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Pumpkin Pie Oat Breakfast Muffins

Pinch us, these twin sisters who are registered dietitians and personal trainers with a sweet tooth must be dreaming! Pumpkin pie for breakfast?!without guilt or regrets?!  You bet!  These healthy breakfast muffins prevent all excuses to skip breakfast.  Most people tell us that when they skip breakfast it’s either because they don’t have time to eat it, or they’re not in the mood, or they’re just not hungry.

Well with these pups, time becomes a non-issue because you can simply make them in advance and grab ‘em and go—then eat ‘em on the run! And if you’re not in the mood for breakfast, that just may change if you add delicious pumpkin pie into the breakfast mix because guilt-free pie that just happens to boost your energy is hard to resist!

Not hungry for breakfast? No worries, toss these in a bag and eat them mid-morning when you do get hungry!  A healthy, energy boosting breakfast is just as good mid-morning!

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Pssst… looking for more healthy recipes?  Please feel free to search this site! And here are a few to try…

Lime Shrimp with Coconut Rice

Greek Quinoa Salad

Smoked Paprika Chips

Chocolate Drizzled Granola Balls

Breakfast Quinoa Nibbles

Coconut Fruit Pops

 

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What makes Pumpkin Pie Oat Breakfast Muffins so awesome (other than the fact that they’re guilt-free, energy boosting, pie-on-the-go)?

Oats: Starting the morning with whole grains helps get your day started on the right foot. Think quality carbs for energy.  Whole grains help you feel full longer and help maintain blood sugar levels until your next meal.

Pumpkin: The bright orange pumpkin color does more than just lift spirits, it’s packed with fiber, antioxidants and vitamins!  It’s got vitamin C, a great immune system booster, and it’s got vitamin A, great for eye health and for preventing the damage that occurs naturally with aging. Beta-carotene has many benefits including keeping your body younger/ helping to prevent degenerative diseases and it helps in the prevention of cancer.  Pumpkins also boast a healthy serving of fiber, to help you stay fuller longer.

Pepitas (aka, pumpkin seeds): These little seeds are rich in the amino acid tryptophan an important part of the production of serotonin… aka a mood booster!

 

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Pumpkin Pie Oat Breakfast Muffins

Celebrate all things pumpkin in this on-the-go baked oats treat; it’s filled with a nutritious blend of your fall favorites.  Pair these with a serving of vanilla or plain nonfat Greek yogurt—the perfect way to add protein (up to 18 grams).  Think of the combo as kind of a pumpkin pie with whip cream, minus the guilt.

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

2 cups old fashion oats or rolled oats (not instant)

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup almond milk (we used unsweetened vanilla)

3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin

1 egg (we used Egglands Best because they have 25% less saturated fat compared to other eggs)

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup dried cranberries (if you’d like these a little sweeter we suggest adding an additional 1/4 cup).

3 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds

1 Tbsp seed & grain blend (we used Trader Joe’s Super Seed & Ancient Grain blend,  you can use whatever type of seed or grain you have on hand!)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 12 cup, cupcake pan with muffin papers or coat with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine all ingredients and mix completely until thoroughly combined in a bowl.
  4. Divide batter into 12 cups so that it’s evenly distributed.
  5. Bake for 18-22 . When done, the tops will be firm and not gooey or moist. Poke with a toothpick—and when it comes out clean, the muffins are ready! Be careful not to over bake.

 

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Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 105 Calories, 2 g Fat, 0 g Saturated Fat, 16 mg Cholesterol, 75 mg Sodium, 20 g Carbohydrate, 2 g Fiber, 8 g Sugar, 3 g Protein  

 

The Nutrition Twins work with Eggland’s Best to help people get more nutrients from their food.

Pumpkin Pie Oat Breakfast Muffins
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2 cups old fashion oats or rolled oats (not instant oats)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond milk (we used unsweetened vanilla)
  • ¾ cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 1 egg (we used Egglands Best (www.egglandsbest.com) because they have 25% less saturated fat compared to other eggs)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (if you’d like these a little sweeter we suggest adding an additional ¼ cup).
  • 3 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp seed & grain blend (we used Trader Joe’s Super Seed & Ancient Grain blend, you can use whatever type of seed or grain you have on hand!)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a 12 cup, cupcake pan with muffin papers or coat with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine all ingredients and mix completely until thoroughly combined in a bowl.
  4. Divide batter into 12 cups so that it’s evenly distributed.
  5. Bake for 18-22 minutes. When done, the tops will be firm and not gooey or moist. Poke with a toothpick—and when it comes out clean, the muffins are ready! Be careful not to overbake.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 105 Fat: 2 g Saturated fat: 0 g Carbohydrates: 20 g Sugar: 8 g Sodium: 75 mg Fiber: 2 g Protein: 3 g Cholesterol: 16 mg

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Mexican Eggs-in-a-Mug

By now, you likely know that we’re veggie-loving, twin sisters who also are registered dietitians and personal trainers (with a big ‘ole sweet tooth!)—and that we’re quite the #MeatlessMonday supporters.

Given that we eat– and tout the benefits of a plant-based diet, we love how practical and savvy Meatless Monday is. After all, going meat-free one day a week is a realistic way for people to include nutrient rich-foods on their plates that they may typically leave behind when focusing on eating meat— and we’re excited that Meatless Mondays are getting a little extra attention this month since it’s also Vegetarian Awareness Month!  And the timing couldn’t be better—eating a plant-based diet helps to fight cancer– it’s also Breast Cancer Awareness month, it’s a win-win!

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Plus, there’s another really cool thing that happens when people take the focus off meat—and it’s one of our favorite things to share with our clients who are ready to make a shift to a more vegetarian style diet: they end up eating a lot more nutrient packed foods, like veggies, eggs and pulses!  So it really should come as no surprise that we get pretty excited about the recipes we’re going to whip up and share this month! And if you’re looking for additional meat-free meals, check out these faves!

Chickpea Burgers

Mediterranean Eggs with Kalamata Olives

Sunny Side Eggs on a Portobello “Bagel”

Black Bean Patties

Tomato, Egg, Spinach & Feta Never Tasted Beta’ Wrap

Chickpea Salad Wraps

Cheesy Egg & Apple Bake

Lentil Vegetable Soup

Basil Pesto Vegetable Omelet

Barbecue Spiced Rub Tofu

 

Yup, whether it’s Vegetarian Awareness Month or not, in our world’s it’s always Vegetarian Awareness Month 🙂 and this month, as we whipped up this recipe, we felt especially proud to be spokespeople for Eggland’s Best (EB)– for so many reasons!  We love that EB feeds their hens a proprietary all-vegetarian hen feed that gives them extra nutrients. (Check out EB’s extra nutrients below).  So EB hens eat a plant-based, cancer-prevention diet style and in the meantime, by choosing them, we reap many of the benefits—the same way we do by eating plant foods!  And to make us even more proud, this year, Eggland’s Best eggs continues its support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and its commitment to helping Susan G. Komen fund critical research, education and raising awareness through its pink “stamped” eggs throughout the month. eb_pink_stamp

These are the extra nutrients found in Eggland’s Best eggs:

  • 5X more vitamin D (influences virtually every cell in the body and is one of nature’s most potent cancer fighters)
  • Double the omega-3s (help to fight inflammation and support brain and heart health)
  • 10X more vitamin E (protects against cancer, help cells in your body function optimally)
  • 25% less saturated fat
  • 3X more vitamin B12
  • 38% more lutein

 

We made these Mexican Eggs-in-a-Mug in honor of Vegetarian Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness month.  They’re perfect for those hectic weekday mornings when you want to pack in a lot of nutrients and want something delicious that can be made in a flash.

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We love the balance of flavors in this Mexican –style eggs! And the eggs, black beans and Greek yogurt all provide a protein boost and it’s also got nutrient-packed veggies! This breakfast is super easy and it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare! Not bad for those Monday mornings, right?! 😉

 

Have fun and add any of your favorite ingredients! Spinach, low-fat feta, tomatoes…give it a go!  Want to mix it up a bit? Add ¼ cup of brown rice for some added fiber and 50 extra calories. Want a little spice? Try adding jalapenos and cayenne pepper to really get your taste buds going in the morning!

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup spinach
  • ½ cup zucchini, grated
  • ¼ cup reduced sodium black beans
  • 2 large Eggland’s Best eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Combine spinach, zucchini, and black beans in a mug.
  2. Pour the two beaten eggs over the mixture in the mug and stir all ingredients together.
  3. Microwave the mug (cover with a napkin to save some mess!) for 1 minute 30 seconds on high.
  4. Remove the mug and stir the ingredients. Some of the egg in the bottom of the mug may not have cooked completely, so stirring evenly distributes the uncooked egg. Microwave the mug for another 45 seconds to cook the rest of the egg mixture.
  5. Remove the mug and top with a dollop (~2 tablespoons) of plain non-fat Greek yogurt and salsa. Enjoy!

 

A few pointers:

 

  •   Use a microwave-safe mug.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

219 calories, 8 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 458 g sodium, 17 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 19 g protein

 

The Nutrition Twins work with Eggland’s Best to help people get more nutrients from their food.

Mexican Eggs-in-a-Mug
 
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • ½ cup spinach
  • ½ cup zucchini, grated
  • ¼ cup reduced sodium black beans
  • 2 large Eggland’s Best eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Directions:
  2. Combine spinach, zucchini, and black beans in a mug.
  3. Pour the two beaten eggs over the mixture in the mug and stir all ingredients together.
  4. Microwave the mug (cover with a napkin to save some mess!) for 1 minute 30 seconds on high.
  5. Remove the mug and stir the ingredients. Some of the egg in the bottom of the mug may not have cooked completely, so stirring evenly distributes the uncooked egg. Microwave the mug for another 45 seconds to cook the rest of the egg mixture.
  6. Remove the mug and top with a dollop (~2 tablespoons) of plain non-fat Greek yogurt and salsa. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Serving Calories: 219 Fat: 8 g Saturated fat: 2 g Sodium: 458 mg Fiber: 4 g Protein: 19 g

 

Fresh Figs and Feta With Toasted Walnuts

Long before we were registered dietitians, personal trainers and even before we were veggie lovers, we were twins with a sweet tooth…

 

So while we may have skirted the salt tooth, this sweet tooth requires a lot of attention to keep it in check and we’re constantly creating healthy, delicious ways to squash it without all the sugar. Remember these yumsters?

Strawberry Raspberry Lime Sherbet

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

5 Minute Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

and our Strawberry Mint Ice Cream.

So recently when we received an amazingly delicious delivery from California figs, we got figgy with it, and came up with a guilt-free creation that satisfies those with a sweet tooth–and those with a salt tooth!  This number gives  ya a lil’ sweet, a lil’ savory and a lil’ crunch–and we’re in love! All for less than less than 50 calories per serving!! Woohooo!

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  There's something so satisfying about sinking your teeth in to a fresh, juicy fig.  It's meaty texture hits the spot. We decided we better have a figgin party as we couldn't keep these babies to ourselves! And it was a hit!
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Welcome our FIGnature dish! fresh-fig-and-feta-with-toasted-walnuts4_logo   Fresh Figs and Feta With Toasted Walnuts   Serves 5 figs Ingredients: 5 fresh Figs 2 tbsp fat free feta 5 tsp chopped walnuts   Directions: Slice figs and drizzle with crumbled feta and walnuts.  Enjoy!   Makes 5 servings
Nutrition Facts for one serving (1 fig with toppings):  46 Calories, Total fat 0.2 g, 10 g Carbs, 1.5 g Fiber,  8 g Sugar, 1 g protein
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Fresh Figs and Feta With Toasted Walnuts
 
Author:
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • 5 fresh Figs
  • 2 tbsp fat free feta
  • 5 tsp chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Slice figs and drizzle with
  2. crumbled feta and walnuts. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 fig Calories: 46 Fat: 0.2 g Sugar: 8 g Fiber: 2 g Protein: 1 g

 

6 Foods That are Better Than Botox For your Skin! Mornings with Maria Bartiromo

If you want younger looking skin, here is your food formula! We break it down for you with the amazing Maria Bartiromo!

 

It’s true, there are foods that can keep your skin looking young!  Buh bye botox, these foods are so potent that we refer to them as the skin fillers, plumpers, and Botox of the food kingdom. 🙂

It’s true, the foods that you eat really do impact the appearance of your skin!

 

Certain foods no-no’s for the skin—these are any foods that cause cell damage—it ages the skin and creates wrinkles.   Balance out skin “no-no” foods with foods that act a natural wrinkle cream.

 

  • No-No: Alcohol = Dehydrator —creates free radicals which damages cells and accelerates aging. Alcohol contributes to dehydration, and when our skin looks dry it also looks aged. It also can lead to broken blood vessels on the face which make the skin appear damaged. Think of that person we’ve all who after they drink their skin looks more weathered and older.

 

  • Natural Anti-Wrinkle Cream & Skin Hydrator: All Vegetables. Veggies naturally are rich in water, so they create moisture within your skin, plumping the cells and filling the crevices.  Think of them as your body’s natural lotion—plus a whole lot more.  They contain potent antioxidants that mop up the damage caused by alcohol, pollution, the sun, etc.  Vegetables (and fruits too!) are water and potassium rich so they hydrate skin, restore fluid balance and prevent it from looking wrinkled and withered.

 

  • Skin Hydrator: Avocado: As we get older our skin gets thinner and avocados are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, and they moisturize skin from the inside out with their oil. Plus your skin will get a rejuvenating glow thanks to avocado’s anti-inflammatory properties which will minimize flare-ups and tone skin.

 

  • Skin Enhancer:  Tart cherries.  Alcohol disrupts sleep so cells can’t rejuvenate.  Montmorency tart cherries are one of the few natural sources of melatonin so they enhance and promote sleep– and your body repairs and regenerates your cells, including your skin cells when you sleep.
    • Tart cherry juice has been linked to improved sleep quality and duration

 

 

  • No-No:  Inflammatory foods like refined carbohydrates (white bread, white flour products), sugar, fried foods, processed meats, MSG. They create a low-level systemic inflammation that you may not realize is even happening, but inside, this is what damages cells, leads to disease and aging and creates weathered skin.

 

  • Skin calmers & Smoothiers: Anti-inflammatory foods:
    • Spices like turmeric and ginger. These are calming and fight inflammation. They repair cell damage and counteract the effects of inflammatory foods.
    • Wild salmon as well as sardines, tuna, and herring are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are often lacking in our diets. These omega 3-rich fish are powerful anti-inflammatories and help to keep skin supple and soft with their oils.
    • Soy Ginger Salmon
    • DIY Brown Rice Sushi
    • Broccoli also contains anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, such as sulforaphane.
    • Spicy “Fried” Broccoli
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15865443 – grilled salmon and vegetables

  • Collagen Destroyer:
  • No- No: Collagen Destroyer–Sugar—refined like white bread, noodles and pasta (which break down to simple sugars) they enter our blood stream where they can then attach to the skin’s collagen and elastin. This causes the skins structure to weaken which results in visible signs of ageing by a process called glycation.

 

  • Anti-wrinkle Cream- Collagen Rebuilder: Tomatoes and other vitamin C rich food. Vitamin C keeps skin youthful and elastic by aiding in collagen formation–this helps the skin to snap back into place when you make expressions, rather than staying in the wrinkled expression.  Added bonus of foods like tomatoes that are typically red  in color is that they’re rich in lycopene and beta carotene, both act as a natural sunblock—so they also fight age spots and sun damage.

 

Here are a few great skin beautifying recipes:

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Strawberry and Citrus Salad with Avocado

Ginger and Carrot Slim-Down Smoothie

Minty Lime Iced Green “Flat Belly” Tea

..and for beta carotene for a natural sunblock (protector against age spots and sun damage) Roasted Tarragon Garlic Sweet Potato Fries

Some more skin beautifying food tips?

6 Foods That are Better Than Botox For your Skin! Grilled Salmon Recipe
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled, divided
  • ⅓ cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry Sherry
  • 1¾-inch cube peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ¾ teaspoon chili-garlic sauce (see note below)
  • 4 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
  • 2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large bok choy, cut crosswise into ½-inch-wide strips (about 7 cups)
  • 4 ounces fresh white button mushrooms, sliced
  • Note: You can find this in most grocery stores in the Asian stores
Instructions
  1. In a blender add 1 garlic clove, the onions, soy sauce, rice wine, ginger, sugar, sesame oil and garlic sauce and blend.
  2. Meanwhile place salmon in 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon marinade ono top and allow to marinate 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 500°F. Using a rimmed baking sheet, place fish, with some marinade still sticking to it on top. Move any marinade in the dish to a small saucepan.
  4. Roast fish until just opaque in center, roughly 8 minutes.
  5. Heat the marinde in the saucepan until it begins to boil. Then set is aside to use for the glaze.
  6. Meanwhile, using a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over high heat. Add bok choy and mushrooms and press in 1 garlic clove using a garlic press.
  7. Heat for about 4 minutes. When it’s ready mushrooms will betender and bok choy will be wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Divide the veggies over the four plates. Place salmon on top and brush fish with glaze. Enjoy! 🙂
  9. Nutrition Facts Per Serving:
  10. Calories, 10 g Carbohydrate, 8 g fat, 36 g protein, 4 g fiber, 5 g sugar,
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 piece Calories: 249 Fat: 8 g Carbohydrates: 10 g Fiber: 4 g Protein: 36 g

 

Healthy Back to School Bites with Cranberries

If you’ve read our other blogs, by now you know it’s no secret that although we’re veggie-loving twin sisters, registered dietitians and personal trainers who are lucky to like a lot of healthy foods, we both also have a wicked sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check.  Fortunately, we’ve got many strategies as wells as delicious, waistline friendly ways to satisfy our sweet canines that work for our clients, too!

One of our favorite, satisfying, healthy and most effective ways to squash a sweet craving is with treats made from fruit.  This actually is something we learned from our wholesome, plant-based, cook-everything-from-scratch mom, as she often served us desserts made from fruit and it worked like magic to quell our sweet cravings!  Apparently the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as we do the same thing for Tammy’s daughters.  We find this technique to be especially helpful when the kids go back to school, as they always seem to come home from school and want a sweet treat for a snack.  One of our most requested after-school snacks is a Cranberry Smoothie which is a cool, delicious and healthy guilt-free snack that feels like a super indulgent treat.

And our clients who serve this to their kids feel good knowing that this nutritious, sweet-tooth satisfying snack fits perfectly with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend choosing nutrient dense foods packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other naturally occurring compounds that may improve health.  Cranberries, like in this Cranberry Smoothie, are the perfect example of a nutrient dense food, as they’re packed with naturally occurring unique health-promoting flavonoids called PACs.  Because of these nutrient superstars, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have made an exception for naturally tart, low-sugar foods, like cranberries, that may be sweetened to improve taste.  They explain that there is room in a healthy eating pattern for nutrient dense foods with added sugars, such as cranberries and rhubarb, as long as calories from added sugar are less than 10% per day.  In this smoothie, just a teaspoon of honey is added to each serving and it packs in the nutrients in just 150 calories—woot, woot!

 

 

 

 

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Cranberry Smoothie            

Serve this healthy, sugar-tooth satisfying alternative to sweets for an after school snack.  Or simply sip a serving of this for a healthy dessert.

Yield: 6 servings

 

Ingredients

2 cups frozen cranberries

2 cups nonfat vanilla yogurt (try different yogurts, such as Greek yogurt)

2 cups 1% milk or almond milk

2 Tbsp. honey

2 tsp. vanilla

 

Directions

Mix in blender until smooth.

Nutrition Information Per Serving*: Calories 150, Calories From Fat 10, Saturated Fat 0.5g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 1g, Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 105mg, Total Carbohydrate 28g, Sugars 24g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 7g, Vitamin A 10%, Vitamin C 10%, Calcium 25%, Iron 0%

*With 1% Milk

Hungry for Cranberries at lunch? Your kids will gobble up this unique, sweet and savory sandwich!

Recipe courtesy of the Cranberry Marketing Committee

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Cranberries can be a great fit as part of a healthy lunch – like in this tangy chicken salad!

Cranberry Chicken Salad on Flatbread

Makes 8 servings

Portion: ½ cup chicken salad on 1 flatbread roll

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

 

Ingredients

1 cup dried cranberries

⅓ cup 100% cranberry juice

½ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise (we suggest using nonfat Greek yogurt to keep the creaminess and up the nutrients and lower the fat)

⅓ cup fat-free poppy seed dressing

8 oz. grilled white chicken meat, diced

1 cup sliced celery

¾ cup thinly sliced scallions

2 cups shredded fresh spinach

8 flatbread rolls, split

 

Directions

  1. Place cranberries and cranberry juice in a saucepan and heat slightly. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature. Cranberries will absorb all liquid. Hold.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and dressing.
  3. Stir in diced chicken, celery and scallions. Toss well to coat. Stir in reserved cranberries and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
  4. To Serve: For each serving, place ¼ cup spinach onto a split flatbread roll and portion ½ cup salad on top of spinach. Replace top and serve.

Variations: Use additional fruits, including fresh mango, pineapple, melon, blueberries, peaches, pears, etc. in salad.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 390, Calories from Fat 100, Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 12g, Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 800mg, Total Carbohydrate 57g, Sugars 17g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 13g, Vitamin A 20%, Vitamin C 15%, Calcium 10%, Iron 20%

Hungry for more recipes? uscranberries.com

The Nutrition Twins work with US Cranberries to help teach people how they can get more beneficial PACs in their diet.

 

Cranberry Chicken Salad on Flatbread
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup 100% cranberry juice
  • ½ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise (we suggest using nonfat Greek yogurt to keep the creaminess and up the nutrients and lower the fat)
  • ⅓ cup fat-free poppy seed dressing
  • 8 oz. grilled white chicken meat, diced
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 2 cups shredded fresh spinach
  • 8 flatbread rolls, split
Instructions
  1. Place cranberries and cranberry juice in a saucepan and heat slightly. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature. Cranberries will absorb all liquid. Hold.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and dressing.
  3. Stir in diced chicken, celery and scallions. Toss well to coat. Stir in reserved cranberries and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
  4. To Serve: For each serving, place ¼ cup spinach onto a split flatbread roll and portion ½ cup salad on top of spinach. Replace top and serve.
  5. Variations
  6. : Use additional fruits, including fresh mango, pineapple, melon, blueberries, peaches, pears, etc. in salad.

Top Late Night Snacks (our picks for weight loss)

Although we’re twin sister registered dietitians and personal trainers who nowadays absolutely love veggies, we admittedly didn’t always adore them.  In fact, we were very picky kids and the moment our mom would turn her back from the dinner table, we’d sneak our salads off to our best friend, Mary and her black lab, Buddy, who liked veggies! 🙂 Luckily, our veggie-snubbing ways have changed, thanks to many reasons —(you can read more about that here)– and you may know that we also reset our taste buds, which definitely was partially responsible for the love affair we now have with veggies.  But one thing that hasn’t changed is that we each have a killer sweet tooth that we work hard to keep in check.  Although, resetting our taste buds has been very helpful in taming the beast 😉 (aka our killer sweet tooth), it doesn’t mean that we don’t adore sweets, because believe us, we do—especially when the evening comes around!

And when our clients tell us that on nights when they stay up late and they get a little bit hungry or want to nibble, we can relate, as this is when our sweet tooth calls our name, ah!

Thankfully, we’ve learned to make some pretty delicious, waistline-friendly frozen desserts that we can eat and prepare in the very comfort of our own home—and that we love but don’t overeat! Plus, they are a lot less processed and have much less sugar—in fact, ours are actually pretty good for you! Remember our Skinny Strawberry Mint Ice Cream, Skinny Banana Ice Cream SandwichesDark Chocolate Banana Ice Creamand this Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream?

As you settle in to watch your favorite television show after dinner, you may find yourself craving a late-night nosh. Do you cave in to chips or cookies and regret it later? Or maybe in your attempt to avoid junk food, you end up nibbling your way through the other food in your cupboard instead. If the late night munchies have gotten the best of you and your waistline, here are our top snacks to try.

 

They’ve all got less than 150 calories and really hit the spot.

 

Vanilla “Milkshake”

Two options:

  • Mix one scoop of vanilla or chocolate flavored protein with ¾ cup cold water, ice and 1/4 frozen banana and blend. (We’ve been using Vega Protein & Greens Vanilla or Chocolate Protein Powder lately)

OR

  • Mix a cup of almond milk (or skim milk) with one scoop of vanilla-flavored protein powder.

 

Why our clients love it: This light version of a milkshake feels like a real treat, satisfies sweet cravings, but won’t weigh you down.  The protein keeps your blood sugar stable. Bonus: The calcium in the protein powder (make sure yours is calcium-fortified, many are) may help your muscles and body to relax before bedtime. To learn more about our tips for choosing a good protein powder, check out our 3-Ingredient Weight Loss Pancakes (scroll down to find out about protein powder).

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Frozen Cherry Poppers

OK, we admit it, we have many favorite summertime (well, anytime) treats, but this one really is one of our new all-time faves! Plus, it’s so healthy, easy and just two steps! And there is something about the chewy texture of frozen cherries that really hits the spot—super-satisfying! And all for a measly 6 calories per popper! Woohoo! 5 Cherry Poppers are just 30 calories! Find out how they’re easy to make here.

Why our clients love it: A guilt-free, refreshing way to satisfy a sweet tooth? Sign them (and us! 🙂 ) up!

Frozen Yogurt Covered cherry poppers

 

 

Berry and Greek Yogurt Parfait

Use six ounces of a plain or vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt and one-half cup of halved strawberries or any of your fave berries. Layer yogurt in the bottom of the parfait cup, and then add a layer of berries. Alternate layers until you’ve finished ingredients.

Why our clients love it: It’s rich, creamy, and feels decadent. Plus it contains plenty of protein and fiber, so even if you didn’t eat enough dinner, you’ll go to bed feeling satisfied.

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Popcorn

Four cups of seasoned air-popped popcorn

Why our clients love it: You get a huge portion (4 cups = 130 calories!) that will last until at least the first commercial of your favorite show. Eat it one piece at a time, and it may even last you through the entire program. The fiber will fill you up, and you can use it to quench a sweet or savory craving by flavoring it with cinnamon, chili powder, smoked paprika, or grated parmesan.

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Baked Apple Crunch

Made with one small apple, 1- 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon and one graham cracker. Cut the apple into half-inch slices and coat them with cinnamon on all sides. Microwave the slices on high for three to four minutes or until the apple is soft and juicy. Serve it on a graham cracker. Check it out here.

Why our clients love it: You can sink your teeth into this snack, and it’s sweet like the inside of an apple pie. Not to mention, the graham cracker adds a satisfying crunch (and it will make the house smell delicious!).

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Figs and Cheese

Three small figs (or dates!) and one small, light 30- to 35-calorie cheese round (which will bring your total to 125 calories).

Why our clients love it: The figs are sweet, and since they’re fibrous, you’ve gotta chew ‘em and can’t devour them in a split second. Paired with protein-rich, savory cheese, it makes for a filling but indulgent treat.  If you use dates, they may be slightly higher in calories.

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Whole Grain Crackers with Hummus

Serve five whole-grain crackers with 2 tbsp hummus.

Why our clients love it: The crackers satisfy your need to crunch and the hummus adds the perfect creamy balance.

 

What are some of your favorite healthy late-night snacks?  Please share them!