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Hungry Girl Today: 11.21.12

Help, Hungry Girl!

Peanut butter is my absolute FAVORITE food, but the problem is that I eat WAY too much of it. I really only like the regular, full-fat kind. Got any tips to help me avoid diet destruction?

Aflutter About Peanut Butter

Hi Aflutter,

You're not alone -- there's a reason peanut butter was one of HG's first Edible Idols! So I completely understand your obsession. And luckily, I've got MANY tips and tricks to help you enjoy your favorite food, guilt-free...

Since you like regular PB, get the natural kind, with the oil on top. Then when you open the jar, pour off the oil instead of stirring it in. For each tablespoon of oil you ditch from a standard 16-oz. jar, you'll save about 10 calories and 1g fat per 2-tbsp. serving. You can easily get rid of 2 - 3 tbsp. oil, so it's definitely worth it. And you'll still get plenty of that classic flavor and enough of the healthy fats.

It really doesn't take more than a tablespoon of peanut butter to bring tons of flavor to whatever you're eating. Stir it into a bowl of oatmeal, or spread it onto apple slices. Top some banana coins with PB and then freeze them, or smear a little onto a chocolate-flavored VitaTop. By pairing your PB with high-fiber foods like these, you're likely to be satisfied faster than if you had it on plain white bread.

Always measure out your peanut butter -- it's easy to over-scoop! Can't be trusted to portion it out yourself? Opt for single-serving PB packets, like the ones by Justin's -- each 2-tbsp. pack of PB has 170 - 200 calories and 13 - 17g fat.

I know you prefer the taste of regular, full-fat peanut butter, but reduced-fat peanut butter and powdered peanut butter taste really amazing in recipes, even if you don't like them straight from a spoon. Mix a little reduced-fat PB with light soymilk for a dessert topping, like we did with these brownies. And here's a chocolate cake topped with a frosting made from Cool Whip Free and reduced-fat PB. When it comes to shakes, powdered peanut butter works great.

If all else fails, there are lots of PB-flavored treats that are a safe way to get your peanut butter fix. I love Fiber One Strawberry PB&J Chewy Bars, the peanut butter granola bars from Nature Valley, Multi Grain Cheerios Peanut Butter cereal, and Barbara's Bakery Peanut Butter Puffins cereal.

Heads up: Definitely check any older PB products to make sure they weren't part of the recent recall.

For more PB goodness, click here. Hope I've given you enough options to keep your PB-lovin' taste buds happy!

Hi Hungry Girl,

I always have a lot of leftovers after Thanksgiving. I don't want them to go to waste... Got any guilt-free recipe ideas for me?

Thankful for HG

Hi Thankful,

I was just thinking about how thankful I am for all of the awesome Hungry Girl fans... so thank YOU! And to show my appreciation, I'm sharing tons of recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers -- including an EXCLUSIVE recipe from HUNGRY GIRL TO THE MAX!

(Cran)Berry Good - Here's a seasonal slaw that calls for cranberry sauce and dried cranberries -- it's AMAZING with some chopped leftover turkey breast tossed in. If you're feeling a bit more adventurous, use your extra cranberry sauce to make this stuffed cabbage recipe. It's a guilt-free version of a dish my mom used to make, and it'll rock your socks off (unless you're wearing footie pajamas, of course!).

Got Gravy? - This Hungry Chick Shepherd's Pie will satisfy the whole family, and you can even use chopped cooked turkey breast in place of the chicken (you'll save yourself a step by doing that!). And these gravy-smothered cheese fries are another family favorite. (Shhh... Don't tell the kids the fries are made from turnips in addition to potatoes.) Delicious!

A Little Bit of Everything - This super-stuffed wrap brings together all the fixins from the Thanksgiving table in perfect harmony, and this decadent grilled cheese sandwich is both ridiculously easy to make and total comfort food.

Turkey Swaparama - Skinless chicken breast and skinless turkey breast are very similar in the stats department, and they work great interchangeably in recipes. Try turkey in this quesadilla, this pasta salad, and this classic scoopy salad!

And now, a b-fast recipe straight from the pages of HUNGRY GIRL TO THE MAX! Much better than cold leftovers eaten out of Tupperware!

Thanksgiving in an Egg Mug
Entire recipe: 267 calories, 1.5g fat, 603mg sodium, 24g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 9.5g sugars, 37g protein -- PointsPlus