Is it possible to have an extremely satisfying and healthy dessert? Or is that just wishful thinking? When you think of healthy desserts, do you envision yucky granola bars or prunes that could never satisfy your sweet tooth? Well think again! The good news is that there are healthy and great tasting dessert alternatives you may not have tried yet. These may be far more satisfying than you realize.
Let’s have a look at some of the alternatives. Did you know that partially milled rice creates a fantastic alternative to sugar? It can be turned into a syrup which they call, appropriately enough, rice syrup. Rice syrup tastes great and is good for you. It is high in fiber, magnesium, and zinc. It tastes great on pancakes or bread or with fruit. You can even put it in a smoothie to sweeten it up. In health food stores you can find frozen desserts and cookies made from milled rice. Look for this or order it online.
What else is there? Did you know that there is a great tasting alternative to chocolate? It is called carob. Studies show carob is beneficial for digestion and it can lower your cholesterol level. Stevia extract is another great and healthy alternative to sugar. A lot of people add stevia to their tea or coffee drinks. It usually comes in a liquid extract or powder.
Mixed fruit and dried fruit (preferably not sugar coated) are of course great alternatives too. But don’t just think raisins. Those can get boring. Branch out! Two of my favorites are dried mangoes and dried persimmons.
Remember: there is a whole array of healthy, great-tasting desserts out there you may not be aware of. Order them online or go to your local health food store and ask someone knowledgeable about nutrition for suggestions.
Now, in addition to finding the healthy alternatives, you have to cultivate the right attitude toward them. “Yuck, oat cakes!” is NOT an attitude that will leave you satisfied. If your main thought is “Yuck” you can all you want and your craving for mainstream desserts or candy will still be there. In order to let go of the craving, or satisfy it with healthy sweets, you have to let go of the “yuck.”
Similarly, pretending you like something you really hate is not a solution either. You need observe and uproot the deepest reason you do not like it. You have to get to the heart of the judgment. “I hate dried fruit” may be one layer. But what is underneath that? Have a close look.
You might find a thought such as this: “Dessert is my reward and dried fruit is not a big enough reward.”
Look for the deepest thoughts you have about food and dessert and nourishment. That is where your cravings originate from.
Start with your emotional outlook. Consider the reason you may not be getting total satisfaction from a healthy dessert is not just its taste or ingredients; it could be emotional.
Are you looking for “sweetness” in the metaphorical sense of the word? Are you looking for the feeling of “sweet” sugar seems to give you? There may be an emotional void you are trying to fill. This is okay. Most people are looking for this in some way. We all want the light headed euphoria that can come from eating sweet foods. But when this feeling comes from junk food, it is only a high, and there are costs to it. Be willing to change.
Through acceptance and practice. You can get natural highs from healthy desserts, if you are patient enough to practice giving them to yourself while you eat. Choose to give your self the natural high. Realize desserts do not really give you the good feeling. You do.
Give good feelings to yourself. Eat consciously. Breathe while you eat. Savor the sweetness level you can taste. If you are eating dried fruit for example, fully experience its taste. Don’t compare it to any other food. Focus on what you are eating. If you connect to your inner sweetness while you eat, one day, you may be pleasantly surprised to see that even an oatcake can satisfy your sweet tooth completely.
Michael Alperstein gets people to find an extraordinary sense of magic and Zen in ordinary moments. He is the author of Mastery Where You Are: How to Stop Stress in Its Tracks While You Keep Walking.