Healthy Dessert Recipes | The Daily Dish

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Healthy Dessert Recipes

Banana “Ice Cream”

No Comments | Written on August 17, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

Are you ready for a recipe that is pure magic?

A healthy snack that only feels sinful?

A recipe with ONE INGREDIENT?!

Let me show you how to make Banana “Ice Cream!”

Start by peeling and slicing the bananas and placing them in a 9 x 13 pan.  Put the pan in the freezer until the banana slices are completely frozen.

When the bananas are frozen and you are ready to make the “ice cream,” remove the pan from the freezer and allow it to sit at room temperature for 3- 5 minutes.  The slices should be able to lift easily out of the pan.

Place the frozen banana slices in a strong blender or food processor and pulse.  Watch the bananas carefully as they will soon turn into a perfectly creamy “ice cream” texture!  Seriously, it’s magic!  Scoop and serve immediately.

The sky is the limit when it comes to this no-recipe recipe.  The banana ice cream tastes outstanding on its own, but you can also add in a touch of vanilla or cinnamon into the food processor, or top with chopped nuts.

Maybe blend in frozen berries or mangoes to change the flavor profile.

I added a scoop of peanut butter to make Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream – heaven!

How about a drizzle of Nutella?  Stop, I can’t take the deliciousness!

All I can say is, give it a try and I promise it will be an instant hit.  Get creative and make it your own with your favorite flavor combinations.  This is my new go-to guilt-free treat!

“Red Carpet Ready” Cake

18 Comments | Written on January 21, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

I have some AWESOME news Better Recipes…this year I will be covering the Academy Awards!  That’s right, all the glitz, glamor, and, of course, the food!  From Wolfgang Puck’s legendary Governor’s Ball menu, to what the stars eat to fit into their Oscar fashion, I will be there to bring it all to you!

I told a few of my friends and the first thing everybody asks is, “What are you going to wear?!”  The short answer is…”Eeek, I have no idea!”  (Isn’t that wild, even the press has to wear tuxes and ball gowns!)  The one thing I do know is, the Oscars are t-minus 38 days away so I have a little time to prepare.

red carpet cake

I call this recipe “Red Carpet Ready” Cake because it is a low-fat, low-calorie way to literally have your cake and eat it too!  Half of Hollywood is cutting their calories and upping their cardio in anticipation of the big event.  This dessert is a guilt-free way to enjoy a sweet treat while still keeping your figure in check.

It is as easy as 3, 2, 1, YUM!  Here is how you prepare these individual sized cakes:

Start with a box of angel food cake mix and a box of regular cake mix.  I decided to use a Strawberry cake mix for this “Red Carpet” Cake.  You can use your favorite flavor!

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Combine the two cake mixes in a ziplock bag.  You will only use 3 tablespoons at a time to make individual cakes.

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Combine 3 tablespoons of the mix with 2 tablespoons of water in a small, microwave-safe bowl.

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Microwave for 1 minute and enjoy!  I garnished mine with a small dollop of fat-free cool whip and some fresh strawberries.  If you follow the new Weight Watchers program, this is only 3 Points Plus!

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It’s that easy!  All you have to remember is 3, 2, 1…

3 tablespoons mix

2 tablespoons water

1 minute in the microwave

(Now if only fitting into a slinky dress was as easy as 3, 2, 1!)

“Powerhouse” Bites

7 Comments | Written on January 5, 2011 at 5:00 am , by

These bite-sized cookies are a satisfying snack that won’t throw your resolutions off track.  Sunflower seeds and cashews provide a hearty crunch, while dried cranberries and a hint of molasses add a sweet touch.  I love the use of whole wheat flour, wheat germ and rolled oats, as well as a bit of soy flour.  Packed with minerals and B vitamins, these cookies are a fun and guilt-free snack!

power gems

POWERHOUSE BITES

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup soybean flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1/4 cup rolled oats
1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, well-chilled and cut into pieces
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1/2 cup raw cashews, toasted
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
6 ounces dried cranberries, chopped

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Combine first 11 ingredients (whole wheat flour through salt). Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Add molasses and egg and beat until mixture just forms dough; do not overwork.  Add nuts, seeds and fruit.  Drop dough onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart.  Press each lightly with the back of a fork.  Bake for 10 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft).  Remove from baking sheets and cool on wire racks. Store in airtight tins up to 1 week.  Makes  about 4 dozen cookies.

Better Recipes Meet-Up and Gluten-Free Cookies!

2 Comments | Written on October 14, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

A few weeks ago we had the first ever Better Recipes “meet-up” in Chicago!  I was in the area visiting my family and one of our readers, Colette D., suggested we hold a “meet-up.”  It turns out she has a great blog, www.curiouswhy.com, and also follows Better Recipes on Twitter as @cecedon.  We had a wonderful time, and I look forward to meeting more of you!  Hopefully as time goes on we can host more “meet-ups” throughout the country!

We met in the cookbook section at The Book Stall in Winnetka, IL just north of Chicago.  It is a fantastic independent book store with a great cookbook collection.  They often host book signings with cookbook authors and operate the book stand at the International Home and Housewares Show every year.

We browsed the collection and then grabbed coffee at the cafe attached to the book store.  It was so great to get to know a Better Recipes reader!  We talked a lot about her dedication to feeding her family healthy foods.  She supports a local CSA and chooses to buy organics.  She and her family also follow a gluten-free diet.  After our conversation, I was intrigued to learn more.  In fact, I did an informal poll on our Facebook page, and it turns out there are many other readers who are interested in gluten-free recipes as well.  After our lovely conversation, I went home and found this recipe on our sister site, www.Recipe.com.

The recipe for Gluten-Free Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Cookies were great!  In fact, no one could even tell they were gluten-free!

GLUTEN-FREE PUMPKIN-CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Betty Crocker® Gluten Free chocolate chip cookie mix, pumpkin and a pinch of spice bake into yummy homemade cookies.

3/4 cup   canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/4 cup   butter, softened (not melted)
1 teaspoon   vanilla
1 egg
1 box  Betty Crocker® Gluten Free chocolate chip cookie mix (19 ounces)
1/2 cup   raisins, if desired
1/4 teaspoon   ground cinnamon
Powdered sugar, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets with shortening.

2. In large bowl, stir pumpkin, butter, vanilla and egg until blended. Stir in cookie mix, raisins and cinnamon until soft dough forms. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.

3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when lightly touched in center and edges are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
36 cookies

Nutrition Facts

Calories 80 (Calories from Fat 25); Total Fat 2 1/2g (Saturated Fat 1 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 10mg; Sodium 80mg; Total Carbohydrate 13g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 7g); Protein 0g. Daily Values: Vitamin A 15%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 0%; Iron 0%. Exchanges: 0 Starch; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 0 Medium-Fat Meat; 1/2 Fat. Carbohydrate Choices: 1.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Aloha! It’s Luau Time!

16 Comments | Written on August 11, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

Get out those tiki torches and put on a lei, because it is time for a Hawaiian luau!  You will love this recipe because it is quick and easy with only 5 ingredients.  Your guests will love that it is also low in fat, so everyone can indulge and still keep their bikini bod!

luau

LOW-FAT LUAU CAKE

1 package (16 ounces) angel food cake mix

1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple in its own juices, undrained

1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Powdered sugar (optional)

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until blended.

3.  Spoon batter into an ungreased 9-by-13-inch baking pan.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

4.  Sprinkle the top of cake with powdered sugar, if desired.  Cut into 20 squares.

Nutrition information per serving:  113 cal.; 1 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 0 mg chol.; 174 mg sod.; 25 g carbo.; 0 g fiber; 2 g protein

Homemade Granola

1 Comment | Written on August 9, 2010 at 4:00 am , by

I love the versatility of granola.  It is great sprinkled over yogurt, drowned in milk or grabbed by the handful!  My favorite part of this recipe is the smell in the kitchen when it is baking.  The whole house is filled with a warm, toasty aroma and my mouth waters waiting for a taste!  I think the secret ingredient in my version of homemade granola is the banana chips.  I always toss in an extra handful!

granola

HOMEMADE GRANOLA

2-1/2 cups uncooked rolled oats (the old-fashioned, not quick-cooking)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup instant nonfat dry milk solids
2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup dark raisins
1-1/4 cups dried banana chips

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Combine the first 10 ingredients (oats through cinnamon) in a very large bowl.
3.  Whisk together the next 3 ingredients (oil through salt).  Pour honey mixture into oat mixture and combine thoroughly.  Spread in a large pan (like a roasting pan or a 9-by-13-inch pan) and bake until toasted, about 30 minutes, stirring well every 10 minutes.
4.  Stir in raisins and banana chips and bake another 6-8 minutes.  Cool in pan, stirring frequently.  Store in airtight container.  Makes about 6 cups.

Garden Fresh Zucchini Bars

3 Comments | Written on August 3, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

Anyone who has ever planted zucchini in their garden knows that it grows like crazy.  Sometimes you can go to bed one night and wake up to a giant zucchini in the morning!  Zucchini can be used in so many creative ways other than just a side dish at dinner time.  Just like carrots, it works great in breads and sweet dishes as well.  These bars are a nice change from plain zucchini bread when you find yourself with an overabundance of zucchini in your garden.

zucchini bars

ZUCCHINI AND FRUIT BARS WITH CINNAMON FROSTING

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut

3/4 cup chopped dates

3/4 cup dark raisins

2 cups unpared, coarsely shredded zucchini

Frosting:

2 Tablespoons milk

1 Tablespoon butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup finely chopped walnuts

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 10-by-15-inch rimmed baking sheet pan (jelly roll pan); set aside.

2.  In large bowl of electric mixer, beat together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until creamy.  Add the eggs and vanilla; beat until blended.

3.  In a small bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking powder.  Add to butter mixture and beat until blended.  Stir in the coconut, dates, raisins, and zucchini and beat until blended.

4.  Evenly spread the mixture into prepared baking pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is golden brown.  Place on a wire rack to cool slightly, while preparing frosting.

5.  For frosting, beat together the milk, melted butter, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth.  Drizzle the frosting over the warm bar cookies, then spread evenly.  Sprinkle with chopped walnuts and let cool completely before cutting into bars.  Makes about 4 dozen.

A Lighter “Pick Me Up”

2 Comments | Written on July 5, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

Today is my Dad’s birthday!  Happy Birthday Daddy! Every year my Dad’s choice for birthday cake is always Angel Food, and this recipe takes Angel Food cake to a whole new level!  I have created a lighter version of Tiramisu that is also quick and easy through the creative use of a few convenience items.  Tiramisu means “pick me up” in Italian and I think this dessert will do just that for my Dad on his special day!

tiramisu

Light Tiramisu Angel Food Cake

1 store bought angel food cake, about 8 to 10 inches

3/4 cup strong black coffee, room temperature

1/4 cup coffee liqueur

8 ounce package reduced-fat block-style cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup powdered sugar, divided

3 Tablespoons coffee liqueur

1 Tablespoon instant espresso or coffee powder

1 container (8 ounces) frozen lite whipped topping, thawed

1/4 cup fat-free or sugar free fudge ice cream topping

1 Tablespoon coffee liqueur

1.  Using a serrated knife, cut angel food cake horizontally into 3 layers.  Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter; set other layers aside on a flat work surface.

2.  In a small bowl, combine the coffee and 1/4 cup of coffee liqueur.  With a long-tined fork or skewers, poke holes all over on all three layers.  Drizzle mixture evenly over the tops of all three layers to soak mixture into holes.

3.  For filling:  In bowl of electric mixer, cream together cream cheese, 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, and the 3 Tablespoons of coffee liqueur until blended and smooth.  Spread the top of the cake layer that is on the serving platter with half of the filling mixture.  Place a second cake layer on top of first layer and spread the top with remaining filling.  Place the third cake layer on top of second cake layer.

4.  For frosting:  In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 1/4 cup of powdered sugar with the tablespoon of instant espresso.  Fold mixture into the thawed whipped topping just until blended.  Frost the entire cake with the whipped topping mixture.  Chill cake for at least 2 hours.

5.  To serve:  Before serving, stir together the fudge ice cream topping and 1 Tablespoon of coffee liqueur.  Drizzle over chilled cake.  Using a serrated knife, cut cake, making 16 servings.

Bella Melone

2 Comments | Written on June 29, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

In the summer, there is nothing like a light and refreshing fruit salad and right now the melons are so gorgeous!  With such a wonderful piece of fruit, you don’t have to do much to make beautiful dish.  This Italian inspired recipe uses cantaloupe and watermelon and dresses it up with a bit of honey, balsamic vinegar and a dash of black pepper.  I like to serve it out of champagne flutes with a sprig of mint to add a bit of sophistication to this fantastic seasonal produce.

I love the title of this recipe, “Bella Melone” meaning “Beautiful Melon” in Italian.  The Italians have such a passion of good food and quality ingredients, it makes sense they find their fruit so beautiful!  I still remember when I was studying Italian in college and every morning my professor would greet me at the door with open arms and her full voice, “Buongiorno, mia bella Kristina!” (Of course followed by “Mia bella Amy” or “Mia bella Katie” as other students arrived!)  She began class with such happiness and warmth and I think this recipe for “Bella Melone” is the best way to start off an Italian summer meal!  Grazie mille a Professoressa Guidolti e buon appetito a tutto!

Bella Melone

2 cups chilled seeded watermelon balls

2 cups chilled seeded cantaloupe balls

1/4 cup honey

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Freshly cracked black pepper (optional)

Divide chilled watermelon and cantaloupe among 4 dessert dishes or stemless champagne flutes.  Stir together honey and balsamic vinegar and drizzle some over each serving.  If desired, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, and garnish with fresh mint sprigs.  Serves 4.

Bikini Week – Day One: Pack A Lunch

1 Comment | Written on June 21, 2010 at 5:00 am , by

It’s officially the first day of summer!  There are so many wonderful things to look forward to this time of year and yet there is one aspect that can fill us with dread – swimsuit shopping!  In honor of swimsuit season, I have decided to dedicate this first week of summer to serving up figure friendly recipes and healthy living tips.  Get ready for “Bikini Week!”

Today I wanted to feature the amazing story of a Better Recipes reader, NorwegianShawn, who has recently dropped 18 pounds!  Shawn made one simple change in his daily routine – he started packing a lunch rather than eating out each day at work.  Whether it is a fast food joint, neighborhood deli or sit-down restaurant, the minute we eat out, calorie counts, fat grams and sodium levels go through the roof.  With this one easy adjustment, not only will your waistline soon be smaller, but your wallet will be fatter!  In addition to Shawn’s 18 pound weight loss, he estimates that he has saved about $50 per week by not eating out during the week.  That’s a total of around $800 since he made the switch to homemade lunches 4 months ago!

Shawn says, “I am not an experienced cook, but I wanted to start eating healthier.  I began by looking for ideas here on Better Recipes as well as in the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook ‘Eat Well, Lose Weight.’  The Lunch Box Sub Sandwiches were easy, and I am a bit of a cookie monster so I gave the recipe for low-fat Snickerdoodles a try.  Along with some fresh fruit or vegetables and a big bottle of water, I am all set for lunch.  It came in under 600 calories and I never felt deprived!”

Can you imagine, losing 18 pounds and gaining $800!  Fabulous!  Swimsuit season, here I come…

Lunch Box Sub Sandwiches

1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise dressing

1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

1/4 cup finely snipped raisins or tart dried cherries

4 low-fat hamburger buns, split

4 slices mozzarella cheese (3/4-ounce per slice)

6 ounces thinly sliced cooked turkey breast

1 medium tomato, thinly sliced

In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise dressing, mustard, and raisins.  Spread the bottoms of the buns with the dressing mixture.  Top with cheese, turkey, and tomato.  Add bun tops.  Makes 4 sandwiches.

Nutrition information per sandwich:  301 cal.; 8 g fat (3 g sat.fat); 45 mg chol.; 22 g protein; 34 g carbo.; 2 g fiber; 515 mg sod.; Exchanges:  2 starch, 2.5 medium-fat meat

Snickerdoodles

1/3 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup fat-free dairy sour cream

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

Nonstick cooking spray or parchment paper

2 Tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1.  In a large bowl of electric mixer, beat butter for 30 seconds.  Add 1 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and baking soda; beat until combined.  Beat in sour cream, egg, and vanilla until combined.  Add flour and beat to combine.  Cover and chill dough for 1 to 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.

2.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly coat a baking sheet with nonstick spray or line with parchment paper.

3.  In a small bowl, combine the 2 Tablespoons sugar and cinnamon.  Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Roll balls in sugar-cinnamon mixture to coat, then place 2-inches apart on prepared baking sheet.

4.  Bake cookies for 10-11 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.  Makes 48 cookies.

Nutrition information per cookie:  53 cal.; 1 g fat (1 g sat.fat); 8 mg chol.; 0 g protein;  9 g carbo.; 0 g fiber; 25 mg sod.; Exchanges:  0.5 other carbohydrate