Sorry, Thanksgiving. 4th of July is maybe our top favorite eating holiday now. After all, who would we be without hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, and corn on the cob?! We don’t care to imagine it.
There are about a million ways to top a hamburger, and we’re not here to tell you what goes onto your patty. It is our duty to make sure that you’re cooking burgers as best as you possibly can. Our golden rules: Be sure to let the meat come to room temperature and season generously with salt and pepper before you grill up.
Here at Delish, we think anything can become a charcuterie board, including the iconic combination of berries and cream. This DIY spread is an ideal summer treat for feeding a few friends on a warm weekend afternoon or impressing a crowd during your next big party. The only thing better than fresh, sweet berries is piling them on angel food cake with sweet ricotta or whipped cream.
Let’s be honest: grilled chicken may not seem like the most exciting meat out there, but it’s affordable, crowd-pleasing, and a snap to cook. You won’t want to sleep on the sauce, which is a classic BBQ jazzed up with honey and lime.
Despite what you may have been told in the past, you don’t have to give up bread in order to be healthy. If you don’t have a gluten intolerance or allergy, you can still consume it on a regular basis while simultaneously pursuing your specific health goals.
Bread is not the enemy, but it’s important to recognize that certain types are much lower quality than others. For example, many varieties of store-bought bread come packed with added sugars and preservatives to help it stay fresh on the shelf for long periods of time.
Continue reading to learn about some of the lowest-quality breads you may want to avoid next time you’re at the store.
1. Wonder Bread Classic White
“White bread has all the nutrients processed out and is notoriously unhealthy. Additionally, this highly processed bread contains preservatives and other inflammatory ingredients,” says Morgyn Clair, MS, RDN, author at Fit Healthy Momma.
“If you do eat white bread or any other type of bread without having a digestive issue, then there is no need to avoid these products completely. However, when choosing between different types of breads, try to stick with those made with whole wheat flour instead of white flour so that you can feel better after eating them,” says Ronald Smith, RD.
2. Fran’s Thick Sliced Texas Toast
Texas toast is delicious, but buying packaged versions on grocery store shelves often leads to too many trans fats and sugar. According to Clair, this bread makes the list as one of the worst-quality choices. “This highly processed bread has tons of calories and very little fiber,” says Clair.
3. Pure Joy Cinnamon Bread
This cinnamon bread makes for a yummy treat, but you may want to think twice before making it a staple in your diet.
“This bread actually has frosting and lots of extra cinnamon sugar. I would treat this bread as a dessert and eat in very modest portions because there are over 240 calories in just one slice,” says Clair.
4. Marketside Vanilla Brioche
A slice of something like this vanilla brioche loaf may sound like a delicious way to start your day, but dietitians warn that you may want to only consume in moderation.
“This bread has more calories and sugar than many others. Generally, brioche-style bread has very little fiber and nutrients and is calorie-dense,” says Clair.
5. Sun Maid Cinnamon Swirl Raisin Bread
And lastly, reaching for some packaged cinnamon raisin bread may be fine once and a while, but be careful if this is part of your daily routine.
“This bread has 8 grams added sugars and virtually no fiber or other nutrients. Also, there is not a lot of protein. Because of this, this bread is one of the worst-quality choices,” says Clair.
Did you know that in America, as in many places, “chocolate” is actually a closely regulated term? It goes much beyond the flavor of a food, and instead, deals with the details of its composition. Under FDA rules—and numerous rules, at that—a foodstuff must meet strict criteria to call itself chocolate, though that varies based on what type of chocolate is in question.
To skirt the rules, many chocolate brands will use wording like “chocolaty” or “chocolate-flavored” in order to be able to use cheaper, stand-in ingredients. Here’s the thing: even within technically legal bounds, companies can still make chocolate cheaply. The secret? Usually, it’s just using a whole lot of sugar, oil, and HFCS alongside the genuine chocolate ingredients. Here are 8 chocolate brands that are using the lowest-quality ingredients.
1. Butterfinger Bars
Long marketed as “Crispety Crunchety Peanut-Buttery!” but never marketed as chocolate, these popular candy bars may taste chocolaty, but technically, there’s no chocolate to be found here. Butterfinger’s chocolate-adjacent coating is made with ingredients like corn syrup, vegetable oil, milk, and cocoa, but it does not meet the bar for being real chocolate.
2. Lindt Excellence 50% Cocoa Mild Dark Chocolate Bars
This candy bar may try to pose itself as a fancy, rich treat from a so-called “Master Chocolatier” brand, but take a closer look at the ingredient list than you do at the “50% Dark Cocoa” claim emblazoned on the wrapper. The first ingredient here is…sugar. And yes, chocolate comes second, but when sugar (or corn syrup) comes first, you’d do best to sink your teeth into something else.
3. Palmer’s Double Crisp Hearts
Here again is a candy that bills itself as “chocolaty” because it can’t call itself chocolate. These foil-wrapped Valentine’s Day staples are made with only one chocolate-like ingredient, and that’s “cocoa (processed with Alkali).” They also feature plenty of ingredients you’d likely rather not feature in your diet, like the artificial flavoring agent vanillin and hydrogenated vegetable oil.
4. Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Bars
There’s nothing inherently wrong with a Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Bar, but there’s some misleading going on here. If you love the decidedly rich, fancy Cadbury chocolate you get in Europe, then these will be a letdown, as they are made in Pennsylvania Hershey’s under a license agreement from Cadbury. And while they are made with real chocolate ingredients, cocoa butter and all, note that there’s trickery on the label, too, which lists the first ingredient as “Milk Chocolate,” but then in a parenthesis shows that the first ingredient within “milk chocolate” is simply sugar.
5. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Delicious as they may be, it’s probably no surprise that these classic candy cups are so low-priced because they’re made with cheap ingredients. Yes, there is technically real chocolate here, but it’s milk chocolate, in which the first ingredient is sugar. And there’s also hydrogenated vegetable oil here, the go-to for companies looking to cut back on quantities of costlier cocoa butter.
6. Russell Stover Sugar Free Mint Patties
What these chocolate patties leave out in sugar they compensate for with a number of ingredients you’d do best to avoid. That’s things like maltitol, an artificially produced sugar alcohol, fractionated palm kernel oil and hydrogenated palm oil, sorbitol, and more. In short, when you cut out the sugar, you add in the chemicals–not always a good trade.
7. Hershey’s Syrup
Yes, it’s a classic you remember from countless glasses of childhood chocolate milk. No, it’s not a chocolate product. That’s why it says, “Genuine Chocolate Flavor” on the label of Hershey’s Syrup instead of saying “Chocolate Syrup.” The first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup, the second ingredient is corn syrup, the third is water, and the fourth is cocoa. And the fifth? Sugar.
8. Tootsie Rolls
Sure, this chocolaty taffy candy has been around for more than a hundred years, but that’s a testament to the American sweet tooth, not to the quality of the candy. At best a chocolate-adjacent foodstuff, Tootsie Rolls consist of sugar, corn syrup, palm oil, condensed skim milk, cocoa, whey, soy lecithin, and artificial and natural flavors. They barely touch the bar for being real chocolate and certainly don’t cross it.
There are two common ways to make pineapple water. The most popular version infuses water with fresh pineapple chunks, and the other version blends freshly cut pineapple with water and strains out the pulp.
To make the infused kind, begin by choosing a ripe pineapple, which will offer more sweetness.
“First, find the fruit with the sweetest fragrance,” says Nicole Stefanow, RDN, a dietitian in the New York City area. “Second, tug at a leaf from the crown. If it detaches easily, that’s a telltale sign that the pineapple is ready to be sliced.”
Then chop up some pineapple, and steep it in water. The longer you steep, the more flavor you’ll get. And, of course, add ice if desired.
Consider opting for this base recipe: one chopped pineapple, one gallon of water, and one gallon of ice.
Benefits of pineapple water
“The most important health benefit of pineapple water is it provides hydration, which is vital for our bodies to function properly,” Stefanow says.
The average U.S. adult drinks less than five cups of water per day. This is much less than the recommended intake of 15.5 cups for men and 11.5 cups a day. So Americans can use any help getting in their daily quota of water.
“Adding a sweet flavor like pineapple to water can make drinking water more appealing and palatable to someone who may not be meeting their hydration needs with plain water alone,” adds Stefanow.
It helps immunity
“Besides being a refreshing and hydrating alternative to plain water, pineapple water may provide a sweet little immunity boost,” says Stefanow.
“Pineapple is a great source of vitamin C and manganese, which both play an important part in immune function.”
Indeed, per a cup of pineapple, you get 79 milligrams of vitamin C. This is 88 percent of the DV for vitamin C and 67 percent of the DV for manganese.
It’s helps reduce inflammation
Pineapple contains bromelain, a group of enzymes. “Drinking pineapple water may help people with chronic inflammation, as bromelain is water-soluble and known to have anti-inflammatory effects in the body,” says Lebovitz.
Bromelain provides other anti-inflammatory benefits, too. “Research suggests that bromelain may even decrease nasal inflammation in people suffering from acute sinusitis and may shorten the duration of symptoms,” says Stefanow.
It helps cut added sugar intake
It’s no secret that most soda contains added sugar. So if it’s the carbonation you love, making a fizzy pineapple water may satisfy your soda craving.
“Fruit-infused sparkling water is a satisfying low-sugar, low-calorie alternative to soda with the same gratifying fizz,” says Stefanow. Replacing sugary drinks with this alternative is a plus.
It may help digestion
“Pineapple is packed with natural digestive enzymes that help our bodies break down food,” says Stefanow. “Sipping on pineapple water between meals can help support healthy digestion.”
Make sweets the star of your get-together with these treats that feature lots of red, white and blue!
Showstopping Summer Sweets
The first backyard barbecue of the season calls for a spread of all your cookout favorites — including desserts! Whether you’re a fan of ice cream, fruity cobblers and crumbles or something else entirely, it never hurts to give your Memorial Day dessert a patriotic twist. That’s why we’ve rounded up these easy and delicious desserts that feature plenty of red, white and blue — starting with Ina’s impressive citrus cake. She spreads generous Spoonfuls of whipped cream between the layers before adding fresh strawberries, resulting in a decorative treat that easily doubles as the centerpiece of your dessert table.
Aside from their smell, Brussels sprouts have a handful of side effects—and they might not all be positive.
Of course, any time we can get extra veggies in our diet, the better! However, not everyone reacts the same. Some people may even have a negative experience after eating high-fiber veggies like Brussels sprouts.
My favorite way to cook them up with lots of flavors and roasted on a sheet pan similar to these recipes. They get slightly crispy and caramelized, which is totally different from the mushy steamed sprouts we all remember from childhood.
So, what gives? Keep reading for the surprising side effects of this crunchy veggie.
1. They may worsen tummy troubles.
Cruciferous veggies are particularly hard to digest if you already have trouble with proper digestion. Folks with irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, are often steered away from foods with certain fibers that can produce gas and bloating during digestion.
These fibers, also known as FODMAPs, are high in the cruciferous veggie family of broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.
If you have IBS, you might still be able to consume these vegetables. I would recommend a trial-and-error approach here to see how your body responds.
2. You’ll have regular GI movement.
Conversely, if you don’t notice any tummy trouble after eating Brussels sprouts, then you may actually experience the opposite effect: better digestion!
Brussels sprouts contain four grams of fiber per cup. This adds more bulk to our digestive tract and may help move things along faster as a result.
When adding a new source of fiber, be sure to drink plenty of water to help aid in the movement of your GI tract.
3. They may improve your blood pressure.
Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of potassium. Potassium has many functions, including managing heart health and blood pressure.
The DASH diet, a proven program designed to lower blood pressure, emphasizes fruits and vegetables that are high in potassium to protect your cardiovascular system.
One of the main mechanisms for lowering blood pressure involves the way potassium counter-balances sodium in the body. Thus, since sodium can raise blood pressure in some cases, an emphasis on potassium-rich foods can help offset the potential rise.
4. They may help manage your cholesterol.
High cholesterol can be improved with diet changes, but it might look a little different than you think!
Cholesterol is metabolized through the liver after digestion. Foods that are high in fiber can actually improve absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract before they even make it to the bloodstream circulation.
Choosing high-fiber foods for your meals can help lower the amount of cholesterol that gets absorbed and excrete it all together.
5. They may boost your immune health.
Brussels sprouts are a sneaky source of vitamin C in our diet. One cup of raw Brussels sprouts—when cooked turns into about a half cup—packs more than our daily recommended dose of vitamin C!
Vitamin C helps fight sickness, improves inflammation, and contributes to skin health.
Incorporate shaved Brussels sprouts in your salads, or roast them on a sheet pan as a side dish for an immune system boost this summer!
Fact: Brunch is *really* what your mom wants for Mother’s Day. Moms are so cute, with their whole, “Oh, I don’t need anything, sweetie” attitude, but we know what that really means: pancakes, waffles, scrambled eggs, and maybe even a mimosa. So, celebrate Mother’s Day with a decadent, well-deserved brunch.
Cheesy Croissant Casserole
Meet one of our favorite holiday-worthy breakfast bakes. The contrast between the crispy, flaky edges of the croissant and the soft, cheesy middle is very special. If you’re able to, assemble everything the night before and bake it the next morning.
There is no limit to what you can add to a frittata. It’s a versatile dish that can handle most things you throw at it, and our recipe has all the tips and tricks to getting a fluffy-centered, crispy-edged frittata every time.
Enjoying a deliciously brewed cup of coffee (or several) is a daily pleasure for many people, but some simply can’t tolerate coffee. If you find yourself jittery after consuming it, coffee upsets your stomach, or you simply want to cut back on your coffee intake, there are plenty of caffeine-free (and low-caffeine) alternatives, points out Dr. Jeffrey Bland, a biochemist and nutritional medicine specialist based in Seattle. He suggests looking for an alternative that’s lower in caffeine but still contains theobromine. “It’s milder and provides a sustained boost in metabolism,” Bland says. You can find theobromine in most teas and green coffee beans. Ahead, some delicious coffee alternatives to consider for your morning wake-up routine.
Yerba Mate is a South American tea that’s made by steeping the leaves and twigs of an indigenous plant. It has a distinctive taste that is “strong, bitter, and vegetal.”
Speaking of theobromine, it also happens to be in brewed cacao. While it won’t taste like a cup of hot chocolate, brewed cacao is packed with antioxidants, magnesium, and phenylethylamine. Unlike caffeine, theobromine expands your blood vessels rather than constricting them and the energy boost it provides lasts longer.
Zoey Gong—a Traditional Chinese Medicine food therapist, registered dietitian, and co-founder of Five Seasons TCM—gets her energy from Better Than Coffee Tonic, a drink she developed using an assortment of Traditional Chinese Medicine herbs.
“These herbs tonify Qi and blood and have a refreshing, aromatic flavor to wake you up while giving you energy in a gentle yet long lasting way,” she says. Ingredients include American ginseng, goji berries, mint, and du zhong (eucommia ulmoides). To make it, steep a bag with two to three cups of water for 10 minutes and drink it hot or iced.
RASA is another adaptogenic coffee alternative that gets its boost from herbs. Some of their bestselling drinks include Bold, a blend of nine adaptogenic herbs, and Original, a rich, roasty blend. If you want to try a few flavors before committing to a full bag, they sell sample packs of their entire collection as well as bestsellers.
When roasted, chicory root takes on a coffee-like aroma and has a strong taste that’s toasty and nutty. It’s like a smoother, less acidic version of coffee that for many is easier on the taste buds and tummy. It’s a key ingredient in Teeccino as it adds body and a deep, rich color to their herbal tea blends and is featured in their herbal coffee blends in flavors like Caramel Nut and Coconut.
If you’re not ready to give up caffeine completely, there are companies making mushroom coffee blends for a more balanced drink that won’t give you the jitters.
Four Sigmatic’s Ground Mushroom Coffee With Lion’s Mane, for example, combines coffee, lion’s mane, and chaga to create a smooth, dark brew that is meant to prevent mid-morning crashing.
MUDWTR, another mushroom blend that’s made with masala chai, cacao, turmeric, cinnamon, sea salt, and mushrooms (lion’s mane, chaga, reishi, cordyceps), has one-seventh the amount of caffeine as a traditional cup of coffee (about 100 milligrams of caffeine), and is meant to energize those who consume it without the jitters, crash, or dependency. Their Morning Ritual Starter Kit contains a 30-serving tin of product, a frother, guidebook, creamer sample, and sweetener sample.
With Easter around the corner, Instagram is filled with tons of gorgeous, abundant appetizer and dessert boards, perfect for entertaining. You may be thinking that all these stunning spreads are only attainable by the professional food stylist. Well, your viral post prayers have been answered by food stylist, Meg Quinn (@ainttooproudtomeg). She is sharing her best secrets and tips for making an Epic Easter Board at home.
Meg has divided the boards into three main groups:
Vegetables and Hummus
Meats and Cheeses
Let’s start with Vegetables and Hummus.
Meg color-blocks the hummus and vegetables on the board to create a rainbow effect. She starts each board by placing the bowls of hummus down. This helps to visualize where to position the vegetables. For the hummus, Meg uses store-bought plain hummus, a store-bought beet hummus, and, for green hummus, she blends some spinach with plain hummus.
Now it’s time to start filling in the board. Start at one end and work your way across from color to color. Below are a list of veggies Meg uses:
Multi-colored carrots, radishes, red and yellow endive, snap peas, broccolini, green and white cauliflower, orange and yellow cherry tomatoes and cucumber. Make sure that all stems for vegetables like the broccolini face inward to give the board a heartier appearance.
If you’re assembling now and serving later, wrap the produce with damp paper towels to prevent them from drying out and wilting.
For a finishing touch, stud the beet hummus with pomegranate seeds and black sesame seeds, sprinkle the spinach hummus with fresh cilantro and dried basil, and top the plain hummus with pine nuts and olive oil. And for a gorgeous nod to spring, sprinkle the entire board with a few food-safe chamomile flowers.
On to the second board… the Meats and Cheeses.
Here, Meg uses the same prepping technique and places all of the bowls and jars down first. She includes a bowl of cornichons, a bowl of green olives and a jar of honey. Next, she adds the big-ticket items like large wedges and rounds of cheese.
Pesto gouda, Mimolette (a French hard cow’s-milk cheese), aged Gouda, aged goat cheese and a small wheel of Brie.
Begin filling out the board around the bowls and cheeses by fanning out the crackers and sliced fruits along its perimeter. This adds visual flare and makes the board really look like a pro put it together. Slice fruits like apples and pears very thin. Here are the fruits Meg uses on this board:
Clementines, green grapes, candied orange slices, dried persimmons, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, kiwis, green pears and Fuji apples.
You can find an array of artisanal crackers at your local grocery or health food store that would be perfect for this spread. Marcona almonds and walnuts can fill in the bald spots and give it a fuller look.
For the meat, Meg adds a trifecta of Calabrese salami, Italian dry salami and salami secchi. To really take this board to the next level, fold the slices of salami into quarters and stand them vertically, edge-side up, to give the appearance of a bouquet of flowers.
For the finishing touches, spring herbs like lavender and thyme give the board a seasonal splash. Sprinkle with chamomile flowers to create continuity among all three boards.
Finally, we have the Dessert Board!
Meg places the bowl of candy-coated chocolates down first and builds out around it. Here is a list of the candy she uses:
Chocolate tear drops, waffle cookies, marshmallow bunnies, marshmallow ducks, creme-filled eggs, chocolate bunnies, green and yellow rock candy, gummy eggs, yogurt covered pretzels, Belgian chocolate flowers, sour fruit leather ribbons, marshmallow carrots, marshmallow chicks, white peanut butter-chocolate cups, chocolate-covered matzo and sugar cookies.
Finish the board with an Easter egg nest made of green grass candy and fill with candy and chocolate eggs. (The trick to unifying this board is to make sure that all the candies have bright pastel colors to match the color scheme of the holiday.) Again, garnish with chamomile flowers.
Take inspiration from Meg, but remember, there are no rules when it comes to building boards. Get creative and have fun with it.
And that, my friends, is how you build an Epic Easter Board!
Thanks to Meg Quinn for putting these boards together!
Source: Make Your Own Epic Easter Appetizer or Dessert Board | The Kitchen: Food Network | Food Network
Of the many ways to prepare eggs, scrambled is one I’ve yet to perfect. I can make a mean over-easy egg, perfectly hard boiling and making deviled eggs are my specialty, and my eggs in a blanket are *chef’s kiss*. But, when it comes to scrambled, I have much to learn.
I don’t make them often, but when I do, they’re not the fluffy, moist, light scrambled eggs I know are possible. They tend to be rubbery, unevenly cooked, and have a brownish tinge. Yum?
So what’s the secret to the perfect scramble?
The Secret Ingredient You’ve Been Missing
Lots of people like to add a liquid to their scrambled eggs, most often whole milk or cream. This is the way I was taught, but since I’m lactose intolerant, I stopped using milk a long time ago. Adding milk tends to make eggs creamier, softer, and heavy, and they typically have a richer flavor. If you’re looking for a fluffy egg, this isn’t it.
On the other hand, adding water will steam the eggs while cooking, leaving a lighter, fluffier scramble. However, it’s a delicate balance. Adding too much water will dilute the “eggy” flavor, leaving you with a fluffy but tasteless meal. So, adding in just enough water is essential. Typically, about one teaspoon of water for every large egg is the appropriate amount to make a light and delicious scrambled egg.
Other Things To Consider
Before you cook your eggs, make sure to whisk them well. Whisking them vigorously will also contribute to a fluffy scramble. Add butter or oil to the pan to keep the eggs from sticking, and remember that it’s easy to burn your eggs if you cook them at too high a temperature. Medium to low heat is a better option for scrambled eggs.
While they’re cooking, use a rubber spatula to pull them into the middle from the edges. Turn off the heat when the eggs are almost completely cooked and continue to break up the eggs to finish cooking the underdone pieces. Then, finish with salt and pepper, and add herbs to your scrambled eggs for color and flavor, if desired. Chives, rosemary, parsley, and tarragon are many people’s go-to herbs.
So, next time I make scrambled eggs, I’ll know what to do to ensure my eggs come out perfectly. Wish me luck!