The most wholesome desserts are those furnished us by nature which require no preparation, as fruits, either fresh dried or cooked, and nuts. Fruits and grains combined make nice desserts, and may be prepared in a variety of ways. By the use of vegetable gelatin (agaragar), fruit and fruit juices may be molded into attractive looking desserts that are toothsome and inviting. Vegetable gelatin goes much further than animal gelatin, and its vegetable origin guarantees absolute freedom from unwholesome and diseased products. Being free from any flavor of its own, it requires much less flavoring material, leaving the natural fruit flavors unimpaired, and "there is nothing about it to suggest hoofs and horns".
The body requires a certain amount of sugar to keep it in working condition. To meet this demand nature has made provision in the fruits or fruit sugars, honey, etc. There are some people, however, who can not eat fruit; for such it may be well to take sugar in some form. But, as a rule, far too much sugar is ordinarily used in food. "Sweet breads, sweet cakes . . . perpetuate indigestion and make dyspeptics." However, when people have been accustomed to use these freely, sound judgment should be exercised.
The free use of milk and sugar taken together is especially harmful, and should be avoided. Their place should be supplied by a variety of fruits and nuts, with preparations of fruits and grains served in an appetizing manner. For those who like a simple cake now and then, the following recipes have been prepared. These cakes, being free from any chemical, should be baked a little more slowly than those in which baking powder is used. Just a moderate steady oven will bring these cakes out light and porous.
3/4 cup blackberry juice, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup sago, 1/4 cup sugar.
Wash the sago and have it well drained, bring the liquid and sugar to the boiling point in a double boiler. Wash the sago and drain, add to the hot liquid and stir well; cover and let steam until the sago is transparent, then turn into wetted molds and let cool; when cold and set, turn out on sauce dish and serve with cream or crushed fruit sauce.
Soak dried prunes over night. Cook them for two or three hours with a few slices of lemon added to give them flavor. Drain and save the juice separately; put the prunes through a colander to remove the pits, sweeten with honey or sugar, if needed, and flavor with vanilla. Trim the crust off thinly from a loaf of fruit bread, and cut into slices about one-half inch thick. Line a granite baking pan with the bread, pour over enough juice to soak up the bread, cover with the prune pulp about one-half inch deep, repeat the process leaving the prune pulp for the top; set into oven until it gets just barely hot through, so it will set; cool and cut into squares and serve with a teaspoon of whipped cream on top.
1 cup strawberries, white of 1 egg, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
Choose well ripened strawberries, wash them and remove the stems, put all the ingredients into a bowl, then beat with a wire egg whip until light and fluffy, which will take twenty minutes or more.
Pile lightly on a dish, and pour a border of crushed fruit or red fruit juice unsweetened around the whip on each dish.