Why should indulgence be measured by how bad something is for us? Easy Answer: It shouldn’t. A few savvy ingredient choices make for a delectable, healthful, indulgence-worthy dessert.
To make a meal healthy, you’ll want to ensure that every meal and snack you consume has a combination of the three main micronutrients: carbohydrates with protein, fiber, and fat. You can easily get these micronutrients from fresh, high-quality sources, so when baking, for instance, avoid using white flour—it has been processed to death and its nutrients have been bleached away. Instead, you can make your own flour by grinding some old-fashioned oatmeal with some of your favorite seeds or nuts (pumpkin, almonds, sunflower, and flax are all good). Place the mix in your blender or food processor until it has a flour consistency and use it exactly as you would white flour. For a deliciously nutty flavor you can roast the nuts or seeds first. Skip white sugar as well, and use brown sugar, honey, or molasses as your sweetener. (The rule to follow is very simple: Any white food has fewer nutrients than colorful ones.) Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious and, yes, healthy cobbler:
A Healthy Strawberry Cobbler
¼ cup almond flour
¼ cup oat flour
¼ cup rice flour
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup honey
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup of your favorite milk (I used almond milk, but you can use soy or cow’s milk if you prefer)
4 cups fresh strawberries (sliced)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons your favorite rum or brandy (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
1. Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add milk and vanilla, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over sprayed pan.
3. Bring honey, strawberries, lemon juice, and zest to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. If you’re using it, add the rum to the fruit mixture. Pour over the batter but do not stir. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg if desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.
Ramon Ruiz is a New York–based private chef and the chief baker behind Gingerbirdstore Organic Bakery (with his partner, Jon Rappleye) and the chief creator of Underground Supper Club in Jersey City, N.J. Follow him at RamonRuizPersonalChef.blogspot.com.