Posts tagged with Dessert

Healthy doughnuts (seriously)

Cake doughnuts without the refined sugar. Delicious.

Cake doughnuts without the refined sugar. Delicious. by Sarah Henning

I love to bake. LOVE it. Thus, I probably have every type of baker’s tool lying around somewhere in my kitchen cabinets — Silpat, candy molds, springform pan, French spatula, etc. And I’ve used everything I own at one time or another save for a single item that I’ve had for years: a doughnut pan.

I’ve had this doughnut pan ever since the giant going-out-of-business sale of the Pink Box bakery in early 2011. I bought it for $3 with good intentions. And then it just … sat there. Mostly because I was scared to use it.

OK, not scared. Terrified.

Because I knew if I did, I’d start something. Something I might not be able to stop.

You see, I LOVE doughnuts.

But I barely ever have them because, well, we all know they aren’t exactly healthy. And because of my love of them, it’s better that I don’t indulge. If I do, that will almost immediately turn into me finding another excuse to have them. And another. And pretty soon I’m having doughnuts every Saturday morning. (This exact thing happened in the weeks after my son was born and went on for MONTHS.)

So, I’d never used my doughnut pan.

And I don’t know what got into me, but sometime when the weather was acting up and about 30 degrees colder than we all know it should be, I decided I’d pull out the doughnut pan and see if I could make something healthy with it. I mean, because I’m all for being stuck inside when it’s snowy and cold with baked goods, but I just don’t want them to be a sugar bomb I regret even days later.

My first attempt? To make pumpkin doughnuts by adapting my Sneaky Pumpkin Pie Bars.

And you know what? They totally worked. I even made them twice to make sure. But they turned out perfect, and one recipe filled the pan exactly. And they taste GOOD.

Sure, I may have opened a can of worms (Thinking of trying coconut donuts next!) but at least I know I can make something without refined sugar or junk with my terrifying doughnut pan. That warms my little baker’s heart.

Healthy Pumpkin Cake Doughnuts

½ cup pumpkin

½ cup raw, unsalted almond butter

⅓ cup maple syrup

2 eggs or 2 flax eggs (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons water for each egg)

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt (less if you happen to be using roasted almond butter)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a six-doughnut pan well with with coconut oil. Set aside.

Put all ingredients except for the chocolate chips in a bowl. Stir well.

Pour batter into your oiled doughnut molds, using an ice cream scoop or spoon to make spills less likely.

Bake 25 minutes or until the the edges are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center doughnuts comes out clean. Let cool completely before using a knife to pry the doughnuts out of their molds.

These store well in the fridge, as the cold helps them set up a bit more, though I stored them in the freezer and let them defrost a bit before using. Serves 6.


Room for dessert

Sometimes, you just need chocolate.

Sometimes, you just need chocolate. by Sarah Henning

This January, I’ve been making it a point to write about healthy eating and how to get started if your resolutions included cleaning things up a bit.

And, honestly, I could never, ever think about eating — healthy or otherwise — without thinking about dessert.

The need for something sweet is what kills many a healthy eating goal, including mine. And for me, and maybe for you, the worst offenses I’ve made have been because I’ve totally made sweets completely off-limits. If I ban something, I only want it more.

Therefore, I’ve gotten really good at almost exclusively enjoying healthy desserts.

The secret, in my opinion, to a healthy dessert?


Honestly, I have chocolate every day. Every single day. High-quality, good chocolate is not something I ever feel guilty about. And you shouldn’t either.

Here’s my theory on this: If you let yourself have a little bit of something sweet — but not too sweet — daily, you save yourself from binging on it later on. Many times I’ve quit sweets for a week, only to overdo it dramatically once the floodgates open up again. It’s not pretty. And it never ends well.

But if you have a little bit every day, it doesn’t become this big deal or big event to have a little something sweet.

Of course, I’m not suggesting you eat a doughnut every day and try to call that healthy. But a square of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate? Or a few chocolate chips? Both are a good investment. And it’s satisfying enough that you probably won’t need more.

Another tip? Find recipes that use maple syrup or honey as sweetener. Sure, those liquids are still sugar, but I firmly believe they’re not as horrible for you in small doses as white sugar.

The key words there: “small doses.”

Overdo it on maple syrup or even dark chocolate and you’ll need to hit the reset button the next day.

But eating healthy isn’t just a resolution, it’s a lifestyle. And it’s necessary to learn to live within the parameters you consider healthy. And you can’t get through life without dessert.