Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What a perfect time of the year to enjoy some chocolate- well...preferably, dark chocolate.... it is delicious in many recipes or simply on its own. Let me tell you a little bit about dark chocolate and then at the end, you will find a delicious and simple recipe that will turn into one of the most festive and popular holiday treats!! Just you wait :-)

Dark chocolate is a treat that will satisfy your sweet tooth during the holidays, but of course in moderation. It is good for your heart and can fit into your healthy eating plan quite easily.

Dark chocolate is highly abundant in antioxidants. A small amount of high quality dark chocolate after a meal at nighttime may help control your appetite by making you feel full and satisifed. All you need is a couple bites and you are on the road to long-term success with portion control!

In addition to being a heart-friendly food, dark chocolate stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure. Dark chocolate contains serotonin, which helps you feel a sense of happiness.

Just remember to keep portions in line. It's important to eat nutrient-rich foods but sometimes overeating on these healthy foods can be more damaging. For example, too much fruit may lead to excessive carbohydrate intake thus added weight gain.

Here is a holiday recipe that will give you just a little bit of that delicious chocolate goodness!

Raspberry-Dark Chocolate Delights
Serves 15 (1 tart each)

All you need
1/3 cup Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips
1 (1.90 ounce) package Athens pre-baked mini fillo shells
1 carton Chobani non-fat raspberry Greek yogurt
15 fresh raspberries

All you do
1. Melt chocolate chips on HIGH in microwave, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted. Spoon approximately 1/2 tsp chocolate in bottom of each fillo shell, spreading up onto sides of shell. Chill in freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Spoon raspberry Greek yogurt into fillo shells. Top each shell with a raspberry.
3. Drizzle melted chocolate onto top of raspberry yogurt mixture for garnish.

Nutrition facts per serving: 50 calories, 2.5 g fat, 115 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein.
Source: Hy-Vee Dietitians

This dessert recipe uses strawberry Greek yogurt (NuVal 64) in place of strawberry cream cheese (NuVal 16), for a surprisingly healthy, indulgent treat.

NuVal is a nutritional scoring system at Hy-Vee. Items are scored 1-100 and the higher the score, the better the nutrition! You will find NuVal scores to the left of the price tag.

Happy Holidays!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Olive Foodie

Good evening! Tonight at work, I made a very simple salsa recipe and promoted olives. Olives are a very nutritious food and did you know olives are a fruit? Want to learn more about olives and why they are healthy....or how to use them in your recipes? Read below!!

December Dietitian Pick of the Month: Olive

Did you know olives are a healthy treat that can complement holiday appetizers and meals?


Are a fruit with healthy monounsaturated fats that can promote belly fat loss, improve cardiovascular health and possibly protection from breast cancer.

Have less sodium per serving than a slice of bread

Have fewerthan 100 calories (20 medium olives)

Easy to use:

In place of mayonnaise, chop black olives, mix with fresh lemon juice and olive oil and use a spread on a sandwich

On toothpicks, skewer different olive varieties with fresh mozzarella and tomatoes for a healthy holiday appetizer

Roast chopped black and green olives with a little olive oil in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour, and serve with different varieties of crackers, cheese and breads.

Eat and be merry! Don't forget the red wine :-)