Just a spoonful of sugar

Dessert couscous. Source:  Paul Goyette / Flickr

Dessert couscous. Source: Paul Goyette / Flickr

Keeping the fast doesn’t mean going without dessert.

It never fails to surprise me when I go into a restaurant and see a Lenten menu with desserts. Coming from a tradition where people who observe the season at all do something like giving up chocolate for Lent, it’s hard for me to get my mind around the fact that this season of physical deprivation doesn’t mean abandoning sweets. 

How do you create something to satisfy a sweet tooth without butter or milk?

Turns out, it’s fairly easy. Plenty of sweet things – from honey to fresh and dried fruits to sugar are fast-friendly, and the wide range of plant-based milk substitutes available solves the problem of needing a liquid. Nut butters also provide a binding substance with a sweet flavor.

This recipe manages to provide a little sweetness without being too bad for you.

Dessert couscous


2 cups couscous; ¼ cup brown or demarara sugar; pinch of salt; ½ cup golden raisins; ½ cup chopped dates; ½ cup slivered or chopped almonds; 1 tsp cinnamon

Bring 2 ¼ cups water and salt to a boil. Add sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add couscous to water and cover tightly with a lid. Wait 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork. Add raisins, dates, almonds and cinnamon. Mix well.

NOTE: other dried fruits such as apricots and figs or other nuts like pecans or pistachios can be chopped up and substituted here.


More interesting recipes in the RBTH blog: Unorthodox Lent: A modern guide to the ancient fast

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