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Archive for Low Calorie

TIP OF THE DAY: Make Spice Water

For Thanksgiving, infuse the water pitcher with seasonal spices and herbs. Try one or more of the following (we use all of them):

  • Cardamom pods
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Fresh ginger slices
  • Lemon or orange slices
  • Mint leaves
  • Whole cloves
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    Refreshing and thirst quenching, the spices and herbs also add a boost of antioxidants to the water. Ginger also helps to stimulate digestion, which makes it a good-to-include ingredient for Thanksgiving dinner spice water.

    You may like spice water so much, that you’ll drink it year-round.

     

    Add cinnamon sticks and other seasonal
    spices to the water pitcher. Photo courtesy
    Factory Direct Craft.

     

    You can also buy bottled spice water: Ayala’s Herbal Water, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week. Seasonal flavors include Clove Cardamom Cinnamon, Cinnamon Orange Peel and Ginger Lemon Peel.

      

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    RECIPE: Fish Ceviche (Consider Trout!)

    Trout ceviche. Photo courtesy
    ILoveBlueSea.com

     

    Ceviche, raw fish or shellfish cured by acidic citrus juice, has been popular in Latin America for many centuries. In the early 1500s, the Spanish conquistadors wrote of an Inca dish of raw fish marinated in chicha, a fermented maize beer that dates back some 2,000 years.

    The concept evolved into ceviche (pronounced say-VEE-chay) (here’s the history of ceviche). There is something about fresh, homemade ceviche that is refreshing and satisfying, as well as low in calories and healthful (here’s why ceviche is so good for you).

    We love the tangy twist of lime, the briny hit of fish or seafood, the sprightly cilantro and creamy avocado.

    Throughout South America, the mix of fish or seafood changes depending on the local catch and regional preferences.

     

    This recipe can be used with any fish or seafood. It is courtesy of chef Giovanna Garcia and I Love Blue Sea, an e-tailer of premier seafood, where the team enjoys their ceviche with raw tuna or trout.

    The recipe is so easy to make, you’ve just got to try it. Warning: You may become a ceviche addict.

     

    TROUT CEVICHE/FISH CEVICHE RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh rainbow trout
  • 6 limes, juiced
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
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    MacFarland Springs Trout. Photo courtesy I Love Blue Sea.

     

    Preparation

    1. CUT trout into pieces and place in a glass dish or bowl. Cover trout with lime juice and let sit in refrigerator for at least an hour. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl.

    2. DRAIN the lime juice from the fish and add to the bowl. Toss to combine.

    3. TASTE and season with sea salt and pepper.

    4. SERVE with crackers or tortilla chips, in a lettuce cup or with mixed greens.

    Here’s THE NIBBLE’s ceviche recipe for mixing and matching your favorite ingredients into your dream ceviche.

    Find more of our favorite fish recipes.

      

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    PRODUCT: BettaSnax, Diet Biscotti

    Bettasnax is an artisan bakery that specializes in better snacks. Using only premium ingredients, the bakery aims to “fill the gap”: the gap in healthy snacks, the gap between lunch and dinner.

    They’ve scored a hit with their first product, all-natural biscotti slices. Conventional biscotti have been whittled down to thin rectangles, approximately 1″ x 1-1/2″. Their sweetened modestly (great for those who don’t like sugary cookies), and each little cookie has just 10 calories.

    Now at coffee break or for dessert, you can have several super-crunchy pieces without blowing the calorie budget. BettaSnax also go well with cheese and can be served as a crunchy side with soup or salad. The resealable bag is easy to tote around.

    The ingredients are very clean: flour, egg whites, cane sugar, almonds and vanilla extract. There’s no added fat, no cholesterol, no preservatives, no artificial flavors.

    You can buy a case, twelve four-ounce bags, four portions per bag, on Amazon. If you have some every day, that’s a six-week supply—more if you have only three cookies instead of the one-ounce portion size of nine.

    But you’ll probably find yourself saring them with friends.

     

    Bites of biscotti, just 10 calories apiece, from BettaSnax. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    For more information, visit BettaSnax.com.

    Find more of our favorite diet cookies.

      

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    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Yonanas Frozen Treat Maker

    A frozen banana (or your favorite fruit) goes into the machine, banana soft serves comes out in a minute. Photo © Corinna Gissemann | Fotolia.

     

    Are you an ice cream addict but want to give up those refined sugar calories and carbs? Do you want to add more fruit to your diet?

    Now, you can make your own 100% fruit soft serve “sorbet” without added sugar, thanks to the Yonanas Frozen Treat Maker.

    Yonanas almost instantly transforms your favorite fruits—banana, berries, mango, pineapple, the whole fruit department—into a silky-smooth frozen confection.

    The frozen fruit—pre-frozen or frozen by you—goes into the chute (see the photo in the full review). It emerges as thick, creamy soft serve-like “sorbet.”

    The compact Yonanas machine is well worth the cost (list $49.99) and the space. It’s not only easy to make, it’s easy to clean the machine. Everything but the motor portion goes right into the dishwasher.

     

     

    Get yourself a Yonanas machine: You deserve it!

    And, you may become more popular as people begin to invite themselves over for some Yonanas. Tell them to BYOFF: bring your own frozen fruit.

    Read the full review.

    Find more of our favorite frozen desserts and recipes.

     

    Get a Yonanas Frozen Treat Maker. You deserve it! Photo courtesy Yonanas.

     

      

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    COOKING VIDEO: Healthy Chips And Dip

     

    As a nation, we love crunchy snacks and creamy dips. As calorie counters, we don’t.

    In this video, chef Curtis Stone shows how easy it is to make your own lowfat baked chips (commercial chips can have 30% fat) and lowfat, low-calorie dips.

    They taste good and keep you looking good (Chef Stone looks great!).

    See our Snacks Section with healthful snacks and recipes.

       

       

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Homemade Ice Pops, Regular Or Diet

    Cool off with minimal calories. Photo
    courtesy Sparkling Ice.

     

    With record heat in many parts of the country, including ours, our thoughts ran to the different ways to cool off—without packing on the calories.

    So we kept making bottles of seltzer with our Soda Stream, and mixed lots of our favorite new 5-calorie Lipton Tea and Honey To Go Stix Iced Tea Mix (in the Blackberry Pomegranate flavor) into individual bottles of cold water.

    Then, we made our first diet ice pops of the season. All you need is ice pop molds and your favorite flavor of diet soda (we prefer fruit and root beer).

    This tasty recipe uses calorie-free Black Raspberry Sparkling ICE with fresh raspberries. If you’re not counting calories, you can also use regular soda, juice or kefir.

    The chopped fruit helps to bulk up the thinness of the soda.

     

    RASPBERRY ICE POPS

    Ingredients

  • 1 17-ounce bottle Black Raspberry Sparkling ICE or other raspberry soda
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries, chopped
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    Preparation

    1. In a bowl, stir together soda and chopped raspberries.

    2. Ladle mixture into ice pop molds and insert handles.

    3. Freeze for at least 2 hours or until frozen.
     
    The other Sparking ICE flavors can be adapted to pops as well: Coconut Pineapple, Kiwi Strawberry, Lemonade, Lemon Lime, Orange Mango, Pink Grapefruit and Pomegranate Berry. The line is certified kosher by OU.

    The over-21 crowd can add a half teaspoon of gin, tequila or vodka per pop. Don’t add more without testing, or your pops may not freeze.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Lipton Iced Tea & Honey, Whenever, Wherever

    As the weather warms up and we get thirstier and thirstier, we plan how to hydrate on-the-go.

    That’s why we’re delighted that Lipton has launched its Tea & Honey To Go packets. This new line of iced tea mixes contains natural honey, real tea leaves and real fruit flavors.

    Wherever you can find a glass of water—or fill your water bottle—you can have a refreshing glass of iced tea for just 5 calories per eight ounces. The packets themselves weigh nothing and can be carried in a pocket. So today’s tip is: Consider the convenience of to-go packets to make instant drinks from water.

    These Lipton Tea & Honey iced green tea drink mixes include:

  • Black Currant Raspberry
  • Blackberry Pomegranate
  • Lemon
  • Mango Pineapple
  • Peach Apricot
  • Strawberry Açaí
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    The mixes also come in pitcher-size packets.

     

    Pour the packet contents into water to turn it to flavorful iced tea. Image courtesy Lipton.

     

    And the except for sucralose, the mixes are all natural.* The ingredients include honey granules,† citric acid, green tea powder, maltodextrin,‡ natural flavor and color.

    The products are hitting stores now nationwide. You can get a free samples when you like Lipton on Facebook, while supplies last.

    *Although sucralose is made from sugar, the sugar molecule is chemically modified, which classifies it as an artificial sweetener.

    †Honey granules are pure honey, dried and cut, with no additives, into pinhead-size pieces. You can buy them online.

    ‡Maltodextrin is a starch filler made from natural corn, rice or potato starch. It is a white powder used as a thickener or a filler without altering flavor. It’s in artificial sweetener packets, for example, because the very few grains of aspartame or sucralose required as a sweetener wouldn’t fill a packet.

     

    A box of packets makes 10 bottles of tea. Photo courtesy Lipton.

     

    Why We’re Big Fans Of Tea & Honey To Go Packets

    1. 5 Calorie Fruit Flavor. The added honey neutralizes the sucralose flavor. The drinks are sweet and fruity, for just 5 calories per eight-ounce cup/10 calories per bottle.

    2. Instant Drink. Open the packet, add to water and stir or shake. How easy is that?

    3. Sustainability. Keep reusing the same water bottle, save the landfill from empties.

    4. Price . At $3.29 for 10 packets (prices will vary), you can enjoy fruity ice tea for 32¢ a bottle instead of buying a ready-made drink for $1.79.

    We see many products launched that aren’t really needed. We do need

    Honey, Tea & Lady Antebellum

    You can also enter the brand’s Drink Positive Sweepstakes with Lady Antebellum on Facebook, for the chance to win a visit with the band in Nashville and exclusive live music downloads. There’s also a series of Lady Antebellum’s behind-the-tour webisodes.

     

    We were Lipton’s guest at the Lady Antebellum concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Great group, great evening and lots of great Lipton Tea & Honey.

      

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    PRODUCT: Diet Snapple Half ‘n Half

    Photo courtesy Snapple.

     

    Snapple didn’t invent the “Half ‘n Half,” a refreshing beverage made of half iced tea, half lemonade.

    The drink was popularized by golfing great Arnold Palmer.

    As the story goes, in the 1960s, after a long day spent designing a golf course in Palm Springs, Palmer asked a bartender for a mixture of lemonade and iced tea.

    A woman sitting next to him told the bartender, “I’ll have that Palmer drink”—which quickly became known as an “Arnold Palmer.”

    Whether Palmer created it himself or got the idea elsewhere is currently lost to history. And the term “Half ‘n Half” has long been used in the U.K. to describe various combinations of beverages.

     

    So don’t be confused when you see Diet Snapple’s new Half ‘n Half. It’s a diet Arnold Palmer—and it’s delicious.

    The entire 16-ounce bottle has just 10 calories,* and it’s worth many times that in terms of refreshment. The sweeteners are sucralose and acesulfame potassium. There’s no “diet” taste: just total deliciousness.

    Mix your alcohol of choice into an Arnold Palmer and you get a John Daly—named for a golfer who is not happy that his name is being used. But if you want to put some vodka (or citrus vodka) in your Half ‘n Half, Diet Snapple provides the base for a low-calorie cocktail.

    *Per 8-ounce serving: 5 calories, 0 g total fat, 5 mg sodium, 1 total carb, 0 g sugar, 0 g protein.

      

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    RECIPE: 7 Tips To Make Healthier Mashed Potatoes

    Healthier mashed potatoes. Photo courtesy
    U.S. Potato Board.

     

    To eat better in the new year, here’s an alternative for healthier mashed potatoes. Use one or all of the tips; play around with different variations to see what you like best:

  • Use half boiled or steamed potatoes, half steamed cauliflower. The recipe is also known as cauliflower mashed potatoes. Mashed cauliflower looks like mashed potatoes, and is a mom’s trick to get kids (and reluctant adults) to eat their veggies. Sneak it into your mashed potatoes and save calories (plain boiled potatoes have 136 calories per cup, cauliflower just 25 calories). You’ll also get a better blend of nutrients: Both foods are rich in dietary fiber and vitamin C; potatoes are also rich in potassium and vitamin B6. Cauliflower offers a richer nutrient profile including manganese, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin, thiamin and vitamins B6, B9 (folate) and K.
  • Keep the skin on the potatoes. The skin contains approximately half of a potato’s total dietary fiber and nutrients. The fiber is an important addition to your recommended daily intake of 42g of fiber (here’s why), and fiber makes you feel fuller.
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  • Reduce the butter. Use whipped butter instead of solid butter sticks: It contains more air and thus fewer calories. We use half butter and half basil olive oil. Any flavored or regular olive oil will do, but use extra virgin olive oil—the better the oil, the better the taste.
  • Use nonfat milk. Instead of whole milk or half and half, use nonfat milk. We use the Skim Plus Milk from Farmland Dairies, which is 0% fat but as rich as 2% milk because extra milk protein is added, thickening the milk and concentrating the flavor. (It’s therefore more expensive, but well worth it). Each regional dairy has a different name for this type of product, and it’s not necessarily the most logically descriptive. For example, another brand in our area, Tuscan Dairy Farms, calls its concentrated nonfat milk “Over The Moon.” If you can’t find this type of milk, ask your grocer to point out the “extra rich nonfat milk.”
  • Replace sour cream with fat-free sour cream or nonfat Greek yogurt. We don’t ordinarily use sour cream in our mashed potatoes, but know quite a few people who do. We tested the recipe with both fat-free sour cream and nonfat Greek yogurt. We preferred the yogurt.
  • Use sea salt instead of regular table salt. They have the same basic nutritional value, but sea salt has a better flavor and texture. It’s also a natural product, produced through evaporation of seawater with little processing, so the trace minerals and elements from the water remain (providing the flavor and color). Table salt is mined from underground salt deposits, then heavily processed to eliminate all the minerals.
  • Add fresh herbs for flavor. We love to snip fresh herbs into our mashed potatoes. Basil, chives and parsley are personal favorites—singly or together. They bring such sprightly flavor notes that no one will notice that far fewer creamy fats—butter, sour cream and/or whole milk—are there. A grind of fresh pepper completes the new recipe.
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    Please share your own tips and tricks.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Radish Eyeballs For Adult Halloween Food

     

    How about some “eyeball” nibbles with your Halloween cocktails?

    This healthy hors d’oeuvre or snack uses a radish base for the white and “veins” of the eyeball. The pupil and iris are a pimento-stuffed olive. All you have to do is peel the radishes and insert the olives (buy large radishes and small olives).

    Fun to look at, crunchy radish eyeballs are a low-calorie and healthy food. (Yes, fun, delicious and healthy do co-exist!) Serving ideas:

  • Relish Tray: Serve the eyeballs as part of a retro relish tray, with celery and carrot sticks or other favorite crudités (our favorites include broccoli, cauliflower, fennel, grape tomatoes and zucchini), plus gherkins or pickle slices. We also like to add spiced apple slices and pickled pears.
  • Cheese Plate: Add radish eyeballs to a platter with Halloween cheeses.
  • Halloween Platter: Present the radish eyeballs on a Halloween plate, perhaps with some plastic spiders (check out this tarantula) or a more standard garnish (parsley or a bed of shredded lettuce). Or, treat yourself to a Halloween platter where the “garnish” is the built-in design.
  • Ice Cubes: Freeze the eyeballs in ice cubes and use to create a Halloween Martini (a regular Martini with eyeball ice).
  • Pasta: Garnish a dish of “blood and worms” pasta (spaghetti with tomato sauce).
  •  
    Add your ideas to this list!

       

       

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