Happy Ending Desserts for a Lifelong Love Affair
My idea of a perfect fairy tale includes all the usual stuff: a white knight, fast horse, and gourmet dessert – lots of it.
Together, we all live happily ever after...which means I can indulge my sweet tooth without worrying about my waistline.
So, in honor of the princess in all of us, here are a few delicious dessert ideas that you can count on to keep you drooling...while keeping you looking and feeling gorgeous.
These gooeylicious treats are high in flavor and low in fat. (see video)
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Caramel Apples – There's no reason we should enjoy these healthy treats only in fall. Here's my easy peasy recipe for 'em.
Easy Banana Ice Cream: I know, it's hard to believe ice cream can be healthy or easy. But you can make delicious custartd-y ice cream with a couple of frozen bananas and a Vitamix. Here's How.
Popsicles: It's not secret that putting food on a stick automatically makes it more fun. And when you get creative, you can put all your favorite healthy ingredients into one sweet treat. Check out these fun ideas.
In a Nutshell: Why (and How) to Love Walnuts
I'm nuts about nuts. And you should be too. Busy bees like us need powerhouse snacks, and a good handful of nuts gives you a nice kick of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. I'm such a fan of nuts that I recently took the opportunity to sing their praises to the world – or at least the world fof Arizona – by sharing my walnut pate roll-up recipe with the fine folks of ABC 15 in Phoenix on Sonoran Living. Naturally, the experience got me thinking about the tiny yet mighty walnut.
Yes, any nut has it pros (magnesium, potassium, fiber, oh my!), but walnuts have their own unique benefits. Dr. David Katz, MD, is a big fan of the crunchy little devils, and has conducted a couple of studies that show they can be especially valuable in diabetes 2 care. He also explains that, unlike other nuts, walnuts are rich in ALAs (alpha linolenic acid), an omega-3 fat that supports cell composition and hormone production.
For the number-crunchers among us, Dr. Katz suggests checking out the Nu Val score, which scores foods on a 1-100 scale by taking into account their overall nutritional value. When it come to nuts, walnuts earn 82, the highest Nu Val mark for any nut. Almonds come in at 81, and, Dr. Katz says, “no other nut comes close.” All that and more are why he recommends eating one ounce of walnuts (about seven) every day.
So there you have it, walnuts are fabulous. Check out this video for the how to on omy favorite way to enjoy them, or just follow the recipe below.
- ½ onion chopped
- 1 roma tomato
- 1 cup walnuts or your favorite nutritional
- Sea Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Flatout Flatbread
- 1 handful of mixed veggies to taste (I like chopped cucumbers and shredded carrots)
- 1 bed of lettuce
- Soak walnuts over night to release the enzymes and soften them up
- Drain walnuts and place in food processor with chopped onion and tomato. Add a splash of water, then grind until smooth.
- Schmear this on your Flatout Flatbread. Top with other mixed veggies and roll up.
- Slice and serve on a bed of lettuce.
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Classic Hits: Why PB&J Is All the Rage Again
Anyone who subscribes to a food magazine has probably seen what I think is one strange trend: PB&J-inspired desserts. In the last few months I've seen a recipe for PBJ cupcakes, brownies, galette, and french toast. Am I crazy?
I don't know why there's all this renewed buzz for the classic sammy, but I say it's a good thing. It's one of the great easy comfort foods – we all grew up with it, and as long as you use quality ingredients, it can be good for you to boot.
Why love the classic combo? Let me break it down, nutrition-style.
Peanut Butter: Though some fear its high fat content, if you use healthy, natural peanut butter, you're getting vital, heart-healthy fat. According to WH Foods, peanuts are a great source of monounsaturated fats, which may support heart health. In fact, one study showed that a diet that emphasized peanuts and PB was associated with a 21 percent decreased cardiovascular disease risk. Also helping out the heart: vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein, manganese, and reservatrol. There's evidence of other benefits, too, like being helping protect against gall stones and Alzheimers, but I'll leave it here: quality peanut butter has a lot of good qualities! I like the organic, crunchy one from Arrowhead Mills, but most grocery chains now have their own less expensive organic options.
Grape Jelly: For the ultimate classic, you gotta go with grape. And that's a-okay, as long as you don't get the kind that's almost entirely sugar. Just read the label and make sure you're getting real fruit, ideally the organic kind. Here a r a few health highlights associated with grapes, also from WH Foods: They support better blood sugar balance, better insulin regulation, and increased insulin sensitivity. There's also evidence that grapes' phytonutrients play a role in longevity. Smuckers makes a nice organic concord grape option.
Bread: Again, get the good stuff, and you'll get rich nutritents from healthy whole grains. We're talking more nutrients and fewer empty calories. Check bread labels for the Whole Grains Council stamp of approval to make sure your bread of choice is actually made with real whole grains. If it's not, check out this HuffPo taste test of top ten organic bread brands.
As for the crazy new twists on PB&Js, I'm still a bit leery. Anyone tried and loved a new recipe? Do tell!