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Healthy dessert... Is there such a thing?

Posted: Jun 8, 2017

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Healthy dessert... Is there such a thing?

Healthy Dessert…… Is there such a thing?

Social media is inundated with “healthy” dessert ideas with tag lines like “guilt free” and “desserts to eat when you’re dieting”.  The problem with “healthy” desserts is that we tend to not view them as indulgent and as a result we end up overdoing it. If we make “healthy” cookies with mashed banana, maple syrup and dark chocolate chips we might be more likely to indulge in three or four at a time and  will likely end up consuming more calories and fat and sugar than if we had enjoyed a cookie made with flour, sugar and butter. Something else that commonly happens with “healthy” desserts is that we end up including them frequently. Instead of viewing them as an occasional treat, we indulge every day.  

A great example of a dessert that is a little misleading when it is advertised as “healthy” is avocado chocolate mousse. Here is a commonly used recipe:
 

Avocado Chocolate Mousse (serves 4)
    2 large avocados peeled, pitted, and halved
    1/3 cup honey
    ½ cup raw or unsweetened cocoa powder
    ¼ cup Almond Or Coconut Milk
    1/8 teaspoon sea salt

 

Here is a recipe for a classic chocolate mousse (serves 6):
    ¾ cup chilled heavy cream, divided
    4 large egg yolks
    ¼ cup espresso or strong coffee, room temperature
    3 tablespoons sugar, divided
    ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
    6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
    2 large egg whites
 

Let’s compare the nutrition information:
 

Avocado Chocolate Mousse (per serving): Calories 297; Protein 4g; Carbohydrates 39g; Fat 16g; Fibre 10g; Sugar 23g

Classic Chocolate Mousse (per serving): Calories 317; Protein 7g; Carbohydrate 24g; Fat 18g; Fibre 2g;      Sugar 21g

The avocado chocolate mousse has slightly fewer calories, slightly less fat, and significantly more fibre than the classic recipe but what are the chances that we are going to be able to stop at one ½ cup serving when it’s a “healthy” dessert. We are much more likely to indulge in moderation when we feel like we are actually indulging so beware of “healthy dessert” they can do significantly more damage than a planned treat that is consumed in moderation.