Feel-Good Goodies

Like almost everyone, I have aspirations to get healthier and make better eating choices. The main obstacle for me, however, is that I don't tend to find healthy food very, well, palatable. Yep, I have the taste buds of a toddler.

Realistically, I'm just not going to exchange cake for kale or brownies for broccoli. I take my philosphy from a famous quote by humorist Erma Bombeck: "Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart."

That said, my overall health seems to have hit an iceberg lately, so I really am looking for ways to treat my body better. After doing a little research, I've come to realize I can make my favorite desserts a bit more wholesome without sacrificing deliciousness. Here are a few tips:

Feel-Good Goodies blog post | Tastefully Simple

  1. Try a little turmeric. A member of the ginger family, turmeric is best known as a key ingredient in curry dishes. It has become increasingly popular for its potential health benefits, especially anti-inflammatory properties. I added 2 teaspoons to the batter of Pumpkin Bread & Maple Glaze Mix.

  2. Choose chia. We've all marveled over those "chia heads" that are advertised on TV. Who knew there were more uses for this plant than growing fuzzy, green "hair" on a little statue of Donald Trump. Chia seeds are nutrient-dense, an excellent source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and may help raise HDL "good" cholesterol. Their subtle, slightly nutty flavor make chia seeds a good substitute for poppy seeds. I mixed 2 tablespoons of chia seeds into Sunny Lemon Pound Cake Mix batter.

  3. Flaxseed, indeed! Flaxseed is another omega-3 powerhouse and good source of fiber. I added ¼ cup milled flax seed to Nana's Apple Cake Mix® batter.

  4. Bean those brownies. Okay, the idea of adding beans to dessert just seems … wrong. But, surprise! Turns out you can add healthy veggie goodness to a luscious brownie indulgence and NOT EVEN KNOW IT. This recipe for How You Bean Brownies (featuring Truffle Fudge Brownie Mix) will amaze you. Black beans are rich in calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, folate and Vitamin K, among other benefits. Want to ratchet up the yum factor even more? Mix ½ cup powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt to make an icing that's just as sweet and delicious as cream cheese frosting, but a whole lot better for you.

Full disclosure: I'm not going to give up cheesecake, chocolate chip cookies or any of the really-pretty-bad-for-you treats I love. But getting into the habit of trying to include more wholesome ingredients seems like a resolution I can keep – deliciously!
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