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healthy chocolate recipes

Fit Links: Tricks to Cure Cravings and Ace Race Day Photos

Written on February 17, 2012 at 2:43 pm , by

Control your cravings—no lock and key required. (Photo by James Worrell)

This week’s fit links from around the web:

Fit Blogger We Love: Snack Girl

Written on February 9, 2012 at 3:19 pm , by

Lisa discovers nutritious packaged snacks and develops her own healthy recipes.

Whether you’re looking to discuss the latest nutrition-related news, find the latest supermarket snacks that won’t eat up your daily calorie budget or need a family-friendly recipe, Lisa from Snack Girl has you covered. She’s not afraid to cover the good, bad and ugly in the food world and shares plenty of smart snacking advice (we love her recent round-up of chocolate choices with Valentine’s Day coming up)! Keep reading to learn more about Lisa’s fitness goals and what she’s snacking on now.

My favorite way to work out: I like fitness DVDs because I am a mother of two small children and I’m always pressed for time. My favorites include Jillian Michaels DVDs and the New York City Ballet Workout. I have about seven different discs and I do just 15 to 20 minutes of one of them per day. Someday, I will get my gym membership back and do my favorite exercise, which is swimming.

On my fit life list: I want to become a better cross country skier. We have trails behind our house and I am always falling over. I would love to hike parts of the Appalachian trail and someday climb up to Machu Picchu.

I’m happiest when I’m: Reading my children a story at the end of the day. It is such a sweet time and I get to admire them at their quietest.

My biggest indulgence: Sitting in front of my fireplace (we have a wood stove) and knitting. If I get to sit there for 15 minutes without interruption, it is SO luxurious. Of course, the dishes and laundry are staring at me but I ignore them to have this precious moment of peace.

My fave fit snack: Since it is winter, I am really into root vegetables. I recently discovered parsnips and I love them. This recipe is super easy to make and tastes delicious.

Take advantage of seasonal produce for this roasted parsnips side.

Honey Mustard Parsnips

Serves 6

  • 2 pounds parsnips
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon high-quality mustard
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and place rack in the upper third. Scrub parsnips in cold water. Do not peel. Cut into 1-inch chunks and place parsnips on rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Mix together vinegar, honey, and olive oil in a small bowl. Pour over parsnips and mix with the liquid to coat. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes. Put in a bowl, and toss with mustard. Taste and adjust seasonings. Enjoy!

Nutrition information per serving: 157 calories, 3.2 g fat, 31.8 g carbohydrates, 2.3 g protein, 7.7 g fiber, 100 mg sodium, 4 Weight Watchers PointsPlus

Spook Trick-or-Treaters With These Festive Treats

Written on October 19, 2011 at 4:25 pm , by

Break up the trimmed off corner brownies to create a look that resembles a dirt-filled graveyard. (Photo courtesy of Sun-Maid)

Ah, Halloween. It kicks off the so-called “eating season” (including Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas and more) and is a holiday that basically revolves around massive quantities of sweet treats. So how do you stroll into November in the same pair of jeans you’re wearing today?

“Don’t buy your Halloween candy until October 30—it’s too torturous to have it around the house,” says Joy Bauer, R.D., The Today Show nutritionist and author of Joy Bauer’s Food Cures. And rather than popping one fun-size bar after the next, “stick with longer-lasting treats like lollipops, or freeze a few pieces of dark chocolate so they melt more slowly while you eat them,” Bauer suggests.

Her top tip: “Give yourself an amount of candy you’ll enjoy around Halloween, say five snack-sized pieces, and pick them strategically to make them last. This way you won’t miss all of the festivities, but will be doing your waistline good.”

You can also eat festive treats that pack a little nutritional punch, like roasted pumpkin seeds or non-fat Greek yogurt mixed with a dollop of canned pumpkin (a couple of Bauer’s favorites) or these fun brownies, courtesy of Sun-Maid.

Halloween Tombstone Brownies

Serves 18 to 24

  • 3-ounces (3 squares) unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Sun-Maid Natural Raisins
  • White icing tubes, pens or homemade and transferred to a pastry bag
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 9 or 9 x 13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine chocolate and butter in a large saucepan. Heat over low heat until melted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in sugar; mix well. Add eggs and vanilla; blend well.
  4. Mix in flour and raisins until evenly combined. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  5. Bake 9 x 9-inch pan for 25 to 30 minutes or 9 x 13-inch pan for 18 to 22 minutes, until top feels set when gently touched. Cool completely.
  6. Cut brownies with a sharp knife into approximately 1-1/4 x 2-1/2-inch pieces. Cut rounded corners on one short edge to shape a tombstone.
  7. Decorate tombstones with icing as desired. Arrange tombstones upright on tray to create graveyard (apply small amount of icing on bottom of brownies to stick to tray if necessary).

More from FITNESS: Candy-Coated: What You Need to Know About Your Favorite Sweets

Three Tips For Lighter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Written on August 5, 2011 at 9:07 am , by

Keep the yummy cookie taste and lose the fat with these smart strategies. (Photo by Evan Sklar)

Written by Theresa K. Brady, editorial intern

You’ll find them on supermarket shelves, in ice cream and even cereal—the humble chocolate chip cookie has come a long way from its Nestle Toll House roots in the 1930s! However, the classic sweet treats aren’t always a figure-friendly snack. We spoke with Candice Kumai, author of Pretty Delicious, to get three tips and tricks for making guilt-free cookies that are actually a good-for-you-treat!

  • Cut calories with almond milk. “Unsweetened almond milk contains only 40 calories per cup and all the fat is a healthy kind.”
  • Add nutrition. “Make your cookies nutrient-dense by adding rolled oats, raw walnuts, raw almonds, raw pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries or raisins.”
  • Swap and save! “When the recipe calls for approximately two to four tablespoons of butter, swap out half for 1/4 cup natural applesauce, 1/4 cup ripe mashed banana or 1/4 cup pureed dried dates or date paste.”

Since some say that yesterday was National Chocolate Chip Day, we took that as the perfect excuse to head straight to the kitchen after work and bake up Candice’s Totally Bananas Chocolate Chip-Oat Cookies. Now we’re hooked! The bananas add tenderness and moisture to the cookies, making them perfectly soft and decedent. For the recipe, click below.

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