Calcium, Vitamin D and Panne Cotta: All Important to Good Health

9 Aug

Vitamin D the Sunshine Vitamin

Ever since we were young, our moms told us to drink our milk. So we drank it. As we got older, we learned that we needed even more calcium, up to 1200 mg of calcium for those of us over 50. But nature plays a cruel trick on us because as we age, we become more lactose intolerant making it difficult to accomplish the goal of 1200 mg of calcium a day. It isn’t fair!

Fortunately, there are other ways to get that calcium beside drinking milk.

Plus, we also need to be concerned about our body absorbing the calcium. Certain medications and foods make our bodies expel calcium. How do we know what foods help our bodies to absorb calcium? And, what about Vitamin D? How do we get this essential vitamin? I answer these questions and more in this article link.

Did you hear what Marcella said? Why no! Tell me, what did she say?

Panne Cotta – a delicious way to get more calcium

Here is an Italian recipe called Panne Cotta. It means “cooked cream.” I got the recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, “Great Taste – Low Fat Italian Cooking.” Their version is a lowfat version so they don’t use cream. They called their recipe, “Latte Cotta” which means “cooked milk.”  Sprinkled on the top of the dessert is crushed amaretti cookies. I did one better. Why use sweet cookies that contain sugar and are added useless calories? Instead I crushed walnuts as a topping which contains omega-3, an important necessary nutrient and tastes delicious in this dessert.

Then, on top of the nuts I thinly sliced bananas, which are high in potassium – good for your heart. I substituted milk too with powdered milk. Yes, powdered milk. It’s just as good if not better than regular bottled milk. Why is it better? It’s better because you can add an extra tablespoon of the powered milk and not notice the difference. This is one trick to help you get more calcium.

But nutrition aside, this is a dessert to die for! I wasn’t expecting it to taste so good. It’s excellent if I do say so myself and I’m pretty critical of my own cooking. It’s good enough for company. It looks like pudding but has the consistency of a gelatin (Jello) dessert. When you pile the thinly sliced bananas on top, they look like whipped cream topping as you can see from the photo. I highly recommend this dessert.

CHOCOLATE PANNE COTTA

Ingredients

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

2 ¼ cups low-fat (1%) milk (or, use my suggestion: powdered milk. Follow instructions on the box.)

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¾ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup boiling water

½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (I used light brown)

1/8 teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

chopped walnuts for sprinkling

bananas for slicing

In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over ¼ cup of the milk and let stand until softened, about 3 minutes. In another small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and cinnamon. Gradually add the boiling water to the cocoa mixture, whisking until smooth and no lumps remain. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 2 cups milk, the brown sugar, and salt. Whisk in the cocoa mixture until well combined. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, whisk in the gelatin mixture, and remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla.

Divide the mixture among four 6-ounce dessert dishes. (I used large wine glasses.) Chill until set, about 2 hours. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Slice bananas on top when ready to serve.

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6 Responses to “Calcium, Vitamin D and Panne Cotta: All Important to Good Health”

  1. kiwidutch August 25, 2012 at 5:30 am #

    Yum! I’ve made panne cotta quite a few times but never realised it could be made chocolate flavoured (ouch that knowledge is now dangerous LOL).
    Thanks for the recipe :)

    Like

    • Marcella Rousseau August 25, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

      LOL. But you don’t have to worry so much as this is the low fat version. Plus, with the nuts and the fruit, it’s good for you. Actually, now that I think of it, I just bought a new box of cocoa and I have one banana left so I can make it today! Thanks for the reminder!

      Like

    • Marcella Rousseau August 30, 2012 at 8:39 pm #

      I made it again yesterday because I was craving chocolate. I have to remember to buy dark brown sugar. I’ve been using light brown. I forgot to buy it today. They still taste good though! I hope you enjoy it.

      Like

  2. claudiagiulia August 12, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    This is such a foolproof dessert and makes such an entrance if you have a dinner party. One of the few truly Italian desserts

    Like

  3. silverbells2012 August 10, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    The panne cotta does indeed look to die for!

    Like

  4. Marcella Rousseau September 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    It looks good, it tastes good, and it’s good for you. That’s a combination that is hard to beat! Thank you for your comment.

    Like

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