Thank you to Raw Chef Mark Mabon for this wonderful low sugar, gluten-free raw dessert Recipe:
Strawberry Parfait with Lime Crunch.
Here is Mark's story:
"Can you imagine what a pleasure it is, what an unashamed delight, to serve a desert to someone who hasn't had anything sweet for over a year...? So it was when I recently catered the Back2Health conference in Exeter. 150 people for 3 days discussing the wide range of alternative therapies for the treatment of cancer, and sharing stories of successful battles against cancer. Many David-v-Goliath tear-jerking tales.
Almost all of these people are using their diet as part of their 'healing program' and because cancer cells thrive on sugars, starving the body of sugars takes away their 'favourite food'*. This doesn't just mean granulated white stuff but agave, maple and other syrups, dried fruit and sometimes even fresh fruit, excepting a few berries which are so low down on the glycaemic index that they can nip under the barrier.
It's hard, to take the sweetness out of life. One woman hugged me after lunch one day, thanking me for a pudding she could actually eat (pears in white chocolate mousse with walnut crumble). So how do you make a desert without sugars? Especially when dairy is also out on most cancer-diet programs, as are all grains which basically behave just like sugar once they hit the digestive system (something for everyone to understand).
Welcome to the pudding revolution. A set of techniques that are relatively new to the culinary lexicon, developed mainly in the raw food movement: dairy, gluten, grain, sugar and guilt-free deserts. These deserts substitute damaging sugar, flour and butter for natural fruit 'sugars' and high quality, raw oils from nuts, seeds, coconut and cacao butters - often combined with mineral-rich, nutrient-dense superfoods like Maca, Goji berries and many others found in the Indigo Herbs product range."
In most cases, when you attempt to reproduce an unhealthy favourite food in a healthy way the result is often inferior to the original. In the case of raw deserts I can honestly say after years of catering that - when well-made - these are superior to traditional cakes. Sensual, exotic flavours and textures that the body instinctively recognises as 'good'... par example:
Strawberry parfait with lime crunch
- You need to make this desert 6-8 hours before you want to eat it!
- Equipment required: Blender (doesn't have to be high powered)
- Preparation time: 30-40 minutes
- Serves: 6 - 8 people
- Organic Virgin Coconut Butter x 40g
- Organic Cacao Butter x 40g
- Mesquite Powder x 15g
- Can be substituted with Carob or Maca Powder)
- Hazelnuts x 50g
- Stevia Drops x 8
- Vanilla powder x 3/4 tsp
- Salt x 1/3 tsp
- Strawberries x 450g punnet
- Limes x 1
- 100% Cacao Nibs x 20g
- Nuts, Seeds, Dehydrated buckwheat sprouts x a handful
First make the cream.
- Grate or chop the cacao butter and melt it in a bain-marie adding the coconut butter towards the end as it melts much faster and easier. Don't let the butters get too hot as it can compromise the consistency of the final result (this goes for chocolate making also).
- While they're melting, make 1.5 cups of nut milk. Hazelnut is my favourite. Almond or Brazil work just as well. Do this by blending a third of a cup of soaked, drained nuts in 1.5 cups of water. When well blended, strain the pulp out with a nut milk bag or muslin cloth.
- Now put the milk into your blender, and add the mesquite, carob or maca powder, salt, vanilla and stevia drops. Start it running and then pour in the melted butters. Blend for 20 seconds or so.
- Pour the cream into individual glasses or a small cake dish and put in the fridge. It needs a good 6 - 8 hours to properly set, overnight is best.
- Chop up the strawberries into 1/8ths and put a generous handful of segments onto the top and then sprinkle with some crunchy bits. This could be chopped nuts or seeds - toasted or not; I used dehydrated sprouted buckwheat which I'd coated in a cinnamon and apple 'sauce'.
- Finally a few strands of lime zest is lovely, and if you like, some grated cacao nibs on the top.
- The final result is subtle, simple and completely delicious as the mousse is so light, creamy and well balanced. Although you have to start the sweet the day before serving it, the actual preparation time is about 30 or 40 minutes at the most.
Recipe by Raw Chef Mark Mabon
A word about mesquite.
Mesquite is controlled under the novel foods act and can no longer be sold for human consumption in Europe. A close cousin of the carob tree, mesquite or algarroba has been eaten in South America for as long as anyone can remember, but the powers that be (including the powerful sugar-lobby) have put a little hurdle in the passage of this low GI, mineral rich, high quality sweetener. We can recommend that this ingredient be substituted with Carob powder or Maca Powder.
*As well as cancer dieters, candida fighters can benefit from these techniques, as will all those with intolerances - why? Because one of the main actions that excess sugars have is the disruption of your digestive flora: the healthy bacteria that live in your guts and help digest your food, and are the vital first line of your immune defence system.
Hostile bacteria - like candida - love sugars, especially refined sugar. They thrive, pushing out the friendly bacteria, winning the territory of your digestive system, gradually poisoning you from the inside.