Factors like calories, sugar and fatty ingredients often make desserts the guilty-pleasure of most meals. However, consuming too many unhealthy ingredients on a regular basis can lead to a heightened risk of conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol. There are plenty of recipes that will give you all of the sweetness you want without the negative effects on your health.
Make your desserts the highlight of your meals with these three heart-healthy recipes.
1. Apple and Blackberry Oat Crumble
This scrumptious dessert is ideal for people who love fruit. The combination of natural ingredients makes this recipe one that will please both your taste buds and your heart.
Ingredients for filling
- 7 Braeburn apples, chopped
- 4 tsp. of table-top sweetener
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 100g blackberries
- 50ml water
Ingredients for crumble
- 60g porridge oats
- 120g plain flour
- 40g muscovado brown sugar
- 2 tsp. table-top sweetener
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 75g low-fat spread
Preheat the oven to 200°C and peel the apples. Chop them into 2-centimetre chunks and sprinkle them with 4 teaspoons of sweetener and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Cover and stew in 50 millilitres of water on medium heat until the apples are soft, stirring every few minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the crumble by combining the porridge oats and plain flour in a large bowl. Add the cinnamon, muscovado brown sugar and sweetener and mix thoroughly with a spoon. Spread and knead the flour and oat mixture using your fingertips to create a moist, crumbly texture that resembles breadcrumbs.
Turn the heat off and let the stewed apples cool once they're soft enough to mash with a spoon. Pour them into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle the crumble topping over it. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden on top. If preferred, drizzle a tablespoon of low-fat custard on top and serve.
2. Sticky Toffee Puds
Are you a fan of traditional sticky toffee pudding? You'll love this nutritious alternative to the sugary classic that replaces many of the unhealthy ingredients like toffee sauce with dates and maple syrup.
- 175g pitted dried dates
- 150ml maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 85g self-rising flour
- 0% fat Greek yoghurt and extra maple syrup, to serve (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Combine the dates and 175 millilitres of water in a pan. Simmer for 5 minutes and then pour into a food processor. Add 6 tablespoons of maple syrup and vanilla extract and blend until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and pour in the egg yolks and flour. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold into the date mixture.
Drop one tablespoon of maple syrup into each of the four 200-millilitre pudding moulds and add the mixture. Cover each with foil and stand in an ovenproof dish. Pour in hot water to halfway up the sides of the moulds. Cook for 1 hour until you can insert a toothpick into the centre and it comes out clean. Uncover and run a knife around the edges so you can easily invert onto plates. Drizzle yoghurt and maple syrup on top before serving if preferred.
3. Buttermilk Scones with Orange and Cinnamon Spread
These warm and mouthwatering treats can replace after-dinner biscuits. They're a great addition to your afternoon tea as well.
Ingredients for scones
- 75g self-rising flour
- 55g oat bran
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 55g Flora Buttery
- 25g caster sugar
- 7 Tbsp. buttermilk
Ingredients for spread
- 100g Flora pro.activ spread
- 100g golden caster sugar
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 220°C and grease a baking sheet. Place all of the scone ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir thoroughly with a spoon until a soft dough forms. Transfer to a lightly-floured surface and knead gently. Roll out the dough until it's about 1.25 centimetres thick. Cut into rounds with a plain 6.25-centimetre floured cutter. Take the trimmings and lightly knead them together. Roll and cut into rounds as before.
Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all of the spread ingredients and mix well. Chill for at least 20 minutes and serve with scones.
At Gracewell, residents are offered a nutritious menu that offers a wide range of healthy meals and ingredients, including delicious desserts. To find a location near you, contact us today.