Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Greek Yogurt with Sweet Berries and Vanilla Sugar Croutons

I have a few confessions to make tonight. First, I will admit to you all that I cannot stop watching The Cooking Channel. It is literally on ALL DAY in my house. I watch while I do my housework, while I eat my lunch, and even while I play with the kids! *gasp*. I've said it before, but I'll say it again....there are certain things that I see and there is no question in my mind that I will love it. Last night I was watching Giada make a dessert that looked out of this world. I absolutely knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I would be making this today. What I was worried about was that the original recipe would have me consuming an ungodly amount of calories and fat considering that the base was whole milk ricotta cheese. I just couldn't follow the recipe the way that it was aired because I didn't want to indulge quite that much. I decided that I could work around the worst of it and make it at least a little healthier. Please try this, I guarantee you'll love it. If you don't, give me a call -- I'll come over and eat it for you ;)

My second confession is that this dessert ended up being my dinner tonight!! I couldn't wait to eat and I just dove right in. I am not regretting that decision, but I did feel a little ashamed for a minute...I got over it.

Greek Yogurt with Sweet Berries and Vanilla Sugar Croutons
Adapted from: Giada De Laurentiis

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 8 strawberries, stems removed and quartered
  • the juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 loaf of ciabatta bread, cubed
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Chobani Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

The first thing we are going to do is make the vanilla sugar. This is something that you should know how to make and use on a regular basis! Vanilla sugar is *super* good and can be used in every day things like french toast, coffee etc.. This particular recipe makes a nice big batch of it so you can keep it on hand for future use. If you don't want to make quite as much, simply cut the amounts in half.

Cut your vanilla bean down the middle of the pod and scrape the seeds by sliding the blade of your paring knife down the inside of the vanilla bean. Combine 2 cups of sugar with the the vanilla in the food processor. Pulse until it is completely incorporated, about 30 seconds. Set aside 1 1/2 tablespoons of the vanilla sugar for the croutons. The remaining sugar can be stored in an air tight container, like a mason jar, for up to 3-4 months. Cut the empty vanilla pod into 1 inch pieces and store it in the jar with the sugar. Give the jar a shake before using to incorporate even more of the wonderful vanilla through your sugar.

Cut the ciabatta bread into cubes and place in a large bowl. Pour the melted butter over the bread and then use your hands to make sure all of the bread is coated. Sprinkle the bread with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the vanilla sugar and give it another toss to be sure it is on all the bread. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the bread out in a single layer on the pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow them to cool completely. I made mine a few hours ahead of time...they were sooooo good!!!!! I could eat these things all by themselves!

Now we can move on to the fruit. In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar with the orange juice and lemon juice over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved. Add the blueberries and strawberries and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes, or until the fruit has softened up. Allow te fruit to cool to room temperature before using.

I used my all time favorite yogurt, Chobani, as the base for this dessert. If you've never tried Greek yogurt, you MUST do it. It is full of protein and has such a thick, creamy and wonderful texture. The tang of Greek yogurt is so fantastic; there is just no comparison between Greek yogurt and regular yogurt.

Place the yogurt in the bottom of your bowl (use as much or as little as you like). Give it a nice spoonful of the berries and then top with the vanilla sugar croutons.

This was amazing! Tangy Greek yogurt, sweet berries, crunchy and sweet croutons. Yummy!!!


What is your favorite dessert? This one jumped right up to the top of my charts!


Erin said...

I would eat that for dinner any day!

Wilde in the Kitchen said...

Those croutons are such a neat idea. I think that is an appropriate dinner, it's got protein and produce!

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