5 tips to make healthier desserts
With dessert season amongst us, we understand that some members of our community may worry about the impact of having their favourite treat this time of year.
To make things a little healthier this year, we asked our nutritionist for some small changes you can make to your favourite desserts to make them lower in sugar, higher in fibre and just as delicious!
5 tips, from The Fast 800 nutritionist, to make your desserts healthier
- Switch white flour for higher fibre choices (nut flours, coconut flour, wholemeal flour, seed flours). Familiarise yourself with recipes that use these as a base in the original recipe before you start trying to adapt your favourites. Often you’ll need a lot less nut flour than plain wheat flour and may need extra liquid. Remember if you’re swapping self raising flour, you’ll need to add extra raising agents.
- Skip the sugar and use fruit instead (dates, apple puree, banana).
- Use higher cocoa chocolate (85%) – this reduces the sugar and increases the nutrients. Cocoa contains vitamins and minerals, is rich in polyphenols (naturally occurring antioxidants) and may even reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes when using in place of milk chocolate.
- Add vegetables! While it won’t work for every recipe; zucchini, beetroot, pumpkin, sweet potato (either mashed or grated), can add moisture and fibre. These work particularly well in chocolate based or spiced desserts.
- Use mashed beans or chickpeas in place of flour (either partially or completely, depending on the recipe). It increases the fibre and adds protein!
When you’re making these changes, be aware that the flavour profile will change from your usual sickly sweet desserts. With these adaptations you’ll be increasing the fibre and protein content while reducing the sugar – satiating you and your guests for longer!
Our festive dessert recipes have launched on the Online Programme and we’d love for you to enjoy them! To sign up to a free trial, click here.
“I can’t wait to share my latest recipes with you all! The festive season is definitely one of my favourites!”
Gabi | The Fast 800 Nutritionist
For Gabi’s recipes, sign up to our Online Programme,Click here for your free trial
The Fast 800 Spiced Festive Cake
Calories per serve: 358
250g cooked pumpkin
8 pitted medjool dates
60ml hot water
¼ cup cacao
½ tbsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1 ½ tsp cardamom
2 cup wholemeal SR flour
1 orange, zest only
40g blanched almonds, chopped if going in the cake, or leave whole to decorate top
100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids or higher), roughly chopped
150g full fat ricotta
2 oranges, juice only
- Preheat the oven to fan forced 160°C/180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4. Line a 20-22cm cake tin.
- If your pumpkin is raw – roughly chop and steam it.
- Roughly chop the dates and soak in the hot water in a tall jug or bowl with high sides. Set aside.
- Sift cacao, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom into a large bowl with the flour, orange zest, almonds and chocolate and mix. Set aside.
- Melt the butter and pour over the dates and hot water, add the pumpkin and eggs and blitz to combine using a stick blender.
- Add wet ingredients to the dry and fold through until just combined (it may look a little stodgy).
- Tip cake batter into pre-lined tin and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate in the oven and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- While baking, make the ricotta drizzle – combine ricotta with orange juice, mix until smooth.
- Let the cake cool completely before topping generously with the ricotta.
- Garnish with dried orange slices if you wish, and serve between ten.
- To make it extra pretty – garnish with dried orange slices, edible flowers or how you wish.
- If you want it extra spiced – add an extra teaspoon of each cardamom, cinnamon and ginger.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve cold or reheat slightly.
- Cook and freeze in portions for up to 2 months. Defrost before serving.