Healthy Dessert Recipe | Broiled Grapefruit with Feta & Balsamic Syrup

Fruit for dessert or a sweet side dish, nom-nom-nom! I’ve been on a poached pear kick and before that it was figs. This summer my fruit fetish was focused on the fuzzy, ripe peach. The nearby (Fredericksburg, Tx) peach orchards are famous and I actually still have a huge haul of peaches that I prepared for the freezer. I pull out a few of those peaches when I need a little taste of sunshine summer in the middle of winter.

grapefruit, orange, lime basket

Some of the ingredients for my favorite citrus salad!

Citrus is another favorite fruit of mine and its peak season is winter! Oranges, tangerines, grapefruits and more – I had all of these citrus fruits in my backyard growing up. I wish I would have taken better advantage of the bounty!  A mixed citrus salad is one of my favorite sweet side dishes; I could eat it every day. Check out the healthy dessert recipe I recently whipped up. It may sound like a strange combination of ingredients but, trust me, it’s insanely good – Broiled Grapefruit with Feta & Balsamic Reduction .

blue cheese & balsamic syrup grapefruit

Broiled Grapefruit with Feta & Balsamic Reduction Recipe

  • 2 large Ruby Red grapefruit
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic reduction (store bought or homemade)


  1. Preheat broiler on high.
  2. Slice grapefruit in half crosswise. To prevent wobbling in the pan, slice a small amount of peel off the bottom of each half, taking care not to cut up into the flesh.
  3. Use a paring knife to cut around segment edges for easier eating when done.
  4. Sprinkle tops of grapefruit with even mixtures of the salt, pepper, brown sugar and feta cheese.
  5. Place 4-inches under broiler; broil for approximately 3 – 5 minutes until tops are beginning to caramelize and feta is slightly melting.
  6. Remove from broiler and drizzle with balsamic reduction.

Serves 4.

broiled grapefruit caloriesI ran the nutrition on this healthy dessert recipe – I’ll think you’ll love that it only has 43 calories per servings (!) and is packed with nutrients.

There are many other reasons to sing the praises of citrus. I know that the abundant vitamin C and other nutrients in citrus fruits are beneficial to my well-being. Vitamin C has been shown to offer protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.


There’s not much that sours my mood more than buying fruit that isn’t ripe. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to pick out ripe citrus fruit. Look for fruit that are firm and heavy for their size, with bright, colorful skin. You can store citrus at room temperature for several days; beyond this, keep in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.  Throw a few oranges or tangerines in your gym bag, they don’t need to be chilled, come in their own wrappers and will give you energy before or after your workout.

fitmark ambassador jennifer fisher dashing bag citrus

Go eat your citrus, people!

Seasonal Sweets | Healthy Egg Nog Pudding Recipe

Fa-la-la-la-la, la lick my lips! I may skipping a tad ahead on the calendar but I want to give you plenty of time to enjoy this healthy treat while cartons of egg nog are decking the market shelves. Most egg nogs have tons of sugar, fat and calories (up to 19g fat and 400 calories per cup), not to mention a few fingers of brandy or bourbon – not that there’s anything wrong with that! But, my lightened dessert version of this iconic holiday drink is made with fat-free Greek yogurt and light egg nog. With just 190 calories and 2g of fat per serving, you don’t have to feel guilty about digging into this seasonal sweet treat. Oh, and this recipe for Healthy Egg Nog Pudding also has 15g protein per serving, so it’s a pudding that pumps you up!

jennifer fisher thefitfork healthy egg nog pudding text

Healthy Egg Nog Pudding Recipe

  • 12 ounces 0% fat unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 16 ounces light egg nog (made with skim milk)
  • ¼ cup sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 packets Stevia (or sweetener of choice)
  • Optional toppings: light whip cream, caramel sauce drizzle, additional cinnamon

Place all ingredients (except toppings) in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes until set. Top with whipped cream, caramel and cinnamon if desired.

Serves 4

 Nutritional information per 7 ounce serving (exclusive of toppings): calories 190, fat 2g (1g saturated), cholesterol 40mg, carbohydrate 30g, protein 15g


This week, I also did a guest post for Core Power and made a similar seasonal recipe (and so very different) using their Core Power High Protein Shake, pumpkin puree and Greek Yogurt. Head on over to check out this recipe for Core Power Pumpkin Mousse.

thefitfork corepower pumpkin mousse text

And, if you’re not interested in this healthy, high-protein recipe, you may want to visit just to find out what in the heck I’m doing with this pumpkin . . . and why.

pumpkin chest squat


Whey Tasty! White Chocolate Protein Ice Cream Sandwiches

jennifer fisher - - white chocolate protein ice cream sandwichThe harbinger of summer in my neighborhood is the melody of the ice cream truck pulling onto the street. I’ve been hearing this seductive siren song a lot this week; in fact, I think the driver is getting a little aggressive peddling his pops every day after school lets out. Bomb pops, fudgsicles, and nutty buddies, oh my!  The traditional ice cream sandwich is my favorite. You know of what I speak – creamy vanilla ice cream between two chocolate wafers.

While a traditional ice cream sandwich may taste super yummy, it doesn’t really do much for my daily nutrition needs. For example, a Good Humor sandwich marketed as “lite” has 140 calories, 26g carbs, just 2g protein and tons of artificial preservatives. That’s a lot of carbs at the expense of protein, and don’t even get me started on all the ingredients I can’t even pronounce. Based on my refueling needs for running and working out, I aim to get around 18-25 grams of protein 5 times per day – so protein is just as important in my snacks as it is in my main meals. The nutrition information on the back of my Good Humor ice cream sandwich is putting me in a bad mood.

After hearing the ice cream truck roll by and about to cave in, I had a light bolt moment! I knew I could kick up this idea of a frozen confection with some quality protein powder and tweak the rest of the recipe to be healthier too. With a quick turn on my heels, I headed to the pantry for my canister of Designer Whey 100% Premium Protein Powder, a great-tasting product that delivers 18 grams of protein per 100-calorie serving (the optimal amount of protein to take in at one sitting) and uses only natural flavorings and sweeteners. And, it’s also a good source for calcium, vitamin D, and B-vitamins. I’m definitely going to use this protein powder in my new ice cream sandwich recipe!

White Chocolate is just one of the many decadent Designer Whey flavors!

White Chocolate is just one of the many decadent Designer Whey flavors!

The chocolate wafer cookies in my White Chocolate Protein Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe are made with coconut flour, coconut sugar and coconut oil making them gluten-free. And, they are also Paleo-friendly – that is until you add in the ice cream (but hey, this ice  cream is still really healthy as far as ice cream goes). Because whey is derived from dairy products, it doesn’t make the cut with a 100-percent paleolithic philosophy. However, strict caveman eaters can swap out with a coconut milk whip or frozen banana mash instead – just not as much protein.


 White Chocolate Protein Ice Cream Sandwich Recipe

Cookie Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk

 Ice Cream Ingredients:

In a medium bowl, add coconut flour, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl whisk together the melted coconut oil, eggs, and milk. Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until it forms a thick dough. Dough will be fairly crumbly at the beginning; use your hands to form it into one big ball.

On a clean work surface, roll out the dough to approximate ¼” thickness. Using a round 2 ½” diameter cookie cutter, cut out circles. Reroll dough scraps as necessary and continue cutting circles until all dough used. Dough should create enough for 16 cookies. Bake cookies on a lined baking tray at 350 for 10 minutes. Remove to wire rack to let cool completely.

Meanwhile, combine almond milk, Stevia and protein powder in a bowl and whisk until protein powder is completely incorporated and all lumps are gone. Pour into electric ice cream maker and prepare according to manufacturer’s instruction (my Cuisinart takes about 20 minutes).  If ice cream still seems a little soft, transfer to a storage container and let harden in the freezer for a couple hours.

To prepare ice cream sandwiches, scoop approximately 1/2 cup of ice cream and set on top of chocolate cookie. Set another cookie on top and gently press down; repeat with the remaining cookies and ice cream.  Eat quickly or return to the freezer to enjoy later.

Serves 8.

Nutrition Information (per serving) 188 calories, 15g protein, 26g total carbs (9g sugars), 148mg sodium, 11g total fat (8 saturated fat)

By the way, Designer Whey also makes other great products for sports nutrition including ready-made shakes, protein bars and Protein 2GO® .I whole-heartedly agree that whey protein is a real winner for post-workout recovery and nutrition. I’ve been stashing the packets of the lemonade flavor in my gym bag. With 50 calories and 10 grams of muscle-making protein, it’s been my little boost after running intervals and before my strength-training.


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Sweet Rewards – Chocolate Date “Candy Bar” Bites (Recipe)

jennifer fisher - - chocolate date candy barsMy major food weakness is that I have a sweet tooth, especially for anything chocolate. I can’t pass a bowl of M&Ms without stuffing my mouth (and pockets) and know through extensive experimentation that truly “there is no wrong way to eat a Reese’s.” When I thought it would be a sneaky idea to hide chocolate chips from myself in the freezer, I realized the next morning they taste better frozen! There is no keeping me from chocolate. Period.

While I am focused on eating healthy most of the time, I’m definitely not a food denier. What’s the point in living? However, since chocolate, in some form or fashion, will probably continue to be part of my (daily) life for the next 50 years, I decided to search around for some healthier options that I could indulge in every so often. I love me a batch of these Chocolate Date “Candy Bar” Bites; a recipe based on a friend’s treat and tweaked to my tastes. These fudgy bites are packed with no-guilt, wholesome ingredients and are raw, gluten-free, vegan and Paleo-friendly, if that matters to you. They also taste completely dreamy and make a great workout reward — and that matters to me!

chocolate date candy bar bites ingredient

Chocolate Date “Candy Bar” Bites Recipe

  • 1 1/3 cups pitted medjool dates
  • ¼ cup organic cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 6 ounces Enjoy Life® Semi-sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks, chopped (reserve 2 tablespoons for sprinkling on tops) *

Place pitted dates, cocoa, melted coconut oil, vanilla and water into work bowl of food processor; pulse until well combined. Add almond flour and chocolate chips; continue to pulse until mixture creates a cohesive ball.

Roll dough into three ropes approximately 12” long. Press remaining chopped chocolate chips into the top of rolls. Cut each roll into 8 pieces.

Serves 24

*Note you can use whatever brand of chocolate chip you like, but if you are trying to keep a vegan diet or a dairy, gluten, and/or soy-free diet, please read the manufacturer’s ingredient label.

date fudge nutrition

Figs, Not Just for the Birds! Fresh Figs with Balsamic Fig Jam Recipe

jennifer fisher - - fresh figs with balsamic fig jam

Years ago, I remember taking care of my Aunt’s house in Houston while they were away on vacation. “You’re welcome to pick the figs as they ripen, but you’ll have to hurry to beat the greedy birds,” she said before leaving.  Having never eaten homegrown figs (a Fig Newton was about the closest I had come), I wasn’t too excited about the invitation to develop my latent “gatherer” gene. But, a few days later when out watering the plants, I saw the fig tree bursting with fruit just crying to be picked.  I sampled a fig straight off the branch and, oh my goodness, I jogged back to the house to get a basket for the harvest. Apparently, my jog should have been a mad dash, because when I returned, a flock of birds had swarmed the tree and were gorging on the spoils.

From that day forward, I have had a new appreciation (make that obsession) with this delicate, delicious fruit. I’m only sad that I don’t have my Aunt’s green thumb nor live near the Gulf Coast where they seem to grow so happily. Summer is really the season for figs, but I am ready now. You can purchase figs in grocery markets with fancier produce departments nearly anytime of the year, although they aren’t as good as homegrown. Common varieties you’ll find in the supermarket are Turkish figs, Mission figs and Calimyrna figs.

My Fresh Figs with Balsamic Fig Preserves recipe makes a uniquely nutritious and utterly delicious dessert that doesn’t wreck a day of clean eating with lots of sugar, fat and bad gunk. Did you know figs offer the most calcium of any fruit?  I was excited to find out that just three figs provide 25-percent of the daily recommended allowance for fiber. The great thing about fruit fiber, besides being filling, is that studies have shown that it can reduce the risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women.  A source of many essential vitamins and minerals, figs are especially rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K and B vitamins. Also, when choosing your figs, the ripest fruits yield the most antioxidant health benefits.

Fresh Figs with Balsamic Fig Jam Recipe

  • 2 cups quartered fresh figs (stems removed)
  • 1 cup all-natural honey
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • 2 dozen fresh figs (halved into 48 pieces)

To make jam, add the quartered figs, honey and water to a large pot. Simmer over low heat until the figs break down and the liquid is reduced by one third. Remove from burner and let mixture cool for 30 minutes. Puree fig mixture in food processor, add balsamic and season with the sea salt to suit your personal taste.

Gently wash and dry remaining 2 dozen figs and then slice in half lengthwise for a total of 48 pieces.

Serve jam with fresh figs as a dessert or over a salad of baby greens. Leftover jam will keep in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.

Serves 8 (6 fig halves per serving)