It's summertime, and the living is easy--unless you're training for a race! After miles of running in the sweltering sun, you'll want to reward yourself with a refreshing treat. This applesauce granita recipe is a perfect post-run snack that will cool you down without weighing you down.
THE CREATOR: Heather Whittaker, a recreational runner from Tampa, Fla., admits she "never understood how people were able to run races or even (gasp!) marathons." To lose weight and improve her fitness, Whittaker, 29, began integrating running into her exercise regimen with the help of her two Italian greyhounds, Coal and Frodo. Although the first couple weeks were tough, her body eventually adapted to the increased mileage.
The success of running her first mile quickly turned into the success of running her first 5k. "What I marvel at most about running is how much the process and results motivate you to keep challenging yourself," she says. Whittaker completed her first half marathon, the Disney Princess Half Marathon, in March 2009. Inspired by this accomplishment, she decided to sign up for her first marathon, the Gasparilla Distance Classic, in Tampa, Fla. "I was able to do it without slowing to a walk, which was my only goal," she says. "It's still hard to wrap my mind around the fact that I actually ran for 26.2 miles!"
Currently, Whittaker is training for triathlons and has completed a few sprint distances. The St. Anthony's Triathlon in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Walt Disney World Goofy's Race and Half Challenge are on the horizon. "I may never be an elite athlete," she explains, "but what I have accomplished with running so far and the confidence it has given me is nothing short of extraordinary." Whittaker recommends this applesauce granita as a special treat on hot summer days. "The granita is so easy to make, refreshing and light, "she says. "And because it's low in calories, but still satisfying, it makes a great dessert."
THE NUTRITIONIST'S TAKE: According to Matthew Kadey, RD, it's a perfect summer dessert: refreshing and low in calories and fat.
Applesauce Granita with Maple Yogurt
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup fat-free yogurt (either vanilla or plain, I like to use Dannon Light & Fit)
1 tbsp. quality maple syrup
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
In a shallow 8-inch-square pan, stir the applesauce and lemon juice together. Spread mixture evenly in the pan. Place the pan in the freezer for at least one hour. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, maple syrup and cinnamon. Chill the sauce until ready to serve. When ready, remove the granita from freezer. With a fork, scrape the surface to gently fluff up the mixture. Place in chilled glasses and drizzle with the yogurt sauce. Serve immediately. Makes four servings.
Nutritional info per serving:
93 calories, 1 g fat, 22 g carbohydrate (2 g fiber, 19 g sugar), 2 g protein, 23 mg sodium