Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sweet Sensation

Super Bowl Sunday!  While most people were busy preparing delicious edibles for half-time for their Super Bowl party, I was a giving a workshop on sugar. The audience was truly amazed to see how much sugar there is in a 2-litre bottle of Pepsi!  56 tsps!!!  I doubt if anyone who attended today's workshop had soda at their Super Bowl party!

When checking out nutritional labels, often times we rush and don't realize that the grams of sugar listed are for a single serving and not for the entire product.  4 gms of sugar are equal to 1 tsp of sugar.  Next time you reach for something from your pantry or refrigerator, look to see how many grams of sugar it contains.  Soon you will be a math wiz - an expert in dividing things by 4 'cause you'll want to know how many teaspoons of sugar you are consuming.  We consume approx. 150 lbs (30 five pound bags) of sugar each year!  If you want to lose weight, try becoming "refined sugar-free" and use natural sweeteners only when necessary.  I love using Medjool dates!

Speaking of Medjool dates - I prepared this sweet sensation for today's workshop.  Sorry I took the photo after it was half devoured!

3 Sweet Potatoes
1/2 cup Coconut Milk
Saffron - generous pinch
2 Cardamom pods
2 tsps Organic Maple Syrup Grade B
1 tsp Agar Agar

1 cup Raw Walnuts
1 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
3 Medjool Dates

I got the recipe for the crust from Raw Food Chef, Jennifer Cornbleet's new book Raw for Dessert. (Jennifer is holding it below.)

Jennifer Cornbleet and yours truly

I watched Jennifer prepare the shortbread crust when she was last in NY.  I just loved how quick and easy it was to prepare, and how absolutely delicious it is!!   Thanks Jennifer, got a lot of compliments on this dessert.  Prepared it for the first time and it was a hit!  I used less dates 'cause that's all I had left  in my pantry and was glad that it worked.

I boiled the sweet potatoes last night 'cause I didn't want to leave too much to do for this morning.  I had all the props to fill with sugar!  I poured half a can of coconut milk - so yummy and creamy!! :)  Sorry, got distracted with the coconut milk, then I put a generous pinch of saffron in a little dish and added some hot water to it.  At the same time, I soaked 1 tsp of agar agar in a little hot water.  After I felt the saffron looked soaked and ready to go, I added it to the milk, along with the cardamom pods (try and crush them a little, but not where all the little seeds come out - if you want, you can use ground cardamom). Next I added the agar agar mixture. It should be heated and dissolved with the liquid. Agar agar is a seaweed and is great for gelling. Then I added the peeled sweet potatoes, I smashed them and let them mix with the coconut milk. I added very little water and didn't want to turn it into a pureed mush.  Although I felt this filling was sweet enough, I thought people would prefer it a bit sweeter especially if it's a treat, so I poured very carefully 2 tsps of maple syrup, a great natural sweetener. Well I let the sweet potatoes absorb the flavor of the saffron, cardamom and coconut milk, cooked it for about 5-10 mins.

The crust was very easy, I just put the walnuts, coconut and salt in my Vita-Mix. After grinding them, I added the dates and ground it some more. Don't over do it. Jennifer used her Cuisinart food processor during the demonstration.  I think that would work well for this recipe. My Vita-Mix was right there, so I reached for it. I spread the ground mixture evenly in a serving dish and pressed it firmly with my fingers.  I then poured the sweet potato filling on top.  I garnished with grated almonds and a little almond heart for this special Valentine's week.

Sweet potatoes are a great antioxidant  and one of the most nutritional vegetables. Great for diabetics.  Best of all sweet potatoes don't spike your blood glucose levels!  Enjoy!


  1. Jyoti!
    I love your blog and the recipes! I look forward to reading your blog!

  2. Thank you Sandy! Welcome to my blog world!