By Andy Politi

Cholesterol-Busting Recipes: Healthy Sticky Toffee Pudding

Everyone loves a sticky toffee pudding, but it doesn't half pack in those calories. What if we told you it was possible to get all the indulgence of this classic British dessert, but without sending your cholesterol sky high?

It can be done. Just follow this simple recipe!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 175g dried, pitted dates
  • 150ml organic maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 85g almond flour
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp natural Greek yoghurt

How to make it

  1. Soften the dates in a pan of water on a low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Drain the dates and blend in a food processor with the syrup and vanilla.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs for around 3 minutes.
  5. Fold the eggs into the batter.
  6. Fold in the almond flour and baking powder.
  7. Line a baking dish with greaseproof paper and pour in the batter.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the dish. This is to stop your pudding from falling apart.
  10. Cut into squares and serve topped with Greek yoghurt.

How does it improve your cholesterol?

Dates are a healthier alternative to refined sugars and contain potassium, which has been shown to reduce blood pressure. Additionally, they're rich in vitamin B6 that removes homocysteine, a compound associated with high cholesterol, from the bloodstream.

Maple syrup is another healthier alternative to refined sugars, which means it contains less LDL ('bad') cholesterol. It's also high in antioxidants that contribute to health heart and artery function.

Eggs were one of those foods that science previously dismissed as high cholesterol. Now we know better. Eggs are actually high in HDL ('good') cholesterol, which helps process LDL to the liver, away from the arteries. One study showed that eating two eggs a day for six weeks increased HDL cholesterol by 10%.

You might be wondering why we've used almond flour instead of white flour. The answer is that it's a natural, unrefined ingredient that will help to reduce your LDL cholesterol. Almonds contain healthy fats that improve the function of your blood vessels and reduce plaque build-up in your arteries.

Topping it all off is our Greek yoghurt, which contains whole milk. You'd be forgiven for thinking that this wasn't the healthiest option, but it turns out that in moderation, whole milk increases HDL cholesterol and therefore lowers your risk of heart disease.

Looking for more low-cholesterol recipes?

Now that we've satisfied your sweet tooth, let's go back and deal with the other courses:

Fruit & nut cinnamon porridge

Devilled tofu

Tuna & mixed bean salad