If your New Year resolution is to eat fruit instead of creamy luscious desserts after all that year-end feasting, read on.
Of course, the easiest option is to offer a selection of cut fruit on ice, which is what the hawker stalls offer - and a healthy refreshing option it is - but I like to go one step further.
I like to serve cold fruit soups, for example - just mango spritzed up in a blender with vodka perhaps, or more sedately, papaya similarly blended with lemon or lime juice. Add some pomelo fruit sacs or pink pomegranate seeds into the glass for some texture just before serving. Top with a sprig of mint.
Very pretty and very low fat. And healthy to boot as all the nutrients are preserved - there is absolutely no cooking to destroy the vitamins. Just make sure that the cutting of the fruit and the blending is done at the last minute, again to obtain the maximum nutrients from the fruit, which dissipate in the air while waiting.
But one could do more with fresh fruit - like making fruit sushi.
This is a fruit dessert that is delicious and enticing even if it is relatively low fat. It even looks interesting for it is served sushi fashion.
The fish slices have been replaced by fruit, but they are still sitting on top on cakes of sweet sticky rice.
To confuse you further, despite the presentation, this is actually inspired by a Thai dessert - mango with sticky rice.
I team it also with jackfruit here and have on occasion, used slices of kiwi fruit, strawberries and melon to decorate the mounds of sweet rice.
In this way, I tell myself we are still eating fruit for dessert but in a more unusual fashion.
Glutinous rice, cooked soft and creamy with a bit of coconut milk, is delicious in its own right. Indeed it is sometimes served on its own, topped with a dollop of coconut cream, when it becomes that Peranakan dessert of pulot tartar.
Despite the fruit, be warned: There is a lot of simple sugar in this recipe.
Glutinous rice itself is high in sugar; there is added sugar both to the rice and the coconut cream that is served together with the dessert. So do restrain yourself to only a few pieces if you are watching your sugar levels.
The rest of us can be comforted by the fact that the fat content is low - just 11/2 cups of coconut milk to be shared among the six to eight people that this recipe will cater for.
You could even be more restrained by adding very little of the coconut cream that is served with the sushi or even replace the cream altogether with a fruit sauce that is no more than pureed fruit spiked with sugar and a bit of brandy.
Not too bad for a healthy dessert, don't you think?
FRUIT SUSHI (For 6-8)
- 250g glutinous rice
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- A selection of fruit - I chose mango and jackfruit, but you could use kiwi fruit, strawberries and papaya as well
- Coconut cream
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Toasted black sesame seeds to top (optional)
- Soak rice for at least 1 hour. Drain and place on a heatproof dish. Place dish over boiling water in a covered wok and steam for about 15 minutes.
- When rice turns translucent, stir in coconut milk, sugar and salt, fluff up with a fork and leave aside to cool. Make coconut cream by thickening coconut milk with flour.
- Make flour into a paste with some water. Stir it into the coconut milk over a slow fire, and keep stirring till the mixture thickens. Add sugar and a pinch of salt.
- Half an hour before serving, peel and slice fruit into small pieces. Squeeze some lemon juice over cut slices to prevent browning.
- Using clean wet hands, shape rice into small pear shapes. Top each with a fruit slice and some black sesame seeds. Serve immediately with coconut cream on the side.