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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

A Fourth of July Recipe

For many households, this Fourth of July weekend will be full of cookouts, fireworks and family fun. Cakes and ice cream desserts decorated with red, white, and blue icing or candy coated chocolates may line the buffet table. But wouldn't a lighter fare of fresh and local red and blue berries topped with yogurt be a better way to celebrate this wonderful country? Why not support our local farmers and head to the farmer's market to enjoy colorful, sweet berries that are currently in season in Illinois.

A favorite treat of mine is the Berries and Cream recipe below. I use strawberries from my mom's garden and mix them with fresh blueberries and blackberries bought from our local farmer's market. While the fruit is fairly sweet on its own, I sprinkle a packet or two of sugar substitute. You could add sugar, honey or other form of sweetener, but since I know I already get added sugars in cereals and other products, I try not to add any sugar on my own. Too many added sugars could lead to obesity, which is a risk factor for many diseases, including pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Using the peel of a citrus fruit, such as an orange, packs a ton of orange flavor without having to juice the fruit. Orange zest gives this recipe a refreshing taste.

Sour cream seems like the oddball in this recipe, but it gives it a bit of a thicker texture and tones down any tartness that you get from the yogurt. That being said, you could skip it and just use plain or Greek non-fat yogurt. Greek yogurt is thicker but may also be tarter. If you have leftover yogurt, consider using it as a substitute for sour cream or mayonnaise in recipes. But my favorite way to use leftover yogurt is to add flavored drink mix. Just stir and enjoy, or pour into small paper cups, freeze and insert a craft stick when partially frozen. Then, freeze until hard. It's a cool summertime treat!

Berries and Cream

1 pint fresh berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc.)

2/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt

1/3 cup non-fat sour cream

4 packets sugar substitute

1/8 teaspoon finely grated orange rind

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Wash berries and pat dry. Sprinkle 2 packets of sugar substitute over berries and set aside. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, sour cream, 2 packets of sugar substitute, orange rind, vanilla, and almond extract. Spoon berries into goblets or dessert bowls and top with yogurt mixture.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutritional analysis per serving: 77 calories, 0 grams fat, 16 grams total carbohydrate, 2 grams dietary fiber

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