Many of us today take nutrition seriously. Diets and constant calorie control are an integral part of a healthy diet. However, this does not negate the desire to indulge in something tasty for dessert. Sometimes a piece of cake or сhocolate can simply undo a lot of hard work in just one sitting. But why torture yourself with deprivation and breakdowns from time to time when you can get plenty of pleasure from sugar-free harmless desserts! In this article, I will remind you what’s good about good old dried fruit, honey, and nuts, and tell you about a couple of desserts based on trendy superfoods.
Dried fruits and dried berries
It’s not a secret that dried fruit is a healthy product. They are undoubtedly a great part of what we may call sugar-free harmless deserts. Firstly, they have a lot of fiber which stimulates digestion and metabolism. They also contain more minerals than fresh fruit, are high in potassium (necessary for our heart), iron (which improves hematopoiesis), as well as carotene, and B vitamins. Elements contained in the dried fruits are important for normal heart, brain, nervous system, and muscle function. Dried fruits have a cleansing effect on the intestines as well. The elements contained in dried fruits envelope stomach walls with a protective layer that makes these desserts excellent against increased acidity of the stomach. Plant fibers, which are rich in dried fruits, normalize digestion, improve intestinal peristalsis and help with constipation.
Nut paste and nuts
Nut paste is a nutritious and tasty product known to all supporters of healthy food. In most cases, this dessert does not contain any extra additives and is 100% made from various types of nuts or seeds. What’s so good about this product is that you can find some sweeter options – with honey or natural herbal syrups. Peanut butter is a source of 26 minerals and 13 vitamins, easily digestible plant protein, healthy fats, and calories that will give you the energy you need to work. Peanut paste is high in zinc and minerals that help strengthen the immune system and protect our body from the attack of viruses during the cold season. The dessert contains a lot of folic acids which help cells divide and renew. This is especially important for women during pregnancy, as folic acid helps the future child to develop properly.
Natural sweets and sugar-free candies without sugar can be a great help if you decide to take a break from store-bought habitual treats. No matter how sad it may be to part with the attractive and ornate packages of caramels and chocolates from the store, you must remember even the sweetest candy isn’t worth your health! Today, candy manufacturers use a huge amount of sugar, harmful chemicals, sugar substitutes, dyes, and trans fats that negatively affect the entire body without exception. Using dried fruit such as dried apricots, figs, dates, prunes, and cocoa beans, you can create culinary masterpieces. So why not try to take all the required ingredients and do some absolutely amazing, healthy, sugar-free dessert at home? The internet is full of recipe videos for all tastes, all you have to do is to have some interest and desire to create!
Fruit and berries dried paste or pastille
Apples are essential ingredients of sugar-free apple pastille. However, spices can help to enrich the flavor considerably. You can use cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, or cardamon. You can let your imagination run wild by adding fruit or berries of any kind and experiment with flavors! If you decide to cook sugar-free pastille you can use any apples that can be well-cooked and mashed. Even substandard, second-rate apples can be used for this dessert.
Here follows the recipe for pastille:
- Rinse the apples, carefully peel off their skin and remove the cores. Immerse the apple slices into the water, preferably acidified with lemon juice or citric acid. It will prevent the apples from darkening.
- Place the apple slices in a saucepan, add a couple of tablespoons of water, bring to the boil, and stew until the apples get soft.
- Chop the cooked apples with the blender into a purée. Place it on a sheet of parchment paper making a thin layer up to 3mm.
- Place it into an oven preheated up to 50-60 degrees and dry for a few hours until it reaches desired degree of elasticity. Remember that ready pastille should not stick to your hands when touched.
- When you decide it is ready, separate it from the paper. Then cut into free-form pieces or roll it up and then cut into spirals, whatever you decide looks better. Store the sugar-free apple pastilla in a dry place.
- A moment for creativity is when you place the mashed apples on the paper. Apple mash is only a base of the dessert. Here you may add any fruit or berries or nut to obtain new colors, odors, and tastes.
Carob tree fruits
Carob is the dried pulp of the fruit (beans) of the carob tree. The botanical name of which is Ceratonia. It is a tall evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean countries, where it has been cultivated since ancient times for the purpose of harvesting its healthy and tasty fruits. The fruit resembles bean pods and contains nutritious, juicy flesh with a lot of seeds in it. The fruit is high in carbohydrates – over 40% of the total. When raw, it has an astringent taste and when dried it becomes sweet. The calorie content of dried carob is 220 kcal per 100g of product. Most of the chemical composition is carbohydrates, which are mainly natural sugars. The product is gluten-free, which makes it suitable for people diagnosed with celiac disease. It can also be added in moderate quantities to diabetic diets.
COMPARISON WITH COCOA BEAN
In comparison to the cocoa bean, the fruits of carob contain less fat. Another positive aspect to choose carob products is that there is no caffeine, phenylethylamine, which causes headaches. Carob also contains no oxalic acid, which prevents the absorption of important minerals for the body.
Carob fruit has a lot of other positive effects on human health:
- removal of toxins and wastes
- improvement of digestive processes
- normalization of metabolism
- reduce harmful cholesterol levels
- prevention of the formation of malignant tumors, especially lung cancer
- antiviral and antibacterial effects
- maintenance of blood pressure at optimal levels and improvement in bowel disorders
Carob is very close in appearance, color, and flavor to cacao bean products. This is why carob chocolate has become so popular among those who have decided to completely avoid the caffeine and theobromine found in classic chocolate. Carob chocolate, like ordinary chocolate, comes with various additives or no additives at all.
What could be sweeter than honey? Honey is one of the most popular natural sugar-free harmless desserts with enormous quality benefits for humans health. This product requires no advertising or explanation as to why it is so good, but it is included in this selection because… well, how could it be without it?