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Top 10 Healthiest Vegetables and How to Sneak Them in Your Diet This Summer

Top 10 Healthiest Vegetables and How to Sneak Them in Your Diet This Summer

“You simply cannot find another food group that is as perfectly matched to our everyday human needs as vegetables!”

 

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Without enough vitamins and minerals, our immunity, vitality, and mood suffer considerably. Eating veggies provides numerous health benefits since the nutrients they contain act on a cellular level. The antioxidants found in vegetables strengthen the body’s defense system, reducing the risk of some chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, increased blood pressure and some types of cancer!

And this is just the tip of an iceberg. The beneficial influences of vegetables extend to all parts of the body, covering everything from cognitive functions to improved blood flow. In addition, some of the most powerful health-boosting foods are also the best beauty products money can buy – they help rejuvenate your skin and have a positive effect on the hair, nails, and teeth. This fact surely justifies the statement that beauty comes from the inside!

If this is not enough to persuade you to stock up your grocery cart with veggies, here are a few more reasons:

  • Vegetables are very low in calories (a cup of the healthiest veggies contains about 50 calories). That is why you can eat as much as you want without gaining weight. This, combined with the fact that veggies are great sources of fulfilling dietary fiber, makes them an ideal addition to your weight-loss plan.
  • Vegetables are nutritious in any form – fresh (some may even grow in your backyard), canned, frozen, or juiced which makes them very convenient and highly available to include in any recipe.
  • Veggies come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, flavors, and textures. There is always something new to try and make your meals not only healthier but also more vibrant and appealing!

Opting for vegetables is the first step to a healthy lifestyle and longevity but which ones should you choose? Studies have shown that not all veggies are created equal after all. Here is a list of those particularly rich in nutrients along with advice on how to sneak them into your everyday diet.

#1 Asparagus

10 healthiest vegetables

#1 Asparagus

This funny-looking vegetable is especially rich in folates (to be more precise, half a cup of asparagus satisfies about 1/3 of the recommended daily intake). This spring veggie is an important choice for pregnant women since folate is credited with neural tube birth defects prevention.

Moreover, asparagus is filled with numerous minerals and vitamins like vitamin K, riboflavin, thiamin, and selenium, which support numerous body functions and promote toxin expulsion.

Cooking with asparagus: Fresh asparagus is easy and simple to turn into a delightful crispy-sweet addition to any meal. It is very versatile as well – it can be steamed, boiled, baked, grilled, pan-seared, or simply chopped and included in a salad. This well-loved vegetable works well with both simple condiments like salt and pepper, as well as bolder spice mixes, like those including chili, sesame seeds, garlic, and olives.

Recipe recommendation: Our choice is Roasted Asparagus, whole asparagus spears that can be served as an appetizer, side dish or even a snack!

#2 Broccoli

#2 Broccoli

No healthy food list can go without broccoli! Dubbed “one of the nature’s rock stars”, this cruciferous vegetable is very rich in sulfur-containing compounds which are considered tumor inhibitors. Besides being a weapon to fight cancer, broccoli is also recommended as a preventive against other types of chronic disease, especially heart disease. Broccoli’s florets are especially rich in vitamins C and K, as well as folate, potassium, and manganese.

Cooking with broccoli: Despite popular belief, broccoli can be absolutely delicious— you can steam it and serve as a quick side dish with butter and lemon, include it in various stir-fries and creamy soups, or add it into cheesy casserole recipes. Whatever method you decide to deploy, you can be sure that this humble green veggie will make your meal a little more special.

Recipe recommendation: We love the Potato and Broccoli Casserole, a dish that also includes cheddar cheese and mushroom soup for an absolutely hearty & fulfilling family meal.

#3 Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are another member of the cruciferous family of vegetables and, just like their relative broccoli, they contain the same beneficial nutrients and compounds, including vitamins B, C, and K, fiber, folate, manganese, copper, phosphorus, potassium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

On top of that, these ‘mini cabbages’ also contain kaempferol, an antioxidant that is very efficient in the prevention of cell damage caused by harmful free radicals. Brussels sprouts also aid detoxification, thus reducing the risk of various diseases, especially colon cancer.

Cooking with Brussels sprouts: Despite their bad reputation, when prepared with a little care, Brussels sprouts can be spectacular. From simple options like roasting in the oven, to creative solutions that require mixing these cruciferous veggies with fruits or meat, you can rest assured that they will make your meal pop.

Recipe recommendation: Tart Cherry-glazed Brussels Sprouts are just one example of how flexible these veggies can be. The addition of tangy cherry juice is the perfect match to the sometimes-bitter mini cabbages. Thicken the juice with a little brown sugar and complement with a splash of sriracha sauce and you’ve got yourself an intensely flavored meal in no time!

#4 Carrot

#4 Carrots

Carrots provide you with a whopping 430% of the recommended daily value of vitamin A! They contain beta-carotene, an important antioxidant that not only gives carrots their beautiful orange color but also fights harmful free radicals, making sure your body is safe from diseases. Studies have shown that these root veggies are especially efficient against prostate and lung cancer. Moreover, carrots are also packed with vitamins C and K, as well as potassium.

Cooking with carrots: It is time to stop looking at carrots as a plain pantry staple that is available throughout the whole year, and acknowledge their amazing ability to transform. These orange veggies can complement your savory dishes, but can also easily adjust and become a part of various delicious dessert recipes!

Note: Bear in mind that vitamin C is heat-sensitive and most of it will be lost during cooking, so make sure to consume carrots raw as often as possible. An easy way to do this is to include them into your morning smoothies.

Recipe recommendation: Make Classic Carrot Cake healthier by replacing sugar with stevia, all-purpose flour with whole wheat, and vegetable oil with extra-virgin coconut oil. Your sweet treat will be much healthier, but still moist, tender, and absolutely delicious!

Note 2: When using stevia, bear in mind that it is a lot sweeter than regular sugar. For each cup of sugar required in the recipe, use a ¼ cup of this 100% natural sweetener.

#5 Garlic

#5 Garlic

This smelly vegetable has been used for thousands of years, not only for its flavorful aroma but also for its medicinal properties. Studies have detected the substance responsible for garlic’s health benefits. Allicin is a compound that promotes cardiovascular health, maintains blood sugar levels normal, decreases LDL cholesterol and blood sugar. Recent studies suggest that allicin might prevent cancer, but additional research is needed to confirm this claim.

Cooking with garlic: Garlic is one of the most widely used seasonings. It is less commonly eaten as a raw vegetable but often added as a flavoring agent to various dishes like dressings, marinades, sauces, meats, stews, soups, and more. Garlic becomes milder and sweeter when cooked, so you don’t have to worry about the smell.

Recipe recommendation: We recommend Garlic Mashed Potatoes as a side dish for your tomorrow’s lunch – mashed potatoes flavored with roasted garlic and made creamier with the addition of sour cream!

#6 Green Peas

#6 Green peas

Despite the fact that peas are a starchy vegetable that is high in calories and carbs, we can’t ignore the fact that they are nutrient-dense and very beneficial if consumed in moderation. These round green legumes are packed with dietary fiber which supports digestive functions and increases feelings of satiety. Besides protein, vitamins A, C and K, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin, green peas are also high in saponins, compounds known for their anti-cancer properties.

Cooking with green peas: Peas can be consumed cooked or raw, on their own or as a side dish. Try them in salads, savory dishes, stir-fries, stews, and soups. Extra tip: these tiny green marbles can be used as a substitute in recipes that call for green beans.

Recipe recommendation: Minted Mixed Peas is a dish that incorporates sugar, snap, and garden peas, complementing them with melty minted butter in a meal full of greenness and freshness!

#7 Kale

10 healthiest vegetables

#7 Kale

Kale has come a long way from being regarded as one of most dreaded foods to being considered the ultimate superfood!

Similar to all leafy greens, kale is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants – it satisfies your daily needs of vitamins A, C and K, but also provides considerable quantities of B vitamins, calcium, potassium, and copper. Kale protects your heart, lowers the bad LDL cholesterol, reduces blood sugar and blood pressure.

Cooking with kale: Not everyone likes kale’s strong flavor and that is why we recommend using baby kale. Its leaves are tenderer and smaller, so there’s no need for chopping.

Recipe recommendation: A healthier take on everyone’s favorite dish? Kale Pesto Pizza is a proof that a healthy makeover is not always made at the expense of yumminess!

#8 Spinach

The uncrowned ‘king of leafy greens’ is well-known for its amazing nutritional profile – a cup of spinach provides you with more than half of the recommended daily value of vitamin A, along with considerable amounts of vitamins C and K, iron, manganese, and antioxidants, all with a very low-calorie count. Popeye’s favorite food choice has been associated with a reduced risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes, as well as improved heart health.

Cooking with spinach: Sneaking spinach into your everyday diet is very easy. Unlike other leafy greens like kale and collard, it does not require long braise or a large amount of oil. You can serve it simply topped with butter and salt, combine it with cream and cheese, and include it in scrambles, casseroles or smoothies.

Recipe recommendation: Four-Cheese Spinach Fettuccine is an easy and clever way to get your kids to eat spinach. The creamy sauce composed of Parmesan, cream cheese, and Italian two-cheese blend makes this dish rich and flavorful.

#9 Swiss Chard

There are two main varieties of Swiss chard – rainbow chard with multicolored veins and stems, and white chard with white veins and stems. Both are low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals, among which vitamins A, C, and K, magnesium and manganese.

The high fiber content makes you feel full for a longer period of time, whereas the antioxidant content helps protect the kidneys and liver. But what makes Swiss chard stand out is its ability to prevent diabetes-related damages to the body.

Cooking with Swiss chard: Even though it is much less popular than its leafy green cousins, spinach and kale, Swiss chard is just as versatile and tasty. It is easy to handle and contributes tender, silky texture to your dishes.

Note: To preserve as many nutrients as possible, steam the chard lightly and cover in a simple vinaigrette. Alternatively, use chard leaves as healthier and lighter tortilla alternatives when preparing tacos.

Recipe recommendation: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with Swiss Chard Pesto. The title says pretty much all about this Mexican-flavored dish, but if you need more details, here you are: the sweet potato is roasted with chipotle sauce, whereas the Swiss chard pesto contains queso fresco, cilantro, and avocados!

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#10 Sweet Potatoes

sweet potato

Besides vibrant color and sweet taste, these root vegetables offer a great deal of nutrients as well. they are loaded with dietary fiber, protein, vitamins B6 and C, as well as essential minerals like manganese and potassium.

Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin A (more specifically, just one sweet potato provides you with over 430% of the recommended DV) in its healthiest form: beta-carotene. This compound is known for reducing the risk of some types of cancer, including breast and lung cancer.

Cooking with sweet potatoes: Believe it or not, research surveys have shown that almost 20% consumers consider sweet potatoes difficult to cook. However, the great number of easy and simple cooking methods make this opinion untrue. While baking remains the most traditional way of preparing these orange veggies, you can also try sautéing, boiling, grilling, or including them raw and grated into your salads and even desserts!

Recipe recommendation: Get creative and serve these unique Sweet Potato Enchiladas, a gourmet dish that mixes the traditional spiciness with a modern sweet twist.

 

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!
Mission Lunchbox – 16 Tips for Packing Lunch to Go (No. 15 Will Blow Your Mind)

Mission Lunchbox – 16 Tips for Packing Lunch to Go (No. 15 Will Blow Your Mind)

Have you been spending a lot of money on your office lunches? It is estimated that an average person spends between $10 and $15 a day on junk food while at work. Still, the damage done on the household budget is not the only downside that should make you consider switching to home-packed food; there are two more reasons why you should do it:

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–    Health. There is no need to talk about how harmful fast food is. Changing the type of food you eat is the first step to creating a healthy lifestyle. Consuming homemade food on a daily basis provides variety and allows you to control portion sizes. Not to mention it tastes much better.

–    Convenience. Even though the daily expenses related to food-on-the-go are significant, many people continue relying on fast food due to convenience – order and you have a warm meal in a matter of minutes.

However, packing lunch at home can be very simple and that is what this post is all about. It all comes down to two things: organization and routine. Keep reading and learn how to become a professional lunch box-packer that complies healthy and balanced meals for the whole family completely stress-free!

office lunch

The Food

  1. Check Your Fridge and Pantry

Make sure your fridge and pantry are always filled with staples like sandwich bread, along with your family’s favorite ingredients. Stock such ingredients in a bulk to be sure you won’t run out at a critical moment. This will minimize the stress and speed up the whole process.

  1. Use up the Leftovers

By packing leftovers, you save any unwanted food from ending up in the trash (which is another way to save money), providing diversity at the same time. One option is to make extra dinner and pack the leftovers to eat at work. Another option is to re-purpose leftovers – for instance, if you had roast chicken for dinner, use the leftover meat to make a quick chicken salad, wraps, or sandwiches.

  1. Balance the Meals

When packing your lunch, make sure it contains a wide range of nutrients. Here is what you need to include in order to cover all daily needs:

–    Protein to give you enough strength and energy for the day. Plan to include about 2 oz. of protein in the form of meat, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, or nut butter.

–    Fruit and vegetables to be sure your meal is packed with vitamins and minerals. We recommend bananas, strawberries, carrots, and broccoli, but anything you choose is fine.

–    Whole grains to provide fiber that will make you feel fuller for a longer period of time. Think whole grain bread or pasta.

–    Don’t forget to include a bottle of water for refreshment and hydration and a coffee to keep you awake!

lunch box

The Preparation

  1. Plan ahead. Make Sunday a day to prep the meals for the whole week. Draw up a weekly meal plan and shop for the ingredients accordingly. You can make bigger batches of meals and distribute them throughout work days or freeze part of them for future use.
  2. Another option is to prepare your lunch boxes the night before to prevent being late. You are probably groggy and in a hurry when you get ready for work, so forgetting certain items or even the whole lunch box is very likely.
  3. Line up. If you really must assemble your lunch box in the morning, the least you can do is arrange all the containers and ingredients you’ll need on the counter. This will save you plenty of time & nerves.
  4. Whole fruits are great to eat on the go, but veggies are a bit more complicated since they need to be washed and chopped. Do this they day you get them from the supermarket and store them is containers or zip-lock bags in the fridge until ready to use.

The Containers

The first rule to go by when choosing your containers is: make sure they are high-quality and convenient. There is no need to have a whole cupboard of containers. Here are the essentials everyone needs.

  1. Lunch Boxes. Apparently, lunchboxes have evolved into portable electric heating containers, heat-resistant glass boxes, and complex stainless-steel vacuum lunch jars. These advanced lunch boxes allow you to heat your meals wherever you are, pack liquid foods without the fear of spilling or place them directly into the microwave, but we believe that there is nothing better than the simple, old-school plastic ones.

Choose a compartment lunchbox that will help control portions and prevent different ingredients clean (you don’t want your pasta spilled over the fruits!).

No matter what type of lunchbox you decide to invest in, you can rest assured that it is a far better option than plastic zip-lock bags. According to statistics, American families spend over $80 yearly on plastic bags, which makes them budget-unfriendly. In addition, plastic boxes are reusable and hence eco-friendly. And finally, they allow for minimum mess and waste.

If you still find it difficult to give up baggies, try reusable silicone ones. Unlike their plastic counterpart, these airtight bags contain no harmful materials such as PVC or latex. They are made of the best food-grade silicone and are safe to throw in the microwave, freezer, even the dishwasher.

  1. Drink containers. Everybody needs one reusable drink container. We prefer plastic over glass because it is unbreakable and over stainless steel because it is lighter. Plastic containers will enable you to replace store-bought juices full of added sugars with fresh ones but are also perfect for milk, sodas, and water.

no more junk food

Alternatively, you can opt for reusable blood bags. As creepy as these bags might sound, they are quite convenient since don’t take up too much space. Moreover, they are completely food safe and widely used for parties and decorations.

  1. Coffee thermos or travel mugs are the perfect choices for caffeine lovers. They are leak-resistant and heat-insulated, ideal for keeping your coffee or tea aromatic and warm for hours. These containers are perfect for soups, chili, and other meals that are served hot, but you can also use them for smoothies!
  2. Mini dip containers might seem too tiny and insignificant but you will soon come to realize how difficult life is without them. Use them for sauces, dips, dressings, and more!
  3. Lunch bags come in so many shapes, sizes, and exciting colors. Some of them have such cool designs, they can safely pass as regular bags that match your outfit! Besides great looks, lunch bags come with a specific function – they keep your food chilled until you are ready to eat.

The Motivation

Sometimes, good organization is not enough to keep you repeating the same routine over and over again. Here is what you can do to inspire yourself.

  1. Do a research. Find an amazing cooking app and pack your smartphone with quick and easy recipes. Read through blogs dedicated to packing lunches (yes, such things do exist) to find ideas and resources. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
  2. Printables. To make things easier and far more interesting, print colorful weekly or monthly meal plans and pin them on the fridge. They will not only help you stay organized but will also make your kitchen more cheerful! In addition, print some cute notes to slip inside your loved ones’ lunchboxes and brighten up their day.
  3. Make your lunch containers cooler. If you are skillful, decorate them yourself by sticking fun handmade drawings or turning food into art. In addition to your vivid imagination, owning a few cookie cutters and some food coloring will come handy in this case. Less artistic souls can download some great lunchbox designs online. Not fancy enough for you? Buy a lunch box worthy of showing off.
lunch box

Credit: http://www.blessthismessplease.com/2016/06/adult-lunch-box-ideas.html

Explore antique shops for vintage lunch boxes – you might just get lucky and find a hidden gem. But bear in mind that such pleasure comes with a price – lunch containers from the 1900’s are very popular collector’s items and real aficionados are prepared to pay between $1500 – $13000 for rarities featuring Superman, Mickey Mouse, or the Beatles.

However, this is nothing compared to the most expensive lunch box in the world. The Takashimaya Restaurant in New York serves Oscheriyori, the world’s most expensive lunch box meal worth over $230.000 made completely out of gold (of course we know this is crazy and impossible, just sharing a fun fact 😊)

  1. Partner up with a coworker to share recipes and ideas but also to eat lunch together. Having support when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle is very important, especially if the rest of the colleagues stay loyal to fast food and sweet treats. You can also make an arrangement to bring food alternately, which will certainly reduce the pressure since you will only have to pack lunchboxes every other work day!

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In the end, remember: eating healthy is important, but treating yourselves to a guilty pleasure from time to time is definitely not a crime.

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!
10 Epic Vegan Breakfast Recipes That You Can Make in 15 Minutes or Less

10 Epic Vegan Breakfast Recipes That You Can Make in 15 Minutes or Less

The phrase “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” has been repeated so many times, it is impossible to ignore. We are inclined to agree since having a fulfilling meal at the beginning of the day will give you enough energy and make you snack less.

And while meat eaters (even vegetarians) have no problem throwing together a quick bacon & eggs or grab a sandwich to eat on the go, when it comes to vegans, possibilities seem to decrease. Do vegans really need to be limited to smoothies and granola for breakfast? Not anymore. We have compiled an amazing list of healthy and easy vegan breakfast recipes that includes pancakes, cookies, wraps, French toast, soups and more!

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Having in mind that weekday mornings can be quite chaotic, we made sure they are quick to make – done in no more than 15 minutes in order to prevent you from running late. And finally, we have selected the star of each vegan recipe, the ingredient in each recipe that makes your meal extra fulfilling, nutritious, and delicious.

Sweet Quick and Easy Vegan Breakfast Recipes

#1 Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes

Time: 10 minutes

Why make pancakes only at the weekend when they are done in only 10 minutes? To make the process really quick, mix the ingredients in a blender for about a minute, then cook each side of the pancakes for about two minutes. One more upside is that, besides being vegan and incredibly easy to make, these fluffy flapjacks are also gluten-free. Top with pure maple syrup, peanut butter, fruit, or vegan chocolate chips.

Star of the vegan recipe: Oats are considered one of the healthiest breakfast options for a good reason- they are a whole grain, which means they retain their germ, endosperm, and bran, which means that the nutrients remain intact. Oats are rich in dietary fiber, plant-based protein, and essential minerals. Note: These whole grains are gluten-free but can be contaminated in the production process. That is why, if you are following a gluten-free diet, you should look for ‘certified gluten-free’ labels.

vegan recipes

#2 Vegan French Toast

Time: 15 minutes

This vegan breakfast recipe is so good, you won’t even know it lacks eggs. The secret ingredient that gives the toast ‘eggy’ taste is nutritional yeast, also known as ‘nooch’. Throw some cinnamon & nutmeg and top with maple syrup, powdered sugar, fresh fruit, or nut butter. Perfect for using up your stale bread!

Star of the vegan recipe: Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast made from beet and sugarcane molasses. It is widely used as a condiment because of its nutty and cheesy flavor but also as a thickener for soups and stews.  Nooch is gluten-free and filled with protein and B-complex vitamins. It also contains folates, riboflavin, thiamine, niacin, zinc, and selenium. Furthermore, this flaky ingredient is low in fat and sodium and contains no sugars or preservatives; enough to dub nooch a superfood!

#3 Indian Cream of Wheat

Time: 7 minutes

The simplicity of cream of wheat collides with the rich flavors of Indian rice pudding to create a quick and yet luscious breakfast. Low-fat, sugar-free, and rich in iron & calcium, this elegant vegan recipe bursts with flavors from the rose water, cardamom, coconut, and pistachio nuts.

Star of the vegan recipe: Thanks to the ads featuring Ernie the Elephant, aired during the Super Bowl, as well as the marketing campaigns featuring celebrities, pistachios have become one of the most popular nuts. It’s no wonder everyone is going nuts about pistachios – they’re packed with unsaturated fat, which lowers bad cholesterol levels and keeps your heart healthy. Moreover, these healthy fats in combination with dietary fiber and protein, contribute to weight loss and weight control!

vegan recipes

#4 Deluxe Acai Bowl

Time: 5 minutes

Described as a smoothie you can eat with a spoon, this easy vegan recipe involves much more chewing than a regular smoothie. It combines several vegan breakfast favorites like granola & fruits and complements them with acai powder. Not only will this purple powder give your dish an amazing color and a tangy note, but it will also contribute a great deal of nutrients as well.

Star of the vegan recipe: Filled with vitamins C and A and richer in antioxidants than raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries or goji berries, acai berries inhibits signs of aging, control appetite hormones, boost energy, and prevent cardiovascular diseases.

#5 No Bake Espresso Cookies

Time: 10 minutes

How about a double coffee for breakfast? Pour a large cup of warm coffee and treat yourself to these amazing, super-quick cookies made with espresso powder. The author suggests that you use good-quality cocoa powder; we support that and add our own advice: substitute sugar with a healthier sweetener option like stevia because these bites are addicting. The best part? You can pack and eat on the run.

Star of the vegan recipe: Coffee is the second most consumed beverage in the world (after water) and despite concerns, studies have shown that drinking up to 3-5 cups of coffee a day is not only safe, but also recommendable; coffee reduces the risk of heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and prostate cancer.

Savory Quick and Easy Vegan Breakfast Recipes

#6 Hummus, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Pea Shoot Crostini

Time: 10 minutes

Having a jar of delicious homemade hummus in the fridge at all times really pays off. But even if this is not the case, humus is done in no more than 5 minutes in a food processor and is extremely versatile. This creamy paste can be used as a side dish, dip, or, in this case, a spread over toasted baguette bread slices. Together with crisp, sun-dried tomatoes and garnished with fresh pea shoots, it creates a fun, easy meal that can be served as a breakfast, snack, or appetizer.

Star of the vegan recipe: Hummus has been consumed in the Middle East and some North African countries for a long time but the USA and Europe have ‘discovered’ it recently and seem to really enjoy its amazing taste, experiencing its numerous health benefits at the same time! The main ingredient in this creamy spread, chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are rich in protein and fiber. They increase satiety, improve digestion, and keep your heart in good health.

vegan recipes

#7 Toast with Refried Beans and Avocado

Time: 5 minutes

This quick and easy Mexican take on vegan breakfast is made with toasted bread (make sure the bread is vegan), topped with refried beans paste. If you decide to go with a homemade version, bear in mind that it will take about 20 minutes, so it is better if you get it ready the night before. Finish off with avocado & onion slices and garnish with coarse salt. For those in your family that are not vegans, add a poached egg as well. Top with another slice of bread to get a vegan sandwich or, if there are family members sensitive to gluten, use gluten-free bread.

Star of the vegan recipe: Often dubbed “one of the healthiest foods on the planet” and “the most nutrition-packed food in the world”, avocado steals the show in every recipe, whether vegan or not. Packed with heart-protective fats, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, and numerous minerals, this creamy fruit improves heart health, balances hormones, and contributes to better digestion.

#8 Vegan Lettuce Wraps

Time: 15 minutes

These easy and low-carb wraps are made with sautéed tofu, mushrooms, and veggies. They are bursting with exotic flavors from the red peppers and jicama and red peppers. The original recipe recommends wrapping the filling in tender butterhead lettuce leaves, but if that’s not fulfilling enough for you, opt for the good old tortillas. Drizzle with hoisin sauce.

Star of the vegan recipe: Over the past few years, tofu has found its way to the unhealthy food lists due to the fact that it is GMO and filled with antinutrients. That is why we recommend that you replace it with fermented soy products like natto or tempeh in your vegan recipes. The fermentation process increases the level of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making these tofu alternatives really good for you.

#9 Vegan Tomato, Chickpea, and Sweet Potato Soup

Time: 15 minutes

Delicious vegan recipes like this soup are a welcomed change from your pancake/waffle routine. Not that there is anything wrong with them! The point is to eat diverse, nutritious food that will not only make you feel full, but will also contribute to your good health and good shape. And this soup does all that for you – flavorful, vibrant and summery, it is the ideal combination of sweet and savory. Chop the veggies the night before and your easy breakfast will be served fresh and warm in no time!

Star of the vegan recipe: With so many good-for-you-ingredients such as onion, garlic, carrots, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and basil, picking the star of this vegan recipe is really difficult. That is why we have decided to ‘crown’ cumin, the spice that gives this soup an exotic note in addition to the numerous nutrients like vitamins E and B1, iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

vegan recipes

#10 Vegan Potato Salad

Time: 15 minutes

Simple & casual and yet so fulfilling. This summery classic is packed with enough protein to keep you going for hours. The use of hummus instead of mayonnaise reduces the calorie count and the addition of lemon juice, parsley, fresh mint, garlic, and scallions really brighten it up. The potatoes will take only 7-8 minutes to cook but since this salad is usually served chilled, you can make them the night before and keep them in the fridge (in a plastic container, covered with a lid) until the next morning.

Star of the vegan recipe: Potatoes contain more potassium than bananas and provide you with almost half the daily value of vitamin C! This combination, in conjunction with the protein content, makes potatoes more energy-packed than any other widely consumed veggie, perfect to fuel your brain and body throughout the day.

Hope we have given you enough choices to make a different vegan breakfast every day. Find more ideas for a delicious start of your day in our Quick and Easy Vegan Recipes collection.

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I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!
The Best Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipes

The Best Homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipes

There is nothing more satisfying than a huge bowl of spaghetti covered in a sauce at the end of a long day. And when we say sauce, in the case of spaghetti, we always refer to tomato sauce. A dish like spaghetti with tomato sauce is a quick and easy fix so commonly prepared, that it seems like it has been around since forever, right? Wrong.

Even though we think of this simple and delicious dish as a typical example of the Italian cuisine, historical data suggests that tomatoes became part of the Italian cuisine as late as the 17th century, after the Spaniards brought to Europe from the New Continent. The first recorded Italian tomato sauce recipe dates from 1692, in the cookbook ‘Lo scalco alla moderna’ by chef Antonio Latini. But despite this fact, it is believed that French were the first to use tomatoes in their creations, not the Italians!

The Story of Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce, also called Neapolitan or Napoletana sauce, is a broad term which covers a wider variety of sauces using tomatoes as a base.

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The simplest tomato sauces are made of chopped fresh tomatoes, simmered in olive oil and seasoned with some salt. It is common practice to peel the tomatoes and remove their seeds so that there are no bitter notes in the sauce.

More elaborate tomato sauce recipes often call for one or a combination of the following ingredients added to the base:

  • Liquid, usually water to keep the tomatoes from drying or, for more flavorful sauces, wine or stock.
  • Onion and garlic are commonly sautéed in olive oil before the tomatoes are added. Modern tomato sauce varieties often include herbs like basil, parsley, and oregano, as well as black or red pepper.
  • Meat is another common addition to tomato sauce. It appears ground or chopped, very often in the form of meatballs and, sometimes, sausages.
  • Some ready-made varieties sold in the supermarkets in the States also include mushrooms or chopped red peppers.

spaghetti sauce

Five Classic Italian Spaghetti Sauces

Marinara Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Marinara is probably the most popular variety of tomato sauce. Even though its name, which translates into “mariner’s” or “sailor’s” suggests a connection to seafood or fish, there is no such ingredient in this spaghetti sauce. The only certain fact is that it originated in Naples; other than that, the theories about its origin are vague. Some historical data state that it was invented by cooks aboard Neapolitan ships returning from the New Continent, whereas others claim that it was first prepared by the wives of Neapolitan sailors.

The homemade version of this spaghetti sauce usually contains tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs like basil and parsley. Some recipes may call for a bit of wine, olives, capers, and spices.

Puttanesca Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

Spaghetti alla puttanesca literally translates into “spaghetti in the style of a prostitute” or simply “whore’s spaghetti”! The name is certainly intriguing; it simply provokes you to find out how this spaghetti sauce came to be.

The popular legend says that this recipe was prepared by prostitutes while waiting on their next customer. The more probable version of the story is the one originating from the 1950s. It involves a restaurant owner called Sandro Petti, who had to come up with a quick dish for late-night customers. They were so hungry they asked him to “facci una puttanata qualsiasi”, which would translate into “make any kind of garbage.” By accident, the meaning of ‘garbage’ and ‘prostitute’ is the same in Italian, so that’s how this spaghetti sauce got its name!

The standard ingredients for this tangy, salty, and spicy spaghetti sauce recipe are tomatoes, anchovies, capers, olives, olive oil, and garlic.

Bolognese Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

This meat-based sauce originating in Bologna is also known as ‘ragù sauce’ in Italy. The original is a slow-cooked sauce made with sautéed onion, carrot, and celery, as well as different types of minced or finely chopped beef, combined with smaller amounts of pork. This mixture is often complemented with red wine, while tomatoes are considered a supplementary ingredient. This tomato sauce variety is traditionally associated to tagliatelle and lasagna, so much so that Italian chefs consider it a blasphemy to combine ragù with spaghetti. The pasta and sauce are always mixed together in the pan to ensure uniform coverage.

Outside Italy, especially in the US, things are quite different – Bolognese sauce refers to a tomato sauce mixed with minced beef or pork, onion, garlic, and the inevitable basil. This rich and comforting sauce is often served on top or as a side dish to spaghetti. Unlike the original ragù, this variety has a much larger amount of sauce and is often topped with grated parmesan.

spaghetti sauce

Alla Norma Spaghetti Sauce

Pasta alla Norma is a dish originating in Catania, Sicily. There are two possible explanations for its name – the first one claims that the sauce was named to honor the opera “Norma”, written by the Sicilian composed Vincenzo Bellini in the 19th century. The other version explains that the dish follows the norms and traditions of Sicilian cuisine, hence the name.

This spaghetti sauce recipe always includes sautéed or fried eggplant, a veggie widely used in Sicilian dishes, combined with tomatoes, ricotta cheese, and basil.

Vodka Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

This orange-colored spaghetti sauce is an Italian-American invention originating from the 1970s. It is made with tomato sauce, heavy cream, vodka, and typical Italian herbs. The addition of vodka emphasizes the tomato flavors, but it also acts as a stabilizer for the sauce, which is the purpose of all alcoholic beverages used in cooking.

In case you are wondering whether this spaghetti sauce is safe for your kids, the answer is affirmative since most of the alcohol will evaporate during cooking.

Homemade Tomato Base for Spaghetti Sauce

As you might already be aware, the team behind MyGreatRecipes prefers the concept of fresh homemade dishes to store-bought ones. We believe that foods made from scratch not only taste better, but they are also healthier. That is why we recommend that you prepare a batch of your own homemade tomato sauce and store it in your pantry or freezer.

It is true that homemade tomato sauce requires some time and effort, but think that you’ll have a nutritious base for your spaghetti sauce recipes anytime, even in winter.

And, if you are not a big fan of canning and want to avoid all the fuss connected to sterilizing the jars and water baths, don’t fret – homemade tomato sauce can be frozen in plastic zip-lock bags!

Tomatoes. In general, any tomato type is good for your sauce. Go for cheaper varieties, preferably bought in bulk from a farm. It doesn’t hurt if the tomatoes are a bit overripe too since they will be blended anyway. For more info on selecting the best tomatoes for your recipes, read my blog post on tomato soup.

Acidifier. The other obligatory ingredient is an acidifier – lemon juice or white vinegar are most commonly used. Acidity is necessary for safe canning and preservation. Other seasonings are optional – you can add onion, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, sugar, and herbs.

Blending. If you want a few chunks left in your sauce, give the tomatoes a few quick pulses in a blender or food processor. If you want larger chunks, dice the tomatoes using a knife or let them break down naturally during cooking. If you want the sauce completely smooth, pulse for a minute or so without pausing, before or after cooking.

Cooking. Tomatoes need to be cooked for at least half an hour in order to obtain a thick sauce, but make sure not to overcook. Monitor your sauce and taste from time to time. Remove when it has reached the desired flavor and consistency (it should take no more than 90 minutes).

spaghetti sauce

Spaghetti Sauce with Canned Tomatoes

If you don’t feel like spending a whole afternoon preparing homemade tomato sauce or don’t have fresh tomatoes for a quick spaghetti sauce fix, you can always opt for canned ones. Canned tomatoes come in many shapes and sizes: whole, diced, crushed, pureed, plain, spiced…This can be overwhelming.

After testing all possible options, we have decided upon whole peeled tomatoes. They are the most convenient option because they can be easily diced, crushed, or pureed, using your hands, a knife, or a blender respectively, or just let them break down naturally during cooking. Another upside of this canned variety is that it absorbs the least of the chemicals added to the can in order to prevent the tomatoes from falling apart, which means they are the healthiest alternative as well.

Choose a plain, unseasoned canned variety. Your spaghetti sauce will taste much better if you add the seasonings yourself.

The Best Spaghetti for Your Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti sauce doesn’t make sense without spaghetti, of course. And since not all spaghetti is created equal, let’s go through varieties and cooking tips to make them outstanding both in taste and nutritive value!

How to Choose the Best Spaghetti

Making informed food choices is crucial for a healthy diet. So, think twice before grabbing the usual pack of white (semolina) processed spaghetti. This type of pasta undergoes a bleaching process that involves chlorine dioxide which removes most of the vitamins and minerals.

Try something different instead. The following types of spaghetti will be more beneficial for you in terms of nutrition, without affecting the taste of the dish whatsoever.

  • Whole wheat spaghetti made of 100% whole grain is unbleached, which means that it keeps all the vitamins and minerals. In addition, it contains more protein and dietary fiber than the regular variety.
  • Spelt spaghetti is an ideal alternative for those allergic to wheat.
  • Quinoa spaghetti is gluten-free and very rich in protein, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.
  • Rice spaghetti might look and taste slightly unusual to a newbie consumer, but it has three important advantages: it is wheat-free, gluten-free, and cholesterol-free.

Tips and Tricks for Perfectly Cooked Spaghetti

How many times have you ended up with overcooked or undercooked pasta? Has it ever happened that you discover whole portions of spaghetti sticking together after it is too late? No worries, it happens even to the best of us. Here is what you need to know.

  • Cook the spaghetti in a very large pan. If the pan is small and overcrowded, the spaghetti will stick together.
  • Wait for the water to come to a rolling boil before adding the pasta.
  • Be generous with salt so that your pasta is well flavored.
  • Do not add any oil. Oil doesn’t prevent the spaghetti from sticking.
  • The spaghetti should be ‘al dente’, which means that is should not be cooked through but rather have a little bite. The cooking is finished after adding the spaghetti sauce. Another alternative is to serve the pasta with hot sauce on top and let it absorb the juices for a minute before diving in!
  • Save some of the pasta water when draining the spaghetti. You can use it if the pasta looks too dry after you’ve added the spaghetti sauce.

spaghetti sauce

Homemade spaghetti

Homemade spaghetti requires a set of advanced cooking skills, patience, energy and time. It is a process that involves kneading, cutting, rolling, and drying… Even the bravest of us wouldn’t dare to take up the challenge. However, that’s not what we have in mind when we say ‘homemade spaghetti’.

Spaghetti squash and zoodles are two very popular pasta substitutes, especially in the vegan community. Low in fat & calories and packed with nutrients, these spaghetti is ready in no time.

To make spaghetti squash, cut a large squash in half and remove the seeds using a paring knife. Drizzle with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven until tender, for about 40 minutes.

To make zoodles, wash a few zucchini in cold water just before cooking, peel them and cut them using a regular or julienne peeler, mandolin slicer, or a spiralizer. Sauté or bake the zoodles for a few minutes, but be careful – if you overcook them, they will be too mushy.

Other Spaghetti Sauces

Spaghetti covered in tomato sauce is delicious enough to be eaten every day without getting bored. However, Italians have invented so many delicious spaghetti sauce recipes, it would be a shame not to give them a try.

Here are a three very popular suggestions you can try:

Carbonara is made with cream, eggs, Parmesan and diced bacon. Some carbonara recipes also call for green peas, usually added before the sauce is poured over the hot pasta.

Alfredo contains heavy cream, butter, grated Parmesan and ground black pepper.

Pesto is a green sauce made with fresh basil, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, and olive oil.

DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!
All You Ever Wanted to Know About No Bake Cheesecakes

All You Ever Wanted to Know About No Bake Cheesecakes

Can anyone resist the incredibly creamy, unbelievably delicious perfection that is the cheesecake? We don’t think so! Cheesecakes have been America’s favorite for years now, and there is hardly a restaurant out there that doesn’t include this decadently scrumptious dessert on their menu. We’ve decided to honor the years of deliciousness cheesecakes have given us by revealing everything there is to know about them: from cheesecake history to simple cheesecake recipe ideas. Enjoy!

The beauty of cheesecakes lies in the fact that they consist of more than one layer. It all starts with a base to which then the “cheese” layer is added and everything is finished off with a nice topping of choice. Anything from whipped cream, fruit sauces and fruits and nuts can be given the task of bringing everything together. Depending on whether you like a crunchy or a soft bite, the base may consist of a pastry or sponge cake, or crushed graham crackers and cookies. By analogy, the first type of cheesecake will require baking, whereas, with the latter, the easy cheesecake variant, you will only need the help of your freezer 🙂 (You will find, though, cheesecake recipes that include graham crackers and require baking but who cares about baking when there are no bake cheesecake recipes 🙂

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Cheesecake History

Although the very first cheesecake recipe is hard to pin down, one thing we love doing (as you probably know by now) is tracing back the steps of a recipe’s history. Cheesecake recipes date all the way back to ancient Greek times, but as soon as the Romans conquered Greece, the secret for the recipe fell into their hands along with everything else. This event resulted in eggs being added to the original simple cheesecake recipe (flour, wheat, honey, and cheese).

An interesting thing we came to discover is that small cheesecakes were served at the very first Olympic Games held in 776 B.C. on the Isle of Delos. However, athletes were not the only ones to enjoy a nice cheesecake bite, a dessert called libum (a form very similar to cheesecake in ingredients and preparation) was even worthy of Gods, served by the Romans as an offering at temples. The plural form “libuma”, made its way in De Re Rustica, a work by Marcus Porcius Cato, a politician who lived in the years 234-149 B.C.

It was as late as the 18th century that the dessert started to look like something we would call a cheesecake today. And it was all thanks to the fact that eggs started being used as yeast substitutes for leavening breads and cakes in Europe. And as it always is, Europeans who immigrated to America brought the new cheesecake recipes along.

We will finish this section with the classic New York Cheesecake, a recipe that dates from the 1900s, and one which was probably discovered by Arnold Reuben. If the name rings a bell, then you must have read the story of how another American classic, the Reuben sandwich came to be in the 7 Famous American Recipes and How They Came to Be, if not be sure to read it, that is if you love discovering where recipes came from 🙂

no bake cheesecake

No Bake Cheesecake Recipe

As much as we love the baked versions, no bake cheesecake recipes are becoming more and more popular these days. This is because the fast pace of living has forced people to start looking for a quick fix-up recipe that is equally delicious as the longer-to-prepare version. Well, with no bake cheesecakes it seems like the student has become the master, because not only are the no bake cheesecake recipes easier to prepare, but they are also way tastier! Here is everything you need to know for the preparation of the perfect no bake cheesecake recipe:

The Base for No Bake Cheesecake

As we have already said, cheesecakes are so delicious precisely because of the layered form they come in. And although it is called cheesecake for a reason, the base is equally important, especially with the no bake cheesecake recipe.

The ingredients you will need to prepare the perfect no bake cheesecake base include crackers/cookies (or if you are in the UK biscuits :), unsalted butter, ground cinnamon, and sugar. For this particular recipe, you will need: 20 sheets of graham crackers, 11 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter, and 2 tablespoons of sugar. And while you can use any sugar brand and butter, here’s a word or two on the two most commonly used crunchy treats in the UK and the US respectively.

Digestive biscuits- Although we find the name of these biscuits a little bit misfortunate, they are the go-to ingredient if you want a crunchy, semi-sweet base to which you can add the cheese layer. These are the best-selling biscuits in the UK since they are the regular companion to the 5-o’clock tea. Made from wheat flour, wholemeal, sugar, malt extract, sodium bicarbonate, and vegetable oil, these biscuits are tasty and healthy. (Well, as healthy as biscuits can be 🙂

Graham Crackers- Essentially, these crackers are very similar to the first in terms of ingredients, but what’s worth knowing is how they came to be. They were inspired by Sylvester Graham, who believed that eating home-made whole grain bread is one of the best ways of paying respect to God. The graham flour, graham bread, and the graham crackers were all created for the Grahamites, proponents of vegetarianism and Sylvester Graham’s followers. A very interesting story indeed, but the main point is: graham crackers are an inevitable part of many pie and cake crusts, the no bake cheesecake recipe included.

The preparation of the simple no bake cheesecake base includes placing the crackers into a large re-sealable plastic bag and crushing them with a rolling pin until very fine crumbs form. Then you should place the crumbs into a medium-large bowl, add the sugar, followed by melted butter and stir everything until well combined. Lastly, press the crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan, spreading it 2 inches up the side. Press flat and let the crust chill in the freezer for 10 minutes at least.

no bake cheesecake

The Cheese Layer for No Bake Cheesecake

The cheese layer is the protagonist in this story:) The thickest layer, and the one which gives the cheesecake its irresistible creaminess for that matter, consists of eggs, sugar, and the inevitable: cheese. The cheese varieties that can make their way into a cheesecake recipe can vary according to taste and to national renditions.

Cream Cheese

This mild-tasting, soft cheese variety originating in England is a cheese type that Americans love, and why wouldn’t they? Mixing cow’s milk and cream renders a heavenly creamy result every time and this is precisely the reason why it is being used in cakes, cookies and frostings. The American version comes with a lower fat content (33% milk fat) than those elsewhere, all the more reason to use it in your favorite simple cheesecake recipe!

Ricotta

In Italy cheesecake is usually made with the very Italian- ricotta cheese 🙂 In fact, the name of this cheese comes from the Italian word for “recooked”. It is a cheese made from whey, left over from the production of cow’s, goat’s, or sheep’s cheese. The creamy white color and the slightly sweet taste are the reason why Italians swear by this cheese; soft and easily whipped ricotta cheese can easily replace the cream cheese in your cheesecake recipe. (While talking about the Italian cheese types, mascarpone can also be used).

Quark

This fresh unaged cheese is made by warming soured milk. It is a soft, white, and acid-set cheese typically used in Dutch, German and Polish versions of cheesecakes. It is a cheese which is very similar to the French fromage blanc, and Indian chhena.

To prepare the best cheese layer, go ahead and beat two 8-ounce packages of soft cream cheese until light and fluffy (set your electric mixer at medium-high speed), then gradually add a 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk (around a cup and ¼). Beat until well blended, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary, and add a 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Continue beating until you get a smooth, super-creamy batter.

Pour the batter into the crust and smooth with a rubber spatula. Cover everything with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for around 3 hours.

The Topping

The phrase “cherry on top” means something, right? The topping will turn your simple cheesecake recipe into a superb one, and the best part is: you can always experiment! Add fresh fruit (strawberries, raspberries or blueberries), caramel, chocolate or fruit sauce, or one of the toppings included in the recipes bellow. It is all up to you and your preferences!

no bake cheesecake

Healthier No Bake Cheesecake Varieties

Making a no bake cheesecake is as easy as it gets, but what if you want to retain the amazing taste in a healthier variety? Is it possible to make a delicious vegan no bake cheesecake? Can this simple dessert be made without sugar? Well, here at MyGreatRecipes, we believe that, when it comes to food, everything is possible.

Sugar-free No Bake Cheesecake

While we are aware that a sweet treat like no bake cheesecake will most certainly call for sugar, we do have a few tricks up our sleeve that will render great sugar-free results as well.

The bad news is, you can’t just omit sugar from the cheesecake without affecting its texture and consistency. Sugar is more than just a sweetener; it also holds the whole cake together. That is the reason why if there is no sugar, the recipe will contain either emulsifiers and stabilizers or sugar substitutes.

Luckily, there is a wide range of sweeteners that will make your no bake cheesecake healthier without compromising its integrity or flavor. You can choose from liquid sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, and agave syrup, or powdery and granulated ones like stevia. Still, attention should be paid to ratios – not all sweeteners can be used in same amounts as sugar.

In general, when using liquid sweeteners, the amount of the sweetener should be reduced by about ¼ cup for every cup of sugar. When using these sweeteners, the other liquid in the recipe (e.g. milk) will need to be reduced by 3 tablespoons for each cup of sweetener. It should also be noted that if you are using brown-colored sweeteners like agave or maple syrup, the color of your no bake cheesecake might be altered.

When it comes to powdery and granulated sweeteners, stevia is the healthiest, 100% natural choice for your no bake cheesecake recipes. Stevia is much sweeter that regular sugar, so about one teaspoon of this sweetener will be just enough to replace a ¼ cup of sugar.

no bake cheesecake

Easy and Simple No Bake Cheesecake Recipes

Substituting is not the only way to make a simple no bake cheesecake healthier. You can also input a considerable amount of nutrients by choosing the right add-ins and toppings.

Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

Believe it or not, chocolate cheesecake can be good for you, despite all the decadence bursting from the recipe title. The key is the type of chocolate you choose. Choosing a healthy type of chocolate means adding dietary fiber, minerals, monounsaturated fats, and antioxidants to your simple, creamy dessert. This nutritional profile makes chocolate very efficient in protecting the organism against various diseases. Consuming chocolate in moderation also enhances cognitive functions, improves mood, and boosts energy levels.

Cocoa is the main source of benefits in chocolate, so the general rule is – the more cocoa in the chocolate, the healthier the dessert. Choose dark chocolate with at least 75% of cocoa. If you worry about getting a bitter-tasting final product, rest assured that the flavor will be diluted in the cooking process and the taste will be perfectly balanced with the use of a sweetener, as well as ingredients like eggs and cream cheese.

Besides the percentage of cocoa, another important factor is the sweetener content in chocolate. No bake cheesecake recipes can “handle” unsweetened chocolate. Although this type of chocolate is crumblier, combining it with butter and cream cheese will provide the necessary smoothness and richness in texture.

If your choice is cocoa powder, make sure that it is unsweetened. Also, pay attention whether the label says “Dutch process” or “natural”. The former, as the name suggests, is processed with alkaline to reduce its acidity. It is not only less healthy than the natural option, but it also reacts differently with the rest of the ingredients in the recipe.

Melt the chocolate, blend it, or add it on top of your chocolate cheesecake. One more upside of using dark chocolate in your no bake cheesecake recipe is that, besides the deep chocolate flavor, it helps the dessert firm up in the fridge.

Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe

Unlike chocolate, which originated from the new continent and was introduced to Europe by the Spaniards in the 17th century, strawberries are native to the Mediterranean region and were brought to America by the explorers around the same period.

Despite the different paths of conquering the world, these two ingredients have more in common than one might think. Strawberries are also loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants and act as brain boosters. In addition, these nutrient-dense red gems have been credited with maintaining eye health, as well as protecting the skin damage, and detoxifying the body.

When choosing strawberries for your simple strawberry cheesecake, make sure they are fragrant, ripe, and deep red in color. Include a cup of chopped strawberries into the cream cheese mixture and place the rest on top!

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe

For an amazing, fresh, and summery no bake cheesecake, opt for lemons. These tangy super-fruits have been appreciated for their medicinal properties since the 11th century when the Crusaders brought them to Europe. Loaded with vitamin C, lemons fight infections, keep skin healthy, improve digestion, and help you lose weight!

When choosing the perfect samples for your lemon cheesecake recipe, go for fully yellow and organic whenever possible. As a general rule, lemons with thinner skin tend to be juicier and are the best for your easy & creamy dessert.

Include these yellow fruits in the form of a zest in the crumb, in the form of a lemon juice in the filling, or to prepare a lemon curd and use it as a topping for your lemon cheesecake.

no bake cheesecake

Oreo Cheesecake Recipe

Here is a fun fact – Oreo cookies are vegan! And even though they do contain sugar, accompanied by a number of additives that can’t really be dubbed healthy, there is one positive aspect to hold on to –  these all-American cookies don’t contain trans-fats that increase the “bad” cholesterol levels and, proportionally, the risk of heart disease.

Grind the Oreos using a food processor and combine them with butter to form the crust for your Oreo cheesecake recipe. Fold some crushed Oreos in the filling, and use the rest as a topping.

Vegan Cheesecake Recipe

The fact that Oreos contain no animal-derived ingredients makes them perfect for preparing easy vegan cheesecake recipes. To make a vegan Oreo cheesecake recipe base, combine ground Oreos with cocoa butter.

Creamy cheese in easy vegan cheesecake recipes is often replaced by cashews. These nuts are soaked in water for at least 4 hours (even better overnight), then drained and pulsed in a food processor. Since both eggs and cream are not an option, vegan cheesecake recipes call for other ingredients that provide binding and consistency such as coconut oil, full-fat non-dairy milk, and cocoa, nut, or peanut butter.

And remember, honey cannot be used in vegan recipes because it is derived from bees.

Easy No Bake Cheesecake Tips and Tricks

There are many reasons why no bake cheesecake is one of the best desserts to make. First, it is very simple to throw together, using everyday ingredients we all have in the fridge or pantry. These ingredients are also easily replaceable. For instance, you can substitute cream with milk, or sugar with honey, which makes the preparation stress-free.

No bake cheesecakes spare you the inconvenience of water baths required when preparing the baked variety. In addition, there is no need to stress about cracks, also a common occurrence in baked cheesecake recipes. And last, but not least, no bake cheesecakes give you the opportunity for various forms of presentation, from individual servings in glasses, jars, cups, or ramekins perfect for parties, to classic springform pan cakes for big, hungry families.

Still, even the best and simplest recipe can result in an imperfect final product. Knowing a few essential tips and tricks will save you from a cheesecake disaster and help you turn an average simple dessert into a fantastic delight.

no bake cheesecake

Firm Crust

In the base of every amazing cheesecake, there is a firm crust. Even though some no bake cheesecake recipes suggest that you pre-bake the crust just a about 10 minutes, we’ll stick to the boundaries and stay away from the oven.

Instead of crushing the graham crackers (or any other cookies or biscuits the recipe requires), ground them in a food processor. Mix them with butter, then pour over the pan bottom and tamp well using a cup or a glass. Place in the fridge for 2 or 3 hours to set well or, for speedier results, in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

To prevent the filling from sticking to the pan, extend the crust about an inch up the sides or brush the pan sides with butter.

The Perfect Batter

The key to a perfectly smooth and glossy batter is to bring the cheese and eggs to a room temperature before you start beating. For this purpose, let them stand on the counter for about half an hour.

If the cheese is too cold, the filling will be far from perfectly smooth. Cold cheese will lead to overbeating, resulting in lumps and bubbles all over the surface.

When it comes to eggs, bringing them to a room temperature will prevent the proteins from breaking and will produce the desired creaminess and fluffiness.

Beat the cream cheese by itself before adding the other ingredients. Make sure it is very well beaten (beat for a minute more than the original recipe requires). The eggs come last, following the sugar. Add them one by one, gently folding into the mix. Finish with any optional add-ins.

Chilling

No bake cheesecakes have to be chilled before serving, preferably overnight. The cake will become firm and will separate from the pan’s edges. It should be very easy to remove it by sliding a knife or spatula around the edge. After that, just loosen the springform pan and garnish the cake with the toppings of choice.

Freezing

No bake cheesecakes can be kept in the freezer for up to a year! Bear in mind that the filling can be easily damaged when wrapping the cake, so place it in the refrigerator to firm up first, then wrap and freeze.

A dessert recipe was never this easy to prepare, so go ahead and give one of these no bake cheesecake recepies a try. No bake, no mess, no stress!

DISCOVER GREAT RECIPES, TIPS & IDEAS!

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!