There's nothing better than the summer time to me. Of course, I've spent the last six months panicking over my weight relative to the looming prospect of wearing a bathing suit. Well, now that the sun has emerged and melted offf all the ice and snow from a rather harrowing winter, I can't help but smile as the sun shines down on me.
Summer is a great time of the year for foodies - especially those of us who are particular about what is going in ultimately against our waistlines! Fresh summer fruit and produce beckons. It's a great time for berries in particular. If you check out my blog this week you'll find a tasty recipe for strawberry salad. As a matter of fact, my kids and I had a 4 lb. haul of strawberries from a pick it yourself farm in Wayne, NJ. With temperatures in the mid 80's and a nice breeze cutting across the field, we couldn't have a better day! Not to mention all the delicious strawberries we brought home! And at 49 calories per cup, strawberries make for a tasty summer indulgence! AND, besides a naturally low calorie content, strawberries are a great source of Vitamin C, a good dose of the oh-so-important dietary fiber, and a satisfying burst of sweetness.
And the best part about upping your consumption of summer fruits and vegetables is that it really does very little to your calorie count. If you check out the Weight Watchers points system, you'll see that many vegetables have very low point counts. Best of all, they're a great way to fill full - it's easy to get away with eating a larger quantity of fruits and veggies, without sending your calorie counts off the charts. Not to mention, all the good you're doing your body in terms of fiber, hydration and nutrition.
My thought for this week? Get thee to a farm market for some fresh produce this summer season!
Donkey in Shrek had it right, parfaits are just about the world's most perfect food. Well, in my point of view anyway! Here are a few delightful parfait recipes I picked up from First Magazine recently. They're quick to make, and light on the calories. These are a perfect breakfast or lunch on the weekend when you're dashing about.
(Makes 4 Servings)
- 2 cans (15 oz. each) sliced peaches in light syrup
- 2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt
- 1 cup thawed frozen whipped topping
- 1 tsp chopped crystallized ginger
- Pinch of cinnamon
Drain peaches in colander, but reserve 2 tbs. of the syrup. In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, whipped topping, ginger, cinnamon and your reserved syrup. Thinly slice 1/2 cup peach slices, set aside. In food processor pulse remaining peach slices 3 times, or until finely chopped; divide evenly among 4 parfait glasses. Divide yogurt-connamon mixture evenly among glasses and top with thinly sliced peaches. Garnish with fresh mint if you like.
Per serving: 216 Calories, 5g protein, 39g Carb; 2g Fiber; 5mg Chol., 79 mg. Sodium; 4g Total Fat, 4g Sat. Fat; 0g Trans Fat
Bonus: Ginger helps alleviate heartburn, and can calm the intensity of acid reflux by up to 40%
Razzmatazz Raspberry Mousse
(Makes 4 Servings)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries, divided
- 2 containers (8 oz. each) nonfat raspberry yogurt
- 2 oz. low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tbs. granola
In food processor, puree 1 cup berries and yogurt 1 minute. Divide yogurt mixture evenly among 4 parfait glasses. In bowl, combine next 3 ingredients; divide evenly among glasses. Top with remaining berries, honey and granola.
Per serving: 221 Calories; 5g Protein; 40g Carb; 3g Fiber; 4 mg. Chol.; 75mg sodium, 5g Total Fat, 4g Sat. Fat; 0g Trans Fat
Bonus: Raspberries may aid in reducing sun-induced age spots & freckles