In the age of personalizing the idea of being healthy, eating sweets is no longer a capital sin since healthy desserts are here to stay. So, some chefs have started to show how you can eat cakes, cookies, ice cream, and other sweet treats without regrets, but still showing restrain.
Lately, being aware of how we feed ourselves has become a trending topic. From the quality of food to the frequency of intake and the emotion that leads us to that food, everything counts when it comes to being healthy. Furthermore, some specialists in the area of nutrition insist that it is not only important what is eaten, but when, and how it’s done.
In this sense, we have done some research on the trend of “healthy sweets” and chose three chefs and their experiences in this regard as an example.
The art of substitution
For the Venezuelan chef Johana Clavel (@johaclavel) the example came from home. Her story, or rather, her commitment to healthy food, not only helped her husband lose 20 kilos and his son increase its growth rate without the use of hormones, but it became an entrepreneurship with which she has helped others “get in shape” by eating healthier.
On her Instagram account, she constantly shares recipes where ingredients like coconut sugar and oatmeal replace the usual ones to bake cakes, muffins, brownies and more. The case is that in the culinary proposal of this chef, who participated in Master Chef Latino and is a life coach, the inclusion of sweets and the art of substitution are vital to end the belief that healthy food is tasteless and more complicated to prepare.
In fact, in her lectures/cooking classes around the United States, she tells participants how you can continue eating all her favorite dishes by applying her methodology.
The best ingredients, the best flavors
Considered as one of the best pastry chefs in the world, the French Cedric Grolet @cedricgrolet), says that he likes to work with a mix of seasonal fruits and high-quality products. This chef faces the challenge of the popular trend towards a type of gastronomy, and especially a pastry industry, that is healthy and made in a smart way, showing moderation.
Talking more in depth about the subject, the chef says that he tries to use honey or cane sugar in his recipes “because they are better for your health and add more taste to desserts,” and we can avoid refined white sugars that are so harmful to our health. Although from his point of view it’s impossible for him to promise desserts that aren’t full of calories, he believes that “as it happens with everything else in life, when there is an excess, it is not good for your health,” so he tries to use good quality products as the basis of its preparations “because they provide more intense flavors, and avoid the processed ones.”
Desserts with Japanese inspiration
Marisa Churchill (@chef_marisachurchill) has been a pastry chef at several of the best Asian-influenced restaurants on the East Coast of the United States (including Ame, Slanted Door and the new San Francisco Yoshi’s). So, it’s no wonder that she creates desserts in line with Japanese principles, which means that she has found innovative ways to eliminate fat and sugar, while adding healthy ingredients.
But what has made Churchill famous when it comes to desserts? Well, the details. For example, she uses fat-free yogurt to enrich honey-covered panna cottas and moist chocolate cakes, which she also cleverly sweetens with red beetroot, a trick she first used as a contestant in Top Chef.
Her pavlovas are another masterful proof of her wit. These pastries are not only coconut-flavored, but also light as feathers. These are the type of light desserts she teaches in her low-fat cooking classes at Calistoga Ranch, in Napa Valley.
“People think fat equals taste,” she says. “That’s a common mistake. I think freshness, balance and texture are more essential,” said the smart chef to Food & Wine.
As you can see, healthy cooking has crossed the barrier of the sweet, so there’s no excuse anymore, save yourself from the guilt that comes from “committing a small sin” and follow some of the advice of these chefs so there’s no craving that gets you out of shape.