Category Archives: snack

Carrot Cake Snack Bites

Standard

We eat dinner pretty early most nights which means snacks happen most evenings. We try and stick with something healthy and not straight dessert. I often throw a combination of things into my vitamix and make random creations. This carrot cake one was really good. They are like mini Larabars.

Carrot cake snack bites:

makes 1 dozen balls

4 dates

2 carrots

1 tbs milk

1 tbs flax seed

1/3 cup almonds

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch each of nutmeg and cloves

1/4 cup raisins

1-2 Tbs coconut butter, for “icing”

Mix flax and milk. Let sit while you place dates, carrots, almonds, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and cloves into a food processor. Add flax/milk and process until uniform. Add raisins and swirl again to chop slightly.

Roll into 1 inch balls

Dip each into the coconut butter. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, you may have to heat it up a little bit so it’s a semi-liquid.

Nutritional Information:

calories: 49

fat: 2.2 g

sodium: 14 mg (1%)

carbohydrates: 6.6 g

dietary fiber: 1.2 g

sugars: 4.4 g

protein: 1.3 g

Breakfast or Anytime Cookie

Standard

When I want a quick dessert, this is my go to cookie. It only dirties one dish and makes the perfect amount of cookies, 1 dozen. And they are 100% guilt free I have made these cookies probably 25 times  in the last 2 months and sometimes I am in the mood for chewy cookies and sometimes crunchy. Adding the egg makes them chewy, where using milk as wetness makes them bake with a crunch on the outside.

There is zero sweetener, just the sweetness from 2 dates and applesauce or bananas. They are also very customizable. Don’t like raisins? Use cranberries. Don’t like coconut? omit it. Egg free? Use the milk. Dairy free? use the egg and enjoy life chocolate chips. And if you use the milk, you can roll them into balls, put into the refrigerator and now you have cookie dough to eat!

Sometimes ill make these before bed but they aren’t ready in time for the girls to have one. Cassidy always asks if ill save her one and she eats it with breakfast the next day. With these ingredients, they are easily a breakfast “cookie”. It actually feels pretty sneaky eating 1/2 a dozen cookies for breakfast. But they are healthier than any granola, muffin, pancake, cereal, oatmeal, etc.

Anytime Cookie

makes 1 dozen

2 dates, pitted

1 cup oats, divided in half

1/2 cup applesauce or 1/2 banana

1/4 cup almonds, or other nut or seed

2 tbs ground flax seed

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp cinnamon

splash vanilla or almond extract

pinch salt

1 egg or 1/4 cup milk*

2 tbs coconut

2 tbs raisins

1 tbs mini chocolate chips

Place dates in food processor and process until blended. Add almonds and 1/2 cup oats and process until blended (doesn’t have to be uniform, just until the oats are mostly ground).

Add applesauce or banana, egg, extract, flax, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Whirl just until combined.

Stir in the rest of the oats, chocolate chips, raisins, and coconut with a spoon let it sit for 10-15 minutes for the oats to soak up some moisture.

Roll into 1 inch balls then flatten and shape them on a silpat baking sheet.

Bake at 375 F for 12-15 minutes until desired doneness.

 

Nutritional Information

Calories: 75

Fat: 3 g

Sodium: 0%

Carbohydrates: 10 g

Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g

Sugars: 4.5 g

Protein:2 g

 

Cookie Dough Bites

Standard

My blood sugar gets all crazy when I am pregnant. With my second child, I had bull blown gestational diabetes. I am going this morning to get tested for this pregnancy. My chances aren’t great with a 2/3 chance of having it since I had it last time.  I intermittently test my levels though already, so I have an idea of my levels, and I am expecting to fail the test and have gestational diabetes again. I controlled it with diet alone my last pregnancy, no insulin needed, and I plan to do the same this time. That means I can not go long without eating. I have to eat 3 balanced meals and then 3 snacks as well. If I skip my snacks, my blood sugars are more likely to spike after my next meal.

I like to rely on things that are easy to carry with me, and it must have a balance of small amount of carbs and a good amount of healthy fats and carbs. Its all about balancing macronutrients. These cookie dough bites have a great balance of macronutrients, all whole foods, and only 1 tablespoon of sweetener in the entire batch, and its just local honey. The batch made 15 and I assumed that would be my afternoon snack for a few days. Until Dave got home from work and saw them and said Oh yay! So then the kids knew something good was in the refrigerator and there went my snacks.

Cookie Dough Bites

3/4 cup almonds

3/4 cup oats

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4 cup coconut

2 Tbs chia seeds

2 Tbs ground flax seeds

1 Tbs honey

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp cinnamon, optional

pinch salt (if almonds are unsalted)

Place almonds and oats in food processor and process until a flour is made (not almond butter). Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until combined. Roll into 1.5 inch balls with slightly wet hands so the dough doesn’t stick to you.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 72

Fat: 4.3 g

Sodium: 7 mg (0%)

Carbohydrates: 5.7 g

Dietary Fiber: 2.6 g

Sugars: 1.5 g

Protein: 2.5 g

Even Healthier Whole Wheat Graham Crackers

Standard

Since cutting out processed foods, I’ve found my taste buds have definitely adjusted. I sweeten my oats with a banana, pancakes with vanilla and cinnamon, homemade ice cream with dates (oh I’ll post that recipe soon, it was goood!), etc. When I eat something with cups and cups of sugar, its tastes too sweet to me now. I can’t even taste the flavor, its just like eating pure sugar.

I have been making my graham cracker recipe for over a year now, but the last time I made them, they even tasted a little sweet to me. Not overly sweet, but still too sweet to eat a ton of and call a healthy snack. And trust me, when I make graham crackers, we eat them fast!

So I experimented with my own recipe, and honestly I like them even better now. So if you are looking for a slightly sweet graham cracker (or teething type biscuit) for your kids, this is a hit in my house! If you are accustomed to eating things a little sweeter, then stick to my other recipe, they are still much healthier than the ones you get from a box!

Even Healthier Whole Wheat Graham Crackers:

2.5 cups whole wheat flour

2 Tbs butter, melted

2 Tbs plain greek yogurt

2 Tbs brown sugar

2 Tbs honey, molasses, agave, or pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla (or 1/2 tsp almond extract)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2/3-3/4 cup milk (skim, almond, coconut, etc)

Mix together melted butter, greek yogurt, brown sugar, honey, vanilla, and 2/3 cup milk.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Mix together wet and dry. Add milk by the tsp until the dough comes together. It should be pretty thick so you can roll it out. I’ve found the amount of milk varies based on the brand of whole wheat flour used, some are much dryer than others.

Split dough in half. Roll out each between 2 silpats or parchment paper. Transfer to greased cookie sheet.

Using pizza or pastry cutter, cut into squares. Poke holes in the center of each with a fork.

Bake at 350F for 10 minutes. Take out and move graham crackers around (moving ones that were on the edge to the center so the edges don’t bake quicker than the center).

Bake for 5-10 more minutes until slightly browned and crunchy. Keep in mind they will continue to harden some as they cool, so don’t burn them trying to get them crispy.

Bacon Ranch Cheeseball Recipe

Standard

I never tasted a cheeseball until I met Dave. It must be a southern food. I instantly fell in love though, given my obsession with cream cheese. This recipe is always a hit, but what bacon recipe isnt? This is the easiest recipe to make and the best part is that its best if it sits in the fridge overnight so you can prepare it ahead of time. Make it 2 days in advance if your schedule demands it.

Bacon Ranch Cheeseball

16 servings

2 blocks (16 oz total) cream cheese (1/3 less fat is ok but not all fat free)

3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, divided

6 slices bacon, divided

1/4 cup diced green onion

1 tsp worschire

1 Tbs ranch dressing mix

Let cream cheese sit out to soften.

Cook bacon until very crisp. Cool and crumble it into tiny pieces.

Add cream cheese, 2/3 of total bacon crumbles, ranch dressing, worschire sauce, and 1/3 cup sharp cheddar. Roll into a nice ball.

Mix together remaining bacon and cheese on top of a piece of saran wrap (cling wrap). Roll cream cheese ball into mixture to coat the outside.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refridgerate overnight so the flavors blend together.

Serve with any type of cracker.

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 134

Fat: 12.5 g

Sodium: 177 mg (7%)

Carbohydrates: 1 g

Protein: 4.4 g

This is a great appetizer, kids and adults love it. Now I need to make up for the 17 years before I met Dave, where cheeseball wasn’t in my life!

Fruit Roll Up Recipe

Standard

Alyssa has officially started Pre-K. When I thought about being a mom, I always envisioned myself making my kids awesome homemade lunches and feeling good about what I sent them to school with. Well that time is upon me and I am so excited! I know, this excitement won’t last long but I’ll enjoy it while it lasts. I don’t feed my kids fruit snacks and packaged cookies. They have never had a fruit roll up, tasty cake, or anything little debbie. However I am sure many of the kids in her class will be bringing all the above in their snack (only a half day so it’s a snack and not a full lunch). I am hoping Alyssa doesn’t see what they have and want that nasty processed food over her carrots and hummus I will be packing her for some snacks. I figured I’d meet her half way and make her some “kid food” to take occasionally. The first day of school calls for something special for sure! I made her fruit by the foot that is 100% fruits and veggies and NO sugar! She also has some homemade graham crackers in her homemade reusable snack baggie…And yes, I know, I am going a little nuts here!

Fruit roll ups/Fruit by the Foot

makes 4-5

1 pear, cut up, skin on

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

2 cups fresh spinach

IMG_7174

Put all ingredients in a pot and simmer for 5-10 minutes until fruit is softened and spinach is wilted.

IMG_7176

Pour off juice into a cup. Don’t throw this away! Add some ice and drink it or add it to a smoothie. Don’t lose all those good nutrients. I drank the juice right on the spot. Well I planned on it. I let Alyssa have a sip and 2 seconds later it was gone. She said “I just couldn’t help myself Mommy”.

Puree the fruit and spinach.

IMG_7177

Spread the puree out thinly on a silpat baking sheet. It should be as thin you can get it without seeing the silpat through it.

IMG_7178

Bake at the lowest setting your oven has (mine was 170) for 5-7 hours. Put a small metal spoon or something heat proof to prop the oven door open a little to keep air flow. I left it open during naptimes but had to close it for a couple hours while Cassidy was awake and it worked just fine. Or you could use a dehydrator if you have one.

After a few hours when it is all set but not quite finished, cut it into desired pieces and spread apart a little so it cooks evenly. Otherwise the edges will be finished before the center. You could also just check it occasionally and cut the edges off and remove from oven as they are finished (that’s what I did the first time and it led to me eating all the edges as I took them out of the oven leaving me with 1 fruit roll up to pack Alyssa).

Either slice it into quarters and roll in wax paper or cut into 1 inch strips and roll up like a fruit by the foot in wax paper.

IMG_7182

Place a little piece of tape on the end to hold it together.

IMG_7185

Both kids tear these things up! Use whatever fruits you want. Peaches work well, as do strawberries. I haven’t used any other vegetable besides spinach though but be creative.

Too bad Alyssa only goes to school 3 times a week…I have so many ideas for “kid snack” makeovers. Cheeze Its are next (and they were goood!)

Slightly Sweet Almond Granola

Standard

I think granola is one of those foods that is often mistaken as a health food. Traditional granola is loaded with sugar, in the form of honey and brown sugar, and lots of oil. I like my granola very lightly sweetened, especially if its going to be eaten on flavored yogurt. I don’t need to be eating pure sugar first thing in the morning, lets save that for dessert. This granola is slightly sweet, crunchy, nutty, and delicious. Its my new breakfast (and snack by the handful) staple. Make sure you check out the amazing nutritional stats at the bottom of the post.

IMG_7092

Lightly Sweetened Almond Granola

Makes 7 servings (1/2 cup each)

2 Tbs honey

1-2 Tbs brown sugar (optional for a sweeter granola)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/4 cup applesauce

1/4-1/2 tsp almond extract

3 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 cup almonds, chopped

2 Tbs ground flax seed

1/4 cup craisins + 1 Tb water

IMG_7090

Place craisins into a large microwave safe bowl with 1 Tbs water and microwave for 30 seconds. This will prevent them from drying out when baking the granola.

Measure honey, coconut oil, applesauce, and brown sugar (if you are adding it) into the bowl and microwave for another 30 seconds to melt everything together. Give it a stir. This is just very slightly sweetened so if you are accustomed to a sweeter granola add the brown sugar. I personally omit it most of the time.

Add almond flavoring. I like mine very almond-y so I add 1/2 tsp. If you want a more subtle flavor only use 1/4 tsp, it is pretty strong stuff.

Add oats, almonds, and flax seed to wet ingredients and mix very well. If your almonds aren’t salted, add 1/8 tsp salt. I use my hands to make sure its evenly distributed and to massage the wet into the oats.

Place on baking sheet and lightly push down, kind of like you are making granola bars. This will help it clump better since there is so little oil and honey.

IMG_7087

Bake at 300F for 45 minutes, stirring gently every 15 minutes (breaking it up as little as possible).

IMG_7088

Enjoy on top of yogurt, dredged in milk, on top of ice cream, or by the handful!

Nutritional Information:

Calories: 171

Fat: 7.5 g

Sodium: 50 mg (2%)

Carbs: 23 g

Fiber: 3.5 g

Sugars: 9 g

Protein: 4.2 g