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Don’t let their exotic looks intimidate you—they’ve got exotic flavor to match! Next time you’re in our produce aisle, take home a taste of the tropics with some of these uniquely delicious fruits. To help demystify their appearance and how to eat them, we’ve put together a few tips and insights for you.
As mythical looking as its name suggests, the dragon fruit or pitaya, is an edible pod that grows off of flowering cacti. Don’t let the unusual exterior fool you, the very mild interior can be mixed into a variety of dishes and smoothies for a powerful burst of nutrients.
These little fruit shine as brightly as their name. When cut crosswise, the reason for its name is revealed. The yellow flesh tastes a little like a green grape—sometimes sweet with a hint of tang. Try it in fruit salads, by itself or as a drink garnish.
- This small, roundish fruit grows on a vine from spectacular flowers. When ripe, the fruit’s skin is slightly wrinkly. It’s easy to eat; cut it in half and spoon out the fruit and seeds—they’re edible. Or, add it to oatmeal or salads.
You’ll know your lychee is ready-to-eat when the bumpy skin turns pinkish-red and gives a little when gently pressed. They’re only about an inch in diameter and though the skin looks tough, it’s easily pierced with your fingernail, then peeled like an orange. The texture is similar to a grape, but be aware of the pit in the center.
The tamarind looks like a brown bean pod. The fruit becomes paste-like and sweeter as it ripens, which is why it’s also called the date of India. The shell can be easily cracked, so you can pull the fruit away from the strings that hold it in place and eat around the seeds.
The creamy texture of this high-altitude fruit lends to its other name, custard apple. The exterior is green and looks scaled, but the luscious fruit can be described as a combination of tropical flavors like banana, coconut, strawberry and mango. Cut it in half and eat with a spoon, but be aware the large, dark seeds are quite hard and inedible.
From skin to seeds, the entire guava is edible—dive in—the rind alone has more vitamin C than an orange. Guavas have a sweet, slightly floral flavor that is delicious and unique. Like any fruit, they’re great eaten alone, mixed in with a smoothie or added to fruit salad.
From a tropical evergreen tree, the deep, reddish-purple tough skin of the mangosteen is inedible, but the inner fruit has pale white sections like citrus. Sweet and tangy, the flavor has been likened to strawberry, kiwi and plums, as all of these and completely its own. It remains an indescribably delicious mystery you have to try!
The beautiful orange color of persimmons is carried throughout the firm flesh of the fruit. They look a little like a tomato and are best eaten when slightly firm. Cut them into wedges for an easy on-the-go snack with a honeyed, almost pear-like flavor. If they get too soft? You can bake them in quick bread like you would bananas or make easy freezer jam.
What looks like a leafless, hard stalk resembling bamboo is the sweet treat sugar cane. When choosing a stalk, favor those that are thinner and heavier versus a thicker lighter one. To cut it, score it all the way around, then break it rather than trying to cut all the way through it. Once peeled, you can chew the fibrous stalk to enjoy the nectar (but don’t swallow the fibers, discard them). Or, cut into thin stalks and use as skewers or swizzle sticks to impart the sweetness to your food and drink.
This boulder of a fruit has an almost coral-like exterior. The biggest surprise is when its tangy flesh is cooked up, it has a texture similar to meat. Next time you’re looking for a meatless dinner, try this giant. Sauté the ripe fruit with onion and garlic, add barbeque sauce and allow to simmer for 15 minutes—serve on tortillas.
This little fruit is strange looking. Their alien appearance and spiny exterior might make you think they’re inedible … but that would be incorrect. Totally tasty, these exotic fruits have a tender texture and a sweet flavor similar to wild grapes. Cut the circumference of the fruit and remove it to reveal the spherical white fruit that harbors a pit.
Shaped like a beautiful reddish egg, the tamarillo is also known as the tree tomato. When you cut it open, the seeds are nestled much like they are in a tomato and are edible as well. The skin tends to be bitter though, so best blanche and peel your tamarillo before eating. Or, enjoy its complex fruity and tomato-like flavor by cutting it in half and dig in with a spoon.
Ready to try some of these luscious tropical treats?
SHOP TROPICAL FRUIT
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Looking to for ways to get green this St. Patrick’s Day? These recipes from our blogger friends are straight from the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!
You’ll be over the rainbow for this Avocado Hummus with homemade, shamrock-shaped tortilla chips! Recipe provided
by our blogger friend, Karman, at The Nutrition Adventure.
- 4 12-inch Whole wheat tortillas
- 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 15.5-oz. can Great Northern beans
- 1 Avocado
- 1/4 cup Fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 lg. Garlic clove
- 1/2 Jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed
- 1/8 tsp. Salt
- Cooking spray
- Cayenne pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 18×13-inch baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray.
- Use a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter, or a circle cookie cutter, to cut out tortilla chips. Place the cut tortillas on the baking sheet, being sure to not overlap. Spray the tortillas with cooking spray and sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, turning the tortillas over half way through baking. Allow tortilla chips to cool thoroughly.
- While the tortilla chips are baking, prepare hummus by combining the olive oil, beans, avocado, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper in a food processor or blender, processing until smooth. If more liquid is needed to make the hummus smooth, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
- Serve hummus with tortilla chips and fresh vegetables, if desired. Keep hummus in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a creamy and decadent bowl of warm broccoli cheddar soup topped with shamrock-shaped croutons. Recipe provided by our blogger friend, Ericka, at Nibbles and Feasts.
- 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 1/2 cups White onion, chopped
- 2 Celery stalks, chopped
- 5 cups Broccoli florets, save a few for garnish
- 1 med. Yukon gold potato, chopped
- 4 cups Sprouts Vegetable Broth
- 1 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Black pepper
- 1 cup Milk (2% or whole)
- 2 cups Cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 lg. Garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. Dried oregano
- 1 tsp. Dried thyme, crumbled
- 1/2 tsp.Black pepper
- 1/2 cup Olive oil
- 6 slices Sourdough bread
- For the soup: Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and cook for 5–7 minutes, until tender. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add celery, broccoli and potato. Cook for 2 minutes and stir in vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until potato is soft.
- Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth or blend with an immersion blender in the saucepan. If blended in a blender, return soup to saucepan, add milk and stir in cheese until it melts. Serve. Garnish with small broccoli florets and croutons.
- For croutons: Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine garlic, oregano, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and oil in a small saucepan over low-medium heat. Bring to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Cut out bread with a 2-inch shamrock cookie cutter. Cut any remaining bread in cubes.
- Arrange shamrock cut-out bread and cubes in one layer on a baking sheet. Brush with oil mixture on all sides. Bake for 12-14 minutes until gold and crispy. Serve as soup topping.
Cookies and Cream Shamrock Cookies
These cookies can be cut into any shape, but they’re perfectly cute for St. Patrick’s Day in a simple shamrock shape. Topped with buttercream frosting, these cookies are flavorful and delicious. Recipe provided by our blogger friend, Glory, at Glorious Treats.
- 2 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup Chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (about eight, filling included)
- 1 tsp. Baking powder
- 1/2 + 1/4 tsp. Salt
- 1 1/2 cups Unsalted butter
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 2 oz. Cream cheese
- 2 cups Powdered sugar
- Natural green food coloring
- In a large bowl, add the crushed cookie crumbs to flour, then add baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, add 1 cup butter (cold, but cut into pieces) and blend until butter is smooth.
- Add sugar to the butter and blend until well-combined and fluffy.
- Add egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla to the sugar and butter mixture, blend until fully incorporated.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour/crumb mixture. Blend until all ingredients are combined and the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Remove dough and roll out on a lightly floured work surface, or roll out between two sheets of plastic wrap (and then no flour is needed). Roll dough to about 3/8″ thick. Cut out desired shapes and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone liner.
- Chill entire baking sheet of cookies (in the fridge) while you heat the oven to 350°F. Bake cookies for about 10 minutes, or until the tops no longer looks moist. Allow to cool a few minutes on the baking sheet, then move to a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
- For the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and continue to blend until fully smooth.
- Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and blend. Add 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. vanilla and continue to blend.
- Add second cup of powdered sugar and mix until smooth and fluffy. Add food coloring, as desired.
- Spread frosting onto fully cooled cookies, or add frosting to a piping bag and fill in the cookies with a tight zig-zag pattern (as shown).
Shamrock Spinach Pancakes
You’ll be surprised to find out these family-friendly pancakes don’t have an overwhelming taste of spinach and will make eating healthier breeze. Recipe provided by our blogger friend, Holly Baker, at A Bakers House.
Note: If you’d like to make shamrock-shaped pancakes, place a metal cookie cutter sprayed with baking spray on your heated pan. Fill with a thin layer of spinach pancake batter. Wait until bubbles form then remove the cookie cutter with tongs (the cookie cutter will be HOT!), flip the pancake and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Spray the cookie cutter again before using for the next pancake.
- 1 2/3 cups Gluten-free pancake mix
1 1/2 cups Water
- 1/2 cup Tightly packed fresh spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup Sprouts Organic Maple Syrup
- 2 Tbsp. Sprouts unsalted butter
- Baking Spray
- Heat a large pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Spray with baking spray.
- Pour batter onto the heated pan. Wait until bubbles start to form in the middle of the pancake, then flip and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Serve with butter and syrup.
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Native to the Mediterranean region, the artichoke is the not-yet-bloomed flower of a thistle plant that is part of the sunflower family. Despite their slightly prickly exterior, artichokes are quite easy to prepare, cook and eat. Plus, they’re packed with antioxidants, vitamin C and dietary fiber.
Easy Artichoke Prep
- Because they have sharp barbs, the first thing you’ll want to do in preparation is to cut the top cluster of barbs off with a sharp knife. This will remove about a quarter of the artichoke. Then, utilizing kitchen shears, cut the barbs off the tops of the remaining leaves.
Don’t worry that you’re taking too much off the top of the artichoke or the tops of the leaves—the edible part is at the base of the leaf. More on that later …
- Now that the artichoke is easier to handle, remove the small leaves at the base, closest to the stem and cut the stem, leaving about a ½”.
- The final step is to rinse the artichoke under cool running water to remove any debris that might be trapped in between petals.
Cooking an Artichoke: It’s Easy!
- Add just enough water to a pot so that the water is just below the steamer basket. Cover and bring the water to a boil.
- Add the prepared artichoke, replace the lid and lower the heat to simmer the water. It will take 20-40 minutes to cook. After 20 minutes, you’ll want to check the artichoke(s) every 5 minutes. The color will change from fresh green to a more muted green and you’ll know it’s read when you can easily remove a petal. TIP: Use tongs for this part—those petals will be really hot!
- Set aside and allow to cool a bit before eating it.
Now What? How to Eat an Artichoke
- Serve the artichoke right-side up on a plate.
- Remove a petal from the artichoke and eat only the bottom, whitish fleshy part of the petal that was closest to the base of the artichoke.
- You can certainly eat artichokes plain, or with a little salt & pepper. Try dipping them in melted butter or ghee, a tangy vinaigrette or a savory aioli.
Have a bowl at-the-ready for discarded petals.
Easy Aioli Recipe
- 2 Garlic cloves, pressed
- ¼ tsp. Kosher salt
- ½ cup Sprouts Organic Mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp. Sprouts Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Mash garlic and salt in a small bowl until a paste forms.
- Whisk in mayonnaise, oil and lemon juice.
- Season with salt and pepper—enjoy!
Did you know?
One artichoke plant can produce up to 20 artichokes per year.
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Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, rye, spelt and kamut. It’s part of what gives certain foods their structure and texture. Think about chewy bread or pizza dough—gluten is what makes that texture. If you’re looking to cut gluten from your diet, we’ve got a few tips as well as a free downloadable gluten-free cookbook
packed with great tips and seven recipes you’ll want to try!
Unfortunately, hidden gluten exists. Many processed foods have gluten in them, that’s because food manufacturers use gluten as a stabilizer, emulsifier, thickener and flow agent. This means it can show up in some least-expected places like flavorings and spice mixes, frozen foods, candy, sauces and more.
The good news is, more than likely, plenty of what you already eat is naturally gluten free. Unprocessed foods like fruits, veggies, meats and seafood are all great choices. And, cooking gluten-free is easier than ever with the expansive selection you’ll find at Sprouts that fit your diet.
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Matcha Butter Latte
Whether you’re looking for a breakfast booster, coffee alternative or an afternoon pick me up, you’ve found just the right drink to hit the spot! This drink will be a new favorite of yours. It works great as a latte and is even refreshing when blended with ice.
Benefits of matcha:
- Can boost energy, mood and metabolism, all while tasting good!
- Is packed with antioxidants
- Supports higher levels of concentration
- 1 tsp. matcha
- 1 Tbsp. Vital Farms Butter
- 1 Tbsp. MCT oil or coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp. collagen powder or vanilla protein
- 1 squirt vanilla Stevia
- Dash of cinnamon
- 6-8 oz. unsweetened coconut milk
- Mix all ingredients together until blended into a puree.
Tip: Remix your drink by adding ice to make it a little cooler or add another teaspoon of greens powder for an easy way to get those greens in!
Egg Fried “Rice”
This is a simple recipe you can use to improve your vegetable intake. It provides a very satisfying alternative to the typical starch base, using a sweet potato instead of rice!
- 2 Vital Farms Pasture-Raised Eggs
- 1 medium sweet potato or 2 small/medium parsnips
- 1 Tbsp. Vital Farms Butter
- 1/2 tsp. garlic
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 2 Tbsp. coconut aminos
- Dash of Himalayan sea salt
- Preheat a medium-sized sauce pan on medium-high.
- Rinse and chop potato or parsnips. Use a food processor to chop into rice-sized pieces. It works best to pulse about five times for about two seconds each time. A subtle shake can help break the pieces up evenly. Depending on the size of your processor, you may need to do a couple runs.
- Toss chopped vegetables into the sauce pan and use with a wooden spoon to slightly toast without oil or butter for three minutes.
- Add butter to pan and continue to toss for three minutes.
- Add seasonings and eggs. Scramble eggs into veggie mixture. Stir for two additional minutes to prevent sticking.
- Add more seasonings, if desired.
- Leafy greens, like spinach or kale
- Hot sauce or broth to sauce pan with chopped veggies
- Hemp hearts for protein and fiber
- Fermented vegetables
- Nutritional yeast
- Sliced avocado before serving
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With these go-to recipes to make by the fire or on the grill, you can be sure you’ll be a happy camper this summer.
After all, a trip in the great outdoors isn’t complete without hot grill grates and your camping skillet. Finish a day of hiking, kayaking or exploring with these easy recipes below. Plus, you’ll enjoy the extra authentic touch of cooking over a campfire.
Cooked in a large camping skillet, this hearty dish is perfect for providing fuel when you’re staying active. Simply cook veggies like cubed potatoes, onion and red bell peppers. Top with warmed Fishpeople Seafood’s Alder Smoked Salmon Chowder.
Served with a toasted baguette, this cheesy dip is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. For an easy cleanup, cook and serve in a camping skillet!
It only takes three simple ingredients for this tasty side! Flavor mini peppers with salt and garlic before wrapping in foil. Cook on grill or camp fire grate for 20–30 minutes.
Add a little glamour to your menu. With mascarpone cheese, fresh parsley and Fishpeople Seafood’s Dungeness Crab Bisque, this dish is the ultimate “glamping” recipe.
Move over, s’mores. These chocolatey bananas are a sweet new take on the classic campfire dessert. Grilled banana boats are roasted and stuffed with chocolate and nut butter for a melt-in-your-mouth indulgence.
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Whether you are filling Easter baskets, lunch boxes or packing a picnic, there is always room for a sweet snack. And Surf Sweets candy is the best kind!
Packed with delicious fruity flavors, Surf Sweets gummy candies and organic jelly beans have clean ingredients and are allergen friendly.
Here are just a few reasons to love Surf Sweets:
- Made with organic fruit juice and organic sweeteners.
- Each candy serving has 100% daily value of vitamin C.
- Made without corn syrup.
- No artificial colors or flavors.
- Free of the top 10 food allergens.
- (Most importantly) Surf Sweets taste great!
Bring them to a school party, sweeten your movie nights or treat somebody for a job well done. However you like to snack, you can enjoy the sweet satisfaction of having delicious treats everyone can enjoy. Try one in every flavor!
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Miss Jones is a new kind of baking company. By focusing on quality, non-GMO, organic ingredients, this San Francisco-based company is raising the bar when it comes to taking shortcuts in the kitchen.
Their plant-based cookie, brownie and cake mixes are tasty, easy-to-make and SO easy to customize—especially with their complementary line of organic, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free ready-to-eat frostings. Each mix can be baked using conventional or vegan ingredients, so you can bake something for everyone. Taking inspiration from classic, scratch-made flavors, Miss Jones’ treats are always simple, fun and delicious.
Founder Sarah Jones takes her sourcing seriously, partnering with the most innovative suppliers and using the best sustainable ingredients available. Leaders in the organic baking space, they were the first to bring organic, plant-based frosting to the store shelves. Miss Jones’ brownie mix even beat out Betty Crocker three-to-one in a USA Today taste test.
Jones and her team believe that the best baking experiences are centered around inspiration and creativity, so they have developed an ever-evolving collection of recipes and baking hacks to bring even the most ambitious projects to life.
Decades ago inside a corner store, a nine year old Chris Mears on roller blades stealthily slipped a piece of candy into the pocket of his jeans and rolled his way to the door. He was stopped, did his time, and reformed his ways, but his sincere love of chocolate still remains. Now a certified grown-up with a penchant for unwrapping candy bars mid-afternoon, Chris wanted to find a way to make his guilty pleasures less incriminating. And yea, verily, so became Little Secrets, an incredible candy brand that sources the best ingredients, says nahhh to any artificial anythings, and understands hiding a bag of our candy-coated chocolates in your top desk drawer.
We don’t pretend to be good at everything … or even most things. But where we lack in geography bowl trophies we make up for by being really, really good at making candy-coated chocolate.
We’re all about sourcing the best ingredients, using Fair Trade Dark Chocolate, and creating premium blends without any artificial ingredients, flavors or colors because the words “delicious” and “natural” can and should absolutely go together.
Pretty regular at everything else, but our candy game is on point. And like any good little secret, sharing is always optional.
Spooky Secret Cupcakes
Makes 8 extra-large cupcakes
- Large muffin pan
- Large muffin liners
- Large piping tip (optional)
- Large piping bag or plastic bag (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a large muffin pan with large cupcake liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, butter and oil. Add in cake mix and whisk until well combined.
- Fill cupcake liners 1/2 – 2/3 full and bake for 16–20 minutes, or until tops spring back when touched. Cool completely.
- Use the back of the large piping tip or a serrated knife to cut a well in the middle of the cupcakes. Fill with candies and then cover with frosting. Throw a few more candies on top and enjoy the surprise as everyone takes a bite!
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Fuel for Life
When Charles Weller was looking for a clean protein to build muscle and help keep him healthy, he struggled to find something that was natural and tasted good. His old whey protein caused too much inflammation in his body so he knew he had to go plant-based. He started making Superfood Protein in his kitchen, mixing all the ingredients that were vital to building muscle and keeping the body healthy, including organic plant-based protein, a full serving of greens and superfoods. He wanted something that wasn’t chalky or gritty, but mixed well and tasted great. People in San Diego kept trying to buy his Superfood Protein for themselves after tasting it. After all, shouldn’t your protein smoothies taste as amazing as you are?? That’s how Ground-Based Nutrition was born.
Always Organic … Always Ground-Based!
Ground-Based Nutrition’s Superfood Protein is made with natural whole-food organic ingredients. It is certified organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, certified vegan and gluten-free. There’s no soy, dairy or whey and zero sugar. Superfood Protein is packed with 20 grams of muscle-building plant protein and superfoods to enhance your life. It tastes like an amazing treat, while being the perfect fuel to energize your body and keep you healthy.
Try the delicious Pure Vanilla or Rich Chocolate flavors and see why Superfood Protein is voted #1 best-tasting plant-based protein!
ENERGIZE! For more information, visit www.Ground-Based.com
or follow Ground-Based Nutrition on Ground-Based Nutrition’s Facebook
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The leaves are starting to change and there’s a crispness in the air. That can only mean one thing … fall is here! It also means that it’s time to dust off those cozy, family cookbooks and make sure you’re fully-stocked with all of your favorite holiday spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg and, of course, vanilla. With its sweet, velvety flavor, it is no wonder vanilla is the flavor most synonymous with the season.
Whether you’re looking for vanilla beans or extract, Simply Organic® Vanilla is vegan-friendly, naturally gluten-free and comes from small farming villages in Madagascar—one of the world’s best vanilla-growing regions. Simply Organic Vanilla can add a rich, creamy, sweetness-enhancing flavor to all of your holiday recipes.
Check out these mouth-watering, seasonal recipes to get you in the holiday mood:
Use Simply Organic Vanilla Extract to highlight the rich flavors of your baked goods. From cocoa to clove and ginger, vanilla is the perfect flavor to bring out the best in your desserts.
- Ginger Spice Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting – Moist cupcakes made with clove, ginger and cinnamon, paired with a rich and creamy vanilla frosting make for the perfect holiday dessert.
- Cinnamon Clove Pumpkin Pie – Turn your classic pumpkin pie into the talk of the town using sweet vanilla extract, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg. With a flaky, buttery crust and decadent filling, this pie is anything but ordinary.
Be adventurous! Don’t limit vanilla to sweet recipes—it can also be used to intensify many savory dishes as well.
Same Sweetness, No Alcohol:
Simply Organic’s organic, non-alcoholic vanilla flavoring can be used as a one-for-one equivalent to vanilla extract.
- Vanilla Banana Pudding – Fresh bananas combined with the rich flavor of vanilla and sweet cinnamon make a refreshing after-dinner dessert. Top with crushed gingersnaps for the perfect amount of spice.