Editor’s note: This is the sixth post in our Flan Week celebration in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.
I grew up in a Cuban household where food, familia, and fiesta were the main ingredients. My father loved to cook and was frankly great at it. Being that I enjoyed and devoured every meal he created, traditional and non, I blamed the curves that were developing to the home cooking. It wasn’t until later on in life that I realized I suffered from my own body image issues and did much in my power to erase those curves. Today I am proud to say I am older and wiser and have made it my life’s mission to find the balance between health & fitness without losing the culture. Like I often say, lose the fat never the culture.
When my dad passed away almost 8 yrs ago in my own desperation to feel closer to him I hit the kitchen. I never liked to cook and stayed as far away from the stove as I could due to fear that I would never cook as well as he did. Although I would trade the kitchen to have him back just for one more day, I connect with him through cooking and ask him for tips on what to throw into a dish. I truly believe he guides me. Today I must admit, I have developed a love to cook that I never imagined would.
The recipes found in my book “….Barbara por Atras” A Latin Woman’s Guide to Fitness are only a few of my favorite Latino dishes transformed to adopt a healthier life. I like to keep true to my roots by implementing natural herbs and spices, cutting down on the fat, and thinking outside the box. It is with my greatest pleasure that I share with you my rendition of one of our cultures favorite: The Flan. I can assure you, not you nor your guests will ever think it low fat! Buen Aprovecho y Gracias Papi…..
Barbara’s Low Fat Flan
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 bar of fat free cream cheese
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 can evaporated fat free or 2% milk
- 1 can fat free condensed milk
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small saucepan over low heat add sugar stirring occasionally until it caramelizes. Transfer the caramelized sugar onto a 10-inch baking pan and evenly spread throughout the bottom of the pan.
- Place it aside to cool off.
- Blend remaining ingredients in a blender until well mixed.
- Once sugar is cool add blended mixture into the baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil, place in a “Baño Maria”* and bake for 1 hour or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Once baked remove from oven and ”Bano Maria”, set aside and let cool.
- Place in refrigerator overnight.
- The following day remove it from the baking pan by gently removing it from the edges with a knife, place your serving dish on top covering the baking pan and flip.
- It’s ready to serve! A perfect ending to a great meal!
*Baño Maria is when you place one dish into another with water in it. In this case you will fill a pan 1/3 its way with water and place the baking dish inside making sure the water does not spill into it. You are cooking with the heated water and oven. Don’t ask, I have NO idea who Maria is and what this technique has to do with her bath. Leave it to us Latinos…..