Tag Archives: HEALTHYSNACKS

Homemade Granola Bars

November 30, 2017

 

Homemade Granola Bars

If your schedule is anything like mine, it’s full of activities almost every night of the week., if not every night. It can be challenging to find time to make healthy, good quality lunches and snacks….I get it! When I find something I can whip up that’s fast, easy and makes enough to last for a week or more, it makes me happy.

 

Here is a homemade Granola recipe I have adapted from www.100daysofrealfood.com.

 

We are gluten/dairy free so feel free to substitute the non dairy items if desired. However, I have sampled our gluten/dairy free recipe to several people and I haven’t have any complaints. I actually got such great reviews it made it the the blog! 🙂

 

Ingredients

3 ½  cups steel cut oats (can use rolled oats for granola)

1 cup sliced almonds

1 cup cashew pieces (walnuts or pecans)

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1.2 sunflower seeds

½ cup pumpkin seeds

½ cup dairy free/gluten free chocolate chips

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger

½ teaspoons grated or ground nutmeg

6 tablespoons coconut oil (vegan butter or unsalted butter)

½ cup honey

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoons salt

 

I don’t always use the chocolate chips but who doesn’t love a little chocolate in their granola!

I have also just used the steel cut oats and sunflower seeds – if that’s all I have on hand when I decided to make a batch and it was still yummy!

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Cover a rectangular baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix the dry oats, almonds, cashews, coconut, seeds and spices together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Heat the butter and honey together in a small saucepan over low heat. Once the butter melts stir in the vanilla and salt.
  4. Pour the hot liquids over the dry ingredients and stir together with a rubber spatula until evenly coated.
  5. Spread mixture onto prepared pan in one even layer. Bake for 75 minutes.
  6. The granola will become crisp as it cools at which point you can break into pieces (if making bars) or break it up into small chunks by pounding it in a ziplock bag (if making cereal). Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

 

Enjoy!!!

As always try changing up the recipe to meet your family’s taste.

Happy Granola Bar Making!!!

 

Fruit Bowl vs. Cookie Jar

July 30, 2016

Fruit Bowl vs. Cookie Jar

Fill up your fruit bowl and trash the cookie/snack jar!

 

fruit bowl

It’s summer, the kids are out of school and home…eating everything in site! Sound familiar? Yep, this is totally the case for our house!  When the kids come inside from playing outside or from swimming try having some fruit ready and waiting for them. Most fruits you can pair up with a nut butter and/or some almonds to make a healthy and filling snack to help re-fuel your kids, with no sugar crash!  🙂

I try to keep my fruit bowl stocked (which can be challenging with 5 of us) so the my kids can grab a piece of fruit when they are hungry. So load up your fruit bowl, keep it stock and out in clear view and reach of your kids! When they are searching for a snack and walk by they just might start grabbing the fruit and stop requesting the other junk! Plus, a full fruit bowl just looks so pretty! 🙂

If you are just beginning your journey and the thought of no chips or processed snack foods sounds impossible…and you are wondering how you can ever get these non food items out of your house, check out the link below!

 

Happy Fruit Bowl Stocking!!!

 

 

 

How do you get your kids to eat healthy food?!?!

Green Smoothie Tips

July 18, 2016

Green Smoothie Quick Tips

Hey everyone! I have received a ton of requests in the last few weeks for smoothie recipes…so I wanted to share some quick tips with everyone…and you can always click on the Green Smoothie Tab at the top of the page for more information on these delicious treats!

 

 

One of my favorite green smoothie sites is: http://simplegreensmoothies.com/

 

 

Here are some great tips to get you going!

 SGS_makeasmoothie4

  

For more delicious green smoothie concoctions, check out the links below.

  

http://theactivefam.com/green-smoothies/#sthash.2GvTPztp.dpbs

 http://theactivefam.com/runners-smoothie/#sthash.0aDYrdWI.dpbs

 http://theactivefam.com/2015/07/#sthash.rDFCKUKP.dpbs

 

Walnut Brownies

June 3, 2016

Walnut Brownies

brownies

 

I’m always on the lookout for amazing real food recipes for desserts…especially brownies! These walnut brownies do not disappoint. If you are looking for a more cake like brownie that is still rich in flavor, you will love these! This is the perfect way to satisfy those sweet tooth cravings, without loading your body up with the extra chemicals, additives and other junk. I can notice a huge different the way my body responses to the package desserts versus the homemade real food desserts! An extra bonus for me is today I’m carb loading for my half marathon in the morning; while I don’t recommend loading up on sweets (real food or otherwise) before a race…I will have just one! J

 

Walnut Brownies –    Forks over Knives Cookbook

  • 3 oz extra firm tofu, drained (yes tofu!)
  • 1/3 c pitted prunes (or dates for extra sweet)
  • ½ c unsweetened plant-based milk, heated until very hot not boiling
  • ¾ c 100% pure maple syrup
  • ½ c plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ c water, heated until very hot not boiling
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ c walnuts, chopped

 

 

  1. Preheat oven 325 degrees. Line 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper.
  2. Crumble tofu in blender. Add prunes. Pour in the hot milk and puree for about 3- seconds. Add the maple syrup and puree until smooth.
  3. Add cocoa powder to mixing bowl. Add the hot water and mix with a fork until mixed well.
  4. Add the prune mixture to the chocolate mixing bowl and stir well. Mix in the vanilla.
  5. Add in half of the flour and add the baking soda and salt. Mix well. Mix in the remaining flour and fold in the walnuts.
  6. Spread the batter into the baking pan. It will be thick, but it will spread out to the corners of the pan.
  7. Bake for 17-20 minutes. The top should be firm to the touch.
  8. Let cool for 20 minutes and serve.

 

Makes about 12 delicious walnut brownies!

What’s your favorite real food brownie recipe?

Happy Baking!!!

Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie

April 28, 2016

Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie

 

pb bup

 

I have FINALLY hooked my hubby on green smoothies!!! 🙂 For those that don’t know Sai, he is not always excited to try new things. He started by occasionally taste testing my smoothie and then he started drinking one daily but only because I would make it and say, “here, DRINK IT”! Now, he wakes up and asks, “what no smoothies today”!

Yes, this process has been going on for a few years but some people are more difficult to convince. For Sai, he has seen and felt the difference in his days after he has a green smoothie for breakfast. He will often times have TWO, one in the afternoon as well!
So wives, husbands, daughters, brothers, moms and dads; if you are trying to share the greatness of green smoothies with the ones you love be patient and keep sharing. Start with the recipes that will be most comfortable for your loved one and then expand their horizons gradually over time.  

If they are a peanut butter cup lover like us, try this delicious smoothie for a starter! Anything with peanut butter has to be good!

 

Recipe Adapted from Simple Green Smoothies

Peanut Butter Cup Smoothie 

  • 2C Spinach (I use fresh spinach that I have previously frozen)
  • 2C Almond Milk – unsweetened
  • 2 Bananas
  • 3TBS Cacao
  • 2TBS Peanut Butter

Blend Spinach and milk until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend well.

 

Enjoy!

 

Share a green smoothie with someone you love, you can change their life!

 

Happy Sharing!!! 🙂

 

Homemade Hummus

January 13, 2016

Homemade Hummus

hummus crop

 

 

Do your kids come home from school starving?! Almost everyday after school the first thing Kailee says is, “I’m hungry”! I get it, I would be starving too! They eat lunch around 11:50 and by the time she gets home it’s about 4:15. The trick is finding a good quality snack and not to let them fill up on junk..this is why I don’t keep traditional “snacky” foods around.  It would be too easy to just hand it over – or eat it myself! 🙂 So, if you don’t want to eat it…DON’T BUY IT!

 

And if you are still feeling guilty about “punishing” your kids for making them eat healthy, click here!

 

One fan favorite in our house is Homemade Hummus! I love hummus and it’s so easy – and cheap to make. (Once you buy the tahini, which will make several batches)

 

We absolutely love this recipe from 100 Days Of Real Food . After tasting this you will never want to purchase hummus again.

 

  • 1 can of organic chickpeas (rinsed) or ¾ cup dried chickpeas
  • water
  • ⅓ cup cooking liquid (that is left after boiling dried chickpeas)
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons of lemon juice, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons tahini (ground sesame seeds – usually found near the peanut butter in the grocery store)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon of salt (or more if preferred)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. If using dried chickpeas pick over and rinse them. Put them in a Tupperware container or bowl with water to cover by 2 inches. Soak them in the fridge overnight. The following day rinse them again and then put them in a small pot with fresh water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 90 minutes. Reserve the cooking liquid.
  2. If using canned chickpeas rinse them with water.
  3. In a food processor combine the soft chickpeas, ⅓ cup cooking liquid (or fresh water if using canned chickpeas), lemon juice, tahini, garlic, olive oil, and salt. Blend until smooth and add more liquid if a thinner sauce is preferred.
  4. Garnish with paprika if serving as a dip.

 

I will make a batch or 2 – and we like to use the hummus as veggie dip. It’s great as a spread on roll ups or with chips too!

 

Like most recipes, after I have made it a few times I change it up from time to time – adding sun dried tomatoes, more or less garlic, using eggplant (I got this tip from a Mediterranean Restaurant – so yummy!) Have fun and don’t be afraid to make it your own!

 

Happy Hummus Making!

 

Peanut Butter

December 18, 2015

Peanut Butter

pb isle

What can I do? Where do I start? I often get asked these questions when families are starting their journeys towards a healthier, active lifestyle. I GET IT…it can be so overwhelming. Where do you start? What do you do?

Cut out processed foods!

Wait, wait, wait….there is no need to empty your kitchen and pantry into the trash; unless you are going full speed ahead and in that case, GO FOR IT! But for the rest of us, start small. And let your new habits develop as you go, which can make all the difference.

 

What I suggest is picking an item or two each week and finding a better alternative. I will try and help you out with this, by posting items that aren’t so good and a better alternative. I have found for me, the less work I have to do, the greater the chances I will actually do it. (:

 

One of the first items we changed in our house was Peanut Butter. We eat a ridiculous amount of peanut butter. From peanut butter and apples or bananas to power balls, even peanut butter and honey sandwiches. And these are just a few of the simple things….so needless to say, I wanted to make sure we were making a good choice with our peanut butter. As it turns out, we weren’t.  I mean, come on, peanut butter, it’s just peanuts, right? WRONG! Wow, I was so surprised at the amount of sugar in most peanut butter (among other things).
While the transition can take some time – after eating real peanut butter for an extended period of time, you really can taste the difference or is that just the chemicals?!?

 

  1. Choose an item your family uses fairly regularly.
  2. Check the ingredients – I use the 5 ingredient limit – if there are more than 5 ingredients, it’s very likely a processed food.
  3. Compare to other options.

 

It’s not hard to start eating better, but it can be time consuming, I get it. So that’s why we are here. Let us help.

 

Your mission, should you accept it – is to check the ingredients on your peanut butter.

 

It should contain = peanuts! and maybe sea salt. Remember, peanuts have all that good for us fat and oil…so yes it will separate. If is doesn’t…that’s because they have added chemicals to keep it from separating. Just stir up your peanut butter and leave the chemicals out.
I found this brand of peanut butter and we really like it.

Peanut-Butter-CreamySizes275

http://www.oldhomefoods.com/all-natural-peanut-butter/peanut-butter-creamy/

 

 

You can also find fresh, made that day, peanut butter (actual ground peanuts) at most health food stores.

 

What’s your favorite peanut butter brand?

 

 

 

Black Bean Brownies

July 13, 2015

 

Black Bean Brownies

IMG_20150712_231221

It’s summertime, the kids are home and I LOVE baking with my kiddos. Since I’m always on the search for yummy homemade goodness I decided to share one of my favorite finds! While we are not a gluten or dairy free home I still love to make recipes that are because they are so delicious! So next time your family wants brownies for dessert try this recipe! It’s fast and easy (a must in our home). Made with all real food ingredients you can enjoy a yummy dessert without the all the extra (unknown) additives that won’t leave you feeling, blahhh! 🙂

 

TIP: The first time I made these I didn’t tell the kids nor the hubby these were black bean brownies. They devoured them before I could tell them! 🙂

 
http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2012/09/06/no-flour-black-bean-brownies/

 

Happy Baking!

Green Smoothies!!!

March 6, 2015

Green Smoothies – A small change can provide HUGE results.

 

green smoothies storage

Life with 3 kids is no walk in the park. There are days that I don’t know what day it is or even what time it is – and there are more than a few days I wonder how we even survive our busy schedules! So when people tell me they “don’t have time” to eat healthy I just chuckle inside and think…yeah because I have so much extra “time”, lol! (Moms you all know exactly what I meanJ)

So what is the magic key to success?!  Well we all know what it is – MEAL PREP! My family has our moments when we are not prepared and guess what happens? Our choices become LIMITED! So what do we do? MEAL PREP!!!  I always try a keep a few good choices in the freezer for when we are in a pinch!

Last week we had somewhere to be every evening – we normally try to avoid scheduling our lives so chaotic, but sometimes life can’t be avoided. In an effort to have good choices on hand I spent a few minutes over the weekend getting my ingredients together for green smoothies! #ilovegreensmoothies

I am a huge fan of green smoothies. They are easy, nutritious and delicious! And on top of that my kiddos LOVE them! I try to have one everyday. They are great workout fuel as well! Adding a green smoothie to your daily routine can have enormous health benefits!

My favorite Green Smoothie – Pre Workout Snack

 1 c  Spinach (I use fresh spinach that I have previously frozen)

1 c  Cashew milk

¼- ½ Avocado

¼ Tsp Vanilla

½- 1 Banana

Handful of Ice

 

green smoothie

I was hesitant to try this gem – but it is delicious!!!

I get a ton of recipes from www.simplegreensmoothies.com . It’s also fun creating new recipes and my kids really enjoy inventing new smoothies!You can throw some protein powder in there and you have a complete meal!

https://www.advocare.com/120224166/Store/ItemDetail.aspx?itemCode=P2602&id=B&size=C

 

For more detailed instructions visit:

http://simplegreensmoothies.com/tips/make-ahead-smoothie-prep

 

Happy Friday!!!