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Not our friend, Oana…in fact, Oana will tell you that’s its absolutely possible and it will taste good, too. Admittedly, I was a sceptic – not only because we’re talking gluten, dairy and sugar free desserts here, but we’re also talking about my homegirl Oana from my high school days who, up until a few years ago, would have been one of the last people I would associate with baking. Well, my friends times have changed and I can now attest to her mad skills.

To illustrate this, I asked her if we could still bake within the 28 Day Challenge parameters, to which she replied ” it’s a challenge, but we can do it!”. Pun intended?

She decided we would do her take on two desserts: blueberry clafoutis and pear and apple crisp. I know….yum!

I do want to forewarn you that Oana literally bakes as she goes and I was trying to write as she eyeballed all the ingredients, so suffice to say we might have missed something. But to her defense she did try to measure.20120314-224424.jpg

Let’s start with the blueberry clafoutis. You’ll need:

1/2 pt blueberries

1/2 cup almond milk

1/4 cup soy flour

2 tbsp protein powder (gluten free, optional)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup egg whites

1-2 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (or 1/2 cup vanilla or plain nonfat yogurt)

1/2 cup cane sugar (optional or sugar substitute like stevia)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray the bottom of a round baking pan with oil.  Layer the blueberries on the bottom of the pan and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of flour.

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Combine all wet ingredients, baking powder and (if applicable sugar, and protein powder) in a bowl.  Slowly add remaining flour and beat with a beater.

(Oana setting up the beater while getting a phone call…such a multi-tasker!)

Evenly pour batter over blueberries making sure to cover them.  Sprinkle cinnamon on top.  Set in the oven an bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool before cutting into THE healthiest blueberry clafoutis  you’ve ever tasted.  Which was pretty good!

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But hands down, my favourite was the pear and apple crisp.

For this you’ll need:

2 apples (we used Royal Gala)

1 pear (we used Bartlett)

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp psyllium husk (optional, only if you want to be super healthy)

1 tbsp protein powder (optional – see above)

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup egg whites

1/2 cup almond milk

1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin puree

3 (heaping) tbsp rolled oats (gluten-free)

2 tbsp cane sugar (optional, but honestly the apples and pears are so sweet you don’t even need it! Ummm…did I just say that??)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Coarsely chop apples and pears into fairly large chunks.  Heat pan on medium low and “sautee” fruit using a tbsp of water here and there to prevent sticking (in more traditional recipes for crisp you might sautee the fruit in butter but not us!) and sprinkle with cinnamon.  Sautee until tender.

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Spoon fruit evenly into two ramekins.  20120314-224510.jpg

Combine the dry ingredients.  Reserve 2 tbsp.  Combine remaining dry ingredients with milk and egg whites.  Microwave on high for 1 minute.  Stir in pumpkin puree.  Spoon mixture evenly on top of the fruit.  Top each ramekin with half reserved dry ingredients.  Bake in the oven for 25 min.  Enjoy the sweet smell of cinnamon as it wafts through your home. 20120314-224556.jpg

Remove from oven, let cool then enjoy…at least we did, with a nice cup of rooibos tea (for me) and coffee for Oana.

I learned a lot baking with Oana – I appreciate that she always finds a substitute for ingredients that can’t be used (gluten/dairy, etc) or ingredients that could be healthier (say, pumpkin puree for yogurt, etc.).  I have to say that my dear friend has developed a knack for baking – she’s a natural!  Thanks again, Oana for sharing your wisdom…the Chef approved of your clafoutis!

With love,

Tammy

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