Your sweet tooth doesn’t have to lead you astray. Here are some simple ways to choose and concoct healthy desserts, that make cheating on your diet less sinful.

Most of us are able to stick to healthy appetizers, entrees and mains in a diet plan, but tend to go wild when it comes to dessert, losing track of calories and nutritive value. Desserts are certainly calorie dense and often alarmingly rich in sugar and saturated fat.

But this doesn’t mean you must give them up entirely. Why not just use healthier ingredients, and make less sinful choices instead? Read on, to get the jist of this idea.

#1 Choose milk based in lieu of flour based desserts

Desserts made milk are more than just empty calories. They contain protein, as well as calcium. For instance, low-sugar Rasgulla is definitely a better option than a vanilla sponge cake. Or, have some carrot kheer made from low fat milk, instead of carrot cake. You can top this with roast, chopped almonds to amplify the nutritional punch.

Rosogolla or Roshogolla or Rasagola or Ras Gulla or anguri rasgulla or angoori rasgulla, famous Bengali sweet
Choose milk-based desserts over flour-based desserts.

#2 Choose natural sweeteners

Fruit, Honey, Agave nectar and Maple syrup are some natural sweeteners that also contain a few vitamins and minerals. Use these in minimal quantities in desserts,  instead of white sugar. If your dessert is fruit based, ditch all sweeteners- this will enable you to enjoy the full flavour of the fruit.

#3 Avoid products with trans fats

By now, you must know that trans fats have been proven to enhance the risk of heart disease. So, avoid products that contain hydrogenated fat and vegetable shortening. In fact, some refined vegetable oils are ideal for baking, and have the advantage of lower calories, and good fats.

#4 Try refined flour substitutes

Refined flour (maida) contains the bulk of its calories as starch, and lacks fibre, vitamins and minerals. Instead, go for white flour substitutes such as Amaranth flour, Almond meal, defatted Peanut flour and even Quinoa flour to make delicious desserts.

#5 Ditch the butter

Use coconut oil or peanut butter instead of dairy butter, in some recipes. Also, flaxseed oil is a flavourful substitute for butter in baking, and contains healthy fats.

Piece of Butter (selective focus detailed close-up shot)
Ditch that butter!

#6 Use soy-based cream

Soy based cream or low-fat cream cheese mixed with greek yoghurt, is a good alternative to whole cream. Also, use a thinner sponge and more fruit in puddings like trifle, to reduce the calorie content.

#7 Go for fresh, seasonal fruit

Eating a fruity dessert? Opt for fresh fruit, instead of canned fruit in it. The latter has lost most of it’s vitamin and mineral value during storage, and is often loaded with sugar. So use seasonal fruit in your trifle, or go for a fresh fruit cake instead.

#8 Use Greek yoghurt

This superfood serves as a high-protein, low fat alternative to sour cream. Whip well and add desired flavours to make low-calorie cake icing or cheesecakes. Greek yoghurt can also be used in cake recipes, with sumptuous results.

Delicious nutritious and healthy fresh plain greek yogurt on antique wood table
Greek yoghurt serves as a good alternative to cream.

#9 Opt for a quick sugar fix

Go for a cup of hot chocolate made with natural soy or almond milk; a slice of grilled pineapple with strawberry compote; popcorn or foxnuts(makhana) drizzled with dark chocolate; a serving of fruit custard, made with low fat milk and sugar substitute, or even a handful of trail mix.