Top Menu

Archive | Healthy Snacks

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Bites

I have one child who will eat almost anything and another who eats… almost nothing. Not in the sense that he doesn’t want to eat, but in the sense that the number of foods he’ll eat is very small. He has five foods he’d eat all day long. I’m working on a post to talk about that but in the mean time, I’m posting about a great success I had!!

I try to cram as many nutrients in him as I can, which is very difficult. This week I decided to turn his favorite flavor (chocolate chip cookies) in to a low-sugar, high protein and healthy fats treat I feel good about sending to school with him. I almost cried when he took a bite and said, “Wow! These are so good!” And he was right! These are good! Plus they are easy to make and store. I keep them in the freezer and pull a few out in the morning for his school snacks. These would be AMAZING with walnuts but walnuts are not one of the foods he’s willing to eat. Let me know if you try adding them!

One key to making these as nutrient-dense as possible is to buy quality ingredients. This recipe calls for both protein powder and collagen peptides. I use this protein powder (click here for link) as a good compromise with me and my son. He’s willing to eat it and I mostly approve of the ingredients. I also like Great Lakes Collagen Peptides (click here for link).

The healthy fats (and awesome flavor) comes from coconut butter. If you haven’t tasted coconut butter, you’re missing out. I use it on pancakes bread or just on a spoon. It’s that good.

For the chocolate chips I use Enjoy Life Brand (click here for link). Yes they have sugar, but the ingredients are minimal and all pronounceable. Plus with one 1/4 cup in the entire recipe, each protein ball has very little added sugar.

Hopefully your family loves these as much as we do.


Continue Reading 0

Better than the 70’s: Healthy Peanut Butter Fruit Dip

Healthy Peanut Butter Fruit Dip 2

I clearly remember New Year’s Eve growing up. We’d get together with my BFF’s family (no, seriously. We’re in our 30’s now and we still talk multiple times weekly). The adults would do horribly boring things (like chat about things other than Barbies and tutus) and the kids would run around all night. A few weeks before, we’d order a bunch of those super junky toys from Oriental Trading. We would play with those toys all night, or until they broke 20 minutes later. The most memorable toy was an ice cream cone with a trigger. When you pulled it, the ice cream part shot off the cone part. Yep. My childhood rocked.

We always had a ton of awesome food too. I’m sure there were cookies and meat trays, but the thing I remember the most was my mom’s fruit dip. I know that seems strange for an 8-year-old to have a hankering for fruit dipped in a sugary substance over a chocolaty brownie, but it was just so good! It was straight from the 70’s complete with a tub of cool whip, cream cheese and a crap-load of sugar. Nothing says “Happy New Year” like a sugar coma.

I was thinking about said dip and my ice cream cone shooter the other day and became sad that I can no longer live in ignorance about the unhealthy reality of my beloved fruit dip. That’s when I went on a mission to create a new fruit dip. A fruit dip that would put the 70’s fruit dip to shame and wouldn’t give you diabetes.

I wanted it to be easy, so I decided to keep the ingredients to a minimum. Instead of the cool whip portion, I used a full-fat Greek yogurt. It helped the dip have the same creamy consistency without all the artificial ingredients. I found this fabulous Greek yogurt at Sprouts. Make sure you pick one without a lot of added junk.

IMG_20160828_171109854

Instead of cream cheese, I used peanut butter. I mainly did this because peanut butter is just awesome, and has the ability to make things feel sweet without adding sugar. Since we nixed our artificial sweetener by removing the cool whip, we needed a little flavor. The peanut-butter made it PERFECT!

To bump up the flavor, I just added in a little vanilla and cinnamon. The dip isn’t overly sweet, but since fruit has natural sweeteners, the combination of fruit and dip gave this the perfect sweetness. If you want a little more sweetness though for a special occasion like a New Year’s Eve party complete with awesomely-cheap toys, feel free to add a little honey.

IMG_20160828_172305228

So now not only do you have a fruit dip free of sugars and artificial ingredients, but one packed with protein and healthy fats. It’s good enough to have for breakfast!

Hopefully this dip will help my children make as many awesome memories as I had as a kid. But I need to find the ice cream shooter to ensure that.

Continue Reading 1

No-Sugar Grilled Pineapple Rings

When we lived in Utah, we had a Brazilian neighbor. Every time she saw us, she’d invite us in for Brazilian food, which happens to be AMAZING! The meat and veggies were delicious, but my favorite part was the grilled pineapple. As it heats up, the sugars caramelize and the juices come out. It softens but somehow stays crunchy. It’s one of the most satisfying things in the world. The only problem was, it was covered in sugar. I was so sad to learn that she made it by covering it in brown sugar.

Fast forward to now. One day I had a hankering for that sugary, warm, juicy grilled pineapple. I decided there had to be a way to make it without the brown sugar. After all, pineapple is naturally sweet, so there’s no reason to add more sugar.

IMG_20160619_175211349

The key is to start with a fresh pineapple. Canned rings just won’t do the trick. You need to start out with firm, crunchy rings to keep the nice crunchy texture after you grill them.

Then all I did was melt some coconut oil, add cinnamon and salt and brushed it on the pineapple rings.

IMG_20160619_172642630_HDR

Then I passed them off to my manly husband to cook on the bbq grill next to some juicy steaks. Since this is both healthy and sweet, it works as a side dish, or a dessert.

Continue Reading 2

No Sugar Chocolate Banana Muffins

Every morning my son’s breakfast includes a mini muffin. This is my way of cramming a bit more protein and nutrients into him in an unprocessed way before sending him off to second grade to solve the world’s great problems. I always look for muffin recipes heavy on nuts and/or eggs and low on sugar. We generally stick to banana muffins, but to keep things interesting, I’m always trying to find something else. I found this recipe from Yummy Mummy. It looked delicious, but since I was giving it to my son every morning for breakfast, I wanted something without added sugar or sugar substitutes and without chocolate chips. So using Yummy Mummy’s recipe as my base, I came up with a version without sugar. We’re all very pleased with the results and I can continue to give my son a muffin every morning without feeling guilty. Luckily as a mom, there are still plenty of other things I get to feel guilty about every day.

2015-12-07 16.51.13

Continue Reading 0
new-curate-flavors-rotator

My Favorite Healthy Subsititutions

This weekend we made some delicious pulled pork for a luncheon after my son’s baptism. The next day after everyone left, I was craving comfort food. In the past, that meant crappy, processed food that made me feel guilty and emotional for eating. Food shouldn’t do that to people. We should feel happy after we […]

Continue Reading