If you’re aiming for healthy eating, you might think pudding is out of the question. But dessert can be part of a healthy, balanced diet. Here’s how to do it right.

Your overall pattern of eating is far more important than whether you have a treat every now and again. “Known as ‘the total diet approach’, this idea teaches that all foods can fit within a balanced eating plan when consumed in moderation, in appropriate portion sizes and when combined with exercise,” says Candice Smith, Head of Vitality’s nutrition strategy.

Smith suggests these health-boosting dessert ideas:

  • Keep portions small. A few bites is generally enough to satisfy the sweetest of teeth.
  • Plate up attractively. A focus on presentation encourages guests or family members to eat slowly and savour each bite.
  • For gluten-free options, replace wheat flour with almond flour or desiccated coconut.
  • Plant protein powerhouses, like black beans can stand in for flour in certain recipes.
  • Low-fat plain yoghurt or unsweetened low fat evaporated milk is a great replacement for cream/sour cream.
  • Grease pans with non-stick spray instead of butter.
  • Replace sugar with unsweetened apple sauce.
  • All dried cranberries contain added sugar – rather opt for other dried fruit without the added sugar.
  • Bake custard-based tarts with low-fat milk.
  • Fresh fruit makes for great healthy desserts as most contain enough natural sweetness just as they are.

Try this roasted pineapple with ginger and yoghurt – all the delicious without the deprivation!


  • 2 pineapples
  • 60g fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 20g granulated sugar
  • 5ml ginger, ground
  • 5 sprigs mint
  • ½ tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 cinnamon stick


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the pineapple on the chopping board. Slice the base of the pineapple off for it to stand steadily on the board. Cut the outer skin off the pineapple. Remove the fibrous core and cut the pineapple into large wedges.

Place fresh and dried ginger, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl and add the pineapple wedges. Allow the pineapple to macerate for 30 minutes before placing in the oven to roast.

Place pineapples on a roasting tray with the marinade and roast for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a platter.

Garnish with sprigs of mint and serve with low-fat yoghurt.

Serves: 6, Preparation time: 45min, Cooking time: 30min

Recipe developed by the Discovery Vitality HealthyFood Studio

The Discovery Vitality HealthyFood Studio is a teaching and dining kitchen located in Sandton, Johannesburg where you can take part in fun and interactive cooking classes to help ignite a life-long love of healthy, appetising cooking.

Proudly launched in partnership with Woolworths and Prue Leith Chefs Academy.

Book online at www.healthyfoodstudio.co.za

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