View as List 7 Delicious, Unusual Desserts

  • 7 Delicious, Unusual Desserts?>

    In the quest for good health, dessert sometimes gets a bad rap. But sweet and delicious doesn’t have to mean unhealthy—nor does “healthy dessert” have to equal plain fruit salad, as these bold and even bizarre-sounding recipes demonstrate. From the sweetness of mango in our Mango-Tapioca Pudding to the crunch of almonds in our Almond and Apricot Rice Pudding to the zing of espresso in our Mochaccino Bavarian Cream, these seven desserts are anything but uninspiring.  

  • 1

    Mango-Tapioca Pudding


    Most tapioca puddings are made with milk and eggs, but for a lighter, more tropical feeling we’ve cooked this tapioca in mango nectar. Another fruit nectar, such as apricot, could work just as well. Check labels and look for nectars with no added sugar when possible. As the pudding cooks, the tapioca pearls swell and turn translucent, giving this dessert the appearance that earned it its affectionate (albeit unappetizing) nickname: fish eyes and glue.

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  • 2

    Wine-Poached Pears with Goat Cheese

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    When you think goat cheese, you don’t necessarily think dessert. But couple it with pears poached in dry red wine and you’ve got a sweet-savory masterpiece. Use a melon baller to scoop out the core from the pear half; this creates a perfect bowl-shaped hollow to hold the creamy goat cheese filling. (If you don’t have a melon baller, use a small spoon.) Combining the goat cheese in this recipe with fat-free cream cheese helps keep the calories down (about 270 per serving).

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  • 3

    Almond and Apricot Rice Pudding


    Plain rice pudding can lean toward blandness. But here it’s transformed by shredded carrots, chopped apricots, and slivered almonds into a vibrantly colored and textured dessert with a healthy dose of fiber, beta carotene, and vitamin E. For an added twist, try making it with an aromatic rice such as basmati.

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  • 4

    Peanut Pudding with Shaved Chocolate

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    In our take on the classic peanut-butter-and-chocolate pairing, this pudding replaces the traditional cream with soy milk and omits the eggs. The addition of gelatin provides a creamy texture with no fat (but vegetarians should be aware this gelatin is an animal-derived ingredient). Most of the fat in the pudding is unsaturated, from the peanuts and peanut butter.

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  • 5

    Honey-Mango Mousse

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    The mango in this dessert not only gives it a light and luscious taste, but infuses the mousse with beta carotene. For even fewer calories and more tanginess, replace all or part of the reduced-fat sour cream in the recipe with plain nonfat yogurt.

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  • 6

    Nectarine Cheese Pie in Ginger Crust


    This novel spin on cheesecake is made with no eggs, plus you don’t bake it (the yogurt cheese is chilled to set with the other ingredients). Nutritionwise, it's no ordinary pie either: Yogurt is rich in protein and can contain more calcium per cup than milk, depending on the variety. Choose a bright, round nectarine with a deep yellow shade under a red blush. Ripe fruit should yield to gentle pressure and have a sweet fragrance.

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  • 7

    Mochaccino Bavarian Cream


    This blend of coffee and chocolate will wake you up and soothe your taste buds at the same time. Like all coffee, espresso contains many naturally occurring plant chemicals—more than 1,000 have been identified so far, many formed during the roasting process. Many of the beneficial substances are polyphenols, a group of antioxidants that’s been linked to various health benefits.

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