The Mediterranean diet has been shown to have a number of health benefits. This diet may help to help prevent heart disease and heart attack, fight diabetes, help with mental problems like Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and depression, and more. Typically, Mediterranean diet meals are rich in vegetables and fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and fish. But what do Mediterranean diet desserts look like? These recipes are truly delicious and when eaten in moderation, don’t have to completely break your diet. Take a look!
1. Apricot-Bulgur Pudding Cake with Custard Sauce
If you want sweet Mediterranean desserts that are still whole-grain, check out this great cake from EatingWell.
- 1/2 cup dried apricots (chopped)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup bulgur
- 2 large eggs (separated)
- 2/3 cup low-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 cup toasted, salted pistachios (finely chopped)
- Custard sauce
Combine the ingredients from apricots through water in a frying pan or saucepan. Bring it all to a boil, then turn the heat down and let it simmer until the apricots have become moist and tender. Stir as needed. When the apricots are ready, add the bulgur and turn the heat back to high. After it boils, reduce the heat again and again simmer until the bulgur is soft and the whole mixture has the consistency of oatmeal.
Preheat your oven to 350 F while you let the bulgur and apricot mixture cool for about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix the egg yolks and milk, then add in the bulgur mixture and whisk well. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until it forms stiff peaks. Fold this into the bulgur mixture, then pour the batter into a square, 8-inch baking dish. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top of the cake, then place the whole baking dish into a roasting pan with hot water in the bottom. The hot water should come about halfway up the sides of your baking pan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and cook about 30 to 40 minutes. When the cake is golden and puffed up, take it (still in its dish) out of the water and move it to a wire rack to cool. Before serving, top with custard sauce (either premade or homemade. For a recipe, click here) and chopped pistachios.
2. Almond Cookies
One of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet is that it includes plenty of nuts, which give the body proteins and good fats to help it stay healthy. Mediterranean diet desserts like almond cookies from EatingWell help keep those same benefits in a sweeter fashion.
- 2 cups almonds, whole
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat your oven to 350 F and prepare two large cookie sheets by lining them with parchment paper. Bake the almonds and pine nuts in a small baking pan for about 8 minutes, or until they become fragrant. Let them cool, then place them in your food processor along with the sugar. Process until everything is mixed and coarsely ground.
Lightly beat your egg whites, then add them to the mixture, along with the whole-wheat flour and the salt. Stir by hand until everything is well-mixed.
Form small balls of dough (about 1 tablespoon) and place them on your prepared cookie sheets at least an inch apart. Press down on them to flatten them slightly. After the balls are flattened, pinch one side of them to give these cookies their classic conical shape.
Bake the cookies, one cookie sheet at a time, until they're just slightly darkened on the bottom but the centers are still moist (about 12 to 14 minutes). Move to a wire rack and let cool. You can save whatever cookies you don’t eat for about 4 days by storing them in an airtight container between layers of parchment paper.
3. Baked Apples
- 9 apples
- 1/2 cup chopped raisins or currants
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Core the apples, beginning at the top and not cutting entirely through the apple. Although you want all of the seeds gone, you want the bottom of the apple to stay in place to keep all your goodies inside. To each apple, add 1 teaspoon of currants or raisins, 1 teaspoon of brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon powder. Bake the apples for 1 hour. Enjoy!