By Carol Berg Sloan
Well, the summer has flown by, but end-of-season produce is still available. So run, don‘t walk (for exercise purposes) to the produce section or local farmers market to grab a bagful of corn, tomatoes, peaches and green beans.
Corn provides complex carbohydrates and is delicious and satisfying. A serving is 1/2 cup or small ear of corn, which has about 90 calories and provides folate and thiamin. Fresh ears of corn can be boiled or thrown on the grill in the husk.
One tomato (about the size of a tennis ball) only has 35 calories and is full of vitamin C, vitaimin A and lycopene, which is a very powerful antioxidant that can decrease the risk of certain cancers. Canned tomato products such as sauce, diced tomatoes and juice contain more lycopene due to greater concentration. Pick up deep-red (not pink) tomatoes, slice, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic and basil for an appetizer or small salad.
Peaches contain 60 calories each and can satisfy a sweet tooth quickly. They are full of vitamins such as E, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin and minerals like potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium. I always choose fragrant, firm peaches.
Surprisingly, California is the second largest producer of green beans, and they are one of my favorite summer vegetables. When I was growing up, my mom always bought, and in fact still buys, only fresh green beans and carefully cuts off each end, then cuts them into exact 2-inch pieces. I am lazy, so while I cut off the ends, I skip the extra cutting and blanch whole beans and serve after dressing in olive oil and garlic, hot or cold. At only 35 calories per cup and high in fiber, they are a healthy side dish or novel salad.
If you can’t go camping before summer ends, enjoy the S’more Trifle. If you eat all your fruits and vegetables, you can afford the few extra calories. It’s delicious!
“S’more, Please” Trifle
• 1 package (18-1/4 ounces) chocolate cake mix
• 1 can (12 ounces) diet lemon-lime soda
• 2-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons fat-free milk, divided
• 2 packages (1.4 ounces each) sugar-free instant chocolate pudding mix
• 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
• 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
• 10 whole reduced-fat graham crackers, divided
• 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme or 20 large marshmallows
• Grated chocolate, optional
In a large bowl, combine cake mix and soda. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then beat on medium for 2 minutes. Pour into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk 2-1/2 cups milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Fold in whipped topping; set aside. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and remaining milk; stir until smooth. Coarsely crush five crackers; set aside. Cut cake into 1-in. cubes. In a 3-qt. trifle bowl or glass bowl, layer half of the cake cubes, pudding, crushed crackers, chocolate mixture and marshmallow creme.