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Caribbean Cooking: Life is Uncertain: Have Dessert First

Each day you should be eating six servings of fruit and vegetables.  Even though we know this, we don’t usually do it—but we do know it is much easier to find room for dessert. So, here is a way to satisfy your sweet tooth and your nutritional needs; have fruit for dessert.

Many fruits are rich in immunity-boosting vitamin C, they’re also high in fiber, which lowers cholesterol and helps keep you full. Unlike recipes for cakes and cookies, fruit desserts typically use less sugar and have fewer calories because the main ingredient is naturally sweet. A tasty treat can be a healthy and decadent fruit dessert

APPLE PEACH RASPBERRY CRISP

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Serves: 6

4 cups peeled, sliced apples
2 cups peeled, sliced peaches
1 cup + 1 cup unsweetened frozen raspberries, thawed
2 Tblsp +2 Tblsp Fructose
2 Tblsp. Flour
1 tsp. allspice

Topping:
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp, cinnamon
Vegetable cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In two pie plates or an 8×12-inch baking pan combine sliced apples, peaches, and raspberries. In a small bowl, combine fructose, flour, allspice; add to fruit. Toss to mix.

Topping: Combine oats, sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle over fruit. Spray topping with vegetable cooking spray. Bake about 50 minutes or until bubbly.

Purée: Blend 1 cup raspberries with 1 Tblsp. fructose and press through cheesecloth to strain out the seeds.

Tip: Serve with raspberry puree either poured over the slices or pooled on the plates under the crisp. You can substitute other available fruits, but raspberries give an excellent flavor.

Note: Topped with a little lowfat vanilla ice cream, this makes a festive dessert, but remember to add the additional ingredients on to the nutrient count!

Nutrient content per serving:

Calories: 263
Protein: 6 g
Carbohydrates 58 g
Fat 2.5 g
Fiber – dietary 7.9 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 4 mg
Potassium 410 mg
Iron 2.2 mg
Calcium 44 mg
8% calories from fat : Food Exchanges: 1.3 fruit, 1.2 bread

BAKED PEARS

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

2 or 3 fresh Bartlett pears (or other ripe, but firm pear)
3/4 cup orange juice
1-1/2 Tblsp. raisins or currants
1/2 tsp. lemon rind
1 tsp. arrowroot
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Garnish: Fresh mint leaves

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Peel, halve, and core pears. Pierce inside with a fork and lay cut side up on a baking tray. In a saucepan put the orange juice, raisins, lemon rind, arrowroot, allspice, and cinnamon and simmer for two or three minutes. Distribute sauce evenly over pears and bake about 20 minutes. Basting optional. Garnish.

Nutrient content per serving:

Calories: 83
Protein: 1 g
Carbohydrates 21 g
Fat 0.5 g
Fiber – dietary 2.7 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 1 mg
Potassium 224 mg
Iron 0.4 mg
Calcium 18 mg
4% calories from fat : Food Exchanges: 1.3 fruit

TROPICAL ANGEL

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 8

1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 tsp. fructose
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 commercially available nonfat angel food cake
1 (12 oz.) can unsweetened pineapple chunks
2 pints strawberries (save 8 strawberries for garnish)

Stir fructose and vanilla into yogurt, set aside. Break cake in pieces. Layer cake and fruit (in a glass loaf pan or large wine glasses) starting with cake, ending with fruit (cake, fruit, cake, and fruit). Just before serving put a dollop of the yogurt mixture on top of each. Garnish

Note: This is a fantastic low-fat dessert. Very light and refreshing. Fresh fruit is always best, but if not available, canned or frozen fruit works.

Hint: Another variation is to pour 1/4 cup coconut rum over all before serving. (Be sure to add the extra calories to your nutrition count).

Nutrient content per serving:

Calories: 154
Protein: 5 g
Carbohydrates 35 g
Fat 0.6 g
Fiber – dietary 4.6 g
Cholesterol 5 mg
Sodium 104 mg
Potassium 355 mg
Iron 0.8 mg
Calcium 81 mg
4% calories from fat : Food Exchanges: 0.1 milk, 1 fruit, 0.9 bread

MARINATED PINEAPLE WEDGES

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 3 minutes (microwave)
Marinating time: 12 hours
Serves: 4

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened frozen apple juice concentrate,
     thawed and undiluted
1 Tblsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
12 tsp. grated lime rind
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
2 Tblsp. Grand Marnier
1 (12 oz.) fresh pineapple

Combine first five ingredients in a 2-cup glass measure. Microwave uncovered on HIGH for 2-1/2 to 3 minutes or until boiling. Let mixture cool; stir in liqueur and set aside. Cut pineapple lengthwise into four 3 oz. wedges. Peel and trim eyes from pineapple, reserve leaves. Place wedges in a shallow container and pour marinade over pineapple. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Drain wedges, discard marinade and serve. Garnish with pineapple leaves.

Nutrient content per serving:

Calories: 93
Protein: 1 g
Carbohydrates 20 g
Fat 0.4 g
Fiber – dietary 0.9 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 6 mg
Potassium 173 mg
Iron 0.5 mg
Calcium 11 mg
4% calories from fat : Food Exchanges: 1 fruit

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