; Supermarket Serenade: Yogurt for Dessert

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Yogurt for Dessert

Yogurt is a food I had to teach myself to enjoy.

When I was pregnant and nursing my children, like any responsible mother-to-be, I wanted to make sure I was getting enough calcium so I decided to add yogurt to my diet. The initiation was a gradual one. I began with the whipped variety of yogurt-its light and fluffy texture made it seem more like flavored whipped cream than yogurt and certainly seemed more palatable to me. I cut the yogurt with fat free Cool Whip to lessen what I perceived as a sour "yogurty" taste and to make it more like a mousse. The amount of Cool Whip was then gradually reduced to none and after a time I was able to enjoy regular yogurt. Fast forward a few years and now I think yogurt is so tasty, I serve it for dessert.

While I now enjoy many varieties of yogurt, at the moment I am a big fan of Yoplait's Yo Plus Digestive Health yogurt. I like that it has some fiber in it as I am making a conscious effort to add more fiber to my diet.Yo Plus is a new yogurt in supermarkets that, according to Yoplait's web site, combines:
probiotics-active cultures to regulate the balance of
microorganisms in your digestive system and prebiotic cultures for a
healthy digestive system.
prebiotics- natural dietary fibers.

It does contain added sugar, but I am using it for dessert. Perhaps the 3 grams of fiber can make up for the added sugar-that's what I'll tell myself anyway.
Cherry season is in full swing, so I whipped up some Cherry-Almond Yogurt Parfaits. If the fat and calories from the whipped cream scare you, feel free to substitute some fat free Cool Whip, or if you would like to make the parfait for breakfast, just skip the cream completely.

Just a few cherry pitting pointers:

  • You can use one of those cherry pitters that are out there but quite honestly they are a lot of work and don't seem to work all that well.
  • I just quarter the cherry with the pit in and then pull apart and discard the pit.
  • Or if you are really lazy (and sometimes I am) just halve the cherry, pull apart, eat the part with the pit in it (spitting out pit) and just halve the remaining half for your recipe...it will take you twice as long, but mmmm-mmm.

Cherry-Almond Yogurt Parfaits

1 cup chilled heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 pound fresh cherries, quartered, pits removed (your choice of method)
4 (4 ounce) containers cherry flavored yogurt (I used the Yoplait Yo Plus)
1/2 cup slice almonds

Beat the heavy cream and sugar using an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form; fold in the almond extract.

Divide 1/3 of the whipped cream between 4 parfait glasses. Add a layer of cherries followed by a layer of the yogurt, using half. Scatter a layer of sliced almonds. Repeat with a layer of whipped cream, cherries, yogurt and almonds. End with whipped cream followed by the remaining cherries. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.


Jenny said...

Your yogurt parfait looks so great! I love this during the summer. Beautiful!

Lisa said...

Yum, looks delicious! I have a cherry pitter and you are right about it not working very well. I like the eat half method :)

Prudy said...

Those are so pretty! I love using yogurt for creaminess instead of other worse for you things.

Margaret said...

Oh that looks beautiful. Soon cherries will be in season here. On a fluffy note - I always think cherries with stalks attached look 'pretty'.

Veronica said...

You know what Margaret? Now I'm mad I didn't think to put a whole cherry with the stem on top!! That would have made a much prettier picture. Live and learn.