You Heart What You Eat: Berry, Berry Quite Contrary |

You Heart What You Eat: Berry, Berry Quite Contrary

Made with simple

— Ok, I’m a bit of a thief in the department of recipes – as in, I fall in love with a dish prepared by someone else and then after I politely request the recipe to either twist it to make it healthier or if it’s already reasonably healthy, make it for my friends and leave out the details as to where the inspiration or recipe originated. In this case, however, I’m going to pass the entire credit to Amy, my mother-in-law, who introduced me to Berry Gazpacho, my all time favorite dessert.

Now, before I give you the ridiculously easy recipe, let me share my initial reaction when Amy told me she was serving this dessert for the first time. “Tera, I’m making this Berry Gazpacho and it sounds exquisite! It has olive oil and black pepper and basil over some crushed berries with a bit of ice cream,” said my always optimistic mother-in-law who wouldn’t dare make a traditional recipe of anything – she’s adventurous that way and has helped nudge me out of my comfort zone on more than one occasion. “Oh, that sounds interesting,” I said aloud with the thought of the word “gross” in place of “interesting” going through my mind at the exact same time.

Nonetheless, my mother taught me to always try a single bite of something someone else has prepared to be polite and appreciative of their hard work, regardless whether I liked it or not. Well, in this case, thanks Mom. After that first bite of heaven, I can be certain eating this dessert would be my “last supper” wish-dish list; and that should say something for a self-confessed chocoholic!

What makes this dessert so healthy is obviously the fresh berries and very small amount of sugar, however my only twist is replacing the sugar with raw (preferably local) honey and exchanging the vanilla ice cream with either frozen yogurt, whipped cream or if you’re daring, the Lifeway Frozen Kefir Original (tart and tangy flavor). But in truth, you could hold true to the original recipe and it’d still be pretty healthy in comparison to some of the other decadent desserts out there.

Mixed Berry Gazpacho 

3 cups mixed berries (if using strawberries, cut into 1⁄2” pieces)

2 tbs. sugar (or 1 tbs. honey)

1 tbs. orange juice

1 tsp. grated lemon zest

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. lime juice

1 spring basil, torn into pieces, plus small leaves for garnish

Extra-virgin olive oil (for drizzling)

Freshly ground black pepper

Vanilla Ice Cream, frozen yogurt or Frozen Kefir

Combine first 6 ingredients and torn basil in a medium heatproof bowl; toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Place over a large saucepan of simmering water; cook for 10 minutes.

Let cool for 15 minutes. Chill until cold, about 4 hours. Divide fruit and juices among bowls, drizzle with oil, garnish with basil leaves and pepper and top with a small scoop of your frozen choice. Enjoy!

You Heart What You Eat is a weekly blog offering a twist of healthy alternative tips and recipes for some of our most coveted comfort foods. From decadent desserts to main dish favorites, you’ll surely look forward to our next edition. Questions or suggestions you’d like included in one of our future blogs should be directed to Tera Johnson-Swartz via email at

Tera Johnson-Swartz is a mommy first, but also enjoys working one of her many, many side gigs whether it be freelance writing, music, massage therapy, independent childbirth, lactation or health educating. She is eternally grateful she is able to follow her passion each and every day and loves her supporting husband and their two young children  and couldn’t imagine living a better life outside the city limits of Steamboat Springs.

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