No sugar, no flour, no Splenda.....No dessert?
December 2, 2007 12:04 PM   Subscribe

We have a visitor whose birthday is coming up. She doesn't eat any sugar or flour. We want to have some kind of dessert that night (probably not cake, I guess, since that seems impossible, given the restrictions), but something fun to end the birthday meal would be great. Problem is the rest of us don't eat artificial swetteners like Splenda. Is there anything I can serve, besides a plate of fruit? (Just doesn't seem very festive) Thanks.
posted by mmf to Food & Drink (34 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Some sort of fruit-yogurt parfait.

Of course, fruit has sugar in it, so you might want to check that when she says she doesn't eat "sugar," she is only opposed to refined sugar.
posted by grouse at 12:08 PM on December 2, 2007

vanilla icecream with bananas coated in oatmeal and fried in butter (with a splash of whisky) and some raspberries - it delicious and looks pretty
posted by barrakuda at 12:09 PM on December 2, 2007 [1 favorite]

If dairy is allowed, you might consider making some unsweetened homemade whipped cream to go with berries.

OR freshly cut apples and pears, sprinkled with cinnamon (maybe nutmeg), served with some cheese like brie or emmentaler.

OR order some lovely, special tangerines from somewhere.
posted by amtho at 12:11 PM on December 2, 2007

Quick & Easy Diabetic Tiramisu
posted by matteo at 12:11 PM on December 2, 2007

Modify a cobbler/brown betty recipe. I made one using apples and cranberries that was pretty good. The top of it is oatmeal and a fat like butter, but you could probably modify that, too. The apples gave the sweetness and offset the tartness of the cranberries. Served warm, it is like pie without the crust.
posted by 45moore45 at 12:12 PM on December 2, 2007

When you say she doesn't eat sugar, do you mean just actual sugar, or any added sweetener? Would she eat honey or real maple syrup or agave syrup something of that ilk, is what I'm getting at.

You can most definitely make a cake - a gluten-free cake sweetened with applesauce (an applesauce with no sugar added). I make them all the time. Here's a recipe for sugar-free, gluten-free cake which calls for rice syrup, which is sweet, which is why I asked about alternative sweeteners. It's very good and I've made it several times. I've also made this luscious Peanut Butter Banana cake.
posted by iconomy at 12:13 PM on December 2, 2007

Does your visitor eat honey? You could make a cheesecake, sweetened with honey, with a ground almond based crust.
posted by ssg at 12:14 PM on December 2, 2007

You might be able to find some good gluten free recipes online for cake. Also, try substituting honey for the sugar (I assume honey's allowed, as it's less refined?).
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:14 PM on December 2, 2007

Sorry, should have made clear, fruit is OK, sugar like white or brown sugar is not.
Dairy seems OK.
Flour, no. Oatmeal, yes.
posted by mmf at 12:16 PM on December 2, 2007

Depending on why she doesn't eat sugar or flour, some of these suggestions may not please your guest. If she's on some sort of Paleo diet, the absolute best thing that you can do is to serve a wide array of fruit, and don't give her any shit for her dietary choices.
posted by Kwantsar at 12:16 PM on December 2, 2007 [1 favorite]

I second Amtho's suggestion (or a variation): berries (maybe with peaches) and unsweetened whipped cream-like actual cream that you whip-is mighty tasty.
posted by jackbrown at 12:20 PM on December 2, 2007

If rice is ok, maybe a variation of fruit sushi might be festive enough for something like this.
posted by carrienation at 12:22 PM on December 2, 2007

sweet potato pudding?
baked fruit with soft cheese?
fruit juice ice slushy things?
chilled fruit soup? (mmm, cold cherry or melon soup is awesome)
shots of icy-cold gin with pomegranate nibs in them?
roasted fruit kebabs- cubes of fruit on skewers- peach, pineapple, berries, plum, mango- BBQ or roast til the edges caremelize, sprinkle with a teeny hint of fine salt, mmmmm. you can drizzle maple syrup on there if she eats that.
maple-ginger green tea is a nice drink- slice or grate a small handful of fresh ginger into a teapot. add a couple bags of green tea, and a whop of maple syrup. add hot water, steep. mmmmm.
posted by twistofrhyme at 12:23 PM on December 2, 2007

How about a big ol trifle? Make up the jelly with pectin (vegetarian jelly) and sugarfree fruit squash. Replace the biscuit fingers/cake with diced fruit. Make the custard with sweetener instead of sugar and then add some single whipped cream.
posted by gatchaman at 12:25 PM on December 2, 2007

Can she eat any sweeteners?

And when you say "No flour", you mean wheat, right? I can't imagine why someone wouldn't eat ALL flours...

Growing up, for a time a nutritionist thought I and my brother were allergic to all sweeteners, including honey, as well as wheat, corn, and a host of other things. She managed to make stuff for us to eat, and this was before the Internet.

You want to look for recipes that are targeted towards people with food allergies (which is, I'm assuming, the reason for these restrictions). There are tons of these online. Search for "wheat free" (or even "gluten free") cakes and odds are pretty good that at least some of these recipes will also be geared towards those avoiding sugar as well.

A simple recipe, not sure how good it would be as I'm just pulling it out of my ass, but might work: cook up a mess of millet with a bit of salt, sweeten to taste with honey and molasses, add cinnamon and raisons. Press the whole mixture into a pan and weigh it down (so that the millet gets pressed together). Stick it in the fridge and let it sit for a spell. Then unmold it. Kind of like a cake, I guess. I'm guessing this will taste all right. there's nearly an identical recipe I've eaten a bunch of time made with couscous, I'm guessing that millet could also do the trick.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:26 PM on December 2, 2007

There are plenty of reasons for not eating flour or sugar beyond allergies.

I didn't eat any flours for several months when I was trying to lose weight. It made a huge difference.

Even though you may think that a big old plate of fruit doesn't sound festive, it can be. You can buy/make a whip for her specifically which has no sugar and have a separate one for the rest of the people at the table.

Alternatively if you pop onto any of the low carb recipe sites you may find a singlish serve dessert you can whip up for her and have something you find more palatable for the rest of your guests.

And you rock for thinking of this.
posted by FlamingBore at 12:52 PM on December 2, 2007

There's a great site devoted to recipes that are raw and vegan and I know there are some delicious, healthy desserts there. An alternative sweetener used frequently in raw is agave.

Bon appetit!
posted by willmize at 1:05 PM on December 2, 2007

We don't eat refined sugars in our house because of health issues and we use stevia. You just add a teensy pinch and it sweetens things quite well. You may want to google stevia-specific recipes. It's better with some things than others (it's hard to make some bake goods which rely on sugar for chemical reactions during baking).

Good luck and also, thanks for thinking of non-sugar folks!
posted by Slothrop at 1:13 PM on December 2, 2007

Take a bunch of over ripe bananas, chop into slices like for cereal. Cook in a Tbs of butter with 4 cardamom pods, a cinnamon stick and a cup of plumped raisins.

Super yummy and something you can bring to a yoga pot luck sometime
posted by shothotbot at 1:26 PM on December 2, 2007

I think some really quality fruit, sliced and arranged on a tiered plate system with quality cheeses sounds delicious. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds for an extra touch.

If you think she is receptive, get some very good dark chocolate--70% cacao or more--to add to the plate. This may come as a surprise, but dark chocolate is low-glycemic, lower than most fruits. Cutting out sugar and flours is really a way of cutting out most high-glycemic foods; the low-glycemic index of the diet is really what is helping with the weight loss. It has to be 70% cacao or more, though. None of that "Hershey's Special Dark" crap, and God forbid you get milk. That's got a lot of added sweeteners that boost the glycemic index tremendously.

The other warmed-food recipes people are coming up with sound great, too.
posted by schroedinger at 1:37 PM on December 2, 2007

Stilton, walnuts, port.

If port is too sugary for her, the rest of you can drink it and she can enjoy the stilton and walnuts.
posted by Orinda at 1:55 PM on December 2, 2007

Roast pineapple.

Allow 1/2 a fresh pineapple per person. Cut the pineapple into wedges. Remove the woody core and the outer skin. Cut the wedges into big chunks. Put them in a roasting dish, cover with foil and roast for 10-15 minutes on about 350F. Serve with thick, Greek yoghurt and a few toasted almonds.

The roasting causes the natural sugars in the pineapple to caramelise, making it really sweet.

*bonus tip* Squeeze as much juice as you can out of the flesh that remains on the peeled outer skin and use it with vodka.

*extra bonus tip* Cut a 1" x 1" chunk of pineapple skin and rub the fleshy (inside) part over your face (NOT the outer skin, oh God no, not that). Let the juice dry on your face. Wash it off. Softest. Skin. Ever. Do not do this at the dinner table though.
posted by essexjan at 2:29 PM on December 2, 2007 [2 favorites]

Cheese platter, with the appropriate fruits and nuts, with a variety of crackers.
posted by ysabet at 2:43 PM on December 2, 2007 [1 favorite]

One of my favorite summer desserts is grilled nectarines and plums. The grilling carmelizes the natural sugars in the fruits and deepens the flavor. I drizzle a sauce made out of one part honey, one part water, and a dash of cinnamon over them and then add a dollop of whipped cream and a mint sprig.
posted by Ostara at 3:08 PM on December 2, 2007

How about a fruit fondue? You could get different pieces of fruit like strawberries or slices of kiwi fruit and choose some dips that would be suitable for her. Natural yogurt, unsweetened cream and maybe dark chocolate would be possibilities.
posted by Laura_J at 3:17 PM on December 2, 2007

would sesame flour be ok? then you could make a dough for a fruit pizza
posted by hortense at 3:28 PM on December 2, 2007

I personally would much more enjoy a good bottle of wine. Or any of those liquors they serve after dinner at nice restaurants. They're flour-free last I checked. :D
posted by iguanapolitico at 3:33 PM on December 2, 2007

I'm a huge fan of grilled pineapple. A little bit of good chili powder on top — especially something smoky like chipotle or smoked paprika — is a nice touch.

Strawberries and balsamic vinegar is another classic combination that might seem a little less half-assed than plain fruit.

And you know, a lot of the fruit preparations being suggested would be great over ice cream. Get straight vanilla ice cream for yourselves and sugar-free vanilla for your guest, and if you scoop it in the kitchen nobody even has to know. Those grilled plums that Ostara is suggesting are just calling out for this treatment...
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:48 PM on December 2, 2007

2nding a fruit and cheese platter. Neatly sidesteps the dietary issues and is delicious and classy.
posted by robcorr at 5:48 PM on December 2, 2007

Pears and a nice sharp of bleu cheese, like Stilton.
posted by plinth at 6:38 AM on December 3, 2007

Fruit and cheese platter seems nice. And I know you said fruit doesn't seem very festive, but is there a place that is or similar to Edible Arrangements near you? Maybe you could get a festive-looking fruit centerpiece/bouquet and supplement it with a really nice fruit and cheese platter.
posted by kkokkodalk at 7:44 AM on December 3, 2007

Yes, yes, cheese and fruit. And pair that with wine or liquor as I said above.
posted by iguanapolitico at 8:30 AM on December 3, 2007

Is chocolate ok?

Easy-peasy chocolate pudding:
1 c silken tofu (unflavoured)
1-2 oz melted chocolate

melt chocolate, blend into pudding.
Serve with fresh fruit, sprigs of mint, small square of dark chocolate to garnish.
posted by bonehead at 10:23 AM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

I’ll never forget a pie I had once in a raw-food restaurant. The crust was simply ground-up dates and almonds, and the filling was a blueberry puree with fresh kiwi slices arranged on top. Wow.
posted by dpcoffin at 11:06 AM on December 3, 2007

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