Category: Recipe

Two ingredient soup hack (creamy + nourishing)

As a mom and dietitian, I’m always on the hunt to make something wholesome and easy to feed myself and my kids – and this one hits the mark for both. You can warm up your soul with this quick and easy two-ingredient soup hack that is perfect for those busy weekdays or whenever you need a quick dinner fix. It also happens to be an excellent way to get your kids to eat vegetables! Plus you can add to it to create a macro balanced meal or snack.  It is literally the easiest soup recipes I have ever tested.

This recipe is built on the convenience of frozen mirepoix and chicken broth from the grocery store, making it a great go-to meal when you’re short on time.

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Ingredients and Alternatives:

For this basic recipe, you will only need two main ingredients, frozen mirepoix and broth, but you can add additional ingredients to customize the soup to your own preference. 

Frozen mirepoix

  • This is a combination of pre-diced celery, onion and carrot.  I usually have a bag in the freezer.  
  • This soup is equally as good with fresh mirepoix, my local Trader Joe’s and Harris Teeter always have it available in the produce aisle.  When I buy fresh, I generally try to cook it the same day.  
  • You could always use 3/4 cup each of diced carrots and celery with 1 cup of diced onion.  
Chopped onions, carrots, leeks and turnips for soup.

Chicken stock

Bowl of broth herbs and spices to make chicken soup
  • Vegetable stock is a perfect alternative if you’re vegan, vegetarian or trying to follow a more plant based lifestyle.
  • Beef stock will add a deeper umami flavor to this soup.
  • Turkey stock is a great alternative to chicken stock.
  • Bone broth may also be used.  This option will offer a more protein rich soup.  

​Make it your own

  • Feel free to add fresh herbs, such as thyme or rosemary, to elevate the soup’s flavor, or hot sauce to add an extra kick.
  • Try adding a can of tomatoes to make a tomato-based soup.
  • Grate or add a cube of fresh ginger to the mirepoix for a nutrient and flavor boost.
  • Serve with poached shrimp for an elegant starter or light lunch.
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Steps to Make It:

  1. Start by heating up a large pot on medium heat and adding a tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Add the frozen mirepoix mixture and cook for 5-7 minutes until it’s soft and fragrant.
  3. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, enough to cover the mirepoix, and let it come to a boil.
  4. Turn down the heat and let the soup simmer for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until you reach the desired consistency.
  6. If you want a thinner soup, add more warm chicken or veggie stock and blend.  
  7. Serve hot with toppings of your choice.
Home blender

The beauty of this recipe is that it is perfect for anyone looking for a warm and hearty soup without having to spend hours in the kitchen. This is perfect for those who are seeking a healthy option but don’t want to sacrifice flavor.

Interesting Ways to Serve It:

Bowl of creamy soup decoreated with crema and herbs

If you’re looking to mix things up, try serving this soup as a base for a poached egg. 

You can also roast sweet potato cubes and add them to the soup for a seasonal twist. 

For extra creaminess, add a dollop of Greek yogurt, (heavy cream or sour cream work too!) 

 Serve with crusty bread, green onions, and black pepper.

Top with croutons or toasted pumpkin seeds for an extra crunch.

This two-ingredient soup is an easy favorite during any time of year and is perfect for children and adults alike.

How to store It:

You can pop any leftover soup in the freezer in an airtight container for a quick and easy lunch. I recommend pouring into pint containers for easy meal prepping and portioning.

Nutrition & Macros:

This soup is packed with nutrients from the vegetables and broth. Mirepoix, made from a mix of carrots, celery, and onions, is an excellent source of vitamins and fiber. It is also great for hydration.

It has about 100 calories per serving and is made with real whole food ingredients.

  • Carbohydrates 5g
  • Protein 6g
  • Fat 3g

These values may change if you use a different broth such as bone broth or vegetable broth.

If you’re following the FASTer Way, save this recipe for low macro day. It’s will definitely help you feel full and hit your macro targets.

If you’re in a soup mood, you should try this split lentil soup recipe. It’s high protein and fiber gets better with time.

Don’t hesitate to make it your own by adding your own twist to the recipe. Happy cooking!

delicious pumpkin soup in ceramic bowl

2 Ingredient Soup

This recipes is so easy and comes together quickly for a cozy soup.
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Soup
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 109 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 blender

Ingredients
  

  • Frozen Mirepoix
  • 32 ounces chicken stock

Instructions
 

  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in stock pot.
  • Add frozen bag of mirepoix and cook over medium heat until translucent and soft. About 10 minutes.
  • Add broth or stock to vegetables and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Transfer hot soup to blender and blend until smooth.
  • Serve and enjoy

Nutrition

Serving: 4gCalories: 109kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 6gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 374mgPotassium: 238mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 35IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.5mg
Keyword easy, kid friendly
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Melanie Marcus Selfie

Hello & Welcome!!

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.

If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Mom’s Best Ever Whole-Wheat zucchini bread recipe

I enjoyed this delicious zucchini bread recipe frequently during my childhood. It was a go-to option for quick breakfast, an after-school snack, and as an adult, a sweet(ish) after dinner treat. One of our family favorites was the blueberry zucchini bread, baked to perfection in a bundt pan. During prime zucchini season, the irresistible aroma of freshly baked loaves would fill the air, waiting to be packaged and frozen for later indulgence.  What a great memory – and now I share it with my children.

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Now that I have my own garden, growing zucchini plants successfully has been quite the challenge.  I’ve learned first hand that squash bugs can take out your crop within a week if you’re not prepared – and to grow them in North Carolina is a labor of love.  After three years of watching my plants die, this year I was ready and have been able to grow amazing zucchini through August! If you are a successful gardener, bookmark this page so you can make this wholesome zucchini bread recipe anytime.  You won’t regret it!

Ingredients and Substitutions for Walnut Zucchini Bread

  • Walnuts – preferably toasted!  Always store walnuts in the fridge to maintain freshness.  
  • Eggs – It’s best to use room temperature eggs.  Also, you can use up to two flax eggs in this recipe if you want.  
  • Sugar – the original recipe called for 2 cups of sugar. If you want to limit sugar, you can go down to 3/4 cup instead – which is what I do! Coconut sugar can be used instead of white sugar if you like.  I don’t recommend using honey or maple syrup because they’ll add extra moisture.  
  • Vegetable Oil – any oil will work.  I’ve used canola oil, olive oil, coconut oil and rapeseed oil and they all turned out well.  Keep in mind that certain oils will impart flavor and potentially more saturated fat than others.  
  • Apple Sauce – I use unsweetened apple sauce to help keep the bread moist.  You can also use plain greek yogurt or mashed banana. 
  • Unsifted White Whole Wheat Flour – You can use half whole wheat (whole grain flour) and half white flour to  bump up nutrients from whole grains.  All purpose flour or AP flour will also work well.
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Baking Powder 
  • Zucchini shred using food processor or box grater.  This recipe calls for two cups of grated zucchini, I tend to use about 2 1/2 cups or one large zucchini. But remember to remove the seeds!!  Smaller zucchini are more desirable for their smaller, more digestable seeds.  If your zucchini is large, you will need to scoop them out.  
  • Vanilla extract
  • Optional mix ins :  blueberries, raisins, chocolate chips, lemon zest
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It’s so good that I’ll even make it in winter!

About white whole-wheat flour

White whole wheat flour is a healthier alternative to traditional all-purpose flour because it is made from whole grains rather than refined grains. Unlike other types of whole wheat flour, white whole wheat flour is made from a variety of wheat that has a lighter color and milder flavor, making it more appealing to those who are used to the taste of white flour. White whole wheat flour retains the bran and germ of the wheat, which are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are beneficial for our health. 

How to make the best zucchini bread

I love a short and simple quick bread recipes, and this one is my favorite.  

  • First things first, preheat oven to 350F and line two bread pans (aka loaf pan) with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray.  You can also use one bunt pan.
  • In a large bowl, beat eggs (plus flax eggs) if you’re using, sugar, applesauce and oil. I like to do this by hand, but you can use your stand mixer with paddle attachment.  
  • Next, in a medium bowl combine all of the dry ingredients.  Whisk flour mixture well before gradually adding to wet ingredients.  
  • Now mix in zucchini.  
  • Last stir in walnuts and vanilla.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan or divide batter into two loaf pans and bake at 350F for about 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cooking time may vary slightly depending on the moisture content of the zucchini.    
  • When it comes out of the oven, set the pans on a cooling rack and cover with a clean kitchen towel.

How to freeze this classic zucchini bread

  • For best results, let your breads rest on a wire rack until cool to touch. This helps ensure that excess moisture has evaporated and doesn’t get trapped inside.  
  • Wrap tightly with aluminum foil.
  • Then label freezer-safe bag with date they were made.  
  • One loaf will fit into one gallon size plastic bag.  
  • Freeze completely in the coldest part of the freezer.  
  • When you’re ready to enjoy your zucchini walnut bread simply take out of the freezer the night before so you can have it the next day.

When to eat zucchini bread

1.  Serve for breakfast instead of store bought muffins.  

2.  Bring a loaf of zucchini bread to the office to share with co-workers

3.  Enjoy a warm slice with a little butter. There’s nothing like it.  

4.  Cut into individual slices and wrap with plastic wrap.  Store in a freezer safe bag in the freezer for a healthy snack anytime.  

The best part about this whole wheat zucchini bread recipe is that it makes two loaves!  It’s a quick bread batter that is sure to rival your favorite banana bread or pumpkin bread. For me, there is just something incredibly satisfying about this homemade treat – perhaps it was the inclusion of toasted walnuts, adding a perfect crunch to every bite.

Let me know if you try it for yourself!!  

Mom’s Walnut Zucchini Bread

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 288 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 each eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3.5 cups white whole wheat flour unsifted
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup walnuts toasted and chopped

Instructions
 

  • Mix eggs, sugar, oil, applesauce and vanilla in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
  • Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
  • Fold in zucchini and walnuts
  • Pour into 2 prepared loaf pans, or 1 bundt pan.

Nutrition

Serving: 16gCalories: 288kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 4gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 343mgPotassium: 95mgFiber: 3gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 36IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Melanie Marcus Selfie

Hello & Welcome!!

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.

If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Sleepy Girl Mocktail recipe + tart cherry substitutions

I had 4 people ask me about the Sleepy Girl Mocktail within 5 days so I thought I should offer my two cents as a registered dietitian. This recipe has been making its rounds on social media, thanks to wellness influencer Gracie Norton and her popular TikTok video. It even had Good Morning America talking about it’s sleep-inducing properties! But what makes this viral drink potentially the perfect beverage to have before you go to bed? Lets break down how the beverage can improve sleep quality and add some zhuzh to your bedtime routine.  

Interested in a lower calorie version? Jump to the bottom for my version that is about half the calories of the original.

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What you need to make the Sleepy Girl Mocktail

The main ingredients are : 

  • pure tart cherry juice
  • magnesium powder
  • prebiotic soda – Olipop soda is a popular brand

Add a few ice cubes if you want it on the rocks.  

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Why does the combo work?

Tart cherries are a source of melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle and promote deeper, more restful sleep. 

Magnesium plays a crucial role in the nervous system and has calming properties, making it a key ingredient for a good night’s sleep.  It helps regulate certain hormones including the stress hormone cortisol which has a positive impact for better sleep.  

While it’s not a magic potion, it does contain ingredients that have been shown to support a peaceful night’s sleep.  I think it’s clever because it’s one way to replace your evening alcoholic beverage without depriving yourself.

Melanie Marcus MA RD

Prebiotic soda provides a bubbly texture with a touch of prebiotics. It also promotes gut health and can offer relief from digestive discomforts.  

I think it’s clever because it’s one way to replace your evening alcoholic beverage without depriving yourself.  It feels a little more elevated than water and without the effects of alcohol.

Ingredients substitutions

Tart cherry juice: 

Well known for it’s melatonin content, tart cherry juice isn’t the only fruit that supports melatonin levels. Pineapple, banana, and grapes have also been observed to increase blood melatonin levels.  You can cut your tart cherry juice or replace it all together with pineapple or grape juice.  

Magnesium:  

If you’re worried about taking ta magnesium supplement, add a teaspoon or two of chia seeds.  Just 1 ounce has 95mg magnesium.  If you generally don’t tolerate magnesium well, you can try magnesium glycinate.  It is generally better tolerated and doesn’t result in upset stomach like other forms of magnesium.

Prebiotic soda: 

You can replace prebiotic soda with regular soda water. Don’t skimp on this because it needs a little fizz. If tonic water crosses your mind, remember, it will add calories, just like regular soda will. Could taste good though!

Does the type of magnesium matter?

Magnesium is available in several forms, each with different effects on the body. One of the most common forms, magnesium citrate, is  often used to treat constipation, and could lead digestive issues like diarrhea.  This happens when unabsorbed magnesium salts stimulate bowel movements by drawing water into the intestines and colon. If you want to avoid this, magnesium glycinate might be a better option since it’s more easily absorbed and as a result less likely to cause these troubles.

The average scoop of magnesium powder has about 200mg per scoop.  

That said, don’t forget that magnesium is widely available in natural food sources like nuts, beans, rice, seeds, and leafy greens. For example, chia seeds are a fantastic magnesium source, providing 111mg an impressive 26% of your daily value in just one ounce. Meanwhile, almonds and spinach are also rich in magnesium, offering nearly 20% of your daily recommended intake each. Incorporating these foods into your diet can help you reap the benefits of magnesium and avoid unwanted digestive complications that may come with certain magnesium supplements.

This drink may not be for you if:

Blood sugar is a concern

I want to start by saying that 100% juice does count as a serving of fruit.  Just 6 ounces once daily counts as a serving (not more!). That said, juice is a simple form of natural sugar and can result in increases in blood sugar if consumed without fat, fiber and protein.   

You are calorie conscious

If you are tracking macros or following a lower calorie diet, for example, consuming liquid calories and fruit juices in general may leave you with fewer calories to eat throughout the day.  One cup of tart cherry juice has 159 calories, 37g carbohydrate with 33g sugar, 1g protein, 1 g fat.  While it is packed with nutrients, liquid calories don’t register the same way in your stomach.  Plus that’s more calories than your average glass of wine or low calorie beer.  

Signs of too much magnesium

​Healthy people don’t have to worry about getting too much magnesium because excess is filtered and excreted by the kidneys.  Consult with your physician before adding this mocktail to your routine.  

That said, the the USDA established 350mg/day as a tolerable upper limit for magnesium for adults 19 years or older.  Taking more may result in abdominal cramping and diarrhea.  

Do I recommend the Sleepy Girl Mocktail?

While it’s not a magic potion, it does contain ingredients that have been shown to support a peaceful night’s sleep.  I think it’s clever because it’s one way to replace your evening alcoholic beverage without depriving yourself.  It feels a little more elevated than water and without the effects of alcohol.  If you’re already taking a magnesium supplement, this may be a combo to try.  Otherwise be sure to speak with you healthcare provider before adding a supplement to your routine.  

What other questions do you have about the sleepy girl mocktail trend? 

On a mocktail kick?

Check out this winter sangria recipe for a refreshing option. Or if you’re just into trending beverages, you won’t want to miss this blue cloud smoothie recipe. Check them out to be in the know!

Lightened up Sleepy Girl Mocktail

Course Drinks
Servings 1
Calories 80 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 ounces Tart Cherry Juice
  • 2 ounces Pineapple Juice
  • 2 ounces club soda
  • 1 tsp chia seed
  • 1 scoop magnesium powder optional

Instructions
 

  • Combine all ingredients in glass and mix well.
  • Serve over ice if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 6ouncesCalories: 80kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gTrans Fat: 0.01gSodium: 18mgPotassium: 188mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 5IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Melanie Marcus Selfie

Hello & Welcome!!

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.

If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Alcohol Free Kombucha Sangria

I don’t know about you, but more I’m noticing that more and more people are going alcohol free. Just over Thanksgiving, I loaded up on Corona and my MIL’s favorite red wine to find out they were going without this year. That’s where this non-alcoholic sangria recipe comes in. It’s a sangria mocktail that has the tang of wine and sweetness from fruit. It’s elevated enough to serve in a fancy glass and will rival other traditional sangrias made with wine.

My secret is a fermented tea called kombucha. 

What is kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented tea (often made from green tea or black tea) that has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits. It is made by combining tea, sugar, and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) and allowing the mixture to ferment for several days to several weeks. During the fermentation process, the bacteria and yeast consume the sugar, resulting in a slightly sour and effervescent beverage.

Kombucha has been praised for its potential health benefits, which include improving digestion, boosting the immune system, and reducing inflammation. It also contains antioxidants and may have antimicrobial properties.

However, it is important to note that the scientific evidence supporting these claims is limited and more research is needed to fully understand the potential health benefits of kombucha. Additionally, the fermentation process may lead to the production of alcohol and may be unsafe for certain individuals, such as pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

Does kombucha have alcohol?

Some people may not want to consume alcohol, especially if they are pregnant, have a history of alcohol abuse, or are underage. Fortunately, there are many alcohol-free kombuchas available in the market that can provide the same probiotic and digestive benefits without the buzz.

For instance, GT’s Living Foods offers a variety of alcohol-free kombuchas such as their Classic, Hibiscus Ginger Lime, and Watermelon Wonder flavors. Kevita, another well-known brand, also has a range of organic kombuchas, including their Blueberry Basil and Lemon Cayenne flavors, that contain trace amounts of alcohol (0.5% or less alcohol by volume). Additionally, some companies like Health-Ade and Humm Kombucha have completely alcohol-free options like Health-Ade’s Cayenne Cleanse and Humm’s Raspberry Hops flavor.

It’s important to note that not all kombucha brands are alcohol-free, and some may contain up to 2-3% alcohol by volume. So it’s essential to read the label carefully and choose the right product according to personal preferences and health needs. With the rise of alcohol-free kombuchas, both kombucha lovers and non-drinkers can enjoy this gut-friendly beverage without any concerns.

​Where can you buy kombucha?

​I used to be able to find bottles of kombucha – only- at the local health food stores, but now they can be found in nearly every grocery store and gas station!  

Ingredients for this kombucha mocktail recipe

  • alcohol free kombucha – a plain kombucha or a flavored one would work well. Be sure to choose one with as little added sugar as possible.  
  • sparkling apple juice – this takes the place of white wine while adding sweetness.  Fruit juice such as apple, pear or white grape juice, cut with seltzer water are good alternatives too.  Cranberry juice could be used, but I chose to go with a clear option to play up with winter/white theme.  As a last resort you can use ginger ale for that bubbly sweet combo.  
  • citrus fruits – use a combination of oranges, grapefruit and limes for color.  Blood oranges would be super cool.  
  • other fruit – pineapple, pear and pomegranate seeds are a great option for a festive healthy cocktail. 
  • garnish with a rosemary sprig and extra cranberries if you have them!  

How to make this winter kombucha sangria recipe

I love that this recipe is bubbly, not too sweet and has a colorful bit of fruit with every sip. Basically add equal parts of your favorite kombucha and sparkling apple cider to a large pitcher. Add in 2 cups of small diced fruit. The key is to ensure that none of the fruit is too big to overwhelm the glass or make a splash when pouring. Alternatively you can ladle sangria into wine glasses and garnish the top of each glass with rosemary sprigs. I particularly love rosemary because it’s festive for the winter season, and pairs beautifully with citrus. It also contrasts the sweeter flavor from the fruit. I love this healthy and alcohol free take on the traditional Spanish drink.

How alcohol effects weight loss efforts

Alcohol is frequently enjoyed all over the world to both celebrate and relax after a long day. However, it has a significant negative impact on weight loss. Alcohol contains a high amount of calories, and it inhibits the body from carrying out its fat-burning functions efficiently.

It is broken down in the liver, where it is converted into acetate, which provides energy to the body. However, the liver gives priority to processing alcohol over burning fat. As a result, when alcohol is consumed, the body’s ability to burn fat decreases by 73%.

And if we’re being honest with ourselves, alcohol consumption has a psychological impact that makes it hard to stick to a healthy diet and lifestyle routine. Alcoholic drinks are often consumed with high-calorie foods, leading to overeating and impeding progress towards weight loss goals.

Alcohol is also known to disrupt sleep patterns, which can result in hormonal imbalances that affect metabolism and digestive processes. Poor sleep quality leads to decreased levels of leptin and increased levels of ghrelin, disrupting the body’s natural hunger response, leading to overeating, and in turn, weight gain. So while it could be enjoyed daily, it’s a significant roadblock for those who are trying to lose weight. It not only adds hundreds of extra calories to their diet but also inhibits their body’s ability to burn fat, increases hunger, and decreases the quality of sleep.

If you are aiming to lose weight but still want to include alcohol in your routine, I recommend reducing your alcohol consumption. For instance, if you typically have a glass or two of wine every night, consider limiting it to just one or two glass one night per week instead. This mindful adjustment can help you reach your weight loss goals while still allowing you to enjoy occasional indulgences.

Alcohol Free Winter Sangria

Tangy wine-like sangria
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Servings 4
Calories 113 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 each orange cut into wedges
  • 1/2 each grapefruit cut into wedges
  • 3/4 cup diced pineapple
  • 1 each pear cubed
  • 20 ounces sparkling cider
  • 20 ounces pineapple kombucha
  • 3 each rosemary spring optional garnish

Instructions
 

  • Add cut fruit to pitcher
  • Top with sparkling cider and kombucha
  • Garnish with rosemary springs and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 113kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.03gSodium: 8mgPotassium: 329mgFiber: 1gSugar: 20gVitamin A: 52IUVitamin C: 71mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword alcohol free
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How to make a vegan Starbucks cold cream copycat

One of my absolute joys during this time of year is strolling around with a warm indulgent beverage in hand from my favorite local coffee shop – or Starbucks. 😌💕 Personally I love a grande Americano with soy milk, or a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte, but any warm and creamy but not too sweet beverage will do!

Doing that everyday, however gets a bit steep on the pocket and sometimes packed with calorie-laden, high-fat dairy… so I gotta savor it judiciously. BUT, here comes the game-changer: dairy-free cold foam! And the best part is that you can make it yourself at home!  The perfect swirl to crown my coffee creations. 😍 No guilt, just pure delight! Let me show you how! 🙌☕️

crop unrecognizable woman stirring sweet latte with straw

With just a few simple ingredients and a little time, I truly think this is one of the best ways to jazz up your own coffee for less money at home.  It’s actually a cool way to up-cycle chickpea liquid AKA aquafaba which typically is something that would be poured down the drain!  

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Why would you want to make a vegan cold foam?  

Well, it’s vegan, dairy-free, and packed with a light and creamy texture. Not to mention it’s super easy to make – all you’ll need is some sugar, aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas), cornstarch, and a mixer with whisk attachment. 

vegan diy cold foam iced coffee
  • If you’re trying to avoid dairy.  Many people are lactose intolerant and don’t even know it!  If that’s you, eliminating dairy can help ease stomach upset and bloating!
  • If you’re trying to limit added calories from saturated fat.  Full fat dairy makes an amazing foam, but it’s also full of saturated fat which could be a concern if you are trying to follow a heart healthy diet.  
  • If you want a lower calorie option.  Fat equals flavor and is double the calories of protein and carbohydrate, so everything that makes a cold creme appealing, will cost you in the calorie department.  This vegan cold foam does have some added sugar, but it doesn’t have any fat which means it’s macro friendly! 
  • If you are trying to follow an animal free lifestyle.  
  • If you are trying to live a vegan lifestyle and missing your sweet cold cream topping!  
  • If you’re looking for a creamy topping that foams better than your average plant milk!
  • You want to make morning coffee time extra special.  
  • You realize that non-dairy milk just doesn’t foam the same way as regular.  
  • ​Make a double batch to use on top of any dessert as a whipped cream alternative.  

I’ve noticed that oat milk, almond milk and soy milk just don’t foam the same way as whole milk or heavy cream.  (It’s because they have a much lower fat content, so they don’t get as airy.)  Coconut milk whips really well, but if you are trying to avoid saturated fat or have a heart condition, coconut milk should be avoided.  

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Canned chickpeas – Any brand will do.  Personally I like to use Goya canned chickpeas for this recipe.  
  • Powdered sugar – Powdered sugar helps keep the creamy smooth consistency of the final whip.  You could use granulated sugar in a pinch, but it may be more grainy.  Brown sugar will be too dense and result in a flatter result.  
  • Cornstarch – This helps with texture.  You could also use cream of tartar.  
  • Vanilla extract – You can experiment with different flavors, but vanilla is classic.  A tiny drop of almond extract, even peppermint could be interesting too!  
  • I recommend making this in a traditional stand mixer, but a hand mixer or a high speed blender such as a Vitamix will work well. If you’re making a triple batch an immersion blender could be an option.  For it to work, you need to have enough liquid to blend so it can blend under the liquids surface.  A mini handheld frother doesn’t have enough umph for this recipe.  
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How to make vegan cold creme

First drain your chickpeas and reserve the chickpea liquid.  You will get about 1/2 cup.  

Next reduce this liquid by half over medium heat in a frying pan.  

Then whip the reduced aquafaba in your mixer for about 1 minute.  Then add your remaining ingredients- cornstarch, powdered sugar and vanilla and let it mix for 8-10 minutes until stiff peaks form.

You’re going to be amazed by how quickly this creamy foam comes together!!

What is aquafaba

Aquafaba is the starchy water from your can of trusty chickpeas.  When chickpeas are placed in the can, water is added and then they are sealed and cooked.  The water then becomes starchy during the cooking process.  As a result it can be used in a variety of ways and they behave similarly to egg whites!  

How to use dairy free cold cream

  • On top of any cold brew coffee recipe, french press, iced coffee or any iced drink for that matter
  • Serve on top of hot tea drinks like English breakfast.
  • Create your own Starbucks drinks at home by combining espresso with simple syrup topped with your homemade cold foam and a dusting of pumpkin spice!
  • Serve it instead of foamed milk or whipped cream.
  • Consider this topping a vegan meringue.  It will even brown if you place it under the broiler!
  • Add a dollop to chocolate milk for kids.  
  • Top puddings or pie for a vegan dessert.  

There are literally tons of different ways you can use this sweet cream foam.  Let me know how you use it!!

This recipe will replace any dairy cold foam recipe and last for five days in the fridge when stored in an airtight container. A mason jar or a small pint container works perfectly for this!      

Share this easy Starbucks copycat recipe with your best girlfriends who love vanilla sweet cream cold foam just as much as you do!

Calorie and nutrition info

Aquafaba typically has about 3-5 calories per tablespoon, mostly from carbohydrates. For the purposes of this recipe, I used 4 calories per tablespoon.

Aquafaba is vegan and gluten free.

This vegan cold cream recipe has about 63g carbs and zero protein, fat or fiber.

 

iced coffee with cold foam

Vegan DIY Starbucks Cold Cream

A dairy and animal free creamy topping for any hot or cold coffee beverage!
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
8 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Drinks
Servings 4
Calories 66 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 stand mixer

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can chickpeas about 1/2 cup liquid
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions
 

  • Drain a can of chickpeas and reserve liquid.
  • Reduce chickpea liquid by half. This should be about 1/4 cup.
  • Add liquid to stand mixer and blend with remaining ingredients for 8-10 minutes until stiff peaks form.

Notes

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  

Nutrition

Calories: 66kcal
Keyword easy, vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

References

Aquafaba Nutrition.(November 13, 2023) https://aquafaba.com/nutrition.html

Quick and Easy Canned Salmon Recipe for Fast Lunches

If canned salmon isn’t currently in your pantry – it should be. I love this canned salmon recipe because it’s got a ton of flavor and it can be eaten in a bunch of ways. It’s a tasty recipe that makes a great meal from lettuce wraps to on top of toast, however you eat it, you’ll be getting a good dose of healthy fats that will support heart health and your mood. It’s also a great source of protein. If you like egg salad, chicken salad or classic tuna salad, you should definitely give this healthy salad recipe a try.

Plus… did I mention it’s easy to put together? I’ve tried salmon salads that use fresh salmon fillets, and it was just too much work. Canned salmon, has all of the same nutritional properties as fresh – at a fraction of the price.

This salad recipe packs a punch of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and calcium (if you go for bone-in salmon) while clocking in as a protein powerhouse!

Ingredients and substitutions

  • Canned salmon – I prefer to choose salmon with the bones because it’s a great source of calcium especially if you’re avoiding dairy. The bones just kind of disintegrate into the salad, you can’t even tell that they’re there! You can use red salmon, canned wild salmon, pink salmon or just a can of tuna if that’s what you have!
  • Capers – a little goes a long way with these guys. They add a saltiness that goes well with the crunch of all the veggies. If you don’t like capers you can chop up kalamata olives to get a similar effect.
  • English cucumber – you can substitute whatever kind of cucumber you have, I would just remove any seeds and most of the skin if it’s thick.
  • Celery – don’t skip the celery in this recipe, it adds such a great crunch!
  • Feta – I prefer sheeps milk feta to add a creamy tang. It also makes for a pretty presentation because the white contrasts well on the salmon.
  • Red wine vinegar – substitute with champagne vinegar, or apple cider vinegar. Fresh lemon juice works too!
  • Olive oil – other neutral oil such as avocado oil will work, but olive oil has such great flavor.
  • Dijon mustard – use a high quality dijon mustard for the best flavor.
  • Optional – you can add in red onion, bell peppers if you like. A dollop of greek yogurt will make it creamier if you prefer. If you have fresh herbs like basil, fresh dill or parsley, add a few tablespoons for freshness.

How to make salmon salad

I like to start by making the vinaigrette in a large bowl. Combine your vinegar and olive oil with mustard. Mix it with a small whisk or fork. Add in your salt and black pepper to taste. I like to use truffle salt or Seasonello. If you are a sea salt fan, use that!

Next, chop your vegetables. I find that a veggie chopper makes this salad very easy and fast to make. Start with chopping the cucumber into a larger dice, followed by celery. Then, add them to the bowl with the dressing.

Once your veggies are in the dressing, open and drain your can of salmon and add that to the veggies. Mix everything well and then add your feta and herbs if using!

I immediately portion out into 4 small meal prep containers so they’re ready for anytime during the week. Any airtight container will work. And aim to eat it within 4 days.

How to eat canned salmon salad

  • Pair with all of your favorite fresh veggies – think baby carrots, red peppers, cherry tomatoes, sliced fennel or endive
  • Romaine lettuce cups
  • Stuff into an avocado half
  • Over a bed of lettuce or baby spinach
  • Eat as a salmon salad sandwich on a slice of toasted whole grain bread topped with a tomato and fresh basil
  • Pair with whole grain or seed crackers and more cucumber slices.
  • Turn into a wrap stuffed with lettuce and tomato

Nutrition

When buying canned salmon, it’s crucial to check the ingredients list. You should aim for one that has minimal ingredients, most often salmon, water, and salt. Once you have selected a few good options, it’s time to compare the sodium level. Choose the brand with the lowest amount of sodium per serving. Simple as that!

If you’re following the FASTer Way to Fat Loss with me, this is a very easy salmon salad recipe that works well for low carb days, and you can also turn it into a complete meal for regular macro days too. It’s full of whole food nutrition, real food, and it’s a great way to meet your macro goals.

This salad recipe packs a punch of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and calcium (if you go for bone-in salmon) while clocking in as a protein powerhouse!

Macros look like this:

Makes 4 servings

Calories: 176

Fat: 8g

Carbohydrate: 3g

Protein: 21g

Fiber: 1g

Salmon Salad

Using canned salmon for a quick protein rich meal
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
Calories 204 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tsp capers drained
  • 1 whole English cucumber diced
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 1 ounce feta cheese crumbled
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 15 ounces canned salmon
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard

Instructions
 

  • Combine capers, cucumber, celery , salmon in a large bowl.
  • Combine oil, vinegar and dijon mustard together with salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle the dressing over the salmon.
  • Top with feta.
  • Mix in chopped fresh herbs if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 204kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 26gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 566mgPotassium: 446mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.5gVitamin A: 237IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 351mgIron: 1mg
Keyword easy, low carb, protein
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Easily make Pancakes for a crowd with your sheet pan

There’s nothing more welcoming than traditional pancakes for breakfast – especially when you have guests. But let’s be honest, have you actually tried making individual pancakes for a crowd? It can be hectic. After trying this method, I’ll never make pancakes one-by-one for a large crowd again! With just your trusty sheet pan and a few simple ingredients, you can easily make delicious pancakes for an entire family or party. Forget standing in front of the hot griddle flipping endless numbers of pancakes. Instead batch cook with your baking sheet and oven to make one giant pancake in a fraction of the time. Keep reading to find out how easy it is to make this classic breakfast favorite with minimal fuss. Plus I’ll show you how to take the toppings up a notch. Still healthy- but they’re dessert level. Check out this quick reel for a visual.

Add this to your list of easy breakfast ideas. You’re welcome 🙂

Jump to Recipe

Ingredients you need for easy sheet pan pancakes

  • Your favorite box mix of pancakes. I love the Buttermilk Kodiac pancake mix because it tastes great with the bonus of being whole grain and a good source of protein.
  • Toppings – Today I’m sharing a pineapple upside down cake version so we’re using fresh pineapple rings and frozen cherries, with a sauce made from maple syrup, pineapple juice and vanilla extract. Scroll down for other different flavors and combinations.
  • Neutral cooking spray

Tools you need for this easy recipe

  • Sheet pan – I have used a 1/4 sheet pan or a 1/2 sheet pan. Just depends on how large your batch of pancakes will be, as well as the size of your oven.
  • Parchment paper for easy removal.

My favorite toppings for pancake batter

  • Everyones favorites chocolate chips
  • Drizzle peanut butter and sliced bananas
  • Lemon zest and fresh blueberries
  • Sliced bananas and toasted walnuts
  • Raspberries and white chocolate
  • Thinly sliced apples and cinnamon
  • Sliced fresh, canned or frozen peaches
ingredients for dough and flowers on table

Once they’re cooked you can top with vanilla yogurt, warm maple syrup, berry compote or powdered sugar. Whether you serve with fresh fruit, eggs, sausage or bacon, it’ll be a tasty breakfast for everyone.

Jump to Recipe

Tips for how to make these oven-baked pancakes

  1. Make sure the oven is hot. Preheat 400 degree F oven. They need about 11minutes to turn golden brown.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine all of the dry ingredients, and add the wet. Don’t over mix.
  3. Prepare your pan with nonstick spray AND line with parchment paper. This will ensure your tasty pancakes make it out of the pan without a hitch.
  4. Use a sharp serrated knife or a pizza cutter to cut your pancakes into enough servings for the whole family.
  5. Use a thin, wide spatula to get them out of the pan. I love using my fish spatula for this, it’s the easiest way.
  6. Any pancake recipe will work for this. Just be sure to pour batter down the center of the pan and use a rubber spatula to spread it evenly towards the four corners of the pan.
  7. Have your different toppings ready. You can even accommodate a few different combinations if you need to! Just have everything cut up and ready.

If you have leftover pancakes, store them in an airtight container and reheat in the toaster oven. My picky eaters loved these pancakes so much, they asked to have them for dessert with a bit of whipped cream 🙂

Calorie Information

Makes 6 servings

Calories 85

Fat 1 gram

Protein 5 grams

Carbohydrate 15 grams

Fiber 2 grams

pineapple pancakes

Pineapple Pancakes

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Course Breakfast
Servings 6
Calories 85 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Sheetpan
  • parchment paper

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Kodiak Pancake Mix
  • 6 slices Fresh Pineapple
  • 6 each Frozen Cherries
  • water
  • cooking spray

Instructions
 

  • Combine pancake mix and water according to package directions
  • Spread batter onto prepared pan, lined with parchment and sprayed.
  • Top with pineapple rings and cherries.
  • Bake at 400F, for 11 minutes or until cooked through.

Nutrition

Calories: 85kcal
Keyword for a crowd, kid friendly
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Melanie Marcus Selfie

Hello & Welcome!!

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.

If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Easy fried rice for one

Are you looking for an easy and tasty weeknight dinner that won’t take all night to make? Well, look no further than this super fast fried rice! You can may also like my egg roll in a bowl or easy ricotta pasta recipes – so check them out if you have time. But this delicious fried rice is my go to for busy weeknights since it has minimal ingredients and takes way less than 30 minutes from start to finish.

Plus, you can customize this basic recipe by using whatever vegetables or proteins you have in your fridge whether they are fresh or frozen. Keep reading to learn how my step-by-step guide will help you whip up a batch of irresistible fried rice in no time flat. It can also be made as a side dish for two or easily made to feed the entire family.

Jump to Recipe

Ingredients you need for this easy fried rice recipe

  • Toasted sesame oil – Other neutral oil such as vegetable oil, canola oil or olive oil will work well too here but sesame oil adds a lot of flavor.
  • Garlic – this is a classic flavor component, so don’t skimp. You can mince whole fresh garlic, use jarred minced garlic or frozen cubes are a great way to add flavor.
  • Fresh ginger – I like to use frozen cubes to keep this simple, but you can also grate fresh ginger.
  • Mixed vegetables – think fresh veggies like broccoli, bok choy, carrot, bell pepper, zucchini, green peas, green beans, onions, mini corn, bell peppers. A bag of frozen veggies will work here too.
  • Brown rice – I like to use brown rice, but it’s a matter of personal preference. Any rice will work. Leftover rice is a fabulous option if you have it. But white rice or cauliflower rice are also good substitutes. Just be sure any of the rice is pre-cooked and cooled. In fact, cold rice works best for fried rice recipes.
  • Gluten-free tamari – low sodium soy sauce, coconut aminos, even regular soy sauce will work but it does have gluten. These are all interchangeable so just use what you have.
  • Whole egg – We fry them sunny side up, but I also like to scramble the egg into the rice the way my mom used to do it for us, so it’s just personal preference.
  • They key is to use a hot wok or well heated frying pan to make sure everything cooks evenly!
  • optional toppings: Sriracha, green onions, bean sprouts, cilantro, sesame seeds, cubed tofu, or protein of choice such as leftover chicken.
Jump to Recipe

Steps to make classic fried rice

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or large wok over high heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger, and chopped vegetables and cook over medium-high heat .
  3. Stir-fry the vegetables for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned and softened. Keep the ingredients moving so they cook evenly.
  4. Add the rice and cook, for another 3 minutes, then add the soy sauce and cook for 1 minute more. 
  5. Let the rice cook, undisturbed for 1-2 minutes if you like crispy bits in your fried rice.  
  6. Remove rice from panServe with sriracha.

What kind of rice is best to use for fried rice?

Personally I love to use leftover cooked rice from takeout. Day-old rice works really well because the individual grains maintain their texture as opposed to getting mushy. While jasmine rice is popular because of its aroma and flavor, but it tends to naturally have wetter consistency that helps it clump together.

  • If you have a rice cooker – Make the most of it by making a larger batch of fresh rice, let it return to room temperature and then freeze on a sheet pan in a single layer to use for later weeknight meals.
  • Microwaveable packets of long-grain rice are great for this type of quick cooking. They are also the best way to keep on hand in your pantry to make a complete meal in under 2 minutes!
  • Frozen brown or white long grain rice are other good options. I recommend that you microwave just before you add to the cooked vegetables. Though I find that rice doesn’t get as crispy with this method.

As you can see there are several types of rice you can use.

Here’s a secret for good fried rice: Cook your rice until it’s al dente, which means it has a little bite left to it. This prevents your fried rice from becoming mushy as you add sauces to your stir fry.

Tips for adding more flavor

When making dishes that include soy sauce, you may think more soy sauce is better. While you don’t want to skimp, it could become very one note if you use too much. Here’s what I recommend instead.

Make your fried rice with quantities listed in the ingredient list. Then taste it. While it may need more soy sauce for your liking, it’s important to remember that 15 milliliters or 1 Tablespoon of soy sauce has 920 milligrams of sodium. That’s 38% of the daily recommended value, and just about half of what the American Heart Association recommends for a heart healthy diet.

Instead of adding more soy sauce, you may want to sprinkle with a small amount of kosher salt to help bring out some high notes.

Alternatively, use lemon or lime juice! Citrus helps bring balance to salty or fatty foods and helps your tongue and mind appreciate the flavors. Just give a squeeze over the top and taste the difference for yourself!

If you happen to have leftovers, store your homemade fried rice in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Calorie information

This recipe is really macro friendly because it has a significant source of fiber, plus you can modify the fat, protein or carbohydrate to meet your needs easily!

Calories 456

Fat 12 grams

Saturated 2grams

Sodium 571 grams

Protein 16 grams

Fiber 7 grams

Melanie Marcus Selfie

Hello & Welcome!!

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.

If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!

Quick Fried Rice for One

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 11 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Calories 456 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger minced
  • 2 cups vegetables chopped
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice cooled
  • 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 egg fried
  • edamame, shrimp, tofu, green onion, sesame seeds, sriracha

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat.
  • When the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger, and chopped vegetables.
  • Stir-fry the vegetables for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned and softened.  Keep the ingredients moving so they cook evenly.
    Add the rice and cook, for another 3 minutes, then add the soy sauce and cook for 1 minute more. 
  • Let the rice cook, undisturbed for 1-2 minutes if you like crispy bits in your fried rice.  
  • Transfer your rice to serving bowl and top with fried egg and additional toppings if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 456kcal
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The secret to making viral Cottage Cheese “Protein” Ice Cream

Who doesn’t like ice cream? Traditional ice cream is my favorite dessert. Whether it’s a Carvel ice cream cake for birthdays, or soft serve ice cream on a summer day, I am here for it. Wouldn’t it be better if it helped you reach your health goals? As much as I love a traditional ice cream cone, if I’m honest, eating one daily is probably not going to get me to where I want to be. So when one of my girlfriends called me to ask my thoughts on TikTok’s viral cottage cheese “protein” ice cream, I had to try it! Watch here!

After making it a few times, I have one major takeaway. This recipe can go downhill fast with just one mistake – over freezing. It will make your ice cream so darn hard and icy, you’ll just want to toss it. But don’t worry, I have a few tips to avoid that frustration.

Jump to Recipe

What is cottage cheese ice cream?

It is whipped cottage cheese that is combined with flavor pairings like vanilla and strawberry to make a creamy and delicious treat! The beauty is that you can make it with just about anything, as long as you have cottage cheese. When it is whipped, it takes on the consistency and flavor of softened cream cheese, which makes it a fantastic base for just about any flavor combination you like. It’s such a versatile ingredient and a very simple recipe!

Is cottage cheese ice cream a good source of protein?

One serving of 2% fat cottage cheese is ½ cup or 4 ounces and contains 90 calories, 12 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat, and 350 milligrams of sodium. It’s an excellent source of protein providing the equivalent of three ounces of protein per cup.  

For reference, 1/2 cup of 4% milkfat cottage cheese has 120 calories, 12 grams protein, 5 grams fat, 3.5grams saturated fat and the same 350 milligrams of sodium.

One ounce of protein provides 7 grams of protein, which means a half cup of cottage cheese provides the equivalent of 2 ounces of high quality protein. And if we’re honest, you’ll probably eat about two servings of this dessert for a total of 24 grams of protein.

What type of cottage cheese is best to make ice cream?

You can use any type of cottage cheese, however when you go with a lower fat or fat free version, more ice crystals will form and you’ll have an icier dessert. I’m all about a creamier texture, so I recommend using a full fat cottage cheese to make it as close to the real thing as possible!

If you want to make this dessert with fat free or low fat cottage cheese, I recommend freezing it for less time. Freeze it for 60-90 minutes until its cold, but not frozen solid. It’ll still taste great.

Ingredients to make cottage cheese ice cream.

  1. Creamy base – I recommend using a container of whole milk cottage cheese for the creamiest dessert.
  2. Sweetener – You can use anything from maple syrup and raw honey to protein powder or monk fruit. Use the sweetener of your choice. I’ve made it with vanilla stevia and it had great flavor.
  3. Flavoring and mix ins – The original version I saw on social media used fresh strawberries and graham crackers, but you can use anything you’d like! Experiment with other chopped fruit, powdered peanut butter, chocolate chips, or flavorings such as cake batter or coconut.

In the version below, I added banana because it freezes well, adds a slight sweetness and lightens up the texture.

Jump to Recipe

Flavor combinations to try

  • vanilla extract, maple syrup and crushed walnuts
  • rum extract, fresh diced pineapple and coconut flakes
  • cocoa powder, almonds and mini chocolate chips
  • peanut butter and sliced banana
  • mint extract and dark chocolate shavings
  • cake batter extract and sprinkles
  • crushed graham crackers with diced strawberries
  • blueberries and lemon zest
  • raspberries and white chocolate chips
  • banana and vanilla stevia

You an also use it as a base of a protein bowl, instead of your favorite smoothie, making this a great alternative for breakfast, or an afternoon snack.

If you’re thinking about adding collagen or protein powder for an added protein boost, save it for another time. Cottage cheese is already such a good source of protein, that unless you have very high protein needs, it’s unnecessary. Learn more about macros and importance of protein here.

Equipment needed for cottage cheese ice cream.

In order to make this dessert you need something to whip your cottage cheese. You can achieve a creamy texture with anything from a high-powered blender, a food processor, even a hand-held immersion blender.

After that you just need a few basics like a container mix everything together in, and another to freeze in!

Also, it’s worth mentioning that you don’t need an ice cream maker to try this recipe. If you have one, you could use it to churn your cottage cheese mixture, but it will come out just as well if you put it in the freezer for 60-90 minutes.

How long do you freeze cottage cheese ice cream?

After blending your cottage cheese in a food processor, blender or immersion blender, add your flavorings of choice. You can then freeze a few different ways.

  • Place it back into the original cottage cheese container and freeze for 60-90 minutes until chilled all the way through. The center will likely be soft and creamy.
  • Put into a loaf pan for 60-90 minutes s it can freeze faster. Use an ice cream scoop to serve.
  • You can also spread onto a 1/4 sheet pan and cover with plastic wrap to give it even more surface area to freeze at a faster rate.

Whatever you do – do not let it freeze over night! It will form ice crystals and be very difficult to scoop. After testing several times, I noticed that the ice crystals formed regardless of the fat content. So, my best advice is to freeze for less time, or enjoy as a cold pudding.

Whatever you do – do not let it freeze over night! It will form ice crystals and be very difficult to scoop. After testing several times, I noticed the ice crystals form regardless of the fat content. So, my best advice is to freeze for less time, or enjoy as a cold pudding.

What is a serving of cottage cheese ice cream?

I saw a lot of people on social media making this dessert with 16 ounces (four servings), or two cups of cottage cheese – and it appeared that they were eating the entire batch in one sitting. I would recommend a 1/2 cup serving, just like regular ice cream to limit sodium and saturated fat.

As I mentioned earlier, one serving of 2% cottage cheese is ½ cup or 4 ounces and contains 90 calories, 12 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat, and 350 milligrams of sodium. If you ate the whole container, you’d have 360 calories, 48 grams of protein and 1400 mg of sodium. It’s recommended to keep sodium intake at or below 2000 mg daily to follow a heart healthy diet. So you can see how sodium added up quickly when the portion size increased.

Keep in mind that if you choose a higher fat content cottage cheese, you will have more total calories and fat.

Your toppings of choice will add to your calorie, fat and sodium intake too so stay mindful when making this healthy ice cream at home.

It’s all about what you’re in the mood for, what fits into your health goals and how you’re going to feel afterwards!

What if I eat too much protein?

When someone consumes more protein than their body needs, the excess is stored as fat. I recommend aiming for 20-30 grams or 3-4 ounces of protein per meal to stay satisfied and full. Which makes a 1/2 cup portion of cottage cheese ice cream a healthy alternative when toppings and add ons are kept in check!

Why should I try cottage cheese ice cream?

It’s an excellent food choice if you are trying to build muscle or maintain a healthy weight. In fact, a single serving of cottage cheese can provide nearly 2 ounces of protein, which is beneficial for promoting muscle growth and repair.

Now that cottage cheese has made it’s modern comeback, will you try it? Let me know!

If you are looking for other homemade ice cream recipes, you have to try nice cream. It’s another 2 ingredient wonder!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 164 per 1/2 cup serving

Fat: 5g

Saturated fat: 3g

Carbohydrates: 20g

Protein: 11g

Fiber: 1g

Cottage Cheese Ice Cream

Protein rich ice cream alternative
Prep Time 5 minutes
1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 4
Calories 164 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 food processor immersion blender will work too

Ingredients
  

  • 16 oz full fat cottage cheese
  • 1 each banana
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 5 drops vanilla stevia

Instructions
 

  • Blend everything in a food processor until smooth.
  • Return to cottage cheese container and freeze for 60-90 minutes

Nutrition

Calories: 164kcal
Keyword protein
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Creamy Ricotta Pasta with Veggies and Pine nuts

Our family likes mac and cheese. But there’s a limit to how many nights in a row that I can make that blue box! I like this recipe because it requires minimal and simple ingredients, plus it changes up the usual tomato sauce that we have in regular rotation. You may only need to pick up 3 or 4 items – like lemon or ricotta, pasta or broccoli for a quick crowd pleasing creamy pasta. Also play around with the vegetables that you include to use up what you have on hand. It’s a great recipe to put in the rotation for meatless Mondays or any day of the week. It’s just one of those dishes that is good any time of year.

Let me know if you try it!

Ingredients and substitutions for this creamy ricotta sauce and pasta recipe

  • Broccoli florets – break down a whole head of broccoli into small florets or use pre cut and cleaned veggies.
  • Fresh lemon – we’re using both the zest and the juice in this recipe so go with fresh
  • Pasta – I like short pasta with a shape that will catch the sauce. We’ve had it with rotini and pasta shells and it was great! It will also work with whole grain, brown rice or quinoa pasta. Use whichever your family likes.
  • Ricotta cheese – I’m suggesting a part skim ricotta cheese to help limit saturated fat, which also helps reduce total calories. You could absolutely use a whole milk ricotta for a richer and creamer dish. I like ricotta cheese because it adds a bit of protein too.
  • Salt and pepper – use these to season your pasta and sauce as you cook. The final result will be bland if you don’t!
  • Handful of basil – I love using fresh if I have it, but you could also use frozen and mix it in with the ricotta for a herby version!
  • Optional – chili flakes, parmesan cheese and pine nuts. If you don’t have them, don’t worry. If you do have them, use these to top the finial dishes before serving. You could even used up crumbled bacon and frozen peas for a traditional combo.

How to make creamy ricotta pasta step by step

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Then zest and juice the lemon into a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions for al dente. Two minutes before it’s al dente, add the broccoli and let cook for last two minutes.  
  3. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water when you drain the pasta and broccoli.  
  4. Mix lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1 cup ricotta cheese. You can use a food processor or just mix really well with a wooden spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
  5. When the pasta reaches 2 minutes less than al dente, add the broccoli florets and cook for the remaining 2 minutes. 
  6. Return the hot pasta and broccoli to the pot. Add the ricotta mixture and 1/4 cup pasta water. Stir, adding more pasta water as needed, until the sauce coats and clings to the pasta. Taste and season with black pepper and Parmesan cheese, basil and red pepper flakes and pine nuts if desired.

The best part is you can also substitute any other vegetables you have on hand. Even leftover roasted cauliflower, and carrots could mix in well here.  

What to serve with creamy ricotta pasta

The nice thing is you really don’t need to serve anything else, but if you wanted to go the extra step here are a few ideas.

  • simple side salad
  • roasted chickpeas
  • roasted chicken or pork chops
  • sautéed greens
  • fresh diced tomatoes

How to store creamy ricotta pasta

If we have leftovers I like to store them in quart containers and then reheat in a pan with a little chicken broth or water to revive the sauce. Once the pasta comes down to room temperature, store it in an airtight container for up to three days.

Nutrition and macros

I make this recipe with brown rice pasta or traditional wheat pasta. But you could use the sauce over palm noodles or zucchini spirals if you needed to follow a low carb or lower calorie diet.

337calories

5g Fat 62g Carb 11g Pro 3g Fiber

creamy ricotta pasta

Creamy Ricotta Pasta

Super fast and nearly one pot meal for any day of the week
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 337 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 large pot
  • 1 food processor or large bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 each lemon zest and juice
  • 1 pound pasta any kind you like
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • red pepper flakes, parmesan and pine nuts optional

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.  Then zest and juice the lemon into a small bowl and set aside.
  • Add the pasta to the boiling water.  Two minutes before it’s al dente, add the broccoli and let cook for last two minutes.  Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water when you drain the pasta and broccoli.  
  • Mix lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1 cup ricotta cheese.  You can use a food processor  or just mix really well with a wooden spoon.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  
  • When the pasta reaches 2 minutes less than al dente, add the broccoli florets and cook for the remaining 2 minutes. 
  • Return the pasta and broccoli to the pot. Add the ricotta mixture and 1/4 cup pasta water. Stir, adding more pasta water as needed, until the sauce coats and clings to the pasta. Taste and season with black pepper and Parmesan cheese, basil and red pepper flakes and pine nuts if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 337kcal
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Melanie Marcus Selfie

Hello & Welcome!!

I’m Melanie.

I’m a chef, registered dietitian, foodie, wife and mom.

If you’re looking for quick and healthy meal inspiration that supports your health goals while feeding the rest of your family (including the kiddoes) well, then you’ve come to the right place!