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desserts



Work it Off: 3 Ways to Burn Off a 387-Calorie Piece of Banana Cream Pie

banana cream pie

We just reported on the latest dessert trends, speculating that ice pops might be upsetting cupcakes as favorite sweet treat. But in Portland, pies are a pretty big deal. There are cream pies, fruit pies, and even savory pies, which are sort of like gourmet pot pies. And they are everywhere. At restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, and even a handful of pie-specific eateries.

This past week—last night to be exact—I gave in to the hype and ordered a slice of banana cream pie. And it was delicious. Real pieces of banana mixed in, a buttery crust that was definitely handmade, and a thick pile of whipped cream on top. Yum.

What was the damage? 387 delicious calories.

What were 3 ways I could have burned off the extra calories?
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Dessert Fads: Cupcakes Out, Frozen Treats Vying to be In

This past week, Business Week reported on the epic rise and fall of The Cupcake. Sad, but not completely surprising: I’ve been digging all of the cupcake shops popping up in the past few years although, I’ve seen almost as many close down. And this isn’t just happening near me—cupcakes are on decline everywhere! Per the story, just a few years ago Crumbs Bake Shop, which has been in business since 2003, couldn’t make enough of their gourmet cupcakes to keep up with the orders. But the shop has shifted their focus to “specialty desserts” like the the “Crumbnut,” which is a hybrid between a cupcake and a croissant. (Largely inspired by the blockbuster “cronut,” which is a combination of a donut and a croissant, the ”crumbnut” may easily be the next big thing.)

cupcake

But if cupcakes are out, and the croissant-hybrids aren’t yet huge sensations, what is the next dessert fad?


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Insider Tips: A Nutritionist Shares 7 Guilt-Free Ways to Cheat!

Chocolate cake 

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

I generally practice what I preach: My diet is high in fruits and vegetables, pretty much all my grains are whole, fish is my primary high-protein food… you get the picture. Fortunately, I like these healthy foods, so none of this is a sacrifice, but I also like some very fattening and/or unhealthy foods—and I’m not willing to give them up.

How can you have your cake and stay trim, too? Here’s how I do it. Feel free to use these tricks or tweak them so that you can come up with your own creative ways to enjoy less-than-stellar fare without packing on pounds.

Just remember one ground rule: Your diet should be nutritious and you should stick to at a calorie level that keeps you at a healthy weight. (Of course, getting regular exercise helps a lot.) Once you’ve nailed that—at least most of the time—you should be able to use my indulging tips!

  • Don’t be in calorie denial. Know just how many calories are in your favorite treats, or in that extra slice of pepperoni pizza, or whatever it is you’re indulging in.
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Have Dessert for Breakfast with Frozen Banana Ice Cream Parfaits

There are some foods that are better enjoyed at a restaurant. Parfaits are not one of them. They’re often way too sweet, more so than is necessary. A breakfast parfait should be light, subtly sweet, and filling. And that’s exactly what we’ve created.

frozen banana parfait
Forget what you know about yogurt parfaits and follow along closely. Here, the yogurt is a garnish and homemade “ice cream” takes center stage. See, when you freeze bananas and blend them, the texture is eerily similar to ice cream. When you add a little vanilla, you’d be hard pressed to recognize the difference.
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Make S’more Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting to Survive Six S’more Weeks of Winter

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.

cupcakes chevron

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.

smores cupcake

And not frosted with just any frosting, but big dollops of homemade chocolate cream cheese frosting.

chocolate cream cheese frosting

Winter just became manageable, folks.
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