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Hungry Girl Today: 03.18.11

Here's everything you need to know about making your own coffee-shop-style drinks and more...

Do-It-Yourself Drinks!

Say "so long!" to high-calorie, high-priced coffee beverages...

The Coffee - When making iced or blended coffee-based drinks, we like to use instant coffee granules. You can get all fancy and use Starbucks VIA; you can use the affordable-and-dependable kind from Folgers. Or you can brew up your coffee of choice -- just make it super-strong (with less water) if you plan to add ice afterward!

The Milk or Creamer - If you're looking to put together a latte-like beverage with very few calories, you need Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze. Light vanilla soymilk is good too, but UVAB is super-creamy and WAY low in calories! Sugar-free or fat-free powdered creamers, like the kinds by Coffee-mate, are also essential. When it comes to these creamers, the MVP (most valuable powder) at the HG HQ is sugar-free French vanilla. We keep the fat-free plain variety around as well, along with a fancy flavor or two!

The Sweet Stuff - Splenda has been our go-to no-calorie sweetener for ages, but Truvia is our recent love and stevia pick. Torani Sugar Free Syrups are perfect when you want fun flavor + sweetness, without a bunch of calories! These syrups come in a SLEW of great flavors -- order them online or find them at places like Cost Plus World Market and BevMo!. If you're lucky, you can locate a couple of flavors in the coffee aisle of your supermarket... Just make sure they're the zero-calorie, sugar-free kinds!

The Add-Ins - If you want to add some chocolate flavor to your brew, a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder will do it for minimal calories -- not to mention that a container of the basic stuff is cheap and will last a LONG time. If you want chocolatey stuff that IS sweetened, grab some 25-calorie hot cocoa mix packets -- Swiss Miss Diet is a staple. Finally, we have Fat Free Reddi-wip. Don't look at us like a squirt of whipped topping won't make your coffee drink more delicious. You know it will, and it'll get the job done for 5 calories per 2-tbsp. serving!

Early-Morning Market Finds!

Swap those treats you'd get with your cup o' joe for something you can grab at the grocery store!

Want a Muffin? Vitalicious VitaTops!
PER SERVING (1 VitaTop): 90 - 100 calories, 1 - 2.5g fat, 105 - 150mg sodium, 20 - 27g carbs, 5 - 10g fiber, 0 - 12g sugars, 3 - 5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 2 - 3*

If sweet baked goods are your downfall, you need to get better acquainted with these 100-calorie (or less) treats. You can find limited varieties at select markets, and you can order from the whole lineup online. Keep an eye on your HG emails for free-shipping specials and other deals... There's one coming your way NEXT week!

Hungry for a Hot B-fast Sandwich? Jimmy Dean D-Lights!
PER SERVING (1 sandwich): 230 - 290 calories, 4.5 - 12g fat, 760 - 860mg sodium, 29 - 31g carbs, 2 - 4g fiber, 3 - 5g sugars, 15 - 18g protein --
PointsPlus® value 6 - 8*

Jimmy D. has some AMAZING options in this low-calorie lineup. Tasty items on an English muffin, a bagel, a croissant... WOW! And you don't have to wait in a line to get one.

Craving Bagels? Thomas' Bagel Thins!
PER SERVING (1 Bagel Thin): 110 calories, 1g fat, 160 - 210mg sodium, 24 - 25g carbs, 4 - 5g fiber, 3 - 6g sugars, 4 - 6g protein -- PointsPlus® value 3*

Here's the thing -- we LOVE bagels as much as the next person. But we don't need mega-normous dough rings with SLABS of cream cheese. These guys are juuuust right...

Only Have Eyes for Oatmeal? Amy's Organic Hot Cereal Steel-Cut Oats Bowl!
PER SERVING (1 container): 220 calories, 3.5g fat, 190mg sodium, 42g carbs, 5g fiber, 15g sugars, 6g protein -- PointsPlus® value 6*

We actually like the oatmeal at Starbucks a LOT, but if you want to skip the trip and don't have time to make your oats from scratch, this freezer-aisle find will do. There are also Multi-Grain and Cream of Rice options. Toss some fruit on top and go to town! (Not really... Stay where you are.)

The Big Coffee-Shop-Swap Recipe Roundup!

Half drinks, half food, all delicious...

Cherry Bomb Iced Mocha - A fruity, chocolate-inflected coffee drink. We never get tired of it!

Cara-mellow Coffee Freeze - McDonald's for a coffee drink? WHY? We've got what you need...

Toffee Mocha Hott