THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
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Archive for Low Fat


Who couldn’t to discover that their favorite snack pastry is low in fat with half the calories? Today’s a lucky day: We’ve found delicious low fat donuts and cinnamon buns.

You can have your cake and eat it too, thanks to Holey Donuts!. The secret is in the process: they use a method that takes 22 steps to make and avoids deep fat frying.

You can order donuts in just about type you can imagine, including filled donuts (our favorite and the best sellers) and filled donut holes.

What are you waiting for? Stock up!

Low fat and delicious. Photo by River


RECIPE: Easy Healthy Recipes With Salsa

Want a home-cooked meal that’s good for you and couldn’t be easier?

Cook with salsa!

These two recipes for Chicken Salsa and Fish Salsa show just how easy it is to take the protein, a jar of salsa, and create an easy and delicious dinner. They also work with tofu.

While the protein is cooking, make a green salad, steam a green vegetable and make some brown rice (microwave precooked frozen or cook it in the pressure cooker for the same 15-20 minutes that the protein takes.)

To Microwave Brown Rice

1. Add 1 cup brown rice and 3 cups cold water in a 2-1/2 quart microwave-safe dish. (We enjoy our square CorningWare casserole dish, which also looks nice at the table.)

2. Microwave uncovered for 10 minutes on HIGH.

Salsa Chicken is one of the easiest chicken
recipes to make. Photo courtesy

3. Reduce power to 50%. Microwave uncovered 20 minutes.

4. Allow to sit for 5 minutes in the microwave (you can remove it if you need the microwave for another task).

5. Fluff with a fork and add any seasonings. For healthy cooking, don’t add butter, but look to herbs, spices and/or veggies: chives (or green onions), diced bell peppers and/or toasted sesame seeds, for example. A sprinkling of slivered almonds, walnuts or other healthy nuts also pairs well with the nutty flavor and chewy texture of brown rice.



TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Chef Gerard & Chuck’s Salsa Verde

Salsa verde is made from the green tomatillo
berry, which is not a tomato. Photo by
Hannah Kaminsky | THE NIBBLE.


We’re a nation of salsa lovers; but much of that is salsa roja, red salsa.

In Mexico, the land from which we obtained our love of salsa, it’s the opposite. Only the northern states of Mexico, closest to the U.S. border, have red salsa as their tradition.

Green salsa is based on the tomatillo, which is a distant relative of the tomato (the difference between tomatoes and tomatillos).

We’ve had salsa verde from jars, but only recently experienced the joys of fresh salsa verde, from Chef Gerard & Chuck’s. It made us ask, why isn’t there more fresh salsa verde on the market?

Of course, that’s the very question that got Chef Gerard into the business!

  • Read the full review.
  • Watch the video and learn how to make salsa verde.
  • Check out all the different types of salsa in Latin America, including 20 types you’ve probably never heard of.
  • The history of salsa, all the way back to the Aztecs.
  • How did salsa, the food, become salsa, the dance? The origin of salsa dancing.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Fat Separator

    Remember Jack Sprat, who could eat no fat; and his wife could eat no lean?

    We bet that Mrs. Sprat is long gone to her reward from heart disease, diabetes, and/or stroke: a result of her high-cholesterol, high-saturated-fat diet.*

    Jack? He’s a sprightly senior, still eating lean.

    *Our bodies make too much cholesterol when we eat too much saturated fat, which is the type of fat found in animal-based foods, including meat and dairy products.

    Take a tip from Jack: Minimize your saturated fat intake from gravy, soups and stocks.

    Separating fat can be a messy job, but the OXO Fat Separator makes it neat and easy.

    One of the easiest ways to eat healthier:
    use a fat separator. Photo courtesy

    Old school cooks skim the fat while cooking, or by refrigerating the cooked food. The fat rises to the surface and congeals when cold, so it can be hand-skimmed with a spoon. This process works reasonably well, but it’s tedious and has you shaking or wiping fat from the spoon, over and over again.

    Others use a bulb baster. It’s better than nothing, but it doesn’t make things easy.

    Then some savvy person invented the fat separator. Some look like measuring cups; some, which are used at the table, look like gravy boats.

    Since fat rises to the top, a fat separator allows you to pour the lean juices from a spout connected to the bottom of the device (see the photo). The fat remains inside.

    The OXO Fat Separator adds a mechanism that filters out solid particles, leaving “pure slimmed-down juices” to flow from the spout. It’s available at Sur La Table and other fine stores, and; and at in both two-cup and four-cup sizes.



    FOOD VIDEO: How To Choose Healthy Snacks


    If you’re one of the millions of people who have just made a New Year’s resolution to pursue better food choices, here’s an “inspirational” video. It shows some simple, portion-controlled snack ideas that let you treat yourself without going overboard.

    Whether you have a sweet tooth or prefer savory flavors—and there’s no reason you can’t have both—pick up some tips to maintain your 2011 eating plan.

    Some of our favorites:

  • Quality lower-calorie, fat-free and no-sugar-added ice cream is as close as your local supermarket. If your goal is to have more ice cream more often, trade away the superpremium brands for those with half the calories, fat and carbs. It’s not plain vanilla: Edy’s, Dreyer’s and Breyer’s, among others, make exciting flavors.
  • Check out different sugar-free preserves. You can’t tell the difference with the best ones, imported from Europe made sweetened with maltitol. Or check out the organic Fiordifrutta line, sweetened with apple juice instead of sugar and available in an orchard of flavors: Apricot, Blackberry, Cherry, Cranberry, Lemon, Peach, Plum, Orange, Raspberry, Strawberry, Wild Berries and Wild Blueberry.
  • No Sugar Added preserves also make good low calorie dessert toppings for ice cream and yogurt, as well as pancake toppings.
  • Salsa is low in calories but bursting with flavor and nutrition. Salsa and baby carrots are a ready-to-eat, healthy snack. Check out some of our favorite salsas and salsa recipes.
  • And speaking of veggies, treat yourself to pickled vegetables. Our two favorite brands are Rick’s Picks and Tillen Farms. Asparagus, okra, red pepper strips, string beans and other veggies never tasted so good!

    Find more healthy ideas in our Cooking Videos Section.

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Strawberries For The Holidays

    Holiday season is high-calorie season. But you can help your calorie-stressed guests.

    In addition to serving crudités as an option to the seductive Brie Torte, provide fresh fruit for guests who are watching calories or carbs, don’t eat refined sugar or are doing their best to avoid plunging into your brownies and butter cookies.

    Fresh fruit pickings are slim in December, but a big bowl of strawberries is seasonal in color, festive in appearance and usually abundant, thanks to California’s strawberry growers. (It’s warm enough in the southern part of the state to harvest strawberries in December.)

    Packed with antioxidants that are heart-healthy, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory. Strawberries are just about perfect as a fruit. Just compare:

  • Apples: 65 calories/cup, 17.3 g total carb, 16.2 g sugar
  • Grapes: 62 calories/cup, 15.8 g total carb, 14.9 g sugar
  • Pears: 96 calories/cup, 25.5 g total carb, 16.2 g sugar
  • Pineapple: 78 calories/cup, 20.3 g total carb, 20.3 g sugar
  • Strawberries: 49 calories/cup, 11.7 g total carb, 7.4 g sugar

    A bowl or basket of strawberries is a healthy
    and low calorie holiday option. Photo courtesy

    The numbers to note are carbs and sugar: Strawberries have half as much sugar than most other fruit, including canteloupe.

    Serve strawberries with a low-calorie, fat-free cinnamon-yogurt dip. Sweeten with a non-caloric sweetener or low calorie, low-glycemic agave nectar.

    Nutrition information from

    A nice presentation is to place the strawberries in a napkin-lined basket with a bowl of dip in the center. If the caps on the berries are bright green and perky, leave them on—they add to the beauty. Just provide a small bowl for the discarded stems.



    PRODUCT: Angie’s Kettle Corn

    Kettle corn: a bit salty, a bit sweet. Photo
    by River Soma | THE NIBBLE.

    Some people like their popcorn extra-crunchy. Others like a softer chew.

    If you’re in the latter camp and like sweet popcorn, Angie’s Kettle Corn may be the treat you’re looking for. Made in Minnesota, it’s the official kettle corn of the Minnesota Lynx, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Twin and the Minnesota Vikings.

    Popped in small batches in real kettles, Angie’s has classic kettle corn flavor—a bit of salt, a bit of sugar.

    Popcorn contains no cholesterol or trans-fats: just popcorn, corn oil, cane sugar and sea salt. It’s gluten free (Angie’s is produced in an allergen-free environment and is all-natural—no preservatives). And it’s kosher-certified by Blue Ribbon Kosher (BRK) of Minneapolis.

    Angie’s also makes Lite Kettle Corn (50% reduced fat but full flavor) and Caramel Kettle Corn for those who want to sweeten their day a bit more.


    PRODUCT: Chocolate Yogurt & Caramel Yogurt From Oikos

    Dessert yogurt with zero fat? Sure, we’ll try that!

    Oikos, one of our favorite brands of yogurt (made by Stonyfield), has another winner. Its Pure Pleasure yogurts in Caramel and Chocolate will change your perception of yogurt.

    Both are absolutely delicious, 0% fat, certified organic, gluten free, and even OU kosher! The chocolate and caramel flavors ring true. It one could ask for anything more, it would be that others browsing the refrigerator would stop eating it and leave more for us.

    The four-ounce cups provide just enough satisfaction for a quick snack or for dessert. Each cup has 10g protein, 17g total carbs, 110 calories and live and active cultures.

    Unlike most Greek yogurt, the consistency isn’t super-thick. This enables the caramel and chocolate yogurts to be used as a dessert sauce—on pound cake or angel food cake, for example. It’s also a great dipper for fruit.

    You can print out a 50¢ coupon at (registration required).

    Caramel yogurt and chocolate yogurt are
    delicious dessert and snack options. Photo
    by Katharine Pollak | THE NIBBLE.

    Ten percent of Stonyfield’s profits go to environmental causes. Feel good yet? You’ll feel even better with your first taste of Pure Pleasure yogurt.



    PRODUCT: Zoku Ice Pop Maker

    You can become the most creative glacier in town with the Zoku Quick Pop Maker from Williams-Sonoma.

    It’s easy to create your own customized frozen pops, including cream-filled varieties, in as little as seven minutes.

    Use your favorite juices and other beverages (coffee, tea, kefir, smoothies) or fresh fruit purées to make the gourmet pops of your dreams.

    Designed to be very user friendly—quick freezing, easy release from molds, reusable plastic pop sticks that have drip guards—Zoku looks to be the best pop-making option we’ve seen.

    Why should you give up storage space to a pop-making machine?

    It’s easy to make gorgeous ice pops with
    your favorite flavors and add-ins. Photo
    courtesy Williams-Sonoma.

    • You can make gourmet pops in the exact flavors you want, and express yourself artistically in flavors, colors and patterns. (One of our favorites is to freeze cocktail mixes into Margarita Ice Pops and savory Bloody Mary Mix ice pops. Alcohol doesn’t freeze well, but you can try a teaspoonful per pop.)

    • You have something new and special to serve guests.

    • Things you’d normally drink for health can be turned into pops—from pomegranate juice to probiotic peach kefir.

    • You can control for dietary needs—reduced sugar, no sugar or kosher, for example—and allergies.

    • Ice pops have fewer calories than ice cream and are fat- and cholesterol-free (unless you elect to make cream pops).

    • It’s a fun way to teach the whole family that they can enjoy preparing their own food.

    • And thanks to the plastic sticks, there’s no yucky wood flavor that we so dislike with commercial ice pops.

    Find more of our favorite frozen treats, plus recipes, in our Ice Cream Section.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Chicken Sausage

    Turn a Waldorf Salad, made with apples and
    walnuts, into a Sausage Waldorf with apple
    chicken sausage. Photo courtesy

    Most of us reach for pork sausage at the supermarket—it’s what we grew up with.

    But demand for healthier foods has created a robust business in chicken sausage. Just by switching to chicken over pork sausage, you can save 70% of the fat. You can also enjoy more specialty flavors, since chicken’s milder flavor allows seasonings such as apple, chipotle, spinach and feta and sundried tomato to be more expressive.

    Just as with pork sausage, there dinner and breakfast varieties as well as “cocktail franks.” In addition to far less fat than pork sausage, most chicken sausage brands are free of nitrites, nitrates, preservatives and artificial ingredients. A 3-ounce link is about 130 calories, depending on brand and filling (cheese flavors will add a few calories). That’s not much more than chicken.

    We recently tried two of the nine fully-cooked flavors from Al Fresco, the country’s largest producer of chicken sausage, and look forward to trying the rest.

    There are many recipes on the site, but we epecially love them as easy snacks and hors d’oeuvre—think Spicy Jalapeño Chicken Sausage with pineapple mango salsa.


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