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Healthy carrot cake smoothie

Don’t you just love dessert for breakfast? Of course eating actual carrot cake for breakfast isn’t exactly a healthy or energizing way to start your morning, but this cool and creamy smoothie is the best of both worlds. Actually, you’ll love this smoothie anytime you want a perfect breakfast, dessert or even a snack. This carrot cake smoothie tastes just like your favorite carrot cake dessert, only lighter and healthier — so it’s totally guilt free. The Greek yogurt replaces with cream cheese so you’ll get a filling dose of protein instead of fat. Maple syrup makes for a great smoothie sweetener, and it can work really well, so start with just a tablespoon and adjust accordingly from there. It’s just eight ingredients and can be whipped up in no time with any high speed blender in under 5 minutes. Keep this one on file for the new year, or…

The most searched foods of 2018 include unicorn cake, keto recipes

Google is so much more than a search engine. It’s where we turn for answers to pretty much every. Every year the company tracks and tallies our collective searches and gives us a snapshot of what we were all asking for the past 365 days. Of course, when you’re wondering about a good substitute for whole milk or a keto-friendly version of your favorite chocolate cake, Google is there too. In fact, people consult Google for all kinds of recipes and information on the latest food trends. Here’s what Google said were the most popular food searches in the United States for 2018: https://www.instagram.com/p/BraTOx4g84N/ 1. The Unicorn Cake The unicorn cake made 2018 magical. With long eyelashes, a pastel pink and purple mane, and a straight shiny golden horn, the colorful cake was popular at birthday parties for the young and young-at-heart. People everywhere were searching how to make them…

Lemon Almond Chicken Salad

Show me the person that isn’t looking for more delicious, healthy lunch ideas — we all are! Rarely are we dreaming of digging into a lunch we threw together at home in a hurry. So forget the sad salads you usually pack, and whip up a batch of this lemon almond chicken salad for tomorrow. With this recipe in your arsenal, you might actually stick to eating the healthy lunch you brought from home — and you’ll definitely look forward to it. The crunchy almonds are so satisfying, and the lemon pepper seasoning makes this recipe oh-so-craveable. Eat it with crackers, or wrap it up in a lettuce leaf for a low-carb option. It’s great all on its own, too! We snack on it by the spoonful at my house. There are tons of other ways to customize this recipe. Omit the tiny bit of mayo if you’re going for…

Study confirms, cold weather makes you drink more alcohol

Places like Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Michigan and pretty much all of Russia get a bad rap for drinking too much alcohol. But it turns out, it might not be their fault — it’s the weather that makes them do it. According to new research published in the journal Hematology, people in chilly parts of the planet actually do drink more alcohol. Of course, we kind of figured this one already. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that in the U.S., states that experience colder weather consume the most alcohol. “It’s something that everyone has assumed for decades, but no one has scientifically demonstrated it,” senior author Ramon Battler, M.D., Ph.D., chief of hematology at UPMC, and professor of medicine at Pitt, told Science Daily. “This is the first study that systematically demonstrates that worldwide and in America, in colder areas and areas with less sun, you have more…

Warning: You may not want to use the pepper shaker at restaurants

The next time you’re out to eat, you may want to consider whether you really need to add salt and pepper to your meal. It turns out, pepper shakers are one of the dirtiest items in a restaurant. According to a study from ABC News, pepper shakers harbor one of the highest bacteria counts at a public dining facility with counts reaching 11,600 — second only to restaurant menus. (And for your complete disgust, restaurant menus were found to carry the most — an average bacteria count of 185,000 — and have 100 times more bacteria than your typical toilet seat.) The study examined swab samples taken from common table items at 12 restaurants throughout New York, Ohio, and Arizona. The swabs were then examined for “total bacteria counts and coliform — a broad class of bacteria found in our environment. The presence of coliform can indicated fecal matter.” Dr.…

What is the difference between spearmint and peppermint?

With the holidays here you can be sure of one thing — mint, mint, mint, and more mint. Peppermint is practically the poster child for the entire winter season, with candy canes, peppermint patties, peppermint bark, and peppermint flavored hot chocolate. Peppermint might steal the show, but actually, there are over 15 types of mint including orange mint, apple mint, and of course, spearmint. Peppermint and spearmint are, by far, the most popular. Peppermint vs. Spearmint So, are the two interchangeable? Well, all mints are not the same. You’re likely to notice right away if someone switches the spearmint in your mojito with peppermint or if your barista were to replace the peppermint in your mocha with spearmint. That’s not saying they wouldn’t be good — just noticeably different. Both have square stems and spear-shaped leaves, and both are great for cooking, but the two have distinct difference in terms…

These are the top beer producing countries in Europe, report shows

As an American beer drinker, when you think of European beers, Germany is probably first country to come to mind. Of course, Germany is well-known for its annual Oktoberfest party, big beer steins, and influence on American beers. But the United Kingdom has had a major influence as well, thanks to the ever rising popularity of the India pale ale. And what about the profusion of Irish pubs and Guinness? If you think about it, it would be hard to guess what country in Europe actually produces the most beer. Food Ingredients First reported that The Brewers of Europe trade association released data report from last year. Seven nations were highlighted as top beer producers. Unsurprisingly, Germany led the list, producing 9.3 billion liters of beer in 2017 — accounting for 23 percent of Europe’s beer production. The United Kingdom and Poland tied for second place with production at 4…

Smoked salmon crostini bites with mustard butter and dill

This elegant appetizer is easy enough to prepare, you’ll whip it up party after party. Pour your guests some Chardonnay and snack on these salmon bites to get the engagement going! Notes: Substitute Italian bread if that’s what you have on hand. Also, you can use goat cheese instead of butter, or chives or capers instead of dill — all delicious alternatives. Smoked salmon crostini bites with mustard butter and dill Ingredients 1 stick butter, softened  1 tbsp stone ground mustard 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp lemon juice 1/2 tsp lemon zest 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill + 1 tbsp chopped dill for garnish 1/8 tsp salt Freshly ground pepper 1 long, thin French baguette, sliced about 1/4-inch thick About 10 ounces of best quality smoked salmon, thinly sliced and cut into 1-to 2-inch pieces Lemon wedges (for serving) Directions Preheat oven to 375ºF. Position baguette slices in a…

10 things you never knew about eggnog

It’s that time of year when people all over the world get a hankering for holiday eggnog. You already know it’s delicious, but did you know it was responsible for a riot at West Point? Or that it was prescribed as medicine by doctors in the 1800s? Read on to learn more about everyone’s favorite way to imbibe during the holidays. 1. Americans love of eggnog adds to its waistline. According to Indiana University, Americans consume over 135 million pounds of eggnog every year — almost all of that between Thanksgiving and New Years. Recipes will vary, but a one cup serving of eggnog has approximately 210 calories and 11 grams of fat. Some eggnog brands can cram as many as 450 calories and 58 grams of sugar into a single serving. Add rum and whipped cream and you’re basically drinking dinner. 2. George Washington left us his favorite eggnog recipe.…

Winter white hot chocolate with cinnamon

Living in Pittsburgh, it seems hot chocolate is everywhere — and that, in my opinion, isn’t always been a good thing. Those watered-down styrofoam cups at freezing cold football games or the overly sweet stuff handed out after cold weather 5Ks, are really consumed out of a need to stay warm, more so than for the enjoyment. It had been a long time since I had a cup ‘o chocolate that I actually enjoyed. But I was feeling a bit Christmassy decorating the house, so I thought I’d whip up something warm and delicious to sip on as we watch holiday movies on repeat. This Winter White Hot Chocolate has a dash of cinnamon to give the cup some complexity. You can add more or less, if you like. Even some nutmeg would taste pretty good. The best part of making drinks like this is always the extras, so if you’re…