I have a sweet tooth. I don’t know where it came from, because as a child I was the one that ate maybe two or three pieces of candy in the time it took my sister to devour her entire Halloween booty, but one day I just woke up feeling like dinner was not complete without a sweet ending.
I used to think the fact we were given taste buds, and then calories to go along with them was God’s little practical joke on us all, but we can still have the last laugh with a little culinary creativity. If you’re only into cloyingly sweet treats, then you still may not be a huge aficionado, but I’ve come to prefer a little tart with my sweet, so these guilt-free deserts quite happily satisfy my sweet tooth cravings without sending my diet into perpetual purgatory. There is nothing wrong with natures candy (fruit) naked, but dressing it up with flavor adds a certain sophistication and mystique that makes it feel like a more decadent dessert, without sugar or unhealthy fat overload.
The Red Wine & Blood Orange Poached Pears above are our recipe of the week. Just click “EAT” on the home page, and while your at it, please do upgrade to our premium membership for scads more scrumptious recipes, weekly menu plans, and a lively forum for support, or purchase the Weekly menu plans separately to eat more efficiently, save time and money, and eat healthier all year round.
Now that we are enjoying the last of summer fruits I’ve started experimenting with a few more methods. Did you know grilling peaches not only softens the fruit, it brings out more of the natural sugars while adding an unusual smokey note? Just slice them in half, spray with nonstick cooking spray, and throw on the grill for about 2-3 minutes per side. I like to serve them with a dollop of Greek yogurt sauce (whisk together 6 ounces Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cardamom).
Then I had a pint of fresh strawberries that were about to spoil, so I got to work playing with my favorite new toy, my Vitamix. Okay, they are not inexpensive, (I saved my pennies for a few years before investing in one), but you could still probably puree the ingredients, then add them to an ice cream maker to finish off the sorbet.
I have to admit, I find the texture to be more like a granita than a smooth sorbet, but it still hits the spot – especially with the blazingly hot weather we’ve been having lately! This is just my first stab at it, so I’m not adding it to the recipe library quite yet, and will update you as I experiment further, but I am happy with the basic flavors together. What are some of your dessert favorites that won’t have you tipping the scale?
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar reduction (see note below)
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 cup ice cubes
Place the ingredients into the Vitamix, and the lid on tight. Starting on low, gradually increase the speed to high, pureeing the fruit and ice until it is one smooth frozen treat, about 3-5 minutes. Either serve right away, or transfer to a container and store in the freezer.
If stored in the freezer, remove from freezer 10-15 minutes before serving to allow it to soften enough to scoop into bowls. Obviously, the most low-calorie option is to serve it as is, but you could drizzle with more balsamic reduction, chocolate sauce, or serve with cookies or cake.
To make the balsamic reduction, reduce 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar with 1/4 cup brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until sugar dissolves and liquid reduces by 1/2 into a syrup like consistency, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow it to cool completely.