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Ambrosia with Vanilla Yogurt Creams

by Cheryl Forberg, RD on May 24, 2012

Traditionally served with sherry for dessert, this nutritious, teetotalers’ version of the classic ambrosia salad makes for a scrumptious, protein-packed breakfast or snack. The quality and freshness of the fruit will impact the taste of the entire dish, so be sure to use the best fruit you can find. Feel free to swap in your favorite fruits, if you prefer — fruits vary in size, but you want to aim for about 4 cups total.

Makes 6 (3/4-cup) servings

For the Yogurt Cream
1 1/2 cups fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 packet stevia or 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar

Fruit and Garnish
1 medium banana, diced
2 medium kiwifruit, peeled and diced
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup halved red grapes
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted (see note)
Fresh mint leaves (optional)

To make the yogurt cream: Combine the yogurt, vanilla extract, and sweetener in a small bowl. To assemble the fruit and garnish: Gently toss the banana, kiwi, strawberries, and grapes in a large bowl.

Divide among 6 parfait glasses or small bowls. Top with the yogurt cream. Sprinkle the nuts and coconut on top just before serving. Garnish with fresh mint, if desired.

Note: Coconut can be toasted in the oven or on the stove top. For oven toasting, spread the coconut in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 325°F for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes for even browning. For stove-top toasting, spread the coconut in a small skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring often, until the coconut is light golden brown.

Per serving: 140 calories, 6 g total fat (2 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 20 mg sodium, 16 g total carbohydrates (11 g sugars), 3 g fiber, 6 g protein