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Freaks of Nature Movie Premier

I had the privilege of attending Kaskade’s Freaks of Nature DVD premier on Tuesday.  After riding an emotional rollercoaster in trying to attend Kaskade’s Los Angeles stop on his REDUX tour, this was my consolation prize.  I had no idea what to expect as I lined up behind the handful of other people waiting for Playhouse nightclub to open its doors. It felt odd lining up at a nightclub while the sun was still shining. Before entering the dark club, guests had the opportunity to take photos in front of a background with the signature Freaks of Nature butterfly on it. It was in true Hollywood red carpet fashion. Once inside, guests were whisked away into whimsical and playful setting. Popcorn in bags branded with the FON logo, cotton candy on LED light-up wands and a self-serve candy bar were all part of the playful experience. Soon enough the man of the hour entered the venue. Kaskade found his seat in a VIP booth with his family. He graciously met with fans, including myself and seemed to enjoy talking with us. After a short speech from the musical genius Kaskade, it was time to start. The room fell silent and was instead filled with the sound of the massive cheering crowd at the Los Angeles Staples Center, we were on our way! The whole club was filled with Kaskade’s melodic sounds and people were sitting. I was dancing but the majority of the people were sitting. That was soon to change. As the energy in Kaskade’s set increased, people started rising to their feet. It’s hard to stay seated when Kaskade’s Tommy Trash mashup Empty Streets Cascade is playing full force. The venue was transformed, from movie theatre to raging club. LED light sticks in had and people were moving and grooving in way that only Kaskade can conjure. It felt like he was actually on stage and we were all there living the historic FON Staples center show all over again. The euphoria was strong with the crowd. It was a true Kaskade experience. Kaskade’s Los Angeles anthem “I’ll Never Dream I’m In Love” filled the room at the end and cheers erupted as did a rainfall of butterfly shaped confetti. Kaskade got on stage with his kids and danced while setting off more confetti canons. It was a site to behold. All was right with the world. The classic song Move For Me was the final encore to end the beautiful experience. Kaskade created one last opportunity to give to his devoted fans by doing a signing. This was a night to never be forgotten. Everyone exited in a haze of euphoria, appreciation and new found love for the genius that is Freaks of Nature and Kaskade.

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75 Healthy Recipe Substitutions

From this article from The Greatist!

In Baking

1. Black beans for flour

Substituting a can of black beans (drained and rinsed) for flour in brownies is a great way to cut gluten while getting in an extra dose of protein— and they taste great.

2. Whole wheat flour for white flour

In virtually any baked good, replacing white flour with whole wheat can add a whole new dimension of nutrients, flavor, and texture. Because whole wheat includes the outer shell of the grain, it provides an extra punch of fiber, which aids in digestion and can even lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

3. Unsweetened applesauce for sugar

Using applesauce in place of sugar can give the necessary sweetness without the extra calories and, well, sugar. While 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce contains only about 100 calories, a cup of sugar can pack more than 770. Perfect for oatmeal raisin cookies.

4. Unsweetened applesauce for oil or butter

Don’t knock this one till you’ve tried it. The applesauce gives the right consistency and a hint of sweetness without all the fat of oil or butter. This works well in any sweet bread, like banana or zucchini, or in muffins (like in these low-fat blueberry muffins), including pre-boxed mixes.

5. Almond flour for wheat flour

This gluten-free switch gives any baked good a dose of protein, omega-3s, and a delicious nutty flavor. Check out these classic butter cookies for a simple example.

6. Avocado puree for butter

They’re both fats (albeit very different fats) and have nearly the same consistency at room temperature. The creaminess and subtle flavor of the avocado lends itself well to the texture of fudge brownies and dark chocolate flavorings. Check out this recipe for an idea of the right proportions to use.

7. Brown rice cereal and flax meal for Rice Crispies

Brown puffed rice has the same texture as conventional white rice, but with half the calories. The flaxadds extra fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and phytochemicals to the mix without changing the flavor.

8. Marshmallow Fluff for butter and sugar (in frosting)

Replacing the fat and sugar in frosting with marshmallow gets the desired consistency with fewer calories. While 2 tablespoons of Fluff has just 40 calories and 6 grams of sugar (and no fat!), the same amount of conventional frosting can pack up to 100 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 14 grams of sugar.

9. Natural peanut butter for reduced fat peanut butter

While it may appear better than traditional Skippy or Jiff, reduced fat peanut butter can actually have more sugar (and a doubly long list of artificial additives) than the original. Natural peanut butter (preferably unsalted) provides the same sweetness without chemical additives.

10. Vanilla for sugar

Cutting sugar in half and adding 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla as a replacement can give just as much flavor with significantly fewer calories. Assuming the recipe originally calls for 1 cup of sugar, that’s already almost 400 calories cut by leaving out ½ cup of sugar.

11. Mashed ripe bananas for fats

The creamy, thickening-power of mashed banana acts the same as avocado in terms of replacing fat in baking recipes. The consistency is ideal, and the bananas add nutrients like potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6.

12. Nut flours for flour

A word of caution: Nut flours don’t rise the same way as wheat flour so an additional rising agent might be needed when replacing more than ¼ cup of wheat. Many gluten-free blogs detail how to streamline nut-based baking. And while these flours are typically higher in calories and fat, they also have more fiber and protein.

13. Coconut flour for flour

High in fiber and low in carbohydrates, coconut flour is a great partial substitute for wheat flour in baking recipes.  Be careful, though— more than 1/4-1/2 cup, and the flour’s bitterness can take over.

14. Meringue for frosting

Made from just egg whites and sugar, meringue can be a great fat-free substitution for traditional frosting. Feel like going a step further? Take a torch to it. Lightly charring the edges of the meringue can add a nice caramelized flavor.

15. Graham crackers for cookies (in pie crusts)

Who doesn’t love a fresh baked cookie-crust pie? But next time, refrain from the traditional sugar or Oreo cookie crust and grab the graham crackers. Reduced-fat graham cracker pack about half the calories of the more conventional options.

16. Evaporated skim milk for cream

It’s the same consistency with a fraction of the fat. Evaporated milk tends to have a bit more sugar (only about 2 grams), but the major drop in fat content is well worth the switch.

17. Stevia for sugar

Natural sweetener stevia is lower in calories and up to 300 times sweeter than sugar. But watch the grocery bill, as this fashionable sweetener can also cost up to 5 times as much as granulated sugar.

18. Baby prunes for butter

In brownies and other dark baked goods, minced baby prunes make for a perfect butter substitute while cutting more than half the calories and fat.

19. Cacao Nibs for chocolate chips 

Those chips? Yeah, they start out as cacao nibs— the roasted bits of cocoa beans that then get ground down and turned in to chocolate. These unprocessed (or at least less processed) treats cut down on the additives and added sugar in chocolate, while also delving out a healthy dose of antioxidants.

See the rest at the Greatist!

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