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Game-Day Desserts That Won’t Ruin Your Resolution

Game-Day Desserts That Won’t Ruin Your Resolution

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Make some healthy decisions for the big-game

Indulge without going overboard during the big game.

You’re at the crucial point for your New Year’s resolution. After eating right, working out, and limiting your snack intake, you’re feeling good and starting to see some progress. And then the Super Bowl shows up and all you want to do is dig into that seven-layer dip and binge on chocolate chip cookies. It’s time to get creative with your game-day desserts to minimize damage.

Click here to see Game-Day Desserts That Won’t Ruin Your Resolution

With the big game right around the corner, you want to indulge, but you also want to maintain the fabulous progress you’ve made with your New Year’s resolutions. Fear not; we’ve come up with a few dessert recipes that will satisfy your sweet tooth without setting you back to your pre-resolution weight.

There are a few healthy substitutes in baking that you can utilize. Replace butter or fat in recipes with avocado or applesauce. Add protein to your baked goods with mashed beans, and use puréed dried plums to replace some liquid and sugar. Although it’s slightly more bitter, choose antioxidant-rich dark chocolate over sugary milk chocolate.

Even if you decide to go with classic game-day snacks and desserts, there are a few other tricks to keep your diet in check. Keep portion sizes small: eating two bite-size cookies is way better than eating a cookie the size of a small child. You feel like you gave yourself a treat, but didn’t go overboard.

Display lots of healthy options, like a fruit plate or chocolate-covered fruit, next to the desserts. You’re bound to fill up at least some of your plate with healthy stuff, and you might even satisfy your dessert craving with a piece of melon.

Stay strong with your New Year’s resolutions and indulge just a little bit with these better-for-you dessert recipes.

Portion control is the key to indulging. Satisfy your sweet tooth and limit your intake at the same time with these little chocolate truffles. Plus, they’re made with coconut oil, which is one of the good fats. Click here to see the recipe.

These single-serving brownie bites are rich and sweet, but have a secret healthy ingredient: black beans. Click here to see the recipe.

Julie Ruggirello is the Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @TDMRecipeEditor.

This recipe for Oreo Churros will make your mouth water

It’s just a fact: Oreos and Oreo-flavored things are some of the best desserts out there. They just taste good in anything that you may add them to, no matter what that may be. Whether it’s Cookies and Cream Ice Cream, Oreo Cheesecake, or anything else in between, Oreos make dessert even more sweet and delicious than it already is.

This Oreo-based churro dessert is no joke and doesn’t disappoint that’s for sure. I haven’t even tried them yet, but just based off of looks alone, this dessert will rock my world, that’s for sure.

New Year's Eve Party Recipes

Ring in the new year with recipes for party appetizers, tasty cocktails and plenty of bubbly.

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Shoestring Fries with Truffle Aioli

Shoestring-cut fries are thin and crisp — almost like potato sticks — so they won't ruin your New Year's resolution. We can't say the same about decadent truffle aioli.

Remixed Champagne Kirs

Don't just pop champagne on New Year's Eve — kick things up with Thai-chile-and-raspberry-spiked vodka cocktails.

Porcini Bruschette with Nipitella

The Italian herb nipitella is a member of the mint family and has a strong, refreshing taste that contrasts nicely with the earthiness of the porcini mushrooms. Can't find nipitella? Substitute with a combo of mint and thyme.

Cranberry Kir Royale

Ruby-red cranberries make an ideal seasonal ingredient star for holiday cocktails. Tyler adds fresh orange juice and zest to his homemade cranberry syrup for a bubbly beverage that brims with sweet-tart flavor.

Potato, Goat Cheese, Caramelized Onion and Cherry Tomato Pizza

Have some carbs with your carbs with tender potato-topped grilled pizza, accented with tangy goat cheese, slowly caramelized onions and juicy tomatoes.

Mille-Feuille in a Whiskey Glass

Layers of flaky puff pastry, vanilla cream and chocolate stack up in a perfectly portable whiskey glass.

Orange Cream Mimosa

For a classier take on mimosas, use blood orange soda and white wine for a tart, sweet and easy sipping cocktail.

Date and Blue Cheese Stuffed Meatballs

Crispy bits of bacon add an unexpected (but very welcome) crunch to Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark's meatballs, which surprise twice with a minced date and blue cheese center.


Fig and Blue Cheese Flatbread

Blood Orange Soda Sangria

For a classier take on mimosas, use blood orange soda and white wine for a tart and sweet, easy sipping cocktail.


Serve up easy-to-eat finger food like Nadia G's pierogies. Try her classic potato-cheese filling or experiment with one of her other suggestions, like a mixture of minced mushrooms and fried ground beef.

Orange and Raspberry Mimosa

Laura Vitale's mimosas have a double dose of juicy fruit with oranges and raspberries, and the pink hue makes a beautiful midnight toast.

Upscale Sliders

Get a crunchy sear on ground beef patties before topping them with crisp pancetta and nutty melted Gruyère. These are the kind of sliders you have to eat with your pinkies up.

Buttermilk Popcorn Chicken

Bite-size pieces of fried chicken pair up with myriad dipping sauces, including sweet maple syrup, barbecue sauce and honey mustard.

Frozen S'mores Pop

Cranberry Prosecco Fizz

Rosemary isn't just a garnish in this fizzy cocktail — it adds an earthy flavor to sweet-and-tart cranberries.

Not Your rEGGular Egg Rolls

Justine Simmons stuffs her cabbage-filled egg rolls with lobster, shrimp and pork, so you don't have to choose a favorite meat.

Prosecco Gold Rush

Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms

If your resolution is to eat more vegetables, they might as well be stuffed with sausage and cheese, right?

Tiramisu Cupcakes

For a great hand-held treat, combine a classic Italian dessert with a popular American one. Booze in dessert for New Year's Eve? Yes, please!

Sparkling Wine Sangria

Break out of the New Year's champagne rut and make this sangria with Cava, Spanish sparkling wine. It's delicious and often less expensive than the French variety.

Raspberry Trifle

Champagne Truffles

Individually, champagne and truffles are both synonymous with luxury, but Nadia G puts champagne inside her dark chocolate truffles, making these celebratory spheres top-notch.

Mixed Grilled Cheese and Oven-Dried Tomato Crostini

Choose your own cheese adventure, melting up goat cheese, Gorgonzola, mozzarella, Comte, Gouda or Camembert on top of oven-dried tomatoes and crunchy crostini.

Meshugana Macaroon

Meshugana is the Yiddish word for "crazy," and Alie and Georgia's cocktail has all kinds of crazy coconut flavor. To make their sweet and stylish sipper, shake a mixture of coconut rum, coconut creme, vanilla-infused vodka and a teaspoon of egg white (for a bit of festive froth), then pour into a chocolate-rimmed glass.

Favorite Kid-Friendly Eats Featured on The Kitchen

Children — and kids at heart — will appreciate The Kitchen co-hosts' go-to recipes for simple snacks and must-try meals alike.

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Blueberry Yogurt Pops

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cereal Treats

Jeff uses peanut butter cereal, instead of the usual plain kind, to transform the cereal treats you know and love.

Almond Butter Yogurt Dip

Freshen up your snack routine with this Greek yogurt-based dip that&rsquos ready in only five minutes.

Sunny's Bugs on a Log

Sunny takes us on a walk down memory lane with her version of this kid-friendly snack. For the filling, she blends peanut butter, honey and avocado, and tops off the &ldquologs&rdquo with raspberries and raisins.

Hot Cheese Crunchy Mac & Cheese

What better way to introduce kids to spice than with a flaming hot cheese snack mac and cheese?! Jeff creates a sachet of hot crunchy cheese snacks to infuse spice into the milk. He then crushes up the remaining snacks for a crunchy topping.

Thin Mint Milkshake

Katie takes chocolate milkshakes to the next level by adding an entire sleeve of Thin Mints cookies.

25 Pinwheel Appetizers Perfect For A Party

Below we’ve rounded up 25 delicious pinwheel appetizers.

To view the full recipe and instructions for any of these pinwheel appetizers, please follow the links below.

1. Taco Pinwheels

These taco pinwheels are made with chicken, taco seasoning, cream cheese, and peppers, all rolled up inside tortillas.

An easy make-ahead party appetizer!

2. Spinach Artichoke Pinwheels

Tender flatbread filled with creamy spinach and artichoke dip and rolled into bite sized pinwheels.

This easy appetizer is the perfect addition to your next party, family gathering or luncheon!

3. Pesto Tortilla Pinwheels

This Pesto Tortilla Pinwheels recipe is an easy party food that can be put together in no time!

Perfect for any fun event – including holiday parties, baby showers, and more!

4. Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

An easy recipe and video for Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels made with shredded chicken and everything you love about Buffalo Chicken in one tasty appetizer.

5. Italian Pinwheels

A deliciously fun appetizer for your game day, holiday or party needs, these Italian Pinwheels are tasty, fast and a fun addition to your meal!

6. Cheesy Spinach Roll-ups

Spinach, cream cheese, and white cheddar cheese rolled up in buttery, flaky pastry and baked until they puff up and turn golden brown with gooey centers.

7. Mexican Pinwheels Recipe

This easy Mexican Pinwheels Recipe is a party favorite that’s full of bright, bold flavors you’ll crave!

Your guests will ask for seconds and thirds!

8. Greek Salad Pinwheels

These Creamy Greek Salad Pinwheels are a delicious appetizer any time of the year and everyone loves them!

A creamy Greek yogurt and Feta cheese base is spread onto soft spinach tortillas and topped with all your favorite Greek Salad flavors, like salty Kalamata olives, crunchy cucumbers, and juicy tomatoes.

Add a bit of oregano and a splash of red wine vinegar and you have pinwheel perfection!

9. Turkey Ranch Pinwheels

These pinwheels will rock the lunch table! They are filled with turkey, cheddar, carrot and lettuce for easy, quick and healthy school lunch!

10. Smoked Gouda Puff Pastry Pinwheel

These smoked gouda puff pastry pinwheel appetizer couldn’t be simpler to prepare. Perfect as an appetizer, or party snack!

11. Pepperoni Pizza Tortilla Pinwheels

These fun pepperoni pizza tortilla pinwheels make a great appetizer or school lunch.

Your kids will think they have hit the jackpot when they open their lunchbox and see these!

12. Chicken Bacon Ranch Pinwheels

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pinwheels are perfect as a lunch, after school snack or appetizer and taste wonderful both cold and hot.

13. Club Sandwich Pinwheels

Club sandwich pinwheels use the traditional club sandwich ingredients, but wrap them in a tortilla. Easy to make and fun to eat!

14. Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

Ham and Cheese Pinwheels with Puff Pastry. Just FOUR ingredients!

15. Turkey Pinwheels With Cranberry Spread

Healthy turkey pinwheels layered on a sweet yet spicy cranberry spread with fresh spinach wrapped all together on a whole wheat tortilla!

16. Jalapeno Popper Pinwheels

These Jalapeno Popper Pinwheels are a spicy appetizer that can be served hot or cold!

Cream cheese, cheddar, bacon, and jalapeno all rolled up in a little pinwheel. These are always a crowd pleaser.

17. Thai Peanut Chicken Wraps

Soy marinated juicy chicken, spicy chili-lime peanut sauce coated crunchy vegetables wrapped in spinach tortillas and sliced in party-style pinwheel bites.

18. Roast Beef Tortilla Roll Ups

The great thing about tortilla roll ups is that you can make them before the game even starts and slice them up when you are ready to serve.

These are filled with roast beef, horseradish, cheese and cream cheese, basically the perfect football snack.

19. Pizza Pinwheels

A quick and easy appetizer! Pizza dough filled with marinara sauce, mozzarella, parmesan, and pepperoni and baked until golden brown.

The ultimate pinwheel recipe!

20. Cranberry Feta Pinwheels

Cranberry Feta Pinwheels are the perfect make ahead holiday snack or appetizer.

A creamy filling with feta cheese and sweet dried cranberries rolled in tortillas and sliced.

These are the hit of every party!

21. Cheddar Chorizo Pinwheel Bites

These delicious cheddar chorizo pinwheel bites are one of my favorite easy appetizers!

They can even be made a day ahead so you can enjoy the party!

22. Salsa Roll Ups

Tortillas filled with a creamy cheese and salsa mixture, rolled up and then sliced.

These can be made in just minutes. Serve with salsa for dipping! Perfect for Cinco de Mayo!

23. Baked Ham And Cheese Rollups

These Baked Ham and Cheese Rollups, are an easy appetizer or dinner recipe that are always be a crowd favorite.

They are made with crescent dough, Boar’s Head SmokeMaster™ Black Forest Ham, swiss cheese, and then topped with a delicious mustard glaze.

24. Sun-dried Tomato And Basil Pinwheels

This recipe is simple, requiring just 8 ingredients and 15 minutes to prepare!

Just stir filling ingredients, spread into a tortilla, roll and slice!

25. Ham & Pimento Cheese Pinwheels

Cream cheese, cheddar, parmesan cheese, garlic salt, pimentos, mayonnaise and ham wrapped in a tortilla.

You can make these ahead of time and refrigerate until they are ready to eat. Perfect for parties and tailgating!!

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Whether you’re eating this garlic-citrus roast pork over rice, on a sandwich or straight out of the pot, it’s sure to blow your quarantine pod away. Feel free to make it in the slow cooker the morning of Super Bowl Sunday (or the night before), so you don’t miss any of the game.

Healthy Meal Plans for Game Day

Game Day Meal Plan 1

  • Drink: No-Churn Root Beer Float with Ice Cream
  • Appetizer 1: Spinach Balls from Once a Month Meals
  • Appetizer 2: Pull Apart Olive Loaf
  • Meal Idea: Healthy Taco Salad brings your favorite taco salad to game day! Add in fresh ingredients for an extra boost of energy to make it through until the last minute of the game.
  • Dessert: 3 Ingredient Brownies

Game Day Meal Plan 2

  • Drink: Cranberry Mocktail on 3 Boys and a Dog! Perfect for sipping while you watch the game. This is a non-alcoholic version which can easily be adapted if needed.
  • Appetizer: Mexican Fiesta Black Bean Hummus from Two Healthy Kitchens
  • Main Dish 1: Skinny Roasted Veggie and Ricotta Pizza on Skinny Mom looks amazing. I love how she added fresh corn. Such a great idea for a healthy twist on a traditional game day food.
    • Variations: Here is a really great recipe for Homemade Pizza Sauce from Little Spice Jar

    Game Day Meal Plan 3

    • Drinks: Homemade Bloody Mary’s from Hello Glow
    • Appetizer 1: Spicy Cream Cheese Wontons
    • Appetizer 2: Buffalo Chicken Dip
    • Main Dish : Paleo Sweet Pepper Chili from Plaid & Paleo is perfect for any healthy winter meal. Make a huge pot for the crowd on game day!
    • Dessert: Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes

    I hope one of these 3 Meal Plans for Game Day is the perfect match for your family and this helps make room for more fun and enjoyment in your game day weekend!

    If you want to receive my free healthy meal plans every week, make sure to subscribe to my weekly newsletter (which also contains kids’ activities, parenting inspiration, and recipes)!

    Fettuccine Alfredo Was My First Recipe As Newlyweds

    I first started making this this meal as a newlywed. Pasta is economical and will last for dayyyys, which is perfect when your budget is tight!

    I usually cut up ham steak in chunks for this recipe, but this time I used slices of leftover ham from our Christmas meal.

    We planned on cooking for a bigger crowd this year, but Alan came home from our vacation with a horrible cold and cough.

    How do you get sick from warm tropical weather? Perhaps it was the germs from the plane ride!

    The 12 pound ham was already purchased and ended up being made for three people – Alan, me and Sam. Loads of leftovers for sure!

    Leftover ham is perfect for this pasta dish!

    Leftover dishes are always good with us, especially when a meal is reinvented into a scrumptious dish like this Fettuccini Alfredo dish!

    When Sam saw me making this meal he said, “Mmm, this is one of my favorites!”

    That tidbit of info was good news to my ears since after we enjoyed a bit the remaining meal was packed up for him to take with him back to Southern California.

    Below we’ve rounded up 20 yummy keto dessert recipes.

    To view the full instructions for any of these keto dessert recipes, please follow the link below the picture.

    1. Keto Coconut Bars

    Sweet craving? These soft, chewy Keto coconut bars are healthy dessert heaven.

    NO-BAKE and made with only 5 ingredients, you’ll never guess these decadent-tasting candy bars are low in carbs and sugar-free!

    2. No-Bake Chocolate Mousse Tart

    This is the creamiest, the dreamiest low carb dessert ever.

    Sugar-free chocolate mousse in a grain-free chocolate cookie crust. It’s no bake and so easy to make!

    3. No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Bars

    These Low-Carb No-Bake Chocolate Coconut Bars are made with walnuts, cashews, coconut, natural peanut butter, and dark chocolate.

    It’s gluten-free and very delicious!

    This bar recipe will become your favorite of all the low-carb snacks!

    4. Keto Pumpkin Cheesecake

    Low carb pumpkin cheesecake filling is a little more creamy and less firm than a regular cheesecake. And, just as delicious in its own way.

    This easy pumpkin cheesecake filling is essentially the same as a regular cheesecake filling, but it has pumpkin puree and spices added to it.

    5. No Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

    No-Bake Keto Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars will satisfy all of your dessert cravings with almost none of the sugar.

    Low Carb, low sugar, high fat Peanut Butter Bars make a perfectly delicious keto dessert or fat bomb.

    6. Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake

    Sinfully rich Low Carb Chocolate Truffle Cheesecake is for serious chocolate lovers only.

    This low carb chocolate cheesecake has a gluten-free chocolate crust and is perfect with a good cup of coffee.

    7. Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

    These Low-Carb Blueberry Cheesecake Bars are creamy, tart, and delicious!

    Plus, they are easy to whip together and will instantly satisfy your sweet tooth!

    8. Lemon Sour Cream Pie

    This creamy, tangy low carb lemon sour cream pie will become your favorite spring dessert.

    With an easy grain-free press-in pie crust, it’s simple to make too.

    9. Raspberry Layer Cake

    Filled with a raspberry reduction and mascarpone cream, then topped off with a bit of keto buttercream, this cake is every bit as good as a bakery cake.

    You can take it to a special event, and its good enough that no one will know it’s keto!

    10. Keto Lemon Bars

    This recipe for keto lemon bars is an absolute low carb dream!

    With only 4g of net carbs per serving, you’ll be happy to indulge in this bright and tangy treat without a shred of guilt!

    11. Caramel Pudding with Toasted Coconut

    Just because you’re on a low-carb diet, doesn’t mean you have to say “no” to dessert.

    This Keto Caramel Pudding with Toasted Coconut is rich, creamy and indulgent . . . but with none the sugar.

    12. Pumpkin Cookie Dough

    This healthy paleo vegan edible pumpkin cookie dough is an easy eggless and raw cookie dough recipe to enjoy anytime!

    Quick, easy and ready in 5 minutes, its a flourless dessert or snack packed with protein!

    Keto, Sugar-Free, Gluten Free.

    13. Keto Cheesecake Shooters

    A favorite treat loved by low carbers is the keto cheesecake.

    This recipe takes that classic recipe and puts it into a single serve, easy to manage shooter perfect for a quick snack!

    14. Peanut Butter Fudge

    This is the creamiest keto peanut butter fudge recipe you will ever try!

    In fact, you will need to keep it in the fridge or the freezer to keep it from melting.

    15. Cheesecake Brownies

    These gluten-free and keto cheesecake brownies are the best of both worlds!

    An incredibly fudgy low carb brownie is paired with tangy swirls of creamy cheesecake. The best part? Just 1.5g net carbs!

    16. Chewy Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I’m pretty sure these will become your all-time favorite low carb cookie.

    Think low carb brownie meets perfect keto cookie.

    It’s a marriage made in chocolate heaven.

    17. Keto Tiramisu Mousse

    This incredibly delicious Keto Tiramisu Mousse is the perfect Keto fat bomb to make when sweet cravings haunt you!

    It only consists of 3 ingredients, it’s done within 5 minutes and it only has 1.5g of net carbs per serving!

    18. Mixed Berry Crumble Pots

    These sweet Keto Mixed Berry Crumble Pots are bursting with sweet berries and are topped with a buttery cinnamon crumble.

    19. Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

    Having a cake craving? These low carb chocolate peanut butter whoopie pies are sure to cure that…..and guilt free.

    It contains no artificial sweeteners.

    20. Vanilla Keto Cupcakes With Buttercream Frosting

    Delicious classic vanilla cupcakes with a light texture and a creamy buttercream frosting.

    These keto cupcakes are low-carb and gluten-free.

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    40 Cheat Foods the World&rsquos Healthiest People Aren't Afraid Of

    Unless you're an elite athlete, there's no reason certain "cheat foods" can't be part of an overall healthy diet. In fact, the occasional treat might help you stay on track, according to personal trainer and nutritionist Pollyanna Hale: "You won't feel deprived or bored by the monotony of eating a strict diet every day." A.k.a. you'll have something to look forward to. Here's a list of cheat foods the world's healthiest people incorporate into their diets&mdashwithout sabotaging their goals.

    "Two cups of coffee can cut post-workout muscle pain by up to 48%," says Tony Carvajal, a certified CrossFit trainer with RSP Nutrition. Antioxidants in coffee may also dampen inflammation, reducing the risk of disorders related to it, like cardiovascular disease. "Add flavored MCT oil or oak milk to give you the sweet taste and curb cravings," he says.

    According to Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RD, LD/N, nutrition consultant for RSP Nutrition and founder of Essence Nutrition, it's all about picking a recipe that's packed with fiber, B vitamins, and proteins.

    "I'll make my own [pancakes] with oat flour/almond flour, cinnamon, eggs, baking powder, and sometimes some dark chocolate chips," she says. If you use syrup, Moreno says to use real maple syrup and not corn syrup dyed brown.

    Moreno's a big fan of acai bowls&mdashwhen they're loaded with the right stuff. Her local place in Miami blends acai (lots of antioxidants) with peanut butter (protein and niacin) and bananas (potassium and fiber). "They load it up with cacao nibs, which have a nice dose of iron, magnesium, and fiber, and sometimes even blend it with blueberries," she says.

    Skip the berry yogurt that's full of hidden sugar and go with one that has better-for-you ingredients. Dara Godfrey, MS, RD, a multi-disciplinary registered dietitian who works in private practice in Manhattan, recommends trying a flavor that incorporates nuts, which will offer omega 3 and a nice dose of protein.

    Although most morning cereals are loaded with sugar, Carvajal says having a bowl of Lucky Charms or Frosted Flakes every once in awhile for a cheat meal shouldn&rsquot damage your six pack. "Eat this post-workout so your body can take advantage of the sugars, instead of converting them into fat, and add some almond milk and blueberries to get more of a nutritional boost," he says.

    Alyssa Crouse, a health and wellness coach from Dallas, prefers homemade granola bars over the store-bought variety, for a more natural boost of energy. "They're often made with whole grains (high in fiber), nuts (heart-healthy and protein-rich), and dried fruit for natural sugars," she says.

    Godfrey enjoys snacking on pre-portioned nut butter, which is jam-packed with fiber and healthy fats. "Paired with almonds, it&rsquos the perfect (and quite indulgent) afternoon snack," she says.

    Crouse recommends this pair as a snack before or after a workout to help give you fuel or recover: "Bananas are full of natural sugars, simple carbs, and potassium, while peanut butter provides much needed protein and healthy fats."

    "Protein shakes are popular in the fitness world, as protein helps build and repair muscle," says Hale. "But while milkshakes are seen as a treat, milk contains many beneficial things like calcium, protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins." Even better: The extra carbs from the sugar in a milkshake can actually help muscle recovery after a workout.

    Even though pistachios are higher in calories than some other nuts, research supports eating these instead of others lower-calorie snacks. "De-shelling makes you more likely to eat less," notes Carvajal. "Plus, the healthy fat and protein keeps you fuller for longer, and they're packed with fiber, magnesium, and potassium."

    Fun Fact: Popcorn is a whole grain that is 100 percent unprocessed with no additional additives or hidden ingredients. Just avoid prepackaged flavored popcorn snacks, which are hidden with artificial flavors, additives, and preservatives. "These hidden ingredients can cause G.I. upset or inflammation&mdashespecially, microwave popcorn with synthetic butters," says Lorraine Kearney, holistic nutritionist and sugar detox master.

    There's nothing wrong with having a burger every now and then, but what is important is the nutritional profile of the meat you consume. "Grass-fed beef is lower in saturated fat compared to grain-fed cows, plus it has about 5 times more of omega 3, and is higher in vitamin A and E," says Kearney.

    Still feeling the guilt over a beef burger? Crouse says that turkey is a leaner meat than beef, and that switching to turkey will help you avoid the "bad for you" fats.

    "We tend to think of fries as junk food to have with a burger, but when you think about it, real fries are just potato slices that have been fried," Hale says. "So yes they're a bit higher in fat and calories, but both carbs and fat are required as part of an over all healthy diet and potatoes themselves contain fiber and vitamins." The bottom line: If you're choosing proper cut fries, instead of a fast food version, they're not nearly as unhealthy as you'd think.

    People usually associate substituting regular fries for sweet potato fries as a healthier option when dining out," Kearney says. "Truth is, when both types of potatoes are deep-fried they are usually equal in calories."

    According to Kearney, a great way to cut the calories at home is to oven roast your fries with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of paprika.

    "Before they get drenched in sauce, ribs aren't too bad for you," says Carvajal. "They do contain some saturated fat, but they also offer more than 20g of protein per 3oz."

    He recommends sticking to a few ribs, going light on sugar-packed BBQ sauce, and pairing them with a side of grilled veggies for a more balanced meal.

    Pulled pork sandwiches can hide a lot of extra sugar in the barbecue sauce, Gabrielle Mancella, registered dietician at Orlando Health, notes. "By restricting the sauce to the side and complementing your sandwich on a whole grain bun, you can reduce the amount of carbohydrates and empty calories, while not sacrificing too much flavor," she says.

    We have good news for game day. "The sinful part of this cheat meal is in the sauce, often made with buffalo sauce and melted butter," Mancella explains. "By baking the chicken wings and using a low-fat hot sauce, these don't even have to be considered a cheat meal at all."

    "This cheat meal's bad reputation is derived from the oil that it is deep-fried in and the quality of the coating for the breading," explains Mancella. But that doesn't mean you can never have it. Mancella recommends enjoying this dish on days when you're planning on consuming less fat at other meals. In other words, it's all about balance.

    "When making pizza at home you can cut hundreds of calories by switching out the dough for pita," says Kearney. Her go-to recipe: Spread a 6" pita with 2-3 tablespoons of goat cheese, add sliced tomatoes, and top with basil and crushed red pepper. Place the pizza in the oven on broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until edges are crispy, and serve with a green leafy salad.

    Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, the founder and director of Real Nutrition NYC, says that while you shouldn't be loading up on carbs every night, go ahead and order the pasta when you're at an Italian restaurant&mdashespecially if it's homemade.

    "When you eat good food made from fresh ingredients, you enjoy it and you taste what you are meant to taste," she says. "No matter what your nutrition goals are, indulging in good and rich food once in awhile will allow you to stay on track longer."

    "I recommend my clients enjoy cheese only one time per day, and when they do to make sure it is 'the star of the show' and well worth it," explains Shapiro. It's high in sodium, saturated fats, and calories, but she knows knows most people love it, so she says to stick to an ounce or so to keep calories and heart health in check.

    According to Mancella, the tortilla on a burrito can contribute up to 400 calories and 45-65 grams of carbohydrates. "By switching to a burrito bowl and opting for rice and beans instead, this meal becomes a nutrient-dense 'cheat' if you choose to keep the full-fat sour cream and cheese," she says.

    Want to make this a meal you can add to your regular rotation? Opt for brown rice and a heavy portion of vegetables, salsa, corn, and guacamole.

    "Tacos are delicious, but many restaurants add too many condiments and use fatter cuts of meat, or deep fried battered fish," explains Kearney.

    Clean up your tacos at home by grilling a white flaky fish, such as cod, and seasoning it with herbs and spices, or lemon juice. Switch out the taco for a pita. And serve with a dark green leafy salad to add fiber to your meal.

    This recipe has become a staple in Mancella's lunchtime rotation: "Bake 100% corn tortilla chips in the toaster oven with a lean protein, low fat dairy, and an array of vegetables (peppers, olives, jalapenos, tomatoes, onions, refried beans)," she says. Then top them off with guacamole, salsa, and cilantro.

    "Guac is so nutrient-dense and full of good fats and gut-friendly fiber," says Crouse. Plus, chips give you that salty crunch that makes your heart happy, she adds.

    Good news, sushi fans: Tuna and avocado is a satisfying meal that'll help build muscle, according to Carvajal. "Ahi Tuna is packed with satiating, muscle-building protein (21 g for a 3-ounce serving), and avocado tips this dish from good-for-you to great-for-you," he says.

    Looking for a good-for-you treat? Crouse recommends sushi. "Seafood such as salmon and tuna are high in protein, and it's wrapped in rice and veggies to help fuel your body," she says.

    "It's all in the preparation," Mancella notes about this comfort food. For instance, when making General Tso's Chicken, she recommends either frying the chicken or using the heavy sauce&mdashbut not both. Serving the sauce on the side is a smart choice as well.

    This high-fat, high-carbohydrate option can be enjoyed on occasion as long as you make a few swaps, according to Mancella. Choose high-quality beef, low-fat cheese, and a whole grain bun.

    Keto Bites

    5-Min Prosciutto Avocado Fat Bomb

    Ingredients: avocado, lime, prosciutto or deli ham or turkey slices.

    In this recipe you get the fat bomb experience but without any effort as you are using only three ingredients. These make great snacks when you need something to keep you going, but you can also use them as an appetizer or as party food. Don’t skip on the lime juice though, because it keeps the avocado from turning brown and gives these bombs a real zing!

    Keto Bacon Aparagus Mini Frittata

    Ingredients: asparagus, bacon, onions, eggs, coconut milk, salt, pepper.

    Mini foods are so appealing to look at and these frittatas are no different. They are great served warm for breakfast, can be carried to work for a tasty lunch or simply enjoyed as a snack. Children are also keen to try mini foods, so these can be a good way to get them eating more healthily. If you are not too keen on the taste of asparagus, you could use green beans instead.

    Basic Keto Deviled Eggs

    Ingredients: eggs, mayo, mustard, vinegar, paprika, salt, pepper.

    I remember these little beauties from my childhood, when my Mom would make a plate of these wonderful eggy snacks when we had guests over the holidays! Hers were made with cheese and egg yolk, but the ones in this recipe are even tastier! The mustard gives them a little kick and the wonderful color comes from the yolk. Then just decorate with a little paprika to make them pretty!

    Ham and Spinach Mini Quiches

    Ingredients: eggs, ham, spinach, leek, coconut milk, baking powder, salt, pepper.

    These little crustless quiches have the perfect balance of meat and vegetables, making them super-tasty and perfect for a quick snack or a lunch. These mini quiches taste so good cold so would be great to take to work or pack in the kids’ lunchboxes. When you are making these, just be a bit careful to taste the mixture before you add the salt as the ham can be salty enough, depending what type you use.

    Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Ham Wraps

    Ingredients: slices of ham, cucumber, smoked salmon, coconut cream, green salad.

    These tasty wraps are ideal for a lunchtime snack or even for a healthy breakfast. They have a lovely texture since all the layers are sandwiched together with the smooth coconut cream. These are easy to eat, so they would be perfect if you are feeding kids. Or why not try turning them inside out – make cucumber cups, chop the meat and stir in the cream and fill the cups with the mix to make dainty finger food!

    Garlic Bacon Wrapped Chicken Bites

    Ingredients: chicken breast, bacon, garlic powder or crushed garlic.

    These delicious little chicken bites look great and would make the perfect party food, especially with your favorite dip or salsa. They are easy to prepare and you will be amazed how many you can make from just one chicken breast! These also go down really well for kid’s parties or as a tasty treat on a summer picnic. You could even jazz it up even more by adding some ginger powder to the chicken coating.

    Paleo/GF Popcorn Shrimp

    Ingredients: small shrimp, eggs, paleo cajun seasoning, coconut flour, coconut oil.

    If you are looking for a tasty but healthy snack to serve on game nights or for a simple lunch, why not try this amazing popcorn shrimp! It combines the texture of the crispy coating with the seasoned tender shrimp in little bite-size pieces that can be enjoyed by even your non-paleo friends and family. They might even prefer it this way!

    Oven Fried Stuffed Olives

    Photo Credit: Stacey from Beauty and the Foodie

    Ingredients: green olives, Italian sausage, almond slivers or almond flour, sunflower seeds, flat leaf parsley, garlic powder, thyme (dried or fresh), egg, olive oil or avocado oil.

    These wonderful little bite-size snacks are packed with sausage and full of flavor with their seasoned coating, making them an ideal appetizer to serve at a Mediterranean-themed meal or speared with cocktail sticks and served as party food. The olives give you a good dose of healthy fats and taste amazing on their own or with a simple low-carb dip.

    Deviled Guac Eggs

    Photo Credit: Michelle from Cavegirl Cuisine

    Ingredients: eggs, avocado, garlic, lime juice, fresh cilantro, Sriracha, sea salt, freshly ground pepper, grape tomatoes, bacon (optional).

    Although this is a simple recipe to follow, the end result looks and tastes so good that these would make a great appetizer for a dinner party. You can alter the amount of heat to suit your palate, but a little kick sets off the creamy filling of the eggs. If you don’t want to use tomato as the topping you could use crispy bacon pieces or simply dust with smoked paprika!

    Low Carb Corn Dog Muffins

    Ingredients: Klement’s original snack sticks, almond flour, low carb sweetener (granulated Splenda or similar), baking powder, eggs, unsalted butter.

    These muffins have a light and fluffy texture, perfectly partnered with the sausage pieces for a tasty snack. These would be ideal for a snack, to take in your lunchbox, or to serve at a children’s party as a healthier alternative to traditional corn dogs. Kids love these and it would be a good idea to get them to help by pushing the sausage pieces into the batter to make a little face!

    Paleo Baked Onion Rings

    Photo Credit: Hannah from Healy Eats Real

    Ingredients: egg, coconut milk or almond milk, avocado oil, large yellow onion, almond flour, sea salt, garlic powder.

    If you are having friends round and want to provide some snacks, it can get a bit tedious trying to find new recipes. So here is an easy recipe for delicious onion rings that can be served with a low-carb tomato salsa, ketchup or guacamole, or used as a side dish with burgers or chicken wings. Try to keep the onion rings the same thickness when you cut them and that ensures they all cook at the same time.

    Crazy-Good Kebabs

    Ingredients: boneless meat (a combination of chicken breasts and thighs), fresh mint leaves, fresh rosemary, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt.

    This classic combination of lemon, garlic, and fresh herbs comes together to create a crazy-good dish! You’ll have to plan ahead a bit to marinade the meat before grilling, but it’s worth the effort. And who doesn’t love meat on a stick! It’s the perfect finger food for the big game.

    Prosciutto and Brie Jalapeño Poppers (Contains Dairy)

    Photo Credit: Vivica from The Nourished Caveman

    Ingredients: jalapeños, prosciutto, Brie cheese.

    Jalapeno poppers are becoming ever-popular across the world and make a wonderful appetizer for a Mexican meal, but they are easy to eat as finger food, so you can also use them as party food. These snacks taste as good cold, so you can make them in advance to save time. If you are not eating dairy, just substitute the cheese for some sliced avocado.

    Classic Buffalo Wings

    Photo Credit: Mellissa from I Breathe I’m Hungry

    Ingredients: fresh chicken wings, Frank’s Red Hot sauce, unsalted butter, habanero (optional).

    Buffalo wings are a favorite with many families for a delicious hands-on meal for lunch or served with a salad for a lighter dinner. These ones have a good kick from the hot sauce and are very, very moreish! If you can’t get Frank’s hot sauce, just use your favorite one but it may not be as thick. If this happens you can put it in a pan on the stove and reduce to increase the thickness.

    Cheesy Keto Cauliflower Bread Sticks (Contains Dairy)

    Photo Credit: Lisa from Low Carb Yum

    Ingredients: cauliflower, Monterey jack cheese, eggs, ground sage, ground oregano, dried thyme, ground mustard, ground black pepper, fresh parsley.

    Cauliflower is amazing! It can be ‘rice’, a pizza base or even bread sticks! These cheesy treats are quite easy to make and taste great on their own, but I prefer to eat mine dipped in a spicy salsa while watching a good movie! You can use cookie cutters for different shapes, or simply cut into strips with a knife. If you are invited to a party, why not take some of these with you as a gift for the host!

    Ah-Mazing Keto Pizza Bites (Contains Dairy)

    Photo Credit: Amanda from Wicked Stuffed

    Ingredients: Rozzano marinara, Sargento mozzarella + provolone mix, Applegate Naturals uncured genoa salami slices.

    You know how sometimes you just need a tasty snack that tastes of pizza, but you can’t get it? Well never fear! This recipe takes only a few minutes to prepare, pop them in the oven for five minutes, then sit back and enjoy these savory delights! You won’t even miss the pizza crust because you have the salami slice topped with pizza sauce and cheese – mouth-watering!

    Low Carb Chicken Parmesan Meatballs (Contains Dairy)

    Photo Credit: Kyndra from Peace Love and Low Carb

    Ingredients: ground chicken, Three Cheese Garlic Marinara Sauce, Parmesan cheese, flat-leaf parsley, garlic, dried Italian seasoning, onion powder, sea salt, black pepper, mozzarella cheese.

    Chicken Parmesan has now become a favorite in many restaurants across the world, so isn’t it great to have a healthy recipe that gives exactly the same flavor? With this recipe you do not need any binding ingredient, yet the meatballs still retain their shape once they are cooked. If these go down well with your family, why not batch-cook and freeze them for another day!

    Cream Cheese Stuffed Meatballs (Contains Dairy)

    Photo Credit: Libby from Ditch The Carbs

    Ingredients: spring onion, garlic, ground/mince meat, salt, pepper, egg, bacon, sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, cream cheese.

    This is such an adaptable recipe that gives you an appetizer, main meal or individual servings to enjoy as party food. They are full of flavor, high in healthy fats and super-tasty! You could use whatever meat you like – try chicken and bacon or pork with sage, or add some pepperoni and Italian seasoning – the list is endless! These can be frozen once cooked and reheated in the oven for five minutes.

    Keto Ginger Coconut Cookies

    Ingredients: almond flour, coconut flour, coconut flakes, egg, ghee, stevia or erythritol, vanilla extract, ginger powder, cinnamon (optional), nutmeg (optional), cloves (optional), baking soda.

    Ginger cookies are a family favorite in our house and we always have some at Christmas time when friends and family come over. These cookies have a shortbread look to them and taste wonderfully crumbly and delicious and the ginger gives them a flavor boost. So if you fancy a ginger cookie, why not get the youngest members of the family to give you a hand, then you can all enjoy the results!

    Keto Dark Chocolate Macadamia Sea Salt Bars (Fat Bombs)

    Ingredients: 100% dark chocolate, erythritol or stevia, coconut oil, macadamia nuts, sea salt flakes.

    Fat bombs are such a great treat that help you get your daily dose of healthy fats and satisfy any sweet cravings you might have. Biting into these amazing bombs, you have the smooth and creamy texture mixed with chopped macadamias and then the sprinkling of salt on top gives you the now-popular chocolate/salt mixture.

    Sugar-Free Chocolate Biscotti

    Ingredients: whole almonds, chia seeds, unsweetened shredded coconut, egg, coconut oil, cacao powder, stevia, salt, baking soda.

    If you need sugar-free snacks because of health reasons such as diabetes, these wonderful biscotti would be perfect! They can be eaten straight away but they will be quite soft, or you can turn the oven off and leave them in to dry out a bit to crisp them up. These are lovely with coffee or served with a mousse-like dessert or low-carb ice cream.

    Sugar-Free Ginger Spice Cookies

    Ingredients: whole almonds, chia seeds, coconut oil, egg, ginger, cinnamon powder, nutmeg, stevia, salt.

    Sometimes you just have to have a ginger cookie with your tea or coffee so why not try these great sugar-free ones! The ginger and cinnamon give you a lovely warming feeling and these are sweet enough to satisfy without being loaded with bad sugars. If you don’t like stevia you could try using honey or maple syrup instead if you tolerate it.

    5-Minute Paleo Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

    Ingredients: pumpkin puree, ghee, pure cocoa powder, pumpkin pie spice, sweetener of choice (optional).

    If you are like me and have problems with controlling portion size when it comes to desserts then this recipe is ideal! It is quick and super-easy to make and is cooked and served in the one dish. You have a lovely chocolate flavor with the scent of the pumpkin pie spice hitting you as it cooks. If you prefer to have a sweeter dessert then just add whatever sweetener you use and enjoy this warm or chilled.

    Cinnamon Bun Fat Bomb Bars

    Photo Credit: Carol from Ditch The Wheat

    Ingredients: creamed coconut, cinnamon, extra virgin coconut oil, almond butter.

    Fat bombs are a great way to treat yourself on a keto diet as they are low-carb but full of healthy fats, quite simple to make and give you a boost if you are running out of energy. These coconut bars have a consistency that is fantastic to bite into and they leave you feeling totally satisfied. If you decide to use the almond butter icing, you get an even better combination of flavors. Keep thee in the fridge or freezer for a quick and healthy snack.

    Carob Ganache Mini Tortes

    Ingredients: coconut milk, extra-virgin coconut oil, vanilla extract or vanilla powder, carob powder, ground cinnamon.

    When I first saw these little tortes, my first thought was to make these for my partner for Valentine’s dinner! They are smooth and creamy and taste delicious served with raspberries or strawberries. You could even find heart-shaped molds to make this wonderful dessert even more romantic! These lovely tortes are also handy if you have a problem with portion control as they are already in individual servings.

    Coconut Chocolate Bars

    Photo Credit: Vivica from The Nourished Caveman

    Ingredients: unsweetened shredded coconut, powdered Stevia, vanilla extract, coconut cream, coconut oil, unsweetened cocoa powder, cocoa butter.

    If you find yourself needing a chocolate treat that won’t ruin your eating plan then these wonderful coconut bars could be the answer! They are low in carbs, higher in healthy fats and are sugar-free but they taste so good that they are sure to satisfy any cravings. If you want to, you could even add some chopped pecan nuts into the mixture too. Just be sure to taste the mix before adding all the sweetener as you might not need it all.

    Keto Ooey Gooey Butter Pie (Contains Dairy)

    Photo Credit: Amanda from Wicked Stuffed

    Ingredients: almond meal, stevia blend (fine), egg, butter, salt, cream cheese.

    This is a wonderful keto version of a gooey butter cake that will fool even you into believing it’s not keto! It is smooth and creamy with the traditional buttery taste we have come to expect. It can be made without the crust if you prefer an even lower carb dessert. It is important to cool this pie completely otherwise it can have quite an eggy flavor.


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