Recipe Wednesday: Satisfy your sweet tooth without wrecking your diet

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Many people love sweets, but have given them up as a New Year's resolution.

So how do you find a healthy balance?

The chefs at GTCC have come up with some delicious recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth without wrecking your diet.


Strawberry Doughnuts

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup raw sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup diced strawberries
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Yield: 6 Servings

Prep: 20 min Total:

1Preheat the oven to 425°F and grease a dougnut pan.
2In a small bowl, stir together the berries and syrup. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, then add the milk, egg, and butter, stirring until just combined. Add the berries. Fill each cup about 2/3 full.
3Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, until tops spring back.
4Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Eat as is or dip in chocolate glaze if you're feeling naughty.

Healthy Peanut Butter Cups

For the peanut butter bottoms
3/4 cups organic peanut butter
1 tablespoon organic grade b maple syrup
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil (melted/liquid)
For the chocolate topping
1/4 cup organic raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon organic grade b maple syrup
1/4 cup organic coconut oil (melted/liquid)
For the peanut butter bottoms
Step 1 Combine the peanut butter, maple syrup and liquid coconut oil (melt if needed) in a medium size bowl and stir until well combined.

Drop a spoonful at a time into silicone muffin cups until they are approximately 1/2 full.

Put them into the freezer for at least 15 minutes or until hardened.For the chocolate topping
Step 2 Combine the raw cacao, maple syrup and liquid coconut oil (melt if needed) in a medium size bowl and stir until well combined.

Drop a spoonful at a time on top of the frozen/hardened peanut butter in the silicone muffin cups.

Put them into the freezer for at least 15 minutes or until hardened.
Step 3 Keep in the freezer until served because they will melt and lose their shape at room temperature if the coconut oil begins to melt.

White House "Purely Chocolate" Chocolate Mousse

2/3 cups water
5 oz. good quality dark chocolate
1/2 teaspoon gelatin, bloomed in cool water
Yield: 4 Servings
1Boil water and remove from heat. Add bloomed gelatin, then whisk in the chocolate with a burr mixer over ice water until the mixture thickens and turns a light brown chestnut color.
2Allow to chill for 4 hours for the mousse


1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup white flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup finely shredded zucchini
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease either a round cake pan or a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium size bowl, mix together flours, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and cocoa powder. Add the applesauce, egg, and vanilla just until the batter is combined and smooth. Fold in zucchini and chocolate chips.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes (round cake pan) or 30-35 minutes (bundt pan). When the cake is done a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean and the cake will have just pulled away from the edges of the pan.

Cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack before flipping out. If you wait longer than ten minutes, or if you flip too soon you may have problems with the cake sticking to the inside of the pan.

We topped our cake with homemade vanilla ice cream. A 1/10 wedge is approximately 100 calories.

Healthy Banana Cookies

Original recipe makes 3 dozen Change Servings

3 ripe bananas
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, mash the bananas. Stir in oats, dates, oil, and vanilla. Mix well, and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly brown.

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup natural peanut butter (I use unsweetened but salted)
1/2 cup honey
1 egg
Preheat oven to 325.
Mix together pb, honey and egg. Combine well.
Scoop onto a lined cookie sheet (batter will be very soft and sticky)
Bake 15-18 minutes until golden brown.
*yields 20-24 cookies, depending on size

Simple Chocolate Glaze

2 tablespoons butter/coconut oil
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons honey
Melt butter/oil.
Whisk in cocoa powder.
Whisk in honey.
Let thicken, then drizzle onto cooled cookies.
*mixture will thicken upon standing

Baked Pears:

• 2 large Bosc pears
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/4 cup dried cranberries or dried mixed fruit (such as Sun-Maid Fruit Bits)
• 1/4 cup low-fat granola
• 1/4 cup apple juice
• 1/2 cup vanilla low-fat frozen yogurt, divided into 4 small scoops

1. Peel pears; cut in half lengthwise. Use a melon baller or grapefruit spoon to remove core and seeds, creating a hollow.
2. Place pear halves, with cut sides up, in a glass pie plate. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over pears.
3. Combine cranberries and granola; mound into hollows of the pear halves. Pour the apple juice in and around pear halves. Cover dish loosely with wax paper.
4. Cook in microwave on HIGH 6-8 minutes or until the pears are tender when pierced with a knife. Let stand in the dish 5 minutes. Use a large slotted spoon to transfer the pears to serving plates.
5. Drizzle juices from pie plate over pears and serve with frozen yogurt.

Blueberry Bread and Rice Pudding with Orange Caramel Sauce

Cook Time:
1 hr 0 min

8 servings

This pudding combo uses both rice and sweet Hawaiian bread (with a blast of blueberries, orange zest and juice) for texture and flavor, with evaporated milk for richness without the fat. You'd never know it was fewer than 300 calories per serving!

12 ounces sweet Hawaiian bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 10 cups)
1 1/4 cups fat-free evaporated milk
1 cup 2-percent milk
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Large pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup cooked wild rice
1 cup blueberries
Nonstick cooking spray
1 tablespoon toasted, sliced almonds
1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon orange juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and bake until toasted and golden, tossing halfway through, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

Whisk together 1 cup of the evaporated milk with the 2-percent milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, nutmeg, a pinch of salt and eggs in a large bowl. Add the cooled bread cubes and wild rice. Toss to combine and set aside until the bread soaks up most of the liquid, about 30 minutes.

Stir the blueberries into the mixture and transfer to a lightly oiled 2-quart baking dish. Top with the almonds and bake until the bread pudding is set and golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove and let rest for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar to a small saucepan. Swirl over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves and turns amber, about 7 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup evaporated milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, orange zest, orange juice and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Drizzle the caramel sauce over bread pudding. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Per Serving: Calories: 282; Total Fat:4.5 grams; Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams; Protein: 11 grams; Total carbohydrates: 50 grams; Sugar: 30 grams; Fiber: 1.5 grams; Cholesterol: 56 milligrams; Sodium: 321 milligrams

Pumpkin Brulee Cheesecake

Cook Time:
1 hr 20 min

12 servings


8 sheets honey graham crackers
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
12-ounces 1/3rd less fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup low-fat (2%) Greek style plain yogurt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Position the oven racks in center and lower third of your oven. Fill a roasting pan about half full of water and place on the lower rack. This will create a moist environment for the cheesecake and help prevent cracking. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Coat a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Put the graham crackers and 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar in the bowl of a food processor and grind until fine. Add the butter and two tablespoons of water and pulse until moistened. Press into the bottom of the prepared springform pan. Bake until set and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.

Combine the cream cheese, brown sugar, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and salt in a large bowl. Beat, with an electric mixer on medium speed, until smooth and fluffy. Add the yogurt, egg and egg whites, reduce the mixer speed to low, and continue to beat until blended. Add the pumpkin, flour, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat until just combined. Stir with a spatula a few times to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated and to release any air bubbles in the batter that could cause the cheesecake to crack.

Pour the batter over the crust and rap the pan against the countertop a few times to bring any trapped air bubbles to the surface. Place the cheesecake on the center rack in the oven. Bake until just set and the center wiggles slightly, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Turn the oven off and crack the door open. Let sit in the oven for 15 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Run a thin sharp knife between the cheesecake and then pan to release the sides. Cool completely and then chill until cold, at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Before serving, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator and release the sides of the pan. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over the top of the cheesecake and brulee the sugar with a kitchen torch or under the broiler for a few seconds.

Per serving: Calories: 228; Total Fat 9 grams; Saturated Fat: 1 gram; Protein: 6 grams; Total carbohydrates: 31 grams; Sugar: 22 grams Fiber: 2 grams; Cholesterol: 34 milligrams; Sodium: 154 milligrams

You can brulee the cheesecake up to about 1 hour before serving, but any longer than that and the sugar will become soft.

Broiled Banana Splits

Prep Time:
10 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
5 min


4 servings


Mix 1 tablespoon brown sugar with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Halve 4 bananas lengthwise; brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Wrap in foil and broil until golden, about 3 minutes. Top with frozen yogurt, toasted almonds and chopped chocolate and/or raspberries.

Rustic Apple Pie with Dried Cherries

Cook Time:
55 min

6 servings


1/2 cup whole-grain pastry flour or regular whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons lowfat buttermilk
3 tablespoons ice water


3 medium Golden Delicious apples, unpeeled
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup dried tart cherries
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon boiling water


To prepare the crust, put the whole-wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour, granulated sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 3 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse about 12 times, until you get a pebbly course texture. In a small bowl combine the buttermilk and ice water. Add the buttermilk-water mixture and pulse 3 to 5 times more to combine. Pat the dough into a 4-inch round and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes, or make ahead and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and prepare the filling. Core the apples and cut them into 1/4-inch slices. In a large bowl toss the apple slices with the lemon juice. Add the dried cherries then sprinkle in the cornstarch, brown sugar and cinnamon and toss until the apples are evenly coated. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough into a large circle about 9 inches in diameter. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and draping the dough over the rolling pin, transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. If the dough breaks, patch it up with your fingers.

Arrange the apple mixture in a mound in the center on the dough, leaving a 1 to 2-inch border. Fold the border over the filling. It will only cover the filling partially and does not need to be even.

Bake the pie at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, keeping the pie in the oven all the while, and bake for another 40 minutes, until the apples are tender and the crust is golden brown.

In a small bowl stir together the honey and boiling water to make a glaze. When the pie is done remove it from the oven and brush the honey glaze all over the top of the fruit and crust. Transfer to a plate to cool slightly. Cut into 6 wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Per Serving:

Calories 230; Total Fat 8 g; (Sat Fat 5 g, Mono Fat 2 g, Poly Fat 0 g) ; Protein 3 g; Carb 39 g; Fiber 3 g; Cholesterol 20 mg; Sodium 60 mg