Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Quick, Easy, Healthy: Desserts

Did you just do a double take? Can dessert be healthy? Yes. With a few disclaimers, of course. First of all, I don't believe that health is all about losing weight. I'd rather go for high nutrient than low fat, carb, etc. Just so you know where I'm coming from. Still, whether you are trying to lose weight or not, desserts should be treats not a regular part of every day. Or so I am learning...rather reluctantly.

My go-to dessert when I need something quick is Hot Fudge Pudding Cake. This is NOT low fat or even low sugar. It should not be eaten very often. I'm just saying....so you don't blame me for gaining 10 pounds on my recipe. ;-)

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
1 1/4 c. sugar - divided
1 c. flour
7 T. cocoa, divided
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. milk
1/3 c. butter, melted
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 c. hot water (tap)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In bowl, sift together 3/4 c. sugar, flour, 3 T. cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk, butter and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Pour batter into ungreased 8 or 9 inch square baking pan. Stir together remaining 1/2 c. sugar, brown sugar and remaining 4 T. cocoa. Sprinkle mixture evenly over batter. Pour hot water over top. DO NOT STIR! Bake 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Let stand 15 minutes. Spoon into dishes, spooning sauce on bottom to top.

I mix this up before dinner and let it cook while we're eating dinner. It is best served with whipped cream or ice cream (homemade is best, but if you're going for quick, you might have to cheat on that).

O.K. that's quick and easy. How to make it a little healthier? Use a natural sugar (I like evaporated cane juice). It's still sugar which is not healthy, but it is at least not bleached and processed as much. Use whole grain flour in place of all-purpose. Make sure your vanilla and cocoa don't have sugar in them---this recipe has enough!

If chocolate isn't your thing, here's a way to make your apple crisp much healthier:
How to Healthify Apple Crisp

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