Is your day not complete without dessert? Are you the one person at the table who does want to see the dessert menu, when everyone else (cowards) shakes their heads, pats their full tummies and says, “I couldn’t possibly?” Do you believe a host who doesn’t serve dessert at her dinner party is a bad host? I feel you. I also feel the extra pant size I carry because of my love of dessert. If you aren’t willing to give up the literal maraschino cherry on top of your day, you can at least find ways to make your sweet dishes healthier. By adding fiber to a dish, you make that food more filling, so you won’t need as many bites before you feel satisfied. Here are easy, smart ways to add fiber to your dessert (so you can feel less bad about it).
Cereal with your ice cream
If you’re an ice cream fiend, instead of adding sugary granola to your sundaes, add high-fiber cereal like Muesli (it also has dried fruit for more fiber) or grape-nuts.
Dark chocolate-covered berries
Get your dark chocolate fix and add berries. Dark chocolate-covered blueberries and raspberries are delicious; the sweet berries cut some of the bitterness of the chocolate and add fiber.
Eat crumbles instead of pie
Pie contains a lot of crust, which has empty calories and fiber-less flour. Make crumbles instead of pie, and use whole oats. You only need a little bit of the crumble to add texture and sweetness.
Try pear tarts
Pears are incredibly high in fiber, and you can make a tart with a much thinner crust than a pie has. Layer the tart high with baked pears and add a little syrup and cinnamon.
Switch to oatmeal cookies
If you’re the cookie monster around your house, there are some pretty tasty high-fiber cookies out there. Grab a bag that has flax seeds or pumpkin seeds mixed in with oatmeal.
Try brown rice pudding
If you like rice pudding, try making it with brown rice. You can add pieces of prunes for added sweetness and fiber.
Almonds are very high in fiber and make tons of delicious desserts. You can make a sweet pastry filling with sliced almonds and brown sugar, or simply make an almond tart.
Squash or zucchini bread
Squash and zucchini are naturally high in fiber, so don’t forget about these traditional desserts. You can easily sneak a little flax seed into the batter too, for more fiber.
Popcorn is already a high-fiber snack. Make it a dessert by drizzling pure maple syrup on it, or adding cinnamon, or mixing in bittersweet chocolate. There are a lot of ways to make popcorn sweet without using caramel.
Bananas are high in fiber and have a natural creaminess that makes them great for making homemade ice cream, dessert smoothies, pudding, custards, and pies.
Fruit cream cheese toast
Try putting a little cream cheese on some high-fiber toast, and topping it off with berry compote. You can also use fresh berries, baked pear slices, baked apple slices or any fruit you like.
Add pumpkin seeds to your baked goods
In the fall, add pumpkin seeds to your baked goods. They’re delicious in pumpkin cupcakes, berry crumbles, and even in your ice cream for a little crunch.
Add bran to your banana bread
Banana bread, heated up with a little vanilla frozen yogurt on it is heaven. You can sneak bran into your batter, and you won’t tell the difference.
Make berry popsicles
When the weather heats up, consider making berry popsicles. Just mix water with a little agave and whole chunks of berries, put them in cups or popsicle molds, and freeze.
Try coconut-covered date balls
Dates have a lot of fiber (12 grams in just one cup), and there are endless ways to use them in dessert. One simple way is to mash them up, roll them into balls, and cover them in coconut shreds (also high in fiber).