Make low-fat treats in the new year

While it is nice to splurge on a decadent dessert occasionally, it is also nice to have a sweet ending to a meal that doesn’t undo a healthy diet.

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Serve these berries as is or use to top pound cake, angel food cake, or vanilla ice cream.

Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar

16 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Cut any large berries in half. Place all strawberries in a bowl. Drizzle vinegar over strawberries; sprinkle with sugar. Stir gently to combine. Cover, and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour but not more than 4 hours. Just before serving, grind pepper over berries. Makes 6 servings.

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Double Chocolate Mousse

2 ounces semisweet baking chocolate
1-1/2 cups fat-free milk, divided
1 1.4-ounce package fat-free, sugar-free instant chocolate pudding mix
2 cups thawed nondairy whipped topping, divided
1/2 cup fresh raspberries

In a large microwaveable bowl, heat chocolate and 1 cup milk on High power for 2 minutes; whisk until chocolate is melted. Add remaining milk and dry pudding mix; beat for 2 minutes. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Whisk in 1-1/2 cups nondairy whipped topping; spoon into 6 dessert dishes. Top with remaining whipped topping and berries; serve. Makes 6 servings.

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Make sure that all your bowl, beaters, and pan are clean and very dry. Otherwise the egg whites could deflate.

Angel Food Cake

1 cup cake flour
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
12 egg whites
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sift together the flour and 3/4 cup of the sugar; set aside. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites along with the vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt to medium stiff peaks. Gradually add the remaining sugar while continuing to whip to stiff peaks. When the egg white mixture has reached its maximum volume, fold in the sifted ingredients gradually, one third at a time. Do not overmix. Put the batter into the tube pan. Bake until the cake springs back when touched, about 40 to 45 minutes. Balance the tube pan upside down on the top of a bottle, to prevent decompression while cooling. When cool, run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert onto a plate. Makes 14 servings.

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Pantry Pointers

For a healthy dessert, mix low-fat yogurt with low-fat whipped topping and spoon this mixture over sliced fresh fruit.

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