According to a recent national poll conducted by Consumer Reports Health, 9 out of 10 Americans consider their diets at least some degree of “healthy” (thanks, Dad, for the heads up on the report). In a nation struggling with obesity, diabetes and heart disease, it’s no surprise that further poll questions unearthed a paradox: most of these same “healthy” people consumed too many sugary drinks and desserts, and didn’t count calories. Further, many admitted to not getting the recommended 5 fruit and vegetable servings a day.
While it’s easy to scoff at these misguided notions of what constitutes a healthy diet, I’m also keenly aware of how easy it can be to venture off-course, despite our best intentions. While I can’t claim to fall short of the 5 fruit-and-veggies servings requirement (my diet is a virtual orgy of fruits and vegetables), I do have a tendency of overdoing it in the dessert department (there’s a fine line between being a good blogger and a self-destructive eater — more testing recipes means more eating!) Even though I’m not eating refined sugar or white flour, that’s not to say that all of my desserts necessarily qualify as health fare, as much as I would love for that to be the case.
Shirley over at Gluten-Free Easily recently celebrated her 2 year blogiversary. In her anniversary post, she sums up the essence of why I love her blog: she aims to focus on naturally gluten-free foods, which are sometimes easy to count out with all the crazy flour mixes and substitutions available now. In reading her post, I was inspired to come up with some naturally gluten-free desserts that require no baking, little added sugar, and which, really, are just fruit (with a twist, of course). If the Consumer Reports poll taught us anything, it’s that we need more fruits and vegetables in our diets and fewer sugar-laden desserts. Here are two recipes to help tackle both of those problems. I’d love to hear about your favorite “naturally gluten-free” and fruit desserts as well!
Sliced Pineapple with Lime and Sweet Syrup:
Slightly adapted from a recipe in Spain…A Culinary Road Trip
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons yacon syrup, molasses or agave nectar (I used yacon)
zest from one lime
1. Arrange pineapple on a plate and drizzle with yacon. Sprinkle lime zest generously over the top. Serve.
Pan Glazed Apples:
Makes one serving — increase as needed
1 apple (I used Fuji), peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
2 tablespoons agave nectar, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to taste
vanilla soy yogurt for topping (I sweetened my unsweetened soy yogurt with vanilla stevia)
1. Toss apple slices with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon agave and cinnamon. Add to a nonstick skillet and heat over medium until liquid is absorbed.
2. Add remaining agave and lemon juice to pan and increase heat to medium-high. Continue to saute, stirring, until liquid is again absorbed and apples are glazed (about 5-6 minutes total). Serve warm, with a dollop of yogurt on top.