Monday, March 25, 2013

Cut back on sugar week- Fruit Tapioca

Good ol' sugar--we all love it.  I just read over the weekend that it's nearly as addictive as cocaine.  Before you scoff at that, think of the last day you went without any.  Or the last meal that contained no sugar, for that matter.  It makes me wonder if it's a little more addictive than we'd like to think. 

For awhile there, I was doing pretty well.  I was cooking with minimal white sugar and instead, using unrefined sugar cane, honey, and molasses and eating fewer sweets, period.  I found that I felt SO much better with less sugar.  But somehow I fell off the wagon without realizing it--a birthday, a sale on ice cream, and some dessert experiments in the kitchen didn't help.

And then a few days ago, a friend of mine and I were talking about sugar and she asked how I managed to cut back.  "Easy," I said between mouthfuls of an ice cream sandwich, "it's just a matter of pacing yourself."  (No, really, I wasn't eating an ice cream sandwich while I was on the phone.  It's important to focus on one thing at a time.)  But Captain Awesome and I decided that starting Monday, we were going to renew our efforts to cut back on the sugar.

Just cutting out sweets altogether is not the way to go.  At least, not for a cheery home.  So for the next five days I'll be sharing some of the non-white sugar recipes that I'll be making this week and in the future to get us back on track.  I realize that fruit and honey are both sugars, but we must start somewhere, however small.

Today's recipe is Fruit Tapioca, adapted from my 1950 Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book.  I make this regularly and it's a nice simple dessert.  I freeze fruit like raspberries, cherries, and strawberries in 1 pint boxes during the summer. 

When I thaw it, I let the juice drain into a measuring cup.  Here is a pint of thawed cherries draining.  I only had about 1/2 c. of cherry juice, so I added grape juice to make up the 2 1/2 cups of liquid.  

To the juice I added tapioca.  NOTE:  Check carefully to ensure that you grabbed the bag labeled "tapioca" and not the bag labeled "pretzel salt."  They may look amazingly similar, but as you stir it, you'll notice the "tapioca" disappearing and you'll become so confused that you'll taste it.  Then you'll wish you hadn't.

Then the honey...

Bring the mixture to a boil, add the chopped fruit and chill.

Fruit Tapioca

Mix in a saucepan:

2 1/2 c. fruit juice, with tea or water added as needed to make the full amount
1/3 c. honey
1/4 c. quick cooking tapioca
1/8 t. salt

Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture boils.  Remove from heat.  Cool and fold in

1 c. drained, cut-up fruit.

Mix and match the fruit and juice--I've never had a disaster!

Linked to Natural Living Monday, Traditional Tuesday, Simple Lives Thursday, and Old Fashioned Friday.


  1. Sounds delicious! I will have to try it. I'm also reducing my sugar this week or in general (or trying). No way can I go cold turkey. I've done that before and boy was I crabby! I totally believe it's addicting. I just need it.

    1. There's nothing like checking and double checking the cupboards looking for something with sugar in it!!!

      I like having a non-dairy pudding like this one for a change.