My favorite dessert

MD came through tonight with my all-time favorite dessert, which you can see in the above picture.  I would rather have this mixture of pomegranate seeds and blackberries than just about anything else.  Not only is it remarkably tasty, it is chock full of all kinds of phytonutrients and antioxidants.  And it tastes unbelievably good. I lust over very few desserts, but I truly do lust for this one.

MD’s secret is to put the seeds and the blackberries in the bowl, then douse the whole thing with Torani Sugar Free Black Cherry Syrup.  It makes for an unbelievable taste combination, yet few calories, and a ton of nutritional density.  When I ran the recipe through the USDA nutritional calculator, it comes out to contain about 12 grams of effective carb and around 100 kcal.  I’ll guarantee you that you won’t find a better, tastier, more nutritious use for 12 carbs anywhere else.

And it’s not all that expensive.  We got the whole thing at Costco.  They were selling large clamshells of huge blackberries for $4.99 each.  And package pomegranate arils for $6.99, which is practically a give-away price for these.  The twelve bucks we spent for these will give us about 8 desserts, which calculates out to about a dollar and a half for a dessert (maybe $1.75 if you include the Torani syrup) that is incomparable and would cost at least $6-$10 in a restaurant.

If you want to really soup this recipe up and make it even more elegant, you can add a little bit of a fortified red wine along with the Torani sugar free syrup.  And serve in in a nicer dish than our everyday china.

I encourage you to try it.  And let me know what you think.

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40 thoughts on “My favorite dessert

  1. OK, here’s a really dumb question. How do you eat pomegranates? Do you eat those seeds or just sort of suck the good stuff off them and then discard?

    This does look delicious, and I’ll bet that cherry syrup can be used for other things too. –Anne

    I eat the seeds. I just chew up the whole thing and swallow. I thought everyone did that.

  2. Looks good, but I’m curious – how do you handle the seeds in the pomegranate arils? They are much too hard to chew, so do you just swallow them? Seems to be a detraction to the otherwise great fruit.

    I’ve never come across anyone else actually eating the fruit, so I’m curious.

    I just chew them up and swallow. I thought that was how everyone ate pomegranate.

  3. Do you just swallow the little hard seed inside the pomegranate arils? I didn’t know what to do with them. I’ve got a pomegranate bush but it didn’t make any this year. We didn’t even know what it was for the first decade we lived here, then the neighbor flooded our yard with their swamper and it made some.

    Chew them and swallow.

  4. My one comment to rule them all:
    That looks delicious. We had a giant pomegranate last week that had to be 7 inches in diameter. We had several desserts out of that one. Never tried it with blackberries. Will do so and report back.

    Wouldn’t you absorb more of the vitamins, phytonutrients and antioxidants if you added some cream or fat?

    Loved the Taubes Q&A, the 2010 Nutritional Guidelines, and Bestseller posts. We’re glad you are at home and suffered no damage from the fire. Great blog, as usual, we had no idea it cost that much to deal with it all, and we’ll certainly click through to do all our amazon shopping. You should have an ebay click through as well! 🙂

    I don’t worry about not absorbing because I have usually just eaten a meal filled with fat right before I eat the dessert.

    An eBay click through? I didn’t know one could do that. I’ll look into it. Thanks.

  5. I’m wondering if that would work ok in heavy cream instead of the syrup?

    I guess it would, but, somehow, I can’t get my palate around the taste of pomegranates and cream. Blackberries and cream, yes; pomegranates and cream, no. At least not for me.

  6. Tasty.

    We do something somewhat similar. We buy whipping cream, whip it ourselves and then add a handful of berries on top. Sometimes I add unsweetened cocoa before whipping. Either way, no sugar needed, with berries or without.

  7. I’ve always eaten around the hard part of the seeds and spit them out. I didn’t know anyone else did it the other way!

    Looks delicious – I’d want to top it with some sugar-free whipped-cream, though.

  8. Wow! That looks amazing. I think I could live on steak first and blackberries second. We were at an heirloom tomato festival this summer and their was a vendor who was selling the smaller clamshells of blackberries, for about a dollar. The first one lasted about a minute and I went back for more. Fortunately for us, they were wrapping up and we got about a dozen or more for about ten dollars. We mixed some with cream but can’t wait to try that mixture. That mixture with some red wine and maybe a bit of dark chocolate, I can picture the cancer cells running for the exits. I like the cherry juice addition. I have used that for years when I learned of the old folk remedy of cherries and gout. I was surprise when many people told me they continued to take it to prevent for flare ups and how much it helped them feel better overall. Many don’t know where to get it and ask me to pick it up at the health food store for them. Now I can send them to your site so they can click through to Amazon, saves me gas and helps the blog to roll on. Have you ever thought of formulating your own berry supplement? Kinda like Thorne’s Plantiox but with basically the above ingredients in a capsule. Probably be a hit.

    No, I’ve never considered a berry formula. Maybe I should. They’re just so much more fun to eat than to take in capsule form.

  9. My kids and I have been indulging in pomegranates daily as of late. The 2 year old loves tart berries, etc. and has been going nuts with the pomegranate seeds. The 4.5 year old enjoys them, but not as much as his sister.

    One of my personal favorites is using full-fat Fage yogurt or other good thick Greek-style yogurt, putting in a few drops of vanilla flavored stevia liquid, and mixing in a bunch of pomegranate seeds. Yum!

    I’ve been making a lot of broccoli slaw lately….broccoli slaw, bacon, green onion, ranch dressing, topped with toasted slivered almonds. In the past I’ve had this w/ dried sweetened cranberries. I had some extra pomegranate seeds the other night and mixed those in…yum and a nice textural thang 🙂

  10. The Torani syrup contains Splenda. An artificial sweetener. As of 2006, only six human trials have been published on Splenda (sucralose). Of these six trials, only two of the trials were completed and published before the FDA approved sucralose for human consumption. The two published trials had a grand total of 36 total human subjects.

    36 people sure doesn’t sound like many, but wait, it gets worse, only 23 total were actually given sucralose for testing and here is the real killer:

    The longest trial at this time had lasted only four days and looked at sucralose in relation to tooth decay, not human tolerance.

    At the factory it starts out with sucrose, a disaccharide, glucose and fructose, then they add 3 molecules of chlorine. The process converts it to a fructo-galactose molecule. This type of sugar molecule does not occur in nature and therefore your body does not possess the ability to properly metabolize it.

    Thus, no calories or carbs….but too dangerous to ingest in my opinion.

    I like to use Stevia. A safer and much sweeter alternative.

    Because the resulting sugar is one that doesn’t occur in nature it isn’t absorbed. It titillates the sweet receptors on the tongue, then passes on through undigested.

    I agree that stevia is a better sweetener from an absolute safety perspective, although I’m not completely sure of that because I think sucralose is pretty harmless. And it tastes better than stevia. It’s been used for years in Canada and Europe without problem, and knowing how it works, I don’t think it’s a problem.

    I wrote a post about Splenda a couple of years ago that pretty much lays out my thinking on it.

    Even people who consume large amounts of Splenda only get tiny, tiny portions. There is another substance that people consume enormous amounts of, huge amounts as compared to how much Spenda they consume, and they seem to suffer no ill effects from it. This substance is made by nature in much the same way Splenda is, but with much more chlorine. A chlorine molecule is attached to a sodium molecle, and the resulting compound is called salt.

  11. Looks incredible. Thanks for the idea. I sometimes have fruit with cream when I want to splurge but it’s been years since I had pomegranate. I noticed them at Costco last week. Funny you should mention it! Their berries are a great deal.

    And on rare occasions, I make ice cream at home and usually do not add the full amount of sugar called for. Recently, I’ve been adding Splenda instead and it’s just as good. (I still don’t add the full amount of Splenda. It’s just too sweet.)

    I very much look forward to these posts. I’ve been on a low carb diet for several months now with some slips along the way, but it’s still been successful. I’ve lost a total of 11 pounds now, and after a slight setback, 4 in the past two weeks. Bumping up the protein with protein shakes has helped a lot — I recently got that idea from one of your books. It’s not something I’ve ever done before. Also, I’m keeping carbs to below 30 grams per day instead of below 50 and that seems to have made a huge difference in addition to proportionally more protein. (I weigh 153 and probably should weigh around 125, at least, based on your Changing Perceptions of Obesity post.) I feel great now. I was never a sugar hound. My main problems in life were rice, bread, and potatoes. I got to weighing what I weigh now just by eating those. I can’t even imagine what I would weigh if I had ever eaten sugar in significant quantities (candy, sodas, etc., which I’ve never been big on).

    Back to dessert. Last night my boyfriend and I went out for dinner, and I ordered dessert (it was a four course meal, and so it was free.) I ordered the flourless chocolate cake. It was good but WAY too sweet. I couldn’t get it all down, and the piece was tiny. It’s the first time I’ve had dessert in at least a month and though it was tasty, a few bites were really enough because there was just too much sugar in it. It was sickening. I asked my boyfriend to try it. He said it was actually less sweet than most desserts he’s had recently. So, I take it my sweet receptors have gotten really sensitive after doing relatively low carb now for about 4-5 months.

    In any case, I won’t be ordering dessert again at a restaurant, I don’t think. I just didn’t feel good after eating it. This happened the last time I had dessert and I should have learned the lesson then. One more try pretty much confirmed it. The complex tastes of the rest of the dishes (which were relatively low carb) were so much better than the dessert.

  12. I’ve lived in major Canadian cities for 28 years and most of my relatives are still in the US, but I’ve had less access to Splenda than they have. Although discovered in Canada, Splenda was only available to consumers in granular form for a couple of years before the US got it and was not put in prepared foods or soft drinks until a year or two AFTER the US started doing it. Many Canadian soft drinks, diet jello, etc. are still made with aspartame; when I visit the US I’m always shocked that Splenda now seems to be in nearly everything, even non-diet foods for kids!

  13. Love the Torani syrups. I use them in coffee every day – It’s like Starbucks in my kitchen! They have a new Christmas flavor…Gingerbread. Put that and some whipping cream in a cup of coffee and wow.
    I have never eaten Pomegranate before, but eat blackberries and blueberries with whipped cream every day. I’ll check it out!
    Thanks for all you do,
    Deb

  14. I eat the seeds when I eat pomegranate, because they are an awful lot of trouble to chew around and spit out. I got used to the taste and texture after awhile and decided I liked the seeds. However, I’ve got a certain spot on one of my molars where little bits of seeds – especially pomegranate seed bits – like to get stuck like glue, and nothing but a metal dental pick will get that piece of seed out. That tends to deter me when I’m deciding whether or not to eat pomegranate. Same is true for blackberries, raspberries, or anything else with a small crunchy seed.

    Pomegranates are so cool, though. I’d eat them just for their gorgeous appearance alone – I’m glad they’re low-carb!

  15. Wonderful desert! Pomegranate is my mom’s favorite desert, but she sucks juice out of those liitle seeds> I didnt know you can just swallow it. Arent you missing all the great juice that you could have had if you bit those seeds and extracted the juice? Now, a question totally unrelated to desert. I read an article on medifast.com website and they claim that for every 30 pounds a male looses he gains an inch in penile length? Is that true? And if that is true, i wonder how come more men dont know about that. Not that it matters to lots of women, but lots of guys are very competitive by nature and size matters for them more then for us. Didnt want to open that can of worms, but we are all adults here. Just curious if that is true from medical point of view? Have you ever heard of such scientific fact?

    I didn’t go to the Medifast site to check, but I seriously doubt that that claim was made there. Weight has on bearing on penile size. Maybe losing weight might make it look larger, but that’s about it. And it might make it get used more if it didn’t have a giant pendulous belly hanging over it.

  16. Kat, 24. November 2008, 9:51

    “I’ve always eaten around the hard part of the seeds and spit them out. I didn’t know anyone else did it the other way!

    Looks delicious – I’d want to top it with some sugar-free whipped-cream, though.”

    Not sugar free please. Use the real thing. It is not that high in carbs and you are not starting down the frankenfood slippery slope.

  17. Those 12 fruit carbs raise my blood glucose about 20 points. Make whipped cream with Acai freeze dried powder for a much higher ORAC dessert.

    Sadly, I would probably eat this if it raised my sugar 50 points.

  18. Nice idea. Fortified wine, eh?

    Another tasty and easy low-carb dessert is frozen blueberries (we grow our own so the freezer is packed with them) mixed with plain, whole milk yogurt (like Brown Cow). Mix it around and the yogurt freezes to the berries and makes it like ice cream-coated berries. You can add Splenda or a bit of honey if you need it sweeter, but the berries are enough for me.

    Yes, fortified wine is a lovely touch.

  19. I went to Costco today to check out the arils (I’d been looking at them for weeks). Great color. No thanks. When I read the label on a jar of cashews, the place of origin was India and Vietnam. Trader Joe beckons.

    Quick question. I’ve had an eating disorder all of my life and I have no illusions that I’ll ever conquer the problem. You mention the foods that tempt you. I’ve been renouncing the things I love for so long (try 70 years), I no longer crave much of anything with the exception of fresh grapes. But I’m so wed to the concept of low-carb, I never indulge my yen. Since I guess I’m always in ketosis (which is a blessing and eliminates hunger pangs), would eating sugary grapes, which will take me out of ketosis, be such a big deal? And please, please, don’t mention the word moderation. I was born without that gene.

    Oh, to hell with it. Everyone will be mainlining sugary cranberries and stuffing and pumpkin pie on Thursday. I’m going back to Costco tomorrow to buy a tub of grapes.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    Marly

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. Don’t eat too many grapes. I don’t want it to be on my conscience.

  20. Bluerberries, Blackberries and Strawberries placed in a bowl with some red wine and a little cinnamon or maple syrup. Leave the combo in the fridge for a few hours. I’s delicious, especially with a little double cream.

    I’ve never had pomegrante. I hear it tastes great, not to mention it’s packed with antioxidants. Research even suggests that it has viagra-like effects in men.

  21. But I thought you said those antioxidants do not make their way into mitochondria were they would be of any use to us?

    That’s pretty much the case with supplementation, but there is something about antioxidants presented as whole foods that makes them more potent.

  22. Dr Mike, have you seen this? Not a word about carbohydrates, though. (Unsurprising, given the author?)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/25/health/25breast.html

    I did read this article. It is about spontaneous tumor regression, which is when malignant tumors just go away spontaneously. Every doctor who treats cancer has seen a handful of patients he/she thought were doomed suddenly get well. This article is about a paper appearing in the literature next week positing that these spontaneous regressions are more common than previously thought. Who knows if the people who experience these have changed diet or not.

  23. Dr Mike, do you ever surprise your wife and cook for her? What do you think about almond milk ? I tried to make one at home and it is delicious, except has quite a bit of calories. I bought one from organic store, which has much less calories, but no doubt is made with much less nuts.

    If I ever cooked for my wife it would be a) a total surprise (probably of the life-changing variety), and b) she would probably be afraid to eat it. At an earlier phase of our marriage I used to do all the grilling on the outside grill – she did all the cooking inside. Once, while getting ready to grill steaks, I got called away, and she took over. The steaks came out way, way better than they ever did when I cooked them, so she took over the outside cooking, too.

  24. Pomegranate seeds over ice cream is delicious. Not that I eat ice cream much (only a handful of times throughout the year). I agree that a dollop of real whipped cream or even just a couple tablespoons on heavy cream would be lovely.

    By the way, I just had to report that since giving up the wine or whiskey (yes, I used to have it virtually every night) and watching the carbs (less than 20 ECC per day), I’ve dropped almost a size in the past several weeks. I haven’t weighed myself, but I know from the fit of my clothes. My tight 16s have gone by the wayside, and I’m fitting nicely into my 14s.

    Woo-hoo!

    You don’t have to hit me over the head TOO many times for me to get the message!

    Congrats on your loss. How did your husband fare? Wasn’t he going to join you in the effort? The new book discusses all the whys and wherefores of alcohol abstinence and weight loss. Thank God the abstinence doesn’t last forever.

  25. Dr. Eades – amazing dessert! You and Mary are true voices of reason and science in a nutritional world gone mad.

    How does my blood profile appear to you? I am 32 years old, 6’7″ 210 lbs, with a 32″ waist.
    Total Chol – 170
    HDL – 58
    LDL – 96
    Trig – 31

    Thank you for the feedback! Have a great Turkey (with the skin) Day!!

    Blood work looks great. You should be a donor. 🙂

  26. Did you guys see a video clip on yahoo about an 11 year old boy dying wish to feed the hungry! He died of leukemia, but before he did doctors gave him 2 weeks to live. When he was asked for a last wish he asked to feed the hungry people that he saw on his way to the clinic. It made me cry. It is an amazing story. He died soon after but the whole country went on a frenzy for a few days and fed hungry form coast to coast. What a brave little boy! Happy Thanksgiving Dr Eades and I know I will have one more thanks to give this holiday, and that is you, Dr Mike. I love your work, your sense of humor, your humble approach. Thank you!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, too. And thanks.

  27. I visited my mom today and was qutie stressed out! But there is no better stress relief then coming home and letting Mom treat you like you are still a little kid! And she always feeds me. She made me my favorite snack and low carb too, yes Mom is a low carber as well! Ok it is called an ” Eggplant Paste” She boils eggplants, whole, i think, then roasts them in the oven. Takes them out, puts them throght the meat grinder. Then she mixes the paste with tomatoes, garlic, pepper, salt and lemon and a bit of parsly. The whole paste gets dressed in a very fresh first cold pressed olive oil. Then she sautees La Tortilla wraps and somehow makes them very crunchy, that one is still a secret, i guess Mom wants me to keep coming back. Ok, here is a twist. Then she spreads the paste onto the very crunchy wrap with a little of world famous Arkhangelskya black caviar and a touch of ice cream. I just went to Heaven! Dr Mike, you should try it, to die for! I dont know if you love caviar, but I do, and know quite a lot about it. I buy it through a local store in NYC and it costs $225 a pound but boy it is good! once I treated my ex grfriend who was jamaican to a Russian sandwich of fresh bread ( back in the days) with butter and black caviar. Check this out, she thought it wasn’t enough and spread almost the whole can of the caviar on the bread, whci cost about 75 a can. I wouldn’t be mad, but then she said it is ok, nothing special, jerk chicken is better! Hah, I guess it is! And no, that is not the reason she became my ex, but memories, or memories!

    Sounds delicious. I, too, love caviar. It just never occurs to me to buy it because it costs so much. If your mother ever reveals the secret as to how she makes the La Tortilla wraps crispy, please let me know first.

  28. So Dr Eades if you are ever in the neighborhood of Suny Downstate in Brooklyn, NYC visiting your friend Dr Feinman, let me know. I will let you taste the world’s best Russian sandwitch, low carb version off course, if not our neighborhood has world’s best jerk chicken! I think you came to downstate once, havent you? It is a very carribean heavy community, excellent food. There is no better food then NYC. It is just isn’t!

    I go to NYC often, but I’ve been to SUNY Downstate only twice. Next time I’m there, I’ll take you up on your offer.

  29. First…my apologies for the following long post. But, I care too much about our health. And it’s how I make a living.

    A lot of the controversy surrounding sucralose stems from the fact that it was discovered while trying to create a new insecticide. The two chemists, Hough and Phadnis were looking for a new insecticide product. The younger Phadnis accidently tasted the end product and discovered it to be incredibly sweet. Since sugars are incredibly more profitable than insecticides, the silly insecticide search was canned and a new fake sweetener was “discovered”…yea, real smart scientists. The claim that it is made from sugar is a misconception about the final product. That’s where most scientists confuse facts and theories then approve substances based upon theories and bad science.

    Sucralose is made when sugar is treated with trityl chloride, acetic anhydride, hydrogen chlorine, thionyl chloride, and methanol in the presence of dimethylformamide, 4-methylmorpholine, toluene, methyl isobutyl ketone, acetic acid, benzyltriethlyammonium chloride, and sodium methoxide, making it unlike anything found in nature. The Splenda Web site even states that “although sucralose has a structure like sugar and a sugar-like taste, it is not natural.” The product Splenda is also not actually calorie-free. Sucralose does have calories, but because it is 600 times sweeter than sugar, very small amounts are needed to achieve the desired sweetness. The first two ingredients in Splenda are dextrose and maltodextrin, which are used to increase bulk and are carbohydrates that are not free of calories. One cup of Splenda contains 96 calories and 32 grams of carbohydrates, which is substantial for people with diabetes but unnoticed due to the label claiming that it’s a no calorie sweetener.

    The name sucralose is another misleading factor. The suffix -ose is used to name sugars, not additives. Sucralose sounds very close to sucrose, table sugar, and can be confusing for consumers. The name would have been trichlorogalactosucrose, but the FDA did not believe that it was necessary to use this so sucralose was allowed. “Let’s not confuse consumers with the facts. We know better…we are scientists!”

    The presence of chlorine is thought to be the most dangerous component of sucralose. Chlorine is considered a carcinogen and has been used in poisonous gas, disinfectants, pesticides, and plastics. The digestion and absorption of sucralose is not clear due to a lack of long-term studies on humans. The majority of studies were done on animals for short lengths of time. The alleged symptoms associated with sucralose are gastrointestinal problems (bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea), skin irritations (rash, hives, redness, itching, swelling), wheezing, cough, runny nose, chest pains, palpitations, anxiety, anger, moods swings, depression, and itchy eyes. The only way to be sure of the safety of sucralose is to have long-term studies on humans done.

    Basic, advanced, organic chemistry, physiology, biochemistry, and human pathology taught me the vast difference between “ionic bonds”, table salt, and “covalent bonds”, when chlorine is combined with carbon: Organochlorine…used in Agent Orange; which can cause Hodgkins and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Ionic bonds are usually safe for human consumption, whereas, covalent bonds are deadly….The ionic bond found between a sodium atom, and a chloride atom is safe. The covalent bond between the carbons in sugar and a chlorine atom, making an organochlorine, like in Splenda, is deadly. Atoms act vastly different when they form different bonds. The chloride ion is abundant in nature, and is essential for life. The chlorine molecule, two chlorine atoms, is used to make insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, clean pools, destroy the ozone layer, and is a powerful oxidant…you better be getting a lot of antioxidants if you consume the chlorine in Splenda. It is absorbed and is broken down in the body. How could you taste it if it didn’t react chemically on your tongue????

    Saying Splenda is similar to sugar, and safe, is like saying riding in an airplane and wing-walking are the same and equally safe.

    By the way, Splenda was released for consumption on April 1, 1998…the day reserved to embarrass the gullible.

    drfitness

    I appreciate the info. You are right, of course, about the difference between ionic and covalent bonds. But, I’m still not convinced that sucralose in the quantities consumed by the average consumer is all that dangerous. I am in total agreement that it would be better to avoid it altogether, but if one is comparing the danger of eating 10 teaspoons of sugar per day or 1/600th times that amount of sucralose (which calculates to about 8/100ths of a gram), I would choose the sucralose every time.

    If I were going to sweeten my tea with something and I had both stevia and sucralose at hand, I would go for the stevia. But if I’m confronted with using Torani Sugar Free Black Cherry syrup with its tiny amount of sucralose or making my own (since a variety sweetened with stevia doesn’t exist), then I’ll grab for the Torani.

    But, as I say, I appreciate the info. It’s always good to know the risk side of the equation when making risk/reward decisions.

  30. Unfortunatley, hubby isn’t joining me all the way with the abstinence. He’s cut down a LOT, though. He travels usually 3 out of every 4 weeks, and he no longer has any alcohol while traveling. He’s also cut down when at home, though not as much as I have. If only I could break his milk-and-cookies habit. Small steps. You can lead a husband to low carb, but you can’t make him see the sense in it. Oh well. I’ll lead by example.

    Thanks for asking!

  31. Wow, Drfitness that was some information. I felt back in chemistry class, which i didnt like much. But it is agreat description by you nonetheless, thanks!

  32. Such big seeds! If one of them did not get chewed, or a few even – does that not put one at risk for appendicitis? Curious me. Guava pips have been known to cause appendicitis.

    I don’t think so. I’m not a believer in the notion that seeds or pips are the cause of appendicitis. I think those are old wive’s tales. I could be wrong, but my medical education leads me to believe otherwise.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  33. Dr. Mike,

    It looks like your everyday china is fiestaware. In my humble opinion it is the best in the world aesthetics and function.

    Michael

    It looks like Fiestaware, but it isn’t. It’s everyday ceramic dishware. I guess it’s a modern day knockoff of Fiestaware.