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Buttermilk Honey Custard Recipe

September 21, 2010 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

Custards are an excellent way of combining the decadence of dessert with the nutrition of a healthy snack, provided that you select your ingredients wisely. Whenever reformulating a recipe, the key is to keep nutrient density in the forefront. Naturally, taste is always a factor as well. But this too can be handily addressed by upping the flavor in a dish. As long you evoke the experience of an old classic in a creative manner, you’ll likely satisfy those you’re serving – yourself included.

In today’s recipe I’ve opted to use organic buttermilk instead of heavy cream as the base for the custard. If you look at the nutritional label of buttermilk, you’re unlikely to be impressed. But there’s more to this cultured dairy by-product than just its carbohydrate, fat and protein count. The beneficial bacteria that are used to culture buttermilk (Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus lactis) are known to possess a variety of health-promoting properties including: antioxidant and cholesterol-lowering activity; constipation and diarrhea relief; liver protection and support. In addition, the lactic acid present in cultured foods such as buttermilk blunt post-meal blood sugar and insulin production. This is a positive outcome for most everyone. Please review the foot note and image below for more details. (1,2,3)

Buttermilk-Honey Custard
2 cups organic, low-fat buttermilk
4 large, organic, omega-3 eggs
6 Tbs of “Tastes Like Honey”
1 tsp of organic vanilla extract
1 packet of unflavored gelatin
a pinch of NutraSalt or salt

Cran-Strawberry Coulis w/ Candied Orange Peel
1 dropperful of NuNaturals Alcohol Free Stevia
3/4 cup of frozen, organic strawberries
1/2 cup of frozen, organic cranberries
the peel of an organic orange

Nutritional Content: Calories: 120. Protein: 8 grams. Fat: 4 grams. Fiber: 1 gram. “Net” Carbohydrates: 8 grams. Per ramekin.

Warm the buttermilk in a pot on low heat for a few minutes. It’s important to just warm the buttermilk through. Higher heat or prolonged heating may result in the buttermilk separating. Whisk the eggs and the sugar-free, honey substitute together in a glass or metallic bowl. Slowly pour the warmed buttermilk into the bowl of beat eggs. Whisk as you progressively add the buttermilk until both mixtures are fully combined. Pour the buttermilk-egg mixture back into the pot and continue to cook it on low heat for about 5 minutes. Stir frequently and make sure not to allow the mixture to boil. The liquid should thicken somewhat along the way. After about 5 minutes, turn the flame off and add the gelatin and vanilla extract. Whisk well and then pour into 6 ramekins. Place the custard in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours until set.

Defrost the frozen cranberries and strawberries. Add them to a sauce pan along with 2 oz of filtered or purified water. Turn the heat on low and allow the fruit to slowly break down over a 10-15 minute period, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add 1 dropperful of liquid stevia to the cooked berries. Adjust for sweetness. Use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the naturally-sweetened berries.

Peel the organic orange. Use a sharp knife to slice the peel into thin strips. Place a non-stick pan on low heat and add the citrus peel and a few tablespoons of “Tastes Like Honey”. Allow the peel to gently caramelize. Turn the slices as necessary to promote even caramelization and to prevent burning.

To serve, top the custard with a tablespoon or more of the berry coulis and sprinkle on a few slices of the candied orange peel.

Cultured Foods May Lower the Glycemic Response to Meals
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 74, No. 1, 96-100 (a)

The berry-citrus topping does more than just add a sweet-tart dimension to this dessert. In recent years, scientists have discovered that phytochemicals in cranberries may influence a number of disease states such as: cancer, cardiovascular disease, periodontitis, stomach ulcers and, of course, urinary tract infections. Orange peel is also demonstrating potential with respect to combating systemic inflammation which can contribute to arthritis and related conditions. Last, but not least, strawberries are finally garnering some respect thanks to their own unique chemical make up. A review in the July 2010 issue of the Journal of Medicinal Food reports that ellagitannins found in strawberries may improve hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypertension by inhibiting key enzymatic processes in the body. (4,5,6)

Custards are typically classified as desserts. But there’s another role which I think they can easily fill. Many people have a difficult time eating breakfast consistently. The most common deterrents are a lack of appetite and time. This buttermilk custard can be especially useful for such individuals. It’s easy to make and keep on hand. It’s also light and easily-digestible. And most importantly, it provides substantive nutrition. I also want to mention that the berry coulis can also be made on its own and used as a jam to add to cottage cheese and plain yogurt. I always find that it’s helpful to make recipes as versatile as possible. I believe that this culinary creation is a good illustration of that principle. Enjoy!

Be well!


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