Last year I was asked to bring in a fun Valentine’s Day snack to my kids’ school Valentines’ Day parties. I wanted to do something fun but actually provide the kids what I’d consider a nutritious snack. Here’s what we came up with.
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.
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.
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.
Last week I went to make banana bread when I realized I didn’t have any ripe bananas! Making banana bread with under-ripe bananas is lame. The bananas are too hard to mash so you usually end up with weirdly-textured banana chunks in your muffins. I don’t think my son would be impressed with this. So […]
Last week I posted about my experience with the Whole 30. I firmly believe the key to success on any eating challenge is to have the right food. These foods help me survive the Whole 30.
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.
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.
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.
I love the kind of food that is so decadent and delicious that you feel like you’re eating something completely unhealthy, when in reality, you’re not. It’s further evidence that you can eat healthy and still have delicious food. Here are some of my favorite foods that make me feel like I’m having a cheat […]
Today I’ll tackle some common, unhealthy, sweet food vices and do my best to give you healthier versions to replace them. Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating kale and spinach all day (though I do recommend eating at least one of these every day). Eating healthy is delicious and fun. Hopefully this post can prove that.
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.
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 […]
The second my kids walk in the door from school, grocery shopping, playing or even going out to get the mail, they want a snack. To make our lives easier, we made a list of “approved” snacks and put it on the fridge. Here is our list of 30 healthy snacks for kids.