Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hot Holiday Cool Treats

Apparently June was dairy month and I didn't even know. Can you believe it? Me, from the Midwest, farm girl born and raised, and the idea that there would be new recipes, rife with lactic acid, had completely escaped me. It's okay, settle down, I'm back on my game. It's time to take out your Lactaid and loosen your belts, I don't want you to get bloat from the moo juice.

It's hot. Tomorrow is a holiday. Let's get fruity and, dare I say, enjoy some refreshing treats that aren't entirely unhealthy.

Orange Cream Chiller

3 oz orange juice concentrate 
1 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (plain)
1 small banana (frozen) or 3 large strawberries (frozen)
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Can be refrigerated for short period of time, but will lose consistency as fruit thaws.

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Squares 

1 can (14 oz) fat-free sweetened condensed milk, divided
Non-stick cooking spray
1 cup Post Grape-Nuts cereal
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
1 package (10 oz) frozen strawberries
3 cups fat free strawberry yogurt (I prefer Chobani) 

Measure 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk; set aside. Line 8x8 baking pan with aluminum foil so that it overlaps the pan. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium sized bowl, combine cereal, cinnamon, cloves, and remainder of sweetened condensed milk. Stir until well mixed and spread evenly onto the bottom of the baking pan. Place in freezer.

Place strawberries and yogurt into blender. Cover and blend. Add 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk and blend until smooth. Pour this mixture over the chilled cereal crust. Smooth to the edge of the pan. Freeze 8 hours or until firm.

To serve, use edges of the foil to remove from the pan. Let thaw 5-10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.

My co-workers and I also discussed ways to make these treats into something a little less breakfast like. The consensus on the Orange Cream Chiller was to add either 1 oz of light rum, peach schnapps (do they still make that?), or 4 oz of champagne. For the Strawberry Frozen Yogurt Squares, the thought was to serve with a drizzle of strawberry-rhubarb compote and a dollop of whipped cream.

For those of you who insist on partaking in the spirits of beach and backyard celebrations over this unGodly hot Independence Day, please remember that hydration is your friend. Alcohol and water sports don't mix well. Booze and fireworks might be a 4th of July tradition, but you look better with a face and all of your digits and limbs. Play safe and get a designated driver if you plan to be driving.

Enjoy the mid-week break and Happy Independence Day to all my US friends here and abroad.

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