– Lightened-up Raspberry Soft-serve

By Elaine Gordon, Published: July 16

Something about soft-serve ice cream makes it irresistible on a sweltering summer day. Don’t deny your taste buds — just make sure to keep it healthful. This homemade version combines the idea of soft-serve with the health benefits of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt and raspberries. The result should be smooth, creamy and thick. It is the perfect combination of sweetness and tartness.

With a simple ingredient list, this homemade dessert not only is easy to prepare but also beats store-bought varieties because you will know exactly what you’re putting in your body.

Greek yogurt

Greek yogurt has a rich, creamy texture and is thicker than regular yogurt. Compared with regular yogurt, Greek yogurt contains nearly twice the protein, fewer carbohydrates and less sugar because of the straining process, which removes some of the whey.

Greek yogurt, like all varieties of yogurt, is made by introducing “live cultures” (good bacteria) to milk. This is what gives yogurt its sour taste and thick consistency. The addition of the live cultures helps with digestion of lactose, making yogurt more tolerable for those who cannot typically digest lactose in other dairy products. So, if you are sensitive to lactose, try yogurt in small amounts, as it contains less lactose than ice cream or milk.

Live cultures also promote overall gut health and boost immunity. Make sure your yogurt has the National Yogurt Association’s “Live and Active Cultures” seal or lists live active cultures such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. casei, L. reuteri or Bicfidobacterium bifidum (or Bifidus) on the ingredients list.

Nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt is a great way to consume important nutrients such as calcium, Vitamin D, protein, potassium and B vitamins. However, with Greek yogurt, some of the liquid whey (and therefore calcium) is removed. Check the nutrition label to see whether calcium has been added back.


Raspberries are a delicate yet powerful little fruit. A cup of raspberries offers up high amounts of both heart-healthy dietary fiber (32 percent of your daily value) and the powerful antioxidant Vitamin C (40 percent of your daily value).

For convenience, you can use unsweetened, frozen raspberries. If you are able to get fresh raspberries at your local farmers market, you can select red, black, purple or gold raspberries and freeze them prior to preparing the recipe. They are in season from early June through July.

When selecting fresh raspberries, look for dry and firm berries without the stem attached. The sign of a good raspberry is when each cell of the raspberry is plump. Do not rinse them until just before using them. Raspberries can be stored in the refrigerator for one to two days.

This summery treat is very satisfying without being too filling. With every bite, you can enjoy knowing that it does not contain any added sugar. In fact, one serving contains only seven grams of sugar but also 12 grams of protein — all for just 97 calories.

Recipe: Lightened-Up Raspberry Soft-Serve

Gordon, a master of public health professional and a master certified health education specialist, is creator of the healthy recipe site EatingbyElaine.com.

16 Uses for Greek Yogurt | Healthy Eats – Food Network Healthy Living Blog

16 More Reasons to Heart Greek Yogurt by Robin Miller in Robin’s Healthy Take, July 11, 2013

Greek yogurt
Yes, Greek yogurt makes an awesome breakfast, a fabulous snack and a protein-packed dessert. But don’t relegate it to just those uses: This yogurt is capable of so much more!

First, the nutritional stats: When compared to most regular yogurt, Greek yogurt has 2 times the amount of protein. In fact, 1 cup has as much protein as 3 ounces of chicken. It’s also rich in calcium (important for strong bones and teeth and a healthy heart and nervous system). Lastly, Greek yogurt is rich in probiotics, which improve digestive health by maintaining levels of “good” bacteria in the gut (make sure the label says “active cultures”).

Because 1 cup of fat-free Greek yogurt has just 120 calories and 0 grams of fat, it offers an excellent way to slim down recipes while adding tang. Even whole-milk Greek yogurt has just 190 calories and 9 grams of fat per cup (compare that to 1 cup of regular sour cream with 492 calories and 48 grams of fat).

Here are 16 healthy ways to make the most of it.

• Use instead of sour cream in macaroni and cheese and other baked pasta dishes.
• Mash with boiled potatoes for creamy mashed potatoes.
• Use to replace all of the milk and half of the fat (butter or oil) in quick breads, muffins, biscuits, cakes and coffee cakes.
• Jazz up plain Greek yogurt by pureeing with canned pumpkin; sprinkle cinnamon on top.
• Use in cheesecake recipes instead of sour cream.
• Blend with ricotta cheese and fresh herbs to create a healthy dip or sandwich spread.
• Place a dollop on thick stews and chili; fold in a little chili powder or ground cumin for added flavor.
• Use as a base for creamy salad dressings (add fresh herbs, lemon juice or vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper).
• Use between layers of angel food cake and fresh berries for the ultimate trifle.
• Puree with fresh avocado, lime, garlic, and cilantro for creamy and healthy guacamole.
• Use as a base for fruit smoothies instead of milk or juice.
• Use to marinate chicken, fish and pork; simply use Greek yogurt instead of oil.
• Add a little vanilla extract and use as a topping for angel food cake, quick breads, coffee cake and oatmeal.
• Create Greek yogurt sherbet by adding a little lemon juice, lemon zest and honey; freeze until firm. If desired, puree in a food processor before serving.
• Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract and use as a glaze for breakfast muffins (banana, blueberry, bran), quick breads, pancakes and waffles.
• Use to replace half of the mayo in pasta salad, coleslaw, chicken salad and spinach dip.
Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinrescuesdinner.com.