Reach For This Green Smoothie When Dessert Cravings Hit ¡ª?It’s That Good

A dessert craving hits| but you’re trying so incredibly hard to cut back on refined carbs and sugar. And while the occasional cupcake or ice cream cone is good for the soul| it’s probably better for the body to not make dessert a three-times-a-day habit. For those times a sweet treat is needed| bust out your blender for this green smoothie. Don’t be decieved by its uber-healthy hue ¡ª this simple green smoothie tastes just like a gooey caramel apple| but is packed with good-for-you nutrients like iron| potassium| and fiber.

Caramel Apple Smoothie

From Simple Green Smoothies

Caramel Apple Smoothie

Healthy Caramel Apple Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups fresh spinach2 cups almond milk| unsweetened1 Granny Smith apple| cored1 banana4 medjool dates| pitted1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nutritionist-Recommended Foods to Suppress Your Appetite Naturally

There may be no magic pill for weight loss, but dietician Julie Upton, MS, RD, of Appetite For Health, stays on top of the science behind taming your appetite naturally. Here, she deciphers recent research and shares six foods that will keep your appetite in check.

Feel like you need some help with hunger management? You’re not alone. Most of my clients who struggle with weight loss or maintenance also struggle with hunger. Of course, it’s no coincidence ¡ª it’s hard to walk around feeling famished, particularly when you’re faced with the temptation of high-calorie treats everywhere you turn. No wonder willpower wilts!

Related: Eat These 6 Everyday Foods to Burn More Calories

The good news is that several new studies have identified compounds in certain foods that trigger the release of hormones in the stomach that help you feel full and neurotransmitters in the brain that suppress appetite and reduce cravings. Eating more of these foods can help keep your hunger in check, even as you cut calories to peel off pounds. It’s a weight-loss win-win!

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry

Apples

An apple a day may keep extra pounds away, according to research that shows this fruit contains filling soluble fiber as well as ursolic acid, a natural compound that has been found to boost fat burning and which may promote lean muscle mass. In one study, researchers from the University of Iowa note that animals given ursolic acid supplements increased their muscle mass and energy expenditure (or calorie burn). And a study that was done on people and published in the journal Appetite shows that women who added three small apples (total calorie cost: 200) to their diet per day lost a little more than two pounds in 10 weeks ¡ª more than dieters who did not include the fruit in their diet.

Related: Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Bake: Guaranteed to Keep You Full Until Lunch

A medium apple has 95 calories and 6 grams of fiber; a small apple has 75 calories and 3.5 grams of fiber. Be sure to eat the whole apple, as the ursolic acid as well as beneficial antioxidants are concentrated in the skin.

Beans (. . . and peas, lentils, and chickpeas)

Beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas are a triple threat against hunger because they contain a lot of fiber; are excellent sources of slow-to-digest protein; and have a low glycemic index to keep blood sugar and carbohydrate cravings in check. A recent meta-analysis published in the journal Obesity indicates that people who ate about one cup (5.5 ounces) of legumes felt 31 percent fuller than those who didn’t eat these fiber-filled foods. Another study, published recently in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, reports that overweight people who ate a bean-rich diet lost nearly 10 pounds in 16 weeks while simultaneously improving their blood cholesterol levels.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jae Payne

Eggs

Here’s some egg-citing news: eating a breakfast that’s rich in protein (20 to 30 grams) suppresses ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates your appetite, while elevating peptide YY and GLP-1, two hormones that enhance satiety, according to research. One study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that when subjects ate eggs for breakfast (versus equal-calorie breakfasts of either cereal or croissants), they consumed up to 438 fewer calories over the entire day. In fact, studies have found that an egg breakfast may help control hunger for a full 24 hours. (To keep blood cholesterol in check, you can enjoy one egg yolk per day and use egg whites for the additional protein they provide.)

Related: How Eggs Help With Weight Loss

Greek Yogurt

Need a reason to go Greek? A landmark study, published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, reports that among more than 8,500 European adults, those who enjoyed a serving or more of European-style yogurt every day (either low fat or full fat, but with less added sugars compared to US varieties) were 20 percent less likely to become overweight and 38 percent less likely to become obese during the six-year follow-up compared to those who ate less than two servings of yogurt each week. How could thick and creamy Greek yogurt whittle your middle? The researchers believe that the protein, calcium, and probiotics may all play a role.

Plain Greek yogurt is your best bet because it’s strained to lose the watery whey and some of the natural sugars. It has roughly twice the protein as traditional yogurt (a cup of plain Greek yogurt packs 24 grams of protein, as much as four large eggs) and half the sugar (with only about eight to nine grams of natural dairy sugars and no added sugar).

Mangos

Mangos are not only delicious, but they’re also diet-friendly. A study in The Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences suggests that mango-eaters weighed less and had better diets than those who missed out on mangoes. This stone fruit contains many bioactive ingredients, including mangiferin, a compound that has been shown in preliminary research to help reduce body fat and control blood sugar levels. Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition reports that mango added to the diets of rodents prevented weight gain and improved blood sugar and insulin levels when the animals were fed a high-fat diet to promote weight gain.

A cup of sliced mango has just 100 calories and 3 grams of filling fiber. Say, mmm, mango!

Pistachios (. . . and other nuts)

Go ahead, get a little nutty! Despite being high in calories (160 to 170 calories per ounce), nuts can be very slimming. Studies show that nut lovers are thinner than those who avoid or rarely eat nuts. Why? Nuts keep you fuller longer; their calories aren’t fully absorbed by the body, and nuts provide a modest boost to your metabolism, according to research.

In-shell pistachios provide a unique advantage for waistline-watchers. A preliminary study from Eastern Illinois University suggests that people who snacked on in-shell pistachios consumed 41 percent fewer calories than those who ate shelled pistachios. The authors say the empty shells might be a helpful visual cue about how much has been eaten, thereby encouraging you to eat less.

Nutritionist-Recommended Foods to Suppress Your Appetite Naturally

There may be no magic pill for weight loss| but dietician Julie Upton| MS| RD| of Appetite For Health| stays on top of the science behind taming your appetite naturally. Here| she deciphers recent research and shares six foods that will keep your appetite in check.

Feel like you need some help with hunger management? You’re not alone. Most of my clients who struggle with weight loss or maintenance also struggle with hunger. Of course| it’s no coincidence ¡ª it’s hard to walk around feeling famished| particularly when you’re faced with the temptation of high-calorie treats everywhere you turn. No wonder willpower wilts!

Related: Eat These 6 Everyday Foods to Burn More Calories

The good news is that several new studies have identified compounds in certain foods that trigger the release of hormones in the stomach that help you feel full and neurotransmitters in the brain that suppress appetite and reduce cravings. Eating more of these foods can help keep your hunger in check| even as you cut calories to peel off pounds. It’s a weight-loss win-win!

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry

Apples

An apple a day may keep extra pounds away| according to research that shows this fruit contains filling soluble fiber as well as ursolic acid| a natural compound that has been found to boost fat burning and which may promote lean muscle mass. In one study| researchers from the University of Iowa note that animals given ursolic acid supplements increased their muscle mass and energy expenditure (or calorie burn). And a study that was done on people and published in the journal Appetite shows that women who added three small apples (total calorie cost: 200) to their diet per day lost a little more than two pounds in 10 weeks more than dieters who did not include the fruit in their diet.

Related: Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Bake: Guaranteed to Keep You Full Until Lunch

A medium apple has 95 calories and 6 grams of fiber; a small apple has 75 calories and 3.5 grams of fiber. Be sure to eat the whole apple| as the ursolic acid as well as beneficial antioxidants are concentrated in the skin.

Beans (. . . and peas| lentils| and chickpeas)

Beans| peas| lentils| and chickpeas are a triple threat against hunger because they contain a lot of fiber; are excellent sources of slow-to-digest protein; and have a low glycemic index to keep blood sugar and carbohydrate cravings in check. A recent meta-analysis published in the journal Obesity indicates that people who ate about one cup (5.5 ounces) of legumes felt 31 percent fuller than those who didn’t eat these fiber-filled foods. Another study| published recently in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics| reports that overweight people who ate a bean-rich diet lost nearly 10 pounds in 16 weeks while simultaneously improving their blood cholesterol levels.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jae Payne

Eggs

Here’s some egg-citing news: eating a breakfast that’s rich in protein (20 to 30 grams) suppresses ghrelin| a hormone that stimulates your appetite| while elevating peptide YY and GLP-1| two hormones that enhance satiety| according to research. One study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that when subjects ate eggs for breakfast (versus equal-calorie breakfasts of either cereal or croissants)| they consumed up to 438 fewer calories over the entire day. In fact| studies have found that an egg breakfast may help control hunger for a full 24 hours. (To keep blood cholesterol in check| you can enjoy one egg yolk per day and use egg whites for the additional protein they provide.)

Related: How Eggs Help With Weight Loss

Greek Yogurt

Need a reason to go Greek? A landmark study| published in Nutrition| Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases| reports that among more than 8|500 European adults| those who enjoyed a serving or more of European-style yogurt every day (either low fat or full fat| but with less added sugars compared to US varieties) were 20 percent less likely to become overweight and 38 percent less likely to become obese during the six-year follow-up compared to those who ate less than two servings of yogurt each week. How could thick and creamy Greek yogurt whittle your middle? The researchers believe that the protein| calcium| and probiotics may all play a role.

Plain Greek yogurt is your best bet because it’s strained to lose the watery whey and some of the natural sugars. It has roughly twice the protein as traditional yogurt (a cup of plain Greek yogurt packs 24 grams of protein| as much as four large eggs) and half the sugar (with only about eight to nine grams of natural dairy sugars and no added sugar).

Mangos

Mangos are not only delicious| but they’re also diet-friendly. A study in The Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences suggests that mango-eaters weighed less and had better diets than those who missed out on mangoes. This stone fruit contains many bioactive ingredients| including mangiferin| a compound that has been shown in preliminary research to help reduce body fat and control blood sugar levels. Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition reports that mango added to the diets of rodents prevented weight gain and improved blood sugar and insulin levels when the animals were fed a high-fat diet to promote weight gain.

A cup of sliced mango has just 100 calories and 3 grams of filling fiber. Say| mmm| mango!

Pistachios (. . . and other nuts)

Go ahead| get a little nutty! Despite being high in calories (160 to 170 calories per ounce)| nuts can be very slimming. Studies show that nut lovers are thinner than those who avoid or rarely eat nuts. Why? Nuts keep you fuller longer; their calories aren’t fully absorbed by the body| and nuts provide a modest boost to your metabolism| according to research.

In-shell pistachios provide a unique advantage for waistline-watchers. A preliminary study from Eastern Illinois University suggests that people who snacked on in-shell pistachios consumed 41 percent fewer calories than those who ate shelled pistachios. The authors say the empty shells might be a helpful visual cue about how much has been eaten| thereby encouraging you to eat less.

Why You Should Never Buy the Shiny Apples From the Grocery Store

One of these is not like the other.

Those shiny apples gleaming from the produce section look perfect and delicious, making it easy to load up a bag to add to your cart of other healthy foods. Usually less than a dollar a pound? Even better! The problem? That glaring shine on those vibrant, bruise-free apples is everything but natural, and you’re not doing your health any favors by consuming it. What you’re ingesting is far from a fresh-picked apple from the tree.

Food producers use shellac on apples to restore the fruit’s natural wax that can be lost when washed. Shellac gives them a shiny coating, prevents bruising, and prolongs shelf life. In case you’re unfamiliar with shellac, here’s a crash course: it’s a resin secreted by a bug called the lac bug. According to a study about apple coatings by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, “Commercial apple coatings are either shellac or carnauba-shellac based. These materials are associated with nonfood uses such as floor and car waxes.” Carnauba wax is not derived from a bug but from a Brazilian palm ¡ª less gross-sounding but still unsettling, since it’s most commonly used to shine cars and shoes.

Yum.

Beyond the shellac glaze, apples rank as some of the most chemically laden fruits in the US. For the fifth year in a row, apples topped the Environmental Working Group’s list of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, a chemical widely used on nonorganic apples in the US called diphenylamine (DPA) was banned in Europe in 2012 because “its makers could not show it did not pose a risk to human health.”

RELATED: How an Apple a Day Keeps Weight at Bay

Of course, the price of organic apples (and other produce) often serves as the deciding factor when you’re browsing the store. It’s not always possible, but getting organic and in-season produce from a local farmers market ensures the highest quality, and you can always ask the grower what’s used on it.

A study published this year by Environmental Health Perspectives found that people who eat organic produce are less likely to have organophosphate pesticides in their bodies, the “most commonly used insecticides in the United States for more than three decades.” The US Environmental Protection Agency classifies these pesticides as “highly or moderately toxic.” Buying good-quality groceries on a budget can be tough, but when it comes to food, spending the extra dollars is worth it.

RELATED: You’ll Love This Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Smoothie

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts

Why You Should Never Buy the Shiny Apples From the Grocery Store

One of these is not like the other.

Those shiny apples gleaming from the produce section look perfect and delicious| making it easy to load up a bag to add to your cart of other healthy foods. Usually less than a dollar a pound? Even better! The problem? That glaring shine on those vibrant| bruise-free apples is everything but natural| and you’re not doing your health any favors by consuming it. What you’re ingesting is far from a fresh-picked apple from the tree.

Food producers use shellac on apples to restore the fruit’s natural wax that can be lost when washed. Shellac gives them a shiny coating| prevents bruising| and prolongs shelf life. In case you’re unfamiliar with shellac| here’s a crash course: it’s a resin secreted by a bug called the lac bug. According to a study about apple coatings by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service| “Commercial apple coatings are either shellac or carnauba-shellac based. These materials are associated with nonfood uses such as floor and car waxes.” Carnauba wax is not derived from a bug but from a Brazilian palm ¡ª less gross-sounding but still unsettling| since it’s most commonly used to shine cars and shoes.

Yum.

Beyond the shellac glaze| apples rank as some of the most chemically laden fruits in the US. For the fifth year in a row| apples topped the Environmental Working Group’s list of the most pesticide-contaminated fruits and vegetables. Furthermore| a chemical widely used on nonorganic apples in the US called diphenylamine (DPA) was banned in Europe in 2012 because “its makers could not show it did not pose a risk to human health.”

RELATED: How an Apple a Day Keeps Weight at Bay

Of course| the price of organic apples (and other produce) often serves as the deciding factor when you’re browsing the store. It’s not always possible| but getting organic and in-season produce from a local farmers market ensures the highest quality| and you can always ask the grower what’s used on it.

A study published this year by Environmental Health Perspectives found that people who eat organic produce are less likely to have organophosphate pesticides in their bodies| the “most commonly used insecticides in the United States for more than three decades.” The US Environmental Protection Agency classifies these pesticides as “highly or moderately toxic.” Buying good-quality groceries on a budget can be tough| but when it comes to food| spending the extra dollars is worth it.

RELATED: You’ll Love This Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Smoothie

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts

60+ Healthy Recipes That Scream Fall

60+ Healthy Recipes That Scream Fall

Do you find yourself bookmarking every delicious healthy Fall recipe you see? Now you can have them all in one place. Here are 60 recipes celebrating the flavors of Fall. Browse through them all| or click on the links below to get to your faves.

Breakfast

Baked Goods and Desserts

Snacks

Soups

Main Dishes and Sides

| Banana Sweet Potato Pancakes

Roasted sweet potatoes mixed into the batter not only adds a warm| autumnal orange hue to these pancakes| but also increases the fiber and offers a soft moistness you’ll love.

| Apple Pie Overnight Oats

Offering almost 12 grams of protein and more than nine grams of fiber| this overnight oats recipe takes five minutes to throw together before bed.

| Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bake

This breakfast recipe couldn’t be easier to make u2014 you don’t even have to precook the quinoa. Just pour all the ingredients (that you probably already have in your kitchen) in the baking dish| and cook for an hour. Your house will smell like an apple pie factory!

| Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

If you have ever craved a slice of pumpkin pie for breakfast| this pumpkin pie smoothie is a healthy and sweet alternative that’s just as filling as a slice of pie.

| Tofu Scramble With Kale and Sweet Potatoes

This tofu scramble is bursting with an addictive savory-sweet flavor| and since it’s made with tofu| kale| and sweet potatoes| you can feel good reaching for seconds.

| Apple Ring Oatmeal Pancakes

For an adorable twist on the usual pancake recipe| whip up these delicious apple ring pancakes u2014 just 57 per ring.

| Apple Banana Cinnamon Smoothie

With only a handful of ingredients needed| this apple breakfast smoothie from celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak is big on protein| calcium| fiber| and vitamins u2014 the perfect way to start a morning.

| Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Steel-Cut Oats

These slow-cooked oats are not only comforting on a chilly morning| but they also follow the perfect breakfast formula to help you lose weight.

| Carrot Cake Smoothie

Save calories without having to turn on your oven with this smoothie reminiscent of all the warm| spicy flavors of luscious| moist| and creamy carrot cake.

| Pumpkin Pancakes

Pancakes don’t have to be a breakfast-only meal| especially when it’s a stack of these pumpkin pancakes. The maple yogurt topping helps give the dish a sweetness that makes it feel like dessert.

| Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

You might not be able to enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie every night| but this 280-calorie breakfast will help curb those sugary cravings.

| Pumpkin Banana Smoothie

Start your day off with a burst of pumpkin flavor| and whip up this pumpkin banana smoothie that will help keep you satisfied all morning long.

| Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

Biting into one of these pumpkin-spice doughnuts will be sure to bring a smile to your face| not only because they’re incredibly moist with a crunchy-sugar-coated exterior but also because one doughnut is only 150 calories.

| Vegan Apple Coconut Crumble Pie

Slice into a piece of this pie| and you’ll find a crunchy almond| oat| and coconut crust| oozing with juicy| sweet apples and sprinkled with a crumbly oat| coconut| and brown sugar topping.

| Vegan| Grain-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft| chewy| and only 86 calories per serving| these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are vegan and grain-free. Bonus: since they contain no eggs| you can lick the bowl clean!

| Banana Oatmeal Crumb Muffins With Avocado

This sweet treat is packed with tons of healthy ingredients: naturally sweet banana for potassium| fiber-rich flax meal instead of eggs| healthy-fat-filled avocado in place of butter| soy yogurt for some protein| and pea protein powder for even more u2014 5.2 grams apiece.

| Mini Caramel Apples

You only need four ingredients: dates| soy milk| apples| and the topping of your choice. These treats on a stick are actually healthy enough to have for a snack. And at 51 calories a piece| go ahead and have a few.

| Banana Apple Chunk Bread

Made with less sugar than a traditional loaf| this bread is still so naturally sweet from the bananas| apples| and applesauce that it’s perfect for a healthy breakfast (toasted and smothered with crunchy peanut butter u2014 yum!) and delish enough to devour as an after-dinner treat.

| Ginger Spice Molasses Quinoa Cookies

Warm| spicy| slightly crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside u2014 meet your new favorite treat| perfect with a cup of hot cider or ginger tea.

| Paleo Pumpkin Pie Muffins

These Paleo pumpkin pie muffins are not only gluten- and dairy-free| but they’re also light| fluffy| and delicious.

| Sweet Potato Banana Bread

Bake this sweet potato banana protein bread up at the beginning of the week| and you’ll have a quick| delicious breakfast all week long.

| Banana Strawberry Apple Grape Muffins

This is the perfect recipe to warm up your kitchen on a cold| blustery day| and it’s sweetened naturally with fruit instead of sugar.

| Pumpkin Oatmeal Coconut Bars

If supersweet desserts aren’t your thing| look no further than these pumpkin oatmeal coconut bars. Made with whole wheat flour and sweetened with applesauce| they’ll satisfy your craving for something cakey| minus the sugar bomb.

| Raw| Vegan| Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie

This pumpkin pie is raw| vegan| and gluten-free u2014 a win for everyone at the table! With oven space at a premium| you’ll love that you don’t need to turn yours on for this one.

| Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

As a breakfast on the go| these oatmeal dark chocolate chip muffins do not disappoint u2014 they’ll leave you satisfied and full of fiber!

| Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Made with high-fiber avocados and high-protein silken tofu| this spoonable treat will satiate hunger| so you can enjoy a 156-calorie bowl and feel completely satisfied for hours.

| Vegan Caramel

Made with just dates| soy milk| and vanilla| this creamy caramel is healthy enough that you don’t even have to save it for dessert. Serve it up with fruit slices| smear it on crackers for a salty-sweet snack| swirl it into your hot oatmeal or your bowl of yogurt| or add it as a topping on ice cream.

| Apple Pear Oatmeal Crisp

Since it’s vegan| this apple crisp is lower in fat and cholesterol than the traditional dessert| and the pear addition adds a subtle| sweet twist| plus ups the fiber.

| Oatmeal Pumpkin Spice Bread

Stock up on your favorite pumpkin puree| and then make a batch of this oatmeal pumpkin spice bread. The oats increase fiber and also add a chewy texture to the bread| resulting in a much denser loaf.

| Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Protein Bars

If you are craving a sweet treat at the end of the night| these protein-packed chocolate chip pumpkin protein bars will satisfy any craving.

| Pumpkin Apple Muffins

You’ll fall in love with these perfectly spiced muffins after just one bite. And because there isn’t any butter (the recipe calls for avocado instead)| these are also unbelievably light (and not at all dense like you might think).

| Pumpkin-Carrot Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting

These pumpkin-carrot bars are a low-cal alternative to pumpkin pie. Besides| who doesn’t love a little cream cheese frosting?

| Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Enjoy the sweet taste of this pumpkin bread pudding| which happens to be the perfect dairy-free dessert for any upcoming dinner party.

| Apple-Filled Muffins

Instead of chopping apples and mixing them into the batter like traditional apple muffins| there’s actual apple-pie filling bursting inside each of these moist| cinnamony gems.

| Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake

Dig into a decadent dessert like this vegan pumpkin cheesecake.

| Vegan Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins

If all those pumpkin muffins are too hard to resist during the holidays| bake up a batch of these vegan pumpkin quinoa muffins immediately!

| Apple Chips

If you want to dabble in dehydrating without committing to the heavy artillery| try it out in your oven. These dried apple chips are less expensive and healthier than store-bought options.

| Baked Sweet Potato Crisps

If you’re vegan| vegetarian| or looking to cut back on fat| this easy appetizer can still be a crowd-pleaser at your next get-together.

| Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Pie Protein Balls

This recipe offers a healthy dose of protein and fiber| but since these cookie-dough-like balls are rolled in chopped chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds| this snack feels more like a treat.

| Striped Apple Cinnamon Fruit Leather

You only need a jar of unsweetened applesauce| ground cinnamon| a sweet and chewy 18-calorie recipe.

| Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Gutting a pumpkin? Don’t toss the seeds: roast them up for a crunchy snack instead.

| Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

At less than 155 calories per serving (including the creamy and spicy chipotle-pepper dip!) with lots of vitamin A| these crisp and satisfying wedges are perfect to bake up the next time you’re jonesing for some french-fried goodness.

| Apple Butter

Tart| aromatic| and smooth| apple butter has a thick| spreadable consistency that’s unlike the loose texture of applesauce. It’s an obvious condiment for toast with butter on a Fall morning but also works well swirled into oatmeal or used as a filling in cake.

| Carrot Cake Protein Balls

Even without the cream cheese frosting| their warm flavor will satisfy your sweet tooth while filling your belly and offering your body the energy it needs to exercise or get through that late-afternoon meeting.

| Kabocha Squash Fries

Sweet and nutty kabocha squash rings are baked in the oven for just about an hour| resulting in golden-brown| crispy rings that will make boring old french fries feel so passu00e9.

| Squash| Sweet Potato| Carrot| and White Bean Soup

This twist on the always-loved butternut squash soup recipe includes sweet potatoes and carrots for extra fiber and vitamin A| as well as white cannellini beans not only to boost protein but also to add creaminess without a drop of dairy.

| Pumpkin Coconut Bisque

This pumpkin coconut bisque tastes so creamy and rich| it’s hard to believe that it doesn’t contain an ounce of dairy. This is a recipe both vegans and those following the Paleo diet can enjoy!

| Butternut Squash Lentil Soup

For 250 calories per serving| each bowl of this slow-cooker squash and lentil soup also offers an amazing 17 grams of fiber and 18.3 grams of protein!

| Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Add the warming spice mixture of curry to a pot of this butternut squash soup| and your bowl will offer extra metabolism-boosting powers.

| 5-Minute Spaghetti Squash

Use your crock pot to cook a spaghetti squash whole| and them it’s ready to go in your favorite recipe.

| Chickpea Coconut Curry With Sweet Potatoes

Craving a little comfort food that won’t break the calorie bank? This crockpot dinner involves no cheese and no pizza dough| and I promise it’s not deep-fried u2014 but it is warm| savory| and satisfying!

| Butternut Squash and Quinoa Chili

Butternut squash| kidney beans| and quinoa lay the base for this hearty vegetarian recipe that offers more than 20 grams of protein and 60 percent of your daily recommended fiber in one spicy bowl.

| Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito

Roasted sweet potatoes swirling with tender black beans and corn| succulent red peppers| and juicy tomatoes wrapped in a warm whole wheat tortilla make this one delicious and gratifying meal.

| Spaghetti Squash With Tomato Sauce and Roasted Mushrooms

Whether you’re gluten free| vegetarian| or just looking for light (yet fulfilling) fare| this recipe for spaghetti squash with tomato sauce fits the bill.

| Sweet Potato Crust Pizza

The high-protein| vitamin-A-rich crust keeps a nice crunch on the outside and tastes like an extra fluffy mashed potato in the center.

| Curried Pumpkin

Come in from the cold to a bowl of curried pumpkin with raisins. This recipe is hearty| vegan| and also gluten free!

| Roasted Shrimp Over Spaghetti Squash

This play on traditional scampi takes the gluten and pasta out of the equation and offers a tasty Fall vegetable in its place: the spaghetti squash.

| Sweet Potato| Apple| and Cinnamon Pancakes

This Paleo recipe features two seasonal staples: sweet potatoes and fresh apples| which make for a potato pancake that’s rich in vitamin A u2014 an essential nutrient in keeping your immune system working in your favor.

| Baked Pumpkin Ravioli

Enjoy pumpkin for dinner by whipping up a batch of these baked pumpkin ravioli u2014 one serving brings in a whopping 10 grams of protein. Before the idea of homemade pasta scares you off| rest assured this recipe can easily be made with ready-made wonton wraps.

| Cumin-Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Made without any butter or butter substitutes| this savory side dish will please your vegan-loving friends as well as those trying to watch their waistline u2014 it’s only 157 calories per serving.

| Sweet Potato and Carrot Latkes

No need to wait until Hanukkah to eat latkes! This potato pancake recipe doesn’t involve any deep-frying| and it mixes grated carrots with sweet potatoes for a warm and sweet twist.

| Gluten-Free Cheesy Veggie “”Pasta”” Bake

If you can’t have gluten| you can still enjoy this cheesy pasta dish. It’s not made with gluten-free pasta u2014 oh no! It’s made with spaghetti squash and other veggies.

| Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese

If you’re looking to lighten things up the next time you dig into mac and cheese| opt for this twist on tradition that amps up the nutritional value as it cuts back on calories and carbs.

| Cranberry-Pear Wild Rice Stuffing

Made with whole-grain bread instead of the usual white or sourdough| and naturally sweetened with pear| dried cranberries| and freshly pressed apple cider| this stuffing will generate smells in your kitchen that are sure to send your family into autumnal overload.

| Black Rice and Butternut Squash Salad

This delightful dish for the eyes shows us that black rice will enhance any plate with its purplish hue.

| Spicy Sweet Potato Salad

Be prepared: everyone will be asking you for this tasty recipe| so leave a lunch-size portion at home.

| Roasted Butternut Squash

This basic roasted butternut squash recipe is versatile since it can be eaten alone| added to salads or whole grains| or used to make soups.

| Chili-Stuffed Sweet Potato

All you need are five common ingredients to cook up a hearty| satisfying| and delicious meal that’s low in calories but high in nutrition. It offers almost 35 percent of your daily recommended fiber and over 27 grams of protein.

14 Healthy Apple Recipes That You’ll Make All Fall Long

14 Healthy Apple Recipes That You’ll Make All Fall Long

We love apples: the sweet and crunchy snack is full of all sorts of nutritional goodness| and they taste good on their own and in salads| desserts| and savory dishes| too. These healthy recipes celebrate this favorite fruit of the Fall| keeping you full and satisfied all season long!

| Vegan Apple Banana Bread

This moist low-fat vegan banana apple bread is healthy enough for breakfast| but flavorful enough for dessert.

| Apple Pie Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

If you’re already drinking apple cider vinegar because of its many health benefits| you will absolutely love this apple pie drink that uses the elixir| but tastes like a sweet treat.

| Apple Cabbage Salad

This detox apple and cabbage salad helps balance out all the comfort food you’re bound to enjoy this Fall. This fiber-filled meal aids in digestion| and the added cayenne helps to boost your metabolism.

| Cinnamon Apple Chips

Satisfy candy cravings with these light cinnamon apple chips. They’re made from only three ingredients| which include metabolism-boosting cinnamon.

Related: Burn Fat With Spice! Tasty Metabolism-Boosting Recipes

| Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bake

On chilly mornings| you’ll be thankful that you’ve baked up a batch of this apple cinnamon quinoa. It’s full of protein and fiber| and you’ll love the cinnamon-spiced apples| plump raisins| and crunchy almonds in the dish.

| Apple Pear Oatmeal Crisp

This apple pear oatmeal crisp pairs two Fall fruits in a healthy dessert that will have you asking for more.

| Banana Apple Cranberry Muffins

With the abundance of fruit in these apple pie muffins| the need for sugar is pretty low.

| Vegan Apple Crumble Pie

This lightened-up apple crumble pie marries these two traditional desserts in one glorious| warm| and spicy treat.

| Gluten-Free Apple Muffins

Full of good-for-you ingredients like walnuts| yogurt| and chia seeds| these gluten-free apple muffins make a filling snack when cravings hit.

| DIY Apple Fruit Leather

Skip buying sugary fruit roll-ups at the store| and make your own at home. This recipe for apple fruit leather is easy to make and only requires an oven.

| Apple Cranberry Pecan Salad

All the Fall flavors are in this recipe for apple cranberry pecan salad with goat cheese and a vinaigrette. This easy salad proves that fresh cranberries are not just for chutneys and muffins.

| Apple| Peanut Butter| and Pumpkin Seed Stacks

Apple sandwiches with peanut butter and pumpkin seeds make a great afternoon snack. The recipe is full of fiber and protein| which will help you power through your day until it’s time for dinner.

| Baked Apple Dessert

Turn an apple into a comforting| warm dessert by simply placing it in the oven. This baked apple recipe is very loose| which allows you to get creative. Depending on your mood| add nuts and a touch of honey or maple syrup| or some dried cranberries or cherries. A little cinnamon| nutmeg| or brown sugar is also a nice touch.

| Chunky Almond Fruit Spread

All you need is a food processor| three ingredients| and five minutes to make this apple almond spread.

3 Ways Apples Can Help You Lose Weight

An apple a day may or may not keep the doctor away, but it sure can help you see results on the scale. Make these apple-inspired choices throughout your day and see how this fruit can help you slim down.

Breakfast: Low-Calorie Swap

Oatmeal for breakfast is an excellent choice. You can sweeten your bowl of oats with maple syrup (one eighth of a cup is 100 calories) or pour on four times as much unsweetened applesauce instead (half a cup contains 51 calories). Make this switch for a whole week of breakfasts, and you’ll not only save 343 calories, but you’ll also gain 9.1 grams of filling fiber.

Morning or Afternoon Snack: Fill Up on Fiber to Prevent Mindless Snacking

Full of flavor, apples are also great sources of hunger-satiating fiber. Snack on one large apple (with the skin) for 120 calories, and you’ll consume 5.5 grams of fiber. The high water content and amazing amount of fiber will keep you full until your next meal, curbing hunger and preventing the temptation to reach for a high-calorie nibble.

Dessert: Skip the Calorie Bombs

Half a cup of chocolate ice cream contains 250 calories.Two homemade chocolate chip cookies contain 178 calories.Half a Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate Bar contains 300 calories.

Holy calories! After-dinner treats can really add up if you make a habit of indulging every night, so save your calories and enjoy a naturally sweet treat instead. Slice a small apple (80 calories), drizzle it with one tablespoon of honey (64 calories), and sprinkle on cinnamon for a total of 144 calories. Or, remove the core from a raw apple, stuff it with a few chopped walnuts and raisins, drizzle with a touch of maple syrup, pop it in the oven, and enjoy an even more decadent dessert.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

3 Ways Apples Can Help You Lose Weight

An apple a day may or may not keep the doctor away| but it sure can help you see results on the scale. Make these apple-inspired choices throughout your day and see how this fruit can help you slim down.

Breakfast: Low-Calorie Swap

Oatmeal for breakfast is an excellent choice. You can sweeten your bowl of oats with maple syrup (one eighth of a cup is 100 calories) or pour on four times as much unsweetened applesauce instead (half a cup contains 51 calories). Make this switch for a whole week of breakfasts| and you’ll not only save 343 calories| but you’ll also gain 9.1 grams of filling fiber.

Morning or Afternoon Snack: Fill Up on Fiber to Prevent Mindless Snacking

Full of flavor| apples are also great sources of hunger-satiating fiber. Snack on one large apple (with the skin) for 120 calories| and you’ll consume 5.5 grams of fiber. The high water content and amazing amount of fiber will keep you full until your next meal| curbing hunger and preventing the temptation to reach for a high-calorie nibble.

Dessert: Skip the Calorie Bombs

Half a cup of chocolate ice cream contains 250 calories.Two homemade chocolate chip cookies contain 178 calories.Half a Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate Bar contains 300 calories.

Holy calories! After-dinner treats can really add up if you make a habit of indulging every night| so save your calories and enjoy a naturally sweet treat instead. Slice a small apple (80 calories)| drizzle it with one tablespoon of honey (64 calories)| and sprinkle on cinnamon for a total of 144 calories. Or| remove the core from a raw apple| stuff it with a few chopped walnuts and raisins| drizzle with a touch of maple syrup| pop it in the oven| and enjoy an even more decadent dessert.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

The Surprising Reasons to Eat an Apple a Day

It might feel elementary, but there’s something to be said for that apple-a-day habit. Clocking in at just 120 calories per apple, this fruit offers a bunch of healthy benefits that will surprise you.

They can improve your smile: Biting into an apple stimulates the gums, which reduces tooth decay. Of course, it’s still important to scrub your pearly whites twice a day, but if you could use a midday cleaning, an apple is a great stand-in.

They can help you lose weight: Just one large apple offers 5.5 grams of fiber; apples are high in pectin ¡ª a fiber that’s especially filling. If that’s not enough to convince you, female participants from one Florida State University study lost an average of 3.3 pounds (and lowered their cholesterol levels) during a yearlong experiment of eating dried apple every day.

They support a healthy heart: Eating an apple a day to keep the doctor away might be true for people dealing with cholesterol issues. According to one study, folks who chowed down on one apple a day lowered their LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by 40 percent. Looks like that daily-apple habit can seriously reduce your risk for heart disease.

They make you smarter: We’re not joking! According to one animal study, apples boost the brain’s production of acetylcholine, a chemical that transmits messages between nerve cells. Researchers concluded that eating apples or drinking their juice may improve your memory and keep you sharper as you age.

They’re the easiest snack of all time: Is there anything easier than grabbing an apple on your way out the door? I think not! Unlike store-bought chips or crackers full of preservatives, you’ll feel satisfied long after you snack on this piece of fresh fruit that’s a fraction of the calories.

Image Source: Grace Hitchcock