It’s after dinner and another traditional time we look for something sweet. Some of us always had a “pudding” when we were growing up, and it’s a hard habit to break. We already know why we can’t indulge every day, but what about special occasions, like birthdays, anniversaries or holidays? For most people, unless they have a serious health challenge, an occasional dessert isn’t a problem. But if you’re going to have one, make it count. Make it an indulgence, something delicious that will raise your spirits and make you feel like you’ve had a special treat. Dream a little.
First, imagine commercial ice cream, made with skim milk, milk powder, glucose syrup, artificial colours and flavours and labelled 95% fat free. A fruit pie made with white flour and sugar, margarine and a thin smear of blueberry flavoured gunge, maybe decorated with cream out of a can. Jelly made with sugar and artificial flavours. Dry chocolate cake made from who knows what, with “mock” cream icing. Or maybe you’ve been having homemade desserts, and trying to make them fat free, and wonder why they haven’t felt satisfactory.
Now imagine luscious desserts made with real fruit, whole eggs, cream, coconut, nuts and natural sweeteners. Home made ice cream with cream, egg yolks, fresh berries and maple syrup. Hot fruit crumble (yes, you can have that even if you’re gluten free) with coconut cream custard. Melt in the mouth strawberry fool, with fresh organic strawberries, whipped cream and thick, tart yoghurt. The decadence of a rich chocolate mousse. The rich sweetness of coconut date truffles.
Doesn’t that second group sound more delicious, as well as more healthy?
Once again, different desserts will appeal to you, depending on your metabolic type. Protein types will be drawn to cheesecake or something with lots of cream. Richer, high fat desserts are better for your metabolic type then fruit. If you had a very rich dinner, a small amount of fruit may be fine, though you may still need to balance it up with some fat.
If you’re more down the Carbo end, you might prefer a fruit salad or a sorbet. Just remember that desserts that are mostly fruit are high in sugar, and add a little yoghurt or cream.
If you’re Mixed, your choice may depend on what you had for a main. For all types, aim to balance up the entire meal appropriately.
Before we start, let’s just recap on the acceptable natural sweeteners for homemade desserts:
- Maple syrup, date sugar, molasses/treacle or dehydrated cane juice like rapadura, shakkar, palm sugar, “Billingtons” Muscovado sugars
- Honey, preferably unheated
- Fruit puree, or dried fruit in small quantities
- Stevia or glycerol for low carb
- Chocolate made with natural sweeteners such as rapadura, or you can occasionally use it sweetened with maltitol, xylitol or erythritol
This lesson covers some whole food versions of some popular favourites. OK, I admit it – it’s some of my favourites. But if your favourite isn’t there, these recipes will give you some ideas on how to create your own whole food desserts.
This section is for those are working through the lessons of the cooking course. Otherwise jump straight to the recipes
- Desserts: Nourishing Traditions P534-535
Unless there are health reasons not to, treat yourself (or the kids) to a dessert this weekend. By now your taste buds will have begun to appreciate the flavours of real food. Notice how much better it tastes than a commercial one. And notice how much less you need to feel satisfied.
- No bake apple walnut tart
- Strawberry Fool
- Fudgy coconut date pudding
- Fruit jelly
- Chocolate mousse
- Vanilla ice cream
- Coconut ice cream
- “Snow Freeze” ice cream
- Watermelon slushy
- Blueberry sorbet
- Raspberry sorbet tart
- Add some homemade desserts to the menu on special occasions
- Banana ice cream ~ or GAPS P207
- Dairy ice cream ~ GAPS P207
- Coconut ice cream
- Instant fruit “snow freeze” ice cream
- Ice Cream: Peanut butter or chocolate
- Whipped coconut milk (instead of cream)
- Real fruit jelly or mousse
- Baked apples ~ GAPS P201
- Crème Caramel ~ GAPS P202
- Apple crumble ~ GAPS P202
- Fruit crumble with nut topping
- Apple pie ~ GAPS P202
- Winter squash cake ~ GAPS P203
- Cake Pinocchio ~ GAPS P203
- Peanut butter pie ~ GAPS P204
- Russian Custard ~ GAPS P205
- Apple sauce ~ GAPS P205
- Egg free fruit dessert ~ GAPS P211
- Egg free apple pie ~ GAPS P212
- Coconut sweets ~ GAPS P208
- Egg free Easter eggs ~ GAPS P210
- Cherry Bars (make sure cherries don’t have sugar)
- Carrot Cake Bean Fudge
- Peanut Butter Bean Fudge, use navy beans
- Pumpkin Bean Fudge, use navy beans, and replace sucanat with honey
- Peanut Butter Blondies
- Crustless Pumpkin Pie
- Crock-Pot Pumpkin Pudding, use honey instead and either almond or coconut flour
- A whole bunch of GAP candy recipes
- Later stages: Creamy Chocolate Chia Fudge
- Nut Butter Cups
- Peppermint Patties
- Kids birthday party
- Easter spicy buns
- Xmas morning coconut muffins
- Xmas morning almond muffins
- Xmas cake
- Gingerbread Cookies
- White Xmas slice
- Gummy Stars
- Spinach Roulade
- Cranberry sauce
- GAPS Holiday recipes
How to whip raw cream
Whipped cream enhances many desserts. Whipping pasteurized cream is easy, but raw cream doesn’t work the same way. So before we start considering individual desserts, let’s look at how to whip raw cream.
If you’ve tried to whip raw cream, you’ll know it doesn’t whip up like pasteurised does. It doesn’t thicken for ages, then it turns straight to butter. Nobody is exactly sure why this happens. I’ve heard theories like “pasteurised cream has carrageen in it” – but in NZ it doesn’t, or “your cream isn’t fatty enough” – but this doesn’t explain it either.
Traditional ways of thickening cream are culturing, or making clotted cream by heating raw cream, then leaving to sit. There do seem to be some ways of whipping raw cream, but it does take some preparation.
- Skim well – Pour your cream into a wide mouthed bowl or container, and leave for 24 hours or so. You will then be able to skim full cream off the top and be sure you don’t have remaining milk in it.
- Age it – Older cream whips better than fresh cream, so the skimming stage will allow that to happen. But there is a fine line here, if you leave it too long, it will sour, and that may not be suitable for your needs.
- Chill it well – It may also help to chill your bowl and beaters. Cream turns to butter faster when warm.
- Beat it fast – Use the fastest speed on your beaters. (But be careful starting up, so you don’t spray cream all over the kitchen. A bigger than usual bowl helps too.)
- Additives last – If you want to add flavourings (eg vanilla essence) or sweeteners (eg stevia, maple syrup) add them AFTER the cream has thickened enough. I can’t guarantee this will always work, but will increase your chances.
How to whip coconut cream
If you’re dairy intolerant, you will want to get a dairy free alternative for whipped cream. Coconut cream is the closest alternative.
The steps are similar to raw cream.
- Choose a coconut cream with a high fat content
- Skim well – Pour it into a wide mouthed bowl or container, and leave for 24 hours or so. You will then be able to skim the thick coconut cream off the top and leave the liquid behind. Or you may be able to simply scrape the thicker cream from the top of the tin without having to leave in a bowl.
- Chill it well – It may also help to chill your bowl and beaters.
- Beat it fast – Use the fastest speed on your beaters.
- Additives last – If you want to add flavourings (eg vanilla essence) or sweeteners (eg stevia, maple syrup) add them AFTER the cream has thickened enough.