When a toucan finds that special someone during mating season, he scours the rainforest for the choicest berries, which he brings in his beak to his mate. The two lovebirds will toss a berry back and forth between one another, enjoying the antioxidant-packed projectiles as part of this flirtatious sport. With such healthy and active courtship habits, it’s no wonder the toucan can live twenty adventurous years in the rainforests of Costa Rica!
Unfortunately, humans have much different customs when it comes to the romantic exchange of food. Many women, regardless of their general intention to avoid excessive sugar and calories, expect and demand a heart-shaped box of chocolates from their significant other on Valentine’s Day. It’s not unheard of for couples to “eat light” during the day to “save room” for a binge meal on a special night. And even those for whose lives romance is not currently a part have been known to indulge in unhealthy quantities of comfort foods on February 14th, as if this can make up for the emptiness they feel in their hearts. Which is physiologically impossible, since food travels down the esophagus into the stomach, where it is liquified by acids and then goes… long story short, it never reaches the heart.
Why can’t humans come up with a healthier way to celebrate love on Valentine’s Day? Rather than shoveling buttery pasta and pharmacy candy down one another’s throats to prove our true love, it might be wise to start a new tradition: how about enjoying some homemade, healthy treats made by hand for that special someone with simple ingredients and a pinch of love? With these Chocolate Covered Cherry Fro-Yo Cups, you can do just that this year.
Let your sweetie cook a romantic dinner (with less butter, if you please) and pop these in the freezer ahead of time for dessert. After freezing for just over an hour, they have the texture of soft frozen yogurt; after several hours overnight they harden delightfully. Masquerading in the shape of a candy cup, they are actually a wonderfully tart, chocolatey frozen treat filled with luscious fruit preserve (use your lover’s favorite flavor.) These would make a great treat after a romantic dinner or a sweaty afternoon of berry-tossing! Alternately, if you’re lonely and craving chocolate, make Chocolate Covered Cherry Fro-Yo Cups before your eyes start drifting to the chocolates in a pink box in the grocery store or the pint of emotional-eating ice cream… these give you the best of both worlds, without the guilt following either!
Whatever your plans are for this Valentine’s Day, I hope you will give these delicious frozen snacks a try. And feel free to change up the fruit preserve flavor! Make them for any occasion, for those you love, hate, etc… click here for the full recipe: Chocolate Covered Cherry Fro-Yo Cups!
Toucan Info Sources:
Digestive System Info Source:
Is it really true that blonds have more fun?
When I was a kid, I certainly thought so. Many of the popular Disney princesses were blond, and it seemed to me that to get any attention in this world, to be a pretty princess, to marry Prince Charming, one had to be blond. Which was a shame because I happened to be brunette. This caused me to hold Disney’s Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and blond people I met on the street in great contempt, perhaps unfairly.
Then I discovered Ariel the little mermaid, who quickly became my favorite princess because a) she was a mermaid and b) she didn’t have blond hair. I wanted to stand out with a feisty red hairdo that flowed in the breeze. But my mom wouldn’t allow me to dye my hair blond or red. So I was stuck with boring brunette hair.
I finally began to identify with the kick-butt brunettes of the children’s entertainment scene with Pocohantas, that historically wonky Disney movie that always got my heart pumping with the sheer excitement of living with talking trees and fighting European warriors. If a brunette could do all that while the fair-haired heroines were locked in towers or under a deep sleep, maybe being brunette was more exciting than I’d first thought.
(image source: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Pocahontas_(character) )
Now that I’m older and much more mature, I have resolved that I don’t want to dye my hair blond or red anymore. My heart is set on dying it purple.
But seriously, hair color doesn’t really affect happiness! Regardless of what you look like, you can have exciting adventures. In my opinion, a world where everyone sported the same hair color would be boring.
Likewise, if all desserts were blond, that would pose a serious problem. A great percentage of sweet-lovers in this world hold chocolate as the golden standard of dessert flavors. That’s why, rather than making a boring blondie, I decided to enhance the experience with a multitude of tasteful colors.
First, I mixed into the blondie batter some chocolate chips that were deliciously brown as can be. I added chocolate raspberry flavored yogurt, and some ravishingly red fresh raspberries, to honor the redheads of the dessert world. Topping it all off with a brunette drizzle of chocolate hazelnut butter makes for decadent, melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness, as well as proving that some of the best things in this world are not blond!
So celebrate diversity with me today, and make this blond, red, and brunette fro-yo sundae! (But please, no hair in the actual sundae!!)
Chocolate Raspberry Blondie Fro-Yo Sundae
blondie recipe based on recipe from foodista.com
makes one generous serving
- 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 tbs Truvia baking blend
- dash cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 2 tbs water
- 2 tbs pumpkin butter
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 15 semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 Dannon brand Light & Fit 80 calorie yogurt, Raspberry Chocolate flavor
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 tbs chocolate hazelnut butter
Freeze the Dannon yogurt for about two hours or until texture is similar to that of soft-serve frozen yogurt.
For microwave blondie: Combine whole wheat pastry flour, Truvia, a dash of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt in small, microwave-safe bowl. Mix.
Add water, pumpkin butter, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Microwave for 45 seconds to one minute (microwaves vary so adjust timing accordingly. I like to err on the side of too short a microwave time so the end result remains moist.)
Now, to add the toppings: Remove yogurt from freezer. If texture is too hard, use an ice cream scoop or spoon to mush it a bit, until texture resembles commercial soft serve frozen yogurt.
Then, use ice cream scoop to scoop the frozen yogurt on top of warm blondie. Arrange fresh raspberries on top. To finish it off, drizzle chocolate hazelnut butter over all this delicious goodness.
You probably don’t need to be told, but just in case here’s the final piece of instructions: dig in! And savor.
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If you know me, you know my passion for dessert for breakfast. That’s why there’s a whole section of this blog devoted to Dessertable Smoothies! My recent Israel trip got me thinking about new ways to enjoy dessert in the A.M., guilt free.
One blistering hot day in Safed, after an hour of exploring touristy art shops under the glaring surveillance of suspicious merchants, my friend and I were ready for a refreshing lunch. I went with a classic falafel and pita combo, but found myself not so into the piping hot food as the sun beat down on my back. Luckily, my friend chose to order something from a quiet, though somewhat grimy, little café where we could both sit in air-conditioned comfort.
A while later, a waitress brought my friend’s lunch – an ice cream/granola sundae. A somewhat untraditional choice for the midday meal, but certainly tempting when it was too hot outside for “real” food! And Safed, like most of Israel, is hot.
View from a street in Safed: most all the streets are narrow and the cobblestone is slippery – walking in Safed is sort of scary!
After walking around in that cramped, hot town for hours, it’s time for a break…
How about some fresh pomegranet juice? (The word “pomegranate” is spelled three different ways on three different signs on this juice stand. Though I can’t really complain, since I don’t really know any Hebrew. I just thought it was cute 🙂 )
When I got home from the trip, I decided to experiment with ways to create the best of both worlds – a healthy, nutritious meal I could feel good about eating any time of day, and a sweet, summery treat to cool off and pamper my taste buds, rolled into one. The obvious choice was a frozen yogurt parfait sundae! I made both of these sundaes with Greek yogurt for less fat, more calcium and protein than ice cream or regular yogurt. One is fruity and perfect for a balanced breakfast, the other has a chocolate/mocha/caramel motif going on, and might be better left as a special treat as it contains sugary cereal. But hey, at least it has fruit!
If you’re going with a frozen treat for breakfast, lunch, or anytime you want to cool off and refresh yourself this summer, try either of these delicious, satisfying, and health-conscious fro-yo bowls: Tropical-tastic Breakfast Sundae or Macchiato Midnight Madness Sundae. These recipes each make one generous serving, but could be multiplied to serve guests if desired.
Tropical-tastic Breakfast Sundae
A fantastic fusion of lemony yogurt, luscious nectarine, sweet flaked coconut, and nutritious whole grain Great Grains cereal is the perfect guilt-free treat to fuel your day and satisfy your sweet tooth!
- 1 Yoplait 100 calorie Greek lemon yogurt
- 1 large, ripe nectarine
- 3/4 cup Post brand Great Grains cereal: Raisins, Dates, and Pecans flavor
- 1 tbs sweetened flaked coconut
Place yogurt in freezer for 45-60 minutes or until just frozen to the consistency of soft-serve frozen yogurt.
Roughly chop nectarine into bite-sized pieces.
Remove yogurt from freezer. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop some into desired bowl. Top this with some of the cereal. Continue layering yogurt and cereal until both are used up.
Arrange nectarine pieces around edge of bowl.
Sprinkle coconut flakes on top.
Macchiato Midnight Madness Sundae
An indulgent treat that can also be acceptable for breakfast! Treat yourself to decadent mocha-flavored Greek yogurt with a hint of caramel, layered with crunchy Cocoa Pebbles cereal and rounded out with fresh banana slices.
- 1 Dannon Light & Fit Greek 80 calories Caramel Macchiato flavored yogurt
- 3/4 cup Post brand Cocoa Pebbles Cereal
- 1/2 banana
Place yogurt in freezer for 45-60 minutes or until consistency is like that of soft-serve frozen yogurt.
Use an ice cream scoop to scoop yogurt from container. Layer yogurt and Cocoa Pebbles cereal in desired serving bowl.
Top with sliced banana.
Indulge and enjoy!