It’s strawberry season! If you didn’t already hear the buzz about eating in-season fruits and veggies, we have the scoop. Not only do they taste better, but shopping for your produce seasonally can provide more vitamins and nutrients.

Kelly Homesley
Kelly Homesley

We joined Kelly Homesley, a registered dietitian at Novant Health Bariatric Solutions - Elizabeth, at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market to learn how to make the most of this season’s harvest. This sweet treat doesn’t take away from any of your fitness goals, and you can throw it together for tonight’s dessert in just 10 minutes.

Strawberry-chocolate Greek yogurt bark is a perfect summer treat for when you have a sweet craving but are trying to be mindful of your nutritional choices, Homesley said. First, we start with a layer of Greek yogurt. It is high in protein, which promotes increased satiety. Then you top it with strawberries which are full of a wide variety of nutrients as well as fiber, which creates that feeling of satiation, or fullness.

“When protein and fiber are combined at the same meal or snack, not only do you feel fuller off less calories and feel fuller longer, but they also work together to promote better blood glucose control,” Homesley said. “Lastly, sprinkle on some dark chocolate chips to get that sweet bite you are looking for.”

Finally Homesley noted, it's an awesome snack for people with diabetes. Incorporating fresh fruit into your daily snacks is a great way to help curb sweet cravings, she noted. "Since fruit is also high in fiber, it can help regulate your blood sugar better than consuming something like a piece of candy and it also makes you feel fuller longer so it’s easier to fight off cravings later."

And she said, when you take that one step further and mix the fruit with Greek yogurt which is high in protein, the benefits are even better. Both fiber and protein help to slow down the digestion of carbs and delay their absorption into the blood. This helps to prevent spikes in glucose levels after eating.


GettyImages-518338665

We’re here to help with weight

Struggling to lose weight? Want help with healthier eating? Or maybe you need a hand with Type 2 diabetes? Novant Health doctors and other specialized clinicians are ready to help.

  • CoreLife: CoreLife Novant Health offers you a way to get to a healthy weight and address medical conditions that keep you from living the life you want.
  • Bariatrics and weight-loss surgery: Click here to reach team members who will contact you to discuss your needs or schedule an appointment.
  • Registered dietitians help us make smart choices. Find one today.
  • Diabetes: Whether you are trying to prevent diabetes, learning how to live with it, Novant Health is here to help.
  • Primary care clinicians: Not sure where to start? Schedule an appointment to begin the journey.

Strawberry-chocolate Greek yogurt bark

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole-milk plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
To prepare

  1. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Stir yogurt, maple syrup (or honey) and vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread on the prepared baking sheet into a 10-by-15-inch rectangle. Scatter the strawberries on top and sprinkle with chocolate chips.
  3. Freeze until very firm, at least three hours. To serve, cut or break into 32 pieces. NOTE: When this recipe warms up to room temperature, it returns to a yogurt consistency. It’s best to keep in the freezer.
To make ahead

Freeze airtight between sheets of parchment for up to one month.


Yield: 32 servings. Per serving: 34 calories; 1 gram fat (1 gram saturated fat); 3 mg cholesterol; 8 mg sodium; 4 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams sugar; 2 grams protein.