Yes, dessert can be healthy! Remember.... eating healthy helps boost your positive emotions and overall mental wellness so you can be your best during this holiday season. There are tons of healthy dessert options out there, especially if you are willing to take a stab at Paleo recipes. But here's a unique Indian-inspried recipe I came across in Austin Fit Magazine. Give it a try. Happy Thanksgiving!
1 lb. acorn squash
4 tbsp. coconut oil
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
4 oz. vegan coconut yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
1/2 cup toasted pistashios, ground
2 cans full fat coconut milk
3 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1. The day before making this dessert, place the coconut milk in the fridge to allow the cream to solidify and separate from the water.
2. Slice the acorn squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Then, slice into quarters and use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.
3. Chop into 1 inch pieces and add to a food processor. Pulse until the acorn squash is very finely diced.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the coconut oil. Once hot, add the cinnamon and cook for 30 - 60 seconds.
5. Add the acorn squash to the skillet and stir well. Cook for 8-10 minutes. Continue to stir until cooked.
6. Add the sugar, mix well and cook until caramelized. Almost all of the liquid should be absorbed, which takes about 8-10 minutes.
7. When the mixture has thickened, add the yogurt and continue to cook until the mixture has dried again. It is done when a soft, sticky texture is achieved and no liquid is left in the pan.
8. Remove from the stove and let cool at room temperature.
To make the coconut whipped cream:
1. Remove the coconut milk cans from the fridge and turn them upside down. Open the cans and pour out the coconut water.
2. Scoop the coconut cream into a large bowl and add honey and vanilla. With a whisk or hand mixer, beat until fluffy.
3. If you desire a thicker whipped cream, let this mixture chill in the fridge for a little longer.
Put it all together:
1. Put into mason jars for easy, and stylish, transport to your Thanksgiving destination.
2. Add a few scoops of the acorn squash halwa to the bottom of each jar. Press it down a bit and top with pistachios. Add the coconut cream next and repeat until the jars are full.
3. Store the filled jars in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Resource: Austin Fit Magazine November 2015
Holland Miller, Psy.D., Licensed Psychologist, provides individual and group therapy for adolescents and adults in Austin, TX. Specializing in the treatment of depression, chronic low mood, and chronic stress, she incorporates cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLCs) to enhance positive mood, healthy functioning, and overall well-being.
Dr. Miller is particularly passionate about working with adolescent girls and adult women who want to boost their mood and energy, improve their self-esteem and relationships with others, better cope with stress while reducing anxiety and tension, and develop healthy lifestyle habits for lasting wellness.
When she is not in the office, Dr. Miller enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and two mischievous goldendoodles. She can be found discovering the latest Austin adventure, reading and researching, exploring the outdoors on hiking and camping trips, and trying out new recipes.
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