The holiday season is packed with celebrations amongst family and friends where we can enjoy one another’s company, sip champagne and feast upon the most delicious treats. There’s the turkey at Thanksgiving, red velvet cake at Christmas time and for New Years, just about any decadent cuisine is up for grabs. The holidays are wonderful but if you’re like most recovering from the festivities, you’re looking to pare down the calorie count and get back into those favorite jeans that have been on vacation in the closet. So many people swear off dieting in January because they just don’t want to give up satisfying their sweet tooth just to dial back the numbers on the scale. I agree, it’s depressing but what if we could compromise by allowing dessert if we only swapped a few ingredients here and there? Now I don’t mean eating strange non-dairy cheesecakes -we don’t have to get crazy to lose a couple of pounds. I, myself, love a sweet morsel before bedtime and refuse to get weird when it comes to denying certain after dinner accompaniments. This is what I’ve tried and amazingly, it works. Give it a go and you’ll see you’ll be strutting your stuff in no time!
photo credit: Whole Foods Market
Berries, Berries, Berries
Berries are nature’s savior in the dieting department because they pack a ton of vitamin value and antioxidants (something many need after a little too much bubbly over the last month). Raspberries, blueberries and strawberries (my favorite) can all be found in your produce department year round and can be mixed in with any dessert dish being served. Blackberries are another yummy berry but can be difficult to find in New England grocery stores but if you do, ground the berries to make a natural, finishing syrup. You don’t need to add any other flavoring or sugar and the beautiful color will top off any cake or soufflé magnificently.
Frozen Yogurt-You’ll Never Know The Difference
There is a long running argument that frozen yogurt can’t match the taste of ice cream but I strongly disagree. Not only does the creamy consistency taste wonderful but you’re literally ingesting a quarter of the fat and sugar, therefore upping you metabolism to burn more wasteful calories. You can select just about any flavor desired including chocolate chip, chocolate mousse and peanut butter cup. Fantastic varieties include Breyers, Friendly’s and Edie’s, try them blind folded for an ultimate test. You can’t go wrong with any of there products and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.
Splenda Makes Splendid Treats
Splenda is a sugar substitute that many bakers have been using as a sweetener substitute. Prepared within cakes, cookies, muffins and cupcakes, many speculated that Splenda wouldn’t deliver the “sweet” effect that consumers were yearning for. They admitted their mistake when tasting that the low calorie sugar really did deliver and was pleasantly comparable with traditionally made desserts. Although the ingredient was mainly implemented at first by pro-dieters and diabetics, the tasty confection has proved to be a big hit on the dessert menu!
Suzie Canale, Westwood, MA
Suzie frequents Wilson Farm in Lexington, Market Basket in Waltham, and Roche Brothers in Westwood for fresh produce and quality ingredients for her and her family.