Oh crapadoodle. I can’t eat sugar. What is a girl to do to satisfy her cravings?
The other day I was craving sweet in the worst way. I opened my fridge and the only thing that could even remotely be labeled “Junk Food” was a bag of walnuts. I had eaten the last of my Trader Joe’s Pound Plus 72% Chocolate Bar, I had no marshmallow cream, no jam, no peanut butter, I didn’t even have mayonnaise or bread! I did have three Miller High Life beers, but those are for my Mexican friend – I won’t touch Miller even in case of extreme emergency. No, I can no longer drink beer and yes, I am still a beer snob.
Being me, I do what I always do. I sit down at the computer and search for recipes that I could alter to fit my strict dietary guidelines (no sugar, no gluten, no dairy, no booze). My lymie friend had been raving about a stupid simple chocolate avocado pudding. It sounded good so I put avocado on my shopping list. In the past, I had a wee bit of molasses and made the most amazing cornmeal mango gingerbread! It wasn’t sugar free, but it did fulfill all my other requirements. So I added fresh ginger and more cinnamon to my list. Finally, I fell back on my old standard, Grandma’s homemade granola. Rolled oats and shredded coconut joined the avocado, ginger, and cinnamon on my shopping list.
Once my shopping was done, I got down to the business of satisfying my sweet tooth. First and easiest looked to be the Chocolate Avocado Pudding.
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
1 large avocado
¼ cup cocoa powder
1/8 – ¼ cup milk (almond for this lactose free girl)
6 drops of liquid stevia (more or less – to your taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
Combine everything in your immersion blender container and blend until smooth and creamy. Enjoy.
It was stupid simple and it should have been delicious. But seriously? What a waste of a good avocado. Sadly, it was a big thumbs down. I did smother it in Grandma’s granola and a sprinkle of salty peanuts and disguised it enough to make it edible.
For my next trick, I decided to try the new, molasses free Cornmeal Mango Gingerbread.
Cornmeal Mango Gingerbread
Preheat oven to 400, grease an 8” square or 9” round pan with butter or oil.
2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger or 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/4 – 1 ½ cup pureed fruit (living on a Mango Orchard, mango is my puree of choice)
1/4 cup molasses (Optional)
1 cup buttermilk or milk substitute + 1 tablespoon lemon or white vinegar (let stand 5-10 minutes)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup melted butter
Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, mixing thoroughly with a fork.
In a second bowl, beat the egg with a wire whisk, add fruit, molasses, milk, and vanilla. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring until smooth and completely mixed. Add the melted butter and stir it in completely.
Transfer to greased baking pan and bake for 25-35 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before eating.
I usually use mango puree, but I decided to try previously frozen, cubed mango. In generally, when using fruit puree rather than sugar, you double the quantity. I used two full cups of mango, taking into account the sugar and molasses I omitted. After 25 minutes, the toothpick came out clean so I pulled the beauty out of the oven. I waited the requisite ten minutes. It was so hard. I wanted to dive into that delicious looking morsel! When I cut into it, the beautiful top gave way to a completely uncooked mess, lurking just below the surface. I cooked it for another 10-15-20 minutes but the inside never changed, it resembled a really soggy and nasty bread pudding.
Foiled again! And in my own kitchen. The flavor was nice but I couldn’t get over the texture. I have saved it, and I might try cutting off the “muffin-top” and frying it up in the skillet, then adding a butt-load of butter.
I’ll do a bit more testing on this recipe and get back to you. It truly has potential, possibly exactly as listed above.
Back to the drawing board, and a tried and true favorite, Grandma’s Granola. If I messed this one up I would have to hang up my imaginary apron forever.
Grandma Marge’s Honey Granola
(modified for lymies)
Preheat oven to 325
6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups shredded coconut
¾ cup oil
¾ cup honey or 1 ¼ cup pureed fruit (mango, once again)
1-2 tablespoons vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
Optional – 1 cup each dried fruit and nuts, to your desire
** DO NOT add nuts and fruit before baking! The fruit will burn and ruin the entire batch of granola.
In a large mixing bowl toss oatmeal and coconut.
In a large saucepan, combine oil, honey or fruit puree, vanilla, and salt. Heat over medium low heat, stirring with a wire whisk, until just warm and the oil and honey/fruit have blended well together.
Pour hot mixture over oat mixture and stir until all the oats and coconut are moistened. Pour into a 9” X 13” baking pan and bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until the oats are toasted golden brown. This should take 30 – 45 minutes.
Note: my oven heats from below so I have to stir more frequently so the granola doesn’t burn.
Finally ~ Success! Thank goodness for Grandmas and their no-fail recipes. I have two, 900 g containers of absolutely perfect and delicious granola! That should satisfy my sweet tooth for a week or so.
The lesson for today? Don’t get cocky, even an expert can ruin the simplest of puddings.