The stuffed berries hold up best if eaten the same day they’re made, so prepare just a few hours before serving. Emerging research indicates that the antioxidants (flavonoids) in chocolate may have some positive effects in the body. These strawberries, perfect for Valentine’s Day, keep the fat content down by using reduced-fat cream cheese and include only a small amount of sugar.
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa (NOT Dutch process or alkalized)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Place cream cheese in a large bowl, and set aside to soften.
Rinse strawberries in cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Cut off the green tops and stand upright on a tray, cut side down. Make a cut three-quarters of the way down from the tip of the strawberry toward the bottom. Turn the strawberry and make another vertical cut so the strawberry has four sections.
In a medium bowl, sift together powdered sugar and cocoa; set aside.
Beat the softened cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add vanilla and mix thoroughly. Mixing well after each addition, gradually add the powdered sugar-cocoa mixture in small amounts until filling is well-blended.
Place filling into a piping bag with a star tip. If not available, place filling in a small, plastic zipper bag, and cut off a small tip of the corner. Pipe filling into each strawberry and arrange on a decorative tray or dish. Refrigerate until serving.
Makes: 24 berries
Per serving stuffed berry: 45 calories, 2 g fat, 6 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, <1 g protein, 37 mg sodium
Adapted from Richmond Times-Dispatch
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