Sunday, August 9, 2009

Satisfying and healthy dessert

For anyone out there who is actually reading this blog, I appolagize for not updating in a long while. I've been busy taking Sweetpea to the pool, going on walks with Sweetface, working a little, had a girls night, hung out with my long lost high school buddies who I miiiiiissss so much, the usual cleaning and upkeep of our teeny tiny home, and I've been getting ready for our move down South (which will happen in 56 days)!

As Sweetpea sleeps and Sweetface studies, I am entertaining myself, and maybe you, on the computer while eating one of my favorite desserts. My recipe is listed below, but you will have to forgive me, because I never measure any of my ingrediants so you will have to add yours "to taste."

AP's Satisfying Raspberry Yogurt

-Raspberries (fresh or frozen, I use frozen because it makes the yogurt really cold): about a handful
-Plain Organic Greek Yogurt (I prefer Stonyfield Farms) : 2 or 3 spoonfuls
- Raw Almonds : about 8
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips (do NOT go overboard with these) : about 10

First put the raspberries in a bowl and put the yogurt on top. Smash or crush it all together so the yogurt is a nice bright pink color. Then add the almonds and chocolate chips. Mix and enjoy! Too easy huh? And did you know that's how you spell raspberry? I just figured that out.

Now, I will explain why this is so healthy. The raspberries are rich in vitamin C, folate, iron and potassium. Raspberries also provide high amounts of insoluble fiber (thanks to all those little seeds) as well as respectable amounts of the soluble fiber pectin, which helps control cholesterol levels. The fruit is a good source of ellagic acid and other cancer-fighting antioxidants. Since cooking does not destroy these compounds, raspberry jam may also be beneficial (FYI).

Yogurt is simply milk or cream that is cultured with active live cultures. These cultures are the key to many of yogurt’s health benefits. Active live cultures are basically good bacteria that are necessary for the body to function at its best. These good bacteria prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that cause bacterial infections and diseases. Healthy levels of good bacteria also promote digestive health and boost the immune system. Good bacteria prevent imbalances in the body’s yeast levels, which can prevent various types of yeast infections. It has been shown that good bacteria can also prevent urinary tract infections. Active live cultures actually reduce yogurt’s level of lactose, making yogurt a delicious dairy alternative for anyone who is lactose intolerant.

Raw almonds, the heartbeat of all nuts, literally, have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease, a rich source of calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, protein, fiber and antioxidants to name a few. Now, these once amazing and life enhancing health benefits have become devastatingly reduced if not completely eliminated in the pasteurization process. That's why I recommend raw :)

Chocolate chips have some anti-oxidant properties, but they also make you feel good and make this dessert satisfying, but should be consumed in moderation.

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