The American Recall Center invited me to participate in their “Who Keeps You Healthy” campaign by writing about my “Health Hero”, a person that serves as inspiration for me in my quest to live a healthy lifestyle. I have a few Health Heroes in my life but one that has really made an impression on me lately is my friend Sharon Hepburn.
Sharon is the owner of The Inner Connection, Inc. and for years she has been leading individuals on their path to healing through a variety of therapeutic means. Her dedication to her work in helping others on their health journey is impressive, but what is more remarkable is the physical transformation that Sharon has personally undergone in the past couple of years.
About two years back, Sharon was experiencing abdominal pain, and after a series of pokes and prods from medical professionals it was determined that she had pancreatitis. In order to minimize the pain, she would have to restrict sugar and alcohol. Also during this time, Sharon realized that gluten-laden foods were not playing nice with her either. So out went the gluten foods too.
Since that time, Sharon has managed to stay the course on this new way of eating. And the restraint she shows is impressive. A few of us got together this past weekend for our first of hopefully many “D&D” parties (D&D standing for Drinks and Dessert). Decadent treats adorned the table and adult beverages filled the fridge. Despite the temptation all around, Sharon remained un-tempted. Me? Well, that is another story.
The dessert I brought was an Elderflower Panna Cotta with Macerated Blackberries. For those not familiar with panna cotta, it is a creamy Italian dessert with a silky smooth mouthfeel. The last panna cotta I made was an Eggnog Panna Cotta with Maple Bourbon Sauce, better suited for the cool months. The addition of elderflower cordial and berries to this panna cotta is perfect for spring and summer. And since this dessert is gluten free and low in sugar, even my Health Hero could enjoy!
Question: Who is your Health Hero?
Elderflower Panna Cotta with Macerated Blackberries (recipe inspired from a buttermilk panna cotta in Cooking Light Sept '04)
- 1 packet unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup elderflower cordial (we used Ozark Forest elderflower cordial)
- 1 1/2 cups blackberries (we used frozen berries from Shirks Country Market, Centertown, MO)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- mint for garnish
- In a liquid measuring cup, sprinkle gelatin into 1/2 cup cold water and let stand for about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile in a small saucepan, whisk the sugar and half-and-half over low heat until sugar dissolves.
- Remove from heat; add in gelatin mixture, buttermilk, vanilla and elderflower cordial.
- Pour into ramekins or small glass serveware and chill until set.
- For the macerated blackberries: simply sprinkle sugar over blackberries and refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with fresh mint.