A Banana And Berry Pie, Oh My!

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - June 08, 2005
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Wahiawa resident Bryan Pettit has lived in Hawaii since 1978, and is the manager of American Leak Detection for the state of Hawaii. Bryan loves the ocean, and surfing and fishing are his passions. He also likes Cajun food and cooks quite frequently.

Bryan’s wife, Marlene, is an artist who paints, makes jewelry and works with beach glass. They are proud of their three daughters: Bryana age 13 is in the eighth grade at Wahiawa Middle School and is an avid skateboarder; Noelani, 19, is in the Air Force, and Lea, 21, is a University of Hawaii student majoring in journalism. This column is dedicated to the Pettit family.

Yogurt is a fermented dairy product produced by adding lactic bacteria to milk. It is thought to have originated in Bulgaria, where it is eaten on a regular basis and an unusually high number of people live to be over 100 years old. Yogurt is a traditional food in several parts of the world, including Greece, Turkey, India and Mongolia.

Yogurt is made with milk by adding fermenting agents that transform part of the main sugar in milk (lactose), into lactic acid. The milk coagulates once a sufficient amount of lactic acid has been produced. Once the yogurt has fermented for the needed amount of time, it is chilled to stop the bacteria from fermenting it any further. Commercially prepared yogurt is firmer and less likely to secrete whey, (a yellowish liquid that often is seen on the top of natural yogurt).

Some of the yogurt varieties include firm yogurt, stirred yogurt, frozen yogurt and yogurt drinks.

Yogurt is an excellent source of protein, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamins A and B. The nutritional value of commercially prepared yogurt varies greatly in terms of fat, carbohydrate and calorie content.

Yogurt is credited with various medicinal properties. It is said to promote longevity when consumed on a regular basis (still unproven scientifically), and benefit the digestive system. It may also be a cancer preventative and may alleviate insomnia when consumed just before bedtime. Yogurt is more digestible than milk, as it dissolves in the stomach faster and contains bacteria that make lactose easier to digest.

This pie is a wonderful cool summer dessert, and a good way to get the keiki to eat fruit!

BANANA BERRY MELT IN YOUR MOUTH PIE

• 1 8-ounce container lowfat mixed berry yogurt

• 1 8-ounce container lowfat strawberry yogurt

• 1 (12-ounce) container frozen nonfat whipped topping, thawed slightly

• 1 large ripe banana, cut into slices and then cut slices in half

• 1 cup strawberries cut into small bite-sized pieces, mixed with 2 teaspoons granulated sugar

• 1 (9-inch) reduced-fat ready-made graham cracker crust

mini chocolate chips, for garnish

Mix yogurts together until blended and then fold in 3 cups of whipped topping until blended. Mix strawberries and bananas together and then gently add to yogurt topping mixture until incorporated. Freeze overnight so that the pie is firm.

When ready to eat, spoon the rest of the dessert topping on pie and sprinkle with mini chips.

Store the remainder of pie in freezer.

Makes eight servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories: 300
Fat: 7 grams
Cholesterol: 1 milligram
Sodium: 200 milligrams

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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