Everyone deserves a treat now and then, and a rich, succulent lamb dinner provides just the thing. But since lamb is a protein high in saturated fat and calories, it makes sense to cut back on the calories in the dessert. Whether your lamb dinner happens in the spring with lamb chops, the summer with a lamb burger, in the fall with a lamb curry or in the winter with a lamb roast, you have a wealth of healthy and tasty desserts to choose from for each season.
If blueberries and strawberries are in season for your spring lamb dinner, choose them for a bright contrast in flavor and color to the rich meal. Or, go with mango and raspberries for the same effect. Serve the fruit with a 1/4 cup serving of ice cream. Or keep the calorie count even lower by making a meringue pavlova with low-calorie egg whites with just a little sugar, then swap out half the whipped cream with plain Greek yogurt. For the best flavor from strawberries, roast 2 cups of the fruit with 1/4 cup of water in a 425-degree Fahrenheit oven for 15 minutes.
Whether you're grilling lamb chops or lamb burgers, keep the grill hot for dessert, and keep the fun barbecue vibe going. Fruit is always a healthy dessert choice, with low levels of fat, sodium and calories and high levels of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fruit that works especially well on the grill include peaches, nectarines, pineapple slices and plums. Choose your favorite, and grill them until the natural sugars caramelize and turn brown. Or, make skewers of fruit kabobs with chunks of fruit. Top any fruit with plain Greek yogurt sweetened with a little brown sugar and spiced-up with some grated fresh ginger or flavorful cinnamon.
When the weather turns, you can still serve a dessert with healthy fruit. Cobblers, crisps and pies made with fresh or frozen fruit are still a healthier choice than heavier cakes and brownies. Go with seasonal fruits like pears or apples, or experiment with lesser-known fruits, like persimmons. Add persimmons to an apple or pear tart, or serve the persimmons fresh with a medley of other less common fruits like star fruit and dragon fruit. Sprinkle the fruit with a little lime juice and toasted, shredded coconut to make it special while still keeping it low in fats and sodium.
Any citrus dessert gives your taste buds a welcome break from a rich lamb meal. For special occasions, go with a lemon meringue pie. Cut the calories and fats from the pie by reducing the amount of sugar you add to the meringue, reducing the amount of butter in the filling and using whole eggs in the filling instead of just the yolks. And, choose whole wheat flour for the pie's crust to add fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Oranges also brighten up the end of a lamb dinner. Serve a brilliantly colored blood-orange tart or make a low-fat angel food cake, and spoon on a compote with fresh oranges and frozen raspberries.
- Vegetarian Times: Pavlova With Mango, Raspberries, and Whipped Yogurt Cream
- Epicurious: Coeur à la Crème With Roasted Strawberry Sauce
- U.S. Department of Agriculture ChooseMyPlate.gov: Why Is It Important to Eat Fruit?
- Epicurious: Apple and Persimmon Tarte Tatin
- Cooking Light: A Super Light – And Delicious – Lemon Meringue Pie
- Mayo Clinic: Grilled Angel Food Cake
Susan Lundman began writing about her love of cooking, ingredient choices, menu planning and healthy eating after working for 20 years on children's issues at a nonprofit organization. She has written about food online professionally for ten years on numerous websites, and has provided family and friends with homemade recipes and stories about culinary adventures. Lundman received her M.A. from Stanford University.