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Friday #3, September 24 – Dessert at every meal!

September 16, 2021
Apple cinnamon

But it has to be made of fruit and vegetables only, no added sugar (share your recipes/photos/inventions!)

The first week we eliminated added sugar. Last week we learned how to substitute sugar in “classic” recipes. This week, we are challenging you to think outside the box and be food inventors. The challenge? Craft a dessert for at least one meal (every meal if you want) that is made entirely of fruit and vegetables.

Most fruits are sweet. Doesn’t that make fruit bad too?

First, let’s rewind. Does sugar cause cancer? Right now, there is no direct evidence that eating sugar causes cancer. But we do know that eating a lot of sugar leads to weight gain, increased body mass index, increased fat in the mid-section, and diabetes. And we know that all of those things are associated with several types of cancer.

Cancer aside, more and more research indicates that one of the characteristics of the traditional Western diet that is at odds with good health may have to do with high sugar intake. We needn’t talk about whether to moderate sugar—it’s time to cut to the chase and talk about how. See PCF’s guide, The Science of Living Well, Beyond Cancer, for more info on World Health Organization recommendations.

Fruit is sweet. It contains fructose, a sugar—that’s what makes it sweet. So should you skip the fruit? The answer is, maybe. Remember, if you don’t have a sweet tooth, you don’t have to add fruit to your diet, although whole fruit with skin on can be a nice way to add fiber. On the other hand, if you are someone who just has to have that taste of sweetness after dinner, swap your normal cookie, brownie, or ice cream for a piece of fruit with nuts. Most fruit contains less total sugar than most desserts, and the fiber and fat help keep your metabolism regulated. It is recommended, however, that you skip juiced fruit, which has a sweetness profile similar to sugared beverages and sodas.

What might be for dessert today? It could be an apple…or a baked pear. It could be a bowl of strawberries with balsamic vinegar drizzle…or a caramelized sweet potato. It could be a sliced kiwi fruit with a dollop of coconut cream….or spiced baked apples with a little oatmeal nut crumble. Maybe it’s a Mango-Tomato Salsa (both fruits) served on a few tortilla crisps. What about a bowl of raspberries with some dark chocolate shavings on top? Those are just a few starter ideas… you’ll do better. Post your creations and recipes here.