April 5, 2011

Strawberries and (coconut) Cream

I gave up processed sugar for Lent. The thing is, I kind of forgot about Lent for the first week. By the time I remembered, it seemed like I had to either go big or just continue ignoring it. Of course, as soon as I decided to give up processed sugar, I made the mistake of trying to eat something. You know what has processed sugar in it? Everything.

I thought I knew what I was getting into. I knew I'd have to read labels on things like bread and ketchup. Turns out I shouldn't have bothered. You just can't find things like bread or ketchup at the grocery store without loads of sugar or corn syrup. I've had to decide to be flexible (ie, not crazy) on a few things. For example, I will not buy a fifth jar of peanut butter just because the four I already have all have sugar (shut up- two of them are flavored). I just eat the one with sugar listed nearest the end.

I also will not ask a restaurant if things like croutons or pizza sauce contain sugars, for two reasons: one, I've worked in restaurants, and I don't want to be that guy. And two, I already know the answer: This is America, so yes they do. I also went ahead and finished my box of All Bran, the only sweetened perishable item I couldn't talk Erik into eating for me. I don't feel bad about it; All Bran is hardly a splurge.

The thing is, though, I really like sweet things. Plus, it's Girl Scout cookie season, which seems like a cruel joke at this point. But I'm both resourceful and committed enough to dessert to work through this potential disaster.

Behold my new favorite discovery. It's almost as easy as scooping out some ice cream (maybe easier, depending on how cold you keep your freezer) and just as delicious. And that's coming from a girl who takes her ice cream very seriously. Sweet, creamy and delicious, it's a fresher take on strawberries and cream (it's also a great way to salvage bland strawberries). I've had it almost every single night for the past two weeks, and I've yet to feel deprived when it comes to dessert time (which, by the way, is shortly after dinner, every single night). I think this discovery has single-handedly saved my Lenten promise.

My favorite thing about this picture? I blog in the morning, so this became second breakfast.

Strawberries and (coconut) Cream
Popping the whole thing in the fridge for a bit before eating lets the flavors mingle and makes the whole situation even more delectable. And if you eat it just right, you have a couple spoonfuls of strawberry-flavored coconut milk left at the end that is to die for.

A handful of strawberries, sliced
About 1/2 cup lite coconut milk (enough to cover strawberries)
Agave syrup, to taste

Mix everything together in a small bowl or ramekin. Stick in the fridge for as long as you can resist, and enjoy!


  1. YUM! I gave up dessert for Lent, and other things that are sweet on purpose - flavored coffee creamer, for instance - I started at processed sugar and decided it was too difficult so I went with things where being sweet is their point. I did not give up forms of pure sugar, such as agave, maple, or honey. It wasn't too bad in the beginning, I mostly felt really proud (which is probably the opposite reaction that Lent is supposed to cause). It's about this time that I could really go for something delicious, though. So, yum.

  2. Oh no, you love flavored coffee creamer! I was absolutely overwhelmed for the first couple days. I include artificial sweeteners on my list of no-nos, so gum and anything labelled sugar-free are also out.
    Now that I just don't have many things in the house, though, it's gotten way easier. I did have to resist free cookies the other day though (devil's food!), and that was rough.

  3. I do love flavored coffee creamer, but I am scared of the "non-dairy" factor. Because you know what should have dairy in it? CREAMer. So I a down to a splash of organic half and half and that makes me superior to Brad. I also cut out artifical sweeteners but it was more for the fact that I wanted to cut them out anyway, because it says it right there in the name - artificial.
    I also want to share with you the wonder that is Trader Joe's frozen meals. I love a good convenience lunch, and in a lifetime past I used to eat Lean Cuisines like nobody's business, despite the fact that I would be hungry 5 minutes later and the list of ingredients was scary. Enter TJs - FULL of fiber and other filling awesomeness, and a short list of totally recognizable ingredients, NO SUGAR, for like $2.50. Lunchtime win.

  4. Doesn't reading ingredients lists make you uneasy? I'd like to try a whole foods diet, but it's such a huge commitment! Things like no-calorie peanut butter (which yes, I have seen) absolutely terrify me.

    Also, there's no Trader Joe's in NOLA, and every day I die a little inside because of it.

  5. I went to Trader Joe's today. I wish I would have read Mary's comment first!