How to Get Instant Nutrition Facts for Any Recipe

NutritionFacts

Some of the most common questions I get about my recipes are in reference to the nutrition information. “How many calories does this soup have?” or, “how many grams of fat are in these cookies?”

Up until now, my answer has always been something like, “I dunno…” because this is a much more complicated question than it seems. While there are countless websites and mobile apps designed to help you find calorie information for different ingredients, that’s not too helpful for entire recipes. Finding the grams of fat in one serving of my Sesame Rice Bowl, for example, is no trivial matter… First, you’d have to look up the fat in brown rice. And then sun-dried tomatoes. And then a few slices of cucumber. Each of these ingredients would then need to be written down, divided by weird fractions for each serving, and then added together. The end result (assuming the math was correct) would still be a rough estimate and you would have to start at the beginning for calories, carbs, sodium, and more until your calculator catches fire and you throw your hands up in frustration.

Calculating nutrition facts by hand is an absolute nightmare.

Thankfully, dear readers, there’s a better way. I was so excited to recently discover a free resource that allows you to create a nutrition label for any recipe you find online, and I thought it could be useful to give you a quick overview of how it works. The tool is located at caloriecount.about.com and it’s incredibly simple to use: to make a complete nutrition label, all you have to do is paste a list of ingredients into a text box, click a button, and it’ll churn out all the details in seconds – complete with a per-serving breakdown. Here’s a quick tutorial of how this tool can be used… Read More »

How to Make Naturally-Flavored Homemade Sports Drinks

Homemade Sports Drinks

The other day I was going for an afternoon run and forgot to notice that it was 90º until I was three miles away from home and suddenly found myself totally dehydrated with no water sources in sight. It was on the dizzying walk back home (I survived, by the way) that I envisioned these all-natural homemade sports drinks…

Sports drinks are great in the sense that they provide water + sodium + carbs (which are all depleted during exercise). The problem is that 1) the carbs come from high fructose corn syrup, 2) they have too much of this bad sugar, and 3) there are tons of weird chemical ingredients and colorings. Hmm.

Let’s solve those problems, shall we? Each of these four homemade sports drink ideas follow a similar pattern: they start with about 3 cups of water, followed by 2+ tablespoons of maple syrup to give you some quick calories to sustain the workout, and then 1/4 teaspoon of salt to replace the sodium lost during sweating. Finally, each is flavored differently with various real-food ingredients to create delicious combos. Feel free to use this water + salt + maple syrup template as a base to experiment with your own flavor ideas as well. Read More »

Vegan BLT Sandwich with Maple Tempeh Bacon

Vegan BLT

Do I really even need to say anything else? Crispy (tempeh) bacon with cashew ranch dressing and mashed avocado and other magicalness? Maybe we can finally silence those haters who leave the, “this needs bacon!” comments when I post pictures of vegan food on social media… :)

I’m telling you – if you’ve never had tempeh bacon, your life is woefully incomplete. This stuff is incredible, and crispy, and delicious. Plus, you’ll be so surprised at how easy it is to make: all we do is take thinly sliced tempeh (a super-healthy protein made from whole soybeans), marinate it in a special maple/soy sauce, and then bake for 15 minutes until crunchy. Done. Add that onto some yummy whole wheat bread with cashew ranch, avocado, and (of course) lettuce and tomato. Oh, your coworkers are going to be so jealous tomorrow at lunch. Read More »

Creamy Tofu Tortilla Soup!

Tortilla Soup

When I was a kid, my mom’s chicken tortilla soup was the best thing ever. Flu? Bike accidents? Bad days? There was nothing that this soup couldn’t handle. In that spirit, the recipe we have today builds on mom’s classic flavors with a few twists of my own, like (don’t laugh) replacing the chicken with tofu. Tofu makes a super-delicious meat replacement IF you prepare it correctly, which we’re definitely doing here.

And when I say this soup is creamy, I mean 3x the creamy. First, we’re adding non-dairy milk into the broth to give it a little extra smoothness, then we’re adding cornmeal right into the soup to give it some extra weight and a delicious tortilla flavor, and finally we’ll top it with some cashew sour cream that you probably have leftover from the 7-Layer Dip of last week.

Be careful though, this recipe requires a LOT of preparation, I mean, emotional preparation. You might be able to throw the soup together in an hour, but it could take days to fully prepare yourself for the comforting deliciousness you’re about to experience. Things this good are not for the faint of heart. Read More »

Healthy Orange Hazelnut White Chocolate Muffins

Orange Muffins

What we’re doing here is illegal on SO many levels. Not only do these muffins break some important laws of baking, it’s generally accepted that anything this delicious (and healthy) must be illegal in some way…

These muffins start out innocent enough with a simple base of whole wheat flour infused with orange and hazelnut, but they soon take a few wild turns. Instead of adding lots of sugar, they’re sweetened mostly with pureed dates. And (stay with me) the only fat we’re using is from cacao butter – you know, the part of the cocoa bean that is used to make white chocolate.

Cacao butter might be one of my all-time favorite ingredients both for its taste and versatility. I mean, the fact that it has the flavors, aromas, and mouthfeel of chocolate is good enough. But it is also an incredibly interesting fat that is solid at room temperature, making it ideal for many vegan baking applications.

So these incredible muffins don’t have any white chocolate, per se, but they taste like white chocolate because of the cacao butter, which we’re using in a very particular way… If you simply melted this stuff down and added it into the batter, it would cause problems. The butter is rock hard at room temperature and the muffins would turn out very hard and rubbery once they cooled. But what we’re doing is chopping it into tiny chunks that melt in the oven just as the batter is rising, thus bathing these orange hazelnut muffins with the melt-in-your mouth flavors of white chocolate from the inside out. And lest you think these are really unhealthy, the total fat content is lower than if we used typical oil, while the sugar is kept to a minimum by using dates. Win-win-win. Read More »

Sunflower Pesto Tabbouleh with Radishes

Sunflower Tabbouleh

Do you want to hear something sad? In over a year of creating recipes for this website, I have never made anything with radishes. Seriously, what’s wrong with me? In addition to adding a burst of crunchiness to this dish, radishes are a superhero of the root vegetable world with a ton of health benefits and I promise I’ll start using them more often.

Another thing I love about this version of the classic Middle Eastern dish is that we’re taking the parsley, a cornerstone of tabbouleh, to a whole new dimension by remixing it into a deliciously healthy parsley and sunflower seed pesto that is off the charts. Tabbouleh is traditionally made with bulgar (and that’s what I used here), but all the cool kids are making tabboulehs with quinoa these days and I’m sure that would be fantastic as well. Read More »

The World’s Best 7-Layer Dip

7 Layer Dip

I must be exaggerating, right? The world’s BEST 7-layer dip? I know I say this about once a week and you probably don’t even pay attention to me anymore, but this is my new favorite meal. If you only try one of my recipes, make it this one. The cashew cream we’re creating is better than any sour cream you’ve ever had. And the spiced refried beans and guacamole and the nutritional yeast and, oh! It’s so good.

The fact that this is a healthy, vegan, unprocessed, and nutritionally-balanced meal makes it even more exciting. And did I mention that you can whip it up in less than 2 minutes per layer with no special skills? Potlucks and football Sundays will never be the same again… Read More »

No-Bake Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Protein Bars

Peanut Butter Protein Bars

We all know it’s impossible for vegans to get enough protein, so why don’t we just skip this recipe? Clearly, these super-delicious homemade, all-natural, unprocessed, vegan energy bars with 12 grams of protein must be an illusion, right?

Kidding aside, of course a plant-based diet offers an abundance of protein from natural food; it’s never something you need to think about. However, supplementing protein can be nice if you’re someone who is very active, such as an athlete, or if you simply need a nutrient-dense snack to hold you over between meals. In those cases, adding a protein shake or protein bar can be a great option.

How to Make Vegan Protein Powder

There are ultra-expensive protein powders available in stores, such as the Vega brand, but the markup is absurd — some charge upwards of $2.50 per serving. There’s no reason to pay that much, the protein itself is super cheap and I was able to put my own blend together at a fraction of the price. My blend is 50% pea protein powder (I use this NOW Foods Version) and 50% brown rice protein powder (I use this Nutribiotics version). Together they form a “complete” protein that provides every essential amino acid in a way that is very bioavailable and easy to digest, which is a big problem with whey and soy protein powders. The cost is about $40 total and you get 1,125 grams of protein. Vega One shakes, by comparison, have 330 grams of protein for $55.

I have been making shakes and energy bars with this pea & rice blend over the last few months and the results have definitely been noticeable. I run somewhere between 25-50 miles per week and muscle recovery is a constant issue, but a few tablespoons of protein powder in a smoothie dramatically cuts down recovery time. I’ve also gained about 8 pounds of muscle this year with no changes other than adding a little extra protein powder after strength training workouts.

But enough about all that, we have a recipe to make! These protein bars taste just like peanut butter cookie dough, but they’re made from only unprocessed sources and packed with protein from nuts, oats, and the aforementioned blend. These are my favorite protein bars and I’m sure you’ll love them. Read More »