Tag Archives: cookies

Healthier Cookies to Leave for Santa Claus This Year

While most of the United States is painfully aware that 25% of Americans are obese, the one person who might not be privy is jolly old Saint Nick.

That’s right: on Christmas Eve, as those who celebrate the holiday tuck their families into bed,  most leave cookies out for Santa Claus without thinking about the calories, fat and sugar that Santa has to consume in one night.

So, we’re here for Mr. Claus. We’ve pulled together our favorite recipes to get you through the last days of cookie season.

Chocolate Cookies: Every chocolate lover will agree that there is nothing better than a warm cookie right out of the oven. Whether it’s chocolate chips dotting your favorite biscotti or hints of chocolate in a traditional gingerbread cookie, there are plenty of ways to incorporate chocolate into holiday cookies.

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Empty Calories Comic: Christmas Cookies

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Four Healthy Holiday Menus Sure to Please

If you’re planning a holiday party, planning the menu is probably the most stressful part of the event (not counting the post-party clean-up, of course). To simplify your party preparations we’ve put together a menu for several festive celebrations, whether you’re throwing a New Year’s Eve Bash, a holiday cookie swap or an open-house soiree.

Potluck Dinner: If you’ve invited each of your guests to bring a favorite dish, you’ll still want to serve a few versatile staples for early-arriving guests.

Rosemary Skewered Chicken: Simple and tasty, you won’t have one leftover.
Stuffed Mushrooms: A simple, classic appetizer filled with the “good stuff.”
Quick Bake Lasagna: Wow, your guests with an easy, pleasing lasagna.
Goat Cheese Salad with Spinach & Tomatoes: A flavorful combination for a great salad.
Almond Biscuit Ring: A great dessert or snack, even for diabetic diners.

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Empty Calories Comic: Holiday Baking

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Penny’s Low-Fat Desserts Offer Sweet Relief

If you have a sweet tooth, we have a food find for you!

Penny’s Low-Fat Desserts are a new specialty line of muffins, cookies and muffin tops that are sure to fulfill your need for something sweet and carbo-licious.

The company was founded and created by Penny Pearl who has a degree in Consumer Services and Nutrition from Rutgers University. Penny is always on the search for tasty, low-fat, low-calorie treats, so she decided to put her nutrition expertise and culinary skills to use and thus created a complete line of desserts that are not just low in calories, but high in fiber, all-natural and made with zero trans-fats. Best of all, Penny’s Low-Fat Desserts come in individually-wrapped single servings, making portion control a cinch and a yummy portable snack just a grab away.

Penny’s Low-Fat Desserts is the first company to develop no-sugar-added desserts using stevia, an all-natural, zero-calorie sweetener. All of Penny’s Low-Fat Desserts are rich in whole grains and many are egg-free with no cholesterol. Two of the cookies are also dairy-free. (more…)

Guiltless Desserts That Satisfy a Sweet Tooth

woman eating chocolateSeem to have a sweet tooth that isn’t satisfied unless you dive into a bowl of ice cream or candy?  Well below is a list of easy and healthier alternatives to making your sweet tooth happy without adding the extra bulge in your waistline.

  • There’s a product out that I personally buy and enjoy.  It’s called “No Pudge! Fudge Brownie Mix.”  It comes in a variety of flavors: Regular, Cappuccino, Mint, and Raspberry.  All you have to do is mix the powder mix with the amount of vanilla flavored yogurt it says in the directions, heat, cool, cut, and enjoy.  Or you can check out the product’s website and see a big listing of different recipe ideas.
  • An easy and good dessert are the Jello pudding mixes. Simply add skim milk, chill, and enjoy. (more…)

Get Caught With Your Hand in the Cookie Jar

cookie jarYou might not be stuffing your cookie jar with sugary, calorie-filled cookies these days, but that doesn’t mean the jar needs to gather dust, or be sent to a farm to play with other cookie jars! Instead, fill your cookie jar with healthy snacks and treats you want to keep readily available.

Those cookie jars are the perfect home for:

The next time you catch someone with their hand in the cookie jar, no one will get in trouble!

Even dieters can enjoy comfort foods

For anyone who has started a diet, on a diet, been on a diet, or just trying to eat healthier, there’s nothing harder than saying goodbye to your favorite comfort foods. They’re like good friends- always there when you need them. Unfortunately, unlike a good friend, these unhealthy food friends are sabotaging our waist lines.

Joy Bauer, Yahoo’s resident nutritionist, shows ten foods that most people cringe at the thought of giving up and healthy ways to not cut them loose. She calls them Diet-Friendly Comfort Foods. Here, we show you her recommended replacement foods along side our recommendations.

Pizza
Just two slices at a restaurant can have nearly a full day’s worth of calories. She suggests making your own at home or buying the Lean Cuisine brand, both options for less than 320 calories. We recommend the Weight Watchers Deep Dish Pizza Casserole, with 6 points and 277 calories.

Ice Cream
A pint of the popular Ben & Jerry’s has more than 1,000 calories. Look for lighter options that pack just as much irresistible flavor. She recommends the Turkey Hill Low-Fat brand, we recommend Bob Greene’s favorite Skinny Cow brand.

Chips
Yes, you can still satisfy that crunchy-salty munchy attack without the calories and fat of potato chips. Yahoo’s Joy recommends soy crisps- and that’s exactly what we recommend. Glenny’s Soy Crisps come in 100 calorie packs, dozens of cravable flavors- plus offer protein!

Bread
One of the biggest dieter demons out there- two slices of this carb-packed favorite topped with butter can have upward of 260 calories. Joy recommends light english muffins with peanut butter to save 100 calories. We recommed Bob Greene’s Best Life Flat Out Wraps. They come in nearly 20 flavors, make great sandwiches and many varieties have between 70 and 100 calories.

Taco Bell
This fast-food favorite can cost you nearly a day’s worth of calories for some menu items. Satisfy your craving for spicy Mexican food with these Weight Watchers Baked Chimichangas. They are 6 points, 276 calories and a delicious alternative to greasy fast food.

Burgers
When the grills start blazing this spring, know that your usual bacon cheeseburger isn’t doing you any favors with more than 1,000 calories. Joy recommends a turkey burger with only half a bun for 334 calories. We recommend these hearty Weight Watchers Veggie Burgers with only 2 points and 129 calories.

French Fries
Along side a burger, nothing is better, or worse for you. Skip the 600 calories a large fry offers for Joy’s recommended baked sweet potato fries for 220 calories. We recommend Weight Watchers Roasted Potatoes with Garlic, with only 1 point and 64 calories.

Chicken Wings
Joy says fried chicken wings can have more than 700 calories! She replaces those with baked chicken tenderloins with hot sauce for 120 calories. We recommend Glazed Chicken Bits with only 4 Weight Watchers points.

Pasta
Why is it so darn irresistible? A serving of regular mac ‘n cheese can pack 800 calories or more. Joy recommends a whole wheat elbow noodle with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese for half the calories. We recommend lightening any pasta dish with Barilla Plus whole grain pastas- they’re a part of Bob Greene’s Best Life plan and have Omega-3s.

Cookies
It’s OK to have your hand caught in the cookie jar if you’re not reaching for those pre-made cookie dough squares with 200 calories and 10 grams of fat! Joy says grab South Beach Diet’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies instead for exactly half the fat and calories. We recommend the Nabisco 100 calorie pack cookies.