Dessert is a dish usually served as the last course of a meal.It is usually sweeter than the meal itself. Recent studies has shown that dessert is good for you as sweet things are good for our health.
There are various kinds of dessert that can be taken after meals ranging from cakes, pies to fruits and nuts. In different cultures, there are different kinds of desserts.
Ingredients for Dessert
Usually, most desserts are made with sugar, honey, molasses, maple syrup or corn syrup to sweeten it. Other ingredients that go into making desserts include flour, butter, milk, egg, chocolate, fruits and nuts.
Adding sugar to dessert gives it moisture while flour gives it structure. Butter also gives moisture and helps in the development of flaky layers in desserts like pastries. The addition of eggs to dessert is to make it richer. Spices and salt are also added to create a variety of flavors.
Varieties of Desserts
There are different categories of dessert and this include the following:
1. Cakes: are made with sugar and flour. It can be made in form of sponge cakes which is airy and made with less flour or a denser type of cake which is made up of more flour. It can be served plain or decorated with icing made of sugar and butter. Cakes are served at occasions like weddings, anniversaries or birthdays.
2. Cookies: are small pastries that are crispy. At times chocolate chips are put into cookies for a different flavor.
3. Custard and Pudding: these desserts are made up of a thickened dairy base. Custards are baked and thickened with eggs, an example of this is creme brulee. Puddings are thickened with cornstarch. Both of them are also used as ingredients for other desserts.
4. Chocolate: is made from cocoa seeds. It is roasted, grounded and flavored. To make it a sweet dessert, sugar and milk is added to it. Apart from the traditional brown and dark chocolate, there is also white chocolate which is made from cocoa butter, sugar and milk.
5. Candy: is also referred to as sweet. The main ingredient in this dessert is sugar. Examples of candies include caramel and marshmallows.
6. Frozen desserts: this includes ice-creams and yogurts. While most ice-cream are made with lots of sugar, yogurts contain lesser amount of sugar and some yogurts like greek yogurts have no sugar in it.
7. Jelly: this dessert is made with a liquid that is thickened with gelatin or other thickening agents.
8. Pastries: are baked desserts and are often flavored and filled with fruits, nuts, chocolate and spices. At times pastries are served with tea and coffee and eaten as breakfast.
Why You Need To Eat Dessert
1. Taking dessert can prevent you from getting stroke. Having a few bites of dark chocolate daily can decrease your risk of getting stroke. A study was carried out with 37,000 swedish men between the ages of 45-79 whose diets were recorded over a period of 10 years. The result of this study showed that those that ate their dark chocolate regularly were 17 percent less likely to suffer from stroke compared to those that didn’t eat it.
2. Your blood pressure can be lowered by eating dark chocolate. A review of 20 different studies shows that people who consumed between 3 to 100 grams of dark chocolate daily were able to lower their blood pressure a bit.
3. According to a study carried out at the Smell and Taste Research Centre in Chicago, it was discovered that eating pumpkin pie increased penile flow by about 40 percent and also lowered anxiety.
4. Desserts can reduce unhealthy food cravings. Indulging in some amount of dessert can help you stave off the feeling of deprivation associated with an abstinence from eating it. Put some flexibility in your daily diet and see desserts as treats rather than junk food.
5. It positively improves your mood. Food that are rich in carbohydrates makes the brain produce serotonin and tryptophan, which are responsible for promoting emotional well-being. Eat desserts with complex carbohydrate sources like brown rice pudding so that the positive feelings won’t be short lived.
6. At times, dessert fuels the body and brain needs, especially when you eat less carbohydrates
7. Essential nutrients can be got from some desserts such as fruits, nuts, vegetables and whole grains.
For instance, pumpkin pie contains a generous amount of calcium, fiber, and vitamins A and C
A full serving of strawberry rhubbarb crisp with oatmeal crust has a good amount of vitamin B and fiber.
Blueberry pie is rich in anti-oxidants and has 8 grams of fiber per slice.
Cheese cake has generous amounts of calcium, protein and vitamin D.
Dark chocolate also has plenty anti-oxidants and helps in blood sugar control and heart health.
Eating Dessert During Weight Loss
It is possible to eat healthy desserts, therefore if you are on a weight loss journey, you can go ahead and eat it. What you can do is to cut back on portions of your meal to balance your calories.
Fresh fruit is a good form of healthy dessert and you can indulge in a variety of fruits during its season, if you like, you can add a bit of sugar and whipped cream, it is also possible to get fat free version of whipped cream and you have your healthy dessert.There are other healthy desserts you can indulge in such as greek yogurt which can be sweetened with honey and fresh fruits, no sugar added ice-creams, peanut cookies and chips.
Some other variants of healthy desserts involves using of whole wheat flour to make desserts that are baked. These are baked with low fat butters and at times no sugar is added or the sugar content of the baking is reduced for healthier options of dessert.
As a matter of fact, you should eat dessert because they contain nutrients that are good for the body. What you should not do is replace whole foods in your diet with it.