Editor’s Note: With Valentine’s Day coming up this Monday, you may be worried about your 2011 health plan and the extra calories and sugar. Don’t be! On Monday we posted Bindu’s 3 healthy stress-free recipes and today Louis Ryder shares with us a few options for low-cal V-Day sweets.
Valentine’s Day, while meant to inspire feelings of love, can instead lead to self-loathing with multi-course meals at fancy restaurants, high-calorie alcoholic beverages, and of course, the cornucopia of sweets and treats that accompany this sugar-laden holiday.
How are you supposed to enjoy yourself when you either have to find a way to avoid all the delicious confections confronting you at every turn, or else give in and face the aftermath of added pounds down the road?
Whoever created this dieting helliday certainly didn’t have the concerns of the modern woman in mind, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use your smarts to find a way around the conundrum.
And guilt-free treats are your best bet. Here are a few you might want to try:
- Chocolate covered strawberries. As my mom always said, no one ever got fat eating fruit. I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s probably safer than a tray of cupcakes. To cut the fat even further on this tasty treat, select semi-sweet or dark chocolate to melt. Both contain less sugar and milk-fat than milk chocolate options.
- Pudge-free brownies. There is actually a line of products that bear the brand name No Pudge! They are fat-free and 120 calories per serving when you use fat-free yogurt (instead of oil and eggs) to make them. And if you’re not down with the lactose, you can substitute in some applesauce instead (which makes the brownies deliciously cake-like). They come in a variety of flavors and best of all: they have single-serving microwavable options.
- Jelly Belly Valentine’s Day mix. If you’re a grazer, you can’t go wrong with a bag of holiday-themed Jelly Belly’s. The flavors included in this mix are coconut, cotton candy, bubble gum, strawberry cheesecake, and very cherry (all in holiday hues). And each bean is only one calorie (with zero grams of fat). Make yourself a pouch of about a hundred for a tasty afternoon snack that will dispel your sweet tooth and help you refrain from going postal in the treat-packed break room.
- Conversation hearts. This throwback to elementary school is a good choice for those who want a treat that also imparts sweet nothings (be mine, love you, and so on). One box clocks in at 110 calories (for the whole box) and zero grams of fat. Plus, if you suck on a few of these, you’re going to get over your sugar craving pretty quickly.
- Layered pudding parfaits. This easy recipe is delicious, low-fat, and comes with a definite “wow” factor. You’re going to need some fat-free chocolate pudding (make your own or pick up some pudding cups), fat-free Cool Whip, skim milk and peanut butter. Put 1 cup Cool Whip in a mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon of skim milk and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Whip until creamy. Then layer the pudding and peanut butter whip in a tall dessert dish (do as many layers as you want), topping with a dollop of Cool Whip. You’ll end up with a gorgeous dessert that tastes great, has less fat, and leads your loved one to believe you spent a lot more time in the kitchen than you did!
About the Author
Louis Ryder is a writer for Internet Inc., the leader in job search websites where you can find the perfect job to suit your individual needs.
The layered parfait sounds delectable! Another “pudge-free” brownie option (if you don’t like the idea of packaged foods), is this black bean & prune brownie recipe (tastes even better than traditional brownies). And remember, moderation is key – these treats still have sugar in them!