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Greek yogurt is all the rage because of its high protein content and versatility. It can be eaten like traditional yogurt (sweetened with fruit or honey, if you like), whirled into smoothies or used in place of sour cream in recipes. It's become so popular and has such a good reputation as being "healthy," that it's even showing up outside of the yogurt tub. You'll find the buzz words "Greek yogurt" outside of the dairy case these days in some unusual places like coating packaged granola bars, inside cereal boxes, mixed with store-bought hummus and even in frozen desserts.
We decided to take a look at this trend and see whether frozen Greek yogurt desserts offer any health benefits when compared to regular frozen yogurt. Plus, we wanted to answer the most important question of all: How does it taste?!
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My love of donuts started on my sixth birthday, when my parents bought me donuts instead of a birthday cake. Ten years later my parents led my family through a pretty amazing lifestyle change that included diet and exercise. I’ll never forget walking into a well-known donut chain where you could watch them come off the line. My Mom and I asked for one without icing. They were shocked at the request, not able to comprehend. After convincing them we were serious about the no icing request, we asked for three. They delivered three dozen to the register.
Apparently, customers order them by the dozen there. This got me thinking how to enjoy the warm soft sweetness of donuts without the fat, calories and sugar of the traditional recipe. Here’s what I learned: start by substituting whole wheat flour, then use plain yogurt instead of oil and butter. Add natural ingredients—like berries, pumpkin, and banana—to add nutritional sweetness. Have fun with toppings too, using lemon zest, orange zest, cinnamon sugar, or add icing in moderation. Try baking instead of frying or make smaller ones to help with portion control. If you don’t own a donut pan, try a muffin pan instead. Donuts are a wonderful treat, but these recipes give you all the flavor, but not wreck your health goals. Read More ›
Have you noticed that cupcakerys are the new hot trend in restaurants? Even in my non-metropolitan home town, our local bakery competed in the 2011 and 2012 Food Network Cupcake Wars and won "Best of the Best" on Cupcake Champions in 2012.
In our home, the month of February is an unofficial cupcake month, with Valentine's Day and nine separate family birthday celebrations to prepare for. However, if I stuck with the standard recipe, my husband and I would surely gain a few pounds and my kids would gain an eternal sugar high. That said, there are some simple modifications that add nutritional value, reduce the processed sugar, fat, and calories too. Substitute whole-grain flours for all purpose flour. Use fruits and vegetables as a natural sweetener and add color and texture; applesauce can be used in place of oil; flaxseed meal or chia seeds mixed with water can be used in place of eggs; and Greek yogurt can be used in place of flour. I also find that when I use natural ingredients, I crave the processed sugar less-and-less. Another health benefit and convenience with cupcakes is that a serving is as simple as one cupcake. Leftovers can go right into the freezer instead of a late night snack. Celebrate something special with these healthier cupcake recipes. Read More ›
If I could choose what to take with me to the proverbial desert island, sweet treats would be right up there on my list. One of the reasons I exercise so consistently is so that I have the option to enjoy them with family, when eating out, or for spontaneous celebrations. At the same time, I refuse to cook large quantities of desserts, mainly because I end up throwing them out to avoid temptation. One strategy I find useful is to prepare single serving desserts that satisfy the urge, but without circumventing my nutrition plan. Enjoy these fun and tasty single serving treats. Read More ›
"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt…" – Charles M. Schulz.
One of my favorite flavor combinations is peanut butter and chocolate. When enjoyed in moderation--and when consumed in their more natural forms--this treat has measurable nutritional value. Dark chocolate has been connected with preventing high blood pressure and is a good source of antioxidants. Natural peanut butter is also loaded with antioxidants, as well as being a source of plant-based proteins. Since the fusion of these flavors is so rich, I find that I can enjoy it in smaller servings, which can help me stay within my daily calorie goal. Treat yourself to something special today. You're worth it! Read More ›
It's safe to say that the frozen yogurt trend has taken the US by storm—and it doesn't show any signs of stopping. Several ''FroYo'' franchises have cropped up over the past few years, including Pinkberry, Red Mango, Orange Leaf, and many others with tasty names and even tastier flavor and topping offerings. Some of these yogurt shops claim that their product is a healthier alternative to ice cream, made with ''all-natural,'' wholesome ingredients, including good-for-you probiotic cultures to balance your digestive system. But can you believe the hype? Between two big-name frozen yogurt chains, Pinkberry and Red Mango, which has the most ''natural'' yogurt with the fewest ingredients? Read More ›
"Ice cream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!" Who doesn't like a frozen treat on a warm summer day? But if you're reading this article, I'm confident you're not screaming for the sugar, fat, and empty calories. By making some simple substitutions, you can enjoy a sweet frozen treat that is good for you too.
Making ice cream is easier than you might think and actually doesn't require many ingredients. Most recipes are gluten-free and using coconut milk makes it dairy-free too. It can be as simple as throwing your favorite fruits and non-fat "milk" in a blender and then putting it in the freezer to set up. My favorite way to make ice cream is to let my children choose the flavors and make it with me. Here are the steps to make ice cream with a few plastic bags and some simple ingredients. Read More ›
Chocolate is heavenly, not just as a sweet treat, but also as an ingredient that adds flavor and richness to a variety of cuisines. It also contains a wide assortment of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, sodium, iron, fluorine and vitamins A, B1, C, D, and E. Be choosy about your chocolate, being careful about how the amount of calories, sugar, and fat. When kept it moderation, it's a great option on its own, or match it up with fruits, spices and nuts. For all you chocolate lovers, I’ve gathered SparkRecipes best healthy chocolate-paired recipes. Read More ›
Oh the sweet sounds of summer! The birds are chirping, the kids are yelling as they pelt each other with water balloons with the yard, and, in the distance, a familiar melody tinkles. As the ice-cream truck rounds the corner, they race inside to the coin jar. The screen door slams, and they're back outside, lining up for sugary treats.
In the good old days, the ice-cream man's arrival meant a special treat, but with treats accessible at every event at school, friend's houses, and even sporting events, those treats seem like overkill.
No need to ban treats on hot summer days. But kill two birds with one stone by making your own frozen treats with foods that are healthy and naturally delicious, like fruit and yogurt. Read More ›
All of a sudden, the extent to which your favorite ice creams are "churned" is becoming important. Now we have slow churned, extra churned, double churned--what's with all the churning, and what does it really do? Well, ice cream manufacturers have been experimenting with churning their mixtures longer, hoping to improve the texture and flavor of the lighter (low-fat) versions of their full-fat favorites. Which of these two creamy flavors is lower in calories than the other: Edy's Slow Churned Rich & Creamy Chocolate ice cream, or Breyer's Half-Fat Creamy Chocolate? Read More ›
Picking blackberries is one of my all time favorite summer activities. It was my fresh blackberry pie that won my husband's heart when we were first dating. Fortunately for him, we bought a house that has blackberries growing abundantly in our back yard. I love harvesting them with my kids on warm summer afternoons.
Blackberries are rich in antioxidants and are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese vitamin E, folate, potassium and copper. They are also are great as snacks or can serve as an exotic new ingredient in your regular cooking regimen. I’ve gathered our top blackberry SparkRecipes to help you get started. Read More ›
With Easter morning just on the horizon and the accompanying pastel treats showing up on grocery store shelves, we've all had sweets on the brain lately. Candy takes on many cute and cuddly forms during this time of year, whether it's in the shape of a bunny, a chick, or an egg. Personally, we're crazy about those creamy, candy-filled chocolate eggs. Between two of the most popular egg-shaped candies, the Cadbury Crème Egg and the Reese's Peanut Butter Egg, which one will set you back the least amount of calories this Easter (and in the following days of leftover Easter candy)?
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Today is Valentine's Day, one of the most popular days for giving, receiving and eating chocolate.
I firmly believe that chocolate has a place in a healthy diet--it sure does in mine! It can even be a part of savory dishes. I try to be choosy about chocolate: I reach for dark over milk, splurge on from-scratch baked goods, and keep my portions in check.
In addition to sharing an amazingly easy and better-for-you recipe for chocolate mousse, I'm here to answer some of your questions about chocolate. We'll get to the questions later. First, let's eat!
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At 300 calories a pop, donuts are an easy way to wreck a healthy breakfast. Not my baked ones. They're bursting with fruit and flavor--not fat!
Minutes to Prepare: 15
Minutes to Cook: 10
Number of Servings: 10
No donut pan? Bake these in muffin tins instead!
- Servings Per Recipe: 10
- Amount Per Serving: 1 doughnut
- Calories: 104.9
- Total Fat: 1.9 g
- Cholesterol: 0.7 mg
- Sodium: 187.3 mg
- Total Carbs: 21.0 g
- Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g
- Protein: 2.4 g