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Frosting Tips & Tricks, Plus Organic Qs Answered!
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Frosting Tips & Tricks, Plus Organic Qs Answered!

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10.10.12
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Hey Lisa,

You've given me a lot of good tips and recipes for making easy guilt-free cakes... with club soda, canned pumpkin, and MORE! But what should I use as icing or frosting?

Frosted Kate

Hi Frosty,

Great question! I'm always sharing two-ingredient cake ideas, but you don't have to leave those cakes naked to keep the stats impressive. Check out my best icing/frosting tips, plus a mini recipe for my favorite frosting...

Pudding Power - Let's face it -- real frosting is NOT guilt-free, but it tastes fantastic. That's why I like to mix sugar-free pudding with some REAL frosting -- you get a decadent, gooey topping that won't make a huge dent in your cake's nutritionals. All you need is one sugar-free pudding snack with 60 calories or less (like the kinds by Jell-O) and 1/3 cup frosting to top an entire cake. This works great for both vanilla and chocolate toppings. Need some inspiration? Check out my Chocolate-on-Chocolate Frosted Cake and this fudgy frosted brownie recipe!

The Powdered Sugar Special - When it comes to guilt-free icing for cinnamon buns, Danishes, and other pastries, I turn to powdered sugar. It's super sweet, it dissolves well in liquid, and a little goes a long way. Just mix 2 tbsp. powdered sugar with 1 tsp. water and a drop of vanilla extract. Easy peasy! That'll top a bunch of cinnamon buns, a multi-serving Danish, or about a dozen pastries. Click here for a cran-apple Danish recipe featuring this icing!

HG's Crazy-Amazing Cream-Cheese Frosting
1/8th of recipe (1 heaping tbsp.): 20 calories, <0.5g fat, 71mg sodium, 3g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g sugars, 1.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 1*

This creamy frosting tastes good on almost everything... Sweet stuff, anyway!

Ingredients:
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
2 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1/2 cup Cool Whip Free (thawed)

Directions:
In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix cream cheese with Splenda. Add Cool Whip, and stir well. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Spread and enjoy!

MAKES 8 SERVINGS

By the way, that 2 tbsp. granulated Splenda is equal to about 3 no-calorie sweetener packets. You can also make this with 2 tbsp. granulated sugar in place of Splenda -- then each serving will have 30 calories, 5.5g carbs, and 4g sugars (PointsPlus® value 1*).

Want even more frosted fun? This fluffy vanilla cake has a thick 'n indulgent topping, these three cupcake recipes each have completely different frostings (but they're equally delicious!), and this decadent iced Danish RULES.

There you have it... So many frosting (and frosted!) options -- so few calories!

Hi Hungry Girl,

I've heard so much conflicting info about organic food... Is it really better than nonorganic stuff? Will it help me lose weight?

Organic Oblivious

Hi Organic Oblivious,

I get these types of questions a lot, and although I'm not a nutritionist or registered dietitian, I definitely have some info to share. You're right about all the conflicting information out there. The bottom line is that there isn't ONE be-all and end-all answer to your first question. A recent study out of Stanford University suggests that organic foods typically aren't any more nutritious than conventional varieties. The nonorganic fruits and veggies researchers evaluated did show more pesticide residue than the organic ones, but the levels were under the allowed limits. Certain types of produce, like celery, apples, strawberries, and peaches, are more likely than others to retain pesticides. So if that's a concern for you, it might be best to buy organic versions of those items. If you're concerned about the effects of growth hormones, then you may want to opt for organic meat.

As for your second question, eating organic food alone won't necessarily help you lose weight. Weight loss is mainly based on calories in versus calories out, so it really comes down to the nutrition facts for the individual food item, not whether it has the word "organic" splashed across the packaging. Don't fool yourself into thinking a giant organic brownie is a better choice for weight loss than a nonorganic, 100-calorie, portion-controlled treat! However there are plenty of organic foods that are good for dieters, in addition to the obvious organic fruits and veggies. Some HG-approved organic picks? Amy's Organic Chunky Tomato Bisque, Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt and Greek Frozen Yogurt, Nature's Path Organic Instant Oatmeal, and Applegate Organic turkey and chicken hot dogs. Click here for tons of other organic finds from past HG emails!

If you want to read more about this subject and other diet and health claims, definitely check out the book Coffee Is Good for You: From Vitamin C and Organic Foods to Low-Carb and Detox Diets, The Truth About Diet and Nutrition Claims. My pal Robert J. Davis, PhD, wrote it -- he really gets to the bottom of these hot-button topics, like whether high-fructose corn syrup is worse for you than sugar and if a low-carb diet helps you lose weight. Really GREAT info!

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CHEW ON THIS:

Today, October 10th, is National Angel Food Cake Day. Celebrate with this angelic Cloud Cake Sundae!

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*The PointsPlus® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.

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