Someone has made a serious error in labeling a dessert “healthy.” Today’s Albuquerque Journal‘s weekend supplement contains a recipe from the ThreeManyCooks blog, called “Eaton Mess,” and is labeled as a “lucious, healthy summer dessert.” While this is an entertaining blog to follow, with its mother-and-daughters team, they have mischaracterized this particular dessert in this writer’s opinion, and redefined the word “healthy.” Judge for yourself.
The ingredients in this dessert are: berries, sugar, lemon juice, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and store-bought meringue cookies. The “healthy” ingredients would be the berries, lemon juice, and extract. It is pretty easy to pick out the truly non-healthy ingredients: sugar, heavy cream, and the cookies. The nutritional information lists a serving as : 641 calories (Yikes–that’s nearly half a day’s average caloric intake for a female adult who is on a weight-loss program!), 75 grams carbs (mostly sugar), 4 grams protein, 37 grams fat (22 of them saturated!), 123 mg cholesterol, 5 grams fiber (the berries), and 172 mg sodium.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that saturated fat is not a good thing and needs to be strictly limited. It increases the cholesterol in your blood, which can lead to a heart attack, a stroke, and hardening of the arteries. Our bodies need fat, but not the trans fat (the really bad stuff) or the saturated (the experts say some is okay, but a recipe that has more than half of its fat in the saturated form? This is a no-brainer: The response to that, is NO!
This weight-watcher will admit that the photo in the article looks enticing, and the ingredients make you want to dive into it. But at 641 calories, you would have to be on your treadmill at 4.5 mph for 30 minutes just to burn just 200 calories. (The next time you are at the gym or where you can try out a treadmill, set it for 4.5 mph and let me know how that works for you!) So, get very friendly here, and split that dessert ‘for one’ with 3-4 friends. You only need a bite or two to satisfy that urge to taste the richness in this dessert.
If you want a really low-cal dessert, try a cup of sliced strawberries with a little balsamic vinegar sprinkled over them. Grand total for calories: 50.
BOTTOM LINE: If the headline to a recipe reads that it is “healthy,” read that fine print that usually appears at the bottom of the recipe. Do not believe everything you read off the top.