Though it isn’t always easy to fight temptation when your sweet tooth entices you with thoughts of high-calorie and fattening desserts, there are ways to cure your cravings without feeling guilty. You can treat yourself without depriving the body of its cravings. The following desserts will leave your sweet tooth satisfied, and more importantly, you can enjoy them with a clear conscious.
Love the taste of chocolate? Good news. Dieting and working out doesn’t mean you have to swear off chocolate forever. Actually, research shows that dark chocolate has health benefits. Here’s a recipe that allows you to enjoy chocolate and still eat healthy.
Cherry Almond Chocolate Clusters
12 clusters; 109 calories per cluster
1 cup whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
6 ounces dark chocolate (60 percent to 70 percent cocoa), finely chopped
1. In medium bowl toss together almonds and cherries. Line baking sheet with waxed paper.
2. Melt half of the chocolate in top of double boiler over slightly simmering water, on lowest possible heat setting. Stir chocolate frequently, making sure water in bottom pan does not touch top pan. Remove double boiler from heat. Stir in remaining chocolate until melted. Remove top pan and wipe water from bottom of pan; set aside To keep chocolate at the right temperature while making clusters, replace the simmering water in the bottom pan with warm tap water and place the pan of melted chocolate on top of the warm water.
3. Stir fruit-nut mixture into chocolate. Spoon heaping tablespoon-size clusters of the chocolate mixture onto waxed paper-lined baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Refrigerate to cool and set, about 20 minutes. Store and serve at room temperature.
64 pieces; 59 calories per piece
1 1/2 cups sugar
1, 5-ounce can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter
2 cups tiny marshmallows
1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces or chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1. Line an 8x8x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan. Butter the foil; set pan aside.
2. Butter the sides of a 2-quart heavy saucepan. In saucepan combine sugar, evaporated milk, and butter. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils (about 10 minutes). Reduce heat to medium; continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 6 minutes.
3. Remove saucepan from heat. Add marshmallows, chocolate pieces, walnuts, and vanilla; stir until marshmallows and chocolate melt and mixture is combined. Beat by hand for 1 minute.
4. Spread fudge evenly in the prepared pan. Score into squares while warm. Cover and chill for 2 to 3 hours or until firm. When fudge is firm, use foil to lift it out of pan. Cut fudge into squares. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Makes about 2 pounds (64 pieces).
(For peanut butter chocolate fudge, prepare as above, except substitute 1/2 cup peanut butter for the butter and, if desired, peanuts for the walnuts).
Chocolate & Banana
1 serving; 117 calories
1 tablespoon semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 banana, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon nonfat vanilla yogurt
1. Melt chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave. Top banana slices with the chocolate and yogurt.