All vegetables and fruits do not have to be on the savory side. Many fruits and vegetables can be used in tasty desserts! Dessert is an excellent pathway to sneak healthy fruits and vegetables into one’s diet. At Christmas, with so many unhealthy choices around, it is nice to have some tasty, even lighter alternatives to heavy, fat-laden desserts.
3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
2 large apples, cored, peeled and sliced
4 cups of vanilla yogurt, non-fat
2 Tbs. ground walnuts
Pinch of cinnamon
Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Chill until ready to serve. Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry or whole walnut.
Makes 6 servings, 260 calories, 54 g carbohydrates, 10 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 2 g. fat, 0 g saturated fat, less than 7% of calories comes from fat.
Dessert No. 2 is a warm healthy favorite, and perfect for eating in the late afternoon or evening in front of the fire!
10 oz. fresh or frozen blueberries
10 oz. fresh or frozen peaches, sliced
1/4 cup apple juice
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup oats
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Apple juice
1/4 cup pecans
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place blueberries in the bottom of a lightly greased 8 inch square casserole dish. Place peaches on top of blueberries. Pour 1/4 cup apple juice over fruit. In a food processor, puree almonds, oats, dates and cinnamon. After 1 minute add remaining apple juice and continue to puree. Evenly spread mixture over fruit and top with pecans. Bake uncovered 40 to 45 minutes. Cut into six servings. May serve warm or cool.
If using frozen fruit, make sure it is completely thawed and drained.
Okay, this next one is not a dessert, but it is delicious, and is healthy and festive!
Gingered Sweet Potato-Apple Salad
1-15 oz. can sweet potatoes in light syrup, drained
1-8 oz. can of pineapple tidbits, in its own juice, drained
1 apple, cored and diced
1/2 cup of diced celery
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cashews
1/4 cup honey mustard dressing
2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
6 cups of mixed salad greens
Combine sweet potatoes, pineapple, apple, celery and cashews in a large bowl. Set aside. In a smaller bowl combine dressing and ginger. Pour dressing over sweet potato mixture. Chill for one hour or more. Serve over salad greens. Serves 6.
This fruit and vegetable combo is an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folate and fiber.
*Information courtesy of Produce for Better Health Foundation, MoreMatters.org.