• by Eva Rodriguez
  • Blog
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In full confinement, more than one has been unleashed a passion for cooking, and that is they say homemade desserts are healthier. But it's true? With time ahead, the possibility of preparing our own dishes is not only entertainment, but a pleasant activity that can be done as a family, that relaxes us and that can even have nutritional benefits, but we have to take into account certain things.

It seems like the most attractive option for many families is being the bakery and especially home baked goods, since supermarkets are running out of yeast stocks these days. Do we need to sweeten the quarantine? Do we think that we can make healthy desserts if we make them ourselves?

The bad news is that making them at home does not automatically make a cake or sponge cake healthy desserts. The good news is that you can control the ingredients and the preparation, so if you do it right, you will probably get a little closer to the impossible: a healthy pastry. We tell you some tricks to try to calm your sweet tooth without being a disaster for your health and that of those around you.

Homemade desserts don't have to be healthy

For many people the term "home" is synonymous with healthy. It is true that the processed and ultra-processed products offered by the industry are generally harmful, but in this case the desserts are not part of any healthy diet, no matter how much we do them, as explained in the Chair of Scientific Culture of the University of the Basque Country.

If it has a lot of sugar, refined flours and fats, we cannot speak of healthy pastries. They are actually the same ingredients as those in commercial products. The difference may be in the additives that the industrialists carry, such as colorants and preservatives that try to lengthen their durability, but according to most nutritionists, these elements are not unhealthy or pose a problem. Even, from the point of view of food safety, the products that are put on sale have passed exhaustive quality controls, so in a way they would offer more security than homemade ones.

By contrast, do not trust too much of the messages we find in many industrial products that inform us that it is lightSince you may have reduced only a small percentage of your calories to get this designation and still not be healthy. Although there are low calorie desserts, you have to look at the label as a whole. Many indicate that they are made with organic or bio products, since this characteristic in itself does not make them healthier either.

So, does it matter if I buy some cookies at the supermarket than I make them at home? Well, it's not that either, for the simple reason that if we do we control –As far as the recipe allows us–, the quality and quantity of ingredients what do we use. Let's see what we can do.

Tricks to make healthy desserts

We insist: technically, they will not be "healthy desserts", but we aspire to make them a little better at least. How?
The first thing is to give advice about the frequency with which we consume these products. Experts do not tell us to eradicate desserts from our diet, but advise to minimize their effect by reserving them for special occasions. Perhaps this makes even more sense if we bet on making desserts as a family: cooking a special product for a special occasion.

The next thing is to think about the ingredients. In the web Direct to the palate we find some keys:

-Reduce sugar: yes, there are essential ingredients in some recipes. Still, if instead of abusing them, we try to reduce them, we will achieve a great benefit. Be careful: brown sugar is still sugar (it is not healthier) and honey is also, basically, sugar.

-Whole flour: If we substitute refined flours for whole grains, we achieve a healthier and more satisfying product.

-Betting on more varied cereals: the normal thing is to use only refined industrial wheat, but we can give rye or corn flours a chance, for example.

-Add oatmeal and nuts crushed to replace part of the flour we use.

-Ripe fruit can provide part of the sweetness that your homemade desserts need. Experts recommend apple, banana, pear, pineapple or peach. There is also the option of adding other nuts, such as dates, but with care because they are very caloric.

-Vegetables and vegetablesOddly enough, they can also help to sweeten desserts, especially beets, pumpkin, zucchini, carrots or sweet potato.

-Find healthier fats. Many recipes call for butter or oil, but sometimes we can find a little healthier fats in some dairy products (natural yogurt or fresh cheese), in avocado, nuts or even adding legumes.

-That the chocolate has a lot of cocoa. In recipes that include chocolate, the ideal is to use natural cocoa powder without sugar or dark chocolate with a cocoa percentage of 85% or more.

-Use aromas: aromatic herbs, lemon or orange zest. If you fear that all these tips will make your dessert less delicious there are many ways to compensate for the lack of sugar by adding flavors and smells.

-Decorate with healthy ingredients, such as citrus, coconut or dried fruit zest, avoiding other options such as icing sugar.

Regardless of the specific ingredients, let's also think about some general tips. For example, we can do without the biscuit base that usually accompanies a cheese cake, the typical fillings of a large quantity of pastries or toppings such as sugar crusts. It is also a good idea choose skim versions of dairy or reduce the quantities.

Healthy dessert ideas

But what exactly to do from these ideas? It's easy to find tons of recipes on the internet that follow all of these tips.

How about a yogurt mousse with berries? One option would be to make it based on grinding nuts, adding natural yogurt, honey and vanilla.

Do you want to eat healthy cookies? We can always make sweets with few calories and a good option is to make oatmeal cookies, as proposed in this successful video, with lots of oats accompanied by egg and whole wheat flour.

And how about opting for sugar-free desserts? Well, you could make a delicious carrot cake with whole wheat flour, olive oil, eggs and carrots, of course, as they explain you here.

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