Nectarine and Greek Yogurt Popsicles

It’s hot. The day has been long. The week has been longer. You’ve been answering emails. Another just came in. Maybe your kids are calling from the other room. Maybe you’ve been hustling since 6 am. Maybe you just want a moment to stop. To relax. A moment to play.

Photo: Courtesy of Sonima

The humble popsicle—in this case, packed with probiotics from creamy yogurt and swirled with sweet nectarine, honey, olive oil, and cardamom—to the rescue. Even making these easy pops is a playful act. And you can’t help but feel your inner five-year-old jumping up and down whilst eating one.

These are grown up enough that they have hints of savory goodness throughout, but summery sweet enough to satisfy kids of any age. They’re also part of the Internet-sweeping trend #popsicleweek!

Photo: Courtesy of Sonima

Though these require a popsicle mold, you can easily make this into frozen yogurt following directions at bottom.
Ingredients:

3 large nectarines (1 1/2 cups smashed fruit)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons honey, divided
1 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons olive oil
A few pinches flaky sea salt
Garnish fresh mint

Directions:

Slice nectarines, and either remove most of the peel or leave it, as desired. I left most on for color and texture.
Place in small sauce pan with 2 tablespoons honey and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Heat over medium flame until fruit is soft and bubbling, 5-6 minutes.
Remove from heat and blend in blender or food processor until you reach desired texture. I left a few chunky pieces.
Pour into bowl and set in fridge to cool.
In separate bowl, mix yogurt, cardamom, and 3 tablespoons honey. Taste, and add additional honey if desired.
Add spoonful or two of yogurt to popsicle mold, drizzle in a touch of olive oil, then add a spoonful of fruit. Repeat, adding a sprinkle of flaky sea salt somewhere in the middle, until you reach 1/4 inch from the top of the mold. Marble using a chopstick or skewer.
Cover popsicle mold with accompanying top and add popsicle sticks. Freeze at least 4 hours before running warm water over mold to remove popsicles. Garnish with fresh mint, if desired.
Frozen yogurt variation: If you don’t have a popsicle mold and want to make this into a frozen yogurt, simply double the recipe and layer ingredients in same way in a freezer-safe container. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Stir every 30-45 minutes to avoid crystallization as much as possible.

Nutritional Information:

Calories – 124
Total Fat -6.5g
Saturated Fat – 3.5g
Cholesterol – 7mg
Sodium – 41mg
Carbohydrates _ 14g
Dietary Fiber – 0g
Sugars – 13g
Protein – 3g

Yield: 10 popsicles
This story originally appeared on Sonima.com
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This article originally appeared on www.sonima.com

Danielle Walker’s Layered Chia and Almond Pudding Parfait

You know what always tastes great? Dessert.

But you know what doesn’t feel so great? Attempting to squeeze yourself into that itsy-bitsy bikini the night before you enjoy the first beach trip of summer.

Of course, you could choose one over the other … but that’s no fun. Instead, why not enjoy both (minus the squeezing part)?

Turns out you can have your cake and eat it too — or in this case, a similarly creamy, chocolaty treat that will keep you feeling fuller and satisfied longer. Don’t think it’s possible? Just ask food blogger and cookbook author Danielle Walker, who’s whipped up a dish that delivers on all fronts, and is just too irresistible to pass up.

“A misconception about nutritious eating is that you can’t enjoy delicious desserts,” says Walker. “When you are craving a decadent treat but want to stay on track, whip up my layered chia and almond pudding parfait.”

Loaded with a medley of juicy berries, sliced bananas, dates, raw cacao powder, and chia seeds to keep your cravings in check, you really can’t go wrong with this tantalizing (and surprisingly healthy) frozen pudding.

“It can be made the day before — just let it chill in the fridge overnight,” adds Walker. “You can also cut up all the berries and bananas the night before (or morning of) with a little lemon juice, so the fruit doesn’t turn brown.”

Swimsuit season doesn’t sound so scary after all. Take a breather and enjoy your new favorite dish.
Recipe:

Cooking method: Blend, freeze
Category: Dessert
Level: Easy
Yield: 6 Parfaits

Ingredients:

2 tsps. unflavored gelatin powder
2 cups unflavored almond milk
6 oz. pitted dates
1/2 cup unsweetened raw cacao powder
1/3 cup chia seeds
2 tsps. vanilla extract
1/2 tsps. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsps. sea salt
2 medium bananas, sliced
1/3 cup unsalted natural almond butter
1 cup mixed berries of choice
1/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped

Instructions:

Pour 3/4 cup water into a saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over top. Turn the burner to med-high heat and whisk until the gelatin is fully dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.
Combine almond milk, dates, cacao powder, chia seeds, vanilla, cinnamon and sea salt in a blender. Blend until very smooth, about two minutes. With the blender running, slowly pour in the gelatin liquid. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
To assemble the parfaits: Divide the banana slices between six 8-ounce Mason jars or bowls. Spoon equal amounts of almond bitter into the jars, then top with equal amounts of the chilled pudding. Top with berries and almonds and serve immediately or refrigerate covered for up to three days.

 More from Fox News Magazine: 

Danielle Walker’s Grain-Free Pepperoni Pizza Pasta
Jessica Alba’s Apple Banana Bread Pudding Recipe
The Miracle Food You’re (Probably) Not Eating

This article originally appeared on Fox News Magazine

Make a Delicious, Guilt-Free Guacamole for Cinco de Mayo

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Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating. She is also the author of nine books, six of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her PEOPLE.com blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.

Guacamole is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? The rich avocado flavor, the tangy lime juice, just the right spices … Ahhhh! Now I’m really hungry! (What else is new?)

Avocados are full of healthy fats and nutrients, but you don’t need to eat all that much of it to reap the benefits. And since I like to eat a LOT of guacamole, I super-size it with fat-free Greek yogurt! It’s thick, creamy and full of protein. Mixing the yogurt with mashed avocado gives you a guacamole dip with a huge serving size and much more reasonable calorie and fat counts!

In this recipe, I gave the dip a Southwestern spin, adding red bell pepper and black beans. Too much yum …

‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!

Hungry Girl’s Southwest Guiltless Guacamole Dip
Makes 8 servings

8 oz. mashed avocado (about 1 cup; about 2 small avocado)
1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. lime juice
¾ tsp. garlic powder
¾ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
2 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro

1. In a medium bowl, combine avocado, yogurt, lime juice, garlic powder, chili powder, and salt. Mix until smooth and uniform.

2. Stir in black beans, pepper, onion, and cilantro.

3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutritional information: ⅛ of recipe (about ¼ cup): 73 calories, 4g fat, 180mg sodium, 6g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 2g sugars, 4g protein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This article originally appeared on PEOPLE Great Ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Meal Prep Hack Joanna Gaines Relies on to Feed Her Family (Without Stressing at All)

Joanna Gaines may be famous for her trend-setting taste in interior design, but she’s currently making waves in the culinary world with the release of her first cookbook, Magnolia Table, and the opening of a restaurant of the same name in Waco, Texas. In the cookbook, Joanna writes about the process behind developing recipes—such as her eponymous biscuit recipe—and how she tested her recipes on her four children (she’s currently pregnant with a fifth) and her husband, Chip.

The cookbook is full of Gaines family–favorites that Joanna cooks regularly, but like any mom, she has to work to find enough time to prepare healthy, satisfying meals every night. When Real Simple spoke with Joanna at the launch of Magnolia Table, we asked for her best tips and tricks for simplifying her cooking process, and anyone can use her straightforward advice.

“If you plan in advance, that’s a huge deal for me,” Joanna said. On Sunday nights, Joanna asks each of her children and Chip what foods they are craving that week. She creates a meal plan for the week, writes a grocery list ahead of time, and knocks out all the grocery shopping at once so everything is ready to go when it’s time to cook.

“If I have any extra time, I try to do some of the meal prep earlier, especially on days that I know are going to be longer,” she added. “When I get home, I know I can literally throw everything together.”

Like non-HGTV stars, Joanna also relies on tried-and-true time-saving dishes: “I do a lot of casseroles these days,” she admitted.

Planning ahead is key—frantic last-minute grocery store runs can throw off any evening. “I think the biggest deal is not going to the grocery store right after I get off work,” Joanna said. “That’s just not as enjoyable. If I can pre-plan, if I have everything in the fridge by the time I get home, I actually really enjoy the process.”

There you have it: The simple act of planning ahead can make cooking a fun experience rather than a chore.

You’d Never Know These Black Bean Brownies Were Healthy 

I have a bit of an obsession with finding recipes that sneakily swap in good-for-you ingredients. Chocolate muffins made with beets? I’m there. Blondies with chickpeas baked in? Sign me up. So I was psyched when I came across this black bean brownie recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, Laura Lea Balanced.

The recipe couldn’t be easier: Combine seven simple ingredients in a food processor or blender, dump them in a pan, add chocolate chips (because of course), then bake for 50 minutes. Done.

RELATED: The Ultimate Unbaked Brownies

Even better, the black bean brownies taste like the real thing but pack major protein you won’t even taste. “My inspiration for adding legumes into a dessert came from the most wonderful stand at the Union Square Farmer’s Market in New York City, called Body and Soul Bakeshop,” Laura Lea, who’s also a holistic chef, told me. After tasting their inventive creations—like baked goods made with chickpea flour—she tried her hand at making treats with beans.

“I thought gooey brownies were the perfect vehicle for the creamy nature of legumes and black beans would be best aesthetically,” says Laura Lea, who admits she riffed on other black bean brownie recipes by adding superfoods like almond butter to her version. Also in the mix? Maple syrup, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract that lend rich flavor to the fudgy bars.

WATCH THE VIDEO: How to Make Avocado Brownies with Avocado Frosting

The nutrition nerd in me fell in love with the beany brownies because they tasted decadent but were actually high in fiber, heart-healthy fats, and plant-based protein, meaning they left me feeling satiated instead of craving all the sweets. The toughest part about baking them? Waiting for them to cool (the agony!), then deciding how to enjoy them. 

“My absolute favorite way to eat them is warmed up with a drizzle of almond butter and a scoop of Nadamoo vanilla ice cream, but I’ve also enjoyed them in a breakfast bowl with yogurt, granola, and fresh berries,” says Laura Lea.

Brownies for breakfast? Now that’s my kind of girl. Visit Laura Lea Balanced or see below for the full recipe. Happy baking!

Ingredients

1 15 ounce can unsalted black beans (organic if possible), drained and rinsed thoroughly 

6 tbsp cocoa powder

3/4 cup maple syrup, grade A

2 teaspoons vanilla powder or extract 

1/2 cup unsalted almond butter

1/4 teaspoon baking soda 

1/2 cup dark chocolate roughly chopped (or chocolate chips) 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a loaf tin with parchment paper, making sure there are at least 5 inches of parchment overflowing on each side.
Combine all ingredients except chopped chocolate in a food processor or high speed blender. Puree until completely smooth, scraping down the side as needed.
Empty mixture into a mixing bowl and stir in chopped chocolate/chocolate chips. Turn dough into loaf pan and shake gently to create an even layer. At this point, you can trim back some of the parchment but leave an inch or two overhanging.
Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with only a tiny bit of batter. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 30 minutes before removing and slicing. If you can wait an hour, the pieces will hold together better.