Category Archives: dessert

Sweet and Savory Saturday – Rich Chocolate Tofu Mousse



Welcome to Sweet and Savory Saturday here at the Health and Food Forum’s Blog.  Today’s recipe of choice is a rich, creamy chocolate mousse made with tofu.  It can be served plain, with fresh fruit, or as a parfait with crushed vanilla wafers and cinnamon chips as shown above.  Tofu (soybean curd) is a healthy alternative to using heavy cream and eggs.  It is a good source of protein and healthy fats; and, it has been shown to improve cholesterol levels and to protect against heart disease and certain cancers – who knew health could taste so good!  Click here for recipe.


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Sweet and Savory Saturday – Carob Chip Cookies



 Welcome to Sweet and Savory Saturday here at the Health and Food Forum’s Blog.  The key ingredient in today’s cookie recipe is carob.  Carob comes from the fruit pod of the Ceratonia siliqua tree found in the Mediterranean.  It has the taste of chocolate and is frequently used as a substitute by individuals who are allergic to chocolate.  It is naturally sweet, contains no caffeine, and is relatively low in fat.  It contains twice the amount of calcium than cocoa and it is a source of protein and fiber; thus, it is a healthy alternative to chocolate.  Carob chips can be found in health and whole food stores.  Because carob is naturally sweet, you will want to use less sugar when using it for baked goods.  Also, it has a milder taste than chocolate, so you will want to rely on…. Read More



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The Sweet Side of Barley

For the recipe to this variation of the traditional oatmeal cookie, visit us at our new location

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Sweet and Savory Saturday – Star Spangled 4th of July Fruit Platter

Celebrate the 4th of July with this simple patriotic display of fruit and cheese.

Simply patriotic – that’s the message conveyed by this quick and easy way to present fruit and cheese during your 4th of July celebration this year. Choose from an array of your favorite fresh fruits that naturally boast the colors of our great flag and serve them with a sweet and tangy lemon-coconut dip (recipe below) for that extra kick.  Complete the array by adding bite-sized cubes of different white cheeses, such as monterey jack, white cheddar, and mozzarella and you will have the perfect appetizer or after-dinner snack to serve to your guests.

Lemon-Coconut Fruit Dip


2 (6 ounce) containers of low-fat lemon yogurt

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

3 TBS candied lemon peel

1 TBS honey

ground nutmeg (for garnish)


Combine yogurt, sour cream, and honey in small bowl.  Fold in lemon peel and coconut flakes.  Garnish with a sprinkle of ground nutmeg.  Transfer to serving tray.

What is your favorite way to celebrate the 4th of July?  Share with us, we want to know?


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A Box of Strawberry Cake Mix and a Little Imagination!

A box of strawberry cake mix and a little imagination equals "Gracie Cakes."

We are always experimenting with recipes at my house.  We like to try different flavor combinations and textures.  Cooking and baking together as a family is something that I have done with my children since they were toddlers.  It is an activity that they thoroughly enjoy.  Even when we are away from the kitchen they think about different recipes that we can try the next time we cook.  Earlier this week, my daughter handed me a recipe that she came up with for strawberry cupcakes.  Although her measurements were a bit off (2 TBS of salt makes for one salty cupcake!), her flavor combination – strawberry, orange, and vanilla- was quite remarkable.  After a few tweaks to measurements and a few additions of healthier ingredients we devised a doable and tasty recipe that would be a great dessert for a 4th of July celebration.

Recipe for Gracie Cakes (Crumb-Topped Strawberry Cupcakes)


1 box of strawberry cake mix (reserve 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup unbleached whole-wheat flour

3/4 cup egg whites

1 TBS dried orange peel

1/2 TBS pure vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal

1 cup water

1/3 cup reduced-fat or nonfat sour cream

crumb topping (recipe below)*


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spray mufiin tin wells with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.  Combine strawberry cake mix (minus 1/2 cup to be reserved for crumb topping), whole-wheat flour, baking powder, salt, orange peel, and flaxseed meal in large bowl.  Add egg whites, sour cream, water, and vanilla.  Blend on medium-low until combined.  Fill muffin tin wells 2/3 full with batter.  Spoon 1 TBS per well of crumb mixture on top of batter.  Bake in oven for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Yield: about 20 cupcakes.

*Crumb Topping Ingredients:

1/2 cup strawberry cake mix

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 TBS sugar

1 TBS orange peel

1/3 cup trans-fat free margarine, melted

Crumb Topping Preparation:

In a small bowl, combine cake mix, graham cracker crumbs, orange peel, and sugar.  Add melted margarine.  Mix until margarine is incorporated.  Mixture will be crumbly.

Do you have a great dessert idea for the 4th of July?  Share with us, we want to know!


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Putting it on the Plate with PICKKA – Easy Father’s Day Dessert

A broiled peach topped with reduced-fat ice cream makes for a healthier, yet sweetly satisfying, dessert.

I decided to get a little “peachy” with the Father’s Day dessert this year.  My choice? Broiled peaches with reduced-fat vanilla ice cream.  Why? I wanted to make something that could be prepared in individual servings to prevent overindulging on leftovers later (as would happen with me and a pie).  Yet, I wanted the dessert to be satisfying enough that there wasn’t a residing feeling of being “cheated” out of dessert.

I used my Evincii/PICKKA “Eat This?” app for the iPhone to help me find the right ice cream and granola for my goals.  My first choice for ice cream fell into the “Not Too Bad” category.  I wasn’t pleased with this.  I wanted an ice cream that fell into a healthier category because the main course would be higher in calories because of the special occasion.  Therefore, I used the “View Healthy Alternatives” option of the app and found an ice cream that was categorized as a “Good Choice.”  Next, I used my “Eat This?” app to find granola.  My choice fell in the “OK Choice,” but I saw on my app that three other consumers gave it a five star taste rating.  Because only 1 tsp would be served to each individual, I decided it was an acceptable choice, especially since other purchasers indicated it was tasty.

I decided to use fresh peaches, rather than canned.  Although most of the recipes that I have come across for broiled peaches require you to sprinkle sugar and/or butter on the peach halves prior to broiling, I decided against it.  I chose to rely on the natural sweetness of the peaches combined with the creaminess of the ice-cream to give appeal to this dessert.  Therefore, I broiled the peaches “au natural.”  Here is how I prepared the dessert:


  • 3 medium ripe peaches, cut in half, pits removed, and skin left on (use more peaches if serving more than 6 people; figure a 1/2 peach per person)
  • Reduced-fat vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt (enough for one scoop per person)
  • Reduced-fat Granola (1 tsp per person)
  • Cinnamon (enough for garnish)
  • Honey (about 1/2 TBS per person)


Preheat the broiler.  Wash and pat dry peaches.  Carefully slice each peach in half and remove the pit.  Place peaches, cut-side up, on broiler pan lined with aluminum foil.  Place in the oven about 3 inches from the heat.  Cook until juices start to bubble and peaches are browned (about 3-5 minutes).  Remove from the oven.  Let cool for 3-5 minutes.  Place peaches on individual dessert plates.  Scoop reduced-fat vanilla ice cream on top of each peach half.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and granola.  Drizzle honey over the top.  Serve immediately.

What will you be serving for dessert this Father’s Day?  Will you use your “Eat This?” app to help you find the right ingredients?  Share with us, we want to know!



Filed under dessert, easy meals, Eat This?, Father's Day, Father's Day Dessert, fruit, gourmet, healthy food, homemade meals, low-fat, men, PICKKA, Recipes