Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On Dessert

So, as you know if you've been around here for any time at all, I've been incorporating Paleo eating principles into my life. It was a big adjustment for me at the beginning. The toughest part was noticing how much grain I was consuming - it was a big part of just about every meal, and I hardly ever even ate pasta! It didn't take long to figure out that most dessert is off the menu. Imagining a dessert that contained neither grain, nor dairy, nor large amounts of sugar was pretty difficult to do. But, that actually made the transition simple: Paleo = No dessert. Does that mean I haven't had sweets since January? No, it doesn't. I've had small amounts of lots of different desserts, particularly at parties. But, I haven't been under any illusions: eating these desserts is an aberration. It doesn't matter much to me that they aren't Paleo, because they're not part of the program.

Meanwhile, I've noticed what seems to be increasing discussion in the Blogo-Pinterest-Facebook-sphere about "Paleo desserts." I kept thinking to myself, "This is crazy!" Even if you could dream up a yummy treat free of grain, dairy and sugar, why would you want to? I did see some yummy treats that fit into that category. I saw this one and might actually have attempted to make it, had I had the ingredients on hand. The thought of venturing out to buy almond flour and coconut flour was less than appealing. Plus, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I wouldn't be gaining much in nutritional value from eating Paleo Cookie Dough Bars and maybe that was a good reason to skip it. In my world, the after-dinner treats I've been enjoying if I want something sweet have been limited. I have tea all the time - especially flavors that are naturally sweet, like "licorice spice" (made with anise seed) or Good Earth Original Decaf (cinnamon and other rich flavors; gotta do decaf at bed time!). I sometimes have dark chocolate, which is an acceptable moderation food. I occasionally have fruit or yogurt, if I'm actually hungry, though that is quite unusual. I was all geared up to write a blog post for you guys about how the only Paleo desserts are tea and fruit, with chocolate occasionally, and how all of the recipes for real desserts that have been Paleo-ified are useless.

And then, about a week ago, my mom made me a Paleo dessert! I usually eat dinner with my family on Sunday nights. Mom frequently prepares the entire meal and even when we eat dinner out, she often bakes a dessert on Sunday during the day for us to enjoy when we get back. I used to always have whatever they were having; since starting with Paleo, I've simply been saying no. My parents have adjusted their habits a little bit so they've been eating dessert sometime after I leave, which I have really appreciated. A couple of weeks ago, Mom served fruit salad for dessert, which was quite yummy. But, last weekend, she made these:
These are the brownie form of Fudge Babies from Chocolate Covered Katie. It's basically chocolate, dates and walnuts put together in a food processor. So yummy! As we sat down as a family to enjoy this treat, I realized what the purpose of Paleo-ified desserts might be. It's probably not something I'm going to make for myself and enjoy on my own. But, could I prepare a Paleo dish and bring it somewhere? Sure! Is a dessert made Paleo something everyone can enjoy? You bet!

I even said yes when Mom offered to cut some up for me to take home. Glad I took these pictures - they're all gone now!

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