Tantalizingly tender cake, silky smooth pudding, and other tempting sweets often earn their characteristics from cream or butter. Unfortunately, the saturated fat in these ingredients also raises the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
Luckily, even a dash of ingenuity can make desserts less decadent -- but no less enjoyable -- by lowering the fat or cholesterol or by increasing amounts of good-for-you ingredients.
Our tangy-sweet lemon curd thickened with cornstarch, for example, is a still-rich filling between layers of moist cake. Stirring short-grain rice into skim milk lends a natural creaminess to our rice pudding. Even the chocolate in the dessert, once vilified by nutritionists, has a silver lining: Dark varieties may actually improve heart health. And swapping in seasonal fruits in place of some sugar boosts the flavor and virtues of a dish; berries and melon, for instance, are full of disease-fighting antioxidants. So you see, with the right approach, you can have your cake -- or chocolate pudding -- and be healthy, too.
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