Day #12: Enjoy a homemade healthy dessert, once a week

My typical evening routine goes as follows:
5pm-come up with something creative to cook for dinner by getting inspired by my favorite recipe websites: fatfree.com, Cooks.com, allrecipes.com
5:15pm-prep and cook dinner while watching the Ellen Show(which I DVR everyday). She makes me smile and love life.
6pm-walk up to the Trek store w/ Campy (1.1 miles). Hang out until Karel gets off work.
7:05pm-Karel gets off work and he drives us home.
7:15pm-eat dinner and watch The Office (DVR)

As for after dinner, I always look forward to my after-dinner snack. Typically it's low fat yogurt, greek yogurt or homemade fat-free pudding w/ fruit or nuts on top.
I don't think there is anything wrong with an after-dinner snack but I try to wait 30 minutes after dinner before enjoying my snack, I keep the snack less than 150 calories (mostly protein and/or fruit) and I make sure that I have at least 1 hour before bed to digest my snack.

When you think about dessert, I think a few stereotypical desserts come to mind. I can hear it now "who has room for dessert?"
Seriously, after a big dinner, who really has room (or needs) dessert?
I think most people eat enough at dinner to not save room (key word-think calories) for dessert. But, when the following foods are before our eyes, it is hard not to say "well, just a bite."

But then there are the "snacks" that many people enjoy after dinner. For a light snack of course. Unfortunately, often times that light snack turns into a 300-400 calorie post-dinner, small meal.

I've created two delicious and super-healthy desserts for you. I really enjoy making these desserts after my long weekend training, after I have my post-training meal. I have something healthy, yet "indulging" to look forward to when I am ready for a sweet treat. Although portion control is needed (yes-they are that yummy) there is no reason why you shouldn't feel good about indulging in a healthy homemade dessert, once a week.

If you want to re-create a dessert recipe, with a healthy twist, I recommend:

Instead of butter - use canola oil, mild olive oil, fruit purée or applesauce (or try using only 1-2 tbsp butter and the rest applesauce)
Instead of milk chocolate - use dark chocolate
Instead of 2 eggs - use 1 egg + 1 egg white
Instead of cream or whole milk - use skim or 1% milk
Instead of cream cheese - use low fat yogurt, greek yogurt, ricotta or light/fat-free cream cheese
Instead of sour cream - use greek yogurt or plain low fat yogurt
Adding shredded veggies such as carrots or zuccini or adding diced fruit.
Instead of ice cream or whipped cream for a topping - use warm fruit, frozen yogurt or low fat yogurt
Instead of whipping cream or heavy cream - use evaporated skim milk
Instead of sugar - use honey, 1-2 tsp sugar (you may need to experiment as sugar is often necessary for baking) or fruit puree
Chop nuts, dry fruit, etc. in order to get a little bit in every bite.

Apple cobbler
1-2 large red apples (thinly sliced)
1 cup oats
1 tbsp flax seeds
2 tbsp soy flour (you can use whole wheat flour)
1 tbsp smart balance butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
Drizzle of honey (at the end)

1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
2. Lay sliced apples in baking dish to cover the bottom.
3. Mix together oats and remaining ingredients (except honey) with a fork (or your hands).
4. Lay 1/2 of oats mixture over apples.
5. Place remaining apples over oats and cover with remaining oats mixture.
6. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until oats start to turn golden.
7. When you remove apples from oven, drizzle with 1-2 tsp (one squeeze from Mr.Bear) of honey (or agave nectar).
*This recipe is great with vanilla low fat/fat-free yogurt on top.

Delicious Pinapple cake w/ crumbly cocunut topping

1 cup oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 cup crushed pineapple
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large carrots (shredded)
1/8 cup raisins (chopped)
1/8 cup dried cranberries (chopped)

1/2 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup cheerios (crushed)
2 tbsp coconut (shaved)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 2 round baking dishes with non-stick spray (or 1 baking dish and 4-6 muffin tins or 8-12 mini muffin tins)
2. Mix together first 6 dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Add the wet ingredients and stir well.
4. Add shredded carrots, raisins and cranberries and mix until well-combined.
5. Pour batter into baking dishes or 1/2 in 1 baking dish and the rest in mini muffin pan (or regular muffin pan).
6. Mix together topping and spread over batter (in the dishes).
7. Cook for 30-40 min. or until edges of cake become lightly brown and top of cake is semi-firm.