Monthly Archives: October 2012

Healthy Winter Veggies

With the storms that have been hitting much of the US this week, mother nature is making it clear….Winter is almost here. Even though Winter means Christmas and turkey, I have always been more of a summertime girl. This is especially true with food! I love the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies that I find at the farmers’ markets in Spring and Summer. But I do have a few favorite Winter fruits and veggies, which make the cold weather a bit more acceptable. One  of my favorite cold weather vegetables is kale.

One of the most amazing things about kale is that it contains over 45 different types of a compounds called flavonoids — which work together to provide a variety of health benefits, like protecting against five different types of cancer (especially breast and colon cancer) and acting as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It’s also is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K. Just one cooked cup of kale contains 10 percent of your daily fiber needs. Holy superfood!

I personally love to serve kale in a very simple fashion, either steamed and tossed with olive oil, lemon, and salt, or, raw, tossed with avocado, lime, olive oil and sea salt.  But thanks to one of my favorite bloggers, Snack Girl, I have now come up with a new way to serve this super veggie…..for breakfast! When I saw that Snack Girl posted a kale smoothie on her site I had to try it. Then Miss Sweet & Skinny got to work, tweaking Snack Girls recipe, making some additions and changes, until I had my own breakfast kale smoothie. I know this recipe sounds odd, and I’m sure visions of a drink that looks and tastes like swamp water are dancing in your heads, but trust me, this 140 calories smoothie isn’t just nutritious, it’s also delicious!

Morning Kale Smoothie

(Serves 2)

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1 1/2 cups raw kale, washed and roughly chopped

1 ripe banana

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 tablespoon Stevia, such as Truvia brand

Place all of the ingredients in the blender and puree until smooth. Serve immediately.

 

 

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Sugar Free Baking Tips

Here are a few Sweet & Skinny tips from me and a few other experts, for those of you who want to cut down on fat and/or sugar when baking!

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Perfect Trick or Treat Recipe for Halloween

What better way to add to the fun of Halloween than by creating a perfectly creepy recipe to whip up with your kids! Jelly worms are actually quite simple to make, one part craft, one part cooking. They only take about 20 minutes of active kitchen time, and with less than 1 gram of fat and only 13 calories per worm, they’re also a great way to keep Halloween on the healthier side without spoiling the fun.

Halloween Worms Recipe

1 – 6 ounce package cherry jello

1- 6 ounce package grape jello

3 additional envelopes of unflavored gelatin

2 3/4 cups boiling water

3/4 cup whole milk

about 12 drops of natural green food coloring

about 100 flexible straws

In a large bowl combine the jello and additional packets of gelatin, add the boiling water and whisk until throughly combined.  Chill the mixture until it is no longer hot, only lukewarm. Add the milk and food coloring to the gelating mixture and whisk to combine.

Place all of the straws into a tall container, such as an empty half gallon milk carton, and pour in the gelatin mixture, filling the straws. Place the container into the refrigerator  and chill for at least 8 hours, or until completely set and firm. Once set, remove all of the straws from the container, wiping away any excess gelatin. Squeeze the worms out of the straws using your thumb and index finger to pinch the straw and squeeze out the worms.

Place the worms onto a sheet pan lined with wax or parchment paper. Cover the worms with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour or until ready to use.

To serve the worms, create a platter using crumbled chocolate cookies to creat the dirt. The worms will keep at room temperature for up to two hours.

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Best Caramel Apple Recipe

Caramel apples have always been one of my favorite Halloween treats. This recipe is so simple, they can be made in less than 10 minutes. With the caramel covering only part of the apple they are also a healthier alternative for the kids. To make these apples, here is what you’ll need.

6 Granny Smith apples

6 twigs

6 pieces of string, about 2-3 inches each

7 ounces store bought caramels

1 tablespoon skim milk

6 tablespoon roasted chopped nuts

Thoroughly wash and dry the apples and remove the stems.  Insert a twig into the top of each apple.  Unwrap the caramels and place them in a microwave safe bowl, add the milk. Place the bowl in the microwave, on high, for about one minute, or until the caramels have melted. Stir the mixture smooth. Dip the lower half of each apple in the caramel and then roll each apple in one tablespoon of the nuts. Place each apple on a serving dish and allow the caramel to set for at least 1 hour before serving. Tie a piece of string around each twig before serving the apples.

 

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Top Chef recipes for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and as the day gets closer, more and more people seem to be thinking about how to make our Halloween treats a bit healthier for kids and grownups. Here is a Sweet & Skinny recipe featured on Joonbug for Halloween, and stay tuned, as they will also be featuring my recipes for Sweet & Skinny Whoopie Pies and “Almond Joy” macaroons. Happy haunting!

http://joonbug.com/national/firstcourse/PBJ-Cookies-from-Top-Chef-Contestant-Marisa-Churchill/DuUVtIF55eY

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Healthy and Simple Halloween Treats

As trick or treat day draws near I have been pulling out the pumpkins and thinking about what healthy alternatives I can offer to kids this year for Halloween.  Don’t get me wrong, even miss Sweet & Skinny doesn’t mind loading kids up with sugar once a year. The issue is that there are always treats leftover, and they don’t stay leftover for long!  I have tried to maintain some self control. Last year I put the leftover Butterfingers in the freezer…..but who knew that a frozen Butterfinger could taste soooo good! This year my solution is to come up with some cool treats that kids will like, and are actually good for them (and me)!  I don’t want to be the lame house on the block, handing out fresh fruit and raisins. So I have set about searching for some cool treats for this years festivities. Here is what I have discovered so far.

1) Glow in the dark bracelets from www.glowuniverse.com This is a great gift because it’s typically dark when kids are out trick-or-treating. The bracelets come in a wide variety of colors, cost only .06 cents each and they offer free shipping, so no need to leave your home to buy Halloween treats!

2) Toys!! The candy bars you get are here today and gone tomorrow, but at Party City you can find a wide variety of inexpensive Halloween toys. They have everything from Frankenstein and Dracula finger puppets, to plastic eye balls and fake spiders. It’s the perfect way to add some fun and fright to the night.

3)  Utz Halloween pretzels are a fun and healthy option if you want to hand out edible treats. The pretzels are shaped like jack-o-lanterns and bats. Each bag has only 50 calories and less than 1 gram of fat. The bags are super cute, bright orange with bats and pumpkins…..even I was squealing like a little kid when I saw them.

4) School supplies. Many of the supermarkets now offer Halloween themed pencils, erasers, and stickers on the Halloween aisle. This is a great alternative to candy, and something that kids can use in school.

Happy trick-or-treating!!

 

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