Sunday, December 16, 2012

Healthy Gluten Free Treats

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes 18 medium cookies

These protein packed cookies are a perfect holiday treat. They are loaded with super foods like nut butter, flax seeds and chickpeas, making them both decadent and nutritious

1 ¼ cups canned chickpeas, well-rinsed and patted dry
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup natural peanut butter (make sure there is no oil)
1/4 cup maple syrup
I teaspoon flax seeds
1-teaspoon baking powder
½ cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Combine all the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
3.Stir in chocolate chips.
4. With wet hands, form into 1 ½ inch balls. The mixture will be a little sticky. Then press cookies onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
5.Bake for about 10 minutes or until brown.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Seasonal Thanksgiving Muffins

Cranberry Oat Snack Muffins
Makes 24 mini muffins

These fiber filled gems are a great way to show off fresh cranberries, which are beginning to pop up at the farmers market in preparation for Thanksgiving. I tend to make these during the holiday season. They are always a big hit at bake sales. Because they contain some “white flour,” these are ideal for those of you transitioning from a mainstream diet to a more whole foods way of eating. Cranberries are high in vitamins C and K, necessary for wound healing and immune system functioning. They also contain manganese, another wonderful antioxidant nutrient.

1 cup rolled oats
¾ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
¼ cup agave nectar
1/3 cup milk of choice (dairy, coconut, soy, almond, rice, hemp, etc.)
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup liquid coconut oil or grapeseed oil
¼ cup yogurt (dairy, coconut, soy)
1 egg
Grated rind of an orange
½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries, halved

1. Preheat oven at 375 degrees.
2. Line mini muffin tins with paper muffin cups.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together oats, two flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
    Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, combine agave, milk, orange juice, oil, yogurt and orange rind until
    thoroughly blended.
5. Mix liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, blending just until moistened, 15 to 20
    strokes should do it. Do not overmix.
6. Fold in cranberries.
7. Fill muffin cups half full.
8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until muffins test done. Allow to cool in tin for 20
    minutes before removing.

The Value of Cranberries
For many years, researchers celebrated cranberries for their unique ability to help prevent urinary tract infections, especially in girls and women. But cranberries do so much more! They boast a high level of phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and fiber, making them essential for helping boost the immune system, preventing cardiovascular disease (even in children), aiding in healthy digestion, even working to fight cavities and gingivitis. If you need some quick, easy ideas for using cranberries, try adding a handful of fresh berries to your favorite muffin, bread, or hearty cookie recipes! 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Popcorn Balls
Makes 18 Popcorn Balls

My Grandmother Beauty said you should always have something special to remember the holidays by, and these popcorn balls were always a memorable treat. While they were not something she would encourage us to eat everyday-- as she did not want my sister and I to know the dentist that well-- they were something we looked forward to all year.  The original recipe had marshmallows and corn syrup, but over the years,  I experimented with different ways to make them healthier so they would be a snack we could have often, instead of a once a year treat. 

These popcorn balls taste as decadent as Cracker Jacks, but are much healthier as they are loaded with protein and omega three fatty acids from the almond butter.   

4 cups popped popcorn.
1/2 cup maple syrup, or honey, or agave
1/2 cup almond butter, or peanut butter, or sunflower butter
1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1.Add maple syrup,  and almond butter to a saucepan. Stir over medium heat till warm and mixed together.
2. Remove from heat 
3.Pour the heated mixture over the popcorn; make sure the popcorn is totally coated. Add pumpkin spice.  Stir mixture together. 
4. Wait a few minutes till the mixture has cooled, and then use your hands to shape the popcorn into balls. Make sure to squeeze the popcorn together tightly to make each ball. They should be  a little bigger then a golf ball.
6. Place finished popcorn balls on plate. You can wrap the balls in plastic  ( after they have set) and tie them up with a black and orange ribbon for a great Halloween give away.
 ** Tip--before you form the balls, put a little cool water on your hands so they do not stick to your fingers. Hands should be moist, but not wet.  Also feel free to eat the mixture warm if you do not want to make it into balls. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Perfect After School Snack

Super-Hero French-Toast  
Makes 2 Servings

My kids will tell you that French toast is not just for breakfast. This snack is loaded with protein and fiber and it’s great for any time of day. Add fruit and you’ve created a snack that’s loaded with antioxidants.

2 Pieces of Ezekiel 4:9 raisin bread
1 Egg
1 tbsp of milk (regular, soy, almond, hemp)
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla
Coconut oil
½ tsp flax seed
Grade B maple syrup or fruit spread

1. Take chilled bread and cut into star shapes or shapes of your choice with cookie cutters
2. Dip the bread shapes into the mixture of eggs, milk, cinnamon, flax (mixed together)
3. Heat a skillet with either coconut oil or butter
4. Put dipped shapes into pan, brown for a couple minutes on each side and flip
5. Serve with either maple syrup or fruit spread
6. Feel free to garnish with bananas, strawberries or any other of your favorite toppings 

Grade B Maple Syrup
When selecting syrup, steer clear of artificially flavored products and choose 100% pure organic maple syrup. The smell and taste of maple syrup combined are hugely effective in flavoring foods. The strong flavor of maple syrup means that only a few drops are needed to enhance taste. Use maple syrup as a sweetener and train your kids’ taste buds to appreciate a variety of flavors, rather than becoming reliant on overly sweetened products. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Secret Formula to Perfect Kid Snacking, Revealed!

Demonstrate to your kids that a snack is different from a treat. Even though cupcakes and cookies may be their favorites, kids need to be able to distinguish the difference and learn that these are treats for special occasions and not snacks that will power them through the day.

If kids eat a processed sweet snack every time their stomachs grumble, they will not only think this can become a regular part of their diet, but they will also be hungry again in no time flat. Good snacks should contain a protein, complex carbohydrates, and a healthy fat. This may sound daunting at first, but this combination can be achieved in many easy snacks. Whether you are at convenience store, Starbucks, or a grocery store, a smart snack is attainable if you know the formula.

Protein + Complex Carbohydrates + Healthy Fat = Healthy Well-Behaved Kids

Make sure to take this list with you when you are out and about. These days, it is pretty easy to find something from each of these columns. Have your nieces and nephews circle and choose one item from each column to make a winning combination. By involving them in the process of choosing healthy snacks, they can transition into smart snacking and realize how much better they feel with these easy diet changes.

*Use this easy chart to come up with creative combinations next time you need an easy, satisfying snack! Just have the kids pick one item from each of the columns below, and they’ll learn how to snack smart.

Complex carbohydrate
Healthy fat
Peanut butter
Apple slices
Almond butter
Orange slices
Olive oil
Sunflower butter
Coconut oil
Cashew butter
Mixed nuts
Pumpkin seeds
Sunflower seeds
Mixed nuts
Pine nuts
Macadamia nuts
Brazil nuts
Nut butters
Sweet potatoes





Whole grain bread or English muffin

Whole grain pasta

Cheddar cheese sticks
Rice cakes

String cheese
Brown rice