It is state fair time all over the country, and “purple cows” will be spotted everywhere. A purple cow is any strange combination of foods (usually laden with sugar, fat, salt and sometimes chocolate or caffeine) that are attractive because of the unnatural combinations and effect they provide. The effect is called a bliss point, which is that good feeling that happens when dopamine levels are raised and neuropathways opened to make you remember the yummy taste and good feeling. Caution: Treat purple cows like narcotics; they can become addictive.

Examples of purple cows with high bliss points are the doughnut cheeseburger, fried Kool-Aid balls, treats dipped in batter, fried and rolled in chocolate and double cheeseburgers with bacon, honey and hot sauce. Examples of foods with high bliss points, but not necessarily considered purple cows, are chocolate doughnuts, energy drinks and French fries.

One way to enjoy food and lower bliss points is to notice the combination of sugars from carbohydrate foods, fat and salt and by deleting at least one of the components. Twice baked potatoes offer a great substitution example. Instead of making them with butter, sour cream, bacon and salt, you can substitute plain yogurt, fresh chives, onions, pepper, herbs and parsley to lower the bliss point.

Twice Baked Potatoes

Bake two potatoes until soft (in a 375-degree oven for about one hour). Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the center. Mix in blender potatoes, 1/4 cup plain, authentic Greek yogurt, 1/8 cup chives and 1/8 cup onion. Add pepper and herbs to taste. Fill potato skins with mixture and bake again for 10-15 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

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