Tasty treats that aren’t full of calories
With the Great British Bake Off final next week, it’s tempting to indulge in a little baking. But with ounces of butter, more than a spoonful of sugar and numerous bars of chocolate, baked goods and cakes can often be as unhealthy as they are tasty.
With obesity affecting around one in four adults in the UK, and that number rising, watching your calorie intake is as important as ever. NHS guidelines say that an adult should consume no more than 2,500 for a man and 2,000 for a woman.
We’ve got a few recipes here that don’t compromise on taste but also won’t go straight to your thighs. While cutting out cakes altogether is the best solution, we realise that everyone needs a treat every now and these recipes provide low-calorie alternatives to indulgent favourites.
Delia’s Cappuccino Cheesecakes
Nothing about these sounds healthy, combining cappuccino (one of the most calorie rich coffees), cheese and cakes. However, with Delia using ingredients like low-fat biscuits for the base, ricotta and plain cottage cheese in the cheesecake mix and half-fat crème fraiche in the topping, these tasty little treats come out at just 130 calories per serving, compared to supermarket cheesecakes which can be more than twice that.
Cinnamon, banana and blueberry muffins
This is a great breakfast options from the Hairy Bikers as part of their health drive. You can easily make them in an hour and they’re full of fruity flavour. Substituting butter for vegetable oil means they are lower in fat. The touch of cinnamon really makes them sing.
Rosemary Conley's lemon drizzle cake
Lemon drizzle cake is one of the lightest cakes as it is, but by using a low-fat spread instead of butter you can keep the taste and get rid of a few calories. This recipe from Rosemary Conley is pretty simple to follow with limited ingredients – but don’t let that fool you, it’s full of zingy citrus tastes and light sponge. And at only 144 calories per slice (depending on how thick you cut it), it’s 100 calories less than the same snack in some high street coffee chains.
Angel Food Cake
An American favourite, Angel Cake is lightly and airy and doesn’t include any butter. This recipe from Alton Brown can be made fairly easily in less than an hour and is divine. Its simple list of ingredients, which include salt, sugar, eggs, flour, water, orange extract and cream of tartar, belies the taste you get from this snow white, low-calorie cake.
The key to making these treats healthy is in using top quality, dark chocolate as it tends to have lower sugar levels than milk chocolate. This recipe also adds some low-fat Greek yoghurt which gives the mousse a creamy texture without adding the calories. Speaking of which, these are only 167 calories per portion – half the calories of some fast food chain’s mousses.
Remember extra weight can also lead to other complications including heart conditions, diabetes and stroke. Watching your diet and eating sensibly is the first step on talking this issue.