No celebration and family gatherings are ever complete without dessert. When planning your next party or get-together, follow this advice for some healthier and still delicious desserts.
Serve fresh fruit before the rest of the dessert The healthiest dessert around is a fresh fruit salad. Use an assortment of fruit, chopped into bite-size pieces. Create a more flavorful fruit salad by using in-season fruit and smaller pieces. Pair the fruit salad with some other whole food-based desserts, such as dates, figs, and nuts. Try making pitted dates stuffed with pecans—tastes like pecan pie!
These foods are all high in nutrients and fiber, so you will likely fill up faster when eating them compared to traditional desserts. After serving, wait 15 minutes before bringing out the rest of your dessert.
Buy fewer and pre-portioned higher-calories desserts If you want to offer a high-calorie dessert, such as brownies, cookies, pies, or cakes, only buy or make enough to give everyone a single (or maybe one-and-a-half) portion. Also, pre-portion the servings, so that everyone gets a piece, but is not tempted to take too large of a piece. Odds are that some people will not have their dessert, so those who really want seconds probably can have them anyway.
Also, the fresh fruit, dates, and nuts provide other dessert options for those who are still hungry for something sweet.
Out of sight, out of mind We all often tend to eat too much dessert, because it sits on the table and we pick at it for the rest of the evening. Clear the desserts from the table about 30 minutes after serving. This gives guests enough time to get dessert, but not so much time that they go back for seconds that they did not really need.
Leaving fruit and beverages (and even some cut-up vegetables) out after the 30 minutes is a great way to provide some additional snacking options for those who want to stay longer.
At a time of year when fresh fruit isn’t plentiful this dish features a medley of frozen peaches and cherries, fresh pears and grapes, and tart pomegranate juice. Sweet and savory with an unexpected flavor, this adds fiber-packed and phytochemical-rich fruit to your cancer preventive diet. Use either fresh or frozen fruits or a mix of both.
- 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen sliced peaches
- 1 cup frozen dark cherries
- 1 medium Bosc pear, peeled, cored and cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup large seedless red grapes, preferably globe variety
- 4 (2-inch x 1-inch) strips orange zest
- 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
- 1/3 cup dry mustard powder
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup sugar
In mixing bowl, defrost peaches and cherries. Drain liquid from bowl into measuring cup. Transfer peaches and cherries to stainless steel or other non-reactive medium saucepan. Add pear, grapes and orange zest.
To measuring cup with peach and cherry liquid, add enough pomegranate juice to make 1/2 cup liquid, reserving extra pomegranate juice for another use. Place mustard powder in small mixing bowl. Pour in juice mixture and whisk to combine with mustard. Add mustard mixture to pot with fruits. Add vinegar, honey and sugar.
Over medium-high heat, bring liquid to boil. Using wooden spoon, gently stir to combine fruits with liquid and sweeteners. Boil gently until liquid is foamy, then reduce heat and boil gently until liquid is slightly thickened and fruits are tender but not falling apart, 20 minutes. Off heat, cool mostarda in pot to room temperature.
Using large spoon, transfer mostarda to jar or bowl, preferably glass, including liquid up to level of fruit. It keeps in the refrigerator for 3 days. If desired, use remaining liquid to make red cabbage slaw or salad dressings, adding lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste.
Makes 6 servings. Yield: about 2 1/2 cups. Per serving: 165 calories, 1 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 40 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 2 mg sodium.