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Rounding out a delicious meal with a sweet treat seems like an obvious good choice. In a recent survey of consumers, 53% said they had dessert within the past day. An indulgent treat can elevate your mood and bring a feeling of satisfaction.
Just as dessert is important to consumers, it is equally important to restaurant owners. Dessert sales can boost profit with high sales margins. Offering a variety of delicious sweet options can elevate a customer's restaurant experience and entice them to come back for more.
But what if that indulgent treat instead ends up bringing feelings of guilt? More health-minded customers might be willing to splurge on dessert if they see healthy desserts on the menu.
Help celebrate National Nutrition Month in March by incorporating some of these healthy dessert ideas into your menu.
One way to incorporate healthier desserts onto your menu is simply to substitute ingredients in your current dessert offerings.
There are both natural substitutes and man-made substitutes when it comes to sugar. Natural options include honey, maple syrup, and coconut sugar. Man-made substitutes are aspartame, saccharin, and stevia.
Coconut sugar replaces white sugar at a simple one-to-one ratio in a recipe. Honey and maple syrup, on the other hand, is used at three-quarters cup for every one cup of sugar. If the recipe has liquid in it, it is also a good idea to reduce the amount of liquid by about three tablespoons since honey and maple syrup add more liquid volume.
Aspartame, saccharin, and stevia are all much sweeter than white sugar. Baking blends are the best option when it comes to these sugar substitutes; otherwise, you will want to use significantly less of them so as not to oversweeten your desserts.
White all-purpose flour is very common and easy to use, but it might not offer much health benefit. Almond flour, coconut flour, quinoa flour, chickpea flour, and brown rice flour are all possibilities for the dessert menu.
Almond flour, made of finely ground almonds, is best used in baked goods, such as brownies and cookies, as it can make for more dense results.
Coconut flour is made from dried, ground coconut pulp and is easy to digest. This flour is very dense, so it is best to use it in a blend of other flours or add more liquid to the recipe to compensate.
Quinoa flour is very high in protein. It is a fluffy flour that does not hold its shape very well, so it would help to add more binding agents, such as an egg or two.
Chickpea flour acts similarly to white flour in recipes, so is a good substitute in terms of behavior. However, it does have a strong, nutty flavor, so it is probably best suited for chocolate desserts or other complementary flavors.
Brown rice flour is probably the most similar to white flour and, thus, the easiest to substitute in a recipe. Its texture is very similar to all-purpose flour, and the flavor is mild.
People often skip dessert for fear of adding extra fat to their diet, and butter is often to blame. Applesauce and Greek yogurt can replace butter in recipes, using half the amount. Mashed avocado and coconut oil are used at a one-to-one ratio when replacing butter in recipes.
Note that coconut oil does tend to have a strong flavor and is probably best suited for fruity desserts or other recipes that can handle a tropical flair.
While eggs are generally considered healthy, some shy away from them because of high cholesterol levels. Ground flaxseeds, mashed banana, applesauce, and silken tofu are all adequate substitutes for eggs in recipes.
Ground flaxseeds are an obvious choice, as they bind to other ingredients just like eggs. They also have no real distinguishable flavor once combined in a recipe.
A quarter cup of mashed banana makes for an exchange equal to one egg. However, due to the added banana flavor, consider your intended flavor profile before going this route.
Applesauce and silken tofu work best in more dense desserts, such as brownies. One-third cup of applesauce is equal to one egg, as is one-fourth cup of pureed tofu.
Delicious Healthy Desserts
Healthy does not have to mean tasteless when it comes to healthy dessert ideas. Here are a few ideas to rotate on your restaurant's dessert menu.
Carrot Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting
Consumers often already consider carrot cake a healthier dessert option. By offering this dessert in cupcake form, it becomes much more approachable in terms of its perceived serving size. More health-conscious ingredients, such as applesauce, are a natural choice for this tasty dessert.
We offer cupcake and muffin liners in different styles and various sizes to help make serving these a breeze.
Peanut Butter Mousse
What is it about desserts served in pretty glass dishes? With two spoons, it is a fun, shareable dessert on a date night. The surprising main ingredient of silken tofu gives this dish its extreme creaminess. Mixed with reduced-fat peanut butter and some confectioner's sugar, the result is healthy yet satisfying.
Blueberry Lime Cheesecake Bars
What is a dessert menu without some fruity desserts? These cheesecake bars are made with fresh blueberries and freshly squeezed lime juice. A mix of Greek yogurt and cream cheese makes for a winning combination with the fresh fruit flavors. Silken tofu or vegan cream cheese are options if you would like vegan options on your menu.
Sweet and Healthy
With the celebration of National Nutrition Month, March is the perfect time to experiment with adding healthy desserts to your restaurant's dessert menu.
We offer the essentials to help bring your creative and healthy dessert ideas to the table. From baking cups for dessert creations to containers and take-out bags for your customers to carry their sweet treats home, we have you covered.