From 100 to 150 calories:
Island-style almond sweet or Macaroons
Some make these only with the use of almond paste, icing sugar, egg white and rose water, whereas others add a little semolina to the dough. They are formed into balls or little pear shapes and are decorated with a clove. If they are not stored in air-tight containers, they become dry and hard. As a delicious, yet relatively healthy sweet, it is fat free and contains no cholesterol. The large quantity of almonds used to make this sweet increase the content of folic acid, vitamin B, niacin, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
Diples (Fried turnovers)
These are made from a dough containing eggs, flour, and baking powder. The pastry is rolled out into sheets, cut into portions, and then fried in very hot oil. Once fried, honey is poured over them and they are sprinkled with ground walnuts and cinnamon. Fried turnovers can be included in this calorie category only when they are small. If twisted and large, they go into a higher calorie content. Fried turnovers can be kept for 2-3 weeks without refrigeration, but are best when served warm. Instead of seed oil, try frying them in olive oil; this reduces the calorie count. As the only oil that can withstand the high temperatures involved in frying, olive oil can be kept virtually unchanged until the third or fourth use.
The preparation of this sweet requires patience, but it’s worth the effort. It is made with large, cleaned, well-formed chestnuts, which are boiled in syrup for a full day and then drained. Then they are brought to a boil and drained again the following day. This process is repeated over the following 5-6 days, until the chestnuts are well-glazed and have absorbed much of the syrup. The chestnut is high in nutritional value thanks to the vitamins it contains (A, niacin, folic acid, E), as well as the inorganic elements (calcium, zinc, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium). Even when boiled and peeled, it contains 5 g of fiber per 100 g.
Made with the remains of other sweets, truffles are a godsend for confectioners. Sponges, meringues, and creams, among other sweets, are combined to produce a firm paste. This is rolled into little balls which are coated in chocolate truffle and sold in wafer baskets. If instead made from scratch, they are prepared with crushed biscuits and kneaded with butter, egg yolks, milk, brandy, cooking chocolate, and nuts. Truffles are merely a sweet dairy product, low in both fat and sugar. From 150 to 250 calories
The light dough of almond shortbread is made with butter, flour and almonds. It can be either cut into shapes like stars, hearts, and crescent moons, or rolled into balls. It is then baked in the oven and dusted with sifted icing sugar. We suggest you make your shortbreads on the smaller side, dusting them with icing sugar while they’re still hot, so that your carpet is spared the shortbread dust!
Melomakarona (Honey cookies)
Made from just flour, sugar, oil and orange juice, traditional honey cookies are quite simple. Once finished, they are sometimes covered in honey syrup and sprinkled with ground walnuts, cinnamon, and clove. Honey cookies are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, but also in fiber.
Soudaki (Little choux pastries)
The success of a soudaki relies on the puffing of the pastry during cooking. If it doesn’t puff, it can’t be opened and filled with confectioner’s cream. The puffing of the pastry is due to the amount of eggs used, as well as the way in which the flour, butter, eggs, and water are combined over heat. In frying this pastry rather than baking, you can make svinghi (doughnuts) and touloumbakia. The smaller the little choux pastries are, the more elegant and the less harmful they are to the cardiovascular system. For the healthiest version of a soudaki, fill the pastry with a simple corn starch cream instead of whipped cream, which is made purely with cream (saturated fat).
The crunchy base of a tart balances perfectly its soft, creamy filling. The most suitable tart for dieters is pasta flora (made with flaky pastry), since it is filled solely with jam rather than a custard of butter and eggs. If, however, you prefer the refreshing taste of fresh fruit in your tartlette, then just line it with the minimum of custard and fill with slices of fragrant mandarins and strawberries, for example. Hence, a dessert that can truly be considered healthy.
From 250 to 350 calories
Flogera is essentially a wrapped galaktoboureko, with its custard cream redolent of almonds. Though the polyunsaturated fats present in almonds might be nutritionally beneficial, they will not negate the saturated fats that inevitably come with the milk, butter, cream and eggs. Flogera pastries can be frozen as soon as they are prepared, and then baked up to a maximum of twenty days later.
Yeast, milk, butter, sugar, eggs and flour are kneaded together, and then left to rise. Once it rises, the dough is kneaded again, allowed to rise a second time, and then finally baked. The more air in the dough, the better the baba. Syrup is poured over the baba, making it even softer. Avoid filling babas with whipped cream, as it would put the sweet in a higher category of calorie content. Instead, store babas in jars with rum for extra flavor. The calorie content of a small rum babe is usually around 220 calories. Babas can be stored for around a week in the fridge, but remember to keep them in an airtight container, so as to prevent them from drying out.
To make a swiss roll, simply cover a soft layer of sponge cake with jam and roasted hazelnuts before rolling it up. Hazelnuts, like all nuts, are rich in vitamins, inorganic elements, fiber and polyunsaturated fats. In each slice of a Swiss roll, 100 calories come from the hazelnuts and jam, while the rest come from the sponge cake. This type of sweet is suitable for breakfast and can easily replace a slice of bread spread with jam, as both are usually around 270 calories.
An apple strudel is a flaky rolled-up butter pastry with apple filling. Strudels are not limited to the apple variety; bakeries worldwide offer pear, plum, or custard cream varieties, as well as combinations of the above. Opt for fruit-filled strudels, as they add to the vitamin and fiber content of the sweet, without furthering its fat content. Strudel will not keep longer than 2-3 days as the filling makes the pastry mushy.
Ravani (Semolina cake)
Ravani is a syrupy sweet baked in a tray and containing coconut. Though coconut is a fiber, it contains saturated fat that is similar to animal fat. Remember that a slice of fresh coconut (45 g) contains 160 calories, while one tablespoon (15 g) of desiccated coconut contains 65 calories. Ravani can be stored in the fridge for over a week, as long as it is covered well with plastic wrap.
From 350 to 450 calories
New Year cakes
In general, there are three variations of this sweet: politiki (from Constantinople), tsoureki (similar to Easter bread), and cake, all three of which contain eggs, butter, and milk. We recommend the politiki variation, primarily because it is the healthiest. It is a sweet bread made with yeast, mastic, allspice, and aniseed, in addition to the usual New Years cake ingredients. It is usually served cut into thin slices and can be stored for ten days or more. The spices are a considerable source of anti-oxidants. It’s preferable that they be added to the mixture ground, rather than cooked, so that they can leave their "traces" in the water that is required for the recipe.
Galaktoboureko (Custard slice)
Galaktoboureko contains a heavy custard made from milk, semolina, eggs, and sugar, placed between two layers of pastry. If the custard is prepared with flour rather than semolina, it becomes quite solid. Semolina (roughly ground, high quality wheat) is rich in B group vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin), inorganic elements (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium) and fiber. Galaktoboureko can be served either warm and cold, both of which are equally delicious. The success of the sweet depends on the recipe for the custard and its crispy pastry. The pastry does not turn mushy when the sweet is covered in plastic wrap, even when stored in the fridge.
Isli are similar to filled melomakarona (honey cookies), except that they are slightly more syrupy. The dough may be prepared with margarine, but is equally successful when made with oil. They are quite impressive, triangular in shape, and will keep (like honey cookies) for more than two weeks. Their nutritional value, when prepared with olive oil, exceeds that of honey cookies because they contain less syrup (simple carbohydrates). After eating a sweet that contains lots of sugar or honey a a physiological reaction occurs and your appetite is not satisfied. Simple carbohydrates raise the glucose level in the blood quite suddenly, and, in order for the body to regulate this and return it to normal levels (90-120 units), it has to secrete insulin and this leads to a feeling of hunger.
Walnut cake (Karithopita)
The large amount of walnuts used in walnut cake make it rather heavy, thus preventing it from rising. This is why the dough requires lots of eggs, as well as baking powder. Walnut cake should be made with fresh walnuts in order to avoid an acrid smell. It can be kept for a week without refrigeration. Walnut cake does not require any superfluous decoration to make an impact; the taste alone does the trick. Covering the cake with chocolate, icing sugar, or glazing it will make it more impressive appearance wise, but this adds at least 70 – 100 calories per serving.
From 450 to 550 calories
Kataifi is quite amazing when it is soft, which is how it ends up when it isn’t rolled too tightly. Kataifi pastry dries out rather easily, so while preparing the recipe, the pastry should be kept in a damp dishcloth or tea towel. Traditional kataifi contains a filling made of various nuts and breadcrumbs. Generally, breadcrumbs (or crushed rusk) are used in syrupy sweets for reasons of economy, as well as texture. The starch present in the crumbs has the ability to absorb the syrup and thus keep the filling softer. Although breadcrumbs increase the sweet’s carbohydrate content, they also lower the fat content.
Christmas logs are made with the same ingredients as cake, that is, sponge, cream and nuts, but with a different form. This sweet requires considerable skill in decorating in order for it to closely resemble a broken tree log and not just a plain roll. Though it is served in thin slices, the saturated fats are still plentiful.
Paper-thin layers of phyllo dough and a filling of blanched, white almonds make baklava an unforgettable sweet. If baklava is finished off with olive oil rather than butter, then it really can’t be criticized. Olive oil and nuts provide the body with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Baklavas and all sweets made with phyllo pastry, should be chewed well before swallowing in order to prevent indigestion.
There are many variations of pudding, but the basic ingredients are eggs, cream, walnuts, sugar and alcohol. It is prepared in a bain marie and will be creamy in texture. As this is a sensitive sweet, it should made in small quantities and consumed immediately. It is particularly high in fat, but also fat soluble vitamins, like A, D, and E.
Christmas cake is similar to the classic black forest cake. It is comprised of a dark sponge cake, white cream, forest fruits, and shavings of cooking chocolate. However, it contains many ingredients that are high in saturated fats (eggs, cream, butter). A sweet like this can cover approximately 1/3 of the average adult’s daily energy requirement. It is therefore considered to exceed dietary limits, however flexible such limits may be during this special time of year. Scroll up for some much better options.
How many calories in desserts
Do you have an uncontrollable sweet tooth? If you have found dessert consumption to be simply unavoidable, scroll down to discover which desserts are low in calorie content, as well as which desserts you should be sure to steer clear from...
From 100 to 150 calories: