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BHG Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger: Desserts with Benefits – Healthy Vanilla Bean Greek Frozen Yogurt

Hey everybody!!  My name is Jessica and I blog over at Desserts with Benefits – a healthy dessert recipe blog where I use good-for-you ingredients to make dishes that you can feel good about eating!  I like to make my recipes high in protein, high in fiber, refined sugar-free and as allergy-friendly as I can.  I like to think my blog is like a sinless love affair between decadent desserts and healthy eats.

You know, so we can indulge…  no strings attached  :)

Healthy Vanilla Bean Greek Frozen Yogurt - Desserts with Benefits

I like fro yo and I like guilt-free desserts.

 

 

I presume you do too, I mean, you’re here aren’t ya?  ;)

Healthy Vanilla Bean Greek Frozen Yogurt - Desserts with Benefits

So, naturally, I fell in love this Greek Frozen Yogurt recipe.  It looks so incredibly smooth, creamy, light and refreshing.  And absolutely delicious of course.

 

I’m dying.

 

Dying of happiness.

Healthy Vanilla Bean Greek Frozen Yogurt - Desserts with Benefits

So I got right onto healthifying that fro yo.  Most of the readers who visit my blog like guilt-free treats that taste just like the real deal (aka unhealthy), so I usually make a few substitutions here and there when recipe-testing.

The original recipe calls for plain, low-fat Greek yogurt, but I only had a tub of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt in the fridge, so I used that instead.  Feel free to use low-fat if you got it!  I wanted to make a large batch too (I tend to “breathe in” my frozen treats, if ya know what I mean), so I increased the amount of yogurt from 24oz to 32oz, while increasing the salt from 1/8 teaspoon to 1/4 teaspoon for flavor.  We need to increase the amount of salt since the batch is larger, otherwise you won’t get a fully rounded out flavor.

I also wanted more of an “ice cream” feel rather than a tangy yogurt flavor, so I added 16oz of organic half-and-half and omitted the lemon juice.

And, since I had just finished making a batch of DIY Vanilla Paste, I substituted the 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract with 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste.  I absolutely love how you can see little black speckles throughout the fro yo!

Finally, I substituted the granulated sugar with 2 teaspoons of organic vanilla-flavored stevia extract – an all-natural, calorie-free, sugar-free sweetener.  I always try to cut out the excess calories and sugar from the desserts I make, and stevia is my favorite go-to sweetener.

All you need to do is freeze your ice cream maker bowl for 24+ hours (I use my KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment).  After that, add the Greek yogurt, salt, half-and-half, vanilla paste and stevia extract to a bowl and whisk together until it’s nice and even.  Place the frozen bowl onto the stand mixer and turn on the “stir” speed.  Pour the fro yo mixture into the frozen bowl and churn until it’s a creamy and dreamy soft-serve consistency.  Scoop the fro yo into a freezer-proof container, cover, and freeze until it’s the texture you like (~2-4 hours).  Scoop into bowls and serve!

This easy, 5-ingredient, healthy Vanilla Bean Greek Frozen Yogurt is sweet, yet refined sugar free.  Even though it’s delicious as is, you can serve it with fresh fruit (sliced strawberries, whole raspberries and blueberries are all great), fresh mint, mini dark chocolate chips, granola, DIY sugar-free Strawberry Syrup or my personal favorite, natural rainbow sprinkles!

Healthy Vanilla Bean Greek Frozen Yogurt - Desserts with Benefits

Now here is some sprinkle action!

Healthy Vanilla Bean Greek Frozen Yogurt - Desserts with Benefits

Healthy Vanilla Bean Greek Frozen Yogurt - Desserts with Benefits

(And for those of you who might be asking, “Wait, WHAT?  Frozen yogurt in October?!?”  Nope, that’s not weird at all.  Just like chocolate and cake, there is never a bad time for a lil’ bit of fro yo…  especially when it’s made secretly healthy!)

More from BHG.com:

Healthy Pork Recipes

Sweet Potato Recipes

Skinny Slow Cooker Recipes


Erin Gleeson

Let’s Party: Watermelon Bites

Inspired by this BHG Watermelon Salad, I decided to make an appetizer version perfect for an outdoor summer gathering. Just stack cubes of feta and watermelon on a toothpick with a leaf of fresh mint! Simple, refreshing and delicious. Summer in a bite!

Try to cut the feta and watermelon cubes the same size:

You can mix up the order of the 3 items however you like! However, for thin toothpicks I prefer to put the feta on the bottom as I think it keeps the items from falling off the tooth pick. This could also be served as a salad skewer by putting about 3 watermelon cubes, 3 feta cubes and mint leaves on a longer kebab stick.

I served them at a party recently and they were a hit:

The recipe for these watermelon bites was based on the ingredients in this Watermelon Salad. Happy summer entertaining!

By Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast, a food blog and cookbook inspired by living in a cabin in the woods in California.

 

 


Erin Gleeson

Let’s Party: Blueberry Arugula Salad

Nothing reminds me of summer more than berry picking. Most summers, we head to Vermont for a week to stay at my relative’s house and we always go blueberry picking nearby. Usually it’s so hot that I can’t manage to bake a pie when I get home, so instead I love throwing the berries in a fresh salad. The sweet and savory together are divine! Plus, it’s great alongside a BBQ meal.

For this fresh summer salad, I created a vegetarian version of this BHG salad, subbing spicy arugula for lettuce, and adding feta and pecans. However, feel free to include the turkey, or perhaps some chicken if you’ve fired up the grill.

I just used a light vinaigrette I bought at the store, but even olive oil and lemon would be lovely! For the recipe that I adapted, please click here.

Cheers to outdoor summer meals!

Recipe adaptation, illustrations and photos by Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast, a food blog and vegetarian cookbook inspired by living in a cabin in the woods.

 


BHG Guest Blogger

Guest Blogger: Salmon Burgers

Hi Friends, I’m Nik Sharma and I blog at A Brown Table where I develop recipes that showcase the wonderful flavors of Indian cuisine. My favorite recipes are the ones where I get to showcase ingredients that are commonly used in Indian cooking and infuse them into everyday meals that are tasty yet wholesome and healthy.

Warm summers always remind me of grilling and spending vacations at the beach, so when Better Homes and Gardens asked me to cook and write about their recipes, I figured what could better than a delicious burger (any excuse is a great excuse to fire up the grill!). I picked their easy salmon burger recipe, which seriously guys, no jokes, this is one super EASY and tasty way to prepare salmon.  All you need to do is add the ingredients to a food processor, click the “Pulse” button a couple of times, shape and then toss them on to your grill and watch them sizzle!

We eat a lot of seafood at home and salmon is definitely a common item on our menu. So we were eager to try this recipe out from Better Homes and Gardens.

My favorite way to eat these babies, is to grab a salmon patty, throw on some lettuce, add a dollop of mustard, and sandwich it inside a freshly toasted bun.

I kept the entire method of preparation and ingredients the same as listed in the original recipe but I did make a few of my own changes to it.

  • Instead of using crackers, I used 1/2 cup oat bran. Not only does oat bran act as a binding agent it also gives a nice texture to the burger. If you have a gluten sensitivity issue, I recommend using oat bran that’s prepared in a gluten-free facility (just in case there’s cross contamination).
  • I also added 2 tablespoons chopped red onion, 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro leaves (but parsley could also be substituted in the same amount), 1 clove (approximately 1 teaspoon) of garlic , 1 small (1 teaspoon) thai chili pepper, 1 teaspoon garam masala, and 1 teaspoon salt to the salmon before processing it in the food processor.

If you’re looking for a no-fuss recipe to prepare a flavorful salmon burger, then this recipe will not disappoint!


Kelly Senyei

Mixed Berry Tartlets

Skip the slice and forget the forks in favor of bite-sized Mixed Berry Tartlets starring the season’s freshest berries topped with homemade whipped cream!

If you’re a fan of pie but want to avoid DIY pie dough, then allow me to introduce you to your new go-to dessert: Mixed Berry Tartlets.

This quick and easy recipe allows for mixing and matching of your favorite fruits, which leads to endless flavor combinations. And while the original recipe called for frozen berries, I couldn’t resist the perfectly ripe strawberries and blueberries on display at my local market. Ready to dig in? Preheat your oven for Mixed Berry Tartlets and read on for additional substitutions, plus my go-to recipe for homemade whipped cream.

The sweetness starts with store-bought pie dough, which transforms from a single crust into a dozen mini crusts with a few twists of a circular cookie cutter. If you don’t have a circular cookie cutter you can use a drinking glass or the top of a spice bottle with a diameter of 3 to 4 inches.

Once the individual crusts are tucked securely into a muffin tin, it’s then time to move on to the fruit filling. I swapped out the frozen mixed berries in favor of fresh, opting for juicy strawberries and plump blueberries. You could also use blackberries, raspberries, cranberries or any other small or diced fruit.

Twenty minutes in the oven is all it takes to go from raw ingredients to perfectly baked tartlets. But they’re not done just yet! While the tartlets cool, whip up a sweet tangy topping by skipping the lemon curd filling from the original recipe in favor of a vanilla-spiked homemade whipped cream.

Simply whisk together the following ingredients in your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment:

  • 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Once the whipped cream holds soft peaks, spoon it atop the completely cooled pies then garnish with a sprig of mint and a sprinkle of freshly grated lemon zest.

And that’s all it takes to achieve fruit pie flavor sans the stress of DIY pie dough! Grab your favorite berries then head on over to this fast and fresh recipe for Mixed Berry Tartlets.

- Kelly Senyei, Just a Taste


Erin Gleeson

Let’s Party: Curly Kale and Curly Pasta Salad

I love making pasta salads when entertaining because it’s easy to make a lot, not too pricey, filling, and they are great at room temperature. This pasta salad recipe is nicely balanced with beans and greens, and a store-bought pesto makes it so easy! I adapted BHG’s Italian Pesto Pasta Salad recipe by adding kale and pecans.

I pull the kale off the stalks and shred them into pieces by hand. After boiling the pasta, I throw the kale in that same pot, with a bit of olive oil, and saute´ briefly until wilted and bright green. I then toss the hot pasta with the greens, canned beans and pesto.

Chopped green scallions and toasted pecans can be sprinkled over the top before serving, or mixed in, for an extra crunchy kick.

This dish is great served warm or at room temperature, and is easily made ahead.

For the full recipe, click here. I simply substituted kale and pecans for the suggested arugula and pine nuts. The dish could also be made vegan by leaving out the cheese and using a dairy-free pesto. It could easily be made with gluten-free pasta as well. Enjoy!

Recipe adaptation and photos by Erin Gleeson for The Forest Feast, a cookbook and food blog inspired by living in a cabin in the woods.