Sugar, a.k.a. the legal drug, is another common inflammatory disco that can make us fat, sick, and unhappy (yup, it messes with your brain). You’ve read the articles and you know how you feel when you dope up on too much of the stuff. Isn’t it one of life’s cruel ironies that something so addictive is also the thing we’re hardwired to crave? And so, unless you're on a strict healing plan or cutting it for Lent or bikini season, you’ll probably include some sweet treats in your diet.
Indulgence isn’t frowned upon or forbidden. You just want to embrace la dolce vita with common sense and moderation. Here are two dessert recipes that were designed with your health in mind, meaning better sugar alternatives in lower amounts. And when compared to the standard American fructose-fest, these are leaps and bounds better for you.
Raw Apple Spiced-Rum Shortcake With Maple Vanilla Glaze
Once you’ve whipped up this simple raw cake dough, you can make anything from a large cake to single-serving shortcakes or snack-gasmic bars. Replace the shredded apple with carrots for a delish raw carrot cake. For an alcohol-free version, substitute apple juice or water for rum.
Maple Vanilla Glaze Ingredients:
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours in water to soften
- 3 tablespoons coconut butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut water
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup dates (alternative: raisins—lower glycemic)
- 1/2 cup spiced rum (alternatives: water or apple juice)
- 2 cups shredded green apple (alternatives: pears or carrots)
- 1 cup dried apple, finely minced in food processor (alternative: dried pineapple)
- 1 1/2 cups pecans, finely ground in food processor (alternatives: hazelnuts, almonds, or cashews)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded dried coconut
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Prepare Maple Vanilla Glaze: In a high-speed blender or food processor, add all ingredients and blend until smooth.
Prepare Shortcakes: Allow dates to soak in rum (or apple juice or water) for 1 to 2 hours, until very soft.
In a bowl, add all ingredients and gently mix by hand. Set aside. (If it’s too wet, then add more shredded coconut or ground pecans. The mixture should easily hold together when pressed into a ball.)
Assemble Shortcakes: Separate dough into 6 pieces. Firmly press each piece into a cylinder (should be 2 to 3 inches in height). Remove from mold. For a larger cake, press mixture into a cheesecake pan.
Frost with Maple Vanilla Glaze. Chill before serving.
Clementine Sorbet With Lavender Syrup
This refreshing sorbet is a citrus lover’s delight. Tangerines, satsumas, or clementines are equally divine as the star of your icy indulgence.
- 1 cup coconut meat or 1/2 cup cashews, soaked
- 1 cup fresh clementine juice
- 4 clementines, peeled
- 1/4 cup agave
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg shavings
Lavender Syrup Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup dried lavender flowers (buy the non-sprayed variety in the spice or body-care section at health-food stores to avoid pesticides)
- 3 cups water
- 1/2 cup agave
In a high-speed blender, blend all sorbet ingredients until smooth.Pour sorbet mixture into a sorbet/ice-cream maker (Pacojet is a quality brand) and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Alternative: Line a square container with plastic wrap, pour in sorbet mixture, and freeze overnight. Pop frozen sorbet block out of container the following day, slice into a couple 2- to 3-inch strips, and put through a twin-gear juicer using the solid plate or pulse in a food processor.
To prepare lavender syrup: steep lavender flowers in 3 cups of hot water for about 15 minutes. Strain and discard flowers.
In a pot on medium heat, add agave and lavender tea and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the mixture coats a spoon (reduced by about three quarters). Then chill. Note that this recipe makes about a cup of syrup. Store 3/4 cup syrup in the fridge in a glass jar for up to 2 weeks.
Editor’s Note: Text adapted from Kris Carr’s New York Times Bestseller, CrazySexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolutionby Kris Carr with Chef Chad Sarno.