Calling all readers with a sweet tooth: you might not be aware but it's possible to cut back on your sugar intake while still enjoying an after-dinner treat. Desserts that are high in sugar have the propensity to foster weight gain and, worse still, diabetes, so it's valuable to act before you do unrepairable damage to your body. Whether you're a lover of ice cream in Melbourne, a devourer of Danish pastries in London or fanatic about cheesecake in New York, thanks to these six low-sugar options, you can learn to love desserts again.
Lime and chilli grilled pineapple
This recipe was found on Taste of Home, which listed a string of low-sugar dessert options with only one tablespoon of sugar or less per serving. Grilling pineapple chunks brings out the fruit's natural sweetness that our sweet tooth craves. Combine that with a marinade of lime juice and chilli powder and it's an altogether more complex dessert, mixing sweet and sour to amazing effect.
Chocolate-orange steamed pudding
BBC Good Food recommends a classic chocolate-orange flavoured steamed pudding with chocolate sauce that's low-sugar but still packing a punch in flavour. The interesting tip with this particular recipe is that it uses xylitol. This is a naturally occurring alternative to sugar, which is worth only a third of the calories of sugar, has a low glycaemic index and actually protects your teeth from decay rather unlike sugar!
Yes, we admit, fruit salads are hardly a ground-breaking suggestion. But despite our lack of creativity here, it's valuable to note that fruit salads are good for you and it is something you can enjoy on a low-sugar or even a sugar-free diet. When your body is craving sweet things, be sure to turn to a fresh bowl of fruit salad to satisfy your sweet tooth. Of course, preparing a fruit salad is exceptionally time-consuming. The food delivery market has come a long way though: Deliveroo offers a string of restaurants with inventive, unusual fruit salads on their menus that can be ordered online and delivered straight to your door without you having to lift a finger.
Custard and nutmeg tarts
Custard tarts are all the rage now. Not only are they popular in Portugal, where they originated, other countries like China and Japan have put their own take on the custard tart. A good way of enjoying a custard tart that's naturally sweetened is to soak 25g of sultanas in milk, along with a generous grating of nutmeg and orange zest. Once you've allowed the flavours to infuse, pour the mixture evenly into the tart cases and voila!
Mixed berry sundae
So good, you could pretty much have these for breakfast, lunch or dinner, this mixed berry sundae combines fat-free plain Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, honey, chopped and toasted walnuts and pomegranate juice for a wonderfully fun way to top up your calcium and fruit intake.
Thanks to these six desserts, cutting back on your sugar intake just got a lot less painful and a lot more enjoyable. With a focus on natural sugars and naturally occurring alternatives, you can avoid the highly-processed, highly-refined bad sugars that are bad for your long-term health.