Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sherylyn’s Amazing I-Can’t-Believe-it’s-Reduced-Calories Frozen Peanut Butter Fudge Pie

It may be a bit iffy to call this recipe "healthy", due to the inclusion of some fat-free Cool Whip (what is that stuff anyway???), but people who are watching their calories can enjoy this low-cal treat and not break the calorie bank, so to speak. It's been very popular whenever I have made it, with both dieters and non-dieters, as it's so delicious and rich-tasting!

Sherylyn’s Amazing I-Can’t-Believe-it’s-Reduced-Calories Frozen Peanut Butter Fudge Pie
(the name’s a bit wordy, you think?)

*Before you start, even the night before, put a cup of yogurt to drain...it should drain at least 2 hours but as long as overnight is ok. I just line a strainer with a coffee filter or paper towel and suspend it over a bowl, and put in the fridge just like that. The best yogurt for this, IMO, is Astro BioBest 1% plain yogurt in the blue container.

First prepare the fudge:
1/4C raw sugar
3T cocoa, sifted
1T cornstarch
1/4C water
2T skim milk powder (or replace water and skim milk powder with 1/4C evaporated milk)
1/2tsp vanilla

Whisk all ingredients together in a small pot. Bring to a boil on medium-low heat, stirring often. Simmer for about a minute, should be thickened at this point, remove from heat. Cool completely (I transfer into a bowl and put in the fridge to hurry it along).

Next prepare the crust:
120g chocolate graham bears or bunnies
1T ground flax seeds (optional)
Egg white

Grind up the bears or bunnies in the blender (ignore the screaming). Dump into a large bowl, add flax. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg white. Add about half of it to the crumbs and work in with your fingers to incorporate completely. The mixture should still be crumbly but should stick together when squeezed. Add a bit more egg white if it’s too dry, be careful not to add too much, it should not be wet. Spray a pie plate well with cooking spray. Dump in the crumb mixture, distribute evenly, and press onto bottom and sides of pie plate. Bake at 375F for 10 minutes. Cool.

Then make the filling:
7 Tbsp drained yogurt
1/2C (half a small tub) reduced-fat cream cheese
5 Tbsp condensed non-fat milk (the sweetened kind)
6 Tbsp reduced-fat peanut butter
4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
3 C 95% fat-free Cool Whip (it comes frozen so defrost in the fridge before using)

In a large bowl or mixer, beat the cream cheese for a minute. Add in the condensed milk and beat again. Add in the peanut butter and beat again, until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla. Fold in the Cool Whip gently, you want it completely incorporated but not deflated.

Then assemble!
Using half the fudge, dab over the bottom of the baked pie crust, smoothing carefully (if you are rough the crust will break up). Pour in the filling, smooth the top. Using a spoon, drip the rest of the fudge over the top in a lattice pattern or however you want. Freeze for at least 4 hours. Enjoy!

Nutritional values: 1/12 of pie is 194 calories, 7g fat, 4.8g protein, 29g carbohydrate, 1.4g fibre, 144 mg sodium.

My virgin voyage!

Well it took me long enough. I've resisted the whole blogging phenomenon because it seemed too modern-communicationy for my taste, but I think maybe resistance is futile. I love journaling, and also need a good place to store and have easy access to my emerging library of recipes, so why not have this do both.

A little about me:

I've been on a journey of self-improvement and weight-loss for a couple of years now. The self-improvement part started first; the weight-loss seemed a natural next step. For nearly two years, I have been tracking all intake (food broken into calories, macronutrients, fibre and sodium content) and expenditure and goals on a lovely Excel spreadsheet I created for this purpose. I've learned A LOT, and am still amazed at how effective this is for taking the guilt and mystery out of dieting . I don't really like the word "dieting" as it implies a temporary restriction....I see this as more of a lifestyle change (though that phrase seems to have become a popular euphamism for dieting). I plan to eat this way for the rest of my life, making healthy choices most of the time but not sacrificing taste and allowing the occasional unhealthy or calorific treat too. I don't want to live in a world without cookies!
My definition of health shapes the choices I make when it comes to diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Your definition may or may not be the same....it's a fairly subjective term. For me, it means making choices about foods that balance taste with calorie/ fat and sugar content, using more wholesome and unprocessed ingredients where possible, being cognizant of sodium levels and reducing as much as possible without sacrificing taste. It means riding my bike to work instead of driving or taking the bus (I gave up my car last year). It means not being afraid to sweat, trying to work extra exercise into my life instead of avoiding it like the plague, not smoking, getting plenty of sleep and drinking plenty of water. It means being honest with myself and with my loved ones, reducing stress where I can, living a life I can be proud of.
A lot has happened during this journey, not least of which I have lost over 100 lbs. I have a lot more to go before I reach my goal of being a healthy weight, but I am not in an all-fired rush to get there....I am losing at a slow steady rate and still learning new things about myself and about healthy living every day.
My passion is cooking. I love to create in the kitchen and wow people with my delectable creations. Before I decided to lose weight, I was a big fan of French cooking, and used a lot of butter, cream sauces, and other fatty ingredients, that admittedly I still love. I could never understand how French people were not all huge. I can see now that it has a lot to do with portion control....their rich foods combined with North American "more is better" sensibilities spells disaster for the waistline! I still indulge in a rich treat now and then, but the majority of the time I am working to create dishes that are healthy, calorie-conscious AND delicious. Some of my recipes are modifications of old favourites or others' recipes to make them lower in calories, some are completely new creations. Feedback is welcome!