Clafoutis (pronounced cluh-foo-tee) is a French custard dish traditionally made with black cherries. Let that sink in for a minute. (Just writing the words “French custard” and “black cherries” in the same sentence makes my mouth water.)
The authentic French recipe consists primarily of egg, heavy cream, white flour, and sugar. I’m fine with the egg and cream, but flour and sugar are hard to recommend in a column that has the word “healthy” in the title. And while I personally do well with certain dairy foods (e.g., raw milk), many people don’t. So Chef Jeannette swapped out the original cream for a far less allergenic, full-fat coconut milk. She also dumped the white/wheat flour and replaced it with almond and coconut.
The recipe calls for just a small amount of clean sweetener such as rice syrup, maple syrup, or cold-pressed honey, but feel free to reduce the amount or use stevia instead. (There are some really good organic stevias on the market and they’re not expensive.)
This dish might not be quite as smooth and creamy as the original French version, but it’s a dessert for the times—delicious, satisfying, and seasonal, with a decent amount of protein, good fat, and fiber. Works for me! —Dr. Jonny
Featured ingredient: Eggs
Eggs—whole eggs, complete with that rich yellow yolk—are, and always have been, one of the most complete and healthy foods ever to appear on planet Earth. So why is there so much objection to eggs among our mainstream medical brethren? The simple answer is this: cholesterol.
To dismantle the myths about cholesterol and heart disease would take a book—in fact I wrote one with cardiologist Stephen Sinatra, MD, called The Great Cholesterol Myth. But you don’t have to buy our book to discover that a substantial (and growing) number of medical doctors, PhDs, scientists, and researchers don’t agree that cholesterol is public enemy No. 1 when it comes to heart disease. Moreover, just about everyone now acknowledges that cholesterol in the diet doesn’t matter a whit, even if they still believe that cholesterol in the blood is really important. But the enlightened position on dietary cholesterol is that it doesn’t matter to anyone except those who have a rare genetic condition called familiar hypercholesterolemia.
So the big rap against eggs has been that they contain cholesterol—but that’s turning out to be like demonizing blueberries because they’re blue. Dietary cholesterol doesn’t do anything “bad” to you—if you didn’t eat it, your liver would simply make more of it. Your body makes cholesterol in every single cell, and without it you’d die. The fact that this perfect food contains cholesterol is irrelevant to your health.
On the nutrition side, egg yolks boast healthy doses of lutein and zeaxanthin,
the superstar carotenoids of eye nutrition. The yolk also contains choline, which turns into acetylcholine, a prime neurotransmitter in your brain that’s needed for memory, thinking, and mood. That’s why your grandmother rightfully called eggs “brain food.”
For a paltry 75 or so calories, an egg gives you 7 grams of protein plus a decent amount of iron, other minerals, and vitamins. It also has 5 grams of perfectly good fat—most of which, contrary to conventional wisdom, is not saturated but monounsaturated, the same kind of healthy fat found in olive oil.
I always recommend eggs from a local farm, or at the very least eggs from hens not raised in cages but free to roam on pasture. The only thing wrong with eggs from factory farms is that they’re likely to contain traces of all the junk fed to chickens raised in battery cages.
Cook them in grass-fed butter, grass-fed ghee, Malaysian palm oil, coconut oil, or even extra-virgin olive oil if you keep the heat under 200°F.
Try our Almond Peach Clafoutis recipe.