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Delicious & Healthy Summer Desserts

Summer is a great time to entertain and take advantage of the delicious fruits available.  Here are four yummy, healthy and simple desserts to make for your family and friends.  Enjoy!

Grilled Peaches with Yogurt and Honeygrilled-peaches

Ingredients: 

  • 4 medium ripe peaches, cut in half (pit removed)
  • 1/2 cup honey flavored fat free Greek yogurt
  • 4 tbsps honey
  • cinnamon (to taste)

Directions:

  1. Grill peaches cut side down on low or indirect heat until soft (about 2-4 minutes on each side).
  2. Combine yogurt and cinnamon.
  3. Pour 1 tbsp yogurt over each peach half.
  4. Drizzle with honey and serve.

Banana Ice CreamGuiltless-Banana-Ice-Cream

Ingredients: 

  • 4 ripe bananas frozen
  • Optional toppings: nuts, chocolate syrup, sprinkles, strawberries or blusberries

Directions:

  • Place 4 frozen bananas into the food processor and mix until creamy.
  • Scoop into individual bowls.
  • Top with whatever you love best.  My favorites include nuts, chocolate syrup, blueberries, strawberries or sprinkles.

Peach and Blueberry Cobblerimages

Ingredients: 

  • 4-5 cups sliced and peeled peaches (Tip – Lightly score the bottom of peach with an X and then blanch peaches for about a minute in boiling water.   Run cold water on peaches as you gently pull skin right off).
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4-6 tablespoons coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss berries, fruit, lemon juice & 3 tbsps maple syrup in a shallow baking dish.
  3. Mix almond meal, oatmeal, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  4. Add the remaining 2 tbsps of maple syrup and 4 tbsps coconut oil and mix until just combined. More coconut oil can be added to get desired consistency.
  5. Crumble the mixture over the top of the fruit and then bake for 20-25 minutes, until top is browned and fruit is bubbling.
  6. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Homemade Popsicles44bc3bf9fe4b21dae270ae6193b81df5

 Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups fresh ripe strawberries, cored and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons agave syrup (maple syrup can be substituted)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup plain yogurt

Directions:

  1. In medium sauce pan, simmer the strawberries and agave until very soft, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Pour into blender or food processor, add lemon juice and pulse until fruit is pureed but not liquefied.  You should have about a cup.
  3. Chill and refrigerate until cool.
  4. Stir in yogurt into chilled mixture and combine.
  5. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 8 hours.
  6. When ready to eat, run warm water over the outside of mold and gently pull popsicle out.

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Drinking Your Greens

The explosion of green smoothies and juices is everywhere.  Within the last couple months, 3 new juice places have opened within one mile of my house and grocery stores and Starbucks are now selling pre-packaged juices.  Are they as good for you as they seem and what are the differences?  My friend, Elizabeth Girouard, a Certified Holistic Health Coach, wrote an excellent article that answers many of these questions and explains why we all should give green drinks a try.  We have posted a portion of her article below.  Read on to learn more.

green-juice-grape-kale-5

I am often asked:  What’s the rage with Green Smoothies? 

This is a great question.  Many of my Healthy Eating Challengers still start off their days with a Green Smoothie – and here are a few reasons why!

Green Smoothies are:

1)  an easy way to get in more than 3 servings of vegetables

2)  easier to digest since the blender starts the digestion process for you by breaking  down the veggies’ cell walls.  This means your body can quickly assimilate the nutrients.

3)  a great vitamin, mineral, phytonutrient and anti-oxidant infusion to start the day.

4)  a nutrient dense powerhouse that can improve your immunity to colds, flus and other potential bugs.

5)  able to help alkalize our bodies which reduces our susceptibility to disease

6)  filled with dark leafy greens that have a lot of chlorophyll which delivers oxygen to our bodies that can increase our energy levels.

7)  able to help diminish cravings and reduce hunger as it is providing nourishment to your body.

8)  able to help you lose weight as you are adding in more vegetables and crowding out the less beneficial foods for your body!

Other related questions that I often receive are:

What’s the difference between juicing and blending (smoothies)?  And, is one better than the other?  And, does juicing increase my blood sugar?

Read the rest of the article at: http://tinyurl.com/pwr8w5h

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Granola Bars: Homemade and Amazing

I have referred to my daughter’s cooking in past blogs and I can’t resist sharing her latest treat with everyone.  These granola bars with blueberries (or any berry of your choice) and yogurt drizzle are not only healthy, but incredibly delicious.  They are a good source of protein, omega-3, biotin, vitamin E, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber.  I never considered making my own granola bars until I tasted these and I have a feeling you will agree.

There is only one caveat – resist the urge to eat the entire batch at once.  We wrap them individually and keep them in the refrigerator so we don’t finish them off as fast as we make them.

Note – the yogurt drizzle contains sugar (the only non-healthy item in the entire recipe) so you can choose to skip it altogether as we sometimes do, or just lightly drizzle the bars with it.  As an additional note, the directions below will make much more yogurt coating than we have ever needed or used.

images-1

Ingredients for the bars:

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup brown rice krispies
1/4 cup whole roasted almonds, roughly chopped
2 tablespoon chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter or almond butter (I typically use peanut butter)
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 (rounded) cup fresh blueberries or 3/4 cup dried blueberries

Ingredients for the yogurt drizzle:

1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon gelatin
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions for bars:
  • Skip this step if using dried blueberries.  Roast fresh blueberries in 350 degree over for 30 minutes or until they pop and shrink.  Best to coat baking sheet with parchment paper – then blueberries won’t stick
  • In a large bowl combine the oats, rice krispies, almonds, chia seeds and salt.
  • Combine almond or peanut butter with honey and microwave for about 40 seconds or until mixture is pourable
  • Add vanilla to warm honey mixture
  • Add honey mixture to the dry oat mixture and combine – it will be thick!
  • Add dried blueberries
  • Coat a 9 X 13 pan with parchment paper and pour mixture into pan and press down evenly and until tightly packed
  • Place in freezer for one hour, then cut into bars
  • Bars should be stored in refrigerator to keep fresh and hold their shape better.

Directions for yogurt drizzle:

  • Combine water, vanilla and then whisk gelatin in and let thicken for about 5 minutes
  • In another bowl, combine yogurt, honey and salt
  • Microwave yogurt mixture for 15 seconds, mix and repeat till warm, but do not let it boil
  • Add gelatin mixture to yogurt mixture and whisk together
  • Add in powdered sugar and whisk until thick, but pourable
  • Drizzle bars with the yogurt
  • The bars will be sticky now – we usually just wrap them (one or two together) with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for later eating. The yogurt will harden in the refrigerator.

Enjoy!

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