A homemade edible gift is always a thoughtful gesture, whether it's destined for a spot under the Christmas tree or to be toted along to a party as a hostess gift, but it's no secret that most take a fair amount of time and foresight to prepare. Still, that's no reason to abandon the idea entirely. If you're pressed for time, turn to this fast yet festive fix: za'atar spiced nuts. Not only are they a nice reprieve from the onslaught of holiday sweets and decadent treats, but they also can be made (cooling included) in only about an hour, so you can get on with the festivities at hand. Get the easy recipe.
Keep your pup in great shape with these healthy low-fat dog biscuits, which are easier than you think to make. Instead of heading to the store for artisan treats, you can toss these together with simple organic ingredients that only cost a couple of bucks. Plus, you can easily tailor the biscuits to your pup's taste.
Free of sugar, oils, additives, and preservatives, these munchies are just the right thing to keep your loyal friend happy, healthy, and begging for more. Rather than using peanut butter as a base, these healthy low-fat dog biscuits are made with organic pumpkin puree and fresh spinach. Pumpkin is beneficial to your pup's digestive health, full of antioxidants, and aids in keeping your dog at his ideal weight. And spinach is packed with vitamins and iron.
Let's face it — kale may be a nutritious powerhouse, but its flavor is anything but timid. If you're tried of making soups, smoothies, and salads from the dark green roughage, baby kale makes an excellent alternative. The little leaves are tender, mild in flavor, and don't require the prep (chopping and massaging) required for their more mature counterparts, but it still contains the disease-fighting nutrients you need.
Baby kale is often sold in ready-to-eat packages either as a mix with other types of greens or kale varieties. I chose a baby kale, spinach, and chard mix for this sesame chicken salad; feel free to experiment with your favorite flavor combinations. This recipe makes four servings. Pack each component separate in your fridge until the day you need it if you are planning to take this as your lunch for the next few days.
Tried, tested, and true, heirloom recipes hold a certain appeal that is infrequently captured in cookbooks, magazines, or blogs. The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook may not be a box filled with recipe cards passed down from one generation to the next, but it aims to capture — and we'd argue, succeeds in evoking — a similar feeling by revolving around recipes from the families of Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, also known as the Beekman Boys.
In the book, Josh praises these granola-based cowboy cookies as his favorite. "They basically combine every one of my favorite things about every other good cookie into one giant cookie heaven," he writes. We'd have to agree, with one caveat: make sure to use a top-notch granola (homemade or otherwise) in these cookies, as it'll greatly dictate their flavor.
If you order a spinach and feta wrap from Starbucks every day, it's time to rethink this morning habit. While I appreciate the "cage-free eggs" and 19 grams of protein this convenient option offers, the wrap contains a number of preservatives and 36 percent of your recommended sodium for the whole day.
After reading The Spark Solution, I was thrilled to find a homemade option that's lower in calories and carbs and free of preservatives. Just like the original, this recipe is easy to enjoy on the go — and even cook up in advance for a busy morning. And once I took a bite, I was delighted that the flavor and texture of this homemade hack was far more satisfying than the fast-food order.
Keep reading for your new favorite quick breakfast.
Make this juice recipe your new main squeeze for Fall. It contains this season's superstars: apples, celery, and of course, beets. This deep red juice will get you into the Holiday spirit and keep you feeling healthy all season long.
Learn how to make this beet juice recipe after the break!
For an adorable autumnal twist on the usual pancake recipe, whip up these delicious apple ring pancakes. Slice fresh apples — any variety will work — and dip them in oatmeal pancake batter. We're talking more fruit, more fiber, and fewer calories.
They cook just like regular pancakes and the apples soften slightly, so when you take your first bite, the apple is slightly crisp, but oh so warm and juicy. There's the perfect amount of sweetness — no need for calorie-crazy maple syrup. These were topped with golden raisins and sliced almonds, but you can use any kind of fresh fruit, chopped nut, applesauce, or a dollop of Greek yogurt.
Keep reading to learn this simple 57-calorie pancake recipe.
You might think it's a crime not to see a bowl of homemade mashed potatoes on your Thanksgiving table, but traditional recipes don't offer much nutritionally. For a vitamin A boost and a side dish that's so full of fiber, it can help you feel fuller so you eat less, make this year's mash with sweet potatoes instead.
Mashed sweet potato recipes are often sweetened with maple syrup and cinnamon, but this one uses a spicier calorie-free kick with cumin and cayenne instead. And not just for their fabulous flavor, both cumin and cayenne help with digestion — something we could all use after a huge Thanksgiving feast. Cumin also offers iron for energy and boosts immunity, and the capsaicin in cayenne stimulates secretions that help to clear mucus from your nose and congestion in your lungs.
Made without any butter or butter substitutes, this side dish will please your vegan-loving friends as well as those trying to watch their waistline — it's only 157 calories per serving. Keep reading for this savory sweet potato recipe.
While it's easy enough to cut open a can of cranberry jam or jelly, this recipe is almost too easy to pass up, plus it's likely to be gobbled up lickety-split during the Thanksgiving feast.
No fussing with pectin, no need to add lemon. The only ingredients are sugar and frozen cranberries.
Heat the two ingredients over the stove top until the cranberries break down and the sugar dissolves.
Some people prefer a whole fruit jam, but when it comes to cranberry, I like to blend it up into a puree. There's no sieve involved here. Just return the blended cranberries back to the stove and cook until thickened.
Jar it up for later use as an edible gift (trust us, the host or hostess will thank you!) or for your own Thanksgiving feast. The jam tastes incredible slathered in turkey sandwiches or even piped into jelly doughnuts.