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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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Work it Off: 3 Ways to Zap a 169-Calorie Gelato Bar

Did you know that Italian gelato has fewer calories and less fat than American style ice cream? Me neither! But upon learning this fun fact my first thought was, obviously, I’ve got to get some! A few months ago I had seen Bar Gelato for sale in the Bay Area and the brightly colored bars of frozen gelato looked delish! This week I tracked them down and, after much internal debate, I finally settled on a flavor: Pistachio. (Other front-runners included Recchiuti Burnt Caramel and Guittard Dark Chocolate Sorbetto!)

site2It was, in a word, heavenly. Much denser than most other ice cream bars thanks to the reduced amount of air added to the formula. Much more flavorful than a lot of other ice pops and frozen treats I’ve had, thanks to the natural flavors. And, on an unseasonably sunny and warm day it really hit the spot.

Of course, there’s always a trade-off. This afternoon indulgence weighed in at a fairly reasonable 169 calories, but it was still more than I’d bargained to eat as a snack.

What are some fun ways to burn off 169 calories?
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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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Food Blogger Spotlight: Megan from Take A Megabite

Megan from Take a MegabiteMegan is a pizza-lovin redhead who’s known for her unique recipes and food styling. Megan is not only a regular contributor to Betty Crocker, but her blog, Take A Megabite, has also been featured on CNN, Huff Post and Buzzfeed. I forgot to do a name-drop alert, there, but seriously, she’s hot stuff right now.

I was first introduced to this talented foodie when I wrote about my fave food blogger of the year, Billy from Wit & Vinegar.

More about Take A Megabite –  

Why did you start your food blog? I started to realize that I wanted to bake, and talk about food with other people who also loved to talk about food. It also stems from growing up with a mom whose cookies were known as the best ever and coming home to homemade bread after school.

When I got older, and my parents moved away, I realized that I couldn’t count on my mom to set me up with homemade jam and bread. I had to make it myself! Food and entertaining has always been a big deal in my family, and now, I like to show my love with food too!

How would you describe your approach to eating/health? I would say my approach is all about balance. I can totally eat cake, but I need to eat plenty of salads and veggies too. If I’m making mac & cheese for dinner, I’ll do my best to pair it with a veggie-filled salad.


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A Lighter Shamrock Shake Recipe That Doesn’t Need 73 Grams of Sugar Like McDonald’s

Every holiday comes with its traditional fare. During Lent the fast food chains bombard us with fried fish sandwiches. People lose their minds over Cadbury Easter eggs each spring. Candy corn makes Halloween more enjoyable. And for most of fall we add pumpkin to anything that will sit still. Few restaurants other than your surly neighborhood Irish pub get any attention on St. Patrick’s Day, but during the last ten years, McDonald’s has moved in on that market.

They didn’t do it with corned beef or potatoes or even soda bread, but instead with something not even remotely close to being Irish. They did it with ice cream.

Their Shamrock Shake has almost become the stuff of drive-through legends, falling behind its popular brother the McRib. With much fanfare the restaurant announces “It’s Back!” and fills customers with this cool, creamy mint shake just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Other than the fact that mint is green and St. Patrick’s day is green, we’ve yet to find much connection between the holiday and the herb.

What we have found is that the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake, for the small 12 ounces, will fill you up with 530 calories, 15 grams of fat, and 73 grams of sugar. That last one sent even us in to a bit of shock. Seventy three grams of sugar in a 12-ounce cup is, to put it mildly, a lot.
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