This post is sponsored by Hiland Dairy, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.
Hey, y’all! I have five healthy sweet hacks for the New Year, each made with farmer-owned Hiland Dairy products. I promise, Grace Grits and Gardening hasn’t become a full out food blog (two food posts in a row), but as you know, my One Little Word for 2017 is SAVOR. Savoring what’s good in the world, things that make me happy and feel better. And part of savoring 2017 includes eating more healthy meals and snacks at home.
Can I get a big amen?
Here’s the thing about me. When it comes to food, I believe in balance and not depriving myself. Luckily, I gravitate towards vegetables and lean meat and a less is more mentality about a lot of things. But still, sometimes, lots of time, I want a little something sweet in the afternoon or after supper. Tada! These healthy sweet hacks I created from Hiland Dairy yogurts and low-fat milk are satisfying, flavorful, and give me energy rather than a sugar crash.
Ain’t NOBODY got time for a sugar crash.
Before we get to the yumminess, how cool is it that every Hiland milk lid comes with a farmer pledge? You know I believe in supporting local farmers. Hiland has been delivering farm-fresh dairy products since 1938. Most of Hiland’s milk is produced by farms within 100 miles of the company’s processing facilities in Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. That’s certainly local to my home in Northwest Arkansas. ❤
This drink is packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants to give you a boost during the winter cold and flu season. It’s also perfect after a workout. A pitcher will keep a couple of days in the refrigerator, so pour yourself a glass when you need a lift. Liquid sunshine, y’all.
How-To: Blend together 2 peeled navel oranges, 1/2 cup Hiland milk (I used 2%), 1/2 cup Hiland Vanilla Low-Fat Yogurt, 1/4 cup pomegranate juice, 1 teaspoon orange zest (zest your orange before your peel it, just saying), and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Add 10-12 pieces of ice and blend, blend, blend until smooth. Pour into a glass, top with frothed 2% milk and a bit of orange zest.
FYI regarding 2% milk—when milk fat is removed, so is Vitamin A. But during processing, Hiland adds back Vitamin A, as well as Vitamin D. This makes Hiland’s 2% milk nutritionally identical to whole milk except for the fat content. How about that?
How fun are these? They look like melt-away mints popular at baby and wedding showers (and sometimes after dinner at nice restaurants), but these cuties are made from Hiland yogurt. Super easy. Fun to make. Economical, too!
Mix a few drops of pure mint extract into 1/2 container (3 oz) of Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt. Stir well, taste, add more mint for stronger flavor if needed. Scoop yogurt into the corner of a plastic sandwich bag (or pastry bag if you have one), and place bag in the freezer for twenty minutes or so.
Once the yogurt is a bit firmer from the freezer, snip the very end of the plastic bag, and squeeze small swirls onto parchment paper. Freeze. These little beauties make great palate cleansers. Every night after dinner, pop one in your mouth for a little something sweet and minty. (If you plan to serve these at a party, serve in teeny tiny batches and keep additional in freezer. They begin to melt quickly.)
Yogurt-Covered Cinnamon Blueberries
Yogurt-covered nuts and fruits from the grocery store can be loaded with calories. This healthy sweet hack is perfect, flavorful and made with blueberries, everyone’s favorite superfood. Adding cinnamon brings out the flavor of the blueberries. Keep a container in the freezer and when those late-night munchies strike, you’re covered.
Add half a container of Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt into a small bowl. Add a pinch or two of cinnamon. Stir. Drop in a few blueberries and carefully stir to coat. Place blueberries one at a time on a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze 2 hours. Remove and combine into a plastic freezer bag and keep in the freezer until your next Netflix binge.
Raspberry Yogurt Sundae
One of my go-to desserts is Greek yogurt mixed with raspberries. I know lots of folks don’t like the taste of Greek yogurt, but I love its neutral flavor and creamy consistency. Greek yogurt is the perfect vehicle for any sweet fruit, always in the background, never overshadowing.
How-To: Add 3/4 cup fresh raspberries to 1 cup plain Greek yogurt. Mix it gently by hand to break the fruit and get that delicious swirl in the yogurt. Scoop into a fancy glass, top with a drizzle of agave or honey, add dark chocolate shavings (optional). Sweetness!
Cherry Almond Yogurt Bark
This healthy sweet hack is salty and tangy, too. And yay for a dessert bark without the fat, calories or caffeine found in typical chocolate bark.
How-To: Cover the bottom of a brownie-type pan with parchment paper. Add 2-3 drops of Almond Extract into one 6-ounce container of Plain Lo-Fat Hiland Yogurt. Stir well. Pour onto parchment paper and spread evenly. (Don’t spread too thin—approximately 1/8 inch thick. Yogurt will not cover then entire bottom of an 8-inch square brownie pan.) Sprinkle dried cherries into the yogurt—a scant 1/3 cup. Add 2 tablespoons chopped or slivered almonds. Almonds are available in so many varieties—wasabi, cocoa, habanero—you can really have fun with the flavor combination. I used salted coconut almonds, and they were amazing. Place pan in the freezer for at least 2 hours. When the bark is frozen, carefully break into pieces with a knife or spatula. Serve immediately. Store what you don’t eat in a plastic bag in the freezer.
You can also add dark chocolate chips to this recipe or substitute pistachios or pecans.
A Few Final Thoughts…
I’m choosy about doing sponsored blog posts. The companies I work with have to represent products that fit me, products I think my readers will appreciate, relate to, use. Hiland Dairy certainly fits the bill. Not only is the company farmer-owned and local…
…but Hiland is dedicated to sustainability—minimizing waste and environmental impact—and humane treatment and quality of life for its cows.
As we all vow to make better health choices in 2017, Hiland Dairy is committed to helping us. Be sure to check out Hiland’s website HERE and sign up to receive email health tips and recipes throughout the year. You’ll also find online product coupons! Gotta love that.
So tell me, what are your favorite Hiland products, and do you have a food hack to share?
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
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