Including dessert in a healthy low-fat diet can be a challenge, but if you look for those that are mostly fruit, you can find plenty of options. "Pear Gratin with Cranberries & Pecans" (page 491) is a fairly healthy choice, especially if you leave out the margarine (as I did), because all it really amounts to is fresh fruit sprinkled with nuts. I say "fairly healthy" because there is a significant amount of nuts in this recipe, which are high in fat. Sliced pears are tossed with dried cranberries, sugar, ginger, and cornstarch, arranged in a gratin dish (I used a pie plate since I don't have a gratin dish), drizzled with a splash of soymilk, topped with chopped pecans, and baked in a hot oven until the fruit is soft. This was a delightful dessert, although the cornstarch didn't seem to thicken up the juices much. In retrospect, I think I could have left out the ¼ cup soymilk without detracting from the overall enjoyment (and maybe the dessert would have thickened up some as well). The recipe calls for dotting the top of the gratin with ¼ cup margarine prior to baking, but I left this out completely, and didn't miss it at all. If you are really feeling decadent, the recipe suggests serving this warm topped with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream. (Of course, this would cancel out those benefits of a fruit-only, low-fat dessert!)
Keeping it "McDougall Friendly" checklist:
- Completely omit the ¼ cup margarine. You won't even miss it!