34 Surprisingly Delicious High-Protein Smoothie Recipes | Greatist

Not a bodybuilder? Enjoy a protein smoothie anyway! Studies show protein works as a building block for healthy skin, hair, bones, and heart in any ol’ person   . Plus, a protein-packed breakfast can prevent overeating, and a dose of protein after resistance traininghelps build and repair muscle tissue (especially when mixed with soy)  .

Generally speaking, adults (18 and older) should strive to eat .36 grams of protein for every pound they weigh, per day. That means a person who weighs 150 pounds should aim to consume 54 grams of protein daily. Protein smoothies are an easy, portable, and (if you use one of these recipes) delicious way to guarantee you get your recommended dose.

The secret to mixing something up you’ll look forward to sipping is striking the right balance between protein sources, such as superfoods like Greek yogurtchia seeds, and eggs, with sweet and/or savory add-ins—something all of the recipes below have nailed. In order to qualify for this list, recipes had to have eight or more grams of protein, be derived from whole food sources with minimal ingredients, and make us drool a little bit. Bottoms up!

Breakfast

The right carb-to-protein ratio will jumpstart energy levels and keep them steady throughout the day, says Jeff Thomas, Director of Nutrition at Creative Edge Nutrition.

1. Sunrise Smoothie

Protein source: Greek yogurt
Take a (sort of, not really) vacation when sipping this tropical-tasting smoothie. It calls for Greek yogurt and antioxidant-rich berries, an orange, and banana.

2. Kale, Berry, and Acai Power Smoothie

Protein source: Kale, flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp protein powder
Green smoothie ingredients sometimes get a bad rap, but superfood banana and berries mask the bold taste of kale in this recipe. Bonus: The tablespoon of acai powder boosts energy, while cinnamon helps reduce inflammation.

3. Roasted Strawberry Protein Smoothie

Protein source: Cottage cheese, dairy milk, chia seeds
For a serious flavor boost, roast strawberries (yet another superfood!) before tossing them into this blend. The creamy cottage cheese is a tasty alternative for those not partial to Greek yogurt’s tangy flavor profile.

4. Coffee Banana Smoothie

Protein source: Greek yogurt, flax seeds
Enjoy a breakfast of yogurt, banana, and coffee—all from the same cup. Caffeine pairs with protein for an exceptional energy boost.

5. Hot Chocolate Protein Shake

Protein source: Dairy milk, egg, whey powder
A volatile vortex means it’s worth having this warmed-up recipe on hand at all times. Not to mention it makes a (healthy) meal out of classic hot chocolate, working in both protein-packed whey and unsweetened cocoa powder.

6. Skinny Green Monster Smoothie

Protein source: Peanut butter, Greek yogurt
Holy vitamins, Batman! The spinach alone serves up vitamins A, C, K, fiber, magnesium, and calcium! Allergic to peanuts? Try one of thesetasty peanut butter alternatives.

7. Coconut Almond Ginger Protein Shake

Protein source: Almonds, protein powder
Switch up a savory breakfast when opting for this sweet, still-healthy smoothie. Almonds and spices deliciously complement the crazy-versatile coconut oil.

8. Peanut Butter, Banana and Oat Smoothie

Protein source: Peanut butter, flax seeds
All the fixings of a healthy breakfast—peanut butter, banana, and rolled oats—but with a creamy taste of a milkshake. Need we say more?

9. Banana Raspberry Chia Smoothie

Protein source: Greek yogurt, protein powder, chia seeds
Frozen bananas, raspberries, and spice make busy mornings nice (and full of antioxidants!). The best part: This recipe takes only five minutes to make.

10. Almond and Cookie Butter Protein Shake

Protein source: Protein powder, almond butter
Cookie butter (essentially gingerbread cookie crumbs mixed into almond butter) is totally a thing, and the littlest bit doesn’t really offset the nutritional quality of this protein-rich, almond-butter-based smoothie. #blessed

11. Strawberry Banana Smoothie with Chia Seeds

Protein source: Chia seeds
Don’t fix what isn’t broken, right? Bland but nutrition-packed chia seeds sneak protein into the classic strawberry-banana smoothie combo.

12. Spinach, Kiwi, and Chia Seed Smoothie

Protein source: Chia seeds
A green smoothie that tastes anything but. Bananas sweeten it up, while tart-tasting kiwis keep it from feeling too much like dessert.

13. Blueberry Mango Smoothie

Protein source: Greek yogurt, dairy milk
Really, you can sip this smoothie anytime—but the fresh taste of antioxidant-rich blueberries and mango is a convincing reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Lunch

Talk about a liquid lunch. Instead of a mid-day rager, these options source fiber- and protein-packed ingredients that work as a wholesome meal replacement or accompaniment to lighter lunches.

14. Kale, Banana, Chia, and Hemp Superfood Smoothie

Protein source: Hemp and chia seeds
A sugar hack for smoothies? Pitted dates. They’re a natural, fiber-filled sweetener that will satisfy a sweet tooth without added sugars (they also break down easier in a blender when soaked beforehand) .

15. Papaya Ginger Smoothie

Protein source: Greek yogurt
Thanks to its high fiber content, papaya has been shown to promote digestion, says nutritionist Michelle Davenport, PhD. So if breakfast isn’t sitting well with your stomach, stick to this smoothie RX. Bonus: It also includes ginger.

16. Green Warrior Protein Smoothie

Protein source: Hemp hearts
A ¼ cup of hemp hearts—seeds similar to sunflower seeds and pine nuts—provides about 15g of protein, almost 3g of fiber, and may help to prevent hypertension, says Dr. Davenport. Mixing them with super fruits, like bananas and apples, makes for a sweet, creamy sip.

17. Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie

Protein source: Peanut butter, whey powder
It’s peanut-butter-jelly time! Berries, peanut butter, rolled oats, and protein powder give the bread (and taste buds) a break.

18. Vanilla Matcha Avocado Smoothie

Protein source: Vegan protein powder
So, those amazing benefits of green tea? Get them by sprinkling a half teaspoon of matcha powder—finely-ground green tea—into this smoothie.

19. Blueberry Pineapple Oatmeal Smoothie

Protein source: Protein powder, Greek yogurt
Here’s a sunny twist on a staple breakfast. But, feel free to break this recipe’s rules by adding whatever fruit or greens you have on hand.

Snacks

These sweet, protein-rich drinks will satisfy cravings and keep you full until your next meal.

20. Pineapple Coconut Milk

Protein source: Chia seeds, Greek yogurt
If you like piña coladas…then spring for this smoothie edition! Pineapple and coconut milk mimic the signature cocktail’s taste, while chia seeds, Greek yogurt, and rolled oats ramp up nutrition. Tiny drink umbrellas optional.

21. Dark Chocolate Peppermint Protein Shake

Protein source: Protein powder
Between the dark chocolate protein powder and the cocoa powder, chocolate lovers are going to want this drink morning, noon, and night. Which is fine, since dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and can help regulate stress.

22. Cool N’ Creamy Cantaloupe Smoothies

Protein source: Greek yogurt
Fruit salads are a great snack—almost as great as this creamy mix of cantaloupe chunks, Greek yogurt, and honey.

23. Cherry Almond Smoothie

Protein source: Almond butter, protein powder, dairy milk
Put a craving for cherry ice cream on, well, ice when sipping thischerry smoothie instead. Cherries are also an anti-inflammatory, so this snack choice is pretty painless (get it?).

24. Honey Banana Smoothie

Protein source: Greek yogurt
Want to get back to smoothie basics? This recipe does the trick by only using five ingredients (though there’s plenty of room to addcacao nibs).

25. Chocolate Espresso Smoothie

Protein source: Protein powder
Order up! This latte-like smoothie skips the sugar and uses greenish bananas and chocolate protein powder instead.

26. Strawberry-Banana Quinoa Smoothie

Protein source: Greek yogurt, quinoa, chia seeds
Not only is it a complete protein, but quinoa is a prime source of fiber, iron, and magnesium. And its taste is cleverly paired with other smoothie ingredients, including strawberries, bananas, and vanilla almond milk.

27. Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Protein source: Greek yogurt, dairy milk, peanut butter
Treat yo’self to a creamy, candy-inspired smoothie that fuels both muscles and taste buds (and is way more nutritious than a Reese’s).

Post-Workout

With the right ingredients, protein shakes and smoothies can help your body bounce back faster from the muscle breakdown that often occurs during exercise  .

28. Spinach Banana Smoothie

Protein source: Almond butter, protein powder
Handfuls of pureed spinach may not sound appetizing (unless you’re Popeye), but a ripe banana sweetens the taste. The taste being spinach’s high levels of vitamin A and iron.

29. Green Vanilla Almond Post-Workout Shake

Protein source: Almond butter, protein powder
Milkshakes can go green, too—and this one excerpted from the new book Clean Green Drinks gets rave reviews. The sweetness of the banana, coconut milk, and vanilla protein powder overpowers the spinach flavor, while keeping things healthy.

30. Pomegranate Protein Smoothie

Protein source: Protein powder
Keep recovery simple with superfood pomegranate juice, seeds, and protein powder. Not only are they tasty, but pomegranates have high contents of vitamins C, K, fiber, and antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties, says Dr. Davenport.

31. Strawberry Almond Protein Dream Smoothie

Protein source: Almonds
Using almonds for DIY milk allows you to source more of the nut’s protein, calcium, and good-for-you fats. Strawberries keep things sweet and antioxidant-y.

32. Peachy Strawberry Protein Smoothie

Protein source: Protein powder
Sit back and unwind with this refreshing, fruity smoothie that’s basically fro-yo in a glass (but with non-dairy, delicious coconut milk and vanilla protein powder instead of processed sugars and dairy milk). You’re welcome.

33. Orange Mango Recovery Smoothie

Protein source: Protein powder, cashews
After protein, super spice turmeric is what sets this recovery smoothie apart. The spice is an anti-inflammatory that’s also high in antioxidants.

34. Carrot Cake Protein Smoothie

Protein source: Protein powder
For a dessert that won’t undo a workout, blend carrot juice, almond milk, a banana, and sugar’s healthy swap, cinnamon. Then sip.Aaaahh.

A Primer On Protein Powders

If you’ve already locked down your favorite smoothie recipe on account of particular tastes and/or food allergies, you can always just scoop in protein powder. When choosing a protein powder, “The two most important things to consider are brand and nutritional breakdown,” says Dr. Davenport. She points out that protein supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so it’s important to research safe brands before purchasing. (Start with our easy-to-followsupplement guide.)

It’s also important to note how you’re using the protein powder—whether it’s to replace a meal or recover from a workout. “Whey, milk, casein, and egg protein all absorb differently, and you want to get the maximum absorption with each meal,” Thomas says. Don’t worry, non-animal-protein-eaters: There are plenty of plant-based options for you, too, including rice, pea, hemp, and soy protein.

Research can also help you navigate the options on the supplement shelves. Our bodies may be better able to utilize whey and egg proteins better than soy protein, says Dr. Davenport, while whey and rice proteins may perform equally in terms of increasing power and strength. The bottom line? Choose the most unprocessed form of the source that best suits your needs.

34 Surprisingly Delicious High-Protein Smoothie Recipes | Greatist.

21 Meals With Tons Of Protein And No Meat

enhanced-buzz-31528-1389386587-7

1. Bean, Kale, and Egg Stew

Bean, Kale, and Egg Stew

Between the kidney beans, kale, egg, and cheese, each serving dishes up a solid 28 grams of protein. Get the recipe here.

2. Cashew Noodles with Broccoli and Tofu

Cashew Noodles with Broccoli and Tofu

Craving pasta? No problem, just add tofu, cashews and broccoli and you don’t have to feel bad about indulging. Recipe available here.

3. Black Bean, Arugula, and Poached Egg Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Black Bean, Arugula, and Poached Egg Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Between the black beans, the egg, and mmm… Fontina cheese (7 grams of proteinper ounce), this gloriously stuffed sweet potato will leave both your mother and your trainer equally impressed. Recipe available here.

4. Peanutty Quinoa Bowls with Baked Tofu

Peanutty Quinoa Bowls with Baked Tofu

Combine quinoa with peanut butter, tofu, and broccoli for this powerhouse of lunches. Check out the recipe here.

5. Black Bean Salad

Black Bean Salad

Give yourself hefty portions (or add some jack cheese) to up the protein in this filling salad. Recipe available here.

6. Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie With Seitan

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie With Seitan

William Abranowicz / Via epicurious.com

I know seitan feels like tofu’s weirder cousin, but with about 20 grams of protein per serving, it’s totally worth trying. Recipe available here.

7. Vegan Chili

Vegan Chili

Oliver Parini

Every good vegetarian needs a bean chili recipe in their arsenal. Just remember: Do all your eye rubbing before chopping the jalapeños. Recipe available here.

8. Bean-Kale Burgers With Sweet Potato Wedges

Bean-Kale Burgers With Sweet Potato Wedges

Pinto beans, kale, and jack cheese mean you get all the protein you gave up in beef, without all the heart disease, fat, and ethical implications. Recipe available here.

9. Brown Butter, Peas, and Mint Omelette

Brown Butter, Peas, and Mint Omelette

Yossy Arefi

With 8 grams of protein in every cup, frozen peas can do more for your sore muscles than just ice them. Recipe available here.

10. Parmesan Broth with Kale and White Beans

Parmesan Broth with Kale and White Beans

Yes, you can make broth out of cheese. Add some kale and white beans and BOOM: protein soup. Recipe available here.

11. Egg in a Basket Grilled Cheese with Asparagus

Egg in a Basket Grilled Cheese with Asparagus

Perfect for impressing the vegetarian you’re waking up next to, the egg (6g), Gruyère (10g), and asparagus (2g), makes this breakfast perfect for fueling up for round two. Wink. Recipe available here.

12. Crock Pot Lentil Vegetable Barley Soup

Crock Pot Lentil Vegetable Barley Soup

Lentils (50g/cup), split peas (48g/cup), and barley (23g/cup), all in one easy-to-make, throw-it-all-in-the-crock-pot meal. Can I get an amen? Or maybe just the recipe.

13. Corn Meal and Oat Waffle Mix

Corn Meal and Oat Waffle Mix

Tina Rupp

Sick of eggs for breakfast? Oats and corn meal will take care of you. Recipe available here.

14. Barley Risotto with Beans and Greens

Barley Risotto with Beans and Greens

Barley risotto: perfect for the ambitious, healthy-ish vegetarian cook. Recipe available here.

15. Vegan Tacos

Vegan Tacos

Besides the beans, this recipe also uses soy chorizo (9g/serving) just in case you miss the real thing. Recipe available here.

16. Vegetarian Split Pea Soup Recipe

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup Recipe

Start your meal with this protein-heavy soup and feel free to indulge in pure carbs for the rest of it. Recipe available here.

17. Leek, Artichoke, and Lentil Mung Bean Linguine

Leek, Artichoke, and Lentil Mung Bean Linguine

This dish is not just high in protein (20g/serving), it’s also gluten-free and vegan, making it perfect for even the pickiest of eaters. Recipe available here.

18. Baked Tofu and Quinoa With Chickpeas and Spinach

Baked Tofu and Quinoa With Chickpeas and Spinach

This is what you serve your carnivorous friends who tell you you’re not getting enough protein. Between the tofu, the quinoa, and the chickpeas, each serving packs in more than 32 grams. Recipe available here.

19. Meatless Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy

Meatless Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy

Tofu, oats, walnuts, and eggs all make this a ridiculously protein-y alternative to boring old meatloaf. Get the recipe here.

20. Italian-Style Spaghetti Squash with Tempeh

Italian-Style Spaghetti Squash with Tempeh

Tempeh’s not for everyone, but with 31 grams of protein per cup, the dense, nutty meat alternative is worth trying at least once. Get the recipe here.

21. Trisha Yearwood’s Black Bean Lasagna

Trisha Yearwood's Black Bean Lasagna

OK, so you’ll need to use whole wheat pasta and have a large serving to get the full 18g of protein, but when a country music legend shares a recipe, you do what you gotta do to make it work. Get the recipe here.

21 Meals With Tons Of Protein And No Meat.

More Whole Grains May Boost Life Span – MedicineNet

By Randy Dotinga
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, March 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) — In more good news for those who fill up on bran cereal and quinoa, a new study suggests that older people who eat a lot of whole grains may live longer than those who hardly ever eat them.

Even the obese and sedentary appear to gain a benefit, the researchers added.

People should “eat more whole grains and reduce intake of refined carbohydrates,” said study co-author Dr. Lu Qi, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

Qi added that eating more grains may even help people lose weight: “There is no evidence that [a diet rich in] whole grain increases calorie intake, and it may lower it,” he said.

The finding does have limitations — almost all participants were white, for example — and it doesn’t directly prove that eating lots of whole grains caused people to live longer.

In the study, researchers looked at whole fiber — the whole seed of grain that’s used in grain products like bread and cereal.

The researchers tracked almost 370,000 people in the United States from the mid-1990s, when they took surveys, through the year 2009. They were all members of AARP and aged 50 to 71. The study excluded tens of thousands of people with conditions such as cancer, heart disease and stroke, meaning that the results don’t apply to older people as a whole.

After adjusting their statistics so they wouldn’t be thrown off by high or low numbers of certain types of people, the researchers found that those who ate the most fiber were 17 percent less likely to die during the study period than those who ate the least. However, the risk of death during the study was low overall: About 12 percent (just over 46,000) of the people died during the study period.

Those who ate the most fiber were more likely to be educated, less likely to be obese and less likely to smoke than those who ate the least, the study found. They also ate much less red meat, on average. But the life span benefit held up even when researchers adjusted their statistics to eliminate the impact of factors such as obesity and poorer health.

The researchers also found signs that whole grains lowered the risk of premature death from lung disease and diabetes. More consumption of the cereal fiber inside whole grains, meanwhile, translated to fewer deaths and lower levels of cancer and diabetes.

How much whole grain might a person need to reap this benefit? A lot. The researchers defined heavy eaters of whole grains — those with the greatest life span benefits — as those who ate 34 grams of whole grains for every 1,000 calories they consumed per day. For a person on a 2,500-calorie diet, that’s 85 grams: the equivalent of five slices of whole wheat bread or 5 cups of whole-grain breakfast cereal.

Those defined as eating the least whole grain consumed about 4 grams per 1,000 calories per day, or 10 grams for a person on a 2,500-calorie diet. That’s fewer grams than are in half a cup of oatmeal (16 grams).

One expert noted that switching over to whole grains could make a big difference.

“National survey data indicate that the current average intake of dietary fiber is only 16 grams, so increasing dietary fiber intake to the recommended more than 30 grams a day could significantly impact public health,” said Dr. Yunsheng Ma, an associate professor in the division of preventive and behavioral medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass.

“Foods high in fiber are predominantly protective foods high in micronutrient density, such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes,” Ma added. “There is no upper limit that has been set for dietary fiber intake per day.”

Ma, who’s familiar with the new research, wrote a study published earlier this year that linked fiber consumption to lower weight, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Why might whole grains be so good for a person’s health? Study co-author Qi said they may work by lowering three things: food intake overall, levels of “bad” cholesterol, and inflammation.

The study is published in the March 24 edition of BMC Medicine.

More Whole Grains May Boost Life Span – MedicineNet.

33 Low-Sugar Recipes That Are Totally Sweet! | Greatist

America’s love of sugar has gotten a little out of control—we’ve gone from adding it to sweet things like pies, fudge, and muffins to having it listed as one of the first ingredients in everything from canned soup tocrackers to breakfast sandwiches.

But as more research reveals the not-so-sweet side effects of too much sugar—including obesitydiabeteshigh blood pressure, andcardiovascular disease—more of us are trying to cut back. And luckily that doesn’t have to mean a tearful farewell to pancakes, brownies, ice cream, and finger-licking barbecue chicken forever.

We searched high and low for some of the best treats that pass the delicious (and healthy!) test without including any added sugars (other than natural ones from fruit) or artificial sweeteners. Now that’s a sweet deal.

Breakfast

Give the average berry muffin a makeover with a crown of toasty almonds and banana to replace the sugar. With all that fresh fruit goodness, they’ll be plenty sweet and a much better choice than anything from the bakery. Pick any berry you like—they’re all high in fiber and antioxidants.­

With this 20-minute recipe, pancakes can be an option any day, not just on weekends. With whole-wheat flour, eggs, and bananas, they turn out fluffy and delicious. Forgo topping with the optional honey and use even more fresh fruit like pineapple, mango, or kiwi.

Instant packaged oatmeal might seem like a good breakfast option, but the flavored ones can go overboard on the sugar. Making stovetop oatmeal is a way better option, especially when it tastes like apple pie! This recipe is super easy, plus oats are always a good choice since studies show they keep you full for hours  and reduce cholesterol  .

One of the best-tasting breakfasts has got to be banana bread, but it’s usually so full of oil or butter that it can feel more like eating a slice of cake. This recipe uses mashed banana, milk, and unsweetened applesauce for the wet ingredients to cut down on the fat while still keeping the loaf nice and moist. For long-term storage, slice the whole loaf once it’s cooled and freeze individual portions in zip-top bags.

Packaged granola seems like a healthy morning meal, but a quick glance at the nutritional info usually unveils tons of sugar and oil. Making it at home couldn’t be simpler, and it will make the whole house smell heavenly. This mix turns out crunchy with chewy clusters, just the way granola should be. Use whatever fruit, nuts, and seeds you want.

We can’t think of a better way to celebrate the weekend than by setting up a waffle bar. Whip up a batch of these waffles with a tropical flair, and then go wild with a bunch of healthy toppings. Toasted nuts, fresh fruit, roasted veggies, and an egg are all great options.

Muffins seem like such a good idea when you’re eating them, but then an hour or so later, they usually lead to a massive sugar crash and a growling stomach. These are flavored with unsweetened applesauce and fresh cherries, plus the recipe calls for whole-wheat flour for more fiber that will help keep you full. This is one pastry that makes you feel good all morning.

There’s nothing better than the smell of blueberry pancakes at a diner. (And there’s nothing worse than having to wait for more than an hour to grab a seat!) Skip the craziness by whipping up a batch of flapjacks at home. This gluten-free and sugar-free version comes together in minutes. Though the recipe calls for wild blueberries, any blueberries, fresh or frozen, will taste great.

Nut and seed lovers, this granola’s for you! Raisins mix with oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and nuts, then get a drizzle of coconut oil for a little sweet. A touch of almond extract and cinnamon transforms a pretty basic mix into an amazing topping for yogurt, fruit, or smoothie bowls.

Snacks

Apple chips are a tasty treat, but they can have all sorts of strange sounding preservatives. Yikes! Spend a weekend making a batch of these sweet chips dusted with cinnamon, and they’ll be ready for snacking all week long. The method works with any apple, so feel free to swap in any of your favorite varieties.

Dried apricots are a fine snack, but they don’t have much staying power on their own. These bars combine the fruit with dates, almonds, and almond butter for a sweet, chewy bite. Vanilla and coconut add that “extra” something to the party without being too in-you-face (er, taste buds?). Best of all, they’re no-bake and will last for two weeks in the fridge.

Trail mix always sounds like a healthy snack, but it’s usually more chocolate and candy than it is nuts and fruit. Mixing together coconut chips, nuts, seeds, and some fruit makes for a trail mix that lives up to its healthy reputation. A few cacao nibs add a little chocolate flair without going overboard.

When the afternoon slump hits, arm yourself with these apple treats that taste every bit as good as a slice of pie but won’t leave youlethargic. Blend dried apples, dates, walnuts, cinnamon, and salt in the food processor, and then form them into balls. They’ll be ready to go when you are and you don’t even need to pack a fork.

Granola bars are an easy snack for busy days, but packaged ones are often more candy bar than health food. These homemade snacks have just enough sweetness from dates and lots of crunch from sunflower and pumpkin seeds. This recipe makes about a dozen bars, so freeze extras for those crazy days when heading to the vending machine is all too easy.

Some energy bars give you pep by packing in the… sugar and artificial sweeteners? Something about that doesn’t seem quite right. These use nuts for healthy fats and dates for good carbs that keep you going all afternoon. Simply mix together the ingredients, spread into a dish, and bake for one of the easiest and tastiest snacks.

Cookies and Dessert Bars

Red velvet cake is just about the prettiest dessert out there, but it’s a total sugar and calorie bomb. This healthier twist gets a similar gorgeous color from beets. The combination of dates, figs, and the root veggie gives these just enough sweetness plus fiber and antioxidants. They’re so good, there’s no need for icing (really!).

Overripe bananas usually wind up baked into a loaf, but they’re also perfect for these vegan and gluten-free cookies. The best part is that oats are the only other ingredient. Just squish them together, drop onto a sheet tray, and bake. Although they’re great as is, use this as a the perfect blank canvas for some mix-ins like nuts or coconut.

Blondies are so delicious thanks in large part to the butterscotch taste from brown sugar, but these somehow have that same flavor thanks to dates. A combo of almond flour and almond butter give a rich, nutty taste that’s irresistible. Flax eggs might sound complicated, but it’s as easy as mixing ground flaxseed with water.

How is it possible that a triple-layer dessert can contain not a grain of added sugar and still taste delicious? This recipe cooks up dates with a bit of orange and vanilla until it forms a rich, sticky filling that’s sandwiched between two crispy, nutty, coconutty layers. These bars are perfect for those on a Paleo diet, those avoiding sugar, and vegans. Sounds pretty perfect, huh?

There’s nothing more disappointing than biting into a brownie only to discover that it’s dry and tasteless. This version skips the baking altogether for a dessert that’s rich, fudgy, and also vegan. Blend the dates, walnuts, coconut oil, and cocoa powder in the food processor, and then press it into a baking dish. They’re delicious as is, but the sugar-free icing adds even more indulgence.

Peanut butter is practically a food group in and of itself, and these cookies are the perfect way to showcase that deliciousness. Sweetening with banana keeps them healthy by cutting the sugar and offering up a dose of potassium. Elvis would certainly approve of these treats.

Frozen Treats

Red, white, and blue pops look practically pathetic alongside these colorful beauties, which are made entirely from fruit that’s been pureed for less sugar plus more vitamins and fiber. The process of blending, cleaning, and layering takes a bit of time, but the results are well worth the effort. Though this recipe calls for kiwi, blueberries, strawberries, mango, watermelon, and pineapple, any fruit will work.

As any vegan knows, coconut milk makes insanely creamy ice cream—nobody would guess that it’s dairy-free. This one adds in pistachios, oranges, and dates (try finding that flavor in stores!) and comes together in the blender before a trip to trip to the freezer, making it one of the easiest ice creams to pull together.

Food is always more fun when it’s on a stick, and these popsicles prove that. Made from bananas, peanut butter, and yogurt, they’re like a frosty PB cup. They also pack a fair amount of calcium, potassium, and protein, so they’re as healthy as they are delicious. No popsicle molds? No problem! Just pour the mix into small cups, pop them into the freeze for about an hour, and then add the sticks.

Frozen yogurt is famous for being lower in fat than ice cream, but it’s also filled with an absurd amount of sugar (and who knows what else!?). This recipe swaps in banana for a taste that’s just sweet enough. Freeze a bunch of bananas ahead so you’re always ready when a craving for something cool and creamy hits.

There aren’t many low-sugar frozen dessert options in the grocery store, and there are even fewer without artificial sweeteners, so making one at home is the best option. This coconut vanilla ice cream tastes rich and decadent, but it contains no sugar or dairy. With just two ingredients, it’s also about as simple as it gets. It doesn’t even require an ice cream maker!

Fudgesicles always sound good, but they’re usually too sweet and not chocolaty enough. These pops get their creamy texture from cashews and soymilk, sweetness from bananas and dates, and rich flavor from cocoa powder. Kids and adults will devour them.

For the flavors of pumpkin pie with the dreamy texture of ice cream, look no further than this frozen concoction. Made with pumpkin puree, coconut milk, dates, and spices, this treat makes the flavor of fall available any time of the year. It could be a new contender for Thanksgiving dessert.

Dinner

Some nights, takeout just beckons, and sweet and sour chicken is a no-brainer. Unfortunately, that bright red sauce (Why is it red anyway?) is so packed with sugar that it can taste like glaze for baked goods. This recipe uses pineapple and all-fruit apricot preserves (check the label!) for sweetness while rice wine vinegar adds a bit of tang. Though the steps take a little bit of time, it couldn’t be easier to prepare.

There’s something super comforting about BBQ pork sandwiches. For a new take on the classic, this recipe combines tomatoes, spices, vinegar, and pineapple for a sweet and tangy sauce. The best part? This dish comes together in a slow cooker, so just blend the sauce and pour it over the pork for a dinner that requires zero maintenance.

Sloppy joes tend to be made with ketchup and brown sugar, but this recipe gets the same rich flavor with tomato sauce and raisins. Lean beef is rich in protein and one of the best sources of iron, making this a winner of a dinner.

An updated take on pork chops and applesauce, this one-skillet supper offers a lot more texture and nutrition. Sweet apples and onions pair perfectly with the savory lean meat. Keeping the skin on the apples ups the fiber and vitamins and makes for a beautiful presentation.

Peach sauce goes great with chicken, but a lot of times recipes call for jams or jellies that leave the final product more sweet than savory. This sauce cooks up easily by combining peaches, mustard, vinegar, and some spices on the stove before a trip to the blender. Don’t be scared away by the long cook time because most of it’s just letting the chicken simmer.

33 Low-Sugar Recipes That Are Totally Sweet! | Greatist.

30 Seasonal Soups That Require Zero Cooking Skills | Greatist

That warm-you-right-up goodness of a bowl of soup is just the thing to cap a day of being out in the chilled air, whether you’ve been tromping through the snowy streets or curled up with a book. And when you’re chilled, you want soup time to happen STAT. That’s why we found 30 simple recipes for all kinds of soups—from cheesy and creamy to hearty and thick—all using less than 10 ingredients (not counting salt and pepper).


Stews, Chilies, and Hearty Chowders

1. Five-Ingredient Homemade Beef Stew

Rule No. 1 of meaty stews: A slow cooker is the way to go since the longer it simmers, the richer the taste will be. This recipe uses only the basics—meat, beans, carrots, and broth—plus one not-quite-as-basic ingredient to give it a little extra oomph: southwest salsa. Hey, why settle for just tomatoes when this sub will both make your taste buds happy and give you some giddyap?

2. Wendy’s Copycat Chili

Quickie chili isn’t just the domain of the red pigtailed. This mild, chunky version with both beans and ground beef can be ramped up with more spices—or even a little jalapeño for an extra-big kick—but it should be flavorful enough alone, especially when gently cooked for several hours.

3. Corn Sausage Chowder

This meat-lover’s bowl takes creamy corn chowder and adds hearty hunks of sausage and potatoes. You may run back for seconds—or thirds, hey, no judgment!—so it’s a good thing the recipe makes six servings.

4. Hearty Cauliflower Chowder

Vegetarians and vegans can get in on the hearty soups action, too. Here’s one easy approach: Sub in cauliflower for meat. The core recipe only has eight ingredients (plus salt and pepper), and this blogger notes several tweaks you can make to alter the taste and texture. Think of this main dish as the base, and riff on it in countless directions.


Creamy Soups

5. Carrot Thyme Soup with Cream

A rich creamy soup that’s a snap to make? Believe it. This warm meal has only five ingredients, and it provides a robust helping of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and antioxidants. (Bonus: You can use up any baby carrots that never made it into your lunchtime rotation.)

6. Creamy Asparagus Soup

Gluten-free and vegan, this six-ingredient soup looks oh-so-fancy. The blogger notes that sunflower seeds can be used in place of the cashews if you wanna mix it up or you have an allergy.

7. Perfect Potato Soup

Get ready for your Goldilocks potato soup: not too lumpy, not too runny, but juuuuust right. It starts with this recipe featuring eight core ingredients—russet potatoes, celery, onion, milk, cream, flour, bacon, and Cajun spice—and a handful of optional ones. Grab your blender, a pot, and a cutting board, and you’re 30 minutes away from soup time.

8. Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Who needs to drink a warm glass of milk before bed when you can tuck into a mug of creamy comfort food? Chicken base bumps up the flavor in this classic soup, and milk makes it creamy. Use canned tomatoes—they have more available lycopene, a megacancer-fighting antioxidant.

9. Easy Sunny Yam Bisque

Vegans, listen up: This low-fat, gluten-free, plant-based soup is about to become your lazy-Sunday-supper go-to. But really everyone should get behind this bisque: Besides being easy-peasy to make, it uses kombu, an iron-rich member of the kelp family that may reduce cholesterol levels and hypertension. And yams bring potassiumvitamin Ciron, and fiber to the bowl.


Harvest Blends

10. Pumpkin Soup

Think of this as a piece of liquid pumpkin pie. With a touch of nutmeg and a dollop of heavy cream (the savory swap for whipped cream) on top, it hits all the same pleasure points as that fresh-from-the-oven favorite. The maple syrup, however, gives this soup some distinction from its baked cousin. And feel free to swap in Greek yogurt in place of cream for a low-cal protein boost.

11. Butternut Squash Soup

This good-for-you soup has just three ingredients: Mix squash, broth, and curry powder, and, ta-dah! Dinner is done! Butternut is everywhere in the fall and winter months, so take advantage and make big batches for quickie weekday lunches.

12. Simple Carrot Soup

The blogger of this recipe calls it a “steaming bowl of sunshine.” Hello! How can we not love that? Instead of a cream base, this soup uses a touch of savory soy sauce to balance the sweetness of the carotenoid-rich carrots.

13. Acorn Squash and Apple Soup

Did you just go apple picking and now you’re staring down piles of Gala or Macintosh, wondering what else you can make, aside from piepie, and more pie? Squash and apple soup to the rescue! This recipe blends the slight sweetness of a popular winter squash with the oh-so-good flavors of applecinnamon, and nutmeg. It’s a toasty-warm meal you can make in 30 minutes.


Healing Soups

14. Chicken Soup

We’ve gone on the record as being pro-chicken soup when it comes to fighting a cold, and this one has the healing properties of the broth along with the chunky goodness of tender chicken, celery, carrots, and onions, sprinkled with plenty of ground black pepper to help clear out any stuffiness.

15. Anti-Cancer Mushroom Soup

This recipe mixes together various healing ingredients: onions, garlic, mushrooms,tea, and yogurt. Prescribe yourself a warm bowl as often as you like.

16. Addictive Green Curry of Broccoli Soup

Broccoli-cheddar soup is a classic, but sometimes you wanna take this cruciferous cancer-fighting veggie for a curry detour. All you need aside from some florets is nut butter, coconut milk, and green curry paste.

17. Green Soup

The day-glo green color here tips you off to all the nutrients jammed into this soup. Leeks, green beans, broccoli, zucchini, and parsley look so lovely, creamy, and healthy, it could outdo smoothies for making veggies sip-able.

18. Miso With Dumplings

The Japanese often have miso soup as breakfast to kick-start their digestive tracts. But this broth-and-dumpling combo has probiotic benefits whatever time you eat it. And this soup also gives you a chance to use immune-boosting mushrooms, vitamin K-packed green onions and kale, and low-calorie zucchini.


Soups with Kick (or Chocolate!)

19. Chipotle Roasted Corn Soup

Corn chips, you’ve met your match! This soup is composed almost entirely of corn, which means you get a hearty helping of B vitamins and a high ratio of insoluble-to-soluble fiber with each bowl. And with only three ingredients in the recipe, clean-up is a breeze.

20. Curried Sweet Potato and Wild Rice Soup

Stop the marshmallow madness! Sweet potatoes were meant for better things than sticky-sweet casseroles. Consider this Indian-influenced, low-fat, low-sugar soup steeped in curry. It can quickly warm you from head to toe, and the garlic and onion may help detoxify you in the process.

21. Inca Corn Soup

Clearly, the Incas were on to something. This recipe uses supergrain quinoa, chilies, and black beans, turning a creamy corn soup into a Peruvian treat. A drop of maple syrup gives it a hit of sweet. Or add hot sauce for even more cha-cha-cha.

22. Chestnut Soup with Chocolate Garnish

Chocolate. Yes, we went there. Heavy cream and cocoa aren’t usually considered healthy, but it’s all about small portions of indulgent ingredients. And it’s an excuse to enjoy more antioxidant-laden dark chocolate. This soup with energy-packed chestnuts is a great bowl to sip near a fireplace with logs aflame. (You have our permission to hum a few bars of “The Christmas Song.”)


Bean and Legume Soups

23. White Bean and Tomato Soup

The next best thing to wishing your dinner into existence. With just three ingredients and three minutes in a microwave, this soup makes for a quick meal at work or home. And beans and tomatoes bring a double-whammy of antioxidants to the party.

24. Black Bean Soup

This soup is as Southwest as it gets, especially if you add the optional garnish items of sour cream, diced avocadocilantro, lime wedges, and strips of corn tortillas. But the star of this Southwest lineup is the black bean, a powerful legume that helps digestive tracts and packs essential daily vitamins, fiber, magnesium, iron, and more.

25. Simple Minestrone Soup

Zucchini bread isn’t the only way to use up the green summer squash. Pair with a hearty base of cannellini (or other white beans), olive oilgarlic, tomatoes, and pesto, and you have a six-ingredient soup ready in less than 10 minutes.

26. Lentil Soup

For such a little legume, lentils pack a mega-wallop of nutritional benefits: They can help stabilize blood sugar, boost energy levels, and, because they’re high in magnesium, improve blood flow and reduce risk of heart disease. This hearty dish is also stuffed with healthy and delicious tomatoes, garlic, and onions. If you’re making this, I’m coming over.

Cheesy Classics

27. French Onion Soup

Don’t wait till you’re dining out at Chez This-or-That to enjoy heaps of Gruyere in a flavorful broth of onions. Whip up this simple recipe and treat yourself to a bon appétit moment. Despite the decadent, rich cheese, this soup is actually full of important nutrients thanks to the amazing properties of the onion. High in flavonoids, this allium vegetable, according to some health studies, may lower your risk of some forms of cancer if consumed regularly.

28. Broccoli Cheese Soup

Broccoli sometimes gets a bad rap when it’s buried so deep in cheese dip that it can’t even be tasted. But this soup offers cheese-broccoli redemption. There’s no hiding the cruciferous veggie’s green greatness, but there’s plenty of cheese-is-divine spoonfuls to savor, too.

29. Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

Coming in right at nine ingredients, this recipe leads you to a buttery, milky, cheesy, veggie-loaded chowder Wonderland. (Tip: This dish works with either chicken or vegetable broth as the base.) It’s a quick-to-make soup to fill you up a cold night.

30. Easy Chicken Tortellini Soup

Chicken noodle doesn’t have the corner on the best pasta soup. Many people swear allegiance to the wonderful, comforting taste of tortellini in a tomato-based broth. This recipe offers you a dish that’s like coming home to a bear hug from an Italian mama.

30 Seasonal Soups That Require Zero Cooking Skills | Greatist.

Is Any Bread Actually Healthy? A Must-Read Before You Buy Your Next Loaf | Greatist

With low-carb, Paleo, and gluten-free diets on the rise, bread (and grains in general) has fallen out of favor. Even in France, the birthplace of the baguette, they’ve had to resort to a “Got Milk” style ad campaign to stop sales from crumbling. However, the loaf isn’t dead yet.

To combat the trend of falling bread consumption, commercial bread bakers have been looking to formulate and market a healthier bread. In that quest, they’re using bread buzzwords such as “stoneground,” “gluten-free,” and “whole wheat.”

Nearly everyone has heard the advice to choose whole-grain bread over white bread (for the health benefits of whole-grain flour), but there’s still much discussion about even whole-grain options . And the advantages of other types of bread are less clear-cut. WTF does “sprouted grain bread” even mean, and are the health benefits enough to justify the extra $2 per loaf?

Here are some common (and commonly misunderstood) bread buzzwords and what they really mean.

“Whole Wheat”

White vs. Whole-Wheat Bread

Time to flash back to biology class: Wheat, in its natural, fresh-off-the-plant form, contains three components: the germ, endosperm, and bran layer. The germ contains loads of vitamins and minerals, while the endosperm is packed with protein and carbohydrate. The bran layer (the rough stuff… thinkbran muffin) is full of fiber . Whole-grain flours are made by grinding up intact wheat kernels; white flours have to be “stripped” of all the good stuff before they get sent to the grinder. To make white flour, manufacturers remove the germ and bran (along with 80 percent of the fiber and most of the nutrients), then send the stripped grains through the mill. White flours usually get a dose of B vitamins, folic acid, and iron during processing; this fortification process replaces up some of the lost nutrient content, but the flour is still missing many healthy compounds such as antioxidants and phytonutrients .

The Whole-Wheat Hang-Up

Think you’re all set buying 100-percent whole-wheat bread? Not so fast. The FDA says that a grain-containing product labeled “100-percent whole-grain” must be made of germ, endosperm, and bran in proportions that equal those of intact grains. Food manufactuers exploit this loophole and often process grain as white flour, then add the germ and bran back in. Believe it or not, this still counts as “whole-grain” flour . The reconstituted whole-grain flour often has dough conditioners and flavorings added, and probably loses some nutrients through processing too.

“Stone-Ground Flour”

These buzzwords recall a simpler era in bread baking, when windmills would grind grain using compression from stones. But today, like the term “natural,” the marketing buzzword “stone ground” is essentially meaningless.

When you read “stone ground” on bread, it just indicates that a grain has been passed through a stone mill at least once during the manufacturing process. So if the first step in making Wonder Bread were a quick trip of the wheat through a stone grinder, it could be considered made of stone-ground flour. The FDA doesn’t police this phrase, so food manufacturers are free to use this as they wish.

“Sprouted Wheat”

Sprouted wheat breads are the darling of the health food set. All sorts of health claims have been made about sprouted grains, including increased digestibility, higher protein content, and more enzyme activity. Are any of these claims legit?

Well, sprouting grains increases the activity of certain enzymes, which allows nutrients to be more available for digestion. It also lowers carbohydrate content, changes the amino acid profile, and raises protein content . Sprouting ups the content of some nutrients such as antioxidants and fiber too . Due to these differences, sprouted-grain breads are technically more nutritious than breads made using unsprouted flour. However, the differences are pretty small—eating sprouted-grain bread over plain ol’ whole wheat won’t make much of a difference in a person’s nutritional intake.

“Gluten Free”

Is Gluten-Free the Way to Be?

Several celebs have gone gaga for the gluten-free diet—including Lady Gaga herself—but following this dietary trend really isn’t necessary unless you have celiac disease . Although many report being sensitive to gluten, a condition known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), scientific evidence isn’t up to speed on exactly why or how this occurs (or if it is even a real condition) . Claims of weight loss and increased energy from going gluten-free abound, but these effects are probably due to increased diet quality (think more fruits and veggies, fewer processed foods) rather than the elimination of the gluten protein.

The 411 on Gluten-Free Bread

For those without celiac disease, gluten-free breads may or may not be healthier. In general, a gluten-free diet is more likely to be low in vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B and D, zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, and fiber . Eating gluten-free—without paying close attention to the quality and nutrient content of foods—can raise the risk for developing obesity and/or metabolic syndrome . Many gluten-free bread products are prepared with corn or rice starch, both of which have a high glycemic index and low fiber content . And because gluten-free grains don’t always play nice in forming bread dough, manufacturers of gluten-free breads often mix in fats or oils to dough increase palatability (which also ups the calorie content!) and additives like starches and gums to improve texture .

However, there are a bunch of different flour options when it comes to GF baked goods. Some, such asoat flour and chickpea flour, have relatively good nutritional stats . Others, like tapioca flour, are pretty much pure starch. Recognizing consumer demand, food scientists are currently hard at work to develop tasty, delicious, and nutritious gluten-free breads using some of the more nutritious flours and novel preparation methods. In the meantime, if you’re eating gluten-free bread, be a label-reader—watch out for long ingredient lists, additives, and low fiber contents.

“Fermented Breads” and ”Yeasted Breads”

Old-School Bread Baking

Baking yeast bread is one of those intimidating kitchen projects that seems like you’d need a full weekend to accomplish (although it’s totally doable to DIY, as well as cheaper, healthier, and not as time-consuming as you’d expect). At its most basic, making yeast bread involves mixing together flour, water, commercial yeast, and salt, letting the mixture rise, and baking the risen dough. During the rising period, the yeast gobbles up some carbohydrates in the flour and digest them via fermentation. The end products are alcohol and carbon dioxide—which add flavor and volume to the dough.

Sourdough bread making involves similar steps, but the process starts with a “sourdough starter” or “sponge,” which is a mixture of live yeast, lactic-acid producing bacteria, flour, and water. Bacteria and wild yeast from the environment settle on the starter and start to ferment away, producing a mini-ecosystem packed with flavor-making potential. Both yeast and bacteria increase the acidity of the dough, which fends off harmful bacteria and gives sourdough its characteristic tangy taste.

The Health Factors

OK, now that we have Breadmaking 101 out of the way, let’s talk about the health benefits of yeasted bread. Some claim that sourdough bread made with a wild yeast starter is healthier and easier to digest than your standard loaf. While the wild yeast primarily contribute to the complexity of the flavor present in sourdough (and some would say its overall deliciousness), the long fermentation time required and acidity of the dough are what really contribute to its health benefits . This process makes the nutrients in wheat flour more available for digestion and the simple sugars less available, which may help with blood sugar control, particularly for people with diabetes . (Although portion control is still key for blood sugar issues.) Sourdough fermentation may also help make wheat bread easier for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to digest . One study found that sourdough bread made with a long fermentation time produced fewer symptoms (such as bloating and gas) than conventionally made bread .

But Is It “Probiotic”?

Kombucha, kefir, yogurt, and… bread? Some claim that sourdough bread is a probiotic food since it is made with a fermented dough containing tons of gut-friendly bacteria (Lactobacillus, we’re looking at you!). While the baking process kills off the bacteria, which may reduce its probiotic properties, there’s some evidence suggesting that even dead probiotic bacteria still have some health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties . But don’t swap out your yogurt for toast just yet; the scientific evidence on the health benefits of live probiotics is much stronger .

Additives and Shelf Stabilizers: Words to Avoid

While it’s best to avoid the usual culprits when it comes to additives (hydrogenated oils, food dyes, and high-fructose corn syrup, to name some common not-so-healthy ingredients in highly processed foods), there are a few bread-specific additives to watch out for.

The first is the so-called “yoga mat” chemical of the infamous Subway bread controversy. Also used to improve the stretchiness of rubber products like flip-flops and yoga mats, this chemical—azodicarbonamide, abbreviated as ADA or ADC—is added to some commercial bread products as a bleaching agent and flour-improver. When heated, ADA forms two icky byproducts, one that’s known to cause cancer and one that might cause cancer.

Another problematic item on the ingredient list is potassium bromate, a chemical added to fluff up bread and give it a tender texture, which has also been shown to cause cancer in animals and may hurt kidney function in humans . It’s banned pretty much everywhere except in the U.S. and Japan.

Less scary-sounding but definitely unhealthy, added sugars such as dextrose appear in certain commercial breads. Dextrose contributes to the nice, toasty-brown color of baked loaves (and to Americans’ waistlines). Other names for sugar include sucrose or “evaporated cane juice.” There’s no need to completely eliminate added sugars, but limiting them is a good idea.

The Takeaway

While commercial food producers splash all sorts of health-related claims on packaging, a lot of thefront-of-package labeling is just to entice consumers. For your healthiest bread options, look for whole-grain breads with short ingredient lists (not too much longer than flour, water, yeast, and salt). Bonus points for buying from artisan bakers or making your own.

Fermented breads, a.k.a. sourdough made with a long fermentation time, could reduce blood sugar spikes or icky abdominal symptoms in some people. (Although keep in mind, portion control still key if you’re trying to lose weight or have blood sugar issues.) And sprouted-grain breads may offer some nutritional advantages above and beyond the basic whole-grain loaf, but eating sprouted bread isn’t likely to lead to significant improvements in health (though you’ll get hippie street cred). As far as gluten concerns go, if you have celiac disease (or suspect other sensitivities), look for gluten-free bread made from beneficial ingredients like chickpea or oat flour. But if you’re a-OK with gluten, there’s no reason to break up with everyone’s favorite comforting carb.

Is Any Bread Actually Healthy? A Must-Read Before You Buy Your Next Loaf | Greatist.