Sunday, July 7, 2013

Feeling blue: A refreshing recipe

Blueberries. You could say I've been a bit obsessed lately.

By the handful, in oatmeal, over angel food cake, on wheat waffles, by the handful, over yogurt - I have found any way possible to incorporate the berries into my diet. It doesn't hurt that they've been $1.49 a pint at Aldi of late.

And that's not such a bad thing. According to WebMD, blueberries rank the highest of any fruit for antioxidants (those free-radical-fighting powerhouses), and one cup delivers 14 percent of the recommended daily dose of fiber and nearly a quarter of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Blueberries are also low in calories -- fewer than 100 for a full cup. They owe their distinct hue to their high anthocyanin content, which gives certain fruits and veggies their deep blues and reds.

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So it was a no-brainer to include the vibrant fruit in a recipe when I was challenged by Yoplait to make a refreshing summer snack using Yoplait Greek 100. I didn't want to just make something refreshing, though. I wanted to take one of my favorite treats - and I do mean TREAT - and make it more mindful.

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My first summer out of college, I lived in the "resort" town of Sandusky, Ohio - otherwise known as that city where Cedar Point is. I rented a small house a couple blocks from the bay and lived a quiet, lonely existence.  I didn't have friends in the area, and I struggled in a job I didn't like and felt unfulfilled in my long distance relationship. I spent my evenings off chatting with my mom as I went for walks ... to the seasonal ice cream shop about a half-mile away. Some days, I might enjoy a cone and others a sundae but my favorite was the Cobb's Cooler. It was slush mix, sliced bananas and strawberry topping with a swirl of ice cream. It was insanely delicious and completely negated the 100 calories I might have burned walking to the shop.

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The more mindful version of the cooler, which is just as refreshing - if not more - features fresh fruit, a no-sugar base and fat-free lemon yogurt to brighten the drink. And it comes in at less than 100 calories per glass. It does require a bit - not a lot - of prep work but it's worth it as you take a sip on the patio, watching a now 2-year-old swing a bat like a major league player.

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Berry Cool Lemon Cooler

1 container Lemon Yoplait Greek 100 yogurt
6 ice cubes
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup lemon sparkling water, more or less to taste

Mix yogurt with a spoon and scoop onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Freeze until slightly firm, or until ready to use.

In a blender, add ice cubes and pulse into nearly crushed. Add blueberries and continue pulsing until there are no large chunks of ice. Scoop 1 cup of mix into a large glass and add sparkling water, stirring until desired consistency. Place half of frozen yogurt scoops in glass. Serve with straw. Makes 2 servings.

Note: If yogurt is frozen overnight, it will be easier to eat if you bring it to room temperature or defrost it slightly.

Variation: Stir in half container yogurt with drink for a creamier take on the drink.

Disclosure: Yoplait provided me with free product coupons but all opinions are my own.

Disclaimer: While I'm not 100 percent in love with the yogurt's nutritional profile, namely its inclusion of artificial sweetener, I can't deny its accessibility, price point and the role it could play in someone who is on a weight loss journey, especially as many Greek yogurts have 150 to 200 calories per container and a lot of sugar. The taste is good, too, especially when used in a dish like this.


  1. Yum!!!! We love blueberries in our house too. My mom, Lucas and I went blueberry picking last week and have eaten our weight in blues. Lucas couldn't shove them in his mouth fast enough. Baby #2 is making me smoothie obsessed so I'm totally trying this recipe.

  2. My mouth is watering...this sounds so good! I love blueberries, too. Great idea!!