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Chocolate cherry yogurt pudding

This is good stuff. If you’re in the mood for a sweet snack or dessert but without the sugar, this is it. You can whip it up in a couple of minutes--no cooking needed, and it’s divine. Organic cherries are available at Kroger’s right now and not likely to be there long, so don’t miss out.

Chocolate cherry yogurt pudding
Pam Raikos

1 small (7 oz.) container Fage plain yogurt
1 T. cocoa powder (or to taste)
1/4 tsp. vanilla (I use organic)
Stevia to taste (a couple of pinches)
Fresh cherries, pitted and halved

Mix the yogurt, cocoa powder, vanilla, and stevia until completely combined and smooth. Stir in the cherries.
This is creamy and delectable, with the right amount of chocolate and the taste of juicy cherries. The Fage yogurt (don't use another kind) is without the usual tart taste most yogurts have. I find this dish amazingly satisfying.

What’s more, this is a healthy snack. Cocoa is loaded with antioxidants, the yogurt is a probiotic with live cultures, the stevia lowers blood pressure, and the cherries are anti-inflammatory.

I just eat this because it’s good, though.

If you want to make a cherry ice cream soda like Martha’s but without the sugar, you can substitute pitted, smashed cherries and their juice for the preserved cherries, sweetened with stevia or another natural sweetener like agave if you like. For the ice cream, make Chocolate-Cherry Ice Cream in the Vitamix, with or without the chocolate. This is a quick and easy way to make ice cream, and once you try it you probably won’t want to go back to the churning and the salt. Use the seltzer just like Martha does, and a spoonful of real whipped cream sweetened with stevia can be the "dollop" that tops your soda.


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