Good-for-you chocolate chip recipes for National Chocolate Chip Day

May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Day (There’s also a National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day on Aug. 4, if you’re keeping track of such things), so we figured that was as good a reason as any to spotlight a few of the healthier chocolate cookie choices on shelves.

Not surprisingly, that’s much easier said than done.

It’s pretty much impossible to find a truly healthy cookie on store shelves – real cookies – not protein bars flavored or shaped like cookies. We’re not saying they’re not out there; they’re not in the many New Orleans grocery stores that we visited.

Plenty are marketed-as-better-for-you chocolate chip cookies, however, but each has its drawbacks:

The seemingly diabetes-friendly Murray’s Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies are still essentially just white flour and artificial sweeteners (acesulfame potassium and sucralose) – and cookie-for-cookie, they’re about the same calories and carbs as a Chips Ahoy cookie, which has 160 calories and 22g carbs for three cookies.

Vegan chocolate chip cookies may look promising, like those by the Alternative Baking Company, but feature white flour, sugar and a host of other not-exactly-nutritious-yet-still-vegan ingredients, such as potato starch, salt and an oil blend. And the stats for each are staggering: 460 calories and 34 grams of sugar in a single cookie.

Another vegan cookie showing up more often on stores shelves is Lenny and Larry’s Complete Cookie with “baked nutrition” (whatever that means). Labeled as non-GMO with no dairy, no soy and no egg, each vegan cookie crams in 360 calories and 28 grams of added sugar. With more than a day’s worth of sugar, these aren’t much better than the Alternative Baking Company.

I was hopeful when I saw Munk Pack’s Gluten-Free Protein Cookie (available online), as it has more protein (9 grams) than sugar (8 grams). Problem is, each cookie is two servings – which translates to 16 grams of sugar (and 380 calories) for a single cookie. But of the brands and stats I’ve seen so far, this is among the better of the options. They’re individually packaged, too, which helps with portion control.

Build a better (for you) mac and cheese

A step-by-step guide to build a better mac and cheese, plus 3 nutritious pre-packaged options and 3 good-for-you recipes

I’ve run across two store-bought chocolate chip cookies that are a little better in terms of carbs, calories and sugar: Aunt Gussie’s Sugar Free Chocolate Chip Cookies and Emmy’s Organic’s Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies, both at natural foods stores, such as Whole Foods Market.

Aunt Gussie’s Sugar Free Chocolate Chip Cookies are made with a blend of refined and whole grain spelt flour (spelt is a gluten-containing grain that can be easier for some people to digest, compared to traditional wheat), with no sugar added. Sweetened with maltitol, each crispy cookie has just 60 calories, 0 sugar, and 5.5 grams of net carbs.

Emmy’s Organic’s Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies are more like cookie dough than baked cookies – and you’ve got to like coconut. Gluten free and vegan, these grain-free “cookies” are made with coconut, agave, chocolate chips, almond flour, and coconut oil. Each cookie bite has 100 calories, 8 grams of carbs and 6 grams of sugar. Our informal group of taste testers agreed that they could do the trick to satisfy a hankering for a chocolate chip cookie.

5 ways to build a better, healthier Eggs Benedict

Five easy ways to build a better-for-you Eggs Benedict, plus a recipe for the delicious and nutritious Smoked Salmon Benedict from The Ruby Slipper.

We couldn’t find just what we were looking for on shelves, so we tested out a batch of recipes, and narrowed it down to the three below so we could build a better chocolate chip cookie ourselves.

All are made with little or no added sugar and fiber-rich whole grains, flours or legumes; all three are gluten-free, and one is vegan….

How To Make Cloud Eggs, Instagram’s New Breakfast Darling

If you thought you knew everything there was to make with eggs, you were wrong. Cloud eggs are the latest breakfast craze on Instagram, and they’re a whole new take on your morning eggs. Part meringue and part baked eggs, cloud eggs are meant to look like a sun shining through a fluffy white cloud. Look:

Not too shabby for a meal eaten before noon.

Cloud eggs take longer to make than your go-to scrambled eggs, and they require a good amount more elbow grease than a typical steamed egg. But they are…

Vegan Zucchini Chocolate Cake

What you’ll need:

Cake:

  • 280g shredded zucchini
    150g coconut oil
    260g spelt whole wheat flour
  • 100g coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp baking powdrer
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp unsweetended cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt

Chocolate topping:

  • 150 g dark vegan chocolate
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 200 g coconut milk

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius
  2. Wash, peel and shred zucchini
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the cake
  4. Line the baking form with parchement paper
  5. Evenly spread the cake mixture in the baking form
  6. Let it bake for 20-30 minutes (Tip: Use a toothpick & insert it into the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready to be taken out oft he oven)
  7. Let the chocolate melt over low heat, then add the coconut milk and oil and stir together until well combined
  8. When the cake is ready, take it out of the oven and let it cool down completely – then evenly spread the chocolate topping, leave it to set and cut the cake into squares.
  9. Enjoy! ?

Forecast: Yum! 8 Snow Day Treats To Bake With Kids

After the kids tire of sledding, bring the fun into the kitchen with these easy baking recipes.

Snickerdoodles are sweet, buttery sugar cookies lightly dusted with cinnamon. With their whimsical name, crackly tops, perfectly crisp edges and soft centers, I don’t know anyone who can resist them. Kids love to form the squishy dough into balls and roll them in cinnamon-sugar. GET THE RECIPE

Homemade chocolate pudding is silky-smooth and intensely chocolate — a world apart from instant or store bought. Kids love it — like lick their bowls clean, clank their spoons, get all quiet when they eat it love it — but don’t think of it just for kids. Adults love it too. GET THE RECIPE

These have got to be some of the world’s cutest cookies. They look like little yo-yos, thus the name, and are popular in Australia. You make them by joining together two buttery shortbread disks with a layer of creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread. GET THE RECIPE

If…

How to Make Parchment-Baked Halibut With Pesto

If you’ve never done it before, baking food in parchment paper seems hard. How tightly do I wrap it up? How long does it cook for? How do I know when it’s actually done? Contrary to what the novice chef may think, popping a piece of parchment-wrapped protein in the oven is actually one of the easiest things to do—and it tastes totally delicious too.

Looking for proof? This parchment-baked halibut with pesto and shredded zucchini and carrots should do the trick. All it takes is a few fish filets, a hint of flavor-packed pesto, vitamin-rich veggies, and a dash…

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With This Delicious Vegan Treat

Happy birthday to you! OK, so maybe it’s not your birthday, but it’s somebody’s birthday somewhere, so there’s a good reason right there to immediately bake a batch of these chocolate cupcakes smothered with homemade chocolate frosting. And when you have your first decadent bite, you just might drop the rest of your cupcake when you realize that they’re low-calorie and totally vegan, plus the frosting is made with avocados instead of butter!

The healthy fats in the avocado make these cupcakes as healthy as a bowl of kale and bean soup! OK, maybe not that healthy, but healthy enough to feel good about reaching for more. Each cupcake offers almost five grams of fiber and is just 230 calories. A real-deal chocolate cupcake is 459 calories! That’s a crime when you can make these chocolate gems.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

50 Best Weight-Loss Tips

What to know the one secret to losing weight? The secret is — get ready for it — there is no one thing that does it. It’s a lot of little things that add up to big results. And here are some ideas.

  1. Follow the 80/20 rule, which means eating clean 80 percent of the time and indulging a little 20 percent of the time.
  2. Every time you get an urge to eat when you’re not hungry, do 10 push-ups.
  3. Choose a whole-wheat wrap instead of two slices of wheat bread.
  4. Chew gum while cooking to keep from snacking.
  5. Keep cut-up fruits and veggies in the fridge to grab for snacks or easy meals.
  6. Sit on a yoga ball instead of a chair to work your core. Or get one of those standing desks.
  7. Eat in front of a person rather than a screen. It cuts down on mindless eating and makes you more accountable for each bite.
  8. Make 150-calorie nonperishable snack packs to keep in your purse, gym bag, and office drawer. Nuts are a great option since they keep you fuller longer and boost your metabolism.
  9. When making cookies, bake half the batch and scoop the rest into ice-cube trays. When your sweet tooth kicks in, pop out one and bake it to satisfy your craving without breaking the calorie bank.
  10. Use veggies like carrots, roasted spaghetti squash, or zucchini in place of spaghetti.
  1. Halfway through your meal, stop and drink some water and decide if you’re really hungry for the rest or if you’re just eating it because it’s on your plate.
  2. Don’t just stand there! Do squats while brushing your teeth, calf raises while standing in line, or lunges while chatting on the phone.
  3. Add protein powder to sweet recipes (like these Rice Krispies treats) to boost the nutrition.
  4. Keep weights in the living room so you can do some reps while watching TV.
  5. Instead of cream cheese or butter on bread or bagels, spread almond or peanut butter. The healthy fats satiate hunger and can decrease belly fat.
  6. Choose wet snacks such as melon, peppers, cherry tomatoes, or celery. Their water content will fill you up and prevent bloating.
  7. Make your own low-fat ice cream using frozen bananas and peanut butter or luscious cherries and chocolate.
  8. When nature calls, use a bathroom on a different floor to make…

Lower-Fat, Lower-Calorie, and Just-as-Delicious Buffalo Wings

Between all the butter and frying, many recipes for buffalo wings boast as much as 800 calories per serving. For a version that doesn’t compromise flavor or texture — but cuts back on the fat — cook up these baked buffalo wings. After taking one of these spicy, juicy wings for a quick dip in a blue cheese bath, you’ll never go back to the old-fashioned method again. Skip the frying, pop them in the oven, and focus on enjoying the game.

Healthy Chicken Wing Recipe
Healthy Chicken Wing Recipe
  1. 3 pounds drumettes and wings
  2. Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  3. 1 tablespoon butter
  4. 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  5. 10 garlic cloves, crushed
  6. 3/4 cup hot…

Once You Start Baking With Avocado, You May Never Go Back to Butter

Full of omega-3s and vitamin E, avocados taste perfect when thinly sliced on a salad, thrown in a fruity smoothie, or paired with salty sunflower seeds. Yet another way you can incorporate the ever-versatile avocado into your culinary life: as a substitute for butter.

When baking, substitute half the amount of butter in your recipe for mashed avocado. If you substitute the whole amount, you’ll end up with flatter results. To help you figure out how much you’ll need, it helps to know that one avocado yields about three-quarters of a cup. Substituting butter with avocado not only lowers the calorie content — half a cup of butter is 813 calories, and the same…

How To Keep Your New Year’s Resolution To Eat Healthy, Real Food In 2017

Jenny Blakeney wasn’t always a healthy eater. She grew up in the era of processed, fat-free, high-sugar food. Even though she worked at Shape, a fitness magazine, she didn’t pay attention to consuming fresh, natural foods or working out. Blakeney also ran a small baking business on weekends, creating special treats for baby showers and birthday parties, and her astronomical sugar consumption was ruining her health.

Jenny Blakeney founded Real Food Scout to make it easy for people to eat healthy, natural food. (Courtesy of Veritas Creative)
Jenny Blakeney founded Real Food Scout to make it easy for people to eat healthy, natural food. (Courtesy of Veritas Creative)

Then she became pregnant with her first child, and read a quote from Jamie Oliver, a famous chef and proponent of whole food: “Our children will be the first generation to live a shorter lifespan than their parents.” This changed everything for Blakeney, inspiring her to start her food blog and online magazine, , and offering workshops about healthy eating.

“I was devastated to learn how our bad health habits are harming our children,” Blakeney said. “I felt an immense urge to make a…

Get your organic sourdough bagels and breads from The Bread Fox

Those who exercise at Taman Rekreasi Lembah Kiara can look forward to healthy baked goods from The Bread Fox. — Pictures by Choo Choy May
Those who exercise at Taman Rekreasi Lembah Kiara can look forward to healthy baked goods from The Bread Fox. — Pictures by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan1 — “Now, I am literally putting bread on the table!” says Nordinie bin Mahat, or Dinie, in his newly-renovated home kitchen that is the base of The Bread Fox, a micro bakery he started up with his wife Almasruza Putri binti Mohamad Jajuli (Ruza) that specialises in organic sourdough breads.

The name has no particular meaning, although Ruza admits to being a fan of television series The X-Files’ main character, Fox Mulder.

Just a few months old, The Bread Fox currently only has a few items on their menu — bagels (besides plain ones, there are four variants), cranberry raisin scones and brioche.

Take your pick of bagels, scones and brioche.
Take your pick of bagels, scones and brioche.

As they continuously experiment with new recipes, they occasionally offer other baked goods such as quiches, flatbread, and bialys, a Polish bun with sautéed onions and poppy seeds.

From selling among friends and online, they have now moved to setting up stall at Taman Rekreasi Lembah Kiara in Taman Tun Dr Ismail four days a week, including weekends.

Dinie ‘feeding’ a jar of sourdough by adding flour and water.
Dinie ‘feeding’ a jar of sourdough by adding flour and water.

As a micro bakery, their production is on a very small scale and because it’s just the two of them running the entire outfit, there is really no way to rush things.

But The Bread Fox’s progress has actually been quite quick, considering neither of them had any experience in bread-making prior to this — although Dinie had always enjoyed baking pies and other delights.

This bakery is a huge departure from what the couple used to do: Dinie was an Art Director of television commercials while Ruza owned a production house. When Ruza got pregnant with twins in 2012, she had to stop working as it took a toll on her. “I couldn’t work, couldn’t even drive without throwing up!”

Dinie quit his job to take care of her, and the couple ended up not working for a whole year. “It didn’t get better after I gave birth,” Ruza reveals, “because then we had to take care of the twins. Neither of us barely slept… it came to a point where I had to throw pillows or even a water bottle at him to wake him up when it was his turn to feed the babies!”

The raw bagel dough is boiled briefly before baking (left). After boiling, the bagel dough is coated with a variety of seeds and then baked (right).
The raw bagel dough is boiled briefly before baking (left). After boiling, the bagel dough is coated with a variety of seeds and then baked (right).

In 2014, the couple were approached to take on a photography assignment for a hotel chain’s properties around Malaysia, which they enjoyed at first but then realised it wasn’t practical as they couldn’t bring the twins everywhere.

“The final straw was when we had to spend two days doing a food photoshoot. We had to leave the twins with my mum, and she nearly went crazy!” Ruza recalls.

That prompted them to reconsider everything, and to look for other means of sustaining themselves. “We thought hard about what we really loved or wanted to do. Food is an essential — everyone needs to eat, whereas not everyone NEEDS to have their photos taken. Also, we had our third child about two and a half years ago… with three kids, we wanted something that we could do from home so we could watch them at the same time.”

It was bagels that came to mind first, as the couple found it difficult to find good, fresh ones locally. Their early attempts at making bagels didn’t turn out well, so they decided to learn from a professional baker.

Dinie does all the baking in his home kitchen.
Dinie does all the baking in his home kitchen.

The couple had met Mustaffa Abdullah, the owner of popular artisanal bakery White Brick Oven in Sungai Buloh, through friends and approached him to seek an apprenticeship for Dinie.

“It was a very intensive course… for several weeks, I would drive to his place every day. He taught me the basics of bread making and told me that once I understood that, I can explore on my own,” says Dinie of his sifu, whom he credits with teaching him everything he needed to…

Kimbrough: Your grocery store’s top 10

The year is nearing its end and upon reflection, it hit me that baked goods in pans with small indentions frequently made their way into my kitchen and columns in 2016.

A homemade apple cider doughnut dusted in a little brown sugar with a side of vanilla biscotti coffee is my favorite day-starter and anytime snack, for that matter. I also popped out Peabody Hotel muffins, strawberry and blueberry muffins and even heathy bran versions.

Doughnuts and muffins aside, my goal with each food column has been to teach you something new, ranging from $2.99 supermarket finds to holiday tablescapes.

I’ll end 2016 with a brief recap of my favorite supermarket products, some of which made their debut this year and others that recently landed on my food radar.

1. King’s Hawaiian Bread deserves a medal for converting their world-famous sweet rolls into sliced bread. The saying, “the greatest thing since sliced bread” definitely applies to this delicious product. Those of you who converted long ago to wheat bread will be coming back.

2. It’s not as sweet, but another great addition to the bread aisle is Dave’s Killer 21 Whole Grains and Seeds Organic Bread. It’s a little pricey, but I feel good about grabbing a thick slice as a quick breakfast, snack or bookend for a healthy sandwich. If you can get past the strange-looking seeds, it’ll quickly become a favorite.

3. Quaker Oats Breakfast Flats — When time is short, grabbing one in my favorite flavor, cranberry almond, proved to be a viable alternative to the drive-through biscuit.

4. Pepperidge Farm Brussels Cookies — Every now and then, the urge for a cookie must be met. I never met a cookie from the small white packages that I didn’t like, but I have a new favorite. The description says it better than me: “Lace-thin, crisp cookies embrace a layer of smooth, luxurious, dark chocolate.” Also on shelves now, Pepperidge Farm’s Gingerbread Men and Women. They’ll be gone after New Year’s, so grab them now.

5. Progresso Heart Healthy and Reduced Sodium Soups — I love to make homemade soup, but when my freezer supply is low, I select one of these. With a lower sodium count than most canned soups and flavors like Italian Wedding with Meatballs and Chicken Gumbo, what’s not to love?

6. Speaking of heart healthy, I can indulge in one of my favorite meals…

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