I must admit, I have a sweet tooth. So much so, that I have trouble in controlling my dessert cravings. This gets worse when I exercise. Like most people after I exercise I get hungry and do end up eating more in the meals that follow the workout sessions.
If you’re like me, I like to have some type of dessert with one of my main meals. I also do keep a few goodies in the fridge for snacks. Because I’ve been trying to shed a few unwanted pounds, my love for desserts have been something that’s become a hurdle.
One of the things that have helped me get better results in my weight loss journey is not cutting out desserts from my life, but figuring out a way to still get my desserts in a healthier way.
My Issue with Low Fat Dessert Cookbooks
Over the past couple of years I’ve tried a number of different dessert recipe books. Most if not all of them had the right intention which was to provide low fat desserts. These often also meant low sugar. These did work for me, at least for a while. My problem with them came down to two things:
- Many of the desserts in these cookbooks didn’t taste good. A lot of them were bland when compared to the similar regular desserts. I even had one where the cupcake didn’t even taste like a cupcake.
- There were a number of these low fat, diabetic safe dessert cookbooks that worked well. The issue I had with them was they didn’t provide any education to the reader. They went straight to the recipes (and very nice pictures by the way). So after a while, I ran out of recipes to do (at least the ones I really liked).
What I was Looking For
What I was looking for was a recipe book that offered low fat desserts that had a low glycemic index. Just as important for me was that it would explain what I could do to learn how to create some of these desserts myself.
After a long while of searching over the internet and bookstores, I came across Kelley Herring’s Guilt Free Desserts. As you’d expect, I was skeptical. What made me give it a try was looking at the table of contents. This was one of the few dessert cook books I saw that used a sizable portion to educate readers on what’s in regular commercial desserts that isn’t great for the body, and what alternative we can use to convert them into healthier options, and still get the taste and texture that will satisfy our dessert cravings.
I must admit the list of desserts are quite similar to many of the other dessert cookbooks I’ve seen, at least in terms of categories. You’ll see recipes for frostings, cupcakes, pies, cakes and some of the other common ones.
Guilt Free Desserts Book
I’ve done a good number of desserts in the book and am happy to say that I’m happy with them.
To break down the different sections, at least according to how I see them. I’ve attached an image of the book’s table of contents so you can look at what’s in the book as well as what recipes are offered.
Educating the Reader
This was one of the most important things for me. Guilt-Free Desserts goes through some of the common dessert pitfalls that will mess up your diet and exercise results. These include sugars and artificial sweeteners. You also had refined flours and fats.
In the earlier sections the book lists a number of alternatives that helped me understand what it takes to create my own desserts that had low glycemic index and were low in fat content.
I’m not allergic to gluten so it wasn’t as much of an issue. But the section on grains is really informative if you want gluten free desserts. Kelley goes through 11 different flours that will let you concoct your own gluten free desserts.
List of 50 Low Fat, Diabetic Safe Recipes
After the informational sections, the rest of the book, around 50 or so pages of it covered the 50 different healthy dessert recipes.
As you’d see on the table of contents on the right, it covers a large number of different dessert types including muffins, crackers, bagels, cookies, cupcakes and even ice cream. The desserts are gluten free since you use different grains.
They are low gycemic which measn they don’t make your blood sugar spike up like refined white sugar does. This helps regular folks as well as diabetics enjoy regulated blood sugar levels. The recipes also swap out the unhealthy fats for healthier options.
So in the end, we get desserts that are gluten free, diabetic safe and low in fat.
Free Bonus Books
Along with the dessert recipes book, I did get a couple of handy pdf books too.
- Awesome Appetizers book.This offered a handful of appetizers that were easy to create and low in fat. I haven’t been able to try them out but will test some out when I do have a weekend free.
- Copycat Girl Scout Cookies.This was more interesting for me, being a dessert addict. It contained 5 different Girl Scout cookie recipes. I read through the recipes and they looked delicious. I still have yet to test them out since I’m not completely done with the recipes in the main book yet.
Things I Really Like About the Book
- There were a lot of recipes that were low in fat, gluten free and diabetic safe. The variation of types was interesting and this should give people options to choose from. If it were up to me I’d have a ton of cupcake and muffin recipes. But that wouldn’t really make sense since that only suits my preference.
- Another thing I liked was that the desserts in the book were simple to prepare and ingredients are laid out clearly. They weren’t overly complicated and you could learn them quickly.
- One of the things I loved most was educational information provided in the early sections. It laid out things to watch out for in regular commercially made desserts. This lets us apply the knowledge when planning your meals or even ordering desserts in restaurants and bakeries. The book also goes into refined sugars, fats and other unhealthy ingredients and provides healthier substitutes for them.
- It shows you neat tricks like to to make baked goodies moist as well as how to add extra fiber in desserts while still maintaining the flavor and texture.
- The extra bonus was it tells us where to find the alternative ingredients, which brands to look out for and where to buy the products.
Things That Need Improvement
- I wish that the recipes in the book had some sort of organization. They were organized with similar items close together like cupcakes, small cakes being listed beside one another. It would have been great to be able to find certain desserts based on their health or nutritional value, like those high in fiber, or that use a particular ingredient.
This was a great cookbook for someone like me. I love sweets and find it difficult to completely erase them from my life. And over the years I’ve found that by over limiting myself, I only end up craving them more which results in situations where I splurge and eat a lot of pastries, cakes or other desserts in one sitting or over a span of a few days.
The large variety of dessert options on the book also makes it something that different people can enjoy. What I do love most is that the first sections of the book go through the different ingredients to avoid and what to swap in for them to lower the glycemic index and fat content. This lets me experiment with the new ingredients and concoct my own desserts and not just rely on the recipes listed.
While it may be wonderful that Kelley gives us low fat, gluten free desserts, it’s important to keep in mind that desserts are still desserts. And they are to be taken in moderation if you want to stay healthy. That’s because things add up. Eating a plateful of low calorie, low sugar cupcakes means you eat up consuming a large serving which negates the purpose of trying to eat healthier.