|Photo: Ralph and Jenny (Creative Commons)|
1. Chocolate-covered strawberries
2. Caramel apple
3. Peaches and cream
4. Banana split
5. Berry/yogurt parfait
6. Strawberry shortcake
7. Fresh fruit w/cream cheese dip
8. Apple crisp
9. Pumpkin pie
10. Carrot cake
If you like sweets yet need to cut calories, this is a perfect combination! Some of us have the willpower to cut out desserts completely from our diet for weeks-months or more, but the rest of us need at least some healthier options to choose from.
One of the single, best ways to lose weight is to eat more fruits and vegetables, which are low in calories and high in nutrients! So why not fit in that extra serving of fruit as you feed your sweet tooth? My husband, kids and I go to the mall (Village at Sandhill) at least once a week for dinner and dessert, so we are very familiar with all the local ice cream shops (Rita’s, Marble Slab, Yogenfruz), cafes (Nestle Tollhouse, Panera, Books a Million, Starbucks), and my 3-year-old’s favorite: candy stores (The Peanut Man). So whenever we end up at The Peanut Man (they sell popcorn, boiled peanuts, snow cones, candy, chocolate, etc), I have quite a decision to make! Thankfully, they sell chocolate-dipped strawberries and caramel apples, which I love! They taste great and have some nutritional value!
For those ice cream lovers out there: Marble Slab has a lot of fruit toppings to choose from and even serves frozen yogurt. Yogenfruz sells frozen yogurt that actually tastes like yogurt (not ice cream), so if you are in the mood for ice cream, it may not satisfy your craving. Rita’s and Nestle Tollhouse likely do not sell anything with nutritional value, but their desserts are pretty awesome, and you can always order a kid-size serving, which should be enough to make your sweet tooth happy.
The last strategy for dessert-lovers like me is to modify your dessert recipes to add fruit. Bake a cake with applesauce instead of oil (it turns out fluffy and light). Add mandarin oranges (without the juice) to a yellow cake mix. Bake oatmeal raisin cookies instead of sugar or chocolate chip. Let fresh fruit be the star of your dessert tray; no one will turn down juicy strawberries with a dark chocolate dip!