Have your cake and eat it too

By Kim McCorquodale RD, North Star Lodge Nutrition Services

holiday inspiration kim blogThere is a lot of temptation to try all sorts of foods and desserts this time of year, but most of us can use some healthy inspiration with the holiday season fast approaching. It is possible to make lifestyle changes that reduce our risk for cancer, and still eat delicious foods.

I can’t say enough about the resource we have in the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) who brought us the New American Plate . Following their recipes will help you make choices in line with current recommendations to “choose mostly plant foods, limit red meat and avoid processed meat.”

They recently joined forces with the Careers through Culinary Arts Program for a recipe contest. While I haven’t tried any just yet, they all sound very good, and you can be assured they meet the guidelines set forth by the AICR.

Here is one I thought sounded especially good, but please check out the others too. I tend to start with the prize winners for obvious reasons.
Coconut and Chocolate Sweet Potato Pie
Developed by David Robinson of Hampton Roads, VA
First Place, 2013 AICR/C-CAP Healthy Dessert Contest Winner

Crumb Crust:
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup walnuts
2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
2 Tbsp. wheat germ
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1/4 cup light coconut milk

2 Tbsp. flaked coconut
2 Tbsp. sliced almonds

Sweet Potato Mixture:
2 large sweet potatoes (approx 2 lbs), peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
5 cups cold water
1/3 cup honey
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. molasses
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 pinch cloves

Avocado Chocolate Pudding:
1/2 cup plain almond milk
6 Tbsp. honey
5 Tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 medium avocados, seeded, peeled and mashed

Prepare crust:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In food processor, pulse and process all crumb ingredients except oil and coconut milk. Mixture should resemble fine crumbs. Add oil and coconut milk and process until mixture holds together. Lightly press into 9-inch spring form pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned; remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Prepare garnish:
Spread coconut and almonds on parchment-lined baking sheet. Place in oven as soon as crust comes out. Bake about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Prepare sweet potato filling:
Place sweet potatoes and cold water in saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and boil for 10 to 15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are very tender. Drain completely and transfer to large mixing bowl. Mash potatoes completely. Add all remaining sweet potato mixture ingredients and mix until fully combined; spoon over cooled crust and return to refrigerator.

Prepare avocado chocolate pudding:
Blend coconut milk, honey, cocoa powder and vanilla in blender on low to medium speed. Once completely combined, gradually add avocado, a couple of spoonfuls at a time, blending until completely smooth; spoon over sweet potato filling and smooth with spatula. Chill pie for at least 12 hours.

Top with toasted coconut almond mixture and serve.

Makes 12 servings
Per Serving: Per Serving: 310 calories, 12 g fat, (2 g sat fat), 53 g carbohydrate,
5 g protein, 8 g fiber, 65 mg sodium

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