This time of year I find any excuse I can to invite people over. Saturday afternoon football games, Friday night TGIF-ing, or just because, Autumn feels like the most inviting season of all. Halloween night, especially. Our patio always turns in to the must-be spot for family and friends. Everyone pitches in goodies for the trick-or-treaters, and we provide the turkey & black bean chili.
While a healthy dinner that fuels our party and little costume wearers, I’m always trying to find some new and exciting to serve for dessert. This year, we’re going with a crazy-kind-of-simple Pumpkin Cream Cheese Dip. Part appetizer, part dessert, wholly scrumptious, there’s nothing not to love about these seasonal creation. (more…)
Posted on October 20, 2022 by Natalie K
By Team Best Life
You may use only a small amount of sugar in your coffee, butter on your toast, or ketchup on your burger, but those calories add up. Just how quickly? Here are the calorie counts of various condiments, organized from least calories to most, per the amount listed as a serving size on the packaging.
Warning: What you’re about to read may shock you!
Calories in Condiments:
Horseradish……………….…….0 calories per teaspoon
Lemon juice………………….….0 calories per teaspoon
Tabasco/Hot sauce……….….0 calories per tablespoon
Vinegar………………….………..0 calories per tablespoon
Mustard……………….………….5 calories per teaspoon
Salsa……………………….………10 calories per 2 tablespoons (more…)
Posted on June 3, 2022 by BestLifeDiet
There are a lot of things I don’t miss about New York City: The crowds, the noise, the smells, the expense. But there are a few things I do miss after living there for 10 years. While my friends rank high on that list, so do bagels.
In the morning, few things beat a boiled-to-perfection bagel. Glossy on the outside and chewy on the inside, these carb-tastic treats were a mainstay of my life in the city. When I went back for a visit this past week, my former local bagel shop was one of my first stops. I got a whole wheat bagel heaping with strawberry cream cheese. (In New York a “schmear” is more of a gob than a dab.) It was, not surprisingly, delicious.
It was also a total gut bomb. Full of sugars and carbs the breakfast didn’t feel light in my stomach and pretty much zapped my energy for the next hour or so. (Hello food coma!) This tastes-so-good, feels-so-bad treat also came at a high caloric cost. 450 calories, to be exact.
So how could I burn off the 450 calories in this bagel with cream cheese?
Posted on June 1, 2022 by Jessica Cassity
Let’s be honest, muffins are just breakfast-approved cupcakes. But why does dessert get to have all of the fun? There’s really not an answer so we made one up in the form of a wholesome carrot cake muffin for breakfast. Trust us on this one.
I don’t even like carrot cake, and it was all I good do to eat just one of these. So, maybe I do, in fact, like carrot cake?
With spring’s arrival, it’s hard not to lunge head-first in to the freshest produce around. Carrots are an early arrival, ready for picking in April and throughout the summer months. Whether brunching, celebrating Easter, Mother’s Day, or just looking for a better weekday breakfast, these muffins are a bright addition to your menu!
This recipe has all the components of a good muffin recipe and a good cupcake recipe and you get to have it at breakfast without any awkward self-doubt. Wholesome carrots, sweet pineapple, and warm vanilla combine with whole wheat flour to make a pretty darn healthy muffin. (more…)
Posted on March 24, 2023 by Natalie K
Has this been the longest winter ever? It’s starting to feel like it. Currently it’s a -21 wind chill outside and I’m starting to convince myself the sun may never come back; summer will always be a distant fond memory.
Like S’mores. That little campfire treat is one time I put my guard all the way down and say screw it! Gooey marshmallows, melty chocolate (I always splurge and use dark chocolate), and that crispy little graham cracker turn any dull summer night in to an instant memory maker. And right now, as I watch another winter storm swirl around the backyard, I’m clinging to those sweet memories of last summer to keep me warm.
Another way to keep warm? Baking, duh! All that batter beating and pre-heating turns the kitchen in to a little den of coziness. A den of coziness with cupcakes!
And not just any cupcakes, but big, fat S’more cupcakes.
And not frosted with just any frosting, but big dollops of homemade chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Winter just became manageable, folks. (more…)
Posted on March 3, 2023 by Natalie K
Summer and strawberries – it’s perfection really. Whether eating straight out of the pint, chopping in salads, adding to birthday cakes, or blending in smoothies, we really can’t get enough around my house. So any excuse to eat more strawberries is welcome.
And then when you pack them with cream cheese and chocolate? Well, you’ll likely cry uncle or mercy at some point.
These Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries were the first little glimmer of the budding foodie in me. I stood in the break room of my first ad agency job out of college and chatted with my boss about desserts; what specifically I can’t recall. But mashing up a piece of cheesecake, crust and all, and putting it inside strawberries was the result. That much I do remember. (more…)
Posted on June 24, 2022 by Natalie K
Remember those oatmeal cookie sandwiches with the creamy, sweet filling that you used to swipe from vending machines and beg your parents for in the grocery store? Well, these are those, only a million times healthier. A cause for healthful indulgence? We think, yes.
These oatmeal cookie sandwiches are almost 100% vegan and made with healthful ingredients like rolled oats, grated carrots, whole wheat flour and banana. Though the inspiration for the recipe was pre-packaged oatmeal cream pies, these little guys take the treat to a whole new level and are even better than the original (we think). (more…)
Posted on May 13, 2022 by Dana
By Janis Jibrin, M.S., RD, TheBestLife.com Lead Nutritionist
When you see “whole grain,” “low fat,” and other health buzzwords on a food label, you might assume you’re picking up a more nutritious choice. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Some products don’t offer much of an advantage compared to the original or, even worse, aren’t inherently healthy at all. Let me share a few examples.
Health Food Fake Out: Neufchatel (cream cheese with 1/3 less fat)
It’s true that this product has about a third fewer calories and saturated fat grams than regular. But still, just 2 tablespoons (an ounce) contains 3 grams of saturated fat—that’s a sixth of your daily limit on an 1,800-calorie diet. And the 33 milligrams of calcium it provides aren’t worth it. (more…)
Posted on February 20, 2023 by BestLifeDiet
Full disclosure: I’m a terrible baker. My husband warns people not to eat anything I bake.
That said, I get the itch to bake periodically and it always has to be scratched. Quiet, uneventful Sunday afternoons get the better of me and my well-stocked pantry. Once I’ve made up my mind, the oven’s on and the flour’s flying.
This past Sunday, I was already in cooking mode, with Chef Devin’s turkey meatballs and homemade marinara simmering on the stove (see the Biggest Loser Family cookbook). When I pulled the oats out of the cabinet to combine with the turkey, I immediately thought “cookies!”. I also had mini chocolate chips left over from a birthday party the previous weekend. A couple of tiny cookies would be the perfect end to our dinner and weekend.
I started reading through the ingredients listed on the oatmeal container and pulling each out of the cupboard and refrigerator. It called for butter. I froze. No butter. Then I remembered the healthier baking swaps article we did last year, and recalled Marisa Churchill’s suggestion for replacing butter with cream cheese. An entire brick of neufchâtel cheese sat in my fridge. Ball dodged.
Then it called for granulated sugar. Completely out. So I Googled “honey replacement for sugar” and found several suggestions for a 1:1 swap. Completely doable. (more…)
Posted on May 8, 2022 by Natalie K