I’m half Japanese, so tofu has been part of my diet from the get-go. But it was walled off in savory recipes – stir fries, doused with shoyu and green onions, bobbing around in miso soup. Never in sweets. Never. When tofu ice creams came on the scene, I wrinkled my nose. I could eat dairy no problem, why would I eat tofu ice cream? Fast forward to this past November, when I went in for a blood test and came out with slightly elevated cholesterol levels. I wasn’t in the danger zone, but it sure gets you thinking about what you’re eating, especially when you thought you were doing pretty well. It’s gotten me to consider things I never would have before, like this lemon pudding with coconut oat crumble.
I’ve been keeping a daily food diary as I’ve ratcheted back all the fun things to eat – red meat, butter, eggs, full-fat dairy, bacon. They haven’t been eliminated entirely, aside from butter, so I haven’t been completely deprived. I’ve started walking 2-3 miles a day in an effort to get that LDL cholesterol down. You’ll notice there haven’t been a lot of desserts on this blog for awhile. I’m not saying I’m a saint. I still have ice cream now and then, and if anything I’m eating more peanut butter and avocados than I was before.
I haven’t gone so far as to use Earth Balance as a butter replacer, but I’m using olive oil in baked goods. I’ve tried using ground flax in place of eggs in some baked goods (w/ varied results). I’m following more vegan and vegetarian blogs.
Yesterday, thinking about a quick dessert to go along with our Easter dinner, I was eyeballing the Meyer lemons I had in the fridge and of course the first thing I thought of was lemon curd. I’d had my eggs for breakfast, so traditional lemon curd was off the menu. I tried a cornstarch-thickened eggless curd, but it was too cornstarchy and didn’t make enough. Then this dairy-free lemon crème with coconut oat crumble popped up on Joy the Baker. It is amazingly smooth, thanks to the silken tofu at the heart of the mix. The coconut oat crumble gives you a little crunch and contrasting texture. And I kid you not, it is delicious. No qualifiers. Not delicious for something with tofu. Just delicious. Delicious to the point where I’m now thinking about how I can pull off a Nutella version.
The good news is with the changes I’ve made over the last 4 months, my overall cholesterol is down 10 points and the LDL is at the high-end of the normal range. Now, just gotta keep it up, er, down.