Monday, July 4, 2011

Making Homemade Desserts More Healthy While Still Keeping Them Yummy

We have quite a bit of birthday cake, birthday cookies and birthday pie in this family.......just about one birthday each month.  And I love to bake desserts.  My passion with homemade desserts started when I was about 12.  I loved making elaborate homemade yummy things, and my family loved it too.  My mother and sister weren't much into cooking, so the deal was I cooked or baked something and they would clean-up.  Basically, it's the same now....just my kids and husband clean-up.  But my kids have gotten spoiled and every night they expect a homemade dessert.  I really love to cook desserts and eat desserts and see my children happy : )  So over the years I have figured out how to make desserts still taste great but are somewhat more healthy.  I don't ever use artificial sugars cause I like things natural and we don't have any children that really have to limit their sugar.  I've also tried the applesauce for the fat in a recipe and I really don't like the taste it produces.  Anyway, here are a few things I do to just about all my dessert recipes to make them somewhat healthy and definetly better tasting and healthy than anything store bought : )

4 easy things to do to make a homemade dessert healthier without compromising taste:

1. buy whole wheat pastry flour at Whole Foods or some other place that sells it and replace half the white flour with the whole wheat.  I've found that regular whole wheat flour is OK, but the pastry whole wheat is lighter and makes a better cookie, brownie or cake.
2. replace half the butter in the recipe with extra-virgin coconut oil.  You really can't taste the coconut flavor and it's much healthier.  Do a google search on coconut oil and you'll see all the benefits, but I especially like that it's supposed to increase metabolism.
3.  use the darkest chocolate that your kids will tolerate.  I never cook with milk chocolate (unless it's Nana Pie or "Having a Bad Day Pie" :)
4.  use about 1/4 less sugar than the recipe calls for.  Really, you can't tell the deference.  I just "eye ball" it and use less sugar in everything I cook.

And remember that a healthy dessert, even if you don't tweak the recipe, is always more healthy than something store bought that has all the chemicals and no telling what else in it.  Happy Cooking!


  1. Rebecca, those are great ideas! I have tried using regular whole wheat flour in cookies and although I don't mind it, I can taste it. And I just ordered Coconut Oil from Amazon... can't wait to try it. Thanks for posting these tips. - Betsy

  2. Would you think about giving passing on some of your "healthier" recipes.

  3. We love coconut oil! I use it in my green smoothies and we all take a spoonful of it daily. It's really great for kids with eczema too! You should do a "healthy recipe" blog and let people link up to it :) I have several healthy and natural recipes! We rarely use any of the chemical infused foods as well, unless it's organic :)my youngest loves the organic animal crackers from costco....

  4. Love this! I see healthy recipes on blogs all the time, but I'm really glad you shared these tips that can be applied to lots of recipes. Yum!

  5. Deborah, I have a few "healthy desserts" listed on my recipe page. See the top of my blog on the left for the link. I will add a few more that I make regularly as soon as I get a chance : )


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