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Fast Food Health

Taco Bell Is Officially One of the Healthiest Fast Food Chains

Photo: Taste of Home

In 2019, anything is possible, including eating healthy at your favorite fast food chain. Leading the way as one of the healthiest fast food restaurants is Taco Bell.

While you might not normally equate fast food with wholesome eating, there are actually options you can get from the drive thru that are on the healthier side. With menu items like the Crunchwrap Supreme and $1 Nacho Fries (we tried ’em), it may come as a surprise that Taco Bell offers up some of the healthiest options on the fast food scene. Dig a little deeper into their menu and you’ll find that there are some better-for-you options if you don’t have time to make a homemade meal. (Have time on your hands? Try these fiesta-worthy recipes for tacos, fajitas and more.)

Over the past several years, Taco Bell has positioned themselves as one of the best fast food chains for healthy food, making strides to offer customizable options across their menu for their health-conscience customers.

According to the nutrition page on their website, these are some of the quality improvements they’ve made over the past few years to their menu:

  • Reduced sodium across the menu by 15 percent since 2008, with a push to have a total 25 percent reduction soon
  • Removed artificial flavors and colors and replaced them with natural alternatives
  • Source 100% cage-free eggs for our breakfast menu. Will introduce 100% cage-free egg ingredients into our core menu in 2018.
  • Serve chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine in U.S. restaurants

While these options and improvements are great, and definitely a step toward healthier eating, it’s largely up to the customer to customize smart choices, like ordering vegetarian or vegan options, or calorie-cutting with their ‘Fresco’ option to remove cheese, rice, sour cream, and add in pico de gallo.

“We just really encourage people to customize to however it fits their lifestyle,” Missy Schaaphok, Taco Bell’s in-house nutritionist and dietitian told Business Insider.

Live Más! Want to make your favorites at home? Try these fast food copycat recipes.

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Article by Jacqueline Weiss for Taste of Home. View the original article here.
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#foodbeast Brand FOODBEAST Grocery Products Recipes SPONSORED Sweets

Pistachio Stuffed Pancakes Are The PERFECT Holiday Breakfast

If you want to treat a crowd for a holiday breakfast or brunch, one of the most intriguing ways to do it is with pistachio stuffed pancakes. The revelation of a hidden layer within the breakfast staple is sure to turn heads amongst those eating and will leave them with something to talk about.

There’s several different fillings that can go inside, and this pistachio filling joins together sweet and savory in a unique combination.

pistachio stuffed pancakes

Made with Wonderful Pistachios No Shells, Roasted & Salted, the nuttiness and salted flavor of the pistachio blends with the sweet maple syrup for a combination of aromas and tastes that will dance around on the taste buds. The pancake batter further accentuates that relationship with the addition of coconut sugar and coconut oil, which intermingle with the pistachios to tie the filling and the pancakes together.

pistachio stuffed pancakes

Hidden at first on the inside, these Pistachio Stuffed Pancakes will add a layer of excitement and fun to your breakfast and brunch get-togethers while creating an orchestra of flavor at the table.

If you want to make these for your next gathering, peep the full recipe below:

Ingredients

For pistachio filling
8oz Wonderful Pistachios No Shells, Roasted & Salted
3 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp water

For the pancakes
1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ Tbsp coconut sugar
¾ tsp salt
1 egg
1 ¾ cup milk, any kind
3 Tbsp melted coconut oil

For the toppings
Wonderful Pistachios No Shells, Roasted & Salted, chopped
Fresh blueberries
Maple syrup
1 dollop Greek yogurt

pistachio stuffed pancakes

Directions

Step 1
Place Wonderful Pistachios No Shells in a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles a buttery smooth texture. Next, add maple syrup and blend on the highest speed until fully incorporated. Add water and blend on high again until fully incorporated. Make sure to occasionally stop and push down the sides of food processor to make sure all of the contents are mixed together.

Step 2
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop 1 ½ tablespoons of pistachio mix and roll into a ball. Place balls on the parchment paper. Repeat this process until you’ve used all the mix. Place the sheet pan with the balls into the freezer for 1 hour.

Step 3
Place all ingredients for pancakes in a large bowl and mix until fully incorporated. Remove your pistachio balls from the freezer and give them a light dusting of flour so they don’t stick. When the balls have become somewhat malleable, press them down using your hand or the backside of a pan to flatten into a small, flat circle.

Step 4
Heat a large frying pan on medium low heat. Grease the pan with cooking spray. Spoon two 1-oz pours of batter onto the pan. Once you see bubbles start to appear from the pancakes, place one of the pistachio circles into the center of one of the pancakes. The other pancake should remain plain.

Step 5
When the bottoms are golden brown, flip the pancake without the pistachio disc directly onto the pancake with the pistachio disc. Cook until batter in the middle is fully done. Repeat these steps until you have used all your pistachio circles.

Step 6
Top pistachio stuffed pancakes with a dollop of Greek yogurt, chopped pistachios, fresh blueberries, and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Photos by Pete Pham


Created in partnership with Wonderful Pistachios

Categories
Cravings Drinks Fast Food Hit-Or-Miss Products What's New

Hummus Shakes Are A Thing Now And Are Looking To Be The Milkshake Alternative

So we’ve all had hummus, it’s the best alternative to a cheese dip for any party platter, or a great healthy late-night snack. For a while now it’s been coming up in popularity, we’ve seen hummus on burgers and even in burritos, but it wasn’t until I heard about a new shake coming from the east coast made up of hummus that my attention was really piqued.

The Hummus & Pita Co. is debuting an original and justifiably questionable new product called the Hummus Shake starting May 13.

Right off the bat it sounds like you’re gonna be sucking down a tub of Sabra. But never judge a book by it’s chickpea cover.

While the shake might look like a Frappuccino on the outside, inside is an entirely different beast.

Rather than being made up of fats and sugars like a regular shake, this one is a combination of basically the same ingredients as hummus, with added natural flavors.

Chickpeas, tahini, frozen bananas, dates, almond milk, a little pure vanilla, and cinnamon are all that this healthy little dessert consists of.

And no, it won’t taste like Sabra either. There’s a variety of flavors, just as with any other shake, like butter pecan, chocolate, pistachio, and strawberry.

The Hummus Shake is an all-natural vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free treat that boasts many health benefits, including high amounts of protein and fiber.

Though I haven’t had the pleasure of satisfying my curiosity and trying the shake myself, food bloggers have had a great time detailing their reviews of the shake.

One in particular, David White, said, “the simple ingredients and the health factor of each individual ingredient create a two-fold feeling of comfort and ease in knowing that what you’re ingesting is good-tasting with benefits that are also good for you.” You can read White’s complete review here.

Seeing as this is primarily in NYC, an apt comparison could be to the prominent Shake Shack with their frozen custards.

A normal serving of frozen custard at the Shack is going to clock in at around 600 calories, with a heap of sugar and fat indicative of a traditional milkshake.

While the sugar levels are too close to call, the Hummus Shake is blessed with all natural sugars.

If any of those details are still not enough to convince you to try the new hummus shake, here’s a bit of incentive: From now until 5/20 you can buy one shake and get another free at any Hummus & Pita Co.

So go out and try the shake, let us know what you think, and maybe it’ll end up being the new worthy shake of the summer.

Categories
#foodbeast Grocery Health

5 ‘Healthy’ Foods That Might Actually Ruin Your New Year’s Resolution Diet

Most of you would be lying if you say you’ve never had eating “healthy” foods as your New Year’s resolution. If you’re anything like me, that goal is probably already down the toilet.

Despite my daily trips to Whole Foods and Nekter, I wasn’t really eating healthy. But it’s not because I ate ice cream for the last 15 days (which I did). No, that’s not why I failed my 2018 resolution already. It’s because those “healthy” foods I was consuming were actually ruining my diet. All those times I chugged a cup of green juice and snacked on trail mixes? Well, no wonder I can’t diet properly to save a life.

Below is a top 5 “healthy” foods that may actually be ruining your diet.

1. Gluten-Free Food


Yes, some GF snacks indeed are healthier alternatives. But if it’s processed or packaged, even if it’s “gluten-free,” it can be significantly higher in calories and lower in carbs. So if I’m not gluten sensitive, why add the extra calories without the satisfaction of biting into a cupcake?

2. Green Juice


One word. Sugar.

Cold-pressed juices are loaded with veggies and fruits. But a popular bottled green juice has 260 calories, 60 grams of carbs and 52 grams of sugar! That’s more sugar than five Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts!

Alternative? Drink a green smoothie. Unlike the juice alternative, smoothies retain the fibers from the veggies.

3. Fat-Free Anything

Health Tip: If you eat the center, it’s 100% fat free. 😉 🍩#WorldHealthDay

A post shared by Downtown Donuts (@dntwndonutsla) on

“Oh, it’s fat-free! It must be healthy.”

No. No. NO! Get that fat-free chocolate pudding out of your cart! Research shows fat-free/low-fat foods have up to 10% more calories and 40% more sugar. By removing fat, food loses its flavor. To compensate for the lack of flavor, companies add additional flavoring and sugar.

4. Trail Mix

Don’t say you never grabbed a handful of trail mix to pick out all the chocolate. Ok, maybe I tried to be a little bit “healthier” and ate the peanut butter chips too. Hey! Peanuts have protein, right? Well, it turns out that you are better off munching on some unsalted nuts. If you’re having a chocolate craving, opt for some dark chocolate.

5. Acai Bowls

You’re tempted. Those acai bowls are so pretty and totally Instagram ready. And you know what? It’s healthy for you, right? Nope.

You’re getting an acai bowl because acai is a superfood. You want that glowing skin and super immunity! Unfortunately, most acai bowls are high in calories and sugary. Why? Some bowls are made with frozen yogurt instead of a puree. It is also packed on with various toppings like fruit, granola, and honey. While acai itself is low in sugar and packed with antioxidants, think of all the extra calories the toppings and hefty portions add!

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#foodbeast Brand Features FOODBEAST Packaged Food Products SPONSORED

Cup Noodles Doubles Down On Veggies In Their Latest Flavor

If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter studying for a tough exam, or worked into the early morning hours on an important project for work, you already know that Cup Noodles is the perfect companion to satisfy your hunger when time is of the essence.   

After unveiling a new recipe last year with 15% percent less sodium, no added MSG, no artificial flavors, and the same great taste, Cup Noodles continues to innovate their products in tastier ways fans love. This year, they’ve yet again revolutionized the concept of noodles in a cup in a very veggie way by adding a full serving of veggies**.

Cup Noodles has yet again revolutionized the concept of noodles in a cup, and is changing the game in a very veggie way.

Now, your favorite Cup Noodles flavors, like chicken, beef and spicy chicken, are packed with vegetables like broccoli, green beans, edamame, carrots, corn, and more. With this introduction, Cup Noodles Very Veggie is the first noodle cup on the market with a full-serving of vegetables.

Adding more vegetables to this affordable meal is something Leslie Mohr, Vice President of Marketing of Nissin Foods USA, said has been a long time goal for the company.

“We believe in listening to our consumers, and following our recipe change last year, the number one consumer request was more vegetables — so that’s what we’ve done,” Mohr said.

“We’ve taken our beloved Cup Noodles product and kept the noodle amount the same – we’ve just added more vegetables! We all know we need to be eating more vegetables, and we’re thrilled to be rolling out a product that allows consumers to do that easily.”


Cup Noodle fans can now find Cup Noodle Very Veggie at Albertson’s/Safeway, 7-Eleven, Food Lion, Shoprite, BJ’s and 99 Cents Only stores. So be sure to stock up, and slurp away!

***One package of Cup Noodles Very Veggie contains ¼ cup dehydrated vegetables, and when prepared in accordance with package directions provides 1 serving of vegetables (1/2 cup equivalent).

Photos by Peter Pham


Created in partnership with Original Cup Noodles

Categories
Hacks Hit-Or-Miss Video

How These Food Storage Tips Can Save You Money

Avocados, man.

One blink and their Kermit-green hue has turned into a muddy brown. We can thank Ethylene for this one, a natural gas that fruits and vegetables emit which speeds up the ripening process. This leads surrounding produce to rot at a rapid pace.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Americans waste up to 40% of their food, meaning a whopping $165 billion is thrown away each year.  This is partially caused by failing to appropriately store produce in the kitchen. Remember those bananas you bought yesterday? Well they’re probably as good as banana bread by now.

Not to be the kitchen cop, but these three storage tricks will help you put a halt to wasted fruits and veggies. Watch this video to learn how you can avoid turning your kitchen into a landfill.

Categories
Fast Food News Restaurants

Chick-fil-A Gets Healthy, Tests Quinoa Bowls

Chick-Fil-A-Grain-Bowl

Popular chicken fast-casual chain Chick-fil-A is testing a series of non-poultry items at select locations around the United States. Known best for their chicken sandwiches, the company is testing a few different dishes where healthier ingreidents are highlighted.

There’s still chicken, just not as much.

According to Eater, the items include a Harvest Kale & Grain Bowl and an Egg White Grill Grain Bowl.

Chick-Fil-A-Grain-Bowl-02

The Harvest Kale Grain Bowl features chopped broccolini and kale with dried cherries and is tossed in a maple vinaigrette. The Egg White Grill Grain Bowl features scrambled egg whites, grilled chicken, and a blend of cheddar cheeses.

Both bowls have a Harvest Grain blend of red quinoa, white quinoa, and farrow.

Currently, locations in San Francisco, Sacramento, Tampa, and Huntsville, Ala., are the only spots that carry the new menu items. Eater says that if tests go well, the grain bowls should see a national release sometime in 2018. They cost about $8.

Photos: Eater | Chick-fil-A

Categories
Health Restaurants Video

Exploring The Taste: Healthy Junk Serves Up The Best Vegan Comfort Food

Working at Foodbeast for so long, it’s hard to pass up the occasional juicy cheeseburger. However, occasional juicy cheeseburgers tend to add up and next thing you know you’re on your way to morbid obesity. We can’t all have the metabolism of a competitive eater.

In our new series Exploring the Taste, we take a look at this spot in downtown Anaheim called Healthy Junk. The restaurant takes popular comfort foods, like burgers, and recreates them using healthier ingredients. This includes vegan and gluten-free options.

Check out the first episode of Exploring the Taste as we visit Healthy Junk and speak to the owner Lynda Santos.