How to Zolafy a Dessert Recipe

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

I’m one of the lucky people who can read a recipe and taste it in my head. I hope you are one too, but if you’re not, with a few guiding steps you can still learn how to turn an unhealthy dessert into a healthy food choice.

When you look on the internet (the world’s largest cookbook) these days, you’ll figure out there are duplications of recipes everywhere. Some of them are exact duplications, and some have little tweaks to vary them to the taste or creativity of the cook.

What I do with recipes in my work with Plan Z is make them healthier by reducing the sugar and other carbs, while at the same time, maintaining the flavor. That means you CAN have dessert and still maintain your weight and keep your blood sugar in line.

Today I’m going to outline the process of how I “Zolafy” a dessert recipe in the hopes that I inspire you. Plan Z has over 1,000 recipes now! People tell us all the time that Plan Z doesn’t taste like a diet. And with Plan Z dieters losing an average of 31 pounds in under 50 days, what’s not to love?

So let’s get started.

When I’m modifying a dessert recipe the first thing I like to do is review a selection of what I call “inspiration recipes.” That means I get an idea of what I have a hankering for and then I go look at recipes from various sources. I find it’s really a good idea to review at least six recipes before I begin designing my own. It’s important to see what other cooks/bakers are doing. There are enough differences in the recipes and cooking methods that I get enthusiastic about designing a recipe that becomes my own. I don’t want to copy someone else’s hard work.

For example, a while ago I got a hankering for lemon bars so I set about thinking about how I can make them low carb, eliminate the sugar and still keep that zippy flavor that a classic lemon bar has.

Lemon bars start off with a crust on the bottom. So the first thing you have to replace is the flour. Flour = fat body = bad. I need to remove the “white stuff.” Good news is there is a new almond meal/flour out that works so much like regular flour you’ll hardly notice regular flour is missing. I love Bob’s Red Mill Super Fine Ground Almond Meal. The other almond meal they offer is decent but the Super Fine one is superior, for sure, for baking.

Next step is to tackle the sugar content. Lemon bars are a sugar bonanza! In my mind, even if I adjust from sugar to a sugar substitute of some kind, the final result is probably going to be too sweet for me. Those of us who cut sugar out of our diet to any great degree have morphed our taste buds. After years of little to no sugar, our tastes are calibrated differently. It’s a natural occurrence in cutting down the amount of sugar we eat. If I have anything from a bakery that’s made from a “regular” recipe it makes my face cringe and I get woozy after I eat it. Waaaaay too sweet. So, I cut back the sweet in my recipes. I do, however, keep in mind that I’m not the only one likely to eat the result. I’d never eat a whole plate of lemon bars, so I have to account for others’ sweet tastes too. That means I cut at least 1/3 or more (usually more) of the sweetness factor. When I taste that recipe in my head I can usually tell how much I can get away with cutting. You many need to experiment to figure out your own sweetness preference.

As sugar substitutes go I have my go-to favorites. They are Swerve and ZSweet. Those two brands are starting to hit stores, but if they are not in your area you can order them online. Swerve even makes a powdered sugar. It makes a delicious frosting. And in this case, a perfect little dusting on the top of the lemon bars. Truth be told, I’d even skip the dusting on the top just to save the money and the extra sweet factor.

Speaking of money, almond flour and sugar substitutes are not cheap. Almond flour is made from almonds…and nuts are expensive. Sugar substitutes that are natural are more expensive to make than the fake stuff so they run a bit more, too. My attitude these days is a dessert like this is something special and not intended to be an everyday treat. Our society just went nuts in the last few decades deciding dessert was a “right” instead of a treat to be treasured. We all got out of control. So maybe the money factor can play in to keep us all a little bit healthier.

Lemon is my husband’s favorite dessert flavor. He absolutely loves this.
I hope you do, too.




Creamy Dreamy Lemon Bars

My husband’s favorite dessert flavor is lemon. These hit his tart meter for sure! They taste divine and have no sugar and no gluten.