Skinny Sweets

Marvelous Lemon Mousse
Sweet and luscious, this lemon mousse offers both protein and bone-building calcium.

1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin
2/3 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup Splenda
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
8 oz non-fat plain yogurt
1 egg white
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup light whipped topping

Place gelatin in a small saucepan. Add 1/3 cup of the lemon juice and let stand for 3 minutes. Place on low heat and add remaining 1/3 cup of lemon juice, Splenda, zest and food coloring. Heat for 3 to 4 minutes until gelatin is completely dissolved. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Allow to cool while stirring occasionally so mixture does not gel. Pur?e cottage cheese and yogurt until completely smooth. Whisk pur?e into the lemon-gelatin mixture. Place mixture in the refrigerator, whisking occasionally to prevent lumps. In a separate bowl, beat the egg white to soft peaks. Add sugar and beat until stiff, but not dry. Fold into the cooled lemon mixture. Fold in light whipped topping. Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 102 calories (146 if using sugar), 1.5 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 13 grams carbohydrates (24 grams if using sugar), 0 grams fiber, 9 grams protein, 55 mg sodium

Carrot Cupcakes
With all the flavor of traditional carrot cake, but less than half the calories and a fraction of the added sugar, these gems easily fit in a healthy diet.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/4 cups carrots, peeled, finely shredded
1/4 cup canola oil
1 small container of baby food: prunes or prunes with apples
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup Splenda or sugar
1 tbsp powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray and flour or place paper liners in 12 muffin cups. In a medium bowl, combine first 8 ingredients (flour through carrots). In small bowl, whisk together the oil, baby food, vanilla, buttermilk, brown sugar and Splenda or sugar. Pour the oil mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined. Spoon batter into muffin tins, filling 2/3 full. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until center of cupcake springs back when touched. Remove from oven. Dust muffins with powdered sugar just prior to serving. Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 161 calories (201 if using sugar), 7 grams fat (0.5 grams saturated), 21 grams carbohydrates (31 grams if using sugar), 2 grams fiber, 3.5 grams protein, 160 mg sodium

Chocolate Truffles
Reduced-fat cream cheese makes these decadent truffles smooth, creamy and low-fat.

1 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 oz Neufchatel cream cheese, room temperature
1/8 tsp orange extract
2/3 cup Splenda or powdered sugar
4 tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powder
3 tbsp powdered sugar

Place chocolate in a small container and microwave for 1 minute on medium power. Stir until smooth. Set aside. In a small bowl, stir cream cheese with a wooden spoon until creamy. Add melted chocolate, orange extract and Splenda or powdered sugar. Stir. Sift in 2 tbsp cocoa powder and the powdered sugar, and stir until creamy. (Mixture will be very stiff.) Cover and place in refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls (about 1 tbsp each). Roll truffles in remaining 2 tbsp of cocoa powder. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Makes 12 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 59 calories (87 if using sugar), 3 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 6 grams carbohydrates (13 grams if using sugar), 1 gram fiber, 2 grams protein, 80 mg sodium

Marlene Koch is a registered dietitian and culinary consultant. She's also the author of Marlene Koch's 375 Sensational Splenda Recipes: Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat and Calories.

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