Audrey Hepburn once said, “Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me.” At New Jammies, we love dessert, especially cake, as much as the next sweet tooth. Since February is American Heart Month, and the perfect time for spreading the love, we decided to seek out tasty and healthy dessert recipes — including one for chocolate lovers — to keep hearts happy, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Enjoy a delicate, heart-healthy dessert by cooking seasonal pears in a light homemade syrup. For info on women and heart disease, visit Go Red for Women.
1 cup light cranberry juice cocktail
1/2-3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8-1/4 tsp. ground allspice
4 small firm pears (about 6 ounces each), peeled, halved, and cored
2 Tbsp. sweetened, dried cherries or cranberries
1 Tbsp. honey
1 1/2 tsp. honey (divided use)
Tip: Serving size 2 pear halves and 1 heaping tablespoon sauce.
1. In a large nonstick skillet, stir together the cranberry juice, cinnamon, and allspice. Add the pears and cherries. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes, or until the pears are just tender-crisp.
2. Transfer pears with the cut side down to a serving plate, leaving liquid in the skillet.
3. Cook the liquid, still on medium high, for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, or until reduced to a scant 1/4 cup, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in honey. Spoon over pears.
4. Let cool completely, about 20 minutes. Turn the pears several times to coat with the sauce or transfer them to plates and spoon the sauce on top.
You can make this recipe with any fruit and flavor of yogurt. Try mango chunks with pineapple yogurt, or kiwi halves with strawberry yogurt. You could also try other toppings like coconut or sprinkles instead of pecans.
12 strawberries, hulled
12 cake pop sticks
½ cup nonfat blueberry Greek yogurt
¼ cup chopped pecans
1. Line a small baking sheet with wax paper. Set aside.
2. Insert the cake pop sticks into the top part of the strawberry. Do not pierce through the end of the strawberry.
3. Dip each strawberry in the yogurt, shaking so that each strawberry is thinly coated. Use a spoon to help coat the strawberries if needed.
4. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of pecans (or coconut, sprinkles, etc) over each coated strawberry.
5. Place the strawberry pops on the baking sheet and freeze for 1-2 hours or until the yogurt is frozen. Once pops are frozen, remove from wax paper and serve or put in a freezer zip-top bag.
Rich dark chocolate topped with your favorites: cranberries, nuts, and dried fruits.
3 T 70-80% cocoa premium dark chocolate chips
1/8 cups mix of walnuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios
1/8 cups mix of dried cranberries, raisins, gooseberries (optional), pumpkin seeds
1. Mix the nuts and dried fruits together.
2. Melt chocolate in microwave-safe container on low power setting. Rule of thumb: 1 min. for 1 oz.; 3 min. for 8 oz.; 3.5 min. for 1 lb.; 4 min. for 2.lb. Run microwave in 30 sec.-1 min. increments.
3. When most of the chocolate is melted, stir mixture continuously until smooth, shiny, and completely melted.
4. Spoon chocolate onto wax paper in even circles. Top with nuts and fruits. Let harden and then refrigerate 10 minutes.
Dietitian’s tip: This dessert is more similar to a tart than a traditional cream pie. You can use any fresh, unsweetened berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries.
8 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 prepared graham cracker crust, about 9 inches in diameter
1 can (16 ounces) unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
1 pint berries, rinsed and drained (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries, or a combination)
1. In a small bowl, mix the softened cream cheese with the sugar. Gently spread over the graham cracker crust.
2. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours.
3. Just before serving, spread the crushed pineapple over the cream cheese. Add the berries.
4. Cut the pie into 8 wedges and serve immediately.
New Jammies was born as an environmentally responsible company offering 100% certified organic cotton and flame retardant-free children’s pajamas. Learn more at newjammies.com.