We are watching what we eat and watching what we spend. Making sweets seems a little counterproductive to both of those ideas because sweets are unnecessary in your diet from a cost standpoint and are not very good for your waistline either. Wait a minute. Let’s think about this. What if we plan for the sweet. Might that not keep us from indulging because we have something to look forward to?  If we allow ourselves a treat, will we not feel less deprived and stick to a more healthful eating plan? Makes sense to me. If we rule out all sweets, won’t we be more prone to making an impulse buy at the grocery store? I bet whatever ends up in the cart won’t be on sale or good for you at all. By planning we can control its effect on our health and our wallets…..

….and so was born the idea for Sweet Saturday.

I usually do grocery shopping on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning. This gives me all week to scour the flyers, clip coupons, and organize my grocery list(s). During this time I can certainly come up with a sweet indulgence that everyone will love and will be “better for us” than the typical store-bought, processed fare. It’s a good opportunity to use some nuts or chocolate, things that aren’t horrible for you but should be used in moderation, with a nice addition of maybe some fruit to increase the nutritional value. In the summertime I’m thinking homemade ice cream with fruit in it and a dark chocolate sauce, plain ice cream with a fruit sauce, or a fresh fruit sorbet. It’s not summer though, so much for wishful thinking. It’s cold out there. How about something baked.

Next week we are doing something special as a family. That means more money has to go towards the entertainment fund in our budget, so we have to cut corners somewhere else. We were very frugal with groceries this week. I saved 59% at my main store. In order to accomplish these savings I used coupons and I “shopped from the pantry” first, before I made my grocery list. I went through our freezers and pantry to create meals. I even found the ingredients for a special sweet. I found some puff pastry I had forgotten about and raspberries I had in the freezer. There was also some dark chocolate left over from the holidays in my baking cupboard.

I created a little bit of decadence with a balance of antioxidants and fiber. Berries and dark chocolate are among those foods that have a high ORAC value and berries are a great source of fiber. You can read more about antioxidants and ORAC values here.

Using the ingredients I found and pantry staples I created Dark Chocolate Raspberry Pastry Puffs.

These were simple and quick.

You need:

1 sheet puff pastry thawed according to package directions.

I used about half of a 12 oz bag of frozen raspberries, thawed and drained.

a scant tsp. cornstarch

Sugar, or other sweetener to taste (optional)

A small handful of dark chocolate bits or chopped dark chocolate for each muffin tin.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit.

Grease or lightly spray nine out of twelve muffin slots on your muffin pan.

Stir your cornstarch and sugar, if using, into your raspberries.

Cut your puff pastry in three using the folds as a guide. Now cut those three pieces into three equal pieces. Press each piece into the bottom and up the sides a little in each of nine slots in your muffin pan. Sprinkle in your dark chocolate and top with a spoon of raspberry. Bake at 400 for 10 – 12 mins or until golden. You will want to remove from the pan to a serving platter before they cool or the raspberry juice may glue the puff to your pan no matter how much you tried to prevent this. These are great as is, with a dollop of whipped cream topping or served slightly warm with a small spoon of vanilla ice cream.

Yum!  Have a great weekend!