What is an April Fool?
The only surprise I was treated to on April Fool’s Day was Alex Trebek, walking onto his game show set without his pants! I did, however, write this post for you on April 1st, which should entitle me to name my fruit pudding recipe April Fool. It’s a tasty British fruit “Fool,” in the traditional sense.
A British Fool is made by folding a fruit puree into a thick, whipped cream. In the interests of better heart health, I substituted low-fat Greek yogurt for the whipped cream. It still tasted great, and it looked pretty when I layered the two in a glass dish. I passed a knife through the layers a few times for a marbled look. My April Fool is made from rhubarb and flavored with cinnamon and ginger.
Omitting the sugar in a rhubarb dish would be a fairly nasty trick to play on your family. In its raw state, rhubarb is just plain sour. I use coconut palm sugar in my Fool, because it has a lower glycemic index than ordinary table sugar. That means a slower release of sugar into the blood stream for more controlled metabolism. Stevia also works well in recipes with sour fruits. I used a combination of the two sweeteners this time, to keep calories lower.
Like lemon, rose hips, and cranberries, all also on the very sour side, rhubarb contains lots of vitamin C. This vitamin, probably the best-known of the micronutrients, keeps cell damage to a minimum, protecting us from chronic disease, vision loss, and infections. It also ensures healthy brain function, making rhubarb a good defense against poor marks and Alzheimer’s disease.
Rhubarb is also an excellent source of calcium, better even than milk. Combined with its high amounts of vitamin K, rhubarb makes a great food for maintaining strong bones and healthy skin.
Eating rhubarb ensures good gut health through its fiber, plus its many other vitamins and minerals needed for healthy metabolism.
Ginger goes hand in hand with rhubarb in soothing the gut. It prevents nausea, vomiting, and gas, so it’s ideal against sea-sickness or morning sickness in pregnancy. It is anti-inflammatory, so works well with rhubarb against chronic diseases. Like rhubarb, ginger is an effective booster of your immune mechanisms.
Cinnamon is another spice healthy people keep in their kitchen repertoire. It is known for its ability to keep blood-sugar spikes at bay. I add cinnamon to many of my recipes where sugar is mandatory, to offset the damage sugar can do to an unprotected body.
But cinnamon does so much more. It is part of the gang that fights chronic disease and protects bone health. My April Fool is a tasty way to bring rhubarb together with cinnamon and ginger for a super spring tonic. I’m pretty sure once you try it, you will be going back for more.
- 8 cups (750 grams) rhubarb, chopped into thumb-sized pieces
- 1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- Fresh or crystallized ginger, finely chopped up (a thumb-sized piece)
- Up to 3/4 cup (75 grams) coconut palm sugar or the equivalent amount of stevia, to taste (I used about 3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar, then adjusted the sweetness with stevia. I think I could have used stevia entirely, but that is up to each of us)
- Bring the rhubarb to a boil in a saucepan with the sugar, juice and spices, and cook about 10 minutes, until the fruit softens and breaks apart.
Make the milk sauce and assemble the fool
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ½ cup milk (Vinny uses skim)
- 1 1/2 cup (350 grams) Greek yogurt, approximately
- Stevia or maple syrup to taste
- Grated chocolate or nuts to garnish (optional)
- Mix the sugar and cornstarch with the 2 tablespoons of milk in a heat-proof bowl.
- Bring the ½ cup of milk to a boil in a small pot and pour it slowly over the cornstarch mix, stirring to blend well.
- Add the mixture to the boiling fruit puree and cook over medium heat, stirring until thickened and bubbly, about 4 minutes.
- Let cool, stirring occasionally.
- Puree the fruit with a hand blender or press through a sieve. The sieve removes fiber, so I prefer the hand blender.
- Cover and chill at least an hour.
- Sweeten the yogurt to taste, then swirl it through the fruit puree for a two-toned effect. I usually use about half and half in individual glass bowls or a large glass dessert dish.
- Serve your April Fool unadorned or sprinkle it with grated chocolate or nuts, if you like.
April is rhubarb season in those countries anticipating spring (e.g., Canada), so it should be available soon there in abundance. Smart people freeze rhubarb while it’s plentiful, so they can enjoy it year-round. I made my Fool today from fruit frozen last year.