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Longtime HG fans may know ALL about these, but for the newbies out there, here are some of the products we CANNOT live without. Check out HG's TOP ATE Ingredient Swaps...   
1. Instead of Fatty Ground Beef...

Ground-Beef-Style Soy Crumbles

PER SERVING (1/2 - 2/3 cup): 60 - 80 calories, 0.5 - 2.5g fat, 230 - 270mg sodium, 5 - 6g carbs, 3g fiber, 0 - <1g sugars, 10 - 13g protein -- PointsPlus® value 2*

We can't imagine life without this stuff. Not only is it SO much lower in calories and fat than real ground beef, but it's also WAY easier to work with in small quantities. Does your snack or meal need a protein boost? Add in a scoop of soy crumbles. Nuke for a few, add a little seasoning (we like a dash of taco seasoning), and they're ready to go -- no browning, crumbling, and draining an entire package required. We love both MorningStar Farms' and Boca's versions equally, so grab whichever you find. And click here for a slew of HG recipes utilizing the wonder crumbles. 
2. Instead of Carb-Heavy, Calorie-Packed Pasta...

House Foods Tofu Shirataki Noodle Substitute

PER SERVING (4 oz.): 10 calories, 0.5g fat, 15mg sodium, 3g carbs, 2g fiber, 0g sugars, <1g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

Another product that straight-up changes lives. It's AMAZING that an entire bag of these noodles has only 20 calories. (Yes, it is totally acceptable to consume two portions at a time.) Use 'em to make HG's 79-calorie fettuccine Alfredo or the lightest lo mein this side of reality... or any of our other freakishly good noodle dishes! Sure, there's a slight period of adjustment while you get familiar with the texture and how to prepare them properly, but follow our tips and you'll be fine!
3. Instead of Boring and Caloric Cream Cheese...

The Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss Cheese Wedges

PER SERVING (1 wedge): 35 calories, 1.5g fat, 210mg sodium, 1g carbs, 0g fiber, 1g sugars, 2g protein -- PointsPlus® value 1*

Maybe it's the giddy farm animal on the package, maybe it's the conveniently wrapped individual wedges, but we're betting that the #1 reason people like these cheese wedges so much is -- HELLO!? -- the taste. They're delicious, not diet-y in any way, super-creamy, SO decadent... We could go on all day about these things. We spread them on light English muffins. We mix them with those Tofu Shirataki noodles. We drop them into mugs with Egg Beaters. WE. LOVE. THEM. 
4. Instead of Bland Skim Milk...

Blue Diamond Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze

PER SERVING (8 fl. oz.): 40 calories, 3g fat, 180mg sodium, 2g carbs, 1g fiber, 0g sugars, 1g protein -- PointsPlus® value 1*

Sure, skim milk is fat-free and low in calories. It's also kind of fun-free and low in flavor. Our "milk" of choice is this particular nondairy, unsweetened almond beverage. It tastes AMAZING and is VERY versatile: terrific in recipes (including those that call for light vanilla soymilk), over cereal, in your coffee, etc. And it's one heck of a dance partner. (Kidding! Just making sure you're paying attention.)
5. Instead of That Scary Stick o' Butter...

Brummel & Brown

PER SERVING (1 tbsp.): 45 calories, 5g fat, 90mg sodium, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 0g protein -- PointsPlus® value 1*

Hands down, the best-tasting, creamiest, and most buttery spread out there. Want to know more cool stuff about it? It is made with nonfat yogurt, has NO trans fats, has half the fat and calories of actual butter, and works perfectly anywhere you need buttery goodness. What's not to love? We even adore the shade of blue on the tub! WE LOVE YOU, BRUMMEL & BROWN!!!
6. Instead of Crammed-with-Fat-and-Cholesterol Eggs...

Fat-Free Liquid Egg Substitute

PER SERVING (1/4 cup): 30 calories, 0g fat, 115 - 120mg sodium, 1g carbs, 0g fiber, 0 - <1g sugars, 6g protein -- PointsPlus® value 1*

Short of your Easter egg decorating, this stuff can be used pretty much anywhere you need the power of egg. It's convenient and, unlike real eggs, low in calories with no cholesterol or fat. Plus, you'll never get eggshells in your omelette! We use this for SO many things -- our egg-mug recipes, faux-frying, baking -- that we literally don't know what we would do without it. "Crying" would probably be on the agenda, though. Egg Beaters Original and Better'n Eggs are our top picks!
7. Instead of Fat-Heavy Sour Cream...

Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt

PER SERVING (One 6-oz. container): 90 calories, 0g fat, 65mg sodium, 7g carbs, 0g fiber, 7g sugars, 15g protein -- PointsPlus® value 2*

To be fair, this stuff is much more than a swap for sour cream to us. It's perfect for 2-ingredient recipes, a key part of our creamy scoopable salads, and delicious as a snack (with a bit of sweetener mixed in). It ALSO happens to pack the creaminess and zing of sour cream with the added bonus of lots of protein for very few calories and no fat. And it doesn't have that weird, not-quite-right taste of fat-free sour cream. There are other fatless Greek yogurts around, but Fage's stuff is the best.
8. Instead of Carb-y, High-Cal Potatoes...

Butternut Squash

PER SERVING (1 cup cubes, raw): 63 calories, 0g fat, 6mg sodium, 16g carbs, 2.75g fiber, 3g sugars, 1g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

Even if we were JUST talking about using these instead of potatoes to make our amazing Bake-tastic Butternut Squash Fries, they'd make the list. But this orange squash is capable of so much more. With about half the calories of standard spuds, the taste is VERY comparable to sweet potatoes. Consider swapping it to make sweet potato pie... and some luscious home fries. Or get crazy and put it into stews and latkes and pot stickers... B-nut squash can be used almost anywhere a regular or sweet potato can be used. AWE-SOME.
Friday, February 19th, is National Chocolate Mint Day. Don't get suckered in by those Girl Scouts Thin Mints! Get your fix from a 100-cal pouch of Grasshopper cookies, and support the Scouts by purchasing their Reduced Fat Daisy Go Rounds in 100-cal packs. Yee-haa!
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***The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® 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 and SmartPoints® trademark.

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