January 14, 2023

Is there a way to have your cake and eat it too this New Year? You may be surprised to hear a dietitian encourage the practice of planning for and enjoying dessert – especially while working toward New Year’s goals. Yet research shows diets that are too restrictive often do not stand the test of time. Enjoying dessert does not have to halt progress toward New Year’s resolutions. Instead of making dessert off-limits, try committing to a new thought on the timing of dessert.

Did you know for balanced blood sugar and for more stable energy and less cravings, it is better to enjoy dessert right after eating a lunch or dinner containing fiber, protein and fat versus eating that dessert on an empty stomach? Try it and see for yourself! The next time you are craving something sweet, try saving it for later to enjoy as dessert after a balanced lunch or dinner. The fiber, protein and fat in your meal will minimize any spike in blood sugar from the sweet and this will actually lead to more stable energy and fewer cravings later on. Furthermore, after finishing a balanced meal high in fiber and protein, it is easy to be satisfied with a smaller portion of the sweet food. You may even reach a point where you could take or leave the dessert without feeling deprived. You truly could have your cake or eat it too. You’ll feel in control instead of feeling controlled by your cravings!

For the times when you choose to enjoy something sweet, consider this decadent yet under-100-calorie dessert recipe for ice cube tray chocolates! A bite of chocolate after a meal is perfectly satisfying.

Ice Cube Tray Chocolates
Serves 14 (2 each)

All You Need:
Hy-Vee nonstick cooking spray
1 (9 oz) pkg Lily’s no-sugar-added baking chips (white chocolate, chocolate salted-caramel, or dark chocolate)
84 miniature marshmallows

For garnish:
White chocolates
3 tbsp Hy-Vee dried cranberries
2 tbsp coarsely chopped roasted and salted shelled pistachios
Salted caramel chocolates
2 tbsp Hy-Vee sweetened banana chips, halved if needed
2 tbsp Hy-Vee lightly salted whole cashews
Hy-Vee coarsely ground sea salt, if desired
Dark chocolates
¼ cup Hy-Vee natural sliced almonds
3 tbsp finely chopped crystalized ginger

All you do:

  1. Lightly spray 28 (1¼-inch-by-1-inch) molds in flexible plastic ice cube trays with Hy-Vee nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Microwave 1 (9-oz) package Lily’s no-sugar-added baking chips (flavor of choice) in a medium microwave-safe bowl on high in 15-second intervals until melted, stirring each time.
  3. Spoon chocolate into disposable pastry bag. Cut off ¼-inch tip on pastry bag.
  4. Pipe chocolate into prepared molds, filling until bottom of each mold is lightly coated with chocolate. Immediately press 3 Hy-Vee miniature marshmallows into each section of chocolate.
  5. Drizzle with remaining melted chocolate. Firmly tap filled ice cube trays on work surface a few times to compact ingredients. Add corresponding garnishes on top of chocolates.
  6. Freeze for 10 minutes or until chocolate is set. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Pop chocolates out of ice cube tray before serving, using tip of paring knife to release, if necessary. Store in covered container in refrigerator up to one week. Serve at room temperature.

Gluten-free and Vegetarian dish. Recipe source: January 2023 Hy-Vee Seasons magazine. Reclaim the joy in eating and make peace with all foods while still making progress toward New Year’s resolutions. Hy-Vee dietitians have a variety of nutrition services to help show you how to make all foods fit into a sustainable and healthful eating pattern. Connect with your local Hy-Vee registered dietitian by visiting www.hy-vee.com/health/hy-vee-dietitians. The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.