The holidays are a walk down childhood memory lane. Holiday parties, family gatherings, and of course – amazing smells wafting out of the kitchen. While the main risk of eating dessert as a kid was spoiling our appetites. As adults, the decadent desserts we grew up with can trigger childhood feelings of joy, but also can spoil our best intentions to eat in healthy moderation. Scientists suspect that taste and memory are inextricably bound. Nostalgic flavors, like holiday desserts, bypass the part of the mind that is logical and travels directly to the primitive brain, seat of instinct and memory. Many seasonal sweets are notoriously high in fat, sugar and calories; that cause a strong sudden release of dopamine in the regions of the brain that experience reward. This response gives them their name, ‘comfort foods.’ However, the good news is these delicious foods don’t have to wreck havoc on your personal health goals. Probiotic and calcium rich, Blue Isle Mediterranean Yogurt Spreads (BlueIsleSpread.com) is the healthy solution for swapping cream cheese, dips, oil, butter, sour cream, and crème fraiche! By simply swapping Blue Isle Mediterranean Yogurt Spreads, you can enjoy childhood favorites, without the guilt.
Blue Isle is made from the healthy goodness of fresh, rBST-free milk, including live active and probiotic cultures, and calcium but no added sugar. Blue Isle contains 180% less sodium per serving than the leading cream cheese. With only 60 calories and 6g of fat per 2 tbsp. serving, Blue Isle has nearly 40% fewer calories and fat than the leading cream cheese. Blue Isle is both natural and OU Kosher certified.
Check out the five dietician approved desserts below. Easy and yummy fixes for some of the most calorie-ladened holiday recipes: pumpkin pie, cheesecake, whipped cream, cookies, and pie-crust.
1) Mediterranean Pumpkin Pie Squares
These individually-portion squares are a perfect holiday treat.
Ingredients for pumpkin pie filling:
· 1 (29 oz) can pumpkin puree
· 1 cup Blue Isle Mediterranean Yogurt Spread in Original
· ¼ cup evaporated skim milk
· ⅓ cup sugar
· ⅓ cup light brown sugar
· 2 eggs, beaten
· 1 heaping tbsp pumpkin pie spice
· 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
For the crust recipe, see recipe #5 below:
Directions for pumpkin pie filling:
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, yogurt, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice.
Pour the filling over the crust evenly. Bake in the oven at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes, then turn down to 350 and bake for an additional 45 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool completely before slicing.
Recipe adapted from RD Delicious
2) No Bake Honey Cheese Cake
3) Blue Isle Whipped Cream
· 1 cup heavy cream chilled
· ½ cup Blue Isle Mediterranean Yogurt Spreads – original flavor
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat heavy cream and yogurt on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Alternately, you can use a hand mixer or whisk by hand. Taste and add more yogurt or cream to taste and whisk again to soft peaks.
4) Mediterranean Modified Chocolate Chip Cookies
· 2 and ½ cups flour
· 1 tsp baking powder
· 1 tsp salt
· 2 eggs
· 1 and ½ cups powdered sugar
· ¾ cup Greek yogurt
· 2 tsp vanilla powder
· 1 and ¾ cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a separate bowl. Add in the flour mixture into the egg mixture stirring constantly. Add in yogurt and vanilla, stir with a spatula. Fold in chocolate chips and combine well. Drop cookie batter with the help of two teaspoons on the parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
5) Oh Honey! It’s Not Butter - Mediterranean Pie Crust
· 1 cup graham crackers, crushed
· 1 cup quick oats
· 1 tbsp cinnamon
· ¼ cup light brown sugar
· ⅔ cup Blue Isle Mediterranean Yogurt Spread in Honey
· ½ tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
With cooking spray, grease a 9x13 baking dish; set aside. In a food processor, combine the graham crackers and quick oats. Pulse until fine crumbs and fully mixed. Add cinnamon, light brown sugar, Blue Isle Mediterranean Yogurt Spread in honey, and vanilla extract. Press evenly in the bottom of the baking dish. Place favorite pie filling recipe on top, we recommend pumpkin pie filling above in #1 for a seasonal treat. Bake in oven at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes, then turn down to 350 and bake for an additional 45 minutes.
Overdoing the holiday treats and desserts isn’t healthy, but most of us have done it. Nutritionists know their clients are human, and that we want to celebrate the season which revolves around food. Thankfully, incorporating healthy probiotics (or “good bacteria”) into your regular diet can help manage bloating, alleviate chronic gas, and support digestive health. Even when holiday parties and family meals may put our stomach into overtime.
Probiotic and calcium rich, Blue Isle Mediterranean Yogurt Spreads (BlueIsleSpread.com) is the healthy solution for swapping cream cheese, dips, oil, butter, sour cream, and crème fraiche! Blue Isle is made from the healthy goodness of fresh, rBST-free milk, including live active and probiotic cultures, and calcium but no added sugar. Blue Isle contains 180% less sodium per serving than the leading cream cheese. With only 60 calories and 6g of fat per 2 tbsp serving, Blue Isle has nearly 40% fewer calories and fat than the leading cream cheese. Blue Isle is both natural and OU Kosher certified.
Blue Isle is available in the following flavors:
· French Onion
· Spicy Vegetable
Available for purchase at Harmon’s, Mollie Stones, Central Market, Fiesta Mart, The Fresh Market, New Seasons, H-E-B, Lucky’s, QFC, Fred Meyer, Jon’s Marketplace, Strack and Van Til, at natural food stores and better supermarkets nationwide.
Suggested retail price is $3.29 for an 8 oz tub.
Blue Isle is distributed by a second-generation family business with multiple awards for excellence in the cheese and dairy industry. Accolades include World Cheese Awards, World Championship Cheese medals, U.S. Championships, California State Fair awards and in 2014, 1st Place for Blue Isle Original in the Labneh, Greek Style Yogurt, and Other Strained Yogurt Products category from the American Cheese Society. Blue Isle products are made from ultra-premium ingredients, including premium milk from cows that are free of artificial hormones, BGH/rBST, and are Real California Milk certified.