Key Points for Making and Sticking to Healthier Choices: Plus recipe for Clafouti

February 22, 2019

Healthy dessert recipe from Providence Health

Printable version here.

By Kay MacInnis, Registered Dietitian, Providence Health

It is always a good time to make an impact on our heart health. Think about these things when you are trying to make those healthy lifestyle choices.

  1. Think Smart - find ways to think smart about your choices. Once being healthy is your mindset, making healthy choices is much easier. This takes some thought and planning. If you to plan what you are eating? Shopping and eating. Find positive solutions, not the same old diet mentality, if it tastes good spit it out. That is where a good plan comes into play….quality vs quantity. 
  2. Eat well - Quality vs quantity! This really helps with portion and caloric intake. Try to avoid fad diets and make changes in your habits that you can sustain. Choosing a wide variety of foods allows the most opportunity to take in the most nutrients.
  3. Move More - Find ways to become more active and live an active lifestyle, even if you start small and grow your activity level. Everything matters and makes a difference.
  4. Maintain Momentum - Pay attention to how you good you feel let that feeling drive you to continue making healthy choices.

Cherries are a good source of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory benefits. They have been linked to helping with arthritis, lowering risk of gout, decreasing blood sugar and lowering risk of heart disease (may help decrease the LDD cholesterol or the “bad” cholesterol). There is research that indicates cherries may also help with memory and decreasing the risk of colon cancer. In other words, we should be consuming cherries regularly. One cup has about 21 calories and contains 15% of your daily Vitamin C needs.


  • Vegetable Spray
  • 1 lb. pitted fresh or frozen cherries
  • 2 tbsp. firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 c low-fat buttermilk
  • Egg substitute equivalent to 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp. almond liquor or fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/3 c all –purpose flour
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Lightly spray an 8-inch round cake pan with the vegetable spray. Place the cherries in the pan. Put the pan on a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a food processor process, the buttermilk, egg substitute, lemon zest, liquor, oil, and almond extract on medium for 3 seconds. Pour the batter over the cherries and top with brown sugar mixture. 

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown and a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Put the cake pan on a cooling rack. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

Nutrition Information: 155 calories, 2 grams fat, 1 mg cholesterol, 117 mg sodium, 29 gm carbohydrate, 4 gm protein

Recipe source: American Heart Association No-Fad Diet.

If you would like to speak to a primary care provider about your heart health numbers, call 1-800-424-DOCS or visit the “Find a Provider” tab at


This is another in a weekly series of healthy recipes from Kay MacInnis, registered dietitian at Providence Health in Columbia, S.C.

Kay promotes health and wellness, helping cardiac and diabetes patients eat their way to healthier lives. She works in consultation with the trained chefs at Providence, combining her nutrition knowledge with their food prep know-how to create delicious, healthy dishes for patients and the public. She also conducts a number of health and wellness events for the public, including the monthly Providence Cooks! classes.

"She doesn't just give you the fish, she teaches you how to cook it."

 – A Kay MacInnis fan and Providence Cooks! regular.