There are so many ways to turn a decadent dessert into a healthier version of itself. The main goal is to duplicate the flavors while adding nutritious substitutions. Using ingredients like canned beans, vegetables, nut flours and protein powders can turn the occasional splurge into a weekly part of any healthy eating plan. It takes a fair amount of trial and error to figure out what works but learning is part of the fun. Once you figure out the ingredients that work best you can create an endless amount of cakes, brownies, cookies and muffins. I strongly believe that education and moderation is the secret to loosing and maintaining weight loss. For me finding alternative ways to create my favorite sweets has allowed me to never feel deprived. The best feeling is when someone eats something you made and just things it tastes delicious. They never assume it could be good for you. As a lover of tea it's also a nice way to take a break during the day sipping a cup of earl grey and eating a chewy chocolate cookie.
All of the healthier versions of desserts I make have minimal ingredients. I try to stay away from butter and added sugar, but there are times that a little goes a long way. It's ok to add these things, but I like to cut it in half at least and find other ways like adding avocado instead of butter or the old method of applesauce instead of oil. Sometimes a recipe just needs eggs so I'll use one and combine with liquid egg whites. You'd be surprised at how easy it is to go flourless. Since certain nut flours can add up I frequently use canned beans as a base and decrease the sugar by using mashed ripened bananas. Grated zucchini goes a long way in keeping baked goods super moist without tasting like a salad. One of my favorite desserts is carrot cake. I've made a few iterations of the classic in the past with my Carrot Cake Pancakes and Gluten Free Mini Carrot Spice Cakes. My mission for this more classic flavored carrot cake was to make it a nice protein rich treat that was packed with fiber and flavor. I wanted a crunchy top, creamy frosting and moist, slightly dense cake. From the smile on my husbands face I think this recipe is a winner and hits on all three elements.
15.5oz can white beans (drained & rinsed)
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp honey
1/3 cup egg whites
1 cup finely grated carrot (about 4 carrots)
4 pineapple rings + 1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup vanilla whey protein powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4oz chopped walnuts
Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 Tbsp low fat cream cheese softened
3 Tbsp fat free plain greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
This cake should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. It will last a few days but I doubt you'll need that much time.