Is Christmas dessert essential?
Yes ! We can’t imagine a festive meal without dessert. This brings the sweet touch essential to the taste balance of the meal. However, there is no point in overdoing it. Cut up fruit, a gourmet coffee or tea may be enough to mark the end of the meal.
In terms of nutrition, dessert can be interesting in that it provides vitamins, antioxidants and fiber (fruit) or calcium (desserts made from milk, cottage cheese, or yogurt).
Choosing the right ingredients for a light Christmas dessert
Holiday desserts are high in calories because they contain fatty ingredients (chocolate, cream, butter, etc.) and are often concentrated in sugar (syrup, icing, meringue, etc.). The least caloric desserts remain those made from fruit: sorbets, fruity soups, papillotes, fruit gratins, fruit jelly, etc. A fig soup with spices, for example, will be perfect to finish the meal on a light and delicious note.
Gelatin and agar-agar, which do not provide calories, give body to mousses and desserts, while reducing the proportion of whipped cream. To reduce the amount of sugar, opt for brown and whole sugars, which have more flavor.
Brick or filo sheets are perfect for making pretty, light and decorative desserts (1 brick sheet = 50 kcal) as in these pineapple corollas with tofu chocolate ice cream.
You can also lighten the mousses by slightly increasing the quantity of egg whites, even if it means fixing them with a little gelatin.
Play with portions for a light Christmas dessert
Family pieces (logs, Vacherins, brioches, etc.) are traditional at this time of year, but we do not estimate the quantity served well and we tend to take a second portion. If you want to limit your intake, prefer individual desserts. Mini verrines of mascarpone mousse, logs and charlottes in XS format, fruit tartare in spoons, mini soufflés, small shortbreads and financiers… they are served on the plate, decorated with fresh fruit cut up for color but above all vitamins.
Taste but zero calories for a light Christmas dessert
We like them because they add flavor without weighing down the preparations:
Essential oils. They go perfectly with desserts and are easy to use. You just need to dose them correctly: 1 drop maximum per serving. Add them at the end of cooking or in cold preparations, knowing that they easily integrate with lipids (whipped cream, butter, oil, etc.). In fat-free preparations, such as fruit salad, mix them separately with the liquid part to disperse them.
Matcha tea. Packed with antioxidants, matcha tea gives a typical flavor to creams, bavarians, biscuits, etc., while coloring them. Good to know: its flavor fades slightly when cooked, so don’t hesitate to add enough to sponge cakes or financiers.
Agar-agar. Ideal for 100% veggie desserts since it is of plant origin, agar-agar thickens desserts without changing their caloric intake. The little extra of agar-agar is that it gels at 40°C, so it thickens preparations that you want to eat warm.
Gelatin. Easy to use, dilute it in a few spoonfuls of boiling liquid, then mix it with its cream or mousse. Consisting solely of proteins, gelatin, which is used in very small quantities, has a negligible caloric intake.
Egg white. Devoid of lipids (unlike the yolk, which is rich in them), the caloric intake of egg white is therefore very low (20 kcal/1 egg white). Egg white increases the volume and lightens desserts by retaining tiny air bubbles. The texture becomes airy and light, therefore also more digestible.
Cocoa. Full-bodied, unsweetened, just add a small amount to modify the flavor of a biscuit, shortbread or cream. 1 C. coffee (5 g) = 15 kcal. It is also concentrated in antioxidants and magnesium.
Spices. Chili pepper, pepper, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger give an original touch to mousses, papillotes, biscuits, etc., while providing no calories, but reinforcing the antioxidant intake.
Citrus zest. Lemon, orange, grapefruit, kaffir lime (preferably organic) also have a negligible calorie intake. Use fresh zest that you take yourself (sources of essential oils and antioxidants), rather than candied zest.