Blackbelt Gazette: Try Tropical Fruit To Add Some Zing To Your Dessert

Now that berries and tropical fruits are back in season. How about trying some simple but tasty treats? To lower the amount of sugar needed, you would find your dishes most satisfactory if fruits are fully ripened.  Some recipes have replaced sugar with agave nectar, alternative sweetener for diabetics.

 Strawberry Tart On Oat Crumble (Gluten Free)
1 cup oatmeal
¼ cup margarine (Smart Balance Light or Earth Balance)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 lb strawberries
1 lb extra firm tofu
½  cup agave nectar or ½ cup unrefined sugar
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup strawberries
1 Tbsp agave nectar or 1 Tbsp unrefined sugar
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil spring form pan. Process oats and cinnamon in food processor until grains become a flour consistency. Then add margarine and process until well mixed. Transfer mixture to pan and press firmly. Blend strawberries, tofu, agave, and lemon juice and zest until smooth and creamy. Pour filling over crust and bake 45 min. Allow it to cool to room temperature.  Mash or blend 1 cup of strawberries with 1 Tbsp of agave nectar or sugar and spread sauce evenly on top of tart.  Transfer to the refrigerator for 3 hours to overnight.
Orange/Mango Salad:
1 mango diced
1 navel orange, shaved and sliced
3 huge handfuls of spinach
Mix ingredients
Dressing: Whisk ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup orange juice, ¼ tsp dried basil, and a pinch of salt.

Pina colada pops:
½ pineapple
 2 bananas
 ½ tsp coconut extract or 1 Tbsp coconut extract
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour smoothie into ice trays and stick toothpicks in each tray. Free for 4 hours till overnight.  The alternative to pops is to drink immediately by adding about ¼ cup ice or peel and freeze the bananas.  After the bananas are frozen blend all ingredients and add water if necessary. 

No Bake Blueberry Crumble
Crust:
1 cup almonds
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 cardamom powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup dates (fresh not dried, if dried then hydrate by soaking in water for 30 minutes)
Directions for the Crust: Process almonds, cinnamon, and nutmeg to a fine flour. Add dates and process until it begins to stick together. Use 2/3 to press into the bottom of pan.

Filling:
1 lb blueberries
1/2 cup agave
Directions: Mix thoroughly and pour on top of crust. Add remainder of crust to the top.

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