The official blog of the Lung Institute.
It’s a hot summer day, and the sun is beaming down. What could be better than sharing ice cream or a Popsicle with your grandchildren? Or staying inside and baking some cookies, and possibly munching on some candy?
We often say that we are going to try to eat healthier by cutting out all sweets, but we are surrounded by unhealthy foods. Family gatherings and holidays do not make it any easier. The truth is eliminating sweets from your diet will just make you want them more. Alternatives like learning how to consume sweets in moderation and finding healthier substitutes that taste just as great, can help anyone still have desserts on a lung disease diet.
Staying Healthy with COPD
Some people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) struggle with gaining additional weight due to limited mobility and decreased exercise. Staying aware of your weight with a condition like COPD is vital, because extra weight makes it harder for lungs to expand and fill with air. Substituting healthier versions of sweets can really make a difference, and they can still taste just as good if not better!
Greek Yogurt Fudge Bar
Instead of devouring a processed fudge bar, you can make one from Greek yogurt that far more healthy. This fudge bar is extremely simple and only requires four ingredients.
- 1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup of chocolate almond milk, cow’s milk or non-dairy milk of your choice
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups of vanilla Greek yogurt
- Over medium-low heat, melt chocolate chips in a small saucepan until completely melted. Be sure to stir constantly.
- Pour in the milk and increase to medium heat. Let the mixture rise to gentle simmer, while stirring constantly, then remove from stovetop.
- Allow mixture to cool for five minutes.
- Mix in vanilla and Greek yogurt until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Lay a fine-mesh sieve over a large container; pour the smooth chocolate mixture through the mesh sieve.
- Pour the strained chocolate liquid into your molds.
- Allow chocolate-filled molds to freeze for an hour. Be sure to watch the time!
- Remove Popsicle molds from the freeze and insert Popsicle sticks.
- Freeze for approximately five hours or until hard.
Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies
Another option is making healthier chocolate chip cookies. These cookies are flourless, thus making them easier to digest.
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 4 tablespoons of dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/2 cup of coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups of oat flour (regular oats blended)
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips
- Optional: coarse sea salt
- Using a blender or food processor, pulverize regular oats until they are a powder-like consistency.
- Mix vanilla extract, brown sugar and egg in large mixing bowl.
- Melt coconut oil, allow to slightly cool and add to mixing bowl.
- Beat all mixing bowl ingredients until thoroughly combined.
- Measure 1.5 cups of oat flour after the blending process and pour into mixing bowl.
- Stir in baking soda, cinnamon (to taste) and salt.
- Fold in the chocolate chips and allow dough to chill for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and scoop out balls of tightly packed dough.
- Press additional chocolate chips into the top of the cookie balls.
- Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Allow cookies to cool for at least two minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.
- Serve with milk!
Greek Yogurt Almond Dip
Looking for a healthier dessert dip? Try this almond butter dip. This is a good substitute for a fattening dessert dip like caramel, and it only takes about a minute to make. Try serving this dip with apples and bananas.
1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp. of almond butter (peanut butter)
Dash of cinnamon
1 tbsp. of honey
- Mix all in a bowl and serve!
Banana Ice Cream
The last recipe is a fantastic substitute for ice cream. It is made out of pure bananas and is completely fat free. This banana ice cream is extremely flexible too. Feel free to add peanut butter, other fruits or chocolate to create different flavors.
- Peel four to five ripe bananas and place in a freezer bag to freeze until completely solid.
- Chop frozen bananas into ½ inch slices and add to a food processor or blender.
- Blend bananas for approximately 45-60 seconds until desired texture. Be sure to watch the ice cream as over-blending can cause the mixture to melt.
It can be hard to control your weight when dealing with a debilitating disease. These four recipes are excellent ways to help avoid eating the fatty foods that we crave. If you or a loved one is suffering from COPD, the Lung Institute may be able to help. Contact us by calling (800) 729-3065 for more information.