Eat To Live

Dessert disguised as a fruit soup

ST PHOTO: NIVASH JOYVIN

This mango soup is ideal for those avoiding sugar overload

My husband will not eat dessert, not even a spoonful. It is annoying especially when I have made a huge bowl of sherry trifle or a tray of bread pudding, or concocted some sweet confection for dinner.

Luckily, I don't usually make dessert because I feel that the main meal is enough to fill us up.

For a bit of sweetness to cleanse the palate afterwards, I would offer some fruit or maybe a piece of chocolate, dark if you please. But that was before I started to obsess about desserts based on fruit.

I've written before of ice creams made from pure fruit which my husband will eat as it is just another form of fruit.

Would he, therefore, eat a fruit soup or a spiked fruit soup?

I decided on mango soup, which is a fancy name for a pureed mango.

This kind of dessert is ideal for those avoiding sugar or conscientious eaters who avoid desserts but not fruit.

Fruits do have sugar, but they are also loaded with good things like vitamins, minerals and fibre. Just keep track of your intake, as you do with carbs.

While eating a whole fruit is still better than juicing it because a lot of fibre is lost in juicing, this recipe calls for blending the fruit, which retains all the fibre.

There are also whole passion fruit and pomelo sacs in this soup, which add to the fruit quotient.

There is no added sugar, only the sugar inherently found in the fruits. Well, there is some sugar in the Cointreau, an orange liqueur that I favour, but it is added more for its aromatic fragrance than for its sweetness.

Besides, you cannot beat this recipe for convenience - the mango is blended, the pomelo can be bought ready-peeled at supermarkets, and the passion fruit, available whole or pulped, is merely spooned out at the end.

The passion fruit is added for its tanginess, which cuts through the sweetness of the mango.

I would buy the whole passion fruit, as you can keep it for a few days, allowing it to wrinkle, which indicates that it has ripened.

Indeed, the ripeness of all the fruits used is essential, for you are relying on them to bring sweetness to this dessert.

So the mangoes should be left outside the fridge to ripen further before using (a strong fragrance means that they are ready).

I use Australian mangoes in this recipe and I use only the sweet and juicy Ipoh pomelo, which deserves its good reputation. It is especially lovely as you get a crunch when you bite into a juicy sac while slurping up the soup.

While nothing can beat a platter of cut fruit, especially if it is sweet and juicy, it can get a bit predictable and boring.

This fruit soup, presented in a pretty cup, adds excitement to a party and, surprisingly, tastes better than its components.


MANGO SOUP WITH PASSION FRUIT, POMELO SACS AND COINTREAU

INGREDIENTS

2 to 3 large, sweet mangoes

2 to 3 passion fruit, wait till they are wrinkled before using

3 to 4 pomelo segments, broken up into sacs

2 Tbs orange liqueur

Mint leaves for garnishing

METHOD

1. Peel the mangoes and cut into large cubes.

2. Place mango cubes into a blender. Add orange liqueur and blend till smooth.

3. Add the pomelo sacs and stir carefully to mix, so as not to break the sacs.

4. Spoon fruit soup into bowls. Chill in the fridge.

5. Cut passion fruit into halves and scoop out the pulp.

6. Top bowls with passion fruit pulp. Garnish with mint leaf.

SERVES FOUR TO FIVE


This mango soup with passion fruit, Cointreau and pomelo is low in calories and fat, and contains a fair amount of fibre.

  • NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving - 197.4g)

  • Energy: 97kcal

    Protein: 2.3g

    Total fat: 0.6g

    Saturated fat: 0g

    Dietary fibre: 2.6g

    Carbohydrate: 19.1g

    Cholesterol: 0mg

    Sodium: 9.9mg

It also contains phytochemicals, which are found in plants and which help to reduce the risk of cancer as well as chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease.

The fruits used in the recipe are also high in Vitamin C, which can help strengthen our immunity.

Mango is rich in antioxidant, a plant nutrient which may help to reduce the cancer risk, especially colon and breast cancer.

 And passion fruit is a great source of fibre.

A 100g serving of passion fruit, when eaten with the pulp and seeds, provides us with almost 50 per cent of our daily fibre requirement (10.4g).

It is thus not suitable for those who are on a low-fibre or low- residue diet.

Passion fruit is also rich in potassium, which helps to regulate our heart rate and blood pressure.

Bibi Chia

Principal dietitian, Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2017, with the headline 'Dessert disguised as a fruit soup'. Print Edition | Subscribe