I have always had a major sweet tooth, and when I started making my major nutritional health changes, the foods that I missed the most were desserts. But I found that they don’t necessarily have to be unhealthy and eliminated from what you eat – here are some of my changes and objectives for dessert recipes:
- Come up with substitutes for the unhealthy ingredients
- Be sure that the dessert also becomes a high protein food
- But also make it taste good as if I was eating a ‘treat’, instead of missing out
Gone are the days of Krispy Cream doughnuts and Dairy Queen blizzards – no more cheesecake or carrot cake, and certainly no more of my all-time favorite mud pie.
I remember, ‘back in the day’, when my wife and I would go to Baskin & Robbins and buy a mud pie. We would both eat a piece after dinner, and then I would finish the rest, when I was watching television – no wonder she could get away with eating desserts, while I ended up becoming 55 pounds overweight.
The first thing that I tried to do was search for healthy dessert blogs for recipes. I expected the basic ingredients to be healthy, and then I would try and see what would happen if I also added protein powder to the recipe.
But when I went through the recipes on a blog that had a tremendous following, here is the kind of things that I found being used as ingredients:
- Chocolate chip cookies, with canola oil, brown sugar, and milk chocolate chips
- Cream cheese coffee cake, with all-purpose flour, vegetable oil, and sugar
- Lemon squares. white flour, powdered sugar, and cornstarch
- And if there was any protein besides milk, eggs, and cream cheese – it was soy protein from tofu
Replacing The Unhealthy Ingredients
These probably taste great, but there is no way I can think of these as nutritionally healthy – not with vegetable oil, sugar, and white flour, which are all foods that I have eliminated from my diet.
So, if I wanted to make one of these, I would have to make the following ingredient substitutions:
- Stevia or coconut sugar, and if I wanted it to be more like brown sugar, I could add some molasses
- Coconut flour, buckwheat flour or almond flour [oatmeal or oat flour is fine if you have no tolerance issues to the avenin], which are non-white flours that can also be eaten without cooking – just be sure to stay away from flours with gluten if you have a digestive sensitivity
- Almond or coconut milk instead of cow’s milk
- Arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch if any thickener is really needed
- Low fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt instead of any cream cheese or tofu
And then there are so many great dessert ingredients that you can add to your recipes, to really increase the taste and its nutritional health value. How about some pumpkin and sweet potatoes, coconut, cocoa and dark chocolate, almond butter and different nuts, quinoa flakes – and the list goes on.
Making The Desserts High Protein
Now that I have only used good nutritional ingredients, I want to be sure that my dessert is high protein.
I really like it when I get a ratio of around 30 grams of protein to 20 or fewer grams of net carbohydrates – which is usually easy to do by adding protein powder.
My favorite protein powder is BioTrust Low Carb. Not only does it taste great, it is also the healthiest that I have found. If you only want one flavor then get the vanilla – which I think is the best tasting, and you can always make it chocolate by adding cocoa powder.
- Time released 4 protein blend
- 24g protein per serving with 4g of fiber
- 100% all natural and sugar free
- ProHydolase enzyme blend for enhanced absorption and utilization
- And sourced only from cows not treated with rBGH or rBST growth hormones
By combining BioTrust chocolate with cottage cheese and egg whites, I get a fantastic protein mix.
If I want to change and/or add to the flavor, this is very easy to do. I can get a chocolate mocha flavor by mixing in a teaspoon of coffee, or toffee by using liquid toffee stevia drops.
It is easy to come up with ingredient changes and recipes that are even more dessert-like. High protein cakes, puddings, muffins, and pies can all be made – and this includes carrot cake, cheese cake, and pumpkin pie.
But this is a very simple example of using ingredient substitutes for making what I consider a healthy protein dessert. It is very quick to make and I don’t feel deprived – I can even eat it as a meal, which I very often do 😛