an occasional treat.