Cherries are rich in antioxidants such as melatonin, as well as in zinc, iron, potassium, manganese and copper. And everyone knows that gooey, crimson, sweet cherry pie can cheer up even the most downtrodden, overworked soul. But if you thought you had no choice but to ingest the calorie rich, sugary version, think again. Here are simple tricks to use if you want to transform your cherry pie into a delicious yet healthy treat.

  • Skip the canned cherries or worse, pre-made cherry pie filling, both of which are full of empty calories and plenty of added sugar. Make your own filling, with fresh, seasonal cherries.
  • For the crust, swap part of the white flour with whole wheat flour, for more than double the fiber per serving.
  • Replace butter with coconut oil. The medium-chain triglycerides of this oil may be saturated fats, but don’t have the same negative effects as those in butter. They raise good cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • Use low-fat whipped cream cheese instead of the regular version, to halve the calorie count without sacrificing on the taste.

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Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.