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Archive for the ‘Snacks’ Category

There are sooo many mornings that I am rushing out the door.  Like way too many!  One would think I would learn my lesson and do simple things like pick out my outfit the night before, pack my lunch before/after I pick out said outfit, iron, you get the picture.  But no.  Instead I somehow find some weird thrill in constantly feeling rushed.

I need to have more of these Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups in my life.  They are are a great grab-n-go breakfast item or mid-morning snack.  The best part is that I know they are healthy.  One less thing to worry about while deciding on what to pack for lunch.  I thought they were best slightly warmed up and with a little bit of almond butter/peanut butter to up the protein factor.  Hope you enjoy these oatmeal cups as much as we did!

(Printable Recipe)

Apple Baked Oatmeal Cups

Recipe adapted from With Style and Grace

Ingredients

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (skim, soy, rice, almond, etc)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled, and cut into small 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray cupcake pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, applesauce, and egg.  Add wet ingredients to the oat mixture and stir until combined.  Gently fold in apple pieces and cranberries.

4.  Fill each cupcake well about 3/4 full.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until tops are browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

5.  Let cool in pan for 15 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Notes:

  • You might need to run a knife around the outside of the oatmeal cups to loosen.
  • Best served warm.  Reheat in microwave for 10-15 seconds and enjoy with a smear of peanut butter, nuts, milk, etc

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A few weeks ago I did my FIRST EVER guest post!!!  I was so excited when I saw on twitter that Lindsay from The Lean Green Blog was looking for guest bloggers over the holidays.  Ofcourse, in my typical overly excited fashion, I shot Lindsay a tweet back to sign me up!!!  Linsday’s blog is a good mix of everyday health and fitness, along with recipes to keep you on track.  I wanted to share something that was more on the healthy side to stick with her theme.  These Chipotle & Rosemary Spiced Nuts were perfect.  They are a great combo of sweet, savory, and spicy and would make a great addition to your Super Bowl Party menu (aka…they go great with a lager!).

Head over to Lindsay’s blog for the recipe and some more pics!

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I am sooo excited to share this recipe with you guys!!  Not only is it AMAZING but it’s a family recipe!  We make it every year for the holidays, a family tradition for sure.  I always remember my mom making it once the holiday season was in full swing.  She would have a bowl with her morning coffee and perhaps a handful after dinner.  About 5 or so years ago I started making it as well because there was no way I could wait until Christmas week to partake.  There are many ways I follow in my mom’s footsteps and this is no exception.  Piping hot coffee in one hand, small bowl of caramel party mix in the other.  Life is good!

This caramely mix has made an appearance at numerous holiday parties and been given as countless homemade gifts.  It’s always a hit!!  I like to think the obsession goes somewhat like this for a newbie:  “Caramel Party Mix…hmm…sounds pretty good.  First few pieces are consumed, this stuff is GOOD!  Another few pieces maybe even a handful later, what is this??  It’s so addicting!  Email is composed and the recipe is requested!”  2 years ago I made it for some co-workers and got a request from them the next year to have another bag, and if I could make that bag bigger than last year that would be great!

Enough talking it up….what does it taste like?!?  Well……it’s sweet and caramely and crunchy and addicting!!!  Soo addicting!  Don’t be turned away by the hour baking time.  It’s well worth the every -15-minute stirring process.  If you have some left over cereal from making salty party mix, give this one a try!  You will be hooked.  Coffee drinker?  Start your morning off right and add this to your pre-breakfast roundup.  It’s especially yummy sitting in front of a fire on a crisp winter morning.   Not that it changes the taste, but it creates a relaxing picture, doesn’t it??  I hope you enjoy this sweet treat as much as we do!!

(Printable Recipe)

Caramel Party Mix

Ingredients

  • 10 cups cereal (cereal recommendations listed below)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter, unsalted
  • 1/3 cup light Karo syrup
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
Cereal Recommendations
  • 2 cups rice chex
  • 2 cups corn chex
  • 2 cups bugels
  • 1 cup kix cereal
  • 1 cup cheerios
  • 1 overflowing cup of pretzels
  • 1 cup peanuts OR you can do 1/2 peanuts 1/2 cashews

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Place cereal in a large foil pan.  Set aside.

2.  In a large saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar, light corn syrup and vanilla extract over medium-low heat.  Stir frequently until butter is melted and mixture is combined.  Allow mixture to come to a rolling boil, allow to boil for 45 seconds to 1 minute.  Remove pan from heat and add baking soda.  Stir quickly to combine, the mixture will expand which is what you want.  Pour caramel mixture over cereal.  Stir cereal and caramel until well combined.

3.  Bake  for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Allow to cool.  Store in an airtight container.

 

Notes:

  • I use a turkey roaster pan to make the party mix in.  You can find foil ones at Wal-Mart for about $1.  The nice thing about the foil pans, they are disposable.  It looks similar to this. 
  • While cooling, stir occasionally to make sure mix doesn’t stick to pan.  
  • Sample Often!  

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I’m down to my last can of pumpkin!  GASP!  Now the big question….do I buy more or do I call it quits?!?  Last year I bought more with the intentions of making more pumpkin treats but the holidays came and went, then I was on the post-holiday clean eating kick, and then spring was here.  If buying another can means I make these granola bars again, you better believe I will be snagging some up.

I first made homemade granola bars back in August and fell in love!  I knew this time I, of course, wanted to incorporate pumpkin and all the flavors of fall and had no doubts where to start the search, over at Two Peas and Their Pod.  I’ve used Maria’s recipes numerous times and they always turn out great.  I was pumped when I saw her recipe because it didn’t call for an egg or any oil!!  Woohoo!  A healthy breakfast or snack packed full of flavor, nutrients, and a touch of chocolate.  Winner, Winner!  Oh, the other totally awesome thing about this recipe, the prep works takes like 10 minutes.  Happy, happy, joy, joy!

(Printable Recipe)

Pumpkin Granola Bars

Recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup agave or honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl, combine oats, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, honey and vanilla extract until well combined.  Pour liquid mixture over oats and stir together until all oats are moist and ingredients are combined.  Next, add chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, and cranberries.

4.  Place oat mixture in prepared pan and press down evenly.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and transfer pan to a wire rack to cool.  After 5 minutes, cut bars into desired size.  Allow bars to cool completely.

Notes:

The pumpkin keeps these bars very soft and chewy, so be careful not to under bake the mixture.

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Last weekend I was browsing some light and healthy snacks on a few websites, when I came across one for cucumber and basil ice cubes.  What a great idea!  In the summer I often add thin cucumber slices to my water.  It’s light, refreshing, and makes me feel like I’m at a spa.  So without thinking it through too much, I rushed into the kitchen and 5 minutes later was filling up my ice cube trays.  I made a tray of cucumber and basil and one with just plain cucumber.  Later that day, I started thinking about those ice cubes.  Now….what happens to ice cubes when they melt?  You got it, I was left with cucumber and basil pieces floating in my water.  Not so spa like.  I decided to spare you the pictures of that flop.  On the plus side, these popsicles were a success.

The lemon juice and zest give these popsicles a nice zing and really wake up the raspberry flavor.  Just as quick as the 5 minute ice cubes, except the end result is much, much more appealing.  Stash this recipe away for the warm summer days and have fun playing around with different flavors.  Watermelon, cantaloupe, very berry, stawberry mint, or mango lime sorbet in popsicle form?   Yes please!

Thanks for stopping by!

(Printable Recipe)

Raspberry Strawberry Popsicle

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup frozen or fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1-2 tbsp agave (depending on how sweet you want it)

1.  If using frozen berries, allow to thaw for about 10-15 minutes.  Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend together.

2.  If you prefer the popsicles less seedy, pour mixture through a sieve before placing in popsicle mold.

3.  Place mold in freezer for a 2-4 hours or overnight.  Enjoy!

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Banana Pumpkin Bread

I debated for a while whether to turn these into muffins or leave it as bread.  I usually prefer things that are easy to grab on my way out the door and more importantly somewhat portion controlled.  I have a slight problem with the latter.

It’s been awhile since I’ve made bread and after making this I’m not sure why.  I forgot how much I like banana bread.  This morning I heated up a slice and topped it with some butter – scrumptious!  I added in some oats to give the bread a bit more nutritional value, and used maple syrup instead of honey because 1/2 way through making the recipe I realized I was out.  Oops!  You never would have known though.  This recipe is very versatile – have fun playing around with different add-ins!!

 

(Printable Recipe)

Banana Pumpkin Bread

Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (honey)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup raisins (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 9×5 inch pan.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.  Set aside.

3.  In a large bowl, mash bananas.  Add eggs, oil, pumpkin puree, maple syrup and sugar.  Stir until well combined.  Add dry ingredients to banana mixture just until combined.  Fold in raisins.  Pour batter into prepared pan.

4.  Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Cool loaf in pan for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Spicy Pepitas

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to my cousin, Kayla, for the new header!  She did such an awesome job!!  She asked me what I wanted or if I had any ideas in mind, and I told her not really, she could be creative.  She knows me too well because she came back with this simple and clean design which is exactly what I had in mind.  Kayla….you are so creative and talented!  Thanks so much!!!

On to the recipe…..

Do you ever buy something for a recipe, use the required amount and then have a ton of that one ingredient left over?!?  I bought some pepitas for my pumpkin granola a few weeks ago and every time I opened my cupboard the big bag of raw, unsalted (boring) seeds were staring me in the face.  What am I going to do with all these??  Why not spice them up!!  You know me…I love my spicy snacks!  No joke guys, these took about 15 minutes to make start to finish.  If you are carving pumpkins or have extra pepitas on hand like me, try these out.  They are simple and tasty!  They would be really good mixed in with some cajun party mix too!

If you are looking for a non-baked good way to get some more pumpkin in your life, try this Pumpkin Black Bean Soup I made last year.  Soo good!!  I think I’m going to make it again this week.  Thanks for stopping by!!

 

(Printable Recipe)

Spicy Pepitas

Recipe from Food Network

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw, unsalted hulled pepitas
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4- 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2-3/4 tsp salt

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Toss all ingredients together in a bowl.  Stir until pepitas are coated with seasonings.

3.  Spread on baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes (mine took about 10 minutes) or until lightly browned, shaking pan once or twice.

4.  Serve and enjoy!

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