When you need just a taste of dessert, or when you can’t trust yourself around a full-sized cheesecake, turn to these bites for delicious micro-bursts of flavor and healthy decadence. There’s no added sugar but they’re sweetened perfectly with stevia extract…
Life is about so much more than eating your daily greens, fibre, protein, vitamins, minerals, and the other essentials. It is about those things, but it’s also about enjoyment, and sharing a treat with a loved one. But at the same time, you don’t want to undo all your good work by wolfing down a dessert that’s loaded with calories and refined sugar. What to do…
These tasty, creamy, frozen bites could be the answer. With no refined sugar, no refined carbs, and no dairy, they check all the boxes for a healthy dessert. But do they taste good? Yes, they do! The citrus base has a luscious creaminess, sweetened perfectly with a few drops of stevia extract. The berry on top lends a pop of color and a punch of flavor. (For more information on stevia’s health benefits, see Ruth’s earlier posts, Should I avoid sugar if I have cancer? and How to make stevia extract.)
Secret ingredients and properties
Hidden inside the yumminess is turmeric or matcha – your choice, depending on which citrus you use. Use turmeric if you used lemon or orange juice in the base mix, and use matcha with a lime juice base. In addition to giving a bit more color (actually, a lot more color in the case of turmeric!), both matcha and turmeric provide many health benefits.
Matcha and turmeric are powerful antioxidants, that may have anti-cancer properties. We most often see turmeric as an intensely yellow/orange powder, although it is also available as a root. Turmeric, a spice perhaps best known as an ingredient in curry sauces, has a slightly peppery flavor. The spice is a natural anti-inflammatory, as effective as many over-the-counter drugs, but without the side effects. Matcha, an intensely green powder, is the finely ground leaves of green tea plants. Matcha has powerful antioxidant qualities, and improves immune system function. Like turmeric, some studies show that matcha may be involved in inhibiting the growth of tumor cells. Because matcha is such a concentrated form of green tea, a single teaspoon of it provides the equivalent nutritional benefits as ten cups of green tea!
Don’t worry if you don’t like the flavor of matcha or turmeric – there is so much else going on in this delicious bite of frozen creamy yumminess that you won’t even notice them.
Whichever citrus juice you use, it will be full of vitamin C. In addition, the juice – and any berry that you put on top of the bite – contains phytonutrients, as well as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer compounds.
This healthy dessert is so delicious, so quick and easy to make and store, that there’s no reason to hold back — tuck in, enjoy, and luxuriate!
It takes just ten minutes to whizz together the ingredients for the citrus base, followed by 5 hours in the freezer, so plan ahead. The bites will soften up within 15 minutes of being removed from the freezer, so adjust the time according to your preference. Use caution when adding the stevia, since it is very sweet, and each batch of the extract is likely to be more or less sweet than the last. Also, the orange juice version is sweeter than the lime or lemon version, so add the stevia in small amounts and sweeten to taste. Make note of the amount of stevia you use; next time you make the bites, you can add the stevia in the blender with everything else. The stevia I used isn't very concentrated; yours will likely be much sweeter, so start by adding just 1 or 2 drops and see what you think. The whole batch might need only 3 or 4 drops. It's always best to start small with stevia, especially when trying a new brand or using a new batch of home-made extract, because just a tiny amount can have such an influence on the sweetness of the dish. Also, the sweetness or tartness of the citrus juice will be different from one batch to the next. As an example, I used 40 drops of stevia extract in this recipe -- because it's not very concentrated, the mix was still a little on the tart side, which is how I like it. It's important to know that even 10 drops of a concentrated store-bought stevia extract could be much sweeter than the 40 drops I used - so take it one drop at a time, and taste after each addition! The same is true for the citrus zest - it's never the same taste twice - so start with 1/4 tsp and increase if you want to. If you don't have any citrus extract on hand, use twice the amount of zest (that is, start with 1/2 tsp of zest and take it from there). If you use zest, the finished bites might show flecks of zest, which could be pretty and won't detract from the flavor at all.
These luscious bites keep well in the freezer. You can eat them still frozen, or wait a few minutes for to soften up a little.
You can use whichever citrus juice and berries you have on hand; the recipe is very forgiving.
You can fine-tune the sweetness by adding the stevia extract just a few drops at a time.
The bites look too pretty to keep as your own secret — bring them out on a plate for friends and family to enjoy too!
What’s good about this recipe
For a small bite of food, this dessert has a lot going for it: phytonutrients, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant turmeric and matcha, vitamin C, healthy fat and protein,.
With each bite, you get a helping of the powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities of matcha and turmeric.
By using stevia extract to sweeten the bites, you’re avoiding refined sugar and the associated blood sugar spike.
Nutrition label for low calorie frozen creamy bite made with lemon juice
Nutrition label for low calorie frozen creamy bite made with lime juice
Nutrition label for low calorie frozen creamy bite made with orange juice
I used stevia extract made according to Ruth’s recipe, which isn’t very concentrated, so be sure to start out very small — try adding just one or two drops of your stevia extract, because it will likely be much sweeter than mine. You might need as little as three or four drops in the entire mix, whereas I used 40. I used this mini-muffin pan, which made it easy to remove the frozen bites and was super quick to clean up!
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