Posts Tagged ‘Healthy’

3 Healthy Chicken-Wing Recipes

Everyone knows that, when it comes to chicken, wings are the best. Treat your palate by delving into these 3 unique varieties.

Chicken wings are a staple food. From parties and gatherings, to tail gates and the Super Bowl, they’re the go-to meaty option when you’re looking for delicious, protein-rich finger food. But there’s more out there than the mild and spicy varieties. Venture into the depths of deliciousness with these three must-try wing recipes!

Fit Men Cook 3 Easy Wing Recipes for Chicken or Cauliflower
Watch the video – 3:36

1

Savory “Cold Brew” Wings

Nothing says party time like a serving of good-ol wings. These coffee-inspired nuggets turn tradition on its head. The combination of coffee beans, cayenne, and smoked paprika will give you that extra kick, while the addition of cinnamon and coconut sugar add a touch of sweetness.

Ingredients

Drummettes (with fat and skin trimmed) 4 lbs.


Coffee beans 1/3 cup


Smoked paprika 2 tbsp


Cayenne 1 tsp


Cinnamon 1 tbsp


Coconut sugar 1-1/2 tbsp


Extra-virgin olive oil 2 tbsp


Lime for garnish


Sea salt crystals for garnish


Directions
  1. Set oven to 420 degrees F.
  2. Trim excess fat and large pieces of skin from the drummettes or wings using a sharp knife or food scissors. This is important to reduce the amount of calories—just be careful not to cut the protein. You can cut the calories of each chicken wing by up to 15 calories! So, imagine if you eat 10 wings—that’s 150 fat calories you saved!
  3. Add the ingredients for the rub into a food processor. Blend until it becomes a fine powder with a few coarse pieces of coffee grounds.
  4. Place about a pound of the wings in a large bowl, and add a heaping tablespoon of the rub mixture to the bowl. Add a few pinches of sea salt and pepper and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil. Mix it all together. Repeat until all of the wings have been coated.
  5. Place the wings on a baking rack (recommended) or a nonstick baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes at 420 degrees F. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the amount of chicken.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 wing

Recipe yields: 16 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 133
Total Fat5 g
Total Carbs1 g
Protein17 g
2

Golden Mustard Wings (With a Lil’ Curry)

Add an extra element to honey-mustard chicken with these wings. The addition of turmeric and curry powder will give them a flavor-packed taste and bright-yellow hue that people can’t help but gravitate toward.

Ingredients

Drummettes (with fat and skin trimmed) 3 lbs.


Coconut oil 1 tbsp


Apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp


Garlic 1 tsp


Turmeric 1/2 tsp


Curry powder 1 tsp


Raw honey 1/4 cup


Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish


Lemon for garnish


Directions
  1. Set oven to 420 degrees F.
  2. Trim excess fat and large pieces of skin from the drummettes or wings using a sharp knife or food scissors. This is important to reduce the amount of calories—just be careful not to cut the protein. You can cut the calories of each chicken wing by up to 15 calories! So, imagine if you eat 10 wings—that’s 150 fat calories you saved!
  3. Place the wings in a bowl, add a few pinches of sea salt and pepper, and mix together.
  4. Place the wings on a baking rack (recommended) or a nonstick baking sheet. Before placing the wings in the oven, spray them with olive oil so that the outside gets somewhat crispy while baking.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes at 420 degrees F. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the amount of chicken.
  6. Set a nonstick or cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat and add the coconut oil. Once it has melted, toss in all of the ingredients for the sauce. Stir it together with a spatula, and bring it a simmer.
  7. Once it has simmered for about 2 minutes, remove the skillet from the heat and allow the sauce to thicken.
  8. Place about a pound of the wings in a large bowl and add a few tablespoons of the sauce from the bowl. Toss the wings in the sauce until all of them are fully coated. A little sauce goes a long way, so don’t overdo it! Repeat until all the wings have been covered.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 wing

Recipe yields: 12 wings
Amount per serving
Calories 153
Total Fat4 g
Total Carbs6 g
Protein17 g
3

Tangy Balsamic Glaze Wings

Bring the punch of balsamic glaze to life with this sweet recipe. When combined with the tartness of the lime and garnished with the fresh taste of chopped green onions, it’s a clear win-win. Prefer a spicy kick? Add a sprinkling of chili powder to take things up a notch.

Ingredients

Drummettes (with fat and skin trimmed) 4 lbs.


Balsamic glaze 1/3 cup


Chili powder 1 tsp (optional)


Lime juice 1/2 lime


Fresh green onion, chopped for garnish


Lime for garnish


Sea salt crystals for garnish (optional)


Directions
  1. Set oven to 420 degrees F.
  2. Trim excess fat and large pieces of skin from the drummettes or wings using a sharp knife or food scissors. This is important to reduce the amount of calories—just be careful not to cut the protein. You can cut the calories of each chicken wing by up to 15 calories! So, imagine if you eat 10 wings—that’s 150 fat calories you saved!
  3. Place the wings in a bowl, add a few pinches of sea salt and pepper and mix together.
  4. Place the wings on a baking rack (recommended) or a nonstick baking sheet. Before placing the wings in the oven, spray them with olive oil so that the outside gets somewhat crispy while baking.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes at 420 degrees F. Keep in mind that cooking times may vary depending on the amount of chicken.
  6. Mix together the ingredients for the sauce in a glass bowl. Before tossing the baked wings in the sauce, heat the sauce in the microwave for about 1 minute.
  7. Place about a pound of the wings in a large bowl and add a few tablespoons of the sauce of the bowl. Toss the wings in the sauce until all of them are fully coated. A little sauce goes a long way so don’t overdo it! Repeat until all the wings have been covered.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1 wing

Recipe yields: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 140
Total Fat3 g
Total Carbs7 g
Protein17.5 g

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9 Healthy Cooking Tips You Must Know

Buying healthy food is only half the battle. You also need to cook it the right way! Here are the tips you need to prepare healthy meals.

If you’ve made the commitment to eat healthy this year, congrats! You’re doing something that will have huge, long-term benefits for your overall health and physique. The commitment to eat well, however, can be a little tough when you haven’t spent lot of time in the kitchen. If you don’t know how to cook, how are you supposed to eat healthy?

Don’t give up on your clean-eating resolution just yet! Six ultrafit MusclePharm athletes have come together to share some of their favorite clean-cooking tips. They’re not trained chefs—just people who have committed to living fit. Put their ideas into practice, and you’ll be eating more healthfully in no time.

Healthy Cooking Tip 1 Switch to a Spray

Cooking oils are a kitchen necessity, but they can be a little difficult to measure. “I tend to overpour oils,” says MusclePharm athlete Alyssa Smith. “I switched over to a cooking spray, which helped decrease the number of calories I was consuming.”

A photo posted by Alyssa Smith (@alyssalifts) on

If you usually douse your pan in oil before you throw in your chicken, try some spray instead. You’ll undoubtedly use less oil and ingest fewer calories. Smith’s latest favorite cooking spray is coconut oil.

This is a great choice for a cooking spray because it’s a healthy fat with great flavor and a high smoke point, meaning it can withstand high heat during cooking.

Healthy Cooking Tip 2 Try Salt-Free Seasoning

Many Americans consume far too much sodium. What with our reliance on fast food, frozen meals, and prepackaged snacks, it’s no wonder that people routinely blow past the recommended limit of 2,300 milligrams per day.

If you’ve already committed to a healthy nutrition plan and have cut out some of the sodium-laden foods mentioned above, your sodium intake is probably much lower than the recommended limit.

You can incorporate naturally sodium-free herbs like rosemary, garlic, and oregano for further flavor.

However, if you’re looking to take it to the next level, consider cleaning out your spice cabinet. Smith recommends using salt-free seasonings, which may come in handy if you’re preparing for a show or photo shoot, as you will have the most control over your daily sodium intake.

“There are a number of products that have lots of flavorful options, so you don’t have to be stuck with bland meals,” says Smith. You can also incorporate naturally sodium-free herbs like rosemary, garlic, and oregano for further flavor.

Healthy Cooking Tip 3 Shop for Sales

If expensive food is the primary reason your meals aren’t as healthy as they should be, you need a little lesson in grocery-store thriftiness. Clean eating doesn’t have to be pricey.

“Eating healthy can be much less expensive if you check your grocery store for weekly coupons, always buy in-season produce, and find food that’s on sale,” says Smith. Sure, being conservative with your hard-earned money might take a little extra work on your part, but that extra time translates into extra cash in your pocket.

Smith also recommends buying chicken in bulk and keeping it in the freezer. When you have the food on hand like this, you won’t have to visit the grocery store as often. Seek out grocery warehouses, if possible, to save big on big portions.

Healthy Cooking Tip 4 Load Up on Greens

One of the best ways to add healthy volume to your meals is to throw in some green vegetables. “Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale add lots of micronutrients to keep you healthy and fiber to keep you full,” says fitness competitor and MusclePharm athlete Kyla Ford.

“Add a handful of spinach to your morning protein shake or afternoon meal,” she suggests. “It makes you feel like you’re eating more without adding a ton of extra calories.”

“Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale add lots of micronutrients to keep you healthy and fiber to keep you full,” says fitness competitor and MusclePharm athlete Kyla Ford.

MusclePharm ambassador and cover model Noora Kuusivuori agrees: “More vegetables in your diet will help you stay hydrated and keep you feeling full while also providing essential nutrients such as vitamins A and K.

Even on my most strict contest-prep diets, I never limit the amount of green vegetables I eat. In fact, I tend to eat more when I want to lean out,” she says. “Some of my favorite ways to add these vegetables into my diet is to mix up a big salad at the start of the day or add some sliced peppers and onions to an omelet.”

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Healthy Cooking Tip 5 Prepare Meals in Advance

Ford also knows that preparation is key to staying on track. Even if you’re busy, there’s usually a way to fit meal preparation into your day. “Take 1-2 hours 2-3 days a week to plan your meals ahead of time,” she says.

A photo posted by Noora Kuusivuori (@noorakuusivuori) on

“If you can’t answer the question, ‘What’s for dinner tonight?’ you need to work on your planning,” says Kuusivuori. “Decide on a week’s worth of clean-eating recipes so you don’t get stuck feeding the family a boxed meal containing processed or powdered who-knows-what. I like to do my grocery shopping and meal prep on Sundays so that those busy weekdays don’t throw me off.”

Ford and Kuusivuori agree that people who try to stick to a healthy nutrition plan without proper preparation are more likely to fall into their old habits, especially when they’re busy. If you’re serious about good nutrition, plan and prep some meals ahead of time!

Healthy Cooking Tip 6 Cook Efficiently

Cooking ample amounts of food to last you a few days is key to helping you stay on track. That’s why NPC bodybuilder and MusclePharm athlete Andre DeCastro turns to grilling. “It’s best to bake or grill your protein sources so you can cook a lot at one time,” he says.

“By preparing multiple servings of protein at one time, you know food is ready at your convenience, saving you time and money,” says DeCastro. All that’s left is to heat and eat!

“By preparing multiple servings of protein at one time, you know food is ready at your convenience, saving you time and money,” says DeCastro. All that’s left is to heat and eat!

Team Bodybuilding.com athlete and MusclePharm ambassador Raynor Whitcombe likes to decrease cooking time by cutting his chicken into smaller pieces and cooking them in olive or coconut oil. “As I cook, I set the heat between low and medium so the chicken is cooked without burning. I also add a sheet of foil over the chicken to keep the steam inside, which keeps the chicken tender and speeds up the process.”

Healthy Cooking Tip 7 Choose Food Straight From the Source

“Healthy eating is not just about how you prepare your food, but how you select it,” says record-holding weightlifter Derrick Johnson. Today, so many additives and chemicals are added to food before you see it. Johnson chooses grass-fed beef that is free of antibiotics, hormones, or added injections.

“Grass-fed meat tastes better and offers more omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed meat,” he says. Choosing organic or grass-fed options will provide you with a cleaner food right from the start.

Healthy Cooking Tip 8 Boil Eggs for Low-Fat Protein

Although a low-fat diet isn’t necessary for fat loss, some people prefer that approach. If you’re one of them, Whitcombe has a tip: “Eat hardboiled eggs.”

A photo posted by Raynor Aden Whitcombe (@kingaden88) on

“You won’t have to use any oil or butter to prepare them, and you can easily toss the yolks if you don’t want them,” he says. Without the yolks, eggs become a fat-free protein source. They’re also a fast and relatively cost-effective source of protein, so they’re great for any diet plan based on clean eating.

Healthy Cooking Tip 9 Add Healthy Fats the Smart Way

Even on a low-fat diet, getting enough healthy fats for your body to function properly is essential. “A lot of people are still holding on to the notion that eating fat makes you fat, but it’s not true,” says Kuusivuori.

She recommends eating healthy fats multiple times per day. “I like to top my salads with avocado or toss some walnuts or almonds into my stir-fry,” she says. For a clean snack, she likes to add coconut oil to smoothies or smear nut butter over a piece of fruit.

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Is Peanut Butter Healthy?

Before you make your next sandwich, get the facts about the nutritional profile of this popular nut butter!

Peanut butter has a special place in my heart, and I’m confident I’m not the only one. Although perhaps known best for pairing beautifully with your favorite fruit jelly and two slices of bread, or being surrounded by melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, these are definitely not the only ways to use it. It’s right at home with sharp cheese, tart apple, or in a spicy sauce on chicken skewers. The crazy among us—i.e., me—have been known to use it as a condiment on a hamburger.

But peanut butter’s benefits don’t end with its pallet-pleasing power. It’s actually a healthy fat. That’s right, I said healthy.

Despite the stick-to-your-mouth goodness, too many people leave peanut butter sticking to the grocery-store shelves for fear that it will make them fat. But that’s not the whole story. Spoon yourself out of this creamy conundrum and get the scoop on this much-loved, but often misunderstood, spread.

Peanut butter’s benefits don’t end with its pallet-pleasing power. It’s actually a healthy fat.

The Unshelled Truth

The major reason peanut butter seems to be placed on dieters’ “naughty” list is because of its high calorie content. A mere two tablespoons contains 200 calories, which, depending on your daily intake, could make up as much as 10 percent of your daily calorie allotment. A few heaping spoonfuls throughout the day, and you may quickly find yourself at half of your daily calorie allotment. Well, nuts (or legumes, as it were).

Sure, peanut butter is high in calories, but that’s no reason to completely dismiss it from your diet. At the end of the day, your weight is dictated by calories in versus calories out. Whether you’ve allotted yourself 1,800, 2,400, or 3,000 calories per day, peanut butter can absolutely fit. Its high fat content might even help you feel more satiated with fewer calories. As with all things in life, moderation is key.

Here’s what not to do: boost your peanut butter intake through the roof, thinking it’s a protein source. At about 8 grams of protein per two-tablespoon serving, PB is nothing to sneeze at, but it’s a better fat than a protein. Eat it for what it is.

Saturated Fat

Beyond the caloric load it brings, peanut butter’s saturated-fat content is a concern for some people. Saturated fat was once deemed the demon of heart disease and was portrayed as evil by the fat-loss community. For decades, this caused a huge hit to peanut butter’s social following, particularly the whole-fat variety. But that doesn’t mean the fear was justified. And as is often the case, the low-fat “improvement” is worse than the original.

The truth is that saturated fat is not the root of all evil. In fact, it’s actually beneficial to the production of crucial hormones and vitamins such as testosterone and vitamin D.1,2

Peanut butter also contains an abundance of “good” fats, or, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. One serving has 8 grams of monounsaturated fats and 4 grams of polyunsaturated fats. These “good” fats help lower cholesterol, reduce heart disease, and lower blood pressure.3 They’re also anti-inflammatory, which may help with recovery and reduce your risk for metabolic syndrome.4

Peanut Butter Shopping Guide

In a perfect world, the only ingredient in peanut butter would be peanuts. After all, peanut butter is just mashed up peanuts, right? Of course, that’s not how it plays out, and not all nut spreads are created equally.

When it comes to peanut butter, don’t let the “low-fat” claim on the label lure you. Most low-fat versions make up for the cut by adding in sugar and partially hydrogenated oils—or trans fats—which are detrimental to your health. Many of us grew up on these overly sweet variations, so you may have to retrain your palate, but it’s worth it. Reap the benefits of a full-fat, full-flavor nut butter!

Likewise, you may find that one of the new flavored peanut butters catches your attention, such as cinnamon raisin, white chocolate, or banana. Keep in mind that this added flavor almost always comes at the expense of added sugar and carbohydrates, as well as other shelf-stabilizing agent.

Keep in mind that this added flavor almost always comes at the expense of added sugar and carbohydrates.

Are these delicious? Of course! But they’re also a treat on par with a candy bar. Use them sparingly, and fill your sandwiches with the original whenever possible.

The Competition Almond Butter

Over the past few years, almond butter has often inched ahead of the generic peanut in terms of perceived health benefits. Some people argue that a miniscule percentage difference in key nutrients such as vitamin E and iron makes the scales fall in almond butter’s favor. Almonds offer 25 milligrams of vitamin E, while peanuts offer 10 milligrams per serving, which is still 50 percent of the recommended intake.

Almond butter has often inched ahead of the generic peanut in terms of perceived health benefits.

But what about the greater amount of selenium or vitamin B-3 in peanut butter? Selenium is a powerful antioxidant, and vitamin B-3—more commonly known as niacin—plays a major role in energy production and fat metabolism in the body.

The truth is, both butters are interchangeably great and offer different healthy fats and essential nutrients. Up-and-comers like cashew butter also have a lot going for them. Try them all; each nut butter is great. But it’s also OK if, like me, peanut butter will always have your heart.

References
  1. Hamalainen, E., Adlercreutz, H., Puska, P. & Pietinen, P. (1984). Diet and serum sex hormones in healthy men. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry, 20(1), 459-464.
  2. McLarnon, A. (2011). Nutrition: Dietary fat might influence serum vitamin D level. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 7(10), 562-562. 562.
  3. Kris-Etherton, P. M. (1999). Monounsaturated fatty acids and risk of cardiovascular disease. Circulation, 100(11), 1253-1258.
  4. Zhao, G., Etherton, T.D., Martin, K.R., Vanden Heuvel, J.P., Gillies, P.J., West, S.G. & Kris-Etherton, P.M. (2005). Anti-inflammatory effects of polyunsaturated fatty acids in THP-1 cells. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 336(3), 909-917.


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