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ubersiren's avatar

What are some healthy substitutes for these desserts that I love?

Asked by ubersiren (15208points) March 19th, 2010

I’m positive I have some sort of sugar addiction and I need to kick the habit- badly. I don’t enjoy super sweet stuff (sodas, fruit flavored candy, even some fruit juice) but I absolutely love rich stuff. If that makes any sense.

The particular things I need help kicking are cookies, cakes, pastries, pies, chocolate, ice cream, etc.

Are there healthier recipe alternatives (or tricks to curb my cravings) to these desserts? Also, fruit is yummy, so I’m open to its inclusion, but it alone just doesn’t do the trick when I want a big piece of chocolate cake.

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39 Answers

Shae's avatar

Chocolate Redi Whip

Coloma's avatar

I’m a total bakery & ice cream addict. lol
I could live without chips and junk food much of the time but the cheesecake is like a silent dog whistle…I can tune in a mile away. haha

Always joke I’d get in a car with anyone that offered me a cheesecake. haha

One thing I just LOVE is fresh or frozen whole blackberries with light vanilla yogurt on top. The BEST for a yummy lowcal/low sugar treat.

Chongalicious's avatar

Maybe a low-fat parfait?? Chocolate breakfast drink mixes taste like milkshakes to me, maybe try those! They’ll even fill you up :)

jaytkay's avatar

Smoothies! Mix up whatever combination of fruit, yogurt and juice appeals to you. My usual is a banana, yogurt, blueberries and orange juice.

Coloma's avatar

Yoplait whipped…lemon merangue and orange cream yogurt…OMG!

tinyfaery's avatar

There is no substitute for a good dessert. Eat healthy 90% of the time so you can have the cake, or whatever.

Frankie's avatar

I second yogurt and parfaits. Also, have you tried less fatty frozen desserts like sorbet and frozen yogurt? Berries mixed with low fat whipped cream is always good, too.

marinelife's avatar

The sugar-free chocolate mousse from Fran McCullough’s Low-Carb Cookbook is wonderful. You can serve it to guests and they will never know it is sugar-free. it is very rich and easy to make:

Serves 4

1½ c, heavy cream
6 tsp. Splenda
Minced zest of 1 orange (optional)
½ tsp vanilla exract
¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder

Beat the cream with an electric mixer until it starts to get thick. Then add the Splenda one teaspoon at a time. Add the vanilla, cocoa powder (and orange zest if you use it) and beat until almost stiff. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix again, Divide the mousse into 4 ramekins or dessert dishes, cover, and refrigerate for ½ hr. up to four hours.

davidbetterman's avatar

carrots and celery

dpworkin's avatar

In my experience self-denial is more likely to lead me to binging behavior than to avoidance, so when I was actively losing weight (my weight is stable now) I tried to make sure I could still experience the rich deserts that I love, and not try to make myself content with a substandard replacement. My strategy was to present to myself carefully controlled portions, which I then tried to savor for as long as possible. This worked well for me.

Coloma's avatar


Dude! Thats not what we are looking for!

Now Carrot CAKE…maybe! lol

Violet's avatar

½ fat ice cream! I can’t tell the difference : )

mrrich724's avatar

low fat, or sugar free puddings. they are tay-stay.

and i HATE the taste of artificial sweeteners, yet I still like these things, so I think that’s saying something for the sugar free pudding.

but cookies and brownies are the ish. I can’t give them up, i just eat less throughtout the day to compensate. just a though :)

thriftymaid's avatar

Well, the truth is that when you eat sweets your brain releases something that makes you want some more. If you can’t ignore that, you will be better off taking sugar out of your diet. I have a friend who cannot ignore it and goes on sweet binges. When she takes sugar out of her diet, she claims she is satisfied with jello and whipped topping. I can usually have a little ice cream and resist the urge for more. I know some people have a hard time doing that.

mrrich724's avatar


from what i’ve learned, eating sweets does not cause you to want more. the chemical high fructose corn syrup blocks receptors in your brain that tell you you are full. That may be what you are talking about.

however, natural cane sugar does not have that effect. and in fact, when you go organic and try these desserts with natural sugar, you get a satisfied feeling quite quickly. the problem is most crap is made with the corn syrup b/c it’s cheap.

meagan's avatar

Yummy rice cakes! Now they come in flavors like chocolate and caramel ;)

mrrich724's avatar

oh yea, the rice cakes are good. caramel is good, ranch is good, and so is cheddar.

thriftymaid's avatar

@mrrich724 Sugar stimulates a part of the brain called the amygdala, which signals sensory pleasure. Sugar also activates two reward centers in the brain, the anterior cingulate cortex and caudate. The questioner here asked for help with “cookies, cakes, pastries, pies, chocolate, ice cream, etc.” If he or she eats these sugary foods, more will be desired. That’s a fact.

janbb's avatar

@dpworkin Is the Sahara or the Majave richer in your opinion?

I, too, prefer to have what I like the way I like it rather than cheat with diet substitutes, and just have it less often or in smaller amounts when I am slimming.

Coloma's avatar

Yes. Sugar is highly addictive.

When my daughter was small we had a little burro and the kids got her so stuck on Captain Crunch cereal that she wouldn’t budge with a baggie of Captain Crunch dangled in front of her. lololol

Works the same with a lot of sweet toothed animals. haha

wilma's avatar

@ubersiren I have the same problem.
I feel addicted. From the answers here, I’m getting some good ideas that I hope will help.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Dude, if you try vegan alternatives for all of the above, you will cut your sugar, fat and calore intake in half. The Whole Foods here in the city has these chocolate vegan brownies that are to die for and we now make vegan cookies at home all the time and they’re amazing.

ubersiren's avatar

Thanks everyone, for the great suggestions! Even starting to replace one night of Oreos et al per week with some of these ideas will be an improvement.

@Chongalicious I never thought of breakfast drinks. A great answer I hadn’t heard before!
@jaytkay Those sound good, especially since it’s getting warmer now. It’s easier for me to enjoy that type of thing while wearing flip flops.
@tinyfaery Damn! I was afraid of that. :) Though, I think some of these answers are fair competition.
@marinelife A friend of mine actually made that once and it wasn’t half bad.
@dpworkin I don’t know if that strategy will work for me, but it’s surely worth a shot. A tip for future trial.
@Judi Thanks so much for the link! Some definite potentials there.
@Violet I know! That’s the one thing I’ve found that absolutely has me fooled, in a good way. My mother-in-law served it once at her house, and I actually complimented it before I knew it was half fat. Very good stuff.
@mrrich724 Do you have any specific brand suggestions? I have the same dislike for artificial sweetener and was disappointed with a sugar free mousse that I tried once. I want to try what you like…
@meagan At first I was like, “Ugh, rice cakes…” but you may be on to something. The crunch and texture with a little sweet may be enough to satisfy my immediate craving!
@wilma Thanks, I hope it will help you, too.
@Simone_De_Beauvoir Wait… vegan alternatives can cut sugar? How come I have never heard this until now? I do have a Whole Foods, so this will be a necessary trip for me! If this is true and they’re really good, this could be a life changer for me.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ubersiren Many vegan baked goods use non-processed sugar and therefore are healthier, regardless.

ubersiren's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Oh, I see. Excellent. Thank you!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@ubersiren it is my absolute pleasure

Ltryptophan's avatar

No fudge pudge brownies, made with fat free vanilla yogurt.

Judi's avatar

@Ltryptophan ; My problem is that I eat them all!!

Ltryptophan's avatar

ah, yes! Get one of those special brownie pans where its all corners, then you won’t eat them all. Ha yeah riiiiiiight.

ubersiren's avatar

@Ltryptophan Do you have a favorite recipe for that? They sound delicious-o.

ubersiren's avatar

@Judi Great, thanks!

alamo's avatar

Here’s my latest favorite dessert. Two cups of sliced strawberries, soaked in ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and fresh ground pepper, 15 minutes or so. One inch slice of angel food cake, carmelized,“fried”, in a little butter. Put the carmelized cake on a plate, cover with strawberries and little sauce from the soaking, topped with low fat whipped cream. 130 calories, the cake is good for many servings and the strawberies store well for several days in the fridge.
This from a southern boy who picked 2 bushels of strawberries from the orchard and only had one left to take in the house, ate the other bushel in the field. I used to wash and clean those berries and soak them in many cups of sugar. Sweet wasn’t the word for the old way to fix strawberries.

Judi's avatar

@alamo ; I never would have thought of vinegar and strawberries. I’ll have to try that when I’m feeling brave.

Ltryptophan's avatar

@ubersiren no fudge pudge is the brand of brownies! You buy a box of it, and an 8 oz fat free vanilla yogurt and follow the instructions.

ubersiren's avatar

@alamo That sounds different. I love strawberries!

6rant6's avatar

Godiva has a sugar free dark chocolate bar. It’s supposed to be pretty awesome.

How about pomello, lychee, raspberries, blueberries…. fancy exotic fruits. That will seems as decadent as that eclair, without the damage.

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