If you've got a sweet tooth, dessert may be the hardest thing for you to give up when cutting back on calories or sticking to a healthy diet. Fortunately, you can still reach your diet goals while giving in to your cravings if you choose healthy desserts. Try these healthy baking tips and get that sweet tooth satisfied.

Try Baking Substitutes

An easy way to enjoy your favorite dessert recipe is to find substitutes for some of its high-fat, high-calorie ingredients. Try these substitutions to create healthier versions of your favorite treats:
  • Use applesauce as a baking substitute for up to half the oil in a recipe.
  • Use healthier whole wheat flour instead of white flour.
  • Use 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder as a baking substitute for every one ounce of unsweetened chocolate.
  • Replace the cream in recipes with evaporated skim milk.
  • Use artificial sweetener instead of real sugar.
  • Make up for using less sugar by adding flavor with vanilla extract or lemon zest.
  • Substitute just the egg whites for whole eggs or use an egg substitute.
  • Skip the top crust when making pies and use fresh or frozen berries rather than canned filling.
  • Sprinkle cookies, brownies, or cakes with a little cinnamon, cocoa powder, or powdered sugar in place of frosting.
When you're making your own dessert, you're also in control of portion sizes. Bake mini cupcakes, tarts, and cookies; if baking brownies or a similar dessert in a large pan, cut the finished product into small portions so you won’t be tempted to take too much. And don't go back for seconds.
These healthy baking changes will significantly cut down on fat and calories in your sweet indulgences. You can still have the fun of baking and experimenting with recipes, but without all the guilt.

Healthy Desserts Start With Fruit

You can also enjoy guilt-free sweets by choosing dessert recipes that are naturally healthy. Healthy desserts include many fruit-based choices, which help you meet your recommended daily servings from this important food group:
  • Low-sugar fruit sorbet — try flavors like mango, raspberry, and strawberry
  • Fresh fruit salads — discover new tastes like papaya, guava, and starfruit, or opt for a mixture of berries or melon cubes
  • Fat-free frozen yogurt or extra-creamy Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit or a fresh fruit puree
  • Cooking fruit can intensify its flavors — try a baked apple or a broiled half-grapefruit or banana
Dessert Inspiration
Half the fun of dessert is the preparation, which includes trying new recipes and breathing in the aromas that fill your home. To enjoy all the pleasures of a sweet treat with fewer calories, try one of these healthy dessert recipes:
Don't deny yourself dessert. Just make smarter, healthier choices that won't derail your diet or leave you feeling deprived of something sweet.