Anybody who’s tried to watch their calories know that dessert can be the bane of your existence. This becomes the downfall for a lot of people because the temptation to have that sweet treat is sometimes too strong after a good healthy dinner or after a long stressful day when all you want is some comfort food. The calories in desserts are rarely worth it though, with some cakes racking up a total of what should be a full meal, or sometimes even a full day's worth of calories! Let's not even talk about how much treadmill time it'll take to burn off those calories.
But, there is no need to despair because thankfully you are not doomed to a lifetime of sugar free treats. There are many healthy ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without having to commit to hours of gym time just to burn it off. Life is meant to be enjoyed after all, and with these low calorie dessert recipes, you can still have your cake and eat it too.
15 Raspberry Chocolate Yogurt Pops
Yogurt pops are a healthy alternative to traditional sugar-loaded ice pops. With this treat, you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging because you can enjoy the healthy benefits of yogurt and fruits too!
Ingredients:2 cups raspberries2 cups low-fat plain yogurt, preferably Greek yogurt3-5 tablespoons sugar½ cup mini chocolate chips
Puree raspberries, yogurt and sugar in a blender or food processor until smooth. Divide mixture in popsicle molds, stopping about 1 inch from the top. Divide chocolate chips equally among the molds and stir chips into the raspberry mixture, ensuring that any air pockets are stirred out. Insert the sticks and freeze until completely firm for about 6 hours.
Calories per serving: 87
Meringue is a light and sweet treat that is bound to satisfy your sugar craving. It is simple and easy to make too!
Ingredients:4 egg whites225g caster sugar1 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk the egg whites until peaks are standing and not floppy. Pour the vanilla extract and half the sugar, and whisk until firm. Then, pour the remaining the sugar and whisk again until the mixture is thick, firm and shiny. Spoon the meringue in a piping bag, and then begin piping the meringue in spiralling circles onto two lined baking sheets. Heat the oven to 140C, and bake for an hour, turning the temperature down to 120C after 30 minutes.
13 Apple Cranberry Crisp
This apple cranberry crisp recipe is the perfect low calorie holiday dessert that will not only satisfy your sweet tooth, but will ensure that you will always have room for dessert. This recipe is also vegan friendly!
Ingredients:3 medium to large crisp red apples, peeled and sliced1 cup fresh cranberries1/2 cup apple juice1 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice2 cups granola
Combine the apples and cranberries into an 8-inch square baking dish. Whisk together the apple juice, flour and pumpkin pie spice, and then pour over the apples and cranberries. Sprinkle granola evenly over fruit, and lightly press down. Bake in a pre-heated oven (350°F) for 40-45 minutes.
Calories per serving: 188
12 Watermelon Granita
This simple three-ingredient treat is the perfect summer refresher!
Ingredients:4 cups cubed seedless watermelon½ cup sugar1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Puree all ingredients in a blender and pour into a baking pan. Freeze for 1 hour. Stir and break apart any frozen parts with the back of a fork. Cover and freeze for 2 hours or until firm. Using a fork, scrape granita into flakes and serve.
Calories per serving: 110
11 Frozen Coconut Yogurt with Cinnamon
Who doesn’t love frozen yogurt? It’s the perfect hot day treat and a much healthier option that regular old ice cream. You can also add healthy toppings such as grated coconuts, crushed almonds or fruits.
Ingredients:3 cups 2% plain Greek yogurtGranulated stevia extract equivalent to ½ cup sugar2 tablespoons coconut milk1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1 teaspoon coconut extract½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Combine all the ingredients, except for the shredded coconut, in a large bowl. Cover tightly and let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker. In the last 5 minutes of the cycle, add the shredded coconut. Freeze the frozen yogurt.
Calories per serving: 80
10 Chocolate Mousse
Attention, chocolate lovers! This light chocolate treat is the perfect sweet course for dinner parties and small celebrations.
Ingredients:85g 70% dark chocolate1 tbsp cocoa powder½ tsp coffee granules½ tsp vanilla extract2 egg whites1 tbsp golden caster sugar50g full-fat Greek yogurt
Finely chop the chocolate and put into a bowl, gently placed over a pan of simmering water. Mix the cocoa, coffee, vanilla extract and 2 tbsp cold water, and pour over chocolate. Stir until chocolate is melted. Add 2 tbsp of boiling water to thin chocolate down. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, and then whisk in the sugar. Fold the egg whites one third at a time into the chocolate until evenly mixed, being careful not to over mix as not lose the volume of the mousse. Spoon into small cups, and let chill for at least two hours.
Calories per serving: 167
9 Coconut Macaroons
Do you love coconut? Then, this coconut macaroon recipe is perfect for you. With less than 75 calories per serving, there’s no need to be guilty about anything.
Ingredients:1 large egg white1 tbsp sugar¼ tsp vanilla⅛ tsp almond extract¾ cup sweetened flaked coconut
Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter a baking sheet and then line with foil, and lightly butter and flour the foil. Mix the egg white, sugar, vanilla, almond extract, and a pinch of salt, and once combined, stir in the coconut. Divide the mixture into four mounds and place onto baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until tops are golden in spots. Transfer to a cooling rack for 15 minutes before peeling off the foil.
Calories per serving: 74
8 Chocolate Pudding
Chocolate pudding is a classic dessert that is sure to satisfy and touch you with a bit of childhood nostalgia as well. Whether you are looking for a traditional dessert for the holidays or just a pick-me-upper on a cool cozy nights, this is a good choice for any occasion.
Ingredients:1 large egg2 ¼ cups nonfat milk, divided⅔ cup sugar, divided⅛ teaspoon salt⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder2 tablespoons cornstarch1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 ½ cups milk, ⅓ cup sugar and salt. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer while stirring occasionally. Whisk the remaining ⅓ cup sugar, cocoa and cornstarch in a medium bowl, and whisk in ¾ cup milk until blended. Whisk the simmering milk mixture into the cocoa mixture, and pour back into saucepan and bring to a simmer until thickened, while whisking constantly. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg and whisk 1 cup of hot cocoa mixture into the beaten egg. Place mixture back in saucepan and then cook over medium heat until steaming and thickened, whisking constantly. Mix in vanilla and serve warm.
Calories per serving: 164
7 Gluten-free pancakes
Who says pancakes are only meant to be eaten for breakfast? This light crepe is perfect if you are just looking for a little bit of sweetness. You can choose to top it with your favourite fruits for a healthy sweet boost!
Ingredients:125g gluten-free plain flour1 egg250ml milkbutter, for frying
In a bowl, combine flour, egg, and a quarter of the milk using a electrical or balloon whisk. Mix in another quarter of the milk until lump free, and then mix in remaining milk. Leave to rest for 20 minutes, and stir again before cooking. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a non-stick frying pan, when butter starts to foam, pour a small amount of mixture and swirl around until base is coated with a thin layer. Cook until golden brown at the bottom, then flip to cook until the other side is also golden brown. Repeat until mixture has been used up.
Calories per serving: 119
6 Chocolate Brownies
This recipe is a great lower-fat alternative to traditional brownies, but it still offers the same rich chocolate taste. Brownies are also the perfect treat to pack on-the-go.
Ingredients:1 cup all-purpose flour½ cup unsweetened cocoa¼ teaspoon salt⅓ cup butter2 oz dark chocolate, chopped1 cup granulated sugar¼ cup skimmed milk1 teaspoon vanilla extract2 large egg yolks1 large eggcooking spray
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine flour, cocoa and salt in a medium bowl and whisk. Place butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave for 45 seconds, stirring every 15. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool slightly. Whisk in sugar, vanilla extract, egg yolks and eggs. Combine butter mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined. Pour batter in an 8-inch square metal baking pan coated greased with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick comes out clean when inserted.
5 Mango Ice
Mango ice is a fresh fruity dessert that is very easy to make. With just three ingredients, it doesn’t get much simpler than that. It is a great alternative to ice cream, and much healthier too.
Ingredients:2 large over-ripe mangoes425g can lychees, with the juice100ml apple juice
Peel the mango and slice off the flesh. Combine all ingredients in a food processor until blended. Pour into a shallow tray and freeze overnight. Shave with an ice cream scooper or fork to serve.
Calories per serving: 91
4 Strawberry Jelly
Remember those four packs of jell-o’s you brought for recess? Well, this is not the same jello as that. This delicious recipe gets most of its flavours from real fruit, which makes it a much healthier option!
Ingredients:1 sachet gelatine450ml strawberry or apple juice15-18 very ripe strawberries
Sprinkle gelatine in 6tsp of boiling water in a bowl and whisk until dissolved. Whisk in the juice until mixed. Pull the green hulls out of the strawberries and slice the strawberries into small chunks. Put the strawberries into 6 glasses, the glasses should be full but with plenty of room for the gelatin. Pour the gelatin mixture into the glasses filling them almost to the top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to set.
Calories per serving: 118
3 Banana and Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Ever found yourself craving for Ben and Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream, but the calorie count is making you cringe? Well, here’s an awesome recipe that’ll let you enjoy the chocolate, peanut butter and banana flavour without the calorie count!
Ingredients:4 ripe bananas, chopped into chunks and frozen2 tbsp almond milk1 tbsp peanut butter1 tsp ground cinnamon1 tbsp grated dark chocolate1 tbsp flaked almonds
Combine frozen bananas and almond milk into a blender and blend until smooth. Blend in the peanut butter and cinnamon to taste. Transfer to a freeze-proof container and freeze for at least 1 hour. Serve with grated chocolates and flaked almonds sprinkled.
Calories per serving: 169
2 Lemon Ginger Shortbread
The zesty lemon taste and warm ginger hints of this shortbread is the perfect accompaniment to that afternoon tea.
Ingredients:100g salted butter, softened50g golden caster sugarzest 1 large lemon8 pieces crystallized ginger, finely chopped175g plain flour
Preheat the oven to 150C. In a bowl, beat the butter with a wooden spoon until soft, Beat in sugar, then stir in lemon zest and ginger. Stir in the flour and work with your hands to form a soft dough. Place into a greased 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin and press into an even flat layer. Prick the dough all over with a fork and bake in the oven for 40 minutes until pale gold. Cut into wedges and let cool. Remove from tin and dust with caster sugar if desired.
Calories per serving: 142
1 Raspberry Mousse
Craving raspberry cheesecake? Craving mousse? Look no further as we’ve found a hybrid of the two -- that is also low in calories!
500g low-fat cream cheese50g icing sugarsqueeze or two of lemon juice250g frozen raspberries
Combine cream cheese, sugar and lemon into a large bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Stir in raspberries until they break up, turning the mixture pink. Spoon into glasses and serve.