15 Reasons You Should Be Drinking Coffee

We know that you probably wouldn’t give up your morning coffee—regardless of the health risks. Well, the good news is that many aspects of your morning brew are actually quite good for you if you’re willing to make a few minor changes. Here are fifteen reasons why you should be drinking coffee… 1. If you want to […]

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We know that you probably wouldn’t give up your morning coffee—regardless of the health risks. Well, the good news is that many aspects of your morning brew are actually quite good for you if you’re willing to make a few minor changes.

Here are fifteen reasons why you should be drinking coffee…

1. If you want to shed some pounds…

If you’re looking to lose weight, an easy place to start is with how you take your coffee. Drink your morning cup minus the creamer, and sugar, and opt instead for low-fat milk or drink it black to avoid excess calories.

Coffee, particularly darker roasts, contains caffeine, which encourages the metabolism, and in turn, promotes weight loss. You don’t want to have those benefits outweighed by all that fat and sugar from your added ingredients!

Africa Studio / Shutterstock

2. If you suffer from acid reflux…

There’s a long list of dos and don’ts for people who regularly experience acid reflux. Darker roast beans are gentler on your tummy because they produce less stomach acid and contain less caffeine—two major acid reflux culprits.

The best part about this is that you can still enjoy your morning cup of coffee with some small modifications. A lot of times, it comes down to the details of your diet in addition to the big picture.

namtipStudio / Shutterstock

3. If you have weak tooth enamel…

Rotting teeth is one of those things that make people cringe and do just about anything to avoid it. You may think that coffee could have a negative effect on your teeth in this context, but it’s actually quite the opposite.

Coffee is rich in Trigonelline, a chemical that acts as a shield, protecting your teeth from nasty, decaying bacteria. So the good news is that drinking 1 to 2 cups a day is a plus for oral health—minus the sugar.

iravgustin / Shutterstock

4. If you’re worried about high cholesterol…

High cholesterol is a major health issue. In fact, over 90 million Americans have higher than normal cholesterol. Having your coffee go through a filter reduces the cafestol making your morning cup of goodness actually good for you!

Brew your coffee using a filter or in a built-in, single serve Keurig or Tassimo cup versus using a Bodum or French press, both of which contain cafestol, a cholesterol-elevating substance the can increase your cholesterol by approximately 10-percent.

Dmitrii Erekhinskii / Shutterstock

5. If you’re worried about wrinkles…

There are not too many people who aren’t worried about getting wrinkles. Who cares though? Wrinkles show that you’ve lived a long life. At the same time, you don’t want to speed up the process! Believe it or not, coffee may be able to slow down the development of wrinkles.

If you want to take preventative measures, reach for an organic brew, which is packed full of antioxidants to help reduce oxidation, cell damage, and the general aging process.

Zadorozhna Natalia / Shutterstock

6. If you struggle to get to sleep…

A cup of morning coffee make sense because you are needing that little kick of caffeine for the first half of your day. The problem is when you start drinking multiple cups of coffee and it starts interfering with your precious sleep cycle.

As a solution, drink coffee in moderation and never drink it within 7-hours of bedtime. Why? Because studies show that it takes up to 7-hours for caffeine to flush out of your body.

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7. Concerns about your prostate…

Who knew what type of coffee you drank could contribute to the health (or lack thereof) of your prostate! When you have prostate concerns, turn to your coffee maker to ensure you are consuming the right coffee for your body.

When taking preventative steps towards a healthy prostate, opt for drinking dark coffee. Recent studies credit the nutrients and antioxidants within dark roast coffee beans to reducing the risk of prostate cancer by up to 60-percent.

Mr Nai / Shutterstock

8. If you have a family history of heart disease…

Unfortunately, heart disease is a health problem that can run in your family. It’s also a very common genetic trend. While you don’t want to obsess over it, you can also ensure that you are living a healthy lifestyle to promote a healthy heart.

When attempting to prevent heart disease, make the transition to decaf coffee. This can reduce the risk of heart attack because it lacks the caffeine jolt that makes your blood pressure spike suddenly.

Forrest9 / Shutterstock

9. To prevent memory loss…

A lot of us have difficulty remembering what we ate for supper yesterday, let alone memories from our childhood! As we get older, our memories can fail us. In some cases such as Alzheimer’s, it becomes a serious issue.

Dark roast coffee purchased in whole bean form is proven to be a richer source of antioxidants, which have been linked to lower Alzheimer’s risk, compared to light roast coffee beans. Whole beans retain the antioxidant properties longer when you grind them as you need them (this also prevents rancidity).

SewCream / Shutterstock

10. To reduce your risk of colon cancer…

Wanting to keep your colon healthy and cancer free? While cancer is a tricky disease, your daily coffee may help you achieve this goal by making a few small changes to your morning brew.

Start by opting for a lighter (and equally tasty) roast. For example, American roast or French roast, which are roasted for less time and therefore able to retain the cancer-fighting compounds within, which are often destroyed in darker roasts. It’s definitely worth a shot!

naito29 / Shutterstock

11. If you want to reduce your chances of liver disease…

If you love your wine or beer every night, that may be an okay treat to have, but you need to mind your liver! Your liver goes through quite the beating when it comes to drinking.

If you are wanting to reduce your risk of Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC), coffee is a great resource for you. PSC is an autoimmune disease that is not common but has an increased risk of affecting those who drink. It is said that if you drink one to two cups of coffee per day, there is a chance you could reduce your chances of getting PSC by 66%.

Emily frost / Shutterstock

12. If you want to reduce your chances of type 2 diabetes…

Type 2 diabetes has a wide range of causes that we can’t always put our finger on every time. However, there are measures you can take to help reduce your chances of getting diabetes that are definitely worth a try.

Consuming coffee on a daily basis can actually help reduce your chances of getting type 2 diabetes. Just make sure you don’t add any high sugar ingredients to that perfect hot drink though! That will counteract the good stuff that coffee can do for your health.

zlikovec / Shutterstock

13. If you want to avoid the caffeine crash…

We typically drink coffee for the awakening effects it has on our body, but we rarely talk about the caffeine crash that happens after we feel wide awake. When we drink coffee, the caffeine triggers the release of glucose which turns into energy, thus causing us to feel more awake. This spikes our insulin and when that insulin returns to normal, we get exhausted.

Instead of drinking coffee on an empty stomach, eat a good, hearty breakfast beforehand. This can help slow down the insulin spike and help the positive effects of caffeine last much longer.

insta_photos / Shutterstock

14. If you want to boost your immune system…

Coffee is one hot, hot drink, which usually means that there’s a lot of people who especially enjoy sipping it in cooler weather. Cooler weather is often the time when our bodies start getting sick with colds and the flu, which is never fun!

Adding 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil to your coffee each day can not only contribute to a stronger immune system, but it also helps boost that delicious coffee flavor. Lauric acid makes up 50% of coconut oil’s fatty acids which is the same ingredient used to treat a variety of colds and the flu.

Tatiana Bralnina / Shutterstock

15. You want others to be healthy just like you…

A lot of times we are quick to grab the first bag of coffee we recognize on the grocery store shelf without thinking of where it came from. You may have noticed the increased awareness about where our food comes from over the past few years, and the same interest should be given to coffee.

A lot of people who harvest coffee beans are not paid well or treated well. This promotes the cycle of poverty in developing countries, making it difficult for people to achieve a better life. Next time you go to buy coffee, check to see if the bag has the fair trade emblem on it. With this certification, you can be confident that the employees are being treated well and getting paid a livable wage in their countries. Coffee has never been so life changing!

Ivan Kurmyshov / Shutterstock

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“Healthy” Foods That Are Actually Bad For You

A lot of us make a huge effort to make sure the content of our cupboards and kitchens reflect the lifestyle we want to live and the healthy bodies we want to achieve. Unfortunately, thanks to marketing and a variety of mixed messages about food, it can get a little confusing about what is actually […]

The post “Healthy” Foods That Are Actually Bad For You appeared first on Forkly.

A lot of us make a huge effort to make sure the content of our cupboards and kitchens reflect the lifestyle we want to live and the healthy bodies we want to achieve. Unfortunately, thanks to marketing and a variety of mixed messages about food, it can get a little confusing about what is actually good for us. To make things easier, we’ve discovered twenty foods that are easily misunderstood to be healthy, when really, they are far from it!

1.Whole Wheat Cereals

It seems that the marketing for a variety of cereals has you exactly where they want you. Using health-friendly words, without being actually healthy.  Yet, so many sugary cereal boxes have that “health” checkmark.

White there may be a few whole grains in a cereal it simply does not make up for the fact that it is often coated with sugar, frosting or even mixed with marshmallows. Skip these cereals and try something more wholesome such as oatmeal, or a shredded wheat cereal.

2. Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is not only colorful and attractive, but it is extremely tasty too. In fact, many people will enjoy this snack in the place of dessert.

Unfortunately, you may as well be eating a cookie because dried fruit has about three times the amount of sugar in it because it is condensed. Therefore, you will find yourself eating multiple pieces of dried fruit and getting piles of grams of sugar and calories.

3. Fruit Cocktail

Fruit Cocktail is an easy canned item you can have on your shelf when you are looking for a juicy treat and have run out of fresh produce. Filled with peaches, pineapples, and cherries, it’s no wonder people think it’s a healthy choice.

This is the part where you get disappointed. The syrup that is used to preserve the fruit actually contains an entire day worth of sugar. This doesn’t seem so delicious anymore, now, does it?

4. Light Salad Dressing

When you want a salad, we all know the most fattening part of it is the dressing. Selecting a low-calorie version of ranch dressing or Italian dressing seems like a healthy choice.

In reality, companies are using piles of additives to maintain the flavor while ensuring the calories are cut down. These additives are detrimental to your body, so you are much better off using some olive oil and vinegar (balsamic, red wine etc.) to top your salad and give your body some good fat instead!

5. Store Bought Low-Fat Muffins

If you’re in a hurry and need a quick snack, selecting a low-fat muffin is an easy snack to eat on the fly. Coming in a variety of flavors and recipes, these muffins are definitely delicious.

The truth is if companies are reducing the fat, they need to make up for the lack of taste. This is where sugar comes in. They amp up how much sugar is added so you can feel good about eating less fat but maintaining the same great flavor. Unfortunately, we all know, sugar is no better than fat. It’s a lose-lose situation.

6. Low-Fat Peanut Butter

The same story applies to light or low-fat peanut butter.  Since we know that in most cases when something is removed, must be replaced to maintain flavor. Surprisingly enough, in the case of peanut butter, full-fat is a much better option.

Peanut butter is ripe with monounsaturated fats that are great for our bodies, so when we read how much fat is in the peanut butter (excluding saturated fat) we can be confident that we are eating fats our body truly needs, removing those healthy fats and replacing them with more carbs and sugar isn’t exactly the road to good health.

7. Flavored Yogurts

Probiotic and greek yogurt are fantastic snacks, but there’s a catch. Sometimes there’s so much added to the yogurt that the nutritional benefits get lost in the mix.

The best thing you can do is buy low-fat, plain yogurt and make additions to it yourself. This way, you have control over how much sugar your body is taking in, which fruits and flavors you’d like to have, and in return, you’re saving yourself from digesting 10+ grams of sugar you didn’t necessarily want.

8. Spinach Pasta

Spinach pasta is the same old story of additives wreaking havoc on something that was supposed to be a good thing. While it may be bright green, there are not many antioxidants here!

Spinach Pasta should just be called pasta because there’s so little spinach in the noodles. There’s certainly not enough spinach for you to reap the benefits in one serving either.

9. Diet Soda

While the word “diet” is often on the front of the bottles of sugar-free soda, it’s really just a marketing tactic.  It’s meant to confuse you into thinking that swapping out a full-sugar soda for a diet sugar-free variety, is a step in a healthier direction. When perhaps, it’s doing more harm than good.

As with many other foods, when you subtract the primary source of flavor, you need to replace it with alternative ingredients which require a lot of additives to bring the flavor back. In the case of diet sodas, that’s in the form of unhealthy artificial sweeteners.  A great alternative to diet sodas is sipping on carbonated water, and add in your favorite fruits for flavor!

10. Fruit Juice

Juice in the morning seems like a really straightforward option for most families. The catch is, you have to make sure that there are no added ingredients. Look for the 100% pure orange juice if you absolutely need juice in the morning.

The problem with fruit juice is, even if you buy the 100% pure juice, it is still packed with sugar. Many think that if it’s natural sugar it’s no problem, but the truth is, sugar is sugar! If you buy the stuff that has added sugar, you are getting a double whammy of sugar that you don’t need. A better way to approach you morning drink is by adding a few tablespoons of 100% pure juice to the bottom of your glass, then fill with water. You still get the orange juice taste without all those unneeded grams of sugar.

11. Protein Bars

This is the same age-old story we hear all the time. Let’s get something straight, just because a snack bar is advertised as a protein bar and is loaded with protein, that does not mean it’s a healthy choice!

While many protein bars are actually ok for your health, many are just candy bars marketed to make you think it’s a healthy choice! Make sure you’re reading your labels to stay informed, or try eating natural sources of protein such as lean meat, hummus, milk, and nuts which are way better options and only have a fraction of the sugar and calories.

12. Frozen Yogurt

Much like diet soda or protein bars, frozen yogurt has a reputation for being a healthy dessert you can enjoy in large quantities, without a worry. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case. While “froyo” may be lower fat compared to ice cream, it is still packed with sugar and calories just like any other dessert. Not to mention all those fun toppings we tend to add on.

If you are looking to enjoy a healthy dessert, blending up a frozen banana with some dark chocolate chips and strawberries is a great alternative, it’s a surprisingly sweet treat!

13. Fast-Food Salads

When you have to eat at a fast food restaurant, opting for a salad may seem like a healthy option, and sometimes, it can be! The problem with fast food salads is how quickly the ingredients add up to calories. If you order a chicken salad with breaded chicken and use a package a creamy dressing over your bacon bits and shredded cheese, suddenly, your salad is basically the same amount of calories and fat as a hamburger!

With some healthy suggestions, you can make this healthy option a success. Make sure you asked for grilled chicken as opposed to crispy as your protein, and either enjoy without salad dressing or just use half a packet of dressing.

14. Agave Nectar

Agave nectar has earned itself a place in the health food world as a great alternative to regular sugar. Unfortunately, it does not deserve this place among other sweeteners such as maple syrup, simply because of what it actually is made up of.

Regular sugar contains about 50% fructose which is the stuff we are really trying to avoid. It messes with your metabolism and is a threat to your overall health. Believe it or not, agave nectar is actually between 70-90% fructose, making it even worse for you than regular sugar.

15. Processed Organic Food

The word “organic” is plastered on the front of a huge amount of food in the grocery store now. Marketers are making the word “organic” synonymous with the word “healthy”. For a lot of people, it’s paying off! There’s a huge group of people buying into this marketing technique and are being sadly misguided.

Just because a food says organic, does not mean it is healthy in the least. Sure, the products may not have pesticides on them, but at the end of the day, it’s the same ingredients that you would find in a regular bag of chips or bag of candy. The same goes for the nutritional facts – fat, calories, and other additives are still very present in these organic foods.

16. Veggie Burger

When you’re looking to skip some calories and fat, opting for a veggie burger may seem like a very logical option. A great tip for selecting foods is opting for the more “pure” item on the menu. Which food has the least amount of additives and ingredients? This is where many times, the veggie burger fails.

A beef or chicken burger is often a combination of meats and spices. A veggie burger will often have spices and a wide variety of ingredients that are both pure and “filler” additives. To make a veggie burger taste good, you need to add a fair amount of additives. As a result, you may end up eating more calories and additives than if you just ordered the beef burger.

17. Margarine

This item on our list is a little more complicated than the average “healthy” item that really isn’t all that healthy.  One way to check and see how healthy your margarine is by seeing how solid it is. If your margarine is as hard as butter, it’s not a good option. If you buy one that has olive or avocado oil in it, it will be soft and creamy – that’s the stuff you want!

Some kinds of margarine are a good option when you are looking for a spread that is a healthier option to butter. Butter is made from animal fat and therefore has a higher content of trans fat. If you can get a trans fat free margarine made from olive oil or another plant-based oil, it’s a great spread for your toast. The problem lies in margarine that has trans fat anyway, plus a lot of additives. In that case, sticking with butter is a better option.

18. Veggie Chips

They’re visually stunning and also are technically foods that are healthy, so what makes them such a problem? The best way to get a healthy chip option is by making them yourself. Then you get to control how much oil and salt is added, and they can be baked instead of fried.

No matter what kinds of root vegetables are in your packaged veggie chips, the nutrients are often lost among the oils, salts, additives and possible frying. By the time they are packaged, these chips have a ton of calories and fat, just like regular chips!

19. Baked Beans

Beans are known as a fantastic food to eat for protein and fiber, especially for vegetarians. When eating baked beans, be sure to read the nutrition facts so you know exactly what you are eating. If you enjoy cooking, try your hand at making your own baked beans so you can monitor exactly what’s put into them.

Baked beans are not as healthy as consumers may think, because they are canned. This results in high sodium content, often high sugar and lots of additives. Selecting an organic, low sodium can of baked beans is a great solution to this problem.

20. Frozen Diet Dinners

Much like many of the advertised prepackaged health foods, frozen diet dinners aren’t worth the money and aren’t worth the time saved from cooking. Making pre-portioned meals at home is a fantastic way to have healthy meals available quickly when you need them.

Frozen diet dinners are often advertised as wholesome meals with lots of health benefits. The problem is, many of them are packed with additives and preservatives so they can still taste fresh even when they are not. When you’re looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle, having a bowl of food packed with extra ingredients is definitely not worth it.

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Instant Pot Low Carb Taco Soup

If there’s one type of food we can all get on board with, it’s Mexican food! It’s irresistibly delicious and never fails to deliver a unique flavor. But we often get stuck on tacos, fajitas, and burritos while forgetting that there are so many more ways to enjoy this cuisine. Our Low Carb Taco Soup is a fantastic […]

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If there’s one type of food we can all get on board with, it’s Mexican food! It’s irresistibly delicious and never fails to deliver a unique flavor. But we often get stuck on tacos, fajitas, and burritos while forgetting that there are so many more ways to enjoy this cuisine.

Our Low Carb Taco Soup is a fantastic option for those who are on a low carb or Keto diet and want to still appreciate and experience the joy (yes, it sparks joy for us) that comes with Mexican food. Top it off with guacamole, sour cream and cheese for added flavor. Let’s get cooking!

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One of the most unique aspects of the Instant Pot that sets it apart from a slow cooker or even an old school pressure cooker is the Sauté setting.  This setting gives you the ability to sauté certain parts of your meal before pressure cooking it with the rest of the ingredients.

For this recipe, we started by sautéing the onions and garlic in some olive oil. This helps bring out the flavors while also softening and slightly caramelizing the onions. Instead of biting into a semi-crunchy onion (gross!), cooking the onions this way will make them almost non-existent without losing that good onion-y flavor.

This is a true comfort meal, perfect for colder weather where you need a bit of a warm-up. It’s hearty and packed with spice, but the best part is how quickly it comes together in the Instant Pot. Soups often take at least an hour or so on the stovetop to deepen the flavor, but pressure cooking has the same outcome in a small fraction of the time – this soup only cooks for 5 minutes! When you’re planning your dinner, just remember that the pot needs time to come to pressure. It took our 6 Quart Instant Pot Duo around 15 minutes to come to pressure, but this will vary depending on the model and size you’re using.

It’s important to remember that this recipe is exactly what we say it is – a soup! It will not come out like a burrito bowl or a taco stew, it is a true soup recipe. With that said, serving some nacho chips alongside this meal for those family members who are eating carbs, is a great way to bulk up the meal and really make it a fiesta!

If you want to get extra creative, you can chop up some fresh veggies and add them on top for garnish. If you’re following a strict Keto diet and need to up the fat content more, slice up some avocado to garnish the soup with, increase the cheese from 1 to 1 1/2 cups or more, and use full-fat sour cream for serving.

This recipe is also a fantastic way to add veggies into your child’s diet (or your own!) without them realizing! If they are really opposed to veggies, dice them up finely and saute them so they get extra soft and blend in with all the other ingredients. Additionally, some kiddos may find this recipe a little spicy, so you can adjust the seasonings accordingly or add some sour cream on top to cut the spice!

Servings: 6


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 oz can green chiles
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Sour cream (optional), for serving
  • Avocado (optional), for serving


  • Instant Pot


  • Set Instant Pot to Sauté mode. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, garlic, and onions, cook until onions are translucent.
  • Add ground beef, cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Drain excess fat, if needed. How much fat you discard will depend on the leanness of the beef you use (we used extra lean) and whether you're on the Keto diet.
  • Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper and stir. Turn off Sauté mode.
  • Add broth, peppers, diced tomatoes, sriracha, and canned chilies. Stir to combine, ensuring that you release any food stuck to the bottom of the pot to avoid the Burn notice.
  • Lid the Instant Pot and set the valve to sealing. Cook on Soup mode for 5 minutes.
  • Once time has elapsed, allow for a 10-minute natural release. Quick release any remaining pressure afterward.
  • Remove lid and stir in 1 cup of shredded cheese. Serve topped with more cheese, sour cream, and avocado, if desired.


You can omit the chili powder, cumin, and paprika and replace with a package of store-bought taco seasoning, if desired.

If you’re following a Keto diet, ensure you check the carbs in the diced tomatoes as they will differ significantly across brands and depending on the pre-mixed seasonings. We used Primo Unseasoned Diced Tomatoes that have 4 grams per half cup – the lowest we could find at our local grocery store.

If you’re following a strict Keto diet and want to up the fat content, garnish with sliced avocado and full-fat sour cream. You can also increase the cheese from 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups and garnish with more.

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Instant Pot Hack: How to Cook Butternut Squash

How many times have you pulled out your butternut squash just before supper and realized you don’t have enough time to cook it before the rest of your supper is ready?! This happens to me all. the. time. Am I the only one? I doubt it. Once your butternut squash is cooked it still needs […]

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How many times have you pulled out your butternut squash just before supper and realized you don’t have enough time to cook it before the rest of your supper is ready?! This happens to me all. the. time. Am I the only one? I doubt it. Once your butternut squash is cooked it still needs to be separated from the skin, making it quite the ordeal to create on the fly. It’s also a lot of time and work just to use it all up in a soup or sauce!

Our Instant Pot method for cooking butternut squash will allow you to make the squash super quickly, as well as cook it in a way that separates the squash from the skin with minimal effort.

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1. Cut and Scoop Out Seeds of Squash

If you’re a fan of Halloween, you’ll feel a little nostalgic about scooping out the seeds from your butternut squash. This important step makes it easy to serve up your squash after it has been cooked.

2. Add Trivet, Water, and Squash into Instant Pot

The water is what allows the Instant Pot to pressure cook the squash so it comes out tender! Adding the trivet simply keeps the squash out of the water and therefore from getting soggy. Place the deseeded squash in next. The size is completely up to you, as long as you choose one that will fit into your pot! If you’re having a bit of trouble fitting it in, cut a little bit off the top of each squash half until you can comfortably close the lid. The size you can get away with will largely vary depending on the shape of the squash and how big your IP model is.

3. Pressure Cook

Put the lid on and set the valve to sealing. Cook on Manual/Pressure Cook HIGH for 12 minutes. Remember to account for the time it’ll take the pot to come to pressure (much like you’d allow time for the oven to preheat) when you’re planning your dinner time! It took our 6 Quart Pot Duo 13 minutes to come to pressure, but this will vary depending on the model and size of your Instant Pot.

4. Quick Release and Serve

When the cook time has elapsed, quick release the pressure, making sure to stand far away enough from where the steam valve to avoid accidentally burning yourself. Remove the squash and let cool for 5 minutes before easily peeling away the skin. Each as is with some butter and salt, add to a dish, or make a soup or sauce out of it! No matter how you use it, it’ll be ready in a jiff and delicious.

Servings: 4-6


  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 cup water or broth


  • Instant Pot


  • Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
  • Add liquid, then trivet, then squash halves to the Instant Pot.
  • Lid the pot and set the valve to sealing. Cook on Manual/Pressure Cook HIGH for 12 minutes.
  • Once the cooking time has elapsed, quick release the pressure and remove the lid. Carefully remove the squash and once cooled slightly and peel off the skin.
  • Serve hot, use for other recipes (such as soup or in a side dish), or store in an airtight container for up to a week!


If the squash doesn’t quite fit into the pot, chop a bit off either end until it fits. You may also find that the shorter, squatter squashes fit better, so keep that in mind when you’re at the grocery store.

It took our 6 Quart Pot Duo 13 minutes to come to pressure, but this will vary depending on the model and size of your Instant Pot.

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Foods That Are Gluten-Free

A gluten-free diet is becoming more popular as the years pass. For some, it’s a choice because they simply feel better when they aren’t eating gluten, in many cases this is indicative of a gluten intolerance. For those with Celiac disease, their bodies give off a response from the immune system in the small intestine, which can […]

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A gluten-free diet is becoming more popular as the years pass. For some, it’s a choice because they simply feel better when they aren’t eating gluten, in many cases this is indicative of a gluten intolerance. For those with Celiac disease, their bodies give off a response from the immune system in the small intestine, which can cause some very unpleasant and painful results when ingested.  It can be difficult to adjust your menu and snack options when a family member or friend is gluten-free, but there’s actually a lot of food that is already in your home that is suitable for this group of people.

1. Quinoa

While quinoa is still a grain, it actually happens to be gluten-free! Not only is it a great alternative to pasta or rice, but quinoa is in many products in the grocery store that will make shopping and meal planning easier.

You can make your own food at home with quinoa flour as well for your gluten-free friends including bread and muffins. Don’t forget to add some tasty banana or berries to amp up the flavor!

pinunpa / Shutterstock

2. Nuts

While it may be obvious that nuts are not something that contains gluten, they are worth noting because when you go gluten-free, it can be difficult to think of and discover suitable snacks, and nuts are a great one. If you’re getting any nuts that are seasoned, be sure to still check the label to make sure no wheat products have been added.

What makes nuts especially valuable to those on the gluten-free diet is that they have the ability to be substituted for gluten-based products in many cases. Ground nuts, creating a flour, is great for baking (especially almond flour) and can even be used to make pie crusts. With nuts on hand, it will be easy to make delicious and gluten-free options for your guests.

Krzysztof Slusarczyk / Shutterstock

3. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are naturally gluten-free. After all, they are simply just seeds! They are tasteless for the most part, but when added to liquid, they take on a gel-like texture, wonderful for thickening recipes.

What’s great is how you can add chia seeds to just about anything! Add them to smoothies, bread, sauces, and drinks to get a dose of those good old omega-3 fatty acids and some antioxidants. It couldn’t be easier to implement chia seeds into your daily foods.

AS Food studio / Shutterstock

4. Chips

Potato chips are not only an easy food to cook with, but they are also budget friendly! You can use serve up some good old chips with homemade dip alongside veggies as well.

Chips are a light snack, making them a great food to munch on during the day for those with gluten-free diets. Be sure to always read the label though, as sometimes wheat is used in the seasonings or in any pressed-shaped style chips, such as Pringles.

Jiri Hera / Shutterstock

5. Oats

Porridge is a fantastic breakfast for not just gluten-free eaters, but for everyone! Make sure to check the package in the grocery store to make sure nothing has been added to the oats that include gluten. While oats are naturally gluten free, they’re often processed in the same facility as wheat, so just opt for the gluten-free variety when you’re not confident.

Oats are high in antioxidants, protein, and fiber, making them a perfect morning meal. You can also get oat flour for baking, or add oats to your cookies and muffins as well. If you are looking for an easy snack to make, you can create a granola out of oats, dried fruit, and nuts.

Gita Kulinitch Studio / Shutterstock

6. Potatoes

Who doesn’t love potatoes? This starchy fan favorite can be served up in an endless number of ways. While potatoes may be rich in carbohydrates and starches, that doesn’t mean they are also packed with gluten.

Surprisingly enough, potatoes are completely gluten-free. This means that making french fries, mashed potatoes, and Hasselback potatoes all good for those who are striving for a completely gluten-free diet. Look online for gluten-free and tasty ways to prepare your potatoes.

Sea Wave / Shutterstock

7. Hemp Seeds

Have you ever tried hemp seeds before? If not, then you’re missing out! They have a very subtle, savory taste and can be added to smoothies, bread, and other baking much like chia seeds.

Hemp seeds are filled with fatty acids, protein, vitamin E, and potassium, making them an underrated food in the seed category. If you are looking for ways to add nutrition to your grain-based foods, these little guys will do the trick.

baibaz / Shutterstock

8. Rice

Rice is something you almost always have in your cupboard as a base for a delicious meal. If you are having someone over for supper who is gluten-free, consider making a dish with rice, chicken, veggies and a gluten-free sauce to top it off!

All rice is gluten free from white rice to wild rice, making it a very popular and easy option for those who are celiac or simply just gluten-free. Double check the label to make sure that the rice hasn’t been processed with any other gluten products, which is common for flavored rice, before you serve it up!

Agri Food Supply / Shutterstock

9. Corn/Corn Meal

Who doesn’t love corn on the cob?! It’s a great starchy, filling food to serve on the side with protein and veggies, and thankfully it’s completely gluten-free!

Corn is also turned into corn flour so you can make starchy foods with it as you would with regular flour. It is also a fantastic thickener for recipes where gluten is required. Because it is naturally gluten-free, it’s a great ingredient to add to a gluten-free shepherd’s pie or to include in a stir-fry, or you can try your hand at a creamy polenta.

danshanin / Shutterstock

10. Marshmallows

Looking for a sweet treat for your gluten-free friends? Marshmallows are actually gluten-free and are best served in between some gluten-free graham crackers with some chocolate, or in Rice Krispie Squares!

Marshmallows are made out of sugar, water, and gelatin so they are one of the more simplistic desserts to serve up to people who have allergies and intolerances. You can also set up a small marshmallow roasting station on your supper table for an easy and fun dessert!

Shaiith / Shutterstock

11. Macarons

These insanely popular desserts are not only beautiful and delicious, but they are also gluten-free! Macarons require a huge amount of culinary skill to create from scratch. Luckily, you can also purchase them at most bakeries or even the grocery store.

Macarons are made simply from almonds, sugar egg whites, and cream. The coloring is added to make these beautifully vibrant colors along with other garnishes such as edible glitter or gold flakes. They are pretty to look at and delicious to eat!

AppleZoomZoom / Shutterstock

12. Rice Crackers

Rice crackers are a great alternative to regular crackers, and they happen to be completely free of gluten! Rice crackers can be used as a great base for appetizers or can be served as a healthier alternative to chips.

A major bonus about rice crackers is that they are also vegan. Make sure to check the label to ensure they are both gluten and dairy free, but for the most part, they are very allergy friendly.

mayakova / Shutterstock

13. Buckwheat

Is this the first time you’ve heard about buckwheat? That’s okay! Buckwheat is often used in the form of buckwheat flour as it is gluten-free.  You can make pancakes, bread and treats with it, all the while, reaping piles of nutritional benefits from it!

Buckwheat can improve your heart health, fill your body with antioxidants and is packed with protein. Even if you’re not gluten-free, buckwheat is definitely an amazing food to have in your cupboard.

Ulada / Shutterstock

14. Flax Meal

Much like buckwheat and cornstarch, flax meal can be a wonderful addition to your everyday cooking. It looks and feels like a grain, helps add more fiber to your diet, and can even be used as a breading on your favorite meats and vegetables.

Flaxmeal offers great nutritional benefits including being packed with omega-3 fatty acids that are considered “healthy fats”. Flaxmeal also has antioxidant properties which can help to lower your chances of getting cancer.

marekuliasz / Shutterstock

15.  Cheerios

One of the most classic cereals you’ll find at the grocery store is Cheerios, and luckily, they are gluten-free. Cheerios are a great snack to carry in your car or have on hand at your home for breakfast. Top with cinnamon and berries for a serving of fruit and a sprinkle of flavor.

Cheerios are made from oats that are gluten-free, as well as nut free. They are a great snack for school lunches as they are very allergen friendly.

Moving Moment / Shutterstock

16. Smartfood Popcorn

If you’re looking for a quick snack to pick up before a movie night or party, Smartfood is on your side! It’s at almost every drug store or corner store and is absolutely delicious. You definitely won’t be able to stop eating after just one handful.

Smart Food is made from vegetable oil, whey protein, cheddar cheese, buttermilk, and salt (along with some other additives). These ingredients make one of the best snacks available, gluten-free!

Glevalex / Shutterstock

17. Corn Tortillas

Just like corn, corn tortillas are gluten-free! They are a great alternative to your typical wrap for tacos or burritos. Plus, tortillas don’t change the overall flavor of your favorite Mexican foods.

Corn tortillas can also be made at home in a griddle or frying pan with three simple ingredients: corn flour, water, and salt! Of course, you can save time by purchasing them at the grocery store. Look for fun ways to dress up your tortillas with a search online.

funkyfrogstock / Shutterstock

18. Granola Bars/Granola

A quick snack on the run is always a must for any parent out there with hungry kiddies. Pick up a granola bar as a perfect gluten-free snack that is high in protein and fiber.

When you go to buy snack food next, check the labels to see which snacks are gluten-free options. Store a few varieties of these snacks in your pantry so whenever you have a gluten-free guest, you are ready for them to eat!

YuliiaHolovchenko / Shutterstock

19.  Seed Crackers

A lot of crackers contain gluten because they are made with wheat! Thankfully, there is an easy alternative that is usually available at your grocery store – especially in the organic food section.

Seed crackers are exactly what they sound like. They are made up of a variety of seeds, allowing the same crunchy texture as a cracker, while omitting the gluten based products from the mix. Always check the label and make sure they are gluten-free!

Brent Hofacker / Shutterstock

20. Yogurt

Yogurt is a great daytime snack that can be customized with flavor to satisfy your tastebuds. Plain yogurt is exploding with protein and is very low in sugar. You can add berries, cinnamon, and even some cacao nibs to make it taste less tart and extra tasty.

Plain yogurt is naturally gluten-free. But just watch out for brands that process yogurt in the same factory as gluten, or sometimes has gluten sneaking into the fruit-bottom varieties.

DONOT6_STUDIO / Shutterstock

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Reasons You Need More Coconut Oil In Your Diet

Coconut oil is an incredible natural oil to be keeping in your kitchen. While it’s an amazing ingredient in baking and a fantastic oil for cooking, coconut oil also has an incredible number of benefits that will help you achieve overall health. From ingesting this natural product to topical use for the skin, if you […]

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Coconut oil is an incredible natural oil to be keeping in your kitchen. While it’s an amazing ingredient in baking and a fantastic oil for cooking, coconut oil also has an incredible number of benefits that will help you achieve overall health. From ingesting this natural product to topical use for the skin, if you were to be stranded on a desert island, coconut oil is one of those products you will want to have with you. Time to break coconut oil out of just the kitchen cabinets, placing it everywhere from your bathroom to your desk at work, into your travel bags and with you everywhere on-the-go because you’re about to discover just how valuable this natural oil is with these amazing benefits.

1. Calorie Burning Abilities

Have you ever tried doing everything in your power to get in shape but your body just won’t cooperate? Losing weight can be a massive challenge, and coconut oil is a product that is on your side; proving that not all oils are bad for you!

Coconut oil actually helps your due to the medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) that are present in the oil. They work to help your body burn more calories than you would have before consuming coconut oil. Woman’s Day says that your body’s metabolism is boosted for up to 24 hours and may help reduce fat even in the most stubborn areas such as the belly.

Harbucks / Shutterstock

2. Dental Health

Are you avoiding the dentist? Maybe it’s because you don’t have health coverage or because your worst nightmares consist of doctors using electrical tools in your mouth. Either way, avoidance is never the answer! A huge amount of illnesses and diseases can begin with your teeth, so in the meantime, eat some coconut oil to tide you over until your next dentist appointment.

Coconut oil may help improve your dental health because it actually helps the absorption of calcium in your body. It also can help prevent tooth decay. Coconut oil in dental care became popular in recent years when “oil pulling” became a hot topic on social media. Simply swishing coconut oil between your teeth for several minutes has many claiming it helps with removing plaque or even helping your sinuses!

Jacob Lund / Shutterstock

3. Diabetes

Diabetes can sometimes feel like a hopeless cause when you are having to constantly check your blood sugar levels and make sure that the food you eat affects your body positivity. While more research still needs to be done, animal studies have shown there are some benefits.

Healthline says that coconut oil can help with diabetes by controlling your body’s blood sugar, as well as enhancing insulin sensitivity. increasing the amount of insulin that is secreted. It’s important to note that having too much coconut oil can have negative impacts in diabetics, so make sure to talk with your doctor to consume an appropriate amount.

Dragana Gordic / Shutterstock

4. Sun Protection

Sunscreens are filled with a lot of additives that aren’t always as beneficial as those sun ray guarding properties. When you’re looking for a sunscreen in the store and see that some of them include coconut oil, that’s a really good thing! It’s not just added for a great smell, but also for health reasons.

Mayo Clinic says that coconut oil is known to have the ability to protect your skin from about 20% of the sun’s rays. That being said, don’t just rely on coconut oil to protect your skin. You should definitely use it in addition to sunscreen for added protection.

qoppi / Shutterstock

5. Skin Care

Chapped dry skin is an epidemic in cold regions of the world with harsh winters! Sometimes that Neutrogena skin moisturizer just isn’t doing the trick. Instead, try using coconut oil in the place of moisturizer. Not only is it very effective, but you don’t need much to cover a dry area of your body.

Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties which makes it a wonderful moisturizer but also as a preventative treatment for acne. While the logical thought process of applying oil to the face is that it will clog pores, this is simply not the case. Coconut oil actually sinks into the cells and cleanses the skin of dirt and toxins while allowing the skin to breathe.

Africa Studio / Shutterstock

6.  Immunity

When cold season hits, we are looking for just about any way to prevent our bodies from getting the bug. From upping your intake of Vitamin C to drinking piles of water, we have tried it all. Thankfully, coconut oil has some fantastic benefits that will help our body continue to stay strong through those tough months when we are surrounded by coughing and sneezing.

Coconut oil has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. This means that it will help your body build up an immune system that is ready to fight not only the common cold but a variety of illnesses that will land you in bed sick.

Shopping King Louie / Shutterstock

7. Muscle Building

Looking to get into seriously good shape? How about building up all that muscle that you have the potential to build? Weightlifting and bodybuilding have become popular ways to get in shape, but having the right diet is the first place you need to start.

Coconut oil increases the secretion of insulin into your body and one of the properties of insulin is to get nutrients to your muscles. It also increases production of testosterone, which helps to build muscle mass. Including coconut oil in your protein shake after a workout is a great way to add this to your diet.

Nickola_Che / Shutterstock

8. Hair

Adding sprays and creams to your hair can be beneficial, but when there are additives such as parabens that damage your hair and health, they do more damage than healing. That’s why opting for organic products can do wonders for your hair health.

Coconut oil is basically a hair product, made by nature. Not only does it protect your hair, but it also adds protein to your luscious locks to add nutrients so your hair can shine! Last but certainly not least, coconut oil can actually help kill lice, so go ahead and use it on your kid’s hair too!

New Africa / Shutterstock

9. Energy

When the days get shorter and the nights get longer, it can be hard to get enough energy together to workout, make supper, go to work and everything in between. WebMD says the lauric acid in coconut oil travels to the liver and converts it into energy. While more research needs to be done, it could be a healthier thing to try instead of an energy drink.

Coconut oil is known for giving athletes and bodybuilders that extra kick of energy they need to get through their intense days of training. Just because you may not be an athlete or a bodybuilder, doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of the energy coconut oil provides!

Buntovskikh Olga / Shutterstock

10. Belly Fat

Coconut oil comes up multiple times whenever weight loss is being discussed. That’s because, as you’re seeing here, there are so many incredible benefits that contribute to overall health. A specific place coconut oil is very helpful it is with belly fat. This part of the body can be difficult spot to lose weight, even if you’re doing all the right things.

It may sound counter-intuitive to rely on oil to reduce belly fat, but that’s exactly what it does. Use coconut oil in your diet if you’re trying to lose that last little bit of baby belly or those last few pounds you ate on your cruise a few months back.

aoffyberry / Shutterstock

11. Healing

I constantly get cuts and bruises from running into the corner of my dresser, the coffee table, or slamming a drawer on my fingers. I just happen to be that kind of clumsy lady! As a result, I am always looking for ways to heal up my minor injuries and coconut oil, I’ve discovered, could be exactly what I need.

This may actually blow your mind, but coconut oil heals your skin by forming a (natural) chemical layer that protects your bruises and cuts from any external threats of infection including fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Time to add coconut oil to your first-aid kit!

joanna wnuk / Shutterstock

12. Hormones

It has been shown time and time again that making sure your hormone balance is in check is crucial to achieving optimal health. Hormones control everything from metabolism to reproduction to mood and lots more. Thankfully, coconut oil can help you in your endeavor to do just that.

Coconut oil may actually be able to improve your estrogen levels if you are lacking in that area, and is also important to consume while going through menopause. If you aren’t at that stage yet, there’s no reason why you can’t start early and get your body prepped for what’s to come.

Jarun Ontakrai / Shutterstock

13. Anti-Aging

While aging is completely natural and inevitable, there is nothing wrong with wanting to slow down our aging process in one way or another. An easy way to start is to consume foods and use skin products that will keep our skin looking vibrant and clear as long as possible.

Take a spoonful of coconut oil with some dark berries such as blueberries or blackberries to help your skin from aging too quickly. Healthline says you can use it as a serum on your face up to two times per day. It can also help keep your liver intact after those university or college years by detoxing your liver.

Viktoriia Hnatiuk / Shutterstock

14. Stress

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and stress every once in a while. Whenever I am stressed, I always am often found using essential oils to calm myself down. Simply rubbed onto my temple, at the base of my head, my neck, and my chest. Coconut oil offers very similar benefits for stress as well.

Coconut oil is moisturizing and soothing which makes it ideal for a face or body massage. Apply it to your face in circular motions, and don’t be afraid to add a little essential oil to it as well for added relaxation. Make this part of your regular routine to help manage stress.

fizkes / Shutterstock

15. Thyroid

What is your thyroid? We hear about it all the time and the importance of keeping it intact but what does that actually entail? Your thyroid is a gland in your neck that secretes hormones for growth and development through the rate of metabolism. When it’s working properly, it keeps your body weight consistent and your resting heart rate low.

Coconut oil can boost the function of the thyroid which is extremely helpful to those who struggle with achieving a healthy thyroid. Health.com explains how Mediterranean diets are helpful in keeping inflammation in check. For this type of diet, coconut oil is one of the recommendations to try out.

Orawan Pattarawimonchai / Shutterstock

16. Lips

Many suffer from chapped lips not only in the dead of winter, but all year round. Often times normal chapstick and lip balms don’t seem to keep them hydrated enough to not be chapped. The best thing you can do is look for a natural, moisturizing substance that will solve your lip problems.

This is where coconut oil comes in. It’s absorbent and locks in all its moisturizing elements with its protective consistency. Try packing a small amount of it in a tiny airtight container to carry around with you and reapply when needed. No need to worry about chapped lips now!

Wonderplay / Shutterstock

17. Under Eye Bags

Swollen under eye bags is a common insecurity people have. Dermatologists always discourage patients from using the same lotion they use on their face on their under eye skin because it is so thin and sensitive. So what do you put under your eyes to help prevent those dreaded bags?

Coconut oil is actually gentle enough to be placed on this area of the face for reducing bags and increasing moisture. Healthline says it can help with inflammation and treat the puffiness that comes with under eye bags. Gently massage the coconut oil under your eyes and allow your skin to soak up all the benefits!

sruilk / Shutterstock

18. Exfoliating

While it’s obvious that you should use soap in the shower (please tell me this isn’t news to you), it’s also very important to exfoliate your skin. It removes all those dead skin cells from your skin and any dirt and sweat that the soap just couldn’t clean.

Coconut oil is perfect for exfoliating because it is not too harsh on your skin, and because of it’s moisturizing benefits, it will leave your skin smooth and quenched by the end of your bath or shower. Plus, it’s gentle enough to use on a daily basis and will leave you feeling smoother than ever.

kireewong foto / Shutterstock

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10 Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Dinner Dishes

Thanksgiving in its entirety no longer has to rest on the shoulders of the family matriarch. This year, mom or grandma can start a new tradition of collaboration, one that no longer requires making everything, from scratch, on Thanksgiving Day. In fact, these traditional Thanksgiving dishes can be made ahead or contributed in pot luck […]

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Thanksgiving in its entirety no longer has to rest on the shoulders of the family matriarch. This year, mom or grandma can start a new tradition of collaboration, one that no longer requires making everything, from scratch, on Thanksgiving Day.

In fact, these traditional Thanksgiving dishes can be made ahead or contributed in pot luck fashion so that everyone in the family can enjoy the holiday…

1. Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This roasted butternut squash soup is an excellent choice for anyone in need of a delicious appetizer or side dish this Thanksgiving. You can roast the vegetables in advance and follow the rest of the steps on the day or, or even prepare the dish entirely one or two days ahead. Just make sure to store the soup in an airtight container in the fridge to keep it fresh.

This recipe walks you through prepping, seasoning, and roasting the vegetables to achieve decadent results. It takes about an our and a half to prepare and yields eight servings. Plus, it’s a vegan recipe that everyone will love.

Anna_Pustynnikova / Shutterstock

2. Roasted Vegetables

There’s no easier way to serve up vegetables than with a roasted veggie tray. All you do is chop up the veggies, drizzle on some olive oil, and serve once the oven timer dings! It takes less than an hour to prepare and is a healthy dish to prepare on Thanksgiving Day.

To make a fall themed roasted veggie plate, there are some must-have vegetables to include on your shopping list. This recipe calls for sweet potatoes, cauliflower florets, acorn squash, zucchini, and some others. Topping it off with cinnamon and oregano among other seasoning will deliver the fall flavors you’re looking for.

Afanasieva / Shutterstock

3. Make-Ahead Turkey and Gravy

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving Day at most households without serving up a turkey dinner. The tender, juicy, and well seasoned bird is a fan favorite during the holidays. You can get started on the turkey and gravy ahead of the big day by following this mouthwatering recipe!

For this recipe, you will have to rub the turkey about two or three days before roasting. The homemade gravy can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated in an airtight container until you’re ready to serve. All you have to do when you’re ready is to heat it over the stovetop and add some last minute ingredients like the wine and seasonings.

Africa Studio / Shutterstock

4. Pineapple-CranberrySauce

Looking to experiment with your cranberry sauce this year? Then check out this pineapple cranberry sauce recipe. It elevates this classic holiday sauce with a hint of pineapple flavor that is sure to impress guests once they get a taste. It’s also an easy homemade recipe that will have you never wanting to buy pre-made cranberry sauce ever again.

The recipe takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and can be made up to two days in advance. Just store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Alternatively, you could also freeze it for up to two months. It uses just six ingredients and is guaranteed to taste good with everything else at the dinner table.

Elena Veselova / Shutterstock

5. Simple Scalloped Potatoes

Potatoes are a staple at the holiday dinner table. As for what type? These cheesy scalloped potatoes are an excellent option. The creaminess of the potatoes mixed with the homemade beshamel sauce make for a melt-in-your-mouth side plate. This recipe takes less than an hour to make from start to finish.

If you decide to make the potatoes one day ahead of Thanksgiving, simply cover it with plastic wrap or foil in the fridge. You can also make it earlier and freeze it. Simply thaw overnight in the fridge the day before you need it and follow the instructions for reheating. Without baking the potatoes, this dish can be frozen for up to three months.

Sea Wave / Shutterstock

6. Herb & Cheddar Biscuits

One of the easiest and most dippable side dishes to prepare for Thanksgiving Day are biscuits. These flaky and savory breads pair well with gravy and other sides at the dinner table. Even better, this is a one-bowl recipe that flavors the biscuits with garlic and cheddar.

You can prepare the dry mix in advance to save time. On the day of, you can continue the recipe by adding in the grated cheddar and buttermilk to form the dough. This recipe yields 10 biscuits and takes a little over half an hour to make. Have some gravy on the table for dipping and enjoy!

Cesarz / Shutterstock

7. Olive Bread Stuffing with Fennel

Gourmet dreams do come true when artisanal olive bread bits are assembled in a baking dish with buttered mushrooms, chopped fennel and onions, sundried tomatoes, chicken stock, and fresh herbs (i.e., thyme, basil, tarragon, salt, and black pepper), and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Voila, a rustic, stuffing that can be made up to two days prior to Thanksgiving.

This recipe yields 12 servings and takes about 20 minutes of hands-on preparation. You have to bake it in the oven covered for 40 minutes. After sprinkling it with the remaining cheese, continue to bake for up to 25 minutes longer uncovered.

MSPhotographic / Shutterstock

8. Free-Form Apple Tart

Prepare to impress your dinner guests for both presentation and flavor when serving up these homemade apple tarts. This recipe, which takes less than two hours to prepare, gives you a buttery and flaky crust with a sweet apple filling that’s hard to resist.

Since you must allow tarts to cool completely, it’s a dessert that makes sense to make ahead of time. Cover it loosely with tinfoil or plastic wrap to make sure it stays fresh until you’re ready to serve. The tarts can keep well for up to 24 hours at room temperature or for up to three days in the refrigerator.

hlphoto / Shutterstock

9. Mashed Potato Casserole

Load up your mashed potatoes with cheese, bacon, and fresh chives by following this House of Yumm recipe. This side dish not only tastes delicious, but will immediately draw people in based on presentation alone. It’s loaded with shredded cheese that will melt in your mouth with every bite.

Feel free to make this dish the day before Thanksgiving. You can cook and mash the potatoes, add the cheese to your casserole dish, and simply bake it on the day you’re serving it. Don’t forget to add the toppings! To make this dish vegetarian-friendly, just omit the bacon.

minadezhda / Shutterstock

10. Spinach Puffs

What better way to serve evenly sized dishes than by using a muffin tin? You can do exactly that by following this spinach puff recipe. These bite-sized appetizers yield 12 servings and takes about 20 minutes to bake in the oven.

To make this recipe ahead of time, simply do not brush the puffs with egg wash just yet. Freeze them in the muffin tins and wrap it with foil or plastic wrap. The hood news is you can bake them frozen! Just make sure to brush them before baking and give them some extra time in the oven so they are fully cooked.

MShev / Shutterstock

11. Turkey-Shaped Cheese Platter

The nice thing about serving platters is that you can make it ahead of time and simply pull it from the fridge when you’re ready to serve. If you’re looking for a way to spice up presentation, then check out this turkey-shaped cheese platter. It has salami, cheese, and crackers arranged on the platter in the shape of a turkey — so cute!

Follow this recipe to see how easy it is to shape your board into a turkey. On the day of Thanksgiving dinner, all you’ll have to do is uncover and serve. Prepping this cheese platter ahead of time can also be a fun activity to do with the kids.

Studio KIWI / Shutterstock

12. Apple Cider Sangria
Don’t forget about the drinks on Thanksgiving Day! What better way to celebrate than with a festive adult beverage? This apple cider sangria recipe is perfect for fall and your guests will most definitely be raving over it. The recipe uses white wine, apples, fresh apple cider, and other flavorful ingredients.

Making the sangria can’t get any easier. All you have to do is mix together all the ingredients and let it sit for anywhere from two to 24 hours, so feel free to make it the day before. You can add in the carbonated water once you’re ready to serve.

Elena Veselova / Shutterstock

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Best and Worst Sources of Protein

Getting enough protein in your diet has never been easier with grocery stores sourcing products from all around the world for your convenience. The problem is, what products are the healthiest sources of protein, and which foods have more negative attributes than the amount of protein they offer? Choosing what you put in your body […]

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Getting enough protein in your diet has never been easier with grocery stores sourcing products from all around the world for your convenience. The problem is, what products are the healthiest sources of protein, and which foods have more negative attributes than the amount of protein they offer? Choosing what you put in your body is so important, and knowing which foods are the best options for you and your family will help you build a protein-packed menu without any regrets. Whether it’s making big changes in your diet or very small ones, your body and your loved ones will thank you!

1. BEST: Chicken Breast

Packed with protein, you can prepare chicken breast for lunch or supper quite easily. Slow cook chicken for pulled chicken on a whole grain bun, add a cooked chicken breast into your favorite salad or barbecue it on the grill and serve up with roasted veggies and goat cheese.

Chicken is truly a versatile meat because of its mild flavor and texture. It takes well to marinades and freezes easily. No matter which way you choose to prepare it, it’s a low-calorie lean protein source that’s a wonderful addition to your diet.

~24g of protein per 3 oz. breast 

2. WORST: Deep Fried Meats

Deep frying just about anything can guarantee the depletion of nutritional benefits. If you’re looking for a protein-rich meal, skip the deep fryer and eat either raw or cooked food that isn’t coated in breadcrumbs and oil!

Next time you’re at a restaurant, check the menu for some grilled or baked options so you can skip the health-damaging deep fryer at all costs.

~5-25g protein per serving depending 

3. BEST: Shrimp

Shrimp is one of the most underutilized protein sources in the meat family. It’s a lean meat that works in pastas, salads, stir fry’s, bbq skewers and so much more.

With its mild flavor and speedy cooking time, it should definitely be something you keep on hand when looking for a protein source to add to your favorite dish. Shrimp is so full of protein in fact, it’s 81% protein and only 200 calories per cup of cooked shrimp. It’s a great food when you’re watching your waistline, and looking for a satisfying food source that’s low in calories but rich in protein to keep you sustained longer.

~38g protein per cup 

4. WORST: Sausages & Hot Dogs

While sausages and hot dogs do have protein, it’s pretty obvious that they are not great for you. With tons of sodium and other additives, you’re doing more of a disservice to your body than benefiting it!

At the next barbecue, try grilled some chicken breasts and lean cuts of red meat to serve on their own or in a bun for a healthier alternative to the regular barbecue favorites.

~5g per sausage or hot dog 

5. BEST: Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt can be incorporated into baking healthier desserts, mixed into smoothies, as well as being topped with berries and the protein-rich chia seeds. You can also create a parfait with Greek yogurt, granola, and fruit!

Not only is Greek yogurt great for protein, but it is also very low in sugar and fat. It’s rare you can find a food that has that creamy texture without a lot of fat in it, but with Greek yogurt, it’s definitely a no regrets kind of food.

~29g of protein per cup 

6. WORST: Sugary Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a wonderful alternative to the regular yogurt at the grocery store. It’s incredible how much sugar they can fit into one tiny cup, which is why it’s worth skipping.

One of the easiest ways to control how much sugar is in your yogurt is by purchasing plain greek yogurt, then adding your own flavors using berries, agave or maple syrup.

~3g of protein and 13g of sugar per 100 grams

7. BEST: Wild Salmon

Wild salmon is much lower in fat and has approximately the same amount of protein as farmed salmon. Grill on a cedar plank on the barbecue and serve with cooked veggies and garlic mashed potatoes. Delicious!

Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which helps improve cognitive function. Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important to eat because your body does not naturally produce it. Make sure you incorporate one meal a week at least with a little salmon in it for this health benefit.

~23g of protein per serving 

8. WORST: Farmed Salmon

Farmed salmon contains 150-200 more calories than wild salmon while offering around the same amount of protein. The trade-off for wild salmon is definitely worth it when you can get a leaner cut of fish.

When we go to the grocery store to purchase our salmon, we like to think it was caught in the ocean swimming by the fishing boat, however, farmed salmon are actually controlled areas of water where breeding and harvesting take place, making them a less natural source for protein than we originally thought.

~23g of protein per serving

9. BEST: Lentils

Preparing lentils may seem like a daunting task, but they’re an excellent ingredient to include in large batches of soups, stews, and chilis that can be frozen for later. You can make lentil soup or a vegetarian chili to serve at supper and take for lunch the next day, knowing you’ll be getting piles of protein with every bite.

Lentils are a wonderful addition to a variety of meals including casseroles, soups, chilis and even as a side dish for a meal. They can take on any flavor that you create with sauces or spices so making them a new addition to that good old casserole you make for your neighbors shouldn’t be a huge challenge at all.

~18g of protein per cup 

10. WORST: Whole Wheat/Grain Bread

While whole grains are a fantastic source of fiber, they seriously lack in protein. It can be misleading when you see all the seeds lacing your sandwich choice, but unfortunately…they just don’t add up to much.

Most often still full of enriched flours, sugars, and calories…they’re not exactly a great protein addition to your diet. While they may be a better option than their white bread counterparts, there’s simply not enough good to justify. Let it be the vehicle to deliver your proteins, but don’t depend on the bread itself to keep you sustained.

~3-4g protein per slice

11. BEST: Tempeh

Tempeh is a wonderful meatless food that can be pan-fried or baked. The best part is, it acquires the taste of any of the seasonings you cook it with. Add it to your salad or fill your taco with tempeh instead of chicken or beef.

Tempeh is protein source made from fermented soybeans. It is a healthier option than tofu because it is much less processed than most tofu products.

~31g of protein per cup 

12. WORST: Tofu Deli Meats

While many individuals are vegetarian or vegan, picking tofu deli meats can be a risk for your health due to the high sodium levels. While they’re skipping out on animals, they are also packing this food with lots of additives.

A better sandwich alternative for protein would be a roasted veggies sandwich with vegan cheese and some garlic hummus. You will still have a delicious meal, without as much sodium.

~2-3g protein per slice

13. BEST: Nuts

Nuts are a wonderful addition to your diet when enjoyed in moderation.  Full of healthy fats and protein, they can help keep you sustained and fueled in your day. They also pair well with other protein sources such as Greek yogurt, ensuring you get a good amount of both protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are an amazing benefit to the body which means that you can definitely incorporate nuts into your daily menu, but just make sure that they aren’t the focus of the meal.

~27g of protein per cup

14. WORST: Candied Nuts

This may be a rather predictable one in the “worst” category, but after all, we’ve learned about the benefits of nut proteins, it’s something to definitely touch on.

While nuts are a healthy protein source, enjoying them within a shell of candy coating is definitely a no-no in the protein world. They may be a favorite bar snack, but if given the option, reach for the roasted or shelled variety instead.

~12g of protein per cup

15. BEST: Spirulina

Perhaps you’ve never heard of spirulina before, but you should definitely be paying attention to this source of protein and it’s trendy ways.

Made popular on social media for its aqua blue-green color, this powder form of algae has risen to fame in the smoothie recipe world. Making it a much better option than some other “on the go” alternatives. One fascinating fact about spirulina is that it’s so rich in protein, it nearly doubles the protein of a meat source, such as chicken breast when compared gram for gram.

~57g protein per 100g

16. WORST: Processed Protein Bars

While you may be loving the amount of protein you’re getting from the chocolate chip cookie dough protein bar you’re eating, in reality, it is absolutely not worth it. Many protein bars are packed with an insane amount of sugar, loaded with calories and can even have a high-fat content. As much as I hate being a dream crusher, I’m here to tell you that the no regrets attitude you have towards your protein bars has got to go.

There are some fantastic protein bars out there that are plant-based and have fewer additives, but the bottom line is that you don’t want to make protein bars your sole source of protein. As shown on this list, there are tons of different foods you can enjoy to get your daily intake of protein without having to tolerate all that sugar and fat.

~2og protein, 10g sugar per bar (depending on brand)

17. BEST: Natural Nut & Seed Butters

Nuts and seeds are naturally a rich protein source, as mentioned before. However, when it’s ground down into a spread it’s much more versatile a protein source. Enjoy it on a slice of whole grain toast in the morning with some banana, or add it to your baking with cookies and muffins.

The natural nut and seed kinds of butter usually only have one ingredient – the nuts, and seeds themselves. Sometimes there is some sea salt added. It comes in a range of varieties like almond, cashew, sunflower seed, crunchy, smooth and more. Packed with natural oils that contribute to your healthy fat intake, this option is definitely a surefire win.

~32.5g of protein per 1/2 cup 

18. WORST: Standard Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a staple in many North American homes and it’s well utilized in many family snacks and meals. A classic PB & J, or crackers or celery with peanut butter are common choices, while some of us enjoy it straight off the spoon or baked as the main ingredient in the easiest of cookie recipes.

Unfortunately, generic peanut butter is full of additives. The biggest additive that cancels out the positivity of this protein source, is sugar. Sugar has shown to have a negative impact cognitively and is also the leading contributor to obesity in both adults and children. Not only that, but generic peanut butter is often laced with hydrogenated vegetable oils, instead of relying on the peanuts natural oils as a healthy fat source.

~7g of protein per serving, 3 grams of sugar

19. BEST: Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese is a wonderful source of protein and can actually be included in lasagna, or enjoyed on its own with some berries. No matter how you serve it up, it’s a great food to have in your fridge when you need a kick of energy.

Cottage Cheese is actually a drained, unpressed cheese that has not aged or been colored. It is very high in protein and doesn’t have very many additives either, making it a great choice for even toddlers to enjoy.

~14g of protein per 1/2 cup 

20.  WORST: Cheese

I’m very careful to say cheese is bad because it’s not that bad when you’re using portion control. The main point of cheese is that it is both high in protein and very high in fat. When you go to the grocery store, pick the lower fat cheese for more health benefits.

A lot of meals with cheese make cheese the focus, but if you are able to add spices and grilled meat to the meal, the cheese can take the back seat for your supper. It’s a delicious food that is best enjoyed in small portions, and should not be consumed as a main source of protein.

~4g protein per 1 square inch

21. BEST: Soba Noodles

Soba Noodles are made from buckwheat and offer a higher protein content than regular white noodles. Make your regular spaghetti and use these noodles instead for a healthier twist on a family favorite.

Buckwheat is not only great as a protein source, but it also contains antioxidants to fight many types of cancer and can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It’s a great food to incorporate into your weekly menu without too much of a hassle.

~12g of protein per 3 ounces

22. WORST: Ramen Noodles

Maybe back in your college days you found the excuse to tell yourself you were eating cheap and healthy when you read on the side of the ramen noodle package, that it packed some protein.

However…packaged ramen noodles are over-processed and carry an insane amount of sodium, with little to no nutritional benefit to your diet, no matter how beneficial those packages are to your wallet. Time to take them back out of the cart, and opt for a better option.

~9g of protein per package

23. BEST: Chickpea Pasta

This pasta is made out of chickpeas and is exploding with protein! Top with a cream sauce or tomato sauce for a filling dish that will give you lasting energy.

If you’re trying to lose weight, an added bonus for consuming chickpeas is how filling they are. You won’t need to eat as much to feel full after a meal involving chickpea pasta!

~14g of protein per serving 

24. WORST: White Pasta

We grew up on the stuff, and it’s part of many weeknight meal plans for its ease of cooking and simplicity in flavor, making it a versatile main in so many dinners.

However, white pasta is simple carbohydrate that while it does pack some protein, lacks in overall health benefits. With simple-carb foods, the body is able to break it down easily converting it into glucose which creates an unhealthy spike in your blood sugar. When the bad outweighs the good, it’s time to consider a new protein source.

~8g protein per cup

25. BEST: Edamame

Edamame beans are easy to enjoy on their own or incorporated into a salad of some sort. You can also add them to a health bowl along with veggies and quinoa for a super healthy meal. It’s an easy, portable item to bring to work with your lunch or as a mid-day snack.

You can also purchase edamame beans in the grocery store in freezer packages so you can ensure they won’t go bad and will always be available to add to any meal that you see needs a little protein boost.

~14.9g of protein per serving 

26. WORST: Processed Meats

An all too common protein source in our lunched, but we all know processed meats aren’t ideal. For some of us, we just may not know why. Not only are these meats extremely high in sodium, but many of them are also very high in fat. While you are getting protein, the benefits don’t quite outweigh the health costs to your system.

Instead of buying these deli meats, cook up your own whole turkey or chicken and then slice into thin pieces for easy sandwiches at work and school. By doing this, you are reducing fat and sodium and cleaning up your intake of processed foods, while getting some amazing protein!

~3-4g protein per slice

The post Best and Worst Sources of Protein appeared first on Forkly.

No-Bake Nut-Free Chocolate Raspberry Stuffed Snack Bites

You’ve probably been seeing recipes for no-bake snack/energy bites online for a few years now. I know I have! They look so delicious and are always packed with nutrient-rich ingredients to fuel your (or your kiddo’s) day. My struggle is that I can’t make any of them because, like many others, I have a nut allergy. […]

The post No-Bake Nut-Free Chocolate Raspberry Stuffed Snack Bites appeared first on Forkly.

You’ve probably been seeing recipes for no-bake snack/energy bites online for a few years now. I know I have! They look so delicious and are always packed with nutrient-rich ingredients to fuel your (or your kiddo’s) day. My struggle is that I can’t make any of them because, like many others, I have a nut allergy. A lot of these recipes use nuts as the main source of protein and I’ve had such a hard time finding a recipe that won’t send me to the hospital, but is still protein-rich and not full of sugar.

After a lot of recipe hunting and research, I decided to take matters into my own hands and create a recipe from scratch. After making these snack bites at least half a dozen times, I think I’ve perfected the art of the nut-free snack bite. The best part is, you can pack them in your kids’ lunches for school because they aren’t an allergy hazard for their classmates! This flavor is so decadent that whenever I have a sugar craving, I grab one of these snack bites before I cave and eat a brownie.

Like many recipes, ingredients matter. When purchasing a package of dates, always feel the package to see how dry or soft they are. It’s better if the dates are moist so that they blend in the food processor more easily. A simple way to ensure this is to buy Medjool dates, which tend to be softer than their counterparts (though they also tend to be more expensive). You can use other types in a pinch, but we suggest softening them in a bowl of hot water for 30 minutes before adding them to the recipe. Just remember to drain the liquid before dumping them in! In addition to the dates, be sure to add in soy (or another nut-free non-dairy) milk to ensure that there is enough liquid to help break down the rest of the ingredients and bind the snack bites.

If you want to get really decadent and turn these snack bites into more of a dessert, you can dip them in dark chocolate! To stay on the healthier side, you could also use dried fruit in the place of jam for a delicious filling. We used an oragnic, non-GMO, lower sugar raspberry jam from the grocery store for our surprise stuffing, but you could also use homemade jam if you have some!

Consider yourself warned: These snack bites get really sticky when you roll them, so you may want to throw the mixture in the fridge for 10 minutes before rolling them. Alternatively, spray your hands with a little bit of coconut oil to reduce how much of the chocolatey mixture sticks to your hands. After they’re all rolled up, freeze or refrigerate them spread out on a plate for 30 minutes before you stack them in a container or bag so that they don’t stick together when being stored.

Full disclosure, this recipe is approximate, which means you can play around with how many dates, coconut flakes and other ingredients you have. If you find the mixture is too wet, simply add in some more oats to make it easier to roll the snack bites. Too dry? Add more non-dairy milk. We promise this recipe is very forgiving! You can also make them as big or small as you want, depending on who you’re feeding and whether they’re a supposed to be a tiny or giant snack.

Servings: 16


  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/3 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp of soy milk
  • 1 2/3 cup oats
  • 4 tbsp raspberry jam


  • Food Processor
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Spatula


  • Add everything into the food processor, except for the soy milk and oats.
  • Add one tablespoon of soy milk and blend, stopping to stir and scrape down the sides when the mixture sticks to the outside of the processor.
  • Add second tablespoon of soy milk and repeat.
  • Add third tablespoon of soy milk and repeat.
  • Blend until the ingredients form a smooth mixture
  • Pour into mixing bowl and fold in oats.
  • Take small scoop of mixture and roll into a ball.
  • Flatten slightly and press your thumb into the center to create a small divot. Add about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of jam.
  • Press the mixture to surround the jam and roll in hands to seal the snack bite and make it round again.
  • Refrigerate for half an hour before serving. Store in the fridge for up to one week.

The post No-Bake Nut-Free Chocolate Raspberry Stuffed Snack Bites appeared first on Forkly.

Quick & Easy St. Patrick’s Day Finger Food Flags

St. Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays that we all acknowledge but don’t do tons of planning for. By the time St. Patty’s day is here, we realize winter is almost over and we’re ready to let loose and celebrate just about anything in honor of winter being over! When you decide last minute […]

The post Quick & Easy St. Patrick’s Day Finger Food Flags appeared first on Forkly.

St. Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays that we all acknowledge but don’t do tons of planning for. By the time St. Patty’s day is here, we realize winter is almost over and we’re ready to let loose and celebrate just about anything in honor of winter being over!

When you decide last minute to have some friends over to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, this is an easy no-bake recipe that uses ingredients you probably have in your fridge. Alternatively, throw these cute little finger food flags in your kiddo’s lunch to get festive without effort. With cheddar cheese, sliced turkey, and a pickle, you can create fun little Irish flags that will look like you didn’t plan this party super last minute (which you probably did, but we don’t judge)!

1. Slice Cheese

Slice your cheese into rectangles that are one inch long. Make sure they are thick enough that they don’t split when you slide them onto the kabob. The cheese is going to serve as the orange stripe on the Irish flag, so make sure to purchase cheddar cheese that’s orange.

2. Cut Turkey

You will want to slice your turkey cold cuts into 3 long rectangles. This is the white stripe in the flag! The key is to weave the turkey on so it looks like the flag is blowing in the wind. We just grabbed a package of cold cuts from the grocery store, but you can also purchase it at the deli counter and get them to slice it a little bit thicker to make these kabobs a bit more of a bite!

3.  Slide Pickles Onto Kabob

Make sure that your pickles are the mini gherkin pickles. We opted for dill pickles instead of sweet because … well, our whole team thinks sweet pickles are gross. But you can use whatever kind you like best! Slide them carefully onto the toothpick, as they can easily split in half.

4. Weave Turkey Onto Kabob

Next, weave your rectangle of turkey onto the kabob so it looks like the flag is blowing in the wind. You can also use mozzarella cheese or old white cheese to keep it vegetarian if you’d like.

5. Slide Cheese Onto Kabob

Much like the pickle, the cheese has a high chance of splitting as you slide it onto the kabob, so go slowly and make sure your slices are thick enough. This final ingredient on the kabob is the last touch to complete your Irish flag! All done and time to enjoy!

Servings: 10


  • 10 Slices Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 Slices of Turkey
  • 10 Mini Dill Pickles


  • Small Kabobs or Extra-Large Toothpicks


  • Cut cheese into thick rectangles about an inch long.
  • Cut turkey into thirds.
  • Slide pickles onto toothpick, followed by 1/3 of a slice of turkey, then the cheddar cheese.
  • Place on a platter and serve!

The post Quick & Easy St. Patrick’s Day Finger Food Flags appeared first on Forkly.