Thursday, February 17, 2011

no sugar, plus spice, makes everything nice

Ok, I admit it. Natural sweeteners do not always taste good. Stevia, in any of its many forms, is often accompanied by a weird, bitter aftertaste. In my sugar-deprived state, a lot of my "sweet" concoctions probably taste a lot better to me than they do to my sugar eating friends. With almost no sweet tooth, J has been particularly quick to turn down my recipes. (More for me!) But spice seems to be the key to tempering the moody sides of stevia.

I have been loving the ideas on vegan CCK's blog. While she's not sugar free, pro-health diet choices seem to go hand-in-hand, and she has a wealth of dessert recipes using natural sweeteners. And because they're vegan, they're usually more healthy in many other ways as well. Here are my adaptations of her Five-Minute Chocolate Mousse and Better-than-Kozyshack Rice Pudding. As a clue to how great these are, J came back for seconds!


Five-Minute Lebkuchen Mousse

Ingredients:

1 package Mori-Nu Silken Tofu, Lite
~2 tbsp water
~3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
dash of salt

To taste:
liquid vanilla stevia
cinnamon
ground cloves
nutmeg
cardamom
allspice
coriander

Blend all of the above like crazy. I completely estimated the spices, but since the portion is not large, I don't think I used more than 1/4 tsp of any of them. To really recreate the taste of Lebkuchen, use more cinnamon and cloves than the other spices, and maybe add a little ground ginger too. (I wasn't brave enough to do that.)



Side-Dish Rice Pudding

Ingredients:

almost a full package of Mori-Nu Silken Tofu, Lite (use the extra for 5-Minute Mousse)
1 cup brown rice
dash of salt

To taste:
cinnamon
nutmeg
cardamom
liquid vanilla stevia

Cook the rice according to package directions. While cooking, blend the tofu with a half cup of water. When the rice is done, mix it with the tofu and all the other ingredients. Let it sit overnight, then adjust the sweetener and spices as needed.

I call this side-dish rice pudding, because even though it feels like you're eating dessert, you are actually eating something nutritious enough to be a side dish. No sugar, no cholesterol, hardly any fat. Tons of protein, fiber, and good-for-you spices.



And I can't finish this spicy post without mentioning our dinner for tonight. My elementary school friend posted this amazing recipe on her blog. I followed it exactly, except I didn't peel our potatoes or add any salt or pepper. Oh yeah...and I tripled the recipe. Again, no cholesterol, no fat. Tons of protein and fiber. We talked about some things that might kick it up a notch (bacon, coconut, yogurt or cheese), but are loving the healthy purity of our first batch.

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Thanks for making me smile. =)