I have another guest post for you today! Wait till you see who it is! She is one of the bestest. Truly, she is. You will see.
It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to one of my favorite bloggers, Carolyn, author of All Day I Dream About Food. Carolyn is someone that I connected with right away when I started this journey; Carolyn is encouraging, supportive, absolutely talented, and most of all, a great friend.
And, if you are on a diet looking for something that will blow your mind, look no further, just hit PRINT.
I have always found the name of Kate’s blog intriguing. Diethood – it rather suggests that you are going to find a number of recipes suitable to promoting weight loss. But when you check it out, you find a vast array of mouthwatering, decidedly non-diet recipes. Recipes designed to blow your diet, in fact, should you be on one. And from the few pictures of Kate herself, I would say that this woman has absolutely no business being on a diet anyway!
(This is your pilot, Kate, speaking….I have a secret – I eat only one serving of whatever it is that I have made. …continue, Carolyn)
I, however, am on a diet…of sorts. I am not in it for weight loss, but for my health. See, I am a recently-diagnosed diabetic and I have found that keeping a check on my carbs is the best way to also keep a check on my blood sugars. Much like Kate, though, I adore cooking and baking – particularly baking, and the more mouthwatering the dessert, the better. Lucky for me, low carb does not mean low fat or low flavor.
From the moment I discovered Kate’s blog, it was a source of infinite inspiration to me. So many of her delectable treats can be modified to a lower carb version. I’ve had my eye on that Frozen Mojito Pie since the moment I saw it. I haven’t quite gotten to it yet, but I will. Oh yes, I will!
So, in keeping with the delectability of the recipes on Diethood, I thought I ought to come up with something that was rich and delicious, but that could be made both low or high-carb. I haven’t made panna cotta before, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about tackling for a while. My first inclination was to go with chocolate, but then my eye spied the incredible abundance of basil growing in my yard. I was reminded of the basil ice cream I made last summer, and it struck me how lovely that sweet basil flavor would be in another sort of creamy, rich dessert.
Turns out, I was right. I will be honest, I wasn’t sure my panna cotta was going to set properly at first. I haven’t worked with gelatin much and I just didn’t trust that the liquidy substance I poured into my ramekins would firm up. I was also worried that I hadn’t put in enough basil for the flavor to come through. I needn’t have worried on either count because they set perfectly and the basil was just right. That distinctive herb-y, licorice-y flavor was present without being overpowering, and made for a refreshing creamy treat.
I made my version with almond milk, cream and some of my alternative sweeteners. You can make yours with whole milk and sugar. I served mine with blueberries because it’s what I had on hand, but you can serve it with whatever floats your boat. It’s all good, here on the Diethood!
Sweet Basil Panna Cotta
You will need:
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
- ¼ cup granulated erythritol* (or ½ cup sugar)
- 1 ½ cups almond milk (or whole milk)
- 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (4 ½ teaspoons)
- 16 drops stevia extract (omit if using sugar)
- Combine cream, basil and erythritol, or sugar, in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes.
- Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl to remove solids.
- Press on solids to release as much flavor and liquid as possible.
- Lightly grease six ¾ cup ramekins or custard cups.
- Pour ½ cup of the almond milk or whole milk into another medium saucepan.
- Sprinkle gelatin over and let sit 3 minutes.
- Add the remaining almond or whole milk and set over medium heat, stirring constantly.
- Cook until the gelatin dissolves and steam begins to rise from the milk, but do not boil.
- Remove from heat and gently stir in the cream and stevia, if using.
- Divide the mixture between prepared ramekins and cover with plastic wrap.
- Refrigerate until chilled and set, about 4 hours.
- Serve in the cups or unmold onto plates.
- To unmold, sit the bottom of each ramekin in hot water for 30 seconds. Run a sharp knife around the inside of each ramekin to loosen and flip out onto the plate. I found it took a little jiggling to get the panna cotta to come free.
- Top with your favorite berries and serve.
*Erythritol is a naturally-occurring sugar alcohol found in fruits and fermented foods. It is a popular sweetener for diabetics as it has little effect on blood sugar.
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