Healthy chocolate recipe?

Chocolate Coconut Silk

I thought that might get your attention! Here is one of my favorite recipes from my new book – Chocolate Coconut Silk. If you are unable to find the unsweetened coconut milk (I used So Delicious brand – 45 calories per cup) you can use fat free milk, or soy milk or nut milk.

Chocolate Coconut Silk – Makes four 1/2 cup servings
I adore pudding. This is so creamy and chocolatey and easy to make –
hope you’ll love it too.

1⁄4 cup 21.5 g unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1⁄4 cup 32 g cornstarch
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 cups 473 ml unsweetened coconut milk,
1⁄3 cup to 1/2 cup agave nectar (depending on how sweet you like your desserts)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a 1-quart saucepan, combine the cocoa, cornstarch and salt. Add just
enough of the coconut milk to make a smooth paste. Gradually stir in the
agave and the remaining coconut milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring
constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir
in the vanilla extract. Pour into 4 serving dishes and cool.

Nutritional information (per serving):
Calories 150, fat 3 g, sat fat 2 g, cholesterol 0 mg, sodium 330 mg,
carbohydrate 33 g, fiber 3 g, sugar 22 g, protein 1 g

Final Front Cover

Tonight’s the night – Biggest Loser Finale!

And here’s the book that contains all the advice, menus and recipes shared with Biggest Loser contestants for fifteen seasons! The Biggest Loser’s chef and nutrition expert has created a no-nonsense handbook that outlines a simple plan in an easy-to-read, entertaining style.

“I watched Cheryl coach BL contestants for 10 years, and her sensible approach to healthy and sustainable weight loss really works! This is a must-have book for anyone looking to lose 10 pounds–or 100.” Jillian Michaels

After 15 seasons as nutritionist for NBC’s The Biggest Loser, Cheryl Forberg has uncovered stunning facts about typical eating and lifestyle habits that cause millions of Americans to gain thousands of pounds each year. Cheryl also knows how to interpret that information to promote weight loss. We’ve all seen the success of the hundreds of people she has helped “behind the scenes” at The Biggest Loser – and now the secrets and insights of one of the country’s top weight loss experts can be yours.

Order nowFinal Front Cover

My new book IS HERE!

Final Front Cover

As seen all week on Good Morning Britain!



How To Pick A Healthy Thanksgiving Turkey

                                                                                  044720CH_5_TURKEY_245Many of us strive to be responsible with what types of food we put on the table for our families and loved ones. And our attention to this effort can be heightened when it’s time to set lavish spreads for holiday meals such as Thanksgiving.

There are a dizzying array of options in the store when it comes to selecting something as seemingly simple as Thanksgiving turkey. How do you decide which one is best for you?

What I usually tell people is buy the highest quality you can afford. While there can be significant taste differences between standard turkeys and their heritage-bred cousins (and, for the adventurous, wild turkeys), perhaps more vital is how the birds are raised and prepared.

I hope this brief guide will help you wade through the confusing labels and names as you go shopping for your Thanksgiving (or any meal, really).

It’s important to take these labels as general guidelines, though. Infinitely more important is knowing where your bird came from and being confident in the producer. There are cases, unfortunately, where producers skirt the rules to gain certification but don’t honor the spirit of the designation. Likewise, many birds can be raised ethically and sustainably with no indication of such. And best poultry probably comes with the least packaging, anyway.

Types of Turkeys


The term “organic” is a moving target, and the labeling of food as such can be contentious. However, any birds labeled “certified organic” by the USDA have been fed approved organic grains (in accordance with a list of rules), have not been treated with antibiotics or given growth hormones and have been given freedom of movement. You can find other conditions that producers must meet to earn a “certified organic” label at the USDA’s site.



If you see “free-range” on the package or you are told the bird you are ordering is free-range, that means it has not spent its entire life confined to a cage and was given, again, freedom of movement and “access” to the outdoors, but it may have been kept in a barn. Unfortunately, this is a label that can lead to some dishonesty, since producers need only have an exit to the outdoors available to the turkeys, and they may never actually get outside and there are no limits to how many turkeys can be stuffed into a barn. Again, this is where it’s important to trust your producer and source.


This goes one step beyond “free-range”: These birds have open and unfettered access to the outdoors and are left free to wander as they see fit. Sometimes though (often), they just want to sit around. These birds graze in the outdoors, and, because of a diet high in grasses, its meat will be higher in Omega 3 fats (a good fat), though it may be leaner than what you are used to.


All of the above turkeys would be raised on a vegetarian-fed diet, meaning their diets are free of all animal by-products (though they may not adhere to the strict standards set out for organic certification). Turkeys are naturally vegetarian (except for pecking at a few worms and bugs), but often large commercial farms put animal byproducts from their other operations in the turkeys’s feed.


There are many different types of heritage-bred turkeys — American Bronze, Narragansett and Bourbon Reds, to name just a few — too many to list here, and these are the equivalent of the heirloom tomatoes of the poultry world. Unlike Broad-breasted turkeys (the common supermarket birds you are likely used to, which have been cross-bred to create birds with more meat — though not more flavor). The heritage-bred turkeys still breed naturally (the common domestic turkey is the result of artificial insemination), graze on grasses, bugs and worms, and they do run and fly (consequently they are leaner and have much smaller breasts, so you won’t want to roast them as long or they’ll dry out). They may have distinct flavors and appearances that vary drastically from their hybrid cousins.


Some conventionally-raised turkeys are given antibiotics — not because they’re sick, but because it helps them grow faster. An antibiotic-free label is your assurance that this was not the case. To meet “certified organic” specifications, a bird must be ABF-free, so the labeling may also indicate that the bird did not meet all the other standards necessary to be considered organic.


The term natural does not refer to how the turkey was raised, but how it was processed after slaughter. To earn this designation the only requirement is that the bird must not have been injected with preservatives or anti-microbials or other additives, such as artificial flavor or coloring.


Kosher turkeys are slaughtered in kosher slaughterhouses. Besides being a approved by a rabbi, these facilities also follow specific rules based on Jewish law. After the feathers are removed, the birds are soaked in cold water and heavily salted. This creates a sort of pre-brine, and whether or not they buy the bird for religious reasons, many people who enjoy brined-cooking prefer the convenience of not having to do this themselves.


If you see this on the label of a frozen turkey — it may also say this been done to “enhance moistness” or some such similar nonsense — run far away. Freezing does dry out the meat, as I said above, but a yucky solution of salt, sodium phosphates, sugar and artificial flavoring will do nothing for your feast.

At the links below you’ll find resources for to help you find various natural, free-range, pastured, organic and heritage-bred birds.

Resource Links

Check out Local Harvest to find a local turkey farmers near you:

On Nov. 21  I’ll be hosting a chat on Twitter using the hashtag #GetYourGobbleOn #CompleteYourFeast where you’ll have the opportunity to ask all of your questions about buying a turkey, cooking it and planning a Thanksgiving meal.

You can follow me on Twitter @cherylforbergrd and look for the #GetYourGobbleOn #CompleteYourFeast chat.

During the Twitter chat we’ll also be giving away some goodies to help you to get started preparing a healthy holiday meal, including  a gift basket from Melissa’s Produce full of onions, potatoes, mushrooms, squash, garlic, rice, herbs and more.  And for that all-important centerpiece: an American Heirloom turkey from the Diestel Family Turkey Ranch. These bronze and black birds are rich in flavor, certified organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and GAP Step 3 Rated. @DiestelTurkey

The Diestel Family Turkey Ranch is located in Sonora, California. For four generations, the family has been naturally raising turkeys on their beautiful farm nestled in the Sierra Foothills. Their ranching style, family-farming secrets, and strict sustainable standards consistently produce a better, tender and juicier turkey with real, old-fashioned flavor.

One of the last small, family-owned turkey grower-processors in the United States, the Diestel family raises a variety of different turkeys. Whether the turkey of choice is their artisanal American Heirloom known for more rich and flavorful meat; a GAP 5+ rated pasture-raised turkey; their certified organic turkey (Heidi’s Hens), or Diestel’s original, broad-breasted turkey possessing exceptional flavor, all of Diestel’s birds have one thing in common: They taste like turkey should. Click here to learn more about Diestel’s holiday birds.

Diestel turkeys are available at select retailers across the country. Visit this link to find a store near you.

(You must live within the contiguous U.S. to be eligible to win.)  Join in the chat for your chance to win!  #ad

Follow Chef Cheryl Forberg, RD on Twitter:

A Small Guide To Losing Big

Final Front Cover


After 15 seasons as nutritionist for NBC’s The Biggest Loser, Cheryl Forberg has uncovered stunning facts about typical eating and lifestyle habits that cause millions of Americans to gain

thousands of pounds each year. She also knows how to interpret that information to promote weight loss.  We’ve all seen the success of the hundreds of people Cheryl has helped “behind the scenes”

at The Biggest Loser – and now the secrets and insights of one of the country’s top weight loss experts can be yours.

This handy pocket guide will be your go-to book for weight loss. Keep one in your car, stash one in your handbag and leave one on your kitchen counter.

In A Small Guide to Losing Big, Cheryl makes it easy – weight loss basics, nutrition tips, menus and recipes in a no nonsense pocket guide.

Pre-order now for free shipping when the book is available – approximately December 20, 2014


November Special – Save 50% on Biggest Loser cookbook

This is the cookbook the cast is using this season on The Biggest Loser.  Get your copy today for half price and free shipping!  Buy now

As the nutritionist for NBC’s hit show The Biggest Loser, Cheryl Forberg not only knows how to help people lose weight, she also understands why they gain it in the first place.
One reason Americans keep packing on the pounds is because our taste buds have become accustomed to the intense (and artificial) flavors of highly processed foods that overwhelm our senses. We tend to crave extreme flavors and textures—salty, fried, sweet, creamy—so when we decide to lose weight by substituting grilled chicken for a hamburger, we’re not going to enjoy our food…and we’re unlikely to stick to our weight loss plan.
But what if you substituted your greasy drive-thru hamburger for Spicy Beef Satays, Beer-Braised Pork Tacos, or Sesame Prawns? How about if you replaced your morning doughnut with spicy Huevos Sofrito or Toasted Oatcakes with Berry Confetti? Chances are, you’d be too satisfied to miss any of the empty calories in your old favorites.
In Flavor First, you’ll discover more than 75 recipes for delicious, all-natural entrées, snacks, appetizers, drinks, and desserts that are big on flavor and low in calories.Cheryl shows you how to create easy, family-friendly meals that will add instant flavor and excitement to your daily routine. From simple cooking techniques that create layers of flavor, to recipes for blending your own spice rubs and marinades, to whipping up sauces and vinaigrettes in minutes, Flavor First shows you that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor to lose weight.

The Quality of Your Calories is Just as Important as the Quantity


One of the cornerstones of any successful diet plan (and something I’ve always stressed to The Biggest Loser contestants) is that the quality of your calories is just as important as the quantity. It’s as important distinction to remember, especially when you are decreasing the number of calories you are eating in order to drop weight – so choose wisely.

Freshness equals flavor.
Regardless of the recipe, the quality of the outcome is a function of
the quality of the ingredients you use. Buy the freshest,
highest-quality foods you can afford. Depending on your budget, it’s
not always possible to buy organic produce and prime-grade fish,
poultry and meats. But on the other hand, once you’re comfortable
experimenting with a variety of flavors and styles, you may discover
you’re dining out less without missing out on flavor – which can
result in substantial savings. Similarly, focusing your diet on
“clean” foods made from fresh, whole ingredients is likely to be more
filling and satisfying than consuming an abundance of processed foods;
you may find you need less of the good stuff and achieve savings
through quality over quantity.

Buy seasonal and local produce.
Although our expansive, modern supermarkets stock produce year-round,
many items travel thousands of miles to reach the shelves. To keep
costs down – both yours and the environment’s – try visiting a local
farmers’ market and acquainting yourself with what’s available
seasonally. You’ll find the produce is not only a better value, but it
tastes better, too.

Grow your own.
You don’t have to own a farm to grow your own herbs. All you need is a
sunny windowsill and a few flower pots to start your own patch of
basil, rosemary or thyme. Not only will you save money on buying fresh
herbs, but you’ll also be able to snip off just what you need instead
of buying a big bunch that you’ll never be able to use up. If you have
a little more room outside, consider planting a few of your favorite
vegetables – the flavor of tomatoes or snap peas right off the vine is
unparalleled. And the satisfaction of growing, cooking and eating your
own food is well worth the investment of time and resources.

Shop more frequently and buy less food.
There’s nothing worse than buying lots of tantalizing produce, only to
have it spoil before you have a chance to use it all. If you’re used
to shopping once a week or less, you may find it’s best to add a
mid-week shopping trip to your schedule so you can buy produce in
smaller quantities and avoid waste.

Get to know your butcher and fishmonger.
If you’re used to buying pre-packaged meats, poultry and fish, it can
be intimidating to step up to the counter and ask questions. But
butchers and fishmongers are extremely knowledgeable resources and
offer a wealth of information about the most flavorful cuts of meat
and which fish are most plentiful now (and hence cost less) – so ask
away! Most professionals are also happy to debone your meats and skin
your fish fillets, saving you time in the kitchen. And you may be
surprised by some of the valuable cooking tips they have to offer!

For more nutrition and cooking tips,  follow Cheryl on Google Plus,
Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.

6 Quick and Easy Healthy, High-Protein Snacks

eggsI’m happy to see so many people asking for healthy snacks. Snacking, in general, is underrated as a weight-loss tool.

When we are trying to lose weight, the temptation is to eat less, but, in fact, the smart strategy is to eat more — well, more often, actually. Eating small snacks at regular intervals prevents you from becoming famished at any point during the day. It’s when we are “starving” that we are most likely to reach for unhealthy foods and overeat.

The same goes for when we come in from a workout. The temptation is to raid the fridge or cabinets. Snacking at intervals before (and even during) exercise prevents this. Eating regular, small portions keeps your blood sugar stable and helps your body to recognize hunger cues. And of course, no matter how often or infrequently you eat, the name of the game is making the right choices. I discuss this issue in more detail in my upcoming book, Flavor First, which is also chock full of prepare-ahead snacks and appetizers that you can make at home.

Below are six quick and healthy high-protein snacks that will keep you on the right track. Each has near a 150 calories and provides more than 10 grams of protein.

Good Eggs: “Deviled Eggs” — 3 hard boiled egg halves, whites only, each half filled with 1 tablespoon hummus (140 calories, 10 grams protein)

Green Gobbling: 2/3 cup edamame in the shell (158 calories, 13 grams protein)

String Theory: 1 low-fat mozzarella cheese stick and 1 large fresh orange (140 calories, 10 grams protein)

Rye Society: 2 Wasa Rye Crackers and 2-1/2 ounces lox (smoked salmon) (150 calories, 14 grams protein)

Gobble, Gobble: Half a turkey sandwich 1 slice whole grain bread with 1 ounce turkey, 1 slice low-fat Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and 2 teaspoons mustard (150 calories, 14 grams protein)

Greece-y Spoon: 2/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt plus 1/2 cup blueberries and 1 tablespoon almonds (150 calories, 15 grams protein)

Healthy Biggest Loser-friendly Holiday Recipe for you!

 rebecca and jd

Here is an easy Biggest Loser-friendly recipe for a holiday dessert

Continue reading »

Cooking Safety for the Holidays – sponsored by Liberty Mutual



As the holiday season approaches, we spend more time at home with our families and in the kitchen, cooking up traditional holiday meals. At the same time, the holidays can be a season where we’re distracted and busy, which can lead to being unfocused in the kitchen and cause accidents.

Cooking has been the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries since 1990, and in 2011, it moved up to the second leading cause of home fire deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In a recent study from Liberty Mutual Insurance more than half (56 percent) of surveyed consumers say they plan to cook for family or friends during the holidays this year – with 42 percent of those cooking for groups of 11 or more. However, the large majority (83 percent) admit to engaging in dangerous cooking behaviors which increase the likelihood of kitchen fires, such as disabling the smoke alarm and leaving cooking food unattended to perform non-essential activities, such as watch television, talk on the phone or do laundry.


With three times more kitchen fires on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day than any other day of the year, Cheryl Forberg, celebrity chef and nutritionist, has joined Liberty Mutual Insurance to offer tips on how to make this holiday season safer. “The hectic nature of entertaining during the holidays makes it easy to overlook even the most basic cooking safety rules,” said Forberg. “Our hope is that home chefs will increase their awareness and take action to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday season for everyone.”


  • Stay in the kitchen. Don’t leave the kitchen when you are frying, broiling or grilling. If you leave the kitchen even for a brief time, be sure to turn off all of the burners on the stovetop. More than two in five consumers say that they have left the room to watch television or listen to music.  The holidays can be a busy time, so while multi-tasking is tempting, it’s important not to leave the stove or oven unattended.


  • Set a timer as a reminder that the stove is on. With all of the activities happening during the holidays, it’s common to get distracted. Forty-two percent of consumers say they have left the kitchen to talk or text on their and 35% use the computer or read and send emails while food is cooking, making it easy to lose track of time. Check your food frequently when it’s on the stovetop and use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.


  • Keep anything that can catch on fire away from the stovetop. Pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels and other flammable objects should be kept a safe distance from the stovetop.


  • Be prepared for grease fires. Keep a lid or cookie sheet and oven mitt nearby when you’re cooking to use in case of a grease fire. Fire extinguisher use without training can cause a grease fire to spread and increase the chances of getting seriously injured.


  • Ensure your smoke alarms are functional.Install a smoke alarm that is at least 10 feet away from your kitchen and use the test button to check it each month. Replace the battery at least once a year and never disable a smoke alarm. Alarmingly, nearly a third of consumers report they have intentionally disabled smoke alarms while cooking.


© Cheryl Forberg 2016