Eliot Coleman, angel lush cake

Perhaps I should be embarrassed to even think about a recipe including

Adding sliced berries directly to pudding mixture allows you to increase fresh fruit in this light dessert.

instant pudding and synthetic whippee while reading This Life Is In Your Hands, Melissa Coleman’s loving and painful memoir of her parents’ early years on their Maine organic farm (Harper, 2011), but I’m not. Even though I just came across this quote from Scott Nearing, another back-to-the-land pioneer: “Health insurance is served on the table with every meal.”

I’m fairly certain the Colemans and Nearings would think I might as well have been eating DDT since the winter holidays, what with all the sugars on my plate. And I agree; my stiff joints complain about too many refined carbs with every step I take. Unfortunately, I’ve spent more than threescore years (we just spent a weekend in Gettysburg) learning to handle stress and discomfort by eating “bad” stuff that tastes good for a moment or two.

In defense of my sweet teeth, however, if you slice this cake into 10 slices, each has only 140 calories and 1.5 g fat with a mouth feel of something much more decadent. And if you ramp up the fresh strawberries, even add blueberries, you do get the benefits of fresh fruit with significant antioxidant content.

Angel lush cake

1 prepared angel food cake, sliced horizontally into thirds

1 20-ounce can pineapple bits with juice

1 1.5-ounce box instant vanilla pudding

1 cup reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed

Fresh straw- or blueberries

Combine pudding mix and pineapple until well-mixed. Fold in whipped topping and berries if you’re using them for more than simple garnish on top (as called for in Kraft recipe). Divide mixture between layers and top of cake. Refrigerate, covered, for at least one hour. The longer this cake sits, the more thoroughly the fruit-flavored filling soaks into the cake layers. You’ll want to slice your dessert with a serrated bread knife.

Afternoon sun gilds some of our daffodils.

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