Healthy Recipes

Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Kiwi and Lime

Kiwi, abundant during the winter months, is one of those fruits you'll want to eat daily once you discover how good it is for you. Ounce for ounce, it's higher in vitamin C than most other fruits, and it's an excellent source of potassium and fiber.

Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Kiwi and Lime
Pin it


2 cups low-fat cultured buttermilk
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
¼ cup water
1 cup 2 percent low-fat milk
1 tablespoon granulated stevia or 4 tablespoons sugar, plus more to taste
1 1-inch vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, or ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
6 kiwis
juice of 3 limes
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves, plus 6 small sprigs for garnish


  1. Remove the buttermilk from the refrigerator and bring to near room temperature. In a small bowl, cover the gelatin with the water and set aside to soften for at least 5 minutes.

  2. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat with the stevia or sugar and the vanilla bean (if using vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean, you'll add it later). Stir in the softened gelatin until it's dissolved. Remove from heat and let mixture cool for 15 minutes before proceeding.

  3. Whisk in the buttermilk (add the vanilla extract here, if using). Sweeten to taste, if needed, with more stevia or sugar. Remove the vanilla bean, squeezing out the seeds as you do so. Divide the liquid among 6 ramekins or custard cups and refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.

  4. Neatly peel the kiwi fruit with a paring knife; slice the fruit crosswise into thin rounds, then cut each round in half. Set them in a bowl, then add the lime juice, sugar, and chopped mint; stir gently.

  5. Remove the ramekins from the refrigerator. Set each in a bath of very hot water to loosen the edges of the custard mold. If they don't loosen, carefully run a table knife around the edges, then turn each mold over onto a serving plate. Arrange the half rounds of kiwi around the perimeter of each mold, like the petals of a flower. Dice any extra pieces and return them to the bowl, tossing them in the lime-sugar-mint mixture. Top each panna cotta with diced kiwi, and garnish with fresh mint sprigs.
Recipe Note: Be sure to use a properly ripened kiwi, which will feel slightly soft to the touch and taste more sweet than tart. If you get a hard one, let it ripen in a bowl outside the refrigerator with an apple or two nearby to help hasten the process. For a change of taste, you can substitute other winter fruits for the kiwi-lime combination offered here--think diced persimmons; pomegranate syrup and seeds; juicy sections of blood orange, tangerine, or red grapefruit; macerated cranberries; or star fruit, thinly sliced and simmered briefly in a simple syrup.

Nutritional facts: 

Per serving: 152 calories, 11% fat (2 g; 1 g saturated), 72% carbohydrate (29 g), 17% protein (6 g), 2 g fiber, 161 mg calcium, <1 mg iron, 112 mg sodium.

Read more Healthy Recipes.