Start healthy, finish strong

If your guests are value conscious it is starters and desserts they are likely to cut out.

76% of consumers said starters must look and sound amazing and would appeal more if they included healthy options.*

25% of consumers in full service restaurants are looking for healthyoptions that still deliver on flavour.*

For maximum appeal your starter and dessert menu should include indulgent AND healthy options.

Here are some tips on boosting flavour, adding excitement and making them healthier.

*2009 American Express MarketBrief – March


  • Soups are a great low calorie alterative that you can make with virtually any ingredient.  Top herbs, seeds, nuts, fresh vegetables or low fat yoghurt.
  • Salads are great starters,  they help balance a meal, help towards 5-a-day and appeal to guests looking  for a healthy option.
  • Braise broad beans and artichokes in bouillon for extra flavour and as a low  fat alternative (bouillons contain salt so cooking instructions must be followed).
  • When creating risottos use less butter but flavour the rice by simmering in a full flavoured low sodium stock (stocks contain salt so cooking instructions must be followed to avoid over salting).
  • When serving a carpaccio of beef, add flavour and texture with thin slices of beetroot
  • Excite guests by mixing tropical fruits with seafood. Try green papaya with shallots and prawns.


  • Use toasted wholegrain bread crumbs as a healthier topping to a favourite pudding.
  • Make a fruit dessert with some stewed fruit, fat free yoghurt. Add currants to the dessert for sweetness.
  • Use sweet fruit or raisins to flavour cakes and biscuits.
  • Sorbets are light, quick and can give a real flavour hit. Try creating a fruit sorbet with  an extra unusual ingredient such as tea. Try Orange sorbet with chamomile, or mango sorbet with Earl Grey.
  • Offer puréed stewed fruit with custard or yoghurt.
  • Garnish your desserts with fresh fruit and mint leaves.  It adds colour and appeal.
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