A Refreshing and Healthy Dessert for Summer

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Posted July 21st, 2012 in Healthy Eating, Healthy Tips, Posts, Superfood

While traveling in Portland last week for business I found myself in a Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Shop drawn in by the sign featuring Greek Frozen Yogurt.  Greek Yogurt is all the rage right now because the fat free version is so creamy and delicious and packed with protein.  I eat it almost every day.  I recently tried a new frozen novelty made with this great product. I enjoyed it very much and it was only 70 calories.  What I had at B&J’s was not this I am sure.  I don’t even want to know how many calories it was.  The flavor was Banana with Peanut Butter Swirl and the Swirl was just delicious candy all through my virtuous Greek Yogurt. This was a bad thing for me to discover. I do not need anymore new ice cream varieties that call my name on a daily basis.

I decided to try to make something healthy and I came up with a delicious, easy, fast dessert that just might keep me out of Ben and Jerry’s.

Blueberry Greek Frozen Yogurt

Take a can of Oregon Fruit Blueberries and freeze for about an hour.  Open on both ends and push the contents into the food processor.  Blend with 1 cup of non-fat Greek Yogurt, the zest and juice of one lemon. Process until combined.  Put into a shallow glass dish and freeze for about 30 minutes. At this point you can scoop it out and eat it. If you want to eat it later, scrape with a fork every 30 minutes like you would for a granita. This keeps it from freezing rock hard.  If you forget about it, just let it thaw on the counter for a few minutes.  The color is beautiful and it has the texture of a sorbet with protein!    You can whip this up with ingredients you have on hand which just might prevent a late night run to the local ice cream shop.

Decadent Breakfast on the Run

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Posted May 24th, 2012 in Healthy Eating, Healthy Tips, Posts, Superfood

Sometimes you just need to treat yourself.

I don’t know about you but life has been pretty hectic for me lately. I find myself running from place to place, generally late for everything.  I am not sure why exactly so I have been thinking about how I can get some balance.  I am thinking about (not doing, just thinking) about trying yoga, getting back in the pool to find my zen or just strolling through the neighborhood enjoying the mild weather and quite literally stopping to smell the roses.

Whenever I feel like this I know that improving my diet will help.  Even though we get momentary comfort from food that is not good for us, in the long run a clean, healthy diet just feels better.  We have more energy, we sleep better and we feel emotionally better about ourselves when we make good nutritional decisions. But making the commitment is hard.  Research shows that if we eat more interesting, flavorful food we will feel more satisfied.

So today I made my breakfast on the run a real treat.  This Dark Chocolate Cherry Smoothie is so good it could pass for dessert but it has a powerhouse of nutrition to accompany it’s indulgent taste.

Do yourself a favor and make this!


Cherry Chocolate Smoothie

½ cup nonfat Greek Yogurt

½ cup vanilla almond milk

½ cup Oregon Fruit Dark Sweet Cherries, drained syrup reserved

2 Tbs. Dark Sweet Cherry Syrup

1/8 tsp almond extract

1 Tbs. Dark Chocolate Chips

½ cup crushed ice


Put all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Serves 1



Breakfast or Dessert- Fast, Healthy and Convenient

My top New Year’s Resolution is to have more fun!  I am busy all the time and sometimes it gets in the way of my fun so I resolve to rectify that situation this year and to kick it off on January 2, 2011 I went skiing with Kaitlin and two of my best ski buddies, Lori and Joan. It was a spectacular day; the snow was light, powdery and deep. The air was crisp and cold and you could see those flecks that look like glitter in the air.  It could not have been more perfect. We got up early and skied several runs as the crowds were light as well. Because it was the New Year and we are all in the “get healthy” mind set we started the day with this most fantastic breakfast: fat free Greek yogurt, red tart cherries packed in water, a sprinkling of walnuts and a drizzle of honey.  Let me tell you about this honey.

My friend Laura Flowers, The Cooking Photographer, presented me with a jar when we met in San Francisco in the fall. It is Knapweed Honey and it is like nothing I have ever tasted. Her little jar label says “This special honey was made in the pristine Northern Idaho forest by bees who visit the purple Knapweed flowers. With its mild flavor, unique sweet tang, and light amber color this honey is a treasure”. And it most certainly is. I have been rationing it out using it only with dishes like this where you can truly taste it.  I am unbelievably honored that she bestowed this gift upon me.

This dish makes a delicious dessert too and since we are all watching our weight this time of year it is a guilt free treat.  At the end of the day, we collapsed on the couch with sore muscles and great big smiles.  What a phenomenal way to implement a New Year’s Resolution. I could get used to this…..

Kick Start Smoothie with a Serious Kick!

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Posted September 25th, 2010 in Healthy Eating, Healthy Tips, Posts, Superfood

Recently I was talking to my daughter Allison and her boyfriend Mario (you know, the photographer) about eating for energy to last a whole day. Allison is a college student and Mario works for a car dealership as a detailer.  Neither of them are breakfast eaters so we started talking about smoothies to take on the go to give them a good start to the day.  One of the smoothies we made really stood out and Allison thought it was something she would drink…THEN she looked at the recipe.  It has A LOT of ingredients.  All of the unique ingredients have a nutritional purpose. We decided that this was definitely a weekend recipe or, better yet, one your mom makes for you. 

Because of the nutritional variety this smoothie provides I prepared it as one of a number of healthy recipes during a recent cooking demo I did at Salem Hospital in Oregon.  The demo took place in the Gehlar Wellness Kitchen on the occasion of the one year anniversary of the kitchen.  It was fitting in that this year is the 75th anniversary of Oregon Fruit Products and we are a third generation company owned by the Gehlar family. I was honored to be able to represent the company at this event.   

Everything was going very well during the demo. The 100 guests/students seemed to be enjoying the recipe samples as well as the cooking tips.  It wasn’t until AFTER the demo as we stood around talking that I realized that I had made a critical preparation error.  This was a very polite audience and handled the mishap very kindly.  This smoothie contains blueberries for the antioxidant properties, bananas for potassium, fresh ginger which has a soothing effect on the gastrointestinal tract, coconut water, a natural electrolyte and a secret ingredient-cayenne pepper which increases metabolism.  Well I am sure you know where I am going with this by now. You are correct if you guessed that I added a BIT TOO MUCH CAYENNE!  When prepping the recipe we somehow measured out 1 TABLESPOON of Cayenne instead of 1 TEASPOON!  It was a secret ingredient alright, more like a secret weapon.    The funny thing was I knew it when I was pouring it in, somehow it just didn’t look right. I should have followed my instincts and stopped myself but I was on a role and just kept going might have had something to do with the triple espresso I had just prior to the demo ( note to self – CUT BACK ON THE CAFFEINE WHEN YOU ARE FEEDING PEOPLE!!). 

OK I have gone quite far a field from the original goal of this blog-the recipe!  This smoothie is delightful and delicious along with providing all the great nutritional benefits. The color is beautiful and when measured correctly the cayenne hits just the right note to provide the kick start for which it is so aptly named.   The “Queen” apologizes to the demo participants for any taste bud damage and thanks them profusely for their gentleness and tact.

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