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Just in Time for Spring: Light, Fit and Delicious Recipes

Breakfast Smoothies

Breakfast Smoothies

½ cup vanilla-flavored yogurt
½ cup apple juice or orange juice
1 ripe banana, sliced in half
2½ to 5 cups of strawberries

Blend ingredients until smooth in blender. Pour into two glasses. A teaspoon of wheat germ or bran may be added for extra fiber.

Nutritional Information
Makes 2 servings
Per serving:
197 calories
5 grams of protein
2 grams fat
44 grams carbohydrate
3 milligrams cholesterol

Source: University of Missouri Extension

Banana-Orange Bran Muffins with Pecans

Canola oil or spray
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium)
½ cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 large egg
¼ cup canola oil
1½ cups bran flake cereal
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup diced dried cherries or apricots
¼ cup chopped toasted pecans*

*Note: To toast the pecans, put them in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking or stirring frequently until lightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately transfer the nuts to a small dish and cool.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a 12-cup muffin pan with canola oil spray or line with paper liners and set it aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, orange juice concentrate, egg and canola oil. Stir in the bran flakes. Let stand for about 15 minutes to soften the cereal. Gently fold in the dried fruit and pecans. Divide the batter among the muffin tins. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center of 1 muffin comes out clean. Cool in the pan or a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the pan and continue to cool on the rack.

Nutritional Information:
Makes 12 servings
Per serving:
176 calories
7 gram total fat (less than 1 gram saturated fat)
27 grams carbohydrates
3 grams protein
3 grams dietary fiber
175 milligrams sodium

Source: Mississippi State Department of Health

Asparagus, Sweet Onion and Mint Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

4 cups fresh asparagus, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
¾ cup sweet onions such as Walla Walla or Vidalia, chopped
2  tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
2  teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard
¼ teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
 Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)*
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Steam the asparagus for about 5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the asparagus, kidney beans, onion and mint. Place the oil, vinegar, mustard, onion and garlic powders, salt and pepper and parsley in an airtight container, cover tightly and shake until combined. Pour dressing over asparagus mixture and gently toss to coat. Divide salad among salad plates then serve.

Nutritional Information:
Makes 4 servings:
Information per serving:
116 calories
25 calories from fat
0 grams trans fat
0 grams saturated fat
0 grams cholesterol
135 milligrams sodium
19 grams carbohydrates
7 grams dietary fiber
7 grams protein

Source: King Country Public Health Services, King County Washington

Red Velvet Insanity Cupcakes

Total time: 45 minutes, plus cooling time for the cupcakes

6 tablespoons Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme
1/4 cup fat-free cream cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon granulated Splenda No Calorie Sweetener
6 tablespoons Cool Whip Free, thawed

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the marshmallow creme, cream cheese and sweetener and mix well. Fold in the Cool Whip and refrigerate, covered, until the cupcakes are ready to be frosted. This makes about two-thirds cup frosting.

1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
2 (25-calorie) packets diet hot cocoa mix
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup cold water
1 cup moist-style devil's food cake mix (1/4 of an 18.25-ounce box)
1 cup moist-style yellow cake mix (1/4 of an 18.25-ounce box)
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon granulated Splenda No Calorie Sweetener
1/8 teaspoon salt
Nonstick cooking spray, optional

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a tall glass, place half of the mini chocolate chips and the contents of both cocoa packets. Add the boiling water and stir until the chips and cocoa mix have dissolved. Add the cold water and mix well.
Pour the cocoa mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the cake mixes, egg substitute, remaining chocolate chips, food coloring, sweetener and salt. Whisk until smooth and blended, about 2 minutes. The batter will be thin, but your cupcakes will puff up once baked. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking cups or spray with nonstick spray.
Evenly distribute the batter among the cups. Bake in the oven until puffed and shiny and the cakes spring back lightly when touched, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely and evenly distribute the frosting over the tops.

Nutritional Information:
Yield: 12 cupcakes
1 cupcake:
149 calories
4 grams protein
25 grams carbohydrates
1 gram fiber
4 grams fat
2 grams saturated fat
3 mg. cholesterol
262 mg. sodium
Source: Adapted from "Hungry Girl: 200 Recipes Under 200 Calories" by Lisa Lillien.