I’ve once again lost my camera, dangit. So though I can’t provide any halfway-decent pictures, I still want to share a recipe that’s well-suited to January’s good intentions.
It came about as a result of frustration with the weight I can’t seem to stop gaining, magnified by a radio piece on obesity in Vermont. What a terrible realization to confront the fact that I’m on the wrong side of the statistics. And this has for whatever reason troubled me enough that I’m ready to make real changes. As of January 1, I’m only eating protein, fruit, and vegetables (i.e., dairy, meat, fish, beans, seeds, nuts, any fruit or vegetable or tuber, but no grains). It’s an approach that works for me because it’s drastic enough that I have to pay attention, but still very, very simple. There’s not much wiggle room, and that’s just what I need.
It also means that I’m eating whole foods, very close to their natural state. I feel good and I’m eating well. Of course I still want a treat or two, and here’s something I was able to make with what I had around. I suspect it wouldn’t taste great to folks who are used to processed sugar, but for me after a week of going without, they tasted pretty darn swell.
The next time I make these, I plan to try pureed sweet potato (an idea from my friend Layla), and I also have some designs on unsweetened dried blueberries. The proverbial possibilities are endless – and are likely to give good results with a couple of tips:
- There’s very little effort, but the recipe does take a long time in both the soaking and the cooling down so be sure to plan for it.
- Prepare ahead by soaking dried fruit in warm water overnight, or by roasting and pureeing sweet potatoes or beets or whatever you might be inclined to try. You want the fruit-type ingredient to be fairly concentrated, and pureed until very smooth.
- Because of the science of how proteins set and toughen, ones made without any added sugar will be tougher than those that do contain it, so you can make your own choice based on your needs.
And please do let me know how your efforts go if you do go ahead and give them a try.
Makes about 24
- Preheat oven to 225. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Puree in a blender or with an immersion blender with just enough of the soaking liquid to get a good paste:
- About 1 1/2 c. soaked and tender dried apricots, soaked until soft.
- 1 pinch cardamom
3. Whip until very firm and standing in peaks:
- 6 egg whites
- 1/8 t. cream of tartar
4. Beat in the fruit puree about 2 T. at a time until thoroughly incorporated.
5. Drop by heaping tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until firm. Turn oven off and let cool completely, then remove and enjoy. They’ll last a good long time if they’re kept in a closed container at room temperature, but shouldn’t be refrigerated or frozen.