We’re all interested in living a healthy lifestyle. Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy diet are two things we should all be practicing, but what about those of us who have an insatiable sweet tooth? At the end of a long day, I like to indulge in dessert, but hate the fact that most are full of sugar, fat, and empty calories. Most, but not all.
Below, I’ve outlined five of my favorite sweet treats that will satiate your sweet tooth but mind your waistline.
• APPLES W/ YOGURT & PINEAPPLE DIPPING SAUCE
Apples are loaded with nutritional benefits — tons of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and quercetin, an antioxidant that fights off disease — and are extremely low in calories. As far as the yogurt’s concerned, you’re doing a great thing for your body. Take some non-fat greek yogurt (flavored with Vanilla or plain), and combine it with a few pineapple slices, diced into cubes. Mix the two together, and you’ve got a tasty dip loaded with probiotics and calcium.
• RASPBERRIES STUFFED WITH CHOCOLATE
Sounds pretty decadent, right? They are! But healthy, too. In fact, when consumed in small quantities, dark chocolate is even said to be good for you, as it lowers blood pressure and and may aid in the prevention of blood clots. With this recipe, load several raspberries and with a single chocolate chip (if memory serves, Nestle has a dark chocolate option; half a tablespoon’s 35 calories) in each one. Place them in the freezer for 15 minutes for added crunch and texture, and voila!
• BROILED MANGO
Fruits like Mango and Pineapple are already sweet and delicious on their own, but for added taste, try putting them on the grill for a few minutes. Health chefs also suggest adding a splash of lime juice to balance the flavor.
• CHERRIES W/ RICOTTA AND ALMONDS
Cherries, loaded with antioxidants like anthocyanins, which help stave off heart disease and cancer, have long been considered a super food by medical professionals. They’re also delicious, and are incredibly versatile. Try heating the cherries in a sauce pan until they become almost soupy. Add two tablespoons of ricotta cheese and a handful of unsalted almonds, and you’ve got a perfect late-night treat.
Marshmallows may not be the healthiest option, but a single one isn’t breaking the rules — besides, it’s been proven that sweet treats like this can improve mood and lower stress. And since we’ve already mentioned some of dark chocolate’s health benefits, remain worry-free with this camp fire treat. Assemble a one marshmallow atop half a cracker, and put both in a pan at medium heat. After a few minutes, the marshmallow should become chewy and melted, which adds a nice contrast to the crispy cracker. Top with a small piece of dark chocolate, and enjoy.