Awhile ago, I had a somewhat high blood sugar score on a test. It wasn’t a fasting test or anything, so I don’t know how accurate it was, but in the past year, it was higher than my last one, and that one was higher than the one before that. Diabetes runs in my family, and as I get older, I find that I’m more sensitive to sugar (and caffeine and alcohol!) I also was borderline for gestational diabetes when I was pregnant. For all these reasons, I decided to do an experiment over the last couple of months and greatly reduce my sugar intake. I haven’t cut it out completely, and I occasionally have dried fruit (but not much) and bananas, and all the other high glycemic index fruits (apples, watermelon, etc.) But I have cut it out A LOTI’ve since realized that I used to eat a lot of sugar — I have such a sweet tooth. But if I have a taste of something now that’s high in sugar (the other day I sampled a bite of a gluten free blueberry muffin sample at Trader Joe’s and had to throw the rest away), it tastes TOO sweet. I do sweeten my coffee with stevia and I chew sugar free gum, so I haven’t shunned all sweet things though. I’m just trying to do things in moderation. I find I need less sweetener in my coffee now than I did before though. I will probably have another blood test in a week or two, so it will be interesting to see if my levels have been affected by the change in my diet over the last three months or so.
A new moniker that keeps popping up in health news these days is “Super Food” — have you noticed? I haven’t been paying that much attention, because I tend to eat a lot of them anyway: green leafy vegetables like kale, blueberries, oats, broccoli, walnuts, salmon, spinach, chia seeds, avocados, coconut oil, eggs, etc. I haven’t gone out of my way to sample some of the more exotic super foods, like acai berry, camu camu, maca, lacuma, spirulina, or even wheat grass. But I keep hearing about raw cacao powder — cacao is the portion in chocolate that has all the antioxidants and is rich in minerals. I’ve even read that it helps to lower insulin resistance. It appeals to me because I love chocolate, and since I have stopped eating a lot of sugar, I find I even love eating unsweetened chocolate (to my son’s horror). I decided to buy a bag at our local health food store and try it out for myself. It definitely tastes “more chocolatey” than regular unsweetened cocoa.
I’ve been eating sugar free Chocolate pudding occasionally, but I’ve been finding it also is too sweet even when I add unsweetened cocoa powder to it. And I’m not that big of fan of it containing aspartame. So I decided to try my hand at a tofu based pudding. And then I decided: Hey let’s take it a step further and try throwing it in the ice cream maker. 🙂
The result was really great! It is very easy to make as well. You just process a package of Silken soft tofu, cocoa powder, agave syrup (or other sweetener), and some vanilla in a food processor and then churn in an ice cream maker for about 10-15 minutes (it is much faster than making regular ice cream, perhaps because of the low fat content). Let it harden in the freezer. The longer the tofu melds with the other flavors, the better it tastes. There you have it — dairy free, chocolate tofu ice cream that is high in anti-oxidants and low in calories! 🙂 Note, my batch is not as sweet as the kind you buy in the store, but I prefer it that way. If you want a sweeter version add more sweetener or make with 2/3 cup chocolate chips melted with 1 tablespoon water — I have made it this way too in the past before my sugar concerns, and it is very delicious!
1 block of Silken soft tofu
1/4 cup agave syrup or other sweetener
1/4 cup raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Process all ingredients in a food processor until silky smooth, stopping to scrape down edges midway through.
2. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions for about 10-15 minutes.
I had forgotten that I awhile back I did this submission for Tofu 3 Ways, for the awesome site, They Draw and Cook. The Tofu Mousse recipe in the illustration is similar — but not sugar free. Still, this would be good also when churned frozen in an ice cream maker!