Easy Simple Salmon

For as long as I can remember, I’ve never been a fan of eating fish.

Between the smell, the scales, and it’s oogly eyes….no way. Not happening.

I remember growing up my mom would make it occasionally, and each time I would SWEAR that the whole house smelled like a fishy ocean…I’d then proceed to whine and complain, while throwing myself on the couch in agony…Poor little me.

Nothing really changed until I went on a 6 week study abroad program through Central America, and a lot of times we had to eat the food we were given. I remember one night we ate at a little restaurant in Guatemala and our whole class was being served Salmon.

Obviously I wasn’t thrilled that I had to eat it, but when my plate arrived I was pretty shocked.

My salmon was drenched in some sort of sauce that looked like gravy, and then there was a handful of fresh lemons on my plate. I proceeded to squeeze juice on the Salmon and take a bite…

I died.

I don’t know exactly what that sauce was made of, but I have an idea it rhymes with nutter. All I can say is that it tasted like Christmas morning and Paula Deen was in the kitchen melting butter.

Some day I’ll recreate that salmon…As soon as I figure out how to make a pound of butter healthier…

For now though I’ve learned to stomach salmon, just as long as it falls under certain guidlines.

It HAS to be fresh. The fresher it is, the less fishy it taste. It also has to have a little flavor. I know some people can eat it with just a squeeze of lemon, but like I said before…Not happenin’.

Ingredients:

Filet of Salmon

melted coconut oil

salt

pepper

lemons

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking dish with foil, and place salmon fillets on the dish. Coat salmon with melted coconut oil, just until fully coated. (Not too much oil.) Then liberally salt and pepper salmon. (Can do both sides if the other side isn’t skin, otherwise you don’t have to coat skin. Also, have salmon be skin side down.)

2. Bake for 10-20 minutes, or until salmon is light pink and flakes easily with a fork. Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the top and serve.

We ate it over caramelized brussel sprouts and brown rice!

Of coarse Boo didn’t touch the sprouts, but she did eat the Salmon.

I told her it was pink chicken…

Best mom advice like ever.. :)

Oh, and I never shared our Halloween costumes that we had this year! If you can guess what I am, I would be So surprised!

I am not a hooker…

My husband was that one guy…from LMFAO…

And no I’m not a clown hooker…wrong again. I’ll give you a clue:

Kay-dollar sign-Ha.

Boo was an owl, and she was sooo excited to flap her little wings! Except, I don’t think she is going to be excited about this picture come 15 years…Her dad=wanna be gangsta=wanna be cool=totally not.

And Sweet Pea was a freaked out Pumpkin…

Ok now onto the month of November, which came out of no where!!

Who is ready for Christmas?

Exercising w/ Kids and Post Workout Food

If there is one thing I have noticed with RESTARTing exercise, is that it isn’t coming easy.

I find myself running around all day playing mommy and wifey, and by the time the end of the day is near all I want to do is cuddle with my family and relax for the rest of the night. The last thing I do is want to exercise…

Finding that exercise groove again is hard, but I am not putting the pressure on myself to do it all because I know that will cause me to  give up. Because of this, I am focusing on the things that I know will make it easier for me to exercise:

Knowing these things helps me to understand where and how I am comfortable with fitting in exercise into my daily schedule.

What’s on your list of things that you know will make exercise easier?

One of the most important things for me is making sure my little chickpeas are with me and happy.

My goal is to keep things balanced, so you won’t see me going to the gym, then taking the kids on a run, then coming home and doing a workout video.

It’s just not me.

I’ve got tea parties and dress up appointments with my little gals scheduled everyday. :)

Sometimes you can’t always throw the kids in the stroller and go on a long run.

OR you little girl is missing her toy ice cream cone and if it’s not found she’s going to scream…a lot..

THEN your littlest chickpea can’t sit in a car seat in the stroller because it’s 107 degrees outside.

And lastly, your husband is working a 12 hour day so there is no ‘break’ for you to break a sweat on your own and relax…

What’s a Diva to do?!?

Playing with your kids is a great way to get that heart rate up as well as get your kids moving!

More importantly it brings your family together as you laugh, dance, and act silly. :)

And after a good solid play time with the kids, a post workout snack/meal is a necessity!

-Or-

-Or-

-Or-

Apples/Pears N’ Nut/Seed Butter

Veggies, Crackers, and Hummus

Etc.

Printable for Week 2: Restart Exercise Program

Do you exercise with your kids?

Send me your pics, I would love to see them!

Post them to my Facebook page!

Or tweet me @TheDiVa_DiSh

Have a Great Monday!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Pie

Let’s talk about dessert.

We’ve all been there.

8:30 at night, kids are asleep, husband is knee deep in his fantasy football draft, and you’ve plopped yourself down on the couch to watch some good ol’ trash tv.

Then it hits you…A craving like no other. First you start to itch, and then your right eye starts twitching.

Then before you know it  your legs begin to spasm and that craving for something sweet has sent you to loose all control.

It’s getting dangerous.

You try and hold yourself back from opening that package of M&M’s that somehow mysteriously ended up in your pantry, but each time you slap yourself in the face and say, “NO Dangit!,” a giant sized red M&M grabs you in the face and says…

“EAT ME!”

This is serious.

So then you do the worst thing possible because the stress is too much to handle.

You put on your stretchy pants and head to the kitchen to do some damage.

First the M&M’s, and then the Ding Dongs.

Oh Crap! Hubby bought Peanut Butter Oreos…Get in MA’ Belly!

An hour later your husband finds you in the fetal position lying on the kitchen floor cradling a package of Tums and a bottle of chocolate syrup.

He picks you up, wipes you off, pries the chocolate sauce from your hands, and puts you to bed.

As he is tucking you in, you can’t help but wish that the previous hour was all a dream, and drinking a carton of ice cream never happened…

But it did…Oh yes it did.

Wait…You mean that’s never happened to you.

Uh, ya me neither…

Dessert cravings can be a dangerous thing…OBVIOUSLY.

The stress of trying to beat those cravings and choose a healthier option can send you into full blown panic mode.

Which is why it’s almost a necessity to have a pie on hand.

One that’s naturally sweetened, packed with protein, boost of omegas, and well one that screams…

EAT  ME!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pretzel Pie

Ingredients: (For the ice cream)

3 bananas

1 avocado

1/2 c. peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter for nut free version -make sure no sugar added, just nuts for ingredients

1/3 c. cocoa powder

1/8 c. coconut oil

1 TB. vanilla

(For the Crust)

2 1/2 c. salted pretzels

20 small/medium sized dates-pits removed

1/2 c. peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower butter for nut free version-make sure no sugar added, just nuts for ingredients

2 tsp. vanilla

(For the topping)

1/2 c. pretzels finely crushed into crumbs-the finer the better

Directions:

1. Prepare the crust first: In a food processor, process pretzels and dates first until fine crumbs appear. Add nut butter and vanilla until combined. Mixture will be crumbly..that’s ok! Press crust into spring form pan. (PRESS HARD)

2. Prepare the filling: Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour on top of crust and spread out. Top with the 1/2.c finely grated pretzels. (The finer the better!)

3. Place covered in freezer for a couple hours until hardened. If it’s in freezer for a longer time, let thaw for a 3-4 minutes before cutting and serving.

Now..No need to be all lady like/gentleman-ish when eating this pie.

By all means, go crazy and shove this bad boy straight into your mouth…No hesitation!

SO next time that sweet tooth craving comes a creepin’, just slap your self on the hiney and remember there’s a nice delicious healthy pie waiting for you in the freezer!

Your welcome…

:)

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream

I’m going to take a break from my obsessive whining about Baby #2 not here yet, and focus on one of my most precious chickpeas.

Yesterday Baby Boo officially turned TWO, and she technically isn’t a baby anymore.

(Although I have no problem wrapping her up in a blanket and cuddling her in my arms…)

It’s hard to believe that two years came and went so fast, and now I am the mama of a sassy and sweet toddler. One that has no problem telling me no, slapping me in public, wearing tutu’s 24/7, playing with mama’s makeup, singing Justin Bieber and pointing out his picture wherever it is…

Yes my friends, she is no longer my little baby.

She now demands chocolate milk with every meal and is easily the boss in our tiny little family.

(I’m this close to teaching her how to ask Daddy for money…)

Unfortunately for the hubby’s sake, she’s 100% Diva and takes a lot after  her mama. Everything is 10 times more dramatic than it should be and she can cry at the drop of a penny.On top of everything else, she is addicted to sweets.

I will take the blame for that because half the time I’ve got my face shoved into some sort of chocolate particle…And if you open my pantry, i’ve got enough dark chocolate bars to feed Canada.

But I’m not complaining one bit. I look forward to Mommy-Daughter dates when we can spend daddy’s money and check out different sweet treats around the city. (Although…Technically we do that now.)

Which is why I knew that on Boo’s birthday she wouldn’t consider a special ‘treat’ a basket full of fries, but more like a big bowl of ice cream. Of coarse alongside of a day spent full of using daddy’s money!

That’s what birthday’s are all about!

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookie Ice Cream

Ingredients:

(For the Ice Cream)

5-6 frozen bananas processed and blended into ‘ice cream’ w/ 1 tsp. vanilla

OR

1 pint vanilla non dairy ice cream (we prefer coconut)

(For the cookie mixutre)

1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour/spelt flour/GF flour/vanilla protein powder for a protein version

1/2 oats

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

dash of salt

1/4 c. peanut butter

1/4 c. 100% maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. dark chocolate chopped/chocolate chips

Directions:

1. To make the cookies, beat nut butter, vanilla, and syrup together until combined with a mixer. Add flour, oats, spices until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. The mixture will be a little crumbly:

2. In the mixer bowl add your ice cream:

3. Mix together until cookies are incorporated throughout ice cream.

4. Eat right then, or place in freezer safe storage and save for later!

This dessert is almost as sweet as my precious two year old!

Unless you take into consideration that she’s 100% diva like her mama…

And in that case, it’s not always a sweet bowl of ice cream! :-)

I love you Baby Boo! You keep me on my toes, make me smile and laugh every day, and I’ve never loved anything so much as much as I Love You!

I’ll Love you Forever Boo!

XOXOXO-

Mommy

What’s In My Hospital Bag?!

Even though I am about 3-4 weeks until my due date, I haven’t really given much thought into putting together my hospital bag.

Then last night as I was sitting on the floor with Baby Boo, I began to notice my pants getting wet. My first thought was, Ok…did I just wet my pants? But after having some of the cramping and pains I have had recently I thought maybe my water broke.

Let’s not talk about how the hubby didn’t answer his phone for an hour…

Or how I was freaking out/extremely excited that I may or may not be going into labor.

Let’s talk about how I wasn’t prepared one bit.

I was trying to think of things to grab, and for the life of me I couldn’t remember what I needed or what I should grab. I had nothing prepared…

Obviously my didn’t water brake, because I wouldn’t be writing this post, and I learned that due the position of the baby and everything that has been going on…

I wet my pants.

Ya…What’s worse is that I didn’t even know I was doing it…Seriously, I need to wear a diaper.

Anyways, the second I had a chance today I decided it was best to put together my hospital bag just in case the little one decides to come soon…

Don’t worry…I put a few Depends in there.

Before you make your list, be sure and check your with your hospital and what they provide. Some hospitals are extremely generous, so take advantage! Also, with Boo I was in the hospital with her for 4 days. Some people only stay a day or two, it just depends. I always say, be prepared.

(Robe from Nordstroms Rack Clearance: $12.00)

This is one of my MUST have items. People/nurses/strangers are constantly walking in and out of your room, and a lot of times all you have is a sexy and revealing hospital gown. A nice and comfy robe is perfect to cover up and look somewhat presentable in front of guest.

(PJ’s from Motherhood Maternity)

This all depends on your hospital, because some require you to wear their hospital gowns. But if that isn’t the case, consider yourself lucky and pack super comfy nursing pajamas. Make sure it’s something you would be willing to wear in front of others :)!

Another one of my must haves are thick fuzzy socks that you can walk around on and wear. Hospitals get cold, and these are perfect to keep your feet warm. Also, a cheap pair of sandals are a must for walking on the floor and taking a shower. You don’t want your bare feet on that hospital floor!

(Makeup/Toiletries Bag: Target)

It’s important to remember the little things like toothbrush, shampoo, face wash etc., but I also like to add makeup in there.

I’m not saying I am superficial, but after giving birth and being exhausted, you can definitely tell it in the pictures. Even if it’s a little mascara or some blush, it will make you feel better after everything you have been through.

I suggest a bag that folds up and has lots of little compartments, as well as something you can hang on a door!

(Nursing Bra: Motherhood Maternity)

One thing I didn’t expect after birth was to be leaking from every part of me. So don’t bring super nice undies because most likely you will just throw them away when you leave the hospital. I would also suggest a super comfy nursing bra, one that easily opens and is big enough that has room for expansion of the…boobies. Those tata’s are gonna be a little sore, so you definitely don’t want some tight sexy padded bra squeezing those suckers together. Trust me. :)

Also, if you are lucky, you probably won’t need nursing pads because either 1) your milk hasn’t come in yet, or 2)the hospital will provide them. I threw a few in there just in case! The disposable ones work best since you won’t be doing any washing or what not.

(Blue Headband: LuLu Lemon, Small Bands: Target)

This may sound like a funky request, but I didn’t do much hair styling in the hospital so I relied on cute headbands, braids, buns, etc. to keep my hair pulled back. Also, during labor (depending on how long it can go), your hair becomes all sorts of crazy. I remember having a HUGE knot in my hair after. So it’s definitely nice to have your hair tied back/out of your face for when your pushing your brains and and calling your husband a no good son of a biscuit for getting you prego! :)

(Larabars)

Everyone knows hospital food is nothing special, and you can’t just eat whenever/whatever you want. Healthy snacks, for me, are a must! Especially if you end up staying in the hospital longer than expected, it’s nice to have a little something you like/want that makes you happy and keeps you healthy! I suggest something packed with protein to keep you full. You won’t be all of the sudden watching your calories and eating lettuce, especially if your nursing. You’ve got to continue to stuff that face…

Sucks huh? :)

(Maxi Dress: Motherhood Maternity)

I hate to break it to you, but you definitely don’t want to pack those pre-pregnancy jeans you’ve been dying to fit into! You are still going to look pregnant, just not 9 months, but you will still have a little bump. So pack something that isn’t constricting and is comfy (preferably something maternity). I love summer dresses right now because they are cool and comfy.

Do NOT forget a camera/video camera! :) It’s just something that is a must have so you don’t miss out on precious new moments!

Also, if you have a phone, don’t forget a phone charger!

I usually have two bags when I go to the hospital, go figure, one for me and one for baby. Luckily hospitals provide a lot of baby gear so you won’t need much.

But before I begin can we talk about diaper bags?

(Diaper Bag: Pickle Petunia)

I have always used the Pickle Petunia Backpack Diaper Bag. It’s my absolute favorite! They are a little pricey, but these last a SUPER long time, and can withstand a lot of crumbs, spilt milk, and toddler destruction!

Not only are they super cute, but backpacks are SUPER easy to carry when you are trying to do and hold everything else.

You can also take off the straps, and carry it around your shoulder!

Did I mention they are super cute?! :)

Now, let’s talk about what to bring to the hospital for baby!

Most likely your hospital will provide all of the above, so you won’t have to. Also, the hospital I go to requires the baby to wear THEIR clothes/socks/beanies etc. So be sure to check with your hospital. I will suggest a blanket though, because sometimes those hospital blankets are not warm enough for those cold hospital rooms!

These are also something that the hospital most likely provides, and I would take full advantage of their resources. Check your hospital to make sure!

Something cute, comfy, and weather appropriate is the perfect outfit for wee little one to wear home! And if it so happens to match the outfit of her older sister, than that’s just an added bonus! :)

Here are a few list of other items that you could bring, but most likely won’t have to since the hospital will provide it.

Nursing cover

Nursing pillow

Pillow for mom (for sleeping)

Booby Cream for hurting nips :)

If anything, don’t stress if you forget anything. Most likely you aren’t going to be there for weeks, and the hospital has a lot of things for you to use! Worse case situation, you have your husband run and grab you what you need :)!

I seriously cannot wait to be holding another one of these in my arms, and to have a cute little family of 4!! :)

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

One of my earliest memories of cooking and falling in love with food came from spending a week or two in the summer at my grandparents house.

Each time I would come, my grandpa and I would go grocery shopping together and get a list of ingredients that made some of my favorite meals. (Don’t forget the large box of fudgsicles!) Then every night for dinner, my grandpa and I would cook dinner together. I remember him letting me do all of the cutting, dicing, pouring, mixing, etc. and I loved every second of it! It truly gave me a sense of how cooking can truly bring people together, and establish passion and memories to last a life time.

Something that my grandparents always had in their backyard was a lemon tree, and a lot of times we would go out and pick bags full of lemons. Some to make lemonade, and some to pass out to the neighborhood.

When it came to making lemonade, what I most remember was pressing those lemons on their little electric juicer. It was my favorite part!

I can still remember pressing with all my strength on that little juicer to try and get all the juice out, and continually asking my grandpa, “How many more lemons??”

I also remember adding cups of sugar..Pretty sure more than one.

But more than anything I remember the taste, and going back to the fridge through out the day getting glass..after glass…after glass…

Yummmm! Suga! :)

Despite the fact that I probably consumed more sugar in those two weeks than I would in that whole summer, I wouldn’t trade those sweet memories for anything.

Today, I don’t have my grandpa to pick lemons and make lemonade with me, but I definitely can make lemonade and drink it in his honor. All in gratitude for teaching me to love spending time in the kitchen, especially with the ones you love.

To me, the food taste so much sweeter when it’s made that way.

Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade

Ingredients:

1 1/4 c. lemon juice

3/4 c. liquid sweetener (honey or agave work best)

zest of 1 large lemon

1.25 liter sparkling lemon water

3/4 c. strawberry puree

Lemon slices, strawberry slices, ice

Directions:

1. In a saucepan, heat sweetener and lemon juice until sweetener is dissolved. Let sit to cool. (I put mine in the freezer for a fast cool down!) Once cool, stir in lemon zest.

2. Puree strawberries (if you hadn’t done this already). In a pitcher add sparkling water, pureed strawberries, lemon juice mixture, lemon slices, strawberries, and if needed ice. Stir until combined.

3. Serve cold, or over ice.  (Stir every so often, as needed.)

Summer and lemonade go together perfectly.

Throw in loved ones and family into that mixture and it’s what making lifelong summer memories is all about! :)

Apple Pie with Spelt Crust

I’ve never been a HUGE fan of pie. The filling of pie’s aren’t something I die over…Really all that matters to me is the crust.

I mean, it’s a carb for crying out loud. Mommy loves carbs.

If it were up to me, I would eat pie crust for dessert and call it Heaven.

Actually, I lied. I would MUCH rather eat a piece of chocolate fudge cake and call THAT heaven…But, since this post is all about pie, I’ll budge just this once.

For the past month, I’ve had an abundance of untouched apples sitting in my fridge. I bought them thinking I was going to put them in the hubby’s lunches, but somehow his lunch apples kept returning back into the fridge after he comes home at night.

That hubby…

Anyways, I decided I should probably do something with those apples that might intrigue the hubby more. In all honestly, he’d probably just prefer something without apples…But If you know me, then you know I don’t really take into consideration what the hubby prefers when it comes to food choices.

Which is why come Monday morning I’m putting another apple in his lunch.

Best. Wife. Ever.

Apple Pie with Spelt Crust

Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients: (For the Crust)

1 1/4 c. spelt flour

1/2 c. coconut oil (cold/chilled)

1/2 TB. vinegar

dash of salt

1 TB. sugar

3 TB. cold water

1 egg, beaten

Ingredients: (For the Filling)

5-6 small medium apples, washed, peeled, sliced (thinly)

3/4 c. coconut milk, from a can

1/4 c. 100% pure maple syrup

1/2 c. date sugar

1 TB. spelt flour

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Directions:

1. Begin by preparing the crust. In a medium bowl add your flour and coconut oil. Using a pastry cuter, break the coconut oil into the flour until fine crumbs appear and there are no large lumps left of oil. This may take some work, but that’s ok! Count it as an arm workout :)!

2. Next take your beaten egg, and take 2 TB from that egg and add it to the mixture, along with the other crust ingredients. (Save the extra beaten egg for later) Mix all ingredients together (you can do this with your hands!). Form into a ball. It will be a little sticky.

3. Divide the dough into two balls and place each one in a plastic bag.

4. Take a rolling pin and flatten the dough a little bit just to get it started. Then place in the fridge to let chill for about 10 minutes.

5. While the dough is chilling, make the filling for the pie. Peel and slice the apples and set aside.

6. Add the rest of the ingredients for the filling in a medium bowl and whisk together until thick and combined. Fold in the apples and set aside and get ready to prepare the crust.

7. Prepare your workspace by dusting with some spelt flour.

8. Add your crust and sprinkle flour on top.


9. Depending on how long you let the crust sit in the fridge,  (aka you had to change a diaper, feed the kiddo, play tea party, and dance to music), you may have left it in the fridge as longer than 10 minutes. In which case the dough may be a little tough, and crumble.  That’s ok, just start kneading the dough the best you can to loosen it up.

10. If you were smart, and left the dough in the fridge for a for only a few minutes, go ahead and still knead the dough with a few TB. of flour before you roll it out.

11. Once the dough is not as sticky and able to roll out, begin to roll it out. If the dough cracks as you roll, have a cry, and move on.

Simple add a little flour,

Push sides back together…

And continue to Roll baby…


12. Once you have the dough rolled out to a somewhat looking circle, use a spatula to lift up the dough and place in a pie pan.

13. Press the dough into the pie pan so it fits nicely. You can do fancy things with the edge of the crust…But I didn’t. I am challenged in that area…

14. Add your pie filling to the pie pan.

15. Do the same thing that you did to the first pie crust, to the second one. You can either place the whole crust on top, or you can try and get all crafty with the crust and cut it into strips and place them across the top. Press the crust and strips together.

Brush top of crust with extra beaten egg,

Then sprinkle with a little date sugar.

16. Cover the pie with foil and bake in a pre-heated oven for about an hour. After an hour, you can remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes if needed. You want the crust golden brown.

17. Serve warm, and preferably with ice cream. :) Coconut ice cream is the best!

When ice cream melts over a warm pie…

Well, do I really have to say anything. It’s pretty self explanatory.

My advice would be to grab a piece, snuggle with the ones you love, and enjoy each and every moment.

And if those moments last say….3-4 pieces later, I won’t judge….

After all…I’ve eaten this pie for breakfast.

And lunch.

And dinner.

And dessert.

The End.

Healthy On-the-Go Snacks: Kid & Baby Mama Friendly

Snack foods can be a mama’s life saver.

Either because that mama is 7 months pregnant and every 30 minutes it’s like she hasn’t eaten in 13 years…

OR because, that mama is out at the park, taking a jog, running errands, or driving to a farther destination with a hungry child.

Hungry child=No fun.

A lot of times mom’s always ask me what healthy food items I pack in my diaper bag when I am out for a day on the go. It’s easy to throw in a bag of chips, packaged granola bars, cheese crackers, or fruit rollups, but obviously those aren’t always the best options.

A lot of times when it comes to making choices for eating and children, parents love options that are fast, quick, and easy, and a lot of times we forget about those snacks being healthy and nutritious.

And no…I’m not talking about cheez-its made with whole grain.

Sorry hubby, that’s not considered a health food.

Luckily with a little (yes just a little) planning, you can have hearty, natural, and healthy snacks ready for on the go runs whenever you need them!

Let’s begin shall we!

1. No Bake Cookie Balls

I love love love raw cookie balls, or protein balls. It’s basically a blend of nuts/nut butters, dates, coconut, cocoa powder, seeds, sweetener, oats, etc. Basically the combinations are endless and I consider them to be almost like a dessert.

When I make them I usually grind most of the ingredients really fine, (like the nuts), so Baby Boo can enjoy them with her little baby teeth! It’s a treat any child will love! Imagine…Here baby, have a chocolate cookie ball!

Basic No Bake Cookie Balls

Ingredients:

1/2 c. cashews

1/2 c. walnuts

1/2 c. scant raw cocoa powder

1/2 c. almond butter

1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 c. oats

1/4 c. cocoa nibs

1/2 c. dried apricots (Organic)

1/4 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. honey (scant)

1/4 c. maple syrup (scant)

Directions:

1. Using a food processor, blend nuts until fine and crumbly. Add the rest of the ingredients until well combined and the mixture is fine and can be formed into balls. Roll into 1 inch balls and store in the fridge or freezer and grab one when hungry!

Other cookie ball recipes:

Fudge Balls

Peanut Butter Balls

Citrus Cookie Dough Balls (Optional on the citrus part)

S’mores Balls (Top recipe on the blog!)

Store Bough Options: Larabars

2. Mini Sandwiches

If I have time in the morning I’ll make a quick nut butter and jelly sandwich and cut it up for Boo to have as a snack later when we are out and about. Don’t limit yourself to PB&J though, try hummus and cheese or hummus mixed with thinly cut veggies like cucumbers or tomatoes.

3. Raw Veggies

Every mom in the world might be laughing at me right now thinking that a piece of broccoli would qualify as a ‘snack’ to their toddler.

I understand it’s different, but start your kids young on loving raw veggies (with fun dips), and pretty soon they won’t mind munching a carrot in the stroller. You can also try cucumber slices, baby tomatoes chopped, celery with nut butters and etc…If you are able to, you can also pack a side cup of dip like hummus!

4. Fruits

When it comes to fruits the options are never ending.

Banana, apples, plums, pineapple, watermelon, berries, oranges, etc. Pack them pre-chopped, (and the skin off if necessary), in a to-go bag or container with an ice pack to keep them cool and refreshing!

5. Pre-made Baked Goods (Healthy/Natural/Homemade)

Pictured above: Chocolate Protein Breakfast Cake Bars

Usually once a week I bake some sort of muffin/cookie/sweet bread etc. I usually put half in the freezer for a quick treat in the future, and save the rest for snack time and on-the-go. The baked goods I pack are usually whole grain and made with natural ingredients and sweeteners.

Other options for healthy on-the-go baked goods:

Date Muffins

Grain Free/Sugar Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (Single Serving)

Cranberry Orange Loaf

Sugar Free Whole Wheat Banana Spice Muffins

Chocolate Chip Bean Cookies

6. Store Bought Items:

As much as I love food and treats made at home, I’m also a realist and I know that sometimes I’m not By Golly Miss Molly whose been baking away in my kitchen all week. After all, I’ve got story books to read, tea parties to have, and forts to build!

My advice for purchased goods is this: shop natural, whole, and sometimes organic when it comes to buying snacks. Make sure you can read  and understand the ingredients and know what each one is.

Remember, organic Oreos are still…Oreos. :)

Pictured above: Peanut Butter Green Bars.

Despite that the picture above looks like marijuana granola bars, they are these insanely delicious PB bars that are sold at our local farmers market. (My husband even loves them!) Every time I go by I stock up and buy a bunch because they go fast! I show these because I think it’s great to take advantage of local markets and companies that sell natural and whole foods/snacks. They come in handy for those days where you don’t have time to cook/cut/and prepare, and you just want something ready to go.

Another snack we love are these applesauce packets. Baby Boo LOOOVES them! Sometimes you can buy them with veggies in them too, which is great! These can be a little pricey, so if I buy them I usually get them at Costco. Despite the price, I always buy them because they are such a yummy quick snack grab!

As for crackers and things, I aim for products that are whole wheat and minimally processed. Here are a few of our salty favorites:

Pretzels

Kale Chips

Popcorn

Pita Chips

Crackers (Simple ingredients)

Dried fruits are another favorite in our household. The freeze dried ones have a crispy/crunchy taste, which some kids love!

Other options include, but aren’t limited too:

Dates

Appricots

Raisins

Craisins

Banana chips (Roasted)

Last but not least, drinks.

I usually always have a water bottle, but sometimes Baby Boo loves other options. Who am I kidding, if I pulled out a cup of chocolate milk she’d be in heaven!

Here are out favorite drink options:

Coconut Water

Flavored Coconut Water

So remember, whether your headed to Target to spend $100 or a fun day at the beach, there are always healthy options to have ready and on-the-go when you need them.

And when in doubt, chocolate is ALWAYS an acceptable snack :)!

Sugar Free Whole Wheat Banana Spice Mini Muffins

First off I just want to say that I am LOVING all of the feedback and comments from my previous post! All of you are so inspiring and uplifting and I couldn’t be luckier than to have the love and support from my readers! You guys are truly amazing!! Thank you, thank you!!

Ok, so if I haven’t mentioned it a gazillion times before, I’ll say it again…

I love carbs.

I could never do a ‘carb free’ diet because frankly, a life without bread would be like life without toilet paper…Disturbing.

I’m usually good about controlling the amount of carbs I eat, but there are days when nothing can stop me and all I want is to dip a big loaf of sour dough bread into a bowl of melted chocolate…And I have a funny feeling I’m not the only one with that fantasy…

(Just go with it.)

One of my favorite things to have around besides baguettes taller than Baby Boo, are muffins. They are the perfect morning quick breakfast, a fast snack attack for Baby Boo and I while out and about, and a perfect little ‘treat’ after dinner. (Treat=dipped in chocolate…Catch my drift yo’?)

Normally I make muffins with some liquid sweetener of choice, add a handful (or a bucket?) of chocolate chips and slap my grandma because I’m so excited to gobble them up when they are done! But, since I am trying to cook with more natural sweeteners, I decided to make a banana bread muffin that well…were sweetened with just bananas! Luckily I had a GREAT recipe to adapt from, and the rest was history! Moist, delicious, and slap yo’ grandma worthy too!

Whole Wheat Banana Spice Mini Muffins

*Sugar Free, Whole Wheat, Can be Vegan, Delicious!*

Adapted from Jessica at How Sweet It Is (This was a great adaptable recipe since it was already whole wheat and only contained 1/3 c. of sugar!)

Makes about 40-48 mini muffins.

Ingredients:

2 c. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. garam masala

1 egg or 1 chia or flax egg

1/4 c. melted and cooled coconut oil

2/3 c. non dairy milk (I used coconut milk)

2 TB. vanilla

3 medium mashed bananas

Optional mix-ins: Raisins, nuts, blueberries…etc

Directions:

1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In a separate owl mix egg, oil, milk, and vanilla. Then stir in bananas. Add wet to dry and stir/fold until combined. Do not overmix.

2. Preheat oven to 350. Add batter to muffin tins coated with muffin liners, and cook mini muffins for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.

3. Let muffins cool in tin for at least 3-5 minutes, then remove.

*Allowing the muffins to sit in muffin pan for close to 5 minutes is the idea time. Too less time, and the muffins can loose their shape, and too much time, the muffins can become hard. (This rule can apply to all muffins and baking.)*

Optional toppings:

Coconut

Peanut Butter Chocolate ‘Frosting’

1/3 c. peanut butter (natural)

2 TB. cocoa powder

4-6 TB. milk

Directions: Mix all together until creamy and desired consistency is reached.

Optional for a non sugar free options: 1 TB. of liquid sweetener

Normally I slather muffins in peanut butter for breakfast, so this frosting is right up my alley! Slather it once, twice, or even dip that mini muffin into the ‘frosting’ and then…

Don’t slap your grandma…Once is fine, but twice, that’s just mean.

Don’t be afraid to eat carbs. Carbs (the right ones) are your friends…

Actually food in general are my friends…my best friends…Sigh.

I probably shouldn’t share any more…

Now, where did that baguette go?

Sugar Free Chocolate Chip Bean Cookies and Homemade Date Puree

If you’ve been reading my blog for a little bit than you know I’m a sweets whore. I even wrote a recent post on conquering those sweet cravings!

When it comes to baking and making sweets, I have tried my best to stop from baking/cooking with refined white/brown sugars. It’s been a difficult adjustment to adjust recipes and what not, especially when I am adding liquid ingredients like maple syrup. Baking is such a science, and different measurements of something (like a liquid) can definitely alter the way a recipe turns out.

To top it off, I have recently tried to start baking sweets with natural sweeteners, instead of the other alternatives like stevia, honey, etc. I’ve been pureeing sweet fruits and other ingredients like crazy, and I can tell you that I have failed many many many times.

Many times…. :)

There has been a lot of trial and error, and I can definitely say that I am pleased with the result! :)

One of my favorite alternative sweeteners are dates. I don’t necessarily enjoy dates by themselves, but pureed into my sweets I am totally okay with! It’s really easy to make your own puree, and you can add it to anything you want a little sweeter. Just a few Tablespoons to your oatmeal for example can be a great alternative to some honey or agave.

Homemade Date Puree

Makes about 1 c. date puree

Ingredients:

1 c. packed dates (Really pack em’ in there!)

water

Directions:

1. Add your dates into a deep bowl or glass, and pour water on top, just enough to where the dates are all covered and soaking in water. Let sit out overnight. The next day, dump out the water and puree the dates in a food processor or blender until creamy. 

If you don’t have dates or a food processor, you could probably substitute overly ripe bananas mashed or blended until creamy and lump free.

Ok, now for those cookies! Not only are these sugar free*, fiber full, good source of protein and healthy fats, but they secretly have BEANS in them…Yup! I went there…

 Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bean Cake Cookies

Makes about 24 cookies

Sugar free (see note below), vegan, whole grain

Ingredients:

3/4 c. melted coconut oil

3/4 c. date puree

1 TB. vanilla extract

1 Chia egg-2 1/2 TB water mixed w/ 1 TB. chia seeds, set aside until gel forms. (or one egg)

1/4 c. non dairy milk

1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed

1 1/2 c. spelt flour

1/2 c. oats

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 cups. chocolate chips*

*These cookies can be sugar free if you use “chocolate chips” w/o sugar. This means you could use cocoa nibs, or chop up 1-2 bars of 100% pure dark chocolate, or even raisins. I, however, used dark chocolate chips in mine, which DID have sugar in them. I was serving them to Baby Boo and the Hubby, so I had to give them a little something. :)**

Directions:

1. In a mixing bowl, mix together melted coconut oil, date puree, and vanilla. Next add in chia egg or regular egg, milk, and beans. Mix a little bit on low until the beans start to kind of break up. You don’t want them pureed, just not a bunch of whole beans either.

2. In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients; flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to mixer and stir until combined. If mixture seems too dry, add a few TB. of milk. Next, stir in chocolate chips.

3. Place a golf sized cookie dough onto baking sheet and press down dough a little. Bake in a pre-heated oven of 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. (Side note: My oven just broke, and it was acting funny a few days before. So I am kind of nervous to see if the cooking time is different considering my po-dunk oven. Check cookies every so often, and when they are starting to turn golden brown, you know they are done. Don’t let them overcook, you want them soft and chewy!)

One thing I love about these cookies is they are a perfect ‘treat’ to give Baby Boo if she is asking for a cookie. I don’t deprive her, but when lil’ miss asks for a cookie every 15 minutes I don’t care if she has one of these…or two!

I also love to freeze them, heat them up in the morning, and top with peanut butter.

Yes. I love food…

Oh, and many of you asked what kind of cookie dough I was using to top of my morning yogurt…

Well, here it is! Instead of making all the cookies, I saved some of the cookie dough in the fridge (because I made mine w/o eggs), and have been crumbling it over lots of things…and snacking on it multiple times a day.

You caught me! ;-)

Be back later this week for some super totally awesome Easter Treats…

That is, if my oven get’s fixed. If not…Can I come over?