When it comes to desserts, I'm a picky eater. And I think you should be too. This, coming from the Dietitian who helps parents prevent and manage picky eating with their kids - go figure! Although you should allow yourself to indulge in something sweet regularly - even daily - it's important to be selective in which treats you choose so that you can really make your indulgence count and enjoy every bite. As we all know, dessert foods can pack a punch in the calorie, sugar and fat department, so regularly over-indulging, or eating desserts mindlessly can result in unhealthy weight gain and negative health consequences. Personally, I spoil my (and my kids) sweet palates by avoiding most store-bought, processed desserts and indulging in home-made real-food desserts that are made from scratch. My favourite desserts usually involve either chocolate or lemon, so I often opt out of any dessert that doesn't include these ingredients and that I know I won't love.
This version of Pavlova is my absolute favourite, not only because it bursts with lemon flavour, but also because it's just sweet enough, and offers a healthy dose of antioxidants from all of the delicious berries. It also reminds me of my grandmother, who had a passion and talent for baking and used to make this "Angel Pie" often. My version contains a bit less sugar and a half the butter than most recipes, but I find that it's just as delicious.
Light and Lemony Angel Pie
*Make Meringue first as it takes some time. You can make the lemon curd and whipped cream while it's baking.*
Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees F
Place egg whites and salt into a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed until colour starts to turn from clear to white, about two minutes.
Increase speed and slowly add sugar. Mix until firm, shiny peaks form (marshmellowy consistency), about 3 minutes. Don't over-mix.
Remove bowl and add sifted corn starch and vanilla. Gently fold into merigue mixture.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and using a rubber spatula, scoop merigue mixture into the middle of the parchment paper lined baking sheet, carefully forming a circle (about 9 inches around) hollowed out slightly in the middle (where you will put the lemon filling). Place into the pre-heated oven and bake for 1 hour (until slightly golden brown around edges), turn oven off and allow to sit for at least one hour, cooking inside oven.
Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water and bring it to a simmer over high heat; reduce the heat to low and keep the water at a bare simmer.
Place all of the ingredients except the butter in a glass bowl and whisk to combine. Set the bowl over, but not touching, the simmering water and whisk constantly until the yolks thicken and the mixture forms ribbons when the whisk is lifted from the bowl, about 7 to 10 minutes.
Remove from stove, mix in butter one tablespoon at a time until all are melted and incorporated. Allow to cool, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
Place all ingredients into your clean standing mixer bowl with clean whisk attachment. Whisk on medium-high until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
Gently and carefully spread lemon curd evenly into the hollow part of the cooled meringue (meringue is fragile)
Evenly spread whipped cream on top of lemon curd and top with berries.
Enjoy! Serves 8 - 10
There's no reason pregnant women should have to miss out on the fun of drinking a yummy beverage in a fancy glass during happy hour, at a dinner party, or at a summer BBQ. Although these non-alcoholic alternatives aren't quite as fun as their alcoholic counter-parts, they are equally as delicious and provide an exciting alternative to water or my go-to: soda water and cranberry juice, which gets boring after a while.
Being pregnant with my third, and about to go on a sunny vacation, I decided to test out a few "mocktail" recipes. Here are my top four favourites:
Add to a fancy glass ( I used pint glass), sprinkle shredded coconut on top and garnish with lime
Combine all ingredients in a good blender and blend until smooth (add more coconut milk if needed)
Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with a strawberry or lemon wedge.
Add frozen watermelon ice cubes to blender and then add remaining ingredients (including mint). Blend until smooth and enjoy!
adapted from www.fitpregnancy.com Frozen Watermelon Mojito
1/4 cup apple juice
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, shake and serve right away. Garnish with apple slice.
If you're interested in learning about nutrition during and after pregnancy, check out this blog post on The Pregnancy Nutrition Do's and Don't's and this one on on the importance of taking care of yourself post-partum
Feel free to visit my Facebook Page, where I post daily on nutrition for pregnancy, babies, kids and picky eating.
When I went over to a friend's house for brunch a while ago, I was thoroughly impressed with the spread she put on, but was especially astounded by the beautiful pull-apart cinnamon buns (which disappeared the quickest). I had never seen or tasted anything more delicious and have made it several times since - it's always a hit. Although the original recipe is to-die-for--and I'm not one to restrict rich and delicious foods--I thought I'd put my Dietitian hat on and see if I could "healthify" the recipe a bit.
I didn't want to alter it too much as not to ruin it, but found that adding some whole grain oats, and decreasing the sugar and butter slightly, still rendered a delicious product. Paired with over-medium eggs and fruit salad, this breakfast is one of my all-time faves.
Adapted from Best of Bridge's "Land Of Nod Cinnamon Buns"
Before going to sleep, grease a 10″ bundt pan and add frozen rolls to it.
Sprinkle with brown sugar, pudding powder, cinnamon, oats and raisins.
Pour melted butter over all.
Cover with a clean, damp cloth and leave out on the counter at room temperature.
In the morning, preheat oven to 350 and bake for 25 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes and then turn out on a serving plate and serve alongside eggs (or Greek yogurt) and fruit salad.
For more recipes and nutrition advice for parents and kids, visit my Facebook page, where I post daily.