Banana Pudding Trifle Recipe

Plus, healthy Best of Delaware winners and prehab, a physical therapy program designed to help the body recover more effectively from surgery.

Banana Pudding Trifle


GHD readers, you remember Gaby, right? She is doing great with her efforts to eat right, lose weight and be victorious in her bridal boot camp. Well who knew that angel food cake and vanilla wafer cookies could possibly part of her incredible success to date?

Every summer picnic needs a cool, delicious dessert and Gaby has shared her pick with this Banana Pudding Trifle. The catch here is to keep it real—use the ingredients listed and don’t buy processed foods as substitutes. As Gaby told me, this dessert is a great example of using real foods in moderation. Should you want to go even lower fat, use strawberries instead of bananas. But no matter what, after you make this, invite me over.

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Banana Pudding Trifle

Day-old angel food cake
1/2 box, crushed vanilla wafer cookies
4 medium bananas
1 quart skim milk
3 tbsp. stevia (for the pudding)
2 tbsp. stevia (for the whipped cream)
3.5 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 pint heavy whipping cream—very cold

Step 1. Make the pudding.  Make a slurry with 1 cup of the skim milk and the cornstarch. Put the rest of the skim milk along with 3 tbsp. of stevia in a saucepan over medium heat and add the slurry.  Stir constantly.  When it thickens a bit, add the vanilla and stir. When it starts to look like pudding, take it off the heat and put in the fridge to cool down. Stir occasionally so that a film doesn’t form.

Step 2. Whipped cream. Add the cream and 2 tbsp. of stevia to a bowl and whip until you see stiff peaks form. If you like, add a little bit of vanilla to the cream before whipping. Keep in the fridge until ready to assemble.

Step 3. Prep. Slice your bananas. Tear the angel food cake into tiny bits, and crush your vanilla wafers. Now, get all the ingredients out of the fridge and assemble. Your layers are: angel food cake, pudding, whipped cream, bananas, crushed cookies. In my trifle bowl, it took about three layers—and I did an extra layer of bananas on the very bottom so they could be seen through the glass.

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Refrigerate for a few hours before serving so that the pudding can soak into the angel food cake—and voila!

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It seems like every day there is a new health and wellness trend or term out there. When I first heard the term “prehab,” I almost didn’t believe it. It sounded like one of those Hollywood couple names bandied about like “Brangelina.” But prehab is, in fact, very real and a very important step for those considering surgery such as joint replacement or a more rigorous endurance exercise program.

In the case of those about to undergo surgery, prehab is a physical therapy program designed to help one achieve a certain level of strength and flexibility before the procedure so the body is stronger afterward and can recover more effectively. Before the surgery. Get it? Pre. In some cases, going through prehab may even eliminate the need for surgery.

I spoke with Dan McConnell, center manager of NovaCare Rehabilitation in North Wilmington about how decisions like this get made through prehab.

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“When an X-ray shows arthritis in a joint it is quickly ruled as the sole cause of the problem,” says McConnell. “There are many issues that can cause pain and it’s my job to figure out where the pain is coming from. A lot of times it is not the arthritis causing the issue and for these individuals, I can fix them. Just because you have arthritis and have pain it is not a guarantee you need a joint replacement.”

McConnell stressed that if surgery is required, the benefits of prehab only add to the benefits of the procedure.  For the patient, it can reduce stress by having met a therapist and set goals prior to the surgery, making recovery a smoother transition.

“One of the biggest determinates for post operation range of motion is pre-operation range of motion,” says McConnell. If I can increase a joint’s range of motion by 10 degrees, it makes it that much easier post-operation, to achieve their goal. It also allows me to get a sense of where the patient is at, prior to the surgery and gives me realistic expectations when I work with them after.”

For athletes in physical therapy, prehab helps guide them through the flexibility and strengthening exercises in order to reach their goals safely and injury-free. Many people think physical therapy requires injury to be treated when the truth is, the pre in prehab can keep you from ever needing rehab.

Whether you’re an athlete or a possible candidate for surgery, prehab is a very real program and way more accessible than Brangelina.

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Best of Delaware

Many of DT’s 2013 Best of Delaware winners offer healthy choices. For example, readers named Home Grown Café in Newark and Green Man Juice Bar & Bistro in Rehoboth Beach as serving the Best Healthy Fare in the state. Scour the rest of this year’s Best of winners to find more places that have healthy, organic offerings. (more)

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Health Events

Thursday, Aug. 22
Bayhealth’s Better Breathers Educational Lecture: “Medications and Chronic Lung Diseases.”
Location  Bayhealth Kent General’s General Foods Conference Room, Dover
Time  4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
More info.  Terry Towne, 744-6724, or Dawn Hartsock,

Tuesday, Aug. 27
Newark Natural Foods Co-Op Yoga Class for Health and Well-Being
Location  The Meadow at Newark Natural Foods Co-op, 280 E. Main St., Newark
Time  6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
More info.  email

To submit your health-related event, email

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

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