Christian Roder of Krumbs Cakes in San Rafael

You need to keep your calories around 1300-1500 per day and you crave something sweet. How do you satisfy the craving without sacrificing your weight loss program? The cake seen left was custom made for a friend’s Christmas party and so calorie-laden I’m not sure I could count them. Isn’t it amazing?  Here are several easy ideas to indulge in dessert once or twice a week without consuming copious amounts of white sugar, white flour, gluten, and high fructose corn syrup. All of which will only spike insulin making you crave more and more and more of those waist-thickening “treats” and trap you in a never-ending cycle of sugar-induced madness.

Ricotta Custard: This unusual dessert ingredient made famous by the South Beach diet is actually tasty and high in protein. Combine 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese, with lemon zest, vanilla extract, and a packet of stevia. If lemon is not your bag, combine ricotta with stevia, vanilla, and espresso or cocoa powder or puréed raspberries or blueberries. 1/2 cup of ricotta contains about 170 calories and 14 grams of protein.

Grilled Fruit: With baked, poached, grilled, flambéed, or sautéed fruit the fructose inside gets caramelized. Juicy. Oozy. Fruity. Caramel-y goodness with all the vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber of fruit. Try grilling bananas, apples, pineapple, peaches, apricots, pears, quince, mango, and plum.

Pumpkin “pie:” At this time of year, anything with pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg tastes warm and cozy. Take 1/2 a can of organic puréed pumpkin and warm it in the microwave for 35 seconds. Add classic pumpkin pie spices, some creamy coconut milk, and you have the taste of traditional pumpkin pie at about 100 calories.

Coconut milk ice cream on zucchini coconut flour brownies

Coconut Milk Ice Cream: Take 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, 2 tbsp honey, and 1 tblsp vanilla whisk ingredients together and pour into an ice-cream maker. Heaven. If you don’t own an ice-cream machine, use an electric mixer to whip coconut milk into a creamy texture akin to whipped cream. Fold in crushed pecans or cocoa powder for a quick and creamy coconut mousse.

Larabar: In the past you may have heeded the siren call of your sweet tooth by buying a Snickers or a Milky Way. Ever try a Larabar? They are sweet and delicious with no added sugar. They contain 200 calories and three ingredients: cherries, dates, and almonds. They come in about a dozen flavors from cherry pie to peanut butter and jelly to carrot cake. For another thirty healthy dessert recipes click the link below from World’s Healthiest Foods.

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