Mediterranean Diet Desserts
If you are really determined to achieve your goals and you are capable of eating for months without cheating - good thing for you. Rest of us need something more from time to time - some good cheat meal and of course - a nice dessert ...
Great thing about Mediterranean cuisine is that it is so rich with flavors, aroma and fragrance that even when on low calories, one eats varied foods, just the amounts are little bit ... 'problematic' :)
Anyway, many people on Mediterranean Diet change their point of view regarding cheat meals and desserts. Their cheat meals are not made of junk foods of any kind - often they are made of normal foods for Mediterranean Diet, just the meals are little bit bigger. And this combined with carb cycling and heavy workouts doesn't represent step backward in achieving goals like losing fats or becoming and staying fit - on a contrary ...
Similar is with desserts on Mediterranean Diet - fruits in combination with foods like milk, yogurt, low fat or cottage cheese, with some almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts etc make great tasting desserts. And when you add few drops of lemon or oranges, some wild berries, even a teaspoon of honey, maybe some home made butter (from cows that actually walked around and grazed grass!), combinations are endless.
You have noticed that I didn't mention 'sweets', just desserts, right? In 'original' Mediterranean Diet sweets were practically never eaten - of course, there were cakes and such foods, but they where made only on special occasions, so they actually never had any significant impact on consumed calories and nutrients. And when they were made, they were made from whole grain flour, various nuts, organic eggs, home made butter, honey ... Hm, this doesn't sound bad at all, right? :o)
Fruits are often eaten as last part of the meal - as real dessert. Most of the fruits were locally grown and were eaten fresh, but some were imported or eaten processed. Fresh fruits have many benefits as foods: fruits volume makes us full and satiated, fruits taste totally different from main course and give us feeling of actually eating sweets. This doesn't mean that you should dip your strawberries into the dark chocolate, add few drops of honey and knock yourself out ... :o)
Healthy Dessert Recipes
If you urge for sweets while on a diet, take some fruits on empty stomach - it will make you satiated (more or less) and give you the feeling of eating something sweet. Just be sure to eat slowly and chew few times more than you chew normally. Chewing more times, mix fruits (and foods in general) with saliva (containing digestive enzymes) and digestion starts already in your mouth - fruits will taste more sweet and like - dessert. This is not cheating on a diet - it is cheating yourself :o) but in the end, results are important.
If this is not enough and you need real dessert, than here are few recipes for you:
Almost everybody like pancakes to eat. Oatmeal pancakes have complex carbs, good protein and fiber content, and with proper filling can be great meal change for every person keeping body fat low.
Bedtime protein shake and smoothie are made of slow digesting protein powder and low fat or cottage cheese. Adding other ingredients improves taste and content regarding healthy fats and fibers. Healthy bedtime snacks are healthy foods that make you full and satiated for long period of time.
Mixed berry smoothie is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants etc. Making smoothie with a blender is fast and easy way to make quick and healthy daily meal or a snack...
There are many other variations for desserts on Mediterranean Diet, just be sure to follow few simple rules:
- use oats and whole grain flour for making batter. If you want to increase protein content, add some protein powder into the batter. Ordinary whey protein will do fine, especially if you use some flavored powder - chocolate flavor is great for making very tasty pancakes. But if you have casein based protein MRP (for example, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein), adding it to batter will create slow digesting dessert meal.
- when making various shakes and smoothies, combine low fat and/or cottage cheese with various fruits or combine low fat and/or cottage cheese with oats/milled flax seeds and some dark chocolate/cocoa powder and and natural peanut butter. If this is not a dessert, than you are in a real crisis :o)
- fruit salads are great snacks and can be treated as both sweets and desserts - just be sure to eat them slowly.
Protein bars are not part of Mediterranean Diet - plain and simple. But if you are in need of eating few thousands of calories worth of sweets and you can stop thinking about them by eating protein bar or two - feel free to do it.
Protein bars are available from various manufacturers with various content and tastes - be sure to read labels. Go for protein bars with higher protein and fiber content and with less sugars (or sugar alcohol) and fats (fats in protein bars are not so good) content. With protein bars coming in various tastes (chocolate, cookies 'n' cream, etc), those more expensive can really be treated as healthy desserts.
Protein bars can be even made at home, but I am not sure that even those protein bars can be considered part of Mediterranean cuisine ... :o)