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What is the Point of "Healthy Desserts"?

Friday, April 27, 2012

I'm not talking about a beautiful, fresh peach, grilled until it has char marks from the grill and drizzled with a teaspoon of organic honey; I totally get the joys of fresh fruit, in season. There is nothing as delicious as a bowl of ripe pineapple chunks or sauteed apples sprinkled with cinnamon. Those a great desserts, the kind of desserts we should treat ourselves to everyday.

No, the "healthy desserts" I am talking about come in two varieties, the first is the remake of a high-fat dessert made using low or no-fat dairy products, and other chemical-laden ingredients. Cheesecake made with fat free cream cheese, or trifle made with fat free Cool Whip. I am fully aware that you can make great desserts with low-fat cream cheese, or by substituting skim milk for whole milk; that is not what I am talking about. I am talking about desserts that rely on fake ingredients like fat free half and half. (which has corn syrup and a list of chemicals in it to replace the fat.)

I've never had a dessert like that taste very good. I've never swooned over a slice of fat free pudding and Cool Whip cake, so why would I want to eat it? All of that stuff tastes overly sweet and plasticy. For me, part of this journey is about respecting my body and what I put in it, and filling it with chemicals specifically because they are lower in calories than real food seems to defeat the point.

The other category of "healthy food" I don't understand is the uber-healthy version of a decadent treat. You see a picture of a chocolate cake online and click on it to find that it is actually made of chopped dates and carob powder. It may taste good, but it's not chocolate cake. If I am eating chocolate cake, I want chocolate, and butter, and all of those other good things. I would much rather have that grilled peach or that bowl of pineapple than mashed up dates masquerading as chocolate.

I know that there are people who swear by this stuff, and who say that once you get used to it, it tastes great, but I don't buy it. And I don't want to get used to it. I want a life that includes whipping cream and chocolate and caramel sauce, maybe just not on a weekly basis. I would rather have one perfect dessert on a special occasion, or a dessert shared among three other people, than chemicals bombs, or healthy fake-outs on a more regular basis. Like so many other things, it is about being mindful and planning ahead.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Yup - I'd rather have a small slice of real chocolate cake with fudgey frosting than something made out of synthesized glop!
    2211 days ago
    sing it sister! i couldn't agree with you more.. i like your term chemical bomb.. what is that doing to their bodies.. a nutritionist says your body doesn't recognize it and can't know what to do with it so it stays stuck to your colon.. sci-fi huh?
    2212 days ago
  • AUNTB63
    I so agree with you. How can all those chemicals be healthy for you. I have learned being here on SP that I can portion control anything to fit into my weekly meal plan and that is what I do. I have a birthday party to go to today.....I will be eating chocolate cake with whipped cream may be small, but I will enjoy every bite. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.
    2213 days ago
    I think this is a great blog and I know exactly what you mean. I think that people who make those desserts using fat free cheeses and creams, are kind of cheating the system. But they're also cheating themselves too. It's scary to see the products out there masquerading as "real" food that people are putting into their bodies!
    2214 days ago
    Hmmmm.... interesting perspective! I think you're right - because if we totally deprive ourselves of all the good things out there, we won't stay on this journey for long. I say have your cake and eat it, too - just in a controlled portion! emoticon
    2214 days ago
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