Who says that desserts can’t offer good nutrition? The trick is to make desserts that actually provide some nutritional benefit other than being low in calories, fat or sugar. Here are some sweet ideas that can be brought to any holiday gathering while also providing some performance-enhancing benefits!
*Disclaimer: While better optoins, these treats should still be consumed in moderation
With the only ingredients being tofu, peanut butter, and confectioners sugar it doesn’t seem like there’s much too it. However, it provides 10g of protein from the tofu and peanut butter, only 17g of carbohydrate, and 13g of the healthy fat. *Don't be scared by the tofu - you won't even taste it!
This recipe combines several ingredients that athletes commonly turn to for proper fueling. It gets its creaminess from avocados, which contain omega 3 fatty acids, are shown to have antioxidant properties and potentially decrease inflammation. The cinnamon and the dark cocoa are not only the flavor enhancers, but are sources of antioxidants that can be beneficial for recovery. Bananas are another main ingredient and also an athlete staple when it comes to getting a good source carbs and fiber.
The rest of the ingredients provide great protein: egg white, Greek yogurt, peanut butter, and whey protein powder. The dessert alone provides 24g of protein and 8g of fat, only 1g being saturated.
*Leave out the protein powder unless this is your main/only source of protein for the meal or snack. Remember, 25-30g of protein is the max you want at one sitting. So, if just a meal addition, the protein powder isn't a necessary ingredient here.
Crunchiness is not the only thing that sets this recipe apart from the others. While it contains the typical “healthy dessert ingredients” (peanut butter, rolled oats, whole wheat flour, dark chocolate, cinnamon, etc.) offering the usual benefits of antioxidants, fiber, and protein, this recipe also has wheat germ and chia seeds. Wheat germ contains many B vitamins, necessary for metabolism, and vitamin E another essential nutrient with many uses in the body. Chia seeds are another nutrient dense food, known namely for it’s omega 3 fatty acids. These more unique ingredients make this dessert a great treat option!
This recipe is fast, easy and doesn’t require many ingredients. The gist of it is a piece of fruit covered with granola, cinnamon, and dried cranberries all with their own positive qualities including 4g of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Not to mention that pears are in season and can make a beautiful holiday dessert.
*Try baking them in the oven
Dark Chocolate Covered Berries
Melt dark chocolate and then dip, coat, or cover berries with it. I recommend berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and even pomegranate seeds. These berries are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory power...not to mention the extra antioxidants from the dark chocolate.
.....Not a bad way to indulge in holiday treats while also providing beneficial nutrients to the body and promoting your physical activity!