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7 Sweet Treats Without The Guilt

These tips should help make sure the goose is the only thing that's getting fat.

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1. Chocolate-dipped fruit


Dipping fruit in chocolate may not sound healthy, but it's more nutritious than demolishing a box of Matchmakers in a single sitting. Strawberries, cherries and slices of apple work particularly well, so ditch the chocolates and biccies in favour of something fresher.

Bonus tip: Don't mistake this as licence to stick your head under a chocolate fountain. It never ends well.

2. Sorbet


After the main course, does anyone really want to struggle through a serving of heavy Christmas pudding? Sorbet is a tasty alternative, and it's lower in calories, fat and sugar. DOUBLE WIN.

Bonus tip:
If you're going all out and making your own sorbet, but find it goes a little bit too solid, simply mix it up roughly with a fork and BAM! You can rebrand it as 'granita' without losing face.

3. Fruity Filo


Want a mince pie but can't face the guilt? Cinnamon-flavoured apples or pears baked in filo pastry are full of spicy, fruity flavour and, because filo pastry is much lower in fat than traditional pastry, you get an added sense of smugness as you tuck in.

Bonus tip: Feel free to sing "Fi-lo... sweet chariot" as you make these little beauties. It will only increase the fun.

4. Turkish Delight


It might be high in sugar, but Turkish Delight is still a better choice than chocolate, as it’s lower in fat and calories.

Bonus tip: Eat it whilst watching The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe. You'll feel like part of the action.

5. Fruit & Custard

Sabra Krock / Via

Fresh, baked or stewed fruit (like apples, pears or plums) with low-fat custard can be a real treat - and it's pretty guilt-free. Throwing in some Christmassy spices and serving in individual dishes will make it feel a little more special too.

Bonus tip: For that 'hipster dinner party' vibe, serve your fruit and custard to your guests in recycled jam jars, and demand they all immediately grow lustrous facial hair upon entering your house.

6. Brandy Custard


Not convinced by fruit and custard? Add a tablespoon of brandy to kick it up a notch (without resorting to decadent brandy butter). Delicious, Christmassy and with less saturated fat.

Bonus tip: The above image is not a tablespoon. That's too much brandy. Get a spoon.

7. Try something completely different


In French Provence, they go all out with the traditional “thirteen desserts” tray - which, despite being an almost intimidatingly large prospect, is actually pretty wholesome. It typically involves an array of almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, dried apricots, dried figs, dates, prunes, grapes, pears, apples, oranges and satsumas, small amounts of nougat and a brioche made with olive oil. Why not give it a go this December?

Bonus tip: A lot of the nuts in this selection are traditionally served in their shells - so hiding the nutcracker can lead to hours of family fun as everyone tries to find ways to crack into the treats (and your house ends up looking like a weird Attenborough-style nature documentary).

For more foodie tips on staying healthy when life is filled with temptation, check out the BHF's Heart Matters magazine.

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