Tag Archives: healthy recipes

Healthy Recipe: Beef Bone Broth

Last week we discussed the benefits of collagen and why it’s absolutely vital that you include this protein in your daily diet. Because collagen is mainly found in the bones of chicken, beef, and fish, it takes a little creativity to extract the protein so you can consume it. Our favorite way to get at this health-boosting protein is to make bone broth.

bone broth

This recipe uses beef and chicken feet, which are optional, but make the broth more gelatinous; however, you can use beef, chicken, or fish bones, or any combination of the three. The key is to let the broth simmer for an extended length of time, at least 24 hours if you’re using beef bones. This allows all of the marrow and collagen to come out of the bones and into the broth.

What You Need:

  • 3 lbs beef marrow bones
  • 2 chicken feet (optional)
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • Enough water to cover

What To Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spread beef bones out on a baking sheet. Once oven is preheated, roast bones for 30 minutes.
  2. Put carrots, celery, onion, garlic, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves on the bottom of a slow cooker and place the roasted bones and chicken feet on top.
  3. Pour apple cider vinegar over the bones and chicken feet and then fill up the slower cooker with just enough water to completely cover the bones.
  4. Turn the slow cooker on low and let simmer for 24-48 hours.
  5. After 24-48 hours, allow to cool and then strain out the solids. Reserve liquid in a separate container and allow to cool.
  6. Store finished bone broth in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

New Year’s Eve Hack: Skinny Cocktails to Keep Your Calories in Check

When we think of New Year’s Eve, we imagine glitz and glam, midnight kisses, and the promise of new beginnings. We also imagine cocktails — sometimes too many cocktails — somewhere in the mix. Unfortunately, many of these fancy cocktails are full of sugar and empty calories that not only directly contribute to an expanding waistline, but make you more likely to overindulge on all the hor d’oeuvres and sweet treats lying around.

We don’t want to take away your New Year’s Eve cocktails, so instead, we’ve figured out a way to turn your favorites into waistline friendly skinny cocktails that you can enjoy (in moderation, of course) without the guilt.

Skinny Cosmo

(approximately 200 calories)

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce club soda
  • 1 splash cranberry juice
  • Juice from 1 lime wedge

Combine ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker and shake. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with fresh fruit, if desired.

skinny cosmo

Skinny Mojito

(approximately 150 calories)

  • 6 lime wedges
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ tsp agave nectar
  • 2 ounces rum
  • 3 ounces club soda
  • 1 cup ice

Place lime wedges and mint leaves into a cocktail shaker. Muddle until broken down and fragrant. Put in remaining ingredients and stir until chilled. Pour into a glass and garnish with lime and mint, if desired.

skinny mojito

Skinny Sangria

(approximately 175 calories per serving – makes 16 servings)

  • 3 apples
  • 3 oranges
  • 1 pound red grapes, halved
  • 3 bottles of Spanish (or Rioja) red wine
  • 1 can diet lemon lime soda
  • 1 can club soda

Cut apples and oranges into thin slices. Combine apples and oranges in a pitcher with grapes. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Chill mixture until ready to serve. Serve over ice.

skinny sangria

Skinny Margarita

(Approximately 150 calories)

  • 1.5 ounces tequila
  • 1 fresh lime
  • ½ fresh lemon
  • 2 slices orange
  • Splash of triple sec
  • Splash of orange juice
  • Splash of soda water

Pour tequila in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Squeeze lime, lemon, and 1 slice of orange into tequila. Add triple sec and pomegranate juice. Shake for 20 seconds. Pour over ice into a salt-rimmed glass and add splash of soda water to the top. Garnish with remaining orange slice.

skinny margarita

Skinny Spritzer

(approximately 120 calories)

  • ¼ cup blueberry juice
  • ¼ cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup champagne
  • 2 tablespoons fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup ice

Combine blueberry, pomegranate, and lime juice in a glass. Mix well. Fill another glass with ice cubes and pour juice mixture over ice. Add champagne and garnish with blueberries.

skinny spritzer

 

 

 

Healthy Recipe: Golden Milk (Haldi Ka Doodh)

turmeric

Last week, we talked about turmeric and the potent health benefits associated with this powerful spice. While you could easily add the spice to savory dishes and soups, we wanted to help you think outside the box a little bit by introducing you to Golden Milk.

Golden Milk, traditionally known as Haldi Ka Doodh, dates back thousands of years with roots in the ancient branch of medicine called Ayurveda. According to Ayurvedic medicine, in addition to the benefits we discussed last week, the components of Golden Milk help support a healthy inflammatory response in the body, balance emotions, and support mental clarity. Traditionally, Golden Milk is consumed right before bedtime, but you can enjoy this simple and delicious “tea” at any time of the day.

What You Need:

  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon raw honey

What to Do:

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender until completely smooth.
  2. Transfer into a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until heated, but not boiling.
  3. Pour into a mug, sprinkle with cinnamon, and enjoy!

Healthy Recipe: Paleo Apple Crisp

When we hear the word “November”, the first things that come to mind, of course, are Thanksgiving and gratitude, but we also can’t help but think of all the flavors of the fall, like apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin. When you’re trying to lose weight, a lot of the things that incorporate these flavors tend to be “off limits”. We don’t want anyone bummed out during holiday celebrations, so we always do our best to find ways to take traditional treats, like apple crisp, and make them healthier without sacrificing anything in the flavor department.

apple crisp

Unlike other recipes, this apple crisp contains no white flour, no white sugar, and no trans fats. Of course, it’s still considered a treat, but with apples and healthy fats from the nuts, it’s a treat that you can feel good about.

What You Need:

  • 6 large apples (we recommend Empire, Granny Smith or Honeycrisp – or a mix of all three! – but you can use whatever you like/have)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of honey (we recommend using raw, local honey, if you can)
  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/4 cup crushed pecans

What to Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel, core, and slice apples. Combine nutmeg and cinnamon, and then toss spice mixture in a mixing bowl with slice apples, lemon juice, and honey.
  3. Once apples are evenly coated, transfer apple mixture to a 9 x 9 glass baking pan.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Stir in almond flour and crushed peach. Place crumb mixture on top of apples.
  5. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes, remove foil, and then continue baking for another 30 minutes.

Enjoy!

Healthy Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

As we write this article, we know we’re going to have two different responses. The first will be “don’t you DARE start talking about pumpkin yet, it’s still summer!” The second will be “YES! BRING ON ALL THE PUMPKIN STUFF!” Whether you decide to enjoy this recipe right away, or you refuse to go near it until the official start of fall (which is September 22nd, by the way), we can guarantee this: you’re really going to enjoy this smoothie.

smoothie

Not only is this smoothie super simple to throw together, it’s extremely filling due to the high protein content of the Greek yogurt (you can even add in a scoop of your favorite protein powder, if you’d like). It also offers all of the benefits of pumpkin: it’s rich in fiber and high in antioxidants. Just make sure you’re using pureed pumpkin, and not pumpkin pie filling, which is full of sugar and other unwanted additives.

What You Need:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • ½ cup low-fat Greek yogurt (plain)
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup almond or coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 Medjool date (soaked)
  • 1 cup ice (optional)

What to Do:

  1. Throw all ingredients in a blender. Enjoy!

Healthy Recipe: Grilled Cauliflower Steaks

This weekend marks the official start of summer. Although the weather has already been heating up, now is the time when everyone will start getting together for cookouts – a favorite summer activity. Typically, the fare at a cookout is less than healthy and you have two choices: indulge in food that’s not conducive to your weight loss plan or skip the food altogether.

Well, that’s no way to live and we want to put a change to that! Just because you’re using the grill doesn’t mean your food has to be filled with fat and calories and absolutely no nutrition. You can still enjoy your time outside while indulging in food that’s good for you; and with recipes this good, swapping out typical BBQ-fare with healthier options isn’t even a sacrifice.

cauliflower

Cauliflower is such a versatile vegetable because it has a subtle taste that’s complemented by almost any flavoring combination. This recipe calls for a spice mixture that’s similar to a steak seasoning, but you can swap out the spices for your own favorite combination.

What You Need:

  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed coriander
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1 large cauliflower head
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

What To Do:

  1. Heat up the grill to a medium heat.
  2. While the grill is heating, mix all spices together in a small bowl and stir until combined.
  3. Cut your cauliflower vertically and right through the center into ½ inch thick slices, or “steaks”.
  4. Use a grill brush or a basting brush to brush the cauliflower steaks with olive oil. Generously season each side of the cauliflower steaks generously with your spice mixture (you’ll have some leftover).
  5. Place steaks on the grill and allow one side to grill for 5 minutes. Flip steaks over once and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes or until steaks are fork tender.
  6. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Did you try this recipe? Are you going to? Let us know what you think!

Navigating Nutrition Bars: How to Choose the Best Option

Because they are so portable, which happens to make them extremely convenient, nutrition bars (or energy bars or protein bars – it doesn’t matter what you call them) are often a staple for dieters. They seem like an easy and healthy option to stave off hunger in between meals and after a workout, but don’t believe all the hype just yet. Some of these chocolate-covered “nutrition” bars are just candy bars in disguise.

protein bar

It’s true that some nutrition bars can be a great option, but most are backed by outlandish claims that grossly misrepresent what’s actually in the product. We know that it’s hard to separate fact from fiction, especially when there are literally hundreds of bars lining the grocery store shelves, but we’re going to help you narrow it down with four key areas that you should be paying attention to when choosing a nutrition bar.

It’s All about the Ingredients!

Most of the nutrition bars available are loaded with chemicals and artificial ingredients that result in a good taste, but aren’t necessarily good for you. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce it or your grandparents wouldn’t recognize it, don’t eat it! Instead, choose nutrition bars that are made from natural, wholesome ingredients like nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. As a general rule, the fewer ingredients, the better.

Use Caution with Calories

Nutrition bars serve different purposes, and because of this, the calorie counts can vary significantly between bars. Some bars are meant to be a meal replacement, while others are supposed to be a quick snack to hold you over until you can enjoy your next meal. If you’re looking for a snack bar, check out the calories and stick to one that contains only 100 to 200 per bar. If you’re planning to eat the bar as a meal, choose one that packs around 300 calories and has at least 10 grams of protein – you’ll need it to help hold you over!

Figure Out Fiber Content

One of fiber’s claims to fame is that it helps keep you full. It’s slow to digest, so it stays in your system longer and it absorbs water, so it expands in your stomach, literally filling it up. If you want a bar that’s going to keep you full, choose one that offers at least 2 to 3 grams of fiber per day.

Say Sayonara to Sugar

One of the things that you’ll want to pay really close attention to when choosing a nutrition bar is the amount of sugar. This one can get tricky because many of the healthy options contain dried fruits, so a lot of the sugar content comes from natural sources. Because of this, you’ll have to look past the nutrition facts label at the ingredient list. Avoid bars that contain added sugars like cane juice, rice syrup, sucrose, fructose, honey, molasses or corn syrup. These added sugars not only increase calories (in the form of empty calories), but they also contribute to systemic, or widespread, inflammation, which is a known risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.

If you want to be sure that you have full control over your nutrition bars and the ingredients in them, you can also take a look at this list of homemade energy bar recipes. The Chocolate, Cashew, and Almond Bars are our favorite!

Healthy Recipe: Taco Stuffed Peppers

We’re always looking for healthy, weeknight dinners that offer a little variety without taking FOREVER to prepare. These taco stuffed peppers are quick and easy and use ingredients that you probably already have in your fridge and pantry. Feel free to adjust the recipe to your liking by adding extra veggies to the turkey mixture or swapping out the meat for black beans.

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What You Need:

  1. ½ cup quinoa
  2. 1 cup chicken stock
  3. 1 TBSP chili powder
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 1 tsp ground black pepper
  6. 5 tsp ground cumin
  7. ½ tsp paprika
  8. ¼ tsp dried oregano
  9. ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  10. ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  11. ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  12. 1 TBSP olive oil
  13. 1 small onion, minced
  14. 1 lb. ground turkey
  15. 1 cup spinach, chopped
  16. 3 orange bell peppers (or any color peppers of your choice)
  17. 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

What To Do:

  1. Thoroughly rinse quinoa and combine with chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Combine all seasonings in a bowl and mix until incorporated.
  3. While quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add ground turkey and seasoning mixture to onions and cook until meat is no longer pink. Add chopped spinach and stir until spinach is wilted.
  4. Remove from heat, add salsa and quinoa and stir until combined.
  5. Cut peppers in half lengthwise and arrange cut side up in a 9 x 13 in. baking dish. Scoop filling into each pepper and sprinkle with cheese.
  6. Cover with foil and bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. Remove foil, increase heat to 400°F, and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
  7. Top with cilantro, if desired.

Recipe Makeover: Healthy Pumpkin Mousse

pumpkinA lot of people put their weight loss goals off for the holidays and succumb to a weight gain that they feel is “inevitable”, but don’t let that be you! Sure, it’s easy to say that you’ll get on track after the holidays; that you’ll really buckle down on January 1st; but you don’t have to go backward before you go forward. You can lose weight during the holidays! There is a way to take your favorite holiday flavors and combine them into recipes that bring you the comfort you’re seeking without taking a toll on your waistline.

When I say the word “tofu”, you probably don’t picture a creamy, decadent dessert, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not only possible, it’s delicious. And you can have it prepared in just a few minutes.

Each serving of this pumpkin pie mousse has only 148 calories and 3.4 grams of fat (most of which are unsaturated). It also contains 3.5 grams of fiber, 7.1 grams of protein, 191 milligrams of potassium, and 300 percent of the vitamin A you need for the ENTIRE day! The best part is no one will even know it’s healthy – unless you give them the recipe when they ask for it.

Pumpkin Pie Mousse

Serves 4

What You Need:

  • 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 15 ounces silken tofu
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup

What to Do:

Put all ingredients in a blender or a food processor and blend until smooth. Scoop into serving bowls and refrigerate until ready to serve.

That’s it! If you want, you can top it with crushed nuts, lite whipped cream, shaved coconut, or some dark chocolate shavings. Did you try it? Let us know what you think!

Losing Weight is Sweet: Try This Two Ingredient Strawberry Chia Jam

Even if you’re not a fan of the intense heat of the summer, I think there’s one thing that we can all agree on – the abundance of berries is a definite plus. During the summer, berries are readily available, less expensive, and sweeter than at other times of the year. If you’re like me and like to buy berries in bulk, you may be wondering what to do with all of them. Smoothies are always an option, but sometimes it’s fun to get a little more creative than that. Many people choose to make jam with fresh berries, but traditional jam is loaded with refined sugar and pectin – two ingredients that turn your healthy berries into a not-so-healthy treat.

The solution? This strawberry chia seed jam. It’s made with only two ingredients – berries and chia seeds. Really, that’s it! You can add some raw honey, if you want, but if you’re really watching your waistline, leave it out and you’ll be left with a perfectly delicious fresh jam without any of the guilt.

But it’s not just about what’s NOT in this jam, it’s about what IS in it. In addition to strawberries, which are rich in vitamins and minerals, it’s also loaded with chia seeds, which the Aztecs referred to as a super food. In short, chia seeds are about 30% protein and contain essential fatty acids that your body can’t make on its own. They’re also rich in vitamins A, B, D, E, and K and a good source of calcium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, thiamine, and zinc. For a more in-depth discussion of chia seeds, check out our earlier blog post here. For the super simple strawberry chia seed jam recipe, keep reading.

 

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Here’s what you need:

1 pound fresh strawberries (or mixed berries of your choice)

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1-2 tablespoons raw honey (optional)

Here’s how you do it:

Heat up fruit (and honey if you’re using it) over medium heat in a saucepan. Stir occasionally and mash with a spoon or fork until the fruit starts bubbling and boiling. Keep stirring and mashing until it looks like a chunky fruit puree. At this point, stick an immersion blender into the mixture and blend until smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can transfer to a regular blender and puree or just keep mashing with a fork until mixture is smooth.

Add chia seeds and stir until combined. Stir over the heat for another minute and then remove from heat and allow to cool. If after 10-15 minutes, your mixture still seems liquid-y, add another teaspoon of chia seeds. Keep in mind, the mixture will thicken as it cools. Store in the refrigerator and use as you would any other jam!