Blog Posts by CookingLight.com

  • Seven yummy fair-trade and global do-gooder foods

    Use your purchasing power to snag some of the tastiest foods on the planet all while dabbling in a bit of global philanthropy.

    Most of us easily spend a couple of dollars here and there to indulge in trendy juice drinks, energy bars, and even cups of coffee. So it's amazing to think that our snack and beverage picks might influence the quality of life somewhere else a world away, doing things like keeping environments healthy and sustainable, feeding hungry children, or building wells for clean water. Seems like a win-win scenario. We munch, they benefit. So check out some our favorite-tasting global do-gooders. Many are fair-trade products; others are just do-good companies making a difference in their own unique way.

    See More: Top Nutrition Mistakes

    Pitaya Plus Super Juice

    Made with trendy dragon fruit (pitaya) and coconut water, pretty pink Pitaya Plus Super Juice tastes like a refreshingly grown up version of fruit punch. Not too sweet, it's loaded with

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  • Best college care package recipes

    Make healthy, easy-to-mail snacks that will keep your college kid alert and energized for classes and late-night studying. By: Amy Ahlberg

    When teens head off to college, they're faced with some healthy-eating hurdles, like fueling all-nighters spent studying for exams, making up for meals missed due to paper deadlines, and offsetting the less-than-healthy grub they're gobbling while socializing with their campus pals. But you can help your child fill those nutritional gaps with a care package crammed with homemade, healthy treats. Send some TLC with these energizing, easy-to-ship snack recipes.

    See More: 12 Healthy Snacks

    Molasses-Almond Granola

    Your child probably has a mini-fridge in his or her dorm room that can house milk or yogurt to top this healthy breakfast (or snack). The oats in this filling granola recipe provide slowly-digested complex carbohydrates, which will provide lasting energy and will keep blood sugar levels steady. Pack it up in an airtight tin for

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  • The best of summer: Pacific salmon

    Rich, buttery salmon is a rock star when it comes to nutrition, and mid-summer is the time to really enjoy it.

    Salmon is one of the best sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fats. Even better, the unctuous flavor and meaty-fatty texture make it seem luxurious and indulgent, a real treat to eat. Its high fat content keeps it moist even when slightly overcooked-so it's a perfect option for the intense heat of the grill. Mid-summer is the best time of year to find wild Pacific king salmon-the premier, largest, and most full-flavored species. Many fish return to fresh water to spawn beginning in May and continuing through July. Sockeye and coho salmon are also abundant during summer months and offer a milder flavor. If you're concerned about sustainability, stick with wild Pacific salmon, especially Alaskan.

    See More: Superfast Fish Recipes

    Our Favorite Salmon Flavor Combinations

    Versatile salmon pairs with bold and subtle tastes.

    • Salty: lower-sodium soy sauce, capers,
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  • 100-calorie burger toppings

    A quarter pound of lean ground sirloin and a hearty whole-grain bun start you out at 250 calories. Now you're ready for all those tasty toppings. By Sidney Fry, MS, RD



    Choosing the toppings for your burger can be a creative endeavor, but don't stop there. Whether you take a step on the wild side and opt for a soy burger or stick with the ever classic chuck, make sure you are armed with all the facts on these patty varieties.



    Don't Miss:


    100-Calorie Oatmeal Toppings


    100-Calorie Toppings for Taters


    Healthy Grilled Burgers

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  • The best frozen pops

    Lips need an icy kiss in the dog days of summer? These treats won't bust calorie limits. By Phillip Rhodes


    Label tip: Look for fruit first. More of it tastes better, and may mean less sugar or other sweeteners.
    Our pick: Blue Bell Strawberry Fruit Bars (70 calories). Blended strawberries (the first ingredient) give Blue Bell's bar an almost creamy texture. Nutrition bonus: 50% of your daily vitamin C.

    See More: Top-Rated Fruit Recipes

    Orange Cream Bars
    Label tip: Look for a short list of ingredients. Most of the brands we sampled had mile-long lists and were more gummy than creamy.
    Our pick: Edy's Frozen Fruit Orange & Cream Bars (80 calories). Smooth low-fat ice cream encased in icy sorbet made from real oranges adds a textural contrast to the mix of flavors.

    See More: Top-Rated Frozen Desserts

    Creamy Coconut Bars
    Label tip: Look for low saturated fat. Some brands start with high-sat fat coconut milk. One brand we sampled had 11g per bar!
    Our

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  • 7 healthy eating principles for a vegetarian diet


    Vegetarian diets can certainly meet all your nutritional needs-the key is to eat a variety of foods so all your nutrient bases are covered. Here we share our healthy eating principles for a well-rounded vegetarian diet.

    1| Think about protein

    You can easily meet your daily protein needs by eating an array of plant-based foods. Fill out your meals with beans, lentils, nuts, rice, and soy products like tofu and tempeh. Don't rely on a hefty portion of cheese to fill the protein gap since cheeses often add saturated fat.

    See More: Superfast Vegetarian

    2| Consider calcium

    The mineral calcium plays a vital role in overall health, including achieving and maintaining healthy teeth and bones. Vegetarians can meet their calcium requirements by including calcium-rich dairy products (milk, cheese, and yogurt) in meals and snacks. (One 8-ounce glass of milk provides 256 milligrams of calcium, which is about one-fourth of the recommended daily intake of 1,000milligrams per

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  • The most common nutrition mistakes


    These common nutrition mistakes can lead anyone astray. Learn how to avoid them for better health.

    Best-selling author Michael Pollan became famous telling us that to eat healthy is to eat simply-just like our grandmothers did. Problem is, Grandma didn't live in the Information Age, the age of the 25,000-product supermarket, Dietary Guidelines, and all those superfood health claims. It should be simple. But it really isn't-not with this much daily nutrition noise to contend with.

    Consider nutrition science, flip-flopping over the humble egg: villainized as an artery-clogging cholesterol bomb in the 1980s, now a centerpiece of the healthy breakfast (or dinner) plate while activists focus on the well-being of the chickens.

    Pollan is right, mostly: The basic rules of healthy eating are simple. But diet is also in the details, as our nutrition mistakes illustrate. In the crazy modern food world, you want to keep your eye on the big picture, but pay attention to the small print,

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  • Best and worst kids' menus

    Between tricky restaurant choices, finicky eaters, and the desire to provide healthy, nourishing food, taking the kids out to eat can drive any parent crazy! We'll give you the inside scoop on better choices and some easy steps on how to lighten up those kid-favorites. By: Toby Amidor, MS, RD

    Childhood obesity is a growing problem in the U.S. With many folks dining out on a regular basis, helping your child make healthy choices is essential. We reviewed 7 popular chain restaurants throughout the country and give you the inside scoop on what your little one should order to keep calories, fat, and sodium in check.

    See More: Best Restaurant Lunches

    Panera Bread

    Thumbs Up: Kids Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
    Made from white whole-grain bread, this sandwich from Panera Bread contains 4 grams of filling fiber and is paired with 60-calorie organic yogurt (a better choice than chips). Peanut butter (about 2 tablespoons worth) is an excellent source of protein as well as

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  • The best gluten-free foods

    Gluten-free foods are sprouting up everywhere. We reveal our top picks in 10 categories. By Karen Ansel, MS, RD

    With over three million Americans suffering from celiac disease and another 20 million estimated to be gluten intolerant, gluten free is all the rage. Although g-free foods are easier to find than ever before, they're not all created equal in terms of nutrition or taste. We scoured supermarket shelves sampling dozens of gluten-free foods to find the ones that taste the best and are the best for you.

    See More: Top Lower-Sodium Foods

    Cold Cereal
    If you're starting your day with a bowl of gluten-free cereal you could be missing out on important energizing nutrients. Gluten-free grains rarely have added nutrients, compared to standard cereals which are often fortified with B-vitamins and iron. Enter Rice Chex. This gluten-free gem is one of the few g-free foods fortified with vitamins and minerals to deliver 25 percent of your daily dose of five B vitamins and

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  • Past the packaging: The best cereals to buy

    Whether you are looking for a cereal that's loaded with fiber or perfect for kids, we've picked the best cereals for you and your family. By MaryAnn Jacobsen, MS, RD

    Do you get confused when cruising down the cereal aisle? One cereal package carries the claim "helps prevent heart disease" and another touts "low sugar." But reading the fine print to discover which is best can literally take all day. To save you time, money, and sanity, we developed nutrition criteria to help you choose the right cereal for you and your family.

    So what makes a good, wholesome cereal? We believe it should contain a serving of whole grains (16g) or at least have a whole grain as the first ingredient, be relatively low in sugar (10g or less), be a good source of fiber (3g per serving), and be free of artificial colors and dyes.

    See More: Top-Rated Breakfast and Brunch

    Best Cereal for Kids
    Consumer Reports agrees that Cheerios is one of the best cereals for kids. Low in sugar and high

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