Take your childhood favorite banana pudding up a notch with rich and creamy coconut milk, nourishing chia seeds and a probiotic kick! Healthy enough to eat for breakfast and delicious enough to enjoy for dessert, this banana pudding is packed with fiber, is rich in potassium and is super-easy to make ahead of time for a grab-and-go meal or snack on a busy day.
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Show Mom some homemade love this Mother’s Day by cooking up our decadent-yet-healthy recipes that are gluten-free, too. Choose make-ahead baked French toast topped with fresh berries, a springtime asparagus frittata or espresso-fueled acai bowls. We know the last thing on her mind will be gluten!
While I love smoothies as much as the next dietitian, they aren’t always as filling as other breakfast options. That’s where a smoothie bowl comes in. With less liquid and more toppings, a smoothie bowl has the added benefit of being chewed rather than being swallowed. The chewing process, also known as mastication, is extremely important for your health and how mindfully you eat food. The longer you chew, the longer it takes to finish a meal, which can help you eat less overall. Since it takes roughly 15 to 20 minutes for your brain and stomach to recognize fullness, slower eaters consume 10 to 20 percent fewer calories compared with those who rush through a meal. Chewing is not only beneficial to digestion, but it also helps increase satisfaction in a meal. When you take the time to properly chew, you are able to slow down, savor each bite and fully enjoy all the flavors your food has to offer.
Buying and preparing in-season produce is part and parcel of maintaining a healthy diet, but it’s much easier to eat nutritiously when the whole family is on board. In a world full of boxed mac and cheese and freezer-friendly chicken nuggets, we can understand why packaged or prepared foods are a reliable fallback. But we’re hopeful that the right seasonings and preparation methods can turn arugula, carrots, spinach and more into healthy homemade dishes for the whole family to enjoy. Here are six recipes that incorporate spring produce in ways that will appeal to even the pickiest eaters.
Getting kids to eat their greens can be the biggest hurdle of the day, but this Quinoa Salad with Apricots, Basil and Pistachios makes crisp, peppery arugula appetizing for younger palates. Combine the seasonal green with fluffy quinoa, sweet dried apricots and dollops of tangy goat cheese and you’ll hear zero protests when the dish hits the table.
The boneless, skinless chicken breast is one of the most convenient, affordable and healthy kitchen staples out there. Simple yet versatile, chicken can be prepared in many ways and is chameleon-like when it comes to flavor, easily taking on the attributes of seasonings and sauces. I usually roast a batch of seasoned chicken breasts on Sunday to enjoy throughout the week. Then I can add chicken to my salads and sandwiches, or make a stir-fry for dinner in a pinch.
I love preparing batches of salads during the warmer months so I can enjoy them in light lunches throughout the week. Since quinoa is a complete source of protein containing all of the essential amino acids, you don’t have to worry about adding extra protein, unless you really want to. Quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain, providing both good carbs and protein.
When I was growing up in the South, almost every event and family gathering would include a large bowl of banana pudding: homemade custard, sliced bananas, Nilla wafers and a mountain of freshly whipped cream. The sweet, gooey dessert was one of my favorites, and I often asked for a side of extra wafers to dip into the layered pudding. With those delicious memories, I set out to create a lightened-up, tropical spin on my beloved banana pudding.
Crisp, versatile and exceptionally rich in vitamin A, carrots are a strong ally on busy weeknights, well worth utilizing all year long — not just in the throes of winter, when root vegetables dominate the produce scene. A few additional items like cheese, toasted nuts and fresh herbs can help to break the crunchy orange veggie out of its overplayed role as a garnish or crudite-platter staple and elevate it as the star component of flavorsome spring dishes. Whether glazed, roasted, pureed or shaved into ribbons, these quick carrot sides are great in a pinch, no matter what entree you’re planning to serve.
Carrot, Date and Feta Salad
Carrots add natural sweetness and, most importantly, antioxidants to this fresh, low-calorie salad. Toss the delicate orange ribbons with feta and chopped dates for a salty-sweet element, then let it rest so that the flavors marry while you prepare the main course. Don’t forget to toss in some toasted almonds, for crunch.
Making nut milk at home can be a lengthy process, but it means you can control the additives like sweeteners or dates. But just how can you get your nut milk to be as creamy as something you’ll buy in the store? Just ask Executive Chef Kelly Boyer, who started juice and alternative milkshake company Paleta in her kitchen in 2005 after surviving breast cancer. Her pressed magic milkshake really does taste creamier than most nut milks, thanks to the inclusion of organic Thai coconut and cashews.
Gone are the days when pesto was just a popular Italian condiment made with six classic ingredients: basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, olive oil, garlic and salt. While there’s nothing wrong with cooking it the old-school way, there’s plenty of reason to break down pesto into its basic flavor components (herb, nut and salt), swap in some different ingredients and give your recipes a whole new twist.