Try this sweet-but-not-too-sweet treat: Earl Grey Lemon Tea Cakes
If you’re looking for a dessert that isn’t too sweet, try Earl Grey Lemon Tea Cakes.
I love dessert. I also love being healthy. My four kiddos also love sweets. So over the years, I've created some great strategies for getting some dessert in our lives while also honoring our bodies, which frankly do not need as much sugar as our palates seem to crave.
If you love baked goods too, go ahead and preheat that oven and listen in. I've got some tips for keeping dessert alive while staying reasonable. First: Make your own.
I have a lot more leeway with homemade treats. Not only can I manage what is going in them but making my own baked treats puts a minimum half-hour buffer between me and a pan of brownies, which means we will eat treats mindfully instead of grabbing a box of cookies and nibbling our way through them unnoticed while watching The Goldbergs.
Second healthy dessert tip: Cut up small portions of treats and serve them on a tray alongside a healthier "open quantity" option. For instance, I may place a large bowl of low-fat Greek yogurt on the table next to a plate of homemade banana bread cut into small squares. Diluting the baked goodie with a protein or fiber-filled option is a low-stress way to make dessert healthier for the whole family.
Third tip: Invest in a confectioners' sugar duster and fill it up with organic powdered sugar. Even a tiny dusting of powdered sugar fools our palates into thinking something is sweeter than it is, simply because it's visible.
Finally, a tip just for adults: Drink espresso with a chunk of dark chocolate or a small finger of homemade cake (like Earl Grey Lemon Tea Cakes) for dunking. The deep roasted flavor of espresso coupled with just a little sweet makes a satisfying and sophisticated dessert.
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EARL GREY LEMON TEA CAKES
¼ cup coconut oil, soft, but not melted (pop in freezer for a few minutes if needed)
1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea leaves, pounded to a coarse powder (use a small plastic bag and mallet or heavy spoon)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
¼ cup light agave syrup (or ⅓ cup sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar for decoration, optional
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line bottom of an
8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.
In a medium bowl, whip coconut oil, Early Grey leaves, lemon zest and agave syrup using a hand mixer until well-blended and light. Add the eggs one at time and mix well with mixer in between. Add the vanilla and lemon juice and mix well.
In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then pour in half the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix very briefly. Add the second half of the flour and mix just until blended. Do not overmix.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until cake springs back after pressing lightly with your finger, about 25 or 30 minutes. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan, and then remove to let cool completely on a rack.
Cut into 14 fingers, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar (optional) and serve.
Makes 14 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 96 calories (40 calories from fat), 5g fat (4g saturated, 0g trans fats), 31mg cholesterol, 103mg sodium, 12g carbohydrates, 0g fiber, 5g sugar, 2g protein.