Warm weather. Blue skies. Walks in the park. Spring always brings with it a renewed sense of hope, and relief that months of sunshine are ahead of us. My clients come in a little bit happier and much more motivated to eat healthy. Bathing suit season is around the corner, after all. And I'm reminded that summer in NYC is a scorcher, and carrying around extra pounds only adds to the discomfort. So while my clients want to take off the winter weight, I want to take off the bingeing weight. I don't talk about my weight too often on this blog (or maybe I do?) because I want the focus to be on healthy eating, not the number on the scale. But as any binge eater would know all too well, I can gain in a couple of days what it takes a normal eater months to gain. So now it's time to get real with myself, and stop what I'm doing before it gets out of hand. I've been there before...there being at a weight where I don't feel like myself...and I don't want to go there again. Now that it's warmer outside, I've started running again, but I know that, for me, it's not the exercise that makes the difference. It's what I put in my mouth. As I've learned over and over though, I don't do well with restrictions. So there's no way I'm going to tell myself I can't have dessert, can't have cheese, can't have pizza. But as always, I'm looking for a slightly healthier way to have my cake...so that I can eat it too.
With that thought in mind, I decided to make a "healthy" dessert. Or at least healthier than the flourless chocolate cake I've been eyeing at Trader Joe's. My inspiration came from the Thai summer rolls I had for dinner last night. If you can put what basically amounts to salad inside a rice wrapper and have it taste delicious, why not just put fruit in there? Why not indeed.
I tried a variety of fillings for these, including diced pears and apples, blueberries, and bananas. The banana filling came out the clear winner. I also tried making some fresh and others baked (as in the photo above). Although the baked roll ups might be good for winter, with the warm weather outside, I found myself appreciating the light taste of the fresh roll ups better. The thing I like best about these rolls, though, is the versatility. You can play around with the ingredients, depending on what you have in the fridge and who's going to eat them. Want something light? Just fill them with bananas and dip them in fat free yogurt. Craving something a bit more decadent? Add some ricotta cheese and chocolate chips to the mix. Or when fruit is ripe in the summer, how about some fresh mango or peaches? Perhaps dipped in whipped cream? With fresh mint sprigs? The possibilities are endless.
There isn't much of a recipe to speak of here. Just two necessary ingredients: rice wrappers and fruit. The rest is up to you. Here are some options for filling and/or dipping:
- fresh, seasonal fruit, thinly sliced
- chocolate chips
- dried coconut
- ricotta cheese, mascarpone, whipping cream, or yogurt
- chocolate pudding
What's your favorite "healthy" indulgence?
This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.