Blueberry Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt and Almonds

Blueberry Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt and Almonds 1

Blueberry Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt and Almonds

Blueberries, oats, Greek yogurt, almonds… the gang’s all here! These are basically all of the go-to “superfoods” in a dietitian’s arsenal, so naturally I had to combine them into one recipe.

Instead of my usual splash of milk, thick and creamy Greek yogurt offers more protein and probiotics, and helps keep you full. I usually hesitate to add refined sweeteners to porridge, but the scant ½ teaspoon of maple syrup here (yes, I got out the measuring spoons) is just the right touch of sweetness to tie the ingredients together. This is a prime example of “everything in moderation.” I don’t necessarily say no to sugar, but I insist that it be used with care.

This recipe was inspired by my mom, who always cooks her oats with a large handful of frozen blueberries. We’re obsessed with these particular oats from Bob’s Red Mill, so she sent me home with a large package the last time I was in Houston. The texture is what makes this Scottish oatmeal unique; it’s somewhere between steel cut oatmeal and cream of wheat. But just like my tried-and-true rolled oats, this creamy breakfast is microwave friendly and ready in a flash. Plus, if you do it my way, you end up with purple oatmeal. How’s that for a Monday morning?

Blueberry Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt and Almonds 3

Blueberry Oatmeal with Greek Yogurt and Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Scottish Oats
  • 1/3 cup frozen wild blueberries
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat Organic)
  • 2 tablespoons almonds (about 16 almonds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup

Method:

  1. Combine the oats, blueberries, and water in a large microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Then stir the mixture, and microwave for an additional 2 minutes. (Trust me about the large bowl.)
  2. Let the oatmeal sit in the microwave for one minute (this is the hardest part). Then, transfer oatmeal to a serving bowl if desired.
  3. Stir in the Greek yogurt, drizzle the top of the oatmeal with a scant 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup, then top with almonds and serve.

Nutrition per Serving: 350 calories, 11g fat (1g saturated fat), 22g protein, 40g carbohydrates (11g sugar*, 8g fiber), 6mg cholesterol, 42mg sodium, 1% Vitamin A, 2% Vitamin C, 21% Calcium, 16% Iron

*Only 2g added sugars, all of the rest are naturally occuring

– Kelly

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Lightly Sweetened Greek Yogurt Cheesecake

Healthy Cheesecake Made with Greek Yogurt

One of my recent work projects has involved gathering healthy dessert recipes, so I’ve been immersed in a world of cookbooks that feature fruits, nuts, and whole grains in any manner of clever combinations. (Tough job, but somebody has to do it ;)) While combing through these creations, I was inspired to get a little more creative with dessert than my ritual dark chocolate squares, and try my hand at a healthy, protein-packed cheesecake.

Healthy Cheesecake Made with Greek Yogurt!

Greek yogurt cheesecake might seem like a contemporary twist, but this dessert is actually adapted from a recipe that is over 40 years old. Indeed, one of my heroes (and former employers), Frances Moore Lappé, published her recipe for “The Thinking Person’s Cheesecake” in her seminal 1971 classic, Diet for a Small Planet (albeit, with regular yogurt, not Greek). My version stays pretty true to the original, resulting in a treat that’s both delectable and refreshing.

A stark contrast to the rich, cumbrous cheesecakes served at chain restaurants across the nation, the texture of this confection is airy and light (a good indicator of how you’re going to feel afterwards). But do be warned… when I say “lightly sweetened,” I mean it! Unlike the granola-laced crust, the sweetening in the actual cheesecake is very subtle (teetering towards undetectable), letting the fresh fruit topping shine against the creamy, tangy backdrop. That being said, for those looking to loosen their dependency on added sugars, I highly recommend that you give the recipe a try as written. Organic blueberries were on sale when I made this, but any fruit will do. And don’t hesitate to load it on – the fruit contributes a welcome, sugary zing.

Healthy Cheesecake Made with Greek Yogurt

Lightly Sweetened Greek Yogurt Cheesecake (adapted from Frances Moore Lappé, Diet for a Small Planet)

Serves 8

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cup granola (I look for granola with less than 10g sugar per 50-56g serving)
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3-4 tablespoons water

Filling

  • 1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta (about 13 oz)
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat organic)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 6 oz blueberries (1 small carton, about 1 1/4 cups)

 Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Add granola, walnuts, and ginger to food processor, and pulse into crumbs. Then add the water, and continue pulsing, until ingredients are combined.
  3. Evenly press the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan to form a crust, and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. While crust is pre-baking, prepare the filling. Add all filling ingredients except blueberries to a large bowl, and mix until combined.
  5. When crust is done pre-baking, remove from oven and evenly pour the filling into the crust.
  6. Put the cheesecake in the oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes, until center is firm.
  7. Immediately after removing the cheesecake from the oven, top the cheesecake with blueberries, pressing them gently onto the top of the cake.
  8. Let cake chill in refrigerator for a few hours (or overnight) before serving. (Store covered in refrigerator.)

Healthy Cheesecake Made with Greek Yogurt

Nutrition per serving: 310 calories, 16g fat (4g saturated fat), 26g carbohydrates (3g fiber, 15g sugar*), 15g protein, 16g cholesterol, 80mg sodium, 9% Iron, 19% Calcium, 4% Vitamin A, 11% Vitamin C

*About 10g added sugars (from honey and granola)

A note on nutrition: I based the nutrition data on 8 standard-sized slices, because I know very few people that would only eat 1/12 of a cheesecake this size. For fewer calories, feel free to serve the cheesecake in smaller portions. For example, if the pie was cut into 10 slices, (instead of 8), each slice would have about 240 calories. If cut into 12 slices, each slice would only have about 200 calories.

– Kelly

Banana Berry Overnight Oatmeal (Step-by-Step)

Banana Berry Overnight Oatmeal

While many folks claim to be unwaveringly loyal to a warm breakfast, I have converted quite a number of oatmeal enthusiasts to cold porridge (at least during the warmer months) by offering them some of my famous overnight oats.

The allure of overnight oatmeal is that it is prepared ahead of time, so in the morning, you can just grab a spoon and dig in. Overnight oats have taken Pinterest by storm for well over a year now, but for those that are hesitant, I have created a step-by-step guide. Once you have the basics down, you can concoct any number of flavor combinations, from Pumpkin Spice to Tiramisu.

Ready to shake up your breakfast routine? Here it goes!

Banana Berry Overnight Oats

In a small bowl, mash half of a ripe banana with a fork.

Banana Berry Overnight Oats

Add 1/4 cup of raspberries to the bowl and mash them into the banana.

Banana Berry Overnight Oats

Add 1/2 cup (or 1 individual carton) nonfat plain Greek yogurt to the fruit mixture,

Banana Berry Overnight Oats

and mix well. Now you have naturally sweetened yogurt! (Note: If you find that the fruit and yogurt mixture is too tart at this stage, feel free to add the other banana half.)

Banana Berry Overnight Oats

Pour the fruit and yogurt mixture into a mason jar (or container that can hold at least 12 oz). Then add 2 teaspoons chia seeds, 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats, 1/4 cup raspberries, 1/2 cup water, and 1/4 cup blueberries.

Banana Berry Overnight Oatmeal

Shake up the jar (or stir well) so that the contents are evenly mixed. Then place in the refrigerator overnight. As you sleep, the mixture will thicken up and the oats will soften.

Banana Berry Overnight Oats

In the morning, enjoy your refreshing oats straight out the jar, or spoon into a serving bowl and garnish with berries.

Banana Berry Overnight Oatmeal

Banana Berry Overnight Oatmeal

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • ½ ripe banana
  • ½ cup raspberries, divided
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt (or 1 individual sized carton)
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • ½ cup water

Method:

  1. In a small bowl, mash the banana half with a fork.
  2. Add half of the raspberries (1/4 cup) to the bowl and mash them into the banana.
  3. Add 1/2 cup (or 1 individual carton) nonfat plain Greek yogurt to the fruit mixture and mix well. This is how you make naturally sweetened yogurt! (Note: If you find that the fruit and yogurt mixture is too tart at this stage, feel free to add the other banana half.)
  4. Pour the fruit and yogurt mixture into a mason jar (or container that’s at least 12oz). Then add the chia seeds, oats, blueberries, remaining raspberries, and water.
  5. Shake up the jar (or stir well) so that the contents are evenly mixed. Then place in the refrigerator overnight. As you sleep, the mixture will thicken up and the oats will soften.
  6. In the morning, enjoy your oats cold straight out of the jar, or spooned into a serving bowl. Feel free to garnish with berries.

Nutrition: 350 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 55g carbohydrates (12g fiber, 20g sugar*), 24g protein, 1% Vitamin A, 42% Vitamin C, 15% iron, 28% calcium

*All sugars are naturally occurring- none are the dangerous added sugars.

Banana Berry Overnight Oatmeal

Looking for other overnight oats recipes? These are the four that I make most frequently:

– Kelly

Desperation Dinners: Simple Stuffed Sweet Potato

Simple Stuffed Sweet Potato with Lentils

Confession: I have not been to the grocery store since before Thanksgiving. Before Thanksgiving!!! As a result, my fridge is looking pretty bare, and all I have left are a few pantry staples. Think you can’t make a delicious meal with a sweet potato, dried lentils, and Greek yogurt? Think again! This vegetarian meal is packed full of protein and fiber to keep you full for hours.

Simple Stuffed Sweet Potato

Simple Stuffed Sweet Potato with Lentils

Ingredients

  • 1
    medium to large sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup
    green lentils, cooked (I cooked up a few servings of lentils ahead of time)
  • 1/4 cup
    nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
  • Chili Powder
  • Paprika

Cooking Directions

  1. Rinse your dried lentils off before cooking. Cook the lentils by simmering them on the stovetop for about 30 minutes. Use a 2:1 ratio of water to lentils. There is no need to soak them overnight.
  2. Wash your sweet potato well, and then poke holes all over it with a fork. Microwave the potato for 5 minutes on high.
  3. Flip your potato over, assess its level of doneness, and microwave for an additional 2-4 minutes. If your lentils are coming from the fridge, this would be a good time to warm them up on the plate with the potato.
  4. Once your potato and lentils are warm and cooked, slice along the topside of your potato and pop it open. Be careful, it’s HOT!
  5. Give the potato a few good shakes of chili powder and paprika and mash it in with your fork.
  6. Next add ½ cup of cooked lentils into the potato, and sprinkle on more chili powder and paprika. This is where the flavor comes from!
  7. Finally, dollop on ¼ cup of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt, and sprinkle on a tiny bit more paprika and chili powder, for garnish. Serves 1. Enjoy!

Nutrition: 325 calories, 0g fat, 4mg cholesterol, 94mg sodium, 1050mg potassium, 63g carbohydrates (15g fiber, 17g sugar), 18g protein, 769% Vitamin A, 68% Vitamin C, 16% Calcium, 26% Iron

Nutrition Facts estimated using MyFitnessPal.

-Kelly

Broccoli Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes, made with Greek Yogurt

UPDATED ON 03-09-2014 WITH NEW PHOTOS!

Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes made with Greek yogurt

Broccoli Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes might sound indulgent, but I used nonfat Greek yogurt and a generous dose of veggies to give this comfort food dish a healthy makeover. These twice-baked potatoes are protein packed (13 grams per serving) and have your day’s worth of Vitamin C due to the full serving of broccoli! These potatoes would pair great with a hearty lentil soup, a salad topped with fresh fruit, or a serving of roasted chicken. They are also a snap to make, because the first bake is done in the microwave. So what are you waiting for?

Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes made with Greek yogurt

Healthy Broccoli Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes made with Greek yogurt

Broccoli Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes with Greek Yogurt (inspired by this recipe)

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 medium to large Russet Potatoes
  • 1/2 cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt (I used Oikos Organic)
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 2 cups broccoli, steamed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, separated

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. While the oven is preheating, puncture the potato multiple times with a fork, and bake in the microwave. I heated both potatoes up together on a plate for 5 minutes on high, then flipped them and cooked for another 5 minutes. Cooking times will vary, so just cook until soft.
  3. Once potatoes are cooked, slice them in half lengthwise.
  4. Scoop the potato flesh out of each of the four potato halves and put them in a bowl, leaving four skins. I removed the potato flesh by scoring the potato like an avocado. The skins don’t need to be sturdy.
  5. Place the four empty skins alongside each other on a greased baking sheet.
  6. In the bowl, use a fork to mash the potato. Add the Greek yogurt, milk, broccoli and about half of the cheese, and stir well to combine.
  7. Once the potato and broccoli mixture is well combined with a mashed potato consistency, scoop out the mixture and evenly divide it onto the four potato skins.
  8. Evenly sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, and bake for about 20 minutes.

Nutrition per serving: 224 calories, 2.6g fat (1.5g saturated), 11.6mg cholesterol, 99.3mg sodium, 1132g potassium, 38g carbohydrates (4.6g fiber, 5.4g sugar), 13g protein, 8.1%Vitamin A, 99.9% Vitamin C, 18% Calcium, 10.7% Iron

-Kelly