Making lighter sweets easy

Some of us watching our weight can't help but try to make our sweets a little lighter in some way, but that's not always as easy as it sounds.

Food Coach Lori Corbin teamed up with experts to make smart swaps that still taste great.

"You don't have to equate healthy with deprivation," said Jennifer Grossman from the Dole Institute.

In the test kitchen at the Dole Institute in Westlake Village, there are some secrets to making good-tasting yet healthy dessert. Some of the secrets include nonfat dairy, smaller amounts of sugar or even sugar replacements. In addition, fresh, frozen or canned fruit are also good secrets.

"Not only are you cutting out fat and added sugar, but again you're getting most of your daily serving of fruit," Grossman said.

According to Grossman, there are a few key ingredients that make up a moist yet lower-calorie banana bread. Nonfat milk, nonfat sour cream and egg replacer along with bananas and black walnuts are among those ingredients, resulting in a slice that is only 100 calories with 2 grams of fat. That saves you 50 calories and 5 grams of fat over traditional banana bread.

While ice cream is known for its high-fat goodness, "Banana Berry Blizzard" uses frozen bananas and berries or cherries with buttermilk to give it a sweet, fruity taste.

"It doesn't require an ice-cream maker. You can make it in your food processor or blender, and it could not be easier," Grossman said.

At just 108 fat-free calories a half-cup, it's a nice alternative to premium brands. The regular stuff can dish out more than twice the calories and up to 12 grams of fat.

Just in time for the holidays, there is a new take on pumpkin pie. A pumpkin pineapple mousse pie uses canned pineapple and juice with pumpkin-pie filling. Use a nondairy topping that whips up sweet and creamy. One slice of this pie only has 280 calories and 6 fat grams. Compare that to traditional pumpkin mousse pie with twice the calories and 36 grams of fat.

"They taste sinful and indulgent, but with a couple of small tweaks and also making fruit your main ingredient, you can really get a healthy dessert," Grossman said.


Black Walnut Banana Loaf

Prep: 15 min.
Bake: 50 min.
Makes: 1 loaf

1/4 cup skim milk
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 to 1/2 cup granulated sucralose sweetener (sugar may be used)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup chopped black or regular walnuts
2 large (1 cup mashed) bananas
2 tablespoons nonfat sour cream
1 egg or equivalent in egg substitute

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with butter-flavored cooking spray. Stir together skim milk and vinegar in small bowl. Set aside.
  • Combine flour, sucralose sweetener, baking powder and baking soda in large bowl. Stir in walnuts.
  • Stir together mashed bananas, sour cream, egg, and milk mixture in medium bowl. Add banana mixture to flour mixture. Mix gently just to combine. Evenly spread batter into prepared loaf pan.
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Place loaf pan on a wire rack and let set for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and continue cooling on wire rack. Cut into 8 thick slices.
  • Per Serving: 101 calories, 2g fat (0g sat.), 18mg cholesterol, 109mg sodium, 19g carbohydrate (1g dietary fiber, 3g sugars), 3g protein, 3 percent vitamin A, 3 percent vitamin C, 6 percent calcium, 3 percent iron, 3 percent potassium, 3 percent folate

    Soft Serve Banana-Berry Blizzard

    Prep: 15 min.
    Freeze: 2 hr.
    Makes: 1 quart (8 servings)
    4 ripe bananas, peeled

    1/2 cup buttermilk, divided
    1/2 to 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar, divided
    1 teaspoon lemon juice, divided
    1 package (12 oz.) frozen mixed berries, sweet cherries, or blueberries (2-1/2 cups fruit), partially thawed

    • Place peeled bananas in freezer for two hours or up to four hours before serving.
    • Cut frozen bananas into 1/2-inch chunks. Combine 1/4 cup buttermilk, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice in blender or food processor container. Cover; blend until smooth.
    • Drop one-half banana chunks through hole in lid of blender or food processor tube, with machine running, until blended. Add half the fruit pieces, a few at a time, and process until mixture is slushy, stopping machine occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Transfer mixture to chilled bowl.
    • Repeat with remaining ingredients (adding more sugar if desired to taste) to make a second batch. Add to remaining mixture in bowl and stir together. If preparing ahead, cover mixture and freeze immediately for up to two hours before serving.
    • Spoon into serving dishes to serve.
    Per Serving: 108 calories, 0g fat (0g sat.), 1mg cholesterol, 17mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 14g sugars), 2g protein, 3 precent vitamin A, 11 percent vitamin C, 3 percent calcium, 4 percent iron, 7 percent potassium, 3 percentfolate

    Pumpkin Pineapple Mousse Pie

    Prep time: 15 min.
    Chill time: 5 hr.
    Makes: 6 servings

    1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple (in its own juice)
    2 cans (6 oz. each) pineapple juice
    1 envelope unflavored gelatin
    1-1/2 tablespoons granulated sucralose sweetener or sugar
    1 cup canned pumpkin pie mix
    1 cup frozen fat-free non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
    1 (9-inch) ready-made reduced-fat graham cracker crust

    • Drain pineapple well, reserve juice.
    • Combine reserved juice with pineapple juice in measuring cup. If necessary, add water to make 2 cups. Pour juice mixture into saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over and let stand one minute.
    • Stir over low heat until completely dissolved.
    • Stir in sugar. Pour into bowl. Chill just until starts to jell, about one hour.
    • Fold in pineapple, pumpkin and whipped topping. Chill briefly until mixture starts to mound.
    • Spoon into graham cracker crust. Chill four hours or overnight.
    Per Serving: 280 calories, 6g fat (1g sat.), 0mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 55g carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 23g sugars), 4g protein, 80 percent vitamin A, 50 percent vitamin C, 4 percent calcium, 8 percent iron, 5 percent potassium, 8 percent folate


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