Grape Sorbet, or what to do with extra grapes

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I can’t recall a time my family actually finished a bag of fresh grapes. I buy them with the best of intentions and am usually delighted with their jewel tones and bright flavor. Somehow I forget to eat them myself or offer them as a snack, and invariably I will fish the crinkled remainder out of the fridge a fortnight later. This weekend I found a way to ensure that this bounty will actually get eaten eventually: wash, pluck, freeze, and then blend them into a sorbet.

Technically, this is not a sorbet, but instead a frozen fruit puree. It has just two ingredients, frozen seedless grapes and a small amount of water. To freeze the grapes, just rinse and pat them dry. Next pluck each grape off the stem and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for a day, thaw in the microwave for thirty seconds (frozen solid grapes don’t blend well at all, btw), and whip in a blender with a tablespoon of cold water until smooth.

This treat is ready to eat straight from the blender. It is tart, sweet, and refreshing. In this frozen form, all of the complexity of the grape’s flavor is apparent and can be savored slowly. It costs about 50 cents a serving.

Grape Sorbet

Makes 2 servings

2 cups frozen seedless grapes

1 T water

Thaw grapes for 30 seconds in microwave or for 15 minutes at room temperature. Put grapes and water in blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.

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Guilt Free Pumpkin Pie

Crustless – No Sugar Added – 63 calories a slice

Today I devoted time to the challenge of cutting as many empty calories as possible from a pumpkin pie. The crust was the first component I eliminated because I do not want to bother with a crust unless it is flaky and indulgent, which ran counter to the goal I had in mind for this dessert. I also substituted sugar with granulated no-calorie Splenda that measures just like sugar. I’ve made fruit cobblers and pie filling with this sweetener before without a loss in taste or texture, and it also performed well in this recipe. If you prefer your pumpkin pie very sweet, you may wish to add a tablespoon or two in addition to the cup listed in this recipe.

I worried that it would fail to set without a crust, flowing like orange lava onto our plates. I’m pleased to report that this diet pie is slice worthy (sliced into squares, at least). I did not use standard pumpkin pie spice in this recipe because I do not like nutmeg. Free feel to use your favorite combination of pumpkin pie spices in this recipe.

Guilt Free Pumpkin Pie

12 servings

  • 15 oz can solid pack pumpkin
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Splenda granulated sweetener
  • 2 t cinnamon, plus additional for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9″x9″ pan with cooking spray. Put canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sweetener, and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl. Mix at low speed or stir for one minute until well combined. Pour into pan and sprinkle additional cinnamon on top. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before serving.

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