Just because a dessert has fruit doesn't mean it is healthy or low in calories. While peaches themselves are relatively low in calories and provide you with some fiber, potassium and vitamins A and C, the typical peach cobbler with its sugary fruit filling and flaky, crunchy biscuit topping is high in both fat and sugar, making it high in calories as well. But you can make changes to create a lower-calorie cobbler that is easier to fit into a healthy diet on occasion.
Limit the Fat
The first step to lowering the calories in your peach cobbler is to limit the amount of fat you use. Using a cooking spray instead of butter to grease the pan will lower the fat a bit, but the biscuit topping of the cobbler is where most, if not all, of the fat lurks. The fat in the biscuit makes it flaky and tender and, in the case of butter, adds flavor. But you can use low-fat or fat-free milk in the biscuits instead of whole milk and decrease the amount of butter or oil in the biscuits slightly to make your biscuits lower in fat and calories. The peach filling doesn't usually require any fat, although some recipes call for butter in the filling.
Limit the Sugar
Peaches are filled with natural sugars, so you should be able to lower the amount of sugar used in your recipe's filling by half or even more and still end up with a sweet treat. Including spices like cinnamon in your filling can intensify the sweetness without added sugar. Another option is to grill your peaches and serve each peach with a lightly sweetened biscuit and a small amount of a sauce made of orange juice, honey and ginger.
Use More Fruit and Less Biscuit
A higher proportion of fruit to biscuit in your cobbler will also lower the calorie content. Instead of covering the whole top of the cobbler with biscuit, leave gaps between the dabs of biscuit so there are just enough smaller biscuits on top so everyone can have one per serving. You could also make a less traditional version by turning your cobbler into a crisp with a lightly sprinkled topping of oatmeal and whole-wheat flour mixed with a small amount of brown sugar and butter.
Watch Your Portion Size
Regardless of the changes you make to lower the calories in your peach cobbler, it should still be considered a treat and eaten only occasionally in small portions. Use small dessert bowls instead of large soup bowls, and eat just a small 1/2-cup serving to keep the calories of your treat down to a reasonable amount.
- Ohio State University Extension: Selecting, Storing, and Serving Ohio Peaches
- HelpGuide.org: Healthy Weight Loss & Dieting Tips
- Fine Cooking: Cobblers, Crisps, Crumbles & More
- University of Kentucky Extension: Biscuits
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Recipes
- Country Living: Guilt-Free Peach Cobbler
- EatingWell.com: Peach & Blueberry Cobbler