Tag Archives: strawberry

Less Than 5: Strawberry Banana Yogurt Parfait

 

As we enter fresh berry season, many rejoice. The sweet, juicy taste of summer is hidden in the rounded flesh of raspberries, the soft skin of blueberries, and the bold redness of strawberries. There is nothing quite like a handful of fresh berries from the farmer’s market, or picked yourself, right off the bush.

Once you get tired of stuffing berries by the handful into your mouth (if is a better word…) you can then try several other delightful ways to enjoy them, including adding frozen or fresh berries to smoothies, making crepes or pancakes, or in desserts like blackberry pie or raspberry crumble.

For versatility alone, I love berry parfaits. They make a great breakfast, or mid-afternoon or post-workout snack. I’ve written before about my raspberry and honey yogurt parfait, and this is another variation.

Strawberry & banana are two flavors that just complement each other well, so it is only natural to pair them together here with crunchy granola, protein packed yogurt, and healthy cinnamon spice. And the best part is that you can enjoy a healthy parfait year-round! Frozen berries work just as well here, and are great for making overnight and refrigerating. By morning it is soft and ready to go.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1/4 cup granola
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Optional: 1 tsp sugar

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Step 1: Put the yogurt in a small bowl. I have a mini snack-sized one I use often, it’s just the right amount.

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Step 2: Layer the berries, banana slices, and granola. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top and enjoy! You could use any type of berries here, and can change up the yogurt to use a flavored one if you like.

 

Crock Pot miracles – Stuffed Peppers & Strawberry Apple Crisp

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Crock Pots are miracle workers for students, busy moms, professionals, anyone who is pressed for time but still wants a healthy, home-cooked meal at the end of the day. As a full-time graduate student writing her thesis, with 2 other jobs and several PhD interviews to prepare for, I have been running a pretty hectic schedule lately.
It goes something like this:
7am – wake up, go to lab, begin an experiment.
8 am – rec, run or elliptical.
9 am – home, shower, breakfast, maybe an hour of free time.
10/11 – meetings.
12-2 find time for lunch.
Afternoon – classes and more experiments.
4 – 9: work or write, depending on the day.
So, in the one hour of free time I had the other morning, I realized I had 3 red bell peppers, minute rice, and ground beef. Plus two old apples and baking supplies I hadn’t used in ages. Therefore…

Crock pot stuffed peppers:
3 red bell peppers
1 pound ground beef
1 cup rice
1 can tomato sauce
Spices to taste (garlic, italian, black pepper)
Step 1: Brown the ground beef and cook the rice.Step 2: Cut tops off peppers and remove seeds. In a large bowl, mix the cooked rice and beef and 1 can tomato sauce, plus any spices. Stuff each pepper with mixture.
Step 3: Put in Crock Pot on LOW for 2-4 hours.
Dinner and dessert, will be ready and waiting when I get home.
The pepper, exploded on my plate. =)

 

Dessert went from plain apple crisp to strawberry apple crisp because I couldn’t find any plain oatmeal. So I made do with what I had. And I’m glad I did!

Crock Pot Strawberry Apple Crisp:
2 apples, 1 red & 1 green
1 packet strawberries & cream oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter/margerine
Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract

Step 1: Dice the apples and mix in a bowl with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. Put apples into a sprayed slow cooker.

Step 2: Mix the sugars, oatmeal, flour, butter, 1 tbsp. vanilla and another sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg in a separate bowl.

Step 3: Sprinkle a tbsp sugar over the spiced apples in the crock pot, and cover with crumble mixture. Cook on LOW for 2-4 hours. The sugars carmelize, the apples are soft and tangy, it tastes like heaven warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!!!

This is so completely fabulous I can’t even describe it!

Spinach fruit & nut salad

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Well as you may remember, I am eating healthier this year. Working out has been kind of off and on due to sickness, school visits, and I admit, laziness. I have been pretty good about eating better overall though. So today I decided to make a super healthy salad.
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Spinach is one of the best greens out there, with tons of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Then I added some fruit for natural sweetness, and nuts & seeds for healthy fats. The only thing that could make this better is some grilled chicken breast to top it off!
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Ingredients:

2 cups fresh, washed spinach
1/2 kiwi
4-6 strawberries
1 roma tomato
1/4 cup walnuts
1 tbsp. sunflower seeds
Balsamic vinegar & olive oil

Step 1: Cut the peel off the kiwi and cut into slices. Slice the strawberries as well.

Step 2: Put a big pile of spinach leaves on a plate, cover with diced fruits & nuts. Add dressing, enjoy!
Here’s to eating healthy and enjoying it for life!