October 05, 2008

Solving dinner and your sweet tooth

In January I'm starting school at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Have I mentioned this before? I'm pretty psyched. Anyway, one of the things that has come across in my warm-up classes is the topic of cravings. For most of us, it's that hauntingly familiar sweet tooth that says "Hey, honey, look! Oreos are on sale!" or "Please, a plain dark chocolate bar is practically healthy..."

Anyway, I'm reading about a method to curb a sweet tooth with naturally sweet foods, like sweet potatoes or pumpkin or something like that. Hmphh. Tell THAT to a carton of Ben and Jerry's. But it's worth a try.

I found this recipe in Veganomicon. It's really easy and seems to beg for innovatative modifications. It takes about an hour, but most of that time is hands-off so you can get a little Netflix watching in while it bakes.

Sweet Potato-Pear Tzimmes with Pecans and Raisins
You essentially take sweet potatoes, pears, pecans and raisins, mix 'em together with some seasoning and bake. Super easy! Makes 4-6 side dishes.


Ricki said...

Oh, I'm so envious of your time at the Institute! (I went to the Canadian equivalent, CSNN, but I've always wished I could afford to go to NY!). I'm sure you will LOVE it there! Best of luck with it. :)

This dish also looks lovely--I like the addition of pears. And I think you're right, good as it is, it could probably be made better w/ a little innovation :)

Sophie said...

Fantastic sounding recipe, and pears are such good value around here at the moment.

The cinnamon should help with the sweet cravings too - nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and vanilla all seem to help give that illusion of sweetness without actual sugar.

Good luck with your studies Michelle!

amandalouden said...

Thats great! I studied holistic nutrition. And now I teach and lobby for nutrition. Its fabulous. have fun.

Anonymous said...

IIN totally ROCKS!! I attended the program 3 1/2 years ago and it changed my whole life!!
Good luck and enjoy every single session of the course!!!

Happy Herbivore! said...

I read (couldnt tell you where) taht the "sweet tooth" is actually the bodies way of craving fruit because we need it but that people misterpret it and eat candy or cookies instead. I used to crave "desert" late at night so I started eating fresh berries instead and found myself (well less pudgey) and also more satisfied. I usually turn to fruit when i want something sweet now - not to say I don't give in and eat sugar sometimes! I think it really works!

Happy Herbivore! said...

I once nearly stabbed myself trying to get a knife out of a raw squash. Ever since then I cook and scoop! Sorry to hear you cut yuorself on the squash while trying to peel it!!!

Michelle said...

ricki--thanks for the good wishes! i didn't realize canada had their own IIN :-)

sophie--good point about cinammon! i have never purposely used spices to feign sweetness before but it makes perfect sense.

amanda--where did you study holistic nutrition?

anon--thanks for the note! i'd love to hear more about how it changed your life.

happyherbivore--thanks for visiting. fruit totally works for me too, especially if it's cooked with a little cinammon!

Biz said...

I wish I liked sweet potatoes - my mom eats them with butter and maple syrup!

I may have to try again though, its been a while.

Thanks for the recipe!

Shannon said...

Hi! I am also attending in Jan! So excited to start, were you at the open house last night? I love your blog and found it from a comment you made on the 101 cookbooks. I'm thinking about starting one myself- it's inspiring! I'm on the OEF- STracey.

zandria said...

Wow! I took a look at their website just now, and that school looks pretty awesome. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle,
IIN will inspire you to take all the information you know about health and food and share it in the best way possible! The real way that doesn't leave anything out which is what people need. While you are going through the program, you become transformed mentally, spiritually and emotionally, in the same way you will be helping others to do. Every weekend will have you thinking, wanting more, shifting, adjusting, hating it and loving it...all at the same time! THere will be days after class where you will be confused about food and people and then there will be days when you will leave feeling so overwhelmingly excited you'll want to talk to strangers on the street about what you just learned!! It will be awesome...can't think of it being any other way!