All posts by Valerie Azinge

Valerie Azinge is a cookbook author and the founder of My Digital Kitchen, a food blog and dessert catering company with the mission to cater to multiple diets and happier, healthier lives. She has been featured in several publications like BuzzFeed, Food Network, The Huffington Post and many more.

The Perfect Fall Dessert: Healthy Low Sugar Persimmon Creme Brulee

This unique twist on the traditional creme brulee is an egg-free and sugar-conscious alternative that fits right into your fall dessert menu. Not only is it healthier — it mostly relies on a ripe persimmon for that creamy butterscotch-like sweetness — there’s no baking required. This dessert is a fun and fancy way to utilize persimmons during the fall season, especially since they are only around for a short time.

persimmon creme brulee

Persimmon Creme Brulee

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rest Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 medium very ripe persimmon, chopped
1 cup half and half creamer
⅓ cup + 4 Tbsp golden monk fruit sugar, divided
⅓ cup cornstarch
½ cup water
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Creme brulee ingredients

Directions:

1. Place the persimmon, creamer, ⅓ cup monk fruit sugar, cornstarch, water, sea salt and cinnamon in a blender. Blend on high speed until smooth. Pour the puree into a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk until it thickens like a smooth custard and has no lumps. This should take about 25 minutes.

Persimmon creme brulee ingredients in blender

2. Divide the mixture between four ramekins that are 4 oz each. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight until solid.

Persimmon creme brulee ingredients divided into ramekins

3. When ready, let the creme sit at room temperature for 2 minutes. Top each ramekin with 1 Tbsp of monk fruit sugar, making sure the entire surface is equally coated. Melt the sugar with a brulee torch until golden brown or slightly darker if you prefer. You will get a golden brown-orange colour, since this is not a regular creme brulee.

Related: 17 Low-Sugar Dessert Recipes to Get You Through the Holiday Season

4. Let sit for 5 minutes until the sugar has crystallized. Garnish with persimmon slices and serve.

Like Valerie’s low-sugar creme brulee? Try her easy paleo butternut squash or 30-minute low-carb zesty lamb burgers.

Easy Paleo Butternut Squash Tart Recipe: Your Fave Seasonal Squash Transformed!

We can all agree that the fall season is popular for all things pumpkin, particularly pies and tarts. However, you can also enjoy delicious fall desserts by transforming another seasonal favourite into a tasty tart. Introducing this rustic paleo butternut squash tart, made with a grain-free crust and a decadent buttery filling. It’s easy to make and a great way to enjoy butternut squash all season long.

Paleo Butternut Squash Tart

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 2 hours
Bake Time: 55 to 60 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8

Ingredients:

Crust
1 ¼ cup almond flour
½ cup arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
1 Tbsp cane sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 stick unsalted cold butter, cubed
¼ cup ice water

Filling
2 cups cooked and pureed butternut squash
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp paleo-approved brown sugar
4 ½ tsp arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted room temperature butter
2 eggs
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup warm water

Tip: To save time, you can purchase frozen prepared butternut squash cubes. Heat them up with 1.5 Tbsp of water in the microwave on high for five minutes. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Directions:

1. In a large bowl or a food processor, start by combining the almond flour, starch, sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter until the batter is crumbly. Add in 1 tsp of ice water at a time until the dough starts coming together. You may not need the full ¼ cup of ice water in the event that your dough already sticks together, so play it by ear. Once your dough is formed, but not too sticky, flatten it out into a 1 inch disk and wrap in saran wrap. Refrigerate for two hours or overnight.

Related: The Ultimate Squash Guide: All the Varieties and Their Best Uses

2. When your dough is ready to roll out, remove from the fridge and preheat your oven to 350°F. Roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper into a 10 inch round disk. If you find that the dough is too hard to roll, leave it at room temperature for about a minute. Remove the parchment paper and transfer the dough into a greased 10-inch round tart pan. Press the dough into the pan until all the edges are covered, then return it to the fridge.

3. Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix for 3 minutes until you get a smooth batter. It’s normal to see tiny clumps of butter in the batter after mixing.

4. Pour the filling into the tart crust and place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Place the tart in the oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. When ready, cool the tart on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Serve with toppings of choice.

Like Valerie’s paleo butternut squash tart? Try her 30-minute low-carb lamb burger recipe.

BBQ These 30-Minute Low-Carb Mint Lamb Burgers for Dinner Tonight

“This heavenly, satisfying burger is one of the many reasons I look forward to eating dinner at your house.” A true quote from my dear mother, who is also happy being my guinea pig whenever I’m testing meat recipes. These juicy, hot off the grill, zesty mint lamb burgers will have your mouth watering before they even hit your plate. Added bonus: they’re low-carb and can be made in 30 minutes!

Related: Satisfying Weeknight Recipes Where Veggies Replace Carbs

Zesty Mint Lettuce Lamb Burgers

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 burgers

Ingredients:

Burger
1 lb (454 g) ground lamb
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp (6 g) chopped mint leaves
1 shallot, minced
Juice of 1 lime
Pinch kosher salt and ground black pepper

For Serving
1 head butter lettuce
1 red pepper, sliced
1 red onion, sliced
2 cups (400 g) store-bought zucchini chips (optional)

Related: Our 80 Most Popular Burger Recipes

1. To make the burgers, fire up the grill or grill pan to medium heat. I used a grill pan for this recipe. While the grill pan is heating up, mix the ground lamb with garlic, mint, shallot, lime juice, salt and pepper. Form 4 equal-sized lamb patties.

2. Now comes the fun step: grill the lamb burgers for approximately 4 minutes per side, making sure to only turn them once. You can also enjoy listening to the lovely sizzle in the pan while these burgers are cooking.

3. When the burgers are ready, it’s building time. Layer the lamb burgers on the lettuce leaves with red peppers and onions. Serve with zucchini chips, if desired.

Want more summertime grilling recipes? These pork banh mi burgers and grilled stuffed zucchini boats are sure to impress.

Reprinted with permission from 30-Minute Low-Carb Dinners by Valerie Azinge, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Valerie Azinge, Yasaman Shafiei and Kabir Ali.