Saturday, 10 March 2012

Low Fat and High Taste

I always have room for dessert, but staying healthy is a big priority for me as well. I've worked hard to keep extra pounds off my hips, and I am always looking for fun ways to exercise.

Living in Victoria, BC is a big help for my exercise regime because the weather here allows me to keep active year round. And that helps me to still be able to enjoy as much healthy food as I want.

Because there's little snow in my city, I can bike to work almost every morning. It took me a few months to start to enjoy it, but now I love the feeling of hopping on my bike, peddling to work, and feeling invigorated for the rest of the day. 

Victoria may have less snow than the rest of Canada, and that means biking in February is not possible for everyone, but there are plenty of activities that I love to enjoy during the winter that feature snow too. 

Getting outside and building a snowman is a great way to enjoy time with your family and get a little exercise at the same time. I love using a carrot for the nose and nuts for the eyes, mouth, and buttons so that animals can have a nibble of my creation. 

Skiing helps to build strong leg muscles and the hot chocolate breaks that you earn are well worth the work of slapping on a pair of skis. 

Hiking with friends is another great winter activity, whether you live in a snow covered climate or not. Just dress in layers, bring a picnic with a warm drink in a thermos, and a pair of binoculars or a camera - winter birds and other wildlife are some of the best I have ever seen. 

And once you've exercised, you won't feel bad about enjoying dessert tonight. This is a tiramisu recipe from my mom that I made for my birthday a few weeks ago. It doesn't have as many calories as a typical recipe, but it still has all the taste you'll need.

Low Fat and High Taste Tiramisu 

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 envelope of unflavoured gelatine (2 1/2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons water
1 cup of light ricotta cheese
1 cup of light cream cheese
3/4 cups of plain yogurt 
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla 
2 tablespoons of extra strong dark roast coffee, cooled
24 lady finger cookies
3/4 cup of extra strong dark roast coffee, cooled
50 grams of dark chocolate 
Fresh strawberries for garnish

1. Combine sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small pot and bring to a boil to allow sugar to dissolve to create a simple syrup mixture. Remove simple syrup from the heat. 

2. Dissolve gelatine into 2 tablespoons of water and then add to the still warm simple syrup. 

3. Add ricotta, cream cheese, yogurt, honey, and vanilla in a food processor. Pulse to combine. 

4. Add simple syrup and gelatine mixture as well as 2 tablespoons of coffee to the food processor with the cheese mixture and pulse to combine. Set aside. 

5. Pour the cooled coffee in a pie plate and quickly dip the lady fingers into the coffee, just to cover them lightly. Line the bottom of a 9 x 9 inch square baking dish with half of the lady fingers, packing them together and cutting some in half if necessary to fill any holes. 

6. Pour half of the cheese and yogurt mixture on top of the layer of lady fingers. Don't worry that your cheese mixture is very thin, it will firm up in the fridge when it sets. Then grate half of the chocolate on top of the cheese and yogurt mixture.   

7. Top with the remaining lady fingers, followed by the remaining cheese and yogurt mixture, and then grate the remaining chocolate on the very top. 

8. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6-8 hours, or overnight. 

9. To serve, scoop into bowls and top with fresh strawberries. 

I'd love to know your favourite winter activity so I can add it to be growing list of ways to enjoy the winter (and more desserts!)

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