Fortunately, there’s a hack to the desert code…
It involves cutting the fat out of the equation. Angel food cake is sweet and fluffy and voluminous – the perfect desert to satisfy your sweet tooth when you’re working to change habits and revamp your body. Yes, it’s high in carbs and of course all food comes with a calorie allotment, so plan accordingly. But that doesn’t mean you need to cut out post-dinner sweets forever, or that you can’t indulge on occasion. Add desserts back to your diet with this healthy recipe for angel food cake.
Healthy, Easy Angel Food Cake Ingredients:
1 cup cake flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
12 large egg whites, separated
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp almond extract
Healthy, Easy Angel Food Cake Directions:
Preheat oven to 325°.
Use a dry measuring cup to level cake flour with a knife or spatula. Combine sugar and flour with a whisk, set dry ingredients aside.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites until foamed. Add cream of tartar and salt, beat until egg whites form soft peaks.
Place egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar and salt; beat the mixture into soft peaks. Add 3/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Beat in vanilla, juice, and almond extract. Using 1/4 cup of your flour mixture at a time, sift over egg white mixture; fold in. Repeat until all ingredients are gently folded together.
Spread batter evenly into an un-greased, 10 inch tube pan. Use a knife to cut through the batter and break up air pockets. Bake for 55 minutes at 325 degrees, and test for doneness by touching the cake lightly – it should spring back. Flip the pan and let the cake cool completely, then use a narrow spatula to help loosen and remove.
For some exciting flavor additions, consider throwing 1 – 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, or some grated orange peel and orange extract into the batter. If you’re going to add a topping, make it sugar-free dessert topping and fruit.
The secret to this easy angel food cake is its exceptionally low fat content. When compared to the other two macronutrients, carbs and protein, fat contains more than double the calories per gram. That’s why high-fat foods like peanut butter, oils, and avocados are so high in calories – they aren’t “unhealthy,” per se, but they do require strict moderation in order to maintain the caloric deficit necessary to lose weight. Fat is also essential for various bodily functions, so eliminating it entirely is unwise. But if you’re going to eat dessert on a diet, the smart way to do it is to cut fat, and this healthy, easy angel food cake recipe contains no butter or egg yolks.
The Candid Truth About Desserts
There are two primary reasons that desserts create a dietary hazard, but there are also specific methods to mitigate those risks. Remember – dessert isn’t inherently evil. But you’ll need to learn to get that sugar demon under control if you want to successfully lose weight.
Sugar Is Habit Forming
Yes, sugar is addictive. The sugar/drug analogy, once thought extreme, has been sufficiently substantiated in the scientific and nutritional communities. Your brain loves a sugar buzz, and the hormonal fluctuations that come with chasing that buzz are going to make it very difficult to lose weight – those fluctuations are probably at least partly responsible for your weight gain. Carbs have long been demonized for the same reasons, but you need carbs to replenish glycogen after exercise. What you don’t need are violent insulin spikes throughout the day, and that’s what happens when you allow the sugar demon to take over your diet.
Just as alcohol consumed in moderation is considered an acceptable use of a dangerous substance, sugar should be consumed with an understanding of the risks. Enjoy your desserts in moderation and try to keep your consumption within your long-term diet plan. To better utilize your food, try timing your carb consumption around exercise – some carbs before, some during (when appropriate) and most after.
Evening Dessert Compromises
At the close of a busy work day when families are winding down and relaxing, making good food choices becomes very difficult. You’ll have more time to notice your hunger when you’re sitting down at night than when you’re anxiously completing tasks at work or hitting the gym. You’ll also have the opportunity to raid your cabinet or fridge – access that’s likely limited during your workday.
First, avoid stocking your cabinets full of junk food. It’s a lot harder to screw up your meal plan at the end of a long day when you don’t have those options in the house. Next, plan your compromises. If you know that Thursday is movie night and that means popcorn, just work it in to your plan so you don’t feel like you’re “cheating.” Lastly, if you’re going to compromise, make it a low-fat/low-calorie option, like the easy angel food cake, so you can eat a satisfying portion without blowing your deficit for the day.
Eat Healthy Angel Food Cake & Other Smart Treats To Build A Better You
There are other healthy dessert options out there, and you may find that fruit or sugar-free jello are satisfying enough on occasion. But there’s no denying that sometimes you just want to eat dessert, so eliminating it completely from your diet may be unrealistic and unfairly restrictive. Make your easy angel food cake healthy by cutting fat, and enjoy a treat without blowing your diet.
For more recipes and other health and fitness resources, visit American Family Fitness or contact your nearest gym to get advice from a health and fitness professional.