Desserts don't have to be a healthy-eating faux pas with our collection of lighter, indulgent recipes.
April 29, 2013
1 of 11Photo: Oxmoor House
Nutritious Dessert Recipes
Sweet and satisfying without the guilt—our desserts are both scrumptious and healthy. The key to enjoying your favorite sweet treat, while still following a healthy diet, is to consume in moderation.
First up are our Brownie Bites. Cocoa nibs, which are broken bits of husked cocoa beans, add delicate chocolate flavor and delicious nutty crunch to baked goods. You can find cocoa nibs at upscale supermarkets and gourmet cookware stores. When you make this recipe, don't be alarmed that the batter is very wet—the end result will be moist, tender minicakes.
2 of 11Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Cocoa Nib Meringues
Cocoa nibs are roasted cocoa beans, broken into small pieces; they add a bittersweet crunch. Look for them on the baking aisle at specialty stores or large supermarkets. Superfine sugar dissolves easily into the meringue for a supple texture. If you can't find superfine sugar, process granulated sugar in a blender for a minute or two. Store meringues in an airtight container for up to one day.
3 of 11Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Blueberry Crisp à la Mode
You can use almost any combination of fresh berries in this dessert. Try cherries, blackberries, or a mixture of all three.
4 of 11Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Chocolate Lava Cakes with Pistachio Cream
These flourless chocolate cakes are as rich as a restaurant dessert, but they're made with a fraction of the fat and no dairy butter. When these cakes bake, the gooey filling causes the center to sink in.
5 of 11Photo: Douglas Merriam
Grilled Nectarines and Plums with Vanilla Bean Syrup
Grilling heightens the fruit's sweetness and flavor. Slightly firm fruit will stand up to the heat; if you're using ripe fruit, take it from the grill just a few minutes sooner than directed. Garnish with mint sprigs.
6 of 11Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Cocoa Fudge Cookies
You can mix these incredibly easy, fudge cookies right in the saucepan. When freshly baked, these thin cookies have crisp edges and chewy centers. You can make them with either Dutch process or natural unsweetened cocoa powder; we opted for the latter.
7 of 11Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip, and Pecan Cookies
These easy chocolate oatmeal drop cookies are crisp on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. Chocolate minichips disperse better in the batter, but you can use regular chips.
8 of 11Photo: Iain Bagwell
Fresh Orange Sorbet
This easy sorbet gets rave reviews from our staffers for two reasons. First, it's super easy to make; fresh squeezed orange juice, orange zest, sugar, and water are all you'll need. Plus, the orange flavor, much like French sorbets, is both intense and refreshing.
9 of 11Photo: Oxmoor House
Fast, simple, and satisfying, oatmeal-raisin cookies are a sure-to-please staple in the American home. They’re easy to prepare because they’re made with ingredients that you probably have on hand. Your kitchen will smell flavorful and inviting when you pop a batch in the oven.
10 of 11Photo: Beau Gustafson
Citrus and Kiwifruit Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Pistachios
Peel the oranges, kiwifruit, and grapefruit ahead of time, and refrigerate separately in heavy-duty zip-top plastic bags. Wait until the morning to cut them so they'll retain their sweet juiciness. Seed the pomegranate in advance; refrigerate in a zip-top plastic bag. Spoon the fruit into individual bowls within an hour of serving; sprinkle with nuts at the last minute.
11 of 11Photo: Randy Mayor
Raspberry Frozen Yogurt
This light, refreshing frozen yogurt makes an ideal end to a nice dinner. Serve with biscotti and a garnish of fresh mint sprigs.