Food and Restaurants 10942 Views Edited by Jane

Guilt-free desserts to please the whole family

(NC) -- Dinner is over and your family is craving something sweet to end the meal. There are plenty of delicious options to satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth while keeping your family's balanced diet in check. Best of all, these desserts can be made right in your own kitchen. By preparing your own creations, you can please even the pickiest of eaters and give your kids some extra nutrients with hidden servings of fruits or vegetables. The whole family will applaud your efforts.

Whole fruit ice cream

If you love frozen treats, try a healthier, homemade ice cream using whole fruit. Create a quick raspberry ice cream by combining 1 cup milk, 3/4 cup sugar or your favourite sweetener, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 pound frozen raspberries in a cutting edge blender called the Vitamix Total Nutrition Center. Turn it on and slowly increase the speed from one to 10, using the tamper to push the mixture down. In less than a minute, you'll have a creamy, soft-serve style ice cream. You can make a variety of flavours by substituting blueberries, peaches, pineapple, strawberries or other frozen fruit for the raspberries.

Non-dairy “ice cream”

Whip up a batch of green apple ice cream for a non-dairy, vegan alternative to traditional ice cream. Your kids will love the green hue of this after-dinner delight. Plus, they'll get an extra helping of spinach, which is loaded with vitamins—especially A, C and K—on top of antioxidants and minerals like potassium and iron. Simply add 6 ounces of thawed apple juice concentrate, a peeled banana, 1 ½ cups fresh spinach and 4 cups ice into your Vitamix. Blend on high for about 40 seconds and you'll have a healthy dessert for your family to enjoy. The kids will never guess that this non-dairy delight is also nutritious.

Satisfying dessert (or snack)

For an easy option that will keep you full well into the evening hours, create a fruit and yogurt parfait. Fill a tall glass with alternating layers of Greek yogurt, fresh fruit and granola. Popular for its thick, creamy texture and rich taste, Greek yogurt is typically lower in sugar and higher in calcium and protein than regular yogurt. Mix in a touch of honey for extra sweetness. Your family will love the varied flavours and textures. Plus, you can choose any combination you like—from classic vanilla yogurt with fresh berries, to strawberry yogurt with peaches. A parfait is also a smart breakfast option, providing the calories and energy needed to keep your kids moving throughout the morning.

Making dessert at home puts you in control of the ingredients. It's also a great way to increase the level of vitamins, minerals and healthy nutrients in your family's diet. Fruit is naturally sweet, so it's a great place to start. To enhance flavour even more, experiment with other natural sweeteners, such as agave nectar, honey or stevia in place of granulated sugar. Whether dessert is a nightly ritual in your household or an occasional treat, these ideas can satisfy your family's cravings.


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