Nourishing Traditions Book Review – Part XXVI: Desserts

We have finally come to the chapter I’ve been anticipating most!  Who doesn’t love sweets?  We don’t eat many around here, but that is mostly because I don’t want to cook or bake with sugar and we don’t eat grains, so it greatly limits the options.  

As I’ve been on this journey of HUGE diet changes in our family it’s been enough of a struggle to find dinner recipes, that dessert just wasn’t as important.  Now that we’ve had these changes for over a year now, I’m feeling much better and am now ready to give some desserts a try!  In the past fruit was always our dessert go to, which I will continue to keep, but some variety would be nice.  I love the fact that fruit is a dessert to my kids and whenever it’s served for dinner with family or friends they are so excited thinking they are having dessert WITH dinner!

Anyway…  Another reason I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with thinking about desserts is that there are so many sweetener options these days and I just didn’t know how to pick the best ones.  We have been using honey, dried dates and maple syrup on occasion.  I’ve mostly chosen these because I know they are derived from natural sources and pretty easy to find without being overly processed.  I also knew I wanted to avoid all corn sweeteners, fructose and sweeteners derived from “concentrated fruit juices” (it sounds nice, but it has been reduced so much and is mostly fructose in the end with none of the nutrients).

This chapter starts out describing different types of sweeteners and the benefits and drawbacks to each of them.  Fallon continues to remind us that even though we use healthy sweeteners and wholesome ingredients it isn’t good to get addicted to sweet foods and it is still unhealthy to eat too many of these either.

After reading the intro, I’m planning on sticking with the raw honey, maple syrup and dried dates.  I may also try some rapadura which is dehydrated cane sugar juice.  Supposedly it has a great flavor and is easy to substitute for sugar in baked goods and is rich in minerals.  Stevia is another great option, but I’ve not found a brand that doesn’t have a bitter aftertaste.  My husband and I have tried it quite a few times and just don’t like it.  I’ve also tried growing the herb from seed, but haven’t been successful as of yet.  If I could grow my own, dehydrate it and grind it, I think I make like it.  I think the bitter aftertaste comes from the processing and preserving of the commercial product.

This unit on desserts is broken up into three sections: Sweets for kids of all ages, pies and cakes, and gourmet desserts.  At this point the first section grabs my attention and I know I definitely don’t have time for the gourmet options… however, we love to have company… so if you’d like to come for coffee and dessert I’ll try and whip up one of the gourmet options.  Good food is best enjoyed with people who appreciate the work, ingredients and effort involved to create it.  Just let me know when you are coming!

I will have to say with all the anticipation I had I’m a bit disappointed.  I know that is true for me, but I’m sure others would find it an excellent chapter.  So many desserts contain grains and dairy and that is the case in the majority of these recipes as well.  There are recipes for custards, ice cream, meringues and crisps that look amazing, but have too many ingredients that I’m unable to substitute.  I’m a little bummed, but the next section was a little more hopeful!

Here I found recipes for coconut flour pie crusts, hazelnut pie crusts, and all kinds of fruit pies to put in them!  Most of the cakes were off limits for us, but there were two.. the flourless carob cake and flourless almond cake that I might be able to adapt.  The eggs will be the hardest to change, but maybe I’ll just make it as written and find something else for the baby girl!

Last but not least the last section has all kinds of delectable treats!  The hazelnut shortcake looks great and I’d really like to try that!  I’ve made coconut shortcakes which we really enjoy, but I’m always up for another recipe to try!  I don’t think I’ve ever purchased hazelnuts, so that will be new too! Poached pears with carob sauce and summer fruit compote are the other two options that the entire family can have.  I’ll be sure to give them a try and follow up with a review!

So overall, I didn’t get as many new ideas as I thought I would, but there were a few and that is better than none at all.  I’m most excited about the pie crusts, since up to this point I’ve failed at finding a good substitute.  Those will be first on my list to try!  Especially since I can probably still get my hands on some fresh peaches to make a delectable pie!


Read Part XXVII

 

2 thoughts on “Nourishing Traditions Book Review – Part XXVI: Desserts

  1. i haven’t looked at this book in soo long (mostly for the grain & dairy reasons)….i was hoping you’d find something awesome. alas…i guess we’ll stick with macroons, mama-made lara bars, and chia pudding 🙂

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    1. I wish we could do macaroons… but alas with egg allergies… not much of a choice! How do you make your lara bars? I’ve been meaning to make fruit leathers in the dehydrator, but haven’t taken the time…

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