Most of the ingredients that make desserts taste good, like butter and cream, are high in saturated fats, which unfortunately means they’re not great for anyone with high cholesterol. Luckily though there are lots of chefs and bloggers who have dedicated a lot of time to creating healthy dessert recipes that don’t include high fat ingredients, but still taste great.
Lots of these healthy dessert recipes unfortunately seem to involve tons of (sometimes very obscure sounding!) ingredients and fiddly, time-consuming techniques, which I’m not a massive fan of. So I love it when I discover ones that are easy to make, taste really good and, most importantly, contain ingredients that actively help to lower cholesterol. Here my current favourites:-
1. Black Bean Brownies
I was so excited when I found this recipe, because these brownies contain both beans and oats – two of the most well-known foods for actively lowering cholesterol. I was a bit dubious about eating brownies made from beans, but they really are delicious. My husband, who is generally very dubious about desserts made with healthy ingredients, is a huge fan of them too, which says a lot.
Another great thing about this cholesterol-friendly recipe is that it’s super easy – all you have to do is blend the ingredients in a food processor, then cook the brownies for 15-18 mins, and that’s it!
I use olive oil rather than coconut oil and Lindt 70% chocolate instead of the chocolate chips. I just break the bar into small pieces, and scatter on top of the brownie just before putting it in the oven. Then when I take the out of the oven, I spread the melted chocolate across the top with the back of a spoon, then sprinkle flaked almonds over the top.
Click here to see the recipe by ‘Chocolate Covered Katie’.
2. Banana Split Bites
These banana split bites are easy to prepare, and make a great healthy cholesterol-friendly dessert for kids (and adults!). I use dark chocolate for dipping because it contains antioxidants, and research has shown that eating small amounts of it not only reduces bad cholesterol (LDL), but also increases good cholesterol (HDL).
I’m also pretty generous with the chopped nuts, because they’re high in vitamins, minerals, and monounsaturated fats, which can also help to lower cholesterol. And the fruit contributes towards your five a day, so this is a great all-round dessert!
Click here to see the recipe by ‘Our Family of Seven’.
3. Nutty Chocolate Cake
This is a recipe I invented when I first found out I had high cholesterol, as I wanted to try and fit as many cholesterol-reducing ingredients as possible into one cake. I’m not a fan of faffing around with complicated baking processes, so this cake is incredibly easy to make.
Click here to see the recipe.
4. Peanut Butter Cup Chia Seed Pudding
This is meant to be a breakfast recipe, but it also makes a delicious cholesterol-friendly dessert. It looks so impressive, but is really easy to make. One thing I should mention though is that it needs to sit for at least 3 hours (or preferably overnight) before serving, so needs to be prepared in advance. I sprinkle flaked almonds on top just before serving to add extra cholesterol-lowering benefits.
Despite their tiny size, chia seeds are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They are loaded with fibre, protein and Omega-3 fatty acid, so are brilliant at actively lowering cholesterol.
Peanut butter is filled with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which help to lower bad cholesterol (LDL), while keeping good cholesterol (HDL) levels high. Just make sure you use the ‘no added sugar’ varieties.
Click here to see the recipe by ‘Emilie Eats’.
5. Chocolate & Banana Mousse
This is one of my absolute favourites, and has made cholesterol-friendly eating a WHOLE lot easier (thank you Ella!). It’s another recipe that’s so easy to make, but tastes so so good. It’s also gluten free and dairy free, and contains lots of cholesterol-friendly ingredients.
Don’t be put off by the fact that it contains avocados – it sounds strange, but you don’t taste it once it’s mixed in with the other ingredients. Avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fats, which can help to increase good cholesterol (HDL).
Almond butter, chia seeds and flaxseeds are great for reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) too, so this dessert will do wonders for your heart health.
Click here to see the recipe by ‘Deliciously Ella’.
6. Apple Cinnamon Bites
Eating an apple a day really does keep the doctor away! Apples are a great source of soluble fibre and have roughly the same cholesterol-lowering abilities as oats, so having an apple-based dessert can be hugely beneficial for heart health. These apple cinnamon cookie bites are so easy to make, yet taste delicious.
Click here to see the recipe by ‘Kristine’s Kitchen’.