Party Fruit Bar

Parties are known for junk food and binge eating. The fact is though that junk food is not necessary to have a good time! We have found that when there are healthy snacks we actually have a much more enjoyable time at parties. Healthy snacks are tasty, colorful, light and don’t have the gross after effect of having eaten too much crap.

Fruits are some of the best party food because they are sweet for a fun treat. We like to serve them as a bar because everyone gets to pick their favorite! Fruit can stand on it’s own feet so the whipped cream is optional of course. We make ours with Stevia so it’s healthier and tastes delicious.

All you do is pick you favorite fruits and berries, cut fruit into bite size pieces, place in separate bowls and serve! If you like you can serve crushed nuts or seeds as a garnish as well. Everyone simply takes whatever they like best and tops with whipped cream if desired.

Do you have some healthy food you like to take to parties?

Fantastic Fiber Fig Bars

We don’t hear too much about fiber these days and most of us don’t even think about it unless we have a stomach ache. The truth is though that fiber is good for so many more things than just helping to clean out the ol’ pipes (although that is one really good benefit as well).

Some of the reported benefits of fiber are heart health, a reduced risk of stroke, stabilizing blood sugar levels, helps keep skin healthy, keeps energy up and helps with weight loss. Who knew right?!

Not only are figs rich in fiber but they are also low in sugar and calories, help stabilize blood sugar, suppress appetite and they taste delicious.

With all this in mind we made up some fig bars and they are fantastic! The taste is great and they work well for a quick breakfast, snack or post workout boost.

This is not a super sweet bar. We think it tastes great as is but if you want it a little sweeter add a couple of tablespoons of honey or stevia to taste in the filling.

The topping is optional but it’s a really fun twist if you want to whip it up quick.

Crust:

½ cup butter

½ cup coconut oil

2 cups whole wheat flour

¼ cup honey

¼ cup oats

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or a large mixing bowl. Press into a 9×13 pan. Bake at 350º for 25- 20 minutes. You don’t want it completely cooked because it will cook again with the filling.

Filling:

1 cup cashews

3 cups figs

1 Tbs. vanilla

water for soaking

Combine figs and cashews in a large bowl and cover with water. Allow to sit at least four hours or overnight. Drain and add vanilla. Place in a food possessor and blend until smooth. Spread on top of crust. If you want the optional topping sprinkle on top, if not skip topping. Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes.

Optional Topping:

½ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup chopped nuts

1 cup rolled oats

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup coconut

½ cup butter softened

Mix all ingredients together and crumble on top of fig bars. Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes.

Buttermilk Syrup

Last winter we tried buttermilk syrup for the first time and boy did we fall in love! It’s so creamy and tastes like liquid caramel. With this new found love we decided to make up a whole bunch and give some away for Christmas gifts. We wanted to share it with you to go along with our Christmas in July theme. However it doesn’t have to be December to enjoy this tasty treat!
We found this recipe earlier this year and revised it to have ingredients that fit our needs. Everyone who tries it loves it! It can be used on waffles, pancakes, French toast, German pancakes, ice cream and anything else you want to sweeten up a little. Just remember to refrigerate if you have any left over 😉

It’s canning season were we live so we like to pick up a bunch or jars to give them in right now. They are much more expensive during the winter. Or another cute thought is to save all your leftover pickle and mayonnaise type jars. That way each jar of syrup is unique and fun! Another bonus is that the syrup freezes so you can make a big batch now and throw it in the freezer until Christmas time. Having it all ready to go right now really helps for a more stress free December!

Buttermilk Syrup

3 Cups Sugar
1 ½ Cups Buttermilk
1 Cup Butter
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tbs. Real Vanilla

Put all Ingredients except vanilla in a sauce pan and bring to a boil stirring constantly. Continue to stir and boil lightly for 7 minutes. It will begin to turn a beautiful golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Enjoy!

What do you like to eat buttermilk syrup with?

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Summer = Zucchini! We love (yes love) zucchini! Our mouths water for it in the spring and then we can’t get enough of it. Thankfully when it is finally ready to harvest there is a ton to harvest. This chocolate bread is a great way to use it up when you need a healthy treat. Guilt free treats are our favorite!

Not only does this bread have a vegetable in it but it is also made with whole wheat flour, honey and maple syrup instead of sugar and cacao instead of cocoa. It’s wholesome and super tasty!

½ cup honey

½ cup maple syrup

1 Tbs. vanilla

3 eggs

1 cup coconut oil

2 cup grated zucchini

2 cups whole wheat flour

¼ cup cacao

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

¾ cup chopped nuts (optional)

Combine honey, maple syrup, vanilla, eggs and coconut oil in a large mixing bowl. Beat well. Add all remaining ingredients. Stir until mixed. Pour into two greased bread pans and bake at 350º for 30-40 minutes. Note: This recipe makes small loaves.

Figuring out Fiber – What’s up Wednesday

Welcome to another wonderful What’s up Wednesday! Fiber is our topic of choice today. Most of us unknowingly consume nowhere near enough fiber and are unaware of it’s many health benefits. While studying from Dr. Sears Wellness Institute we have been reminded of how essential fiber really is.

In his book Dr. Sears’ LEAN Kids he says “Fiber is filling without being fattening.” Who would possibly complain about being full without the risk of fattening foods?! Fiber moves through our digestive systems slower than most foods causing us to feel full longer. This also help blood sugar levels stay steady longer as well.

Dr. Sears on Fiber- We’re taking a deeper look at fiber over at Easy Peasy Life Matters!

Some other benefits of fiber is that it helps waste move through our digestive tracks more easily which helps keep things “clear” so to speak and reduces bloating and stomach pain. Fiber also promotes the good bacteria in our guts and inhibits the bad bacteria.

We have certainly noticed that when we make an effort to remember to eat enough fiber that our energy is increased and we feel great!

Dr. Sears says that the recommended amount of fiber for adults is 25-35 grams a day! See how most of us don’t get enough?

His recommended amount for children is to + 5 their age. Take their age and add five grams of fiber. A 7 year old, for instance, would need around 12 grams a day.

One word of caution would be to take it slow when first trying to add more fiber into your diet. If you are only consuming around 10 grams a day and suddenly jump to 35 grams a day you will most likely find that the effects are opposite of those listed above. Too much fiber too soon can actually clog up the ol’ pipes if you know what we mean 😉 Start by adding a little bit more here and there to work your way up to the desired amount.

Some of our very favorite fiber rich recipes include Fantastic Fiber Fib Bars, Perfect Protein Veggie Salad, Easy Peasy Prune Muffins, Overnight Oatmeal, Best Boston Baked Beans and our Quinoa Bean Platter. All taste amazing and are wonderful ways to start incorporating more fiber.

Some of our top favorite fibrous foods are:

Chickpeas – 11 grams,
Chia Seeds – 5 Tbs. = 10 grams
Artichokes – 1 med. Cooked = 10 grams
Wheat – 1 cup, cooked = 8 grams
Black Beans – ½ cup, cooked = 8 grams
Lentils – ½ cup, cooked = 8 grams
Sweet Potatoes – cooked = 8 grams
Avocado – ½ medium = 7 grams
Apples – 1 medium = 4 grams
Oats – 1 cup, cooked = 4 grams
Asparagus – 1 cup cooked = 4 grams
Bananas – 1 medium = 3 grams

What are your favorite fiber filled foods?

Easy Peasy Egg in the Hole

Good breakfasts are essential for good health. Kids and adults alike need the proper nutrients for our brains and bodies to function properly. This is one of the main reasons we love this quick, easy and tasty meal!

An Egg in the Hole is an incredibly fast meal to whip up. Perfect for busy school mornings! It is also made with whole wheat bread which Dr. Sears calls “brain food.” Organic, pasture raised eggs are a great source of vitamin D and protein. Put this with a banana, an Easy Peasy Green Smoothie or some Kamut and Fruit Salad and you have the perfect line up for a healthy and happy day!

Egg in the Hole
whole wheat bread
eggs
butter
seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, cayenne, etc.)

Using a small Mason jar of glass cup, cut a circle in a slice of bread. Melt some butter in a fry pan. The pan needs to be fairly hot so the egg will sear instead of run out the bottom. Place the hole and the bread in the butter and press down lightly to sort of seal the bread to the pan to help the egg stay in the hole. Crack an egg in a bowl, whisk lightly and add desired seasonings. Pour into the hole in the bread and flip when cooked on that side. Done when fully cooked on both sides. Garnish with maple syrup or ketchup.

For more healthy breakfast recipes check out Ebelskivers, Apple or Banana Bran Muffins, Green Potato Pancakes and Clean Eating German Pancakes!

What is your favorite breakfast?

Easy Peasy Strawberry Shortcake

Who’s ready for a healthy treat?! We are big on these at our house. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a treat now and then that is made with pure, health promoting ingredients. Everything from Mint Dole Whip and Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches to Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread and Sourdough Carrot Cake, we LOVE guilt free treats!

When it comes to the healthy scale this Strawberry Shortcake is high on the list! Strawberries are high in antioxidants, are heart healthy, can help protect against cancer and are high in manganese. Honey and maple syrup are natural sweeteners and are infinitely better for you than even organic sugar. They also have a host of benefits and vitamins and minerals. The buttermilk, coconut oil and cream (in the Sugar Free Whipped Cream) are all excellent sources of healthy fats and Chef Brad’s Wonder Flour gives you the benefits of 3 whole grains! See? Totally delicious and totally guilt free 🙂

Ingredients

½ cup coconut oil
½ cup honey
¼ cup maple syrup
1 Tbs. vanilla
2 eggs
½ cup buttermilk
2 ½ cups Chef Brad’s Wonder Flour (recipe below)
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbs. baking powder

Directions

Cream together coconut oil, honey, maple syrup, vanilla, eggs and buttermilk in a large mixing bowl. Add dry ingredients and beat until light and fluffy. Pour into a greased 8×8 pan and bake at 350º for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Watch closely. If the edges start to brown too much reduce heat to 325º. Top with Strawberry Topping and Whipped Cream.

Strawberry Topping

Ingredients

2 cups strawberries, chopped
honey, stevia or organic sugar to taste

Directions

With an immersion blender or fork, blend or mash 1 ½ cup of strawberries. Add desired sweetener to taste and mix well. Pour over Shortcake and garnish with remaining berries and Whipped Cream.

Ingredients

Equal parts: barley, brown rice and spelt

Directions

Combine and grind in a wheat grinder.

For more delicious and guilt free treats make sure you check out our Orange Chia Seed Pudding, Clean Eating Banana Cream Pie, Fantastic Fiber Fig Bars and Sourdough Cupcakes!

What are your favorite healthy treats?

Tomatillo Chicken Over Forbidden Rice

Have you ever tried Forbidden Rice? We tasted it for the first time when we made our Forbidden Rice and Veggie Salad. We’ve been hooked ever since! It has since made it’s way into our Picky Eater Tuna Salad and now it shines in Tomatillo Chicken Over Forbidden Rice. Boy, you are going to love it!

Forbidden Rice is a bit like brown rice but we actually prefer the taste! It is full of antioxidants, which can improve brain function and reduce inflammation. It can help keep the heart healthy, detoxify the body, aid digestion and weight loss, help prevent diabetes and more! It really is a nutritional treasure. (source)

Tomatillos aren’t talked about a whole lot but they actually have some incredible nutrition as well! They can boost the immune system, help regulate blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, aid weight loss and digestion and may even help prevent cancer! They are usually used in Mexican dishes and have amazing flavor! (source)

Not only are we completely in love with the delicious flavor of this dish but it is also a total cinch to make. You can put it in the crock pot and have it ready in a few hours or you can cook it up real fast in the pressure cooker and be ready to go. If you use the pressure cooker you can sauté right in the same pan which is great for easy clean up!

Remember to keep ingredients organic for optimal nutrition. Now, let’s eat!

Resources for this Recipe:

Ingredients

¼ cup butter
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1 bell pepper
1 jalapeno (optional)
1 ½ tsp. cumin
1 ½ tsp. Real Salt
½ tsp. black pepper
4 chicken breasts
6 cups roasted tomatillos, measure after blending
4 oz. cream cheese
4 cups cooked Forbidden Rice

Directions

To roast tomatillos, place whole tomatillos on a cookie sheet and broil until they start to brown. Flip them over and let brown again. Let cool. Place in a food processor or Vitamix and blend until smooth.

Sauté onions and garlic in butter until golden. Add peppers and continue to sauté for another couple minutes. Add all ingredients except cream cheese and Forbidden Rice. Cook in the pressure cooker for 8 minutes OR in the crock pot for 6-8 hours on high. When done, stir in cream cheese and serve over Forbidden Rice.

For more delicious and quick meals make sure you try our Chicken Enchilada Soup. Easy Peasy Colcannon, Baked Falafel Pockets and Clean Eating Taco Soup.

Have you ever tried Forbidden Rice?

3 Healthy Back to School Waffles

It’s back to school time! Can you believe how quickly the summer went by? One of the common struggles about packing a lunch is how to make it healthy. This is where waffles can come to the rescue! They freeze very well, are easy to make in bulk and when made right have tons of nutrition. Put them in an insulated lunch box with something cold and send the kids out the door. We’ve already shared our Clean Eating Margarita Pizza Pockets and Quick and Easy All in One Breakfast. Now we have three more delicious additions!

The basic method is the same for each recipe as is the dough. This way you can make up several different kinds at the same time!

Whole wheat is perfect for a healthy lunch. It’s very high in fiber which means it helps keep blood sugar levels stable longer. Whole wheat can also help with weight control, reduce chronic inflammation, lower risk of type 2 diabetes, support mental health, brain function and digestive health.

Add this to health promoting ingredients like basil, black beans, peanut butter, rice, etc, and you have a wonderfully healthy lunch or snack.

There are no real measurements to these waffles. It really depends on the size of your waffle iron and how full you want them. So just have fun experimenting! There is no right or wrong way to make these. Let’s get cooking!

Mexican Waffles – 3 Healthy Back to School Waffles – Easy quick and tasty for a healthy school lunch! They freeze well and are packed with good nutrition.

Ingredients

seasoned black beans
rice
grated cheese
Sourdough Biscuit dough (recipe below)

Directions

Using a large golf ball size of dough, roll flat. Spread black beans, rice and cheese on dough. Take another ball of dough the size of a large golf ball. Roll it out and place on top. Crimp the sides. Lay into a waffle iron and close. Let cook until the dough is lightly browned. Top with sour cream, salsa and avocado slices.

Easy quick and tasty for a healthy school lunch! They freeze well and are packed with good nutrition!

Ingredients

cooked chicken
pesto
grated cheese (optional)
Sourdough Biscuit dough (recipe below)

Directions

Using a large golf ball size of dough, roll flat. Spread pesto, cheese and chicken on dough. Take another ball of dough the size of a large golf ball. Roll it out and place on top. Crimp the sides. Lay into a waffle iron and close. Let cook until the dough is lightly browned.

Easy quick and tasty for a healthy school lunch! They freeze well and are packed with good nutrition

Ingredients

peanut butter
jelly of choice
Sourdough Biscuit dough (recipe below)

Directions

Using a large golf ball size of dough, roll flat. Spread peanut butter and jelly on dough. Take another ball of dough the size of a large golf ball. Roll it out and place on top. Crimp the sides. Lay into a waffle iron and close. Let cook until the dough is lightly browned.

We found this recipe in one of our favorite Taste of Home magazines. We however make it with organic ingredients and whole wheat flour and we allow for soaking time to help eliminate the phytic acid.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups fresh ground whole wheat flour
½ cup butter
1 cup sourdough starter
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda

Directions

Combine whole wheat flour, butter, sourdough starter and buttermilk in a glass bowl. Let sit in a warmish place for 6-12 hours. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

For more healthy, easy and tasty packed lunches make sure you check out our Easy Peasy Egg Salad Sandwich, Veggie Sticks and Quick and Classy Chicken Salad Sandwich.

Let’s stay connected! We’d love to share all of our real food recipes and tips with you through Email, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram! We always have more healthy and delicious recipes on the way 🙂

Are you excited for school to be back in?

Clean Eating Margarita Pizza Pockets

Eating healthy can be a struggle on really busy days. With work, summer activities and school starting soon (for both kids and adults) it’s really nice to have some healthy recipes that can be whipped up in no time. These delicious Margarita Pizza Pockets are just that!

This recipe was inspired by our All in One Breakfast. Using a waffle iron is very convenient and super fast. We’ve been experimenting with several different versions so make sure you stay tuned! Each one is delicious and very easy peasy.

What makes this recipe clean eating is the whole wheat and basil. Both are packed with nutrients.

Whole wheat has a host of benefits. Some of the least known being it’s positive effect on mood, brain function and hormonal health. This is all due to it’s B6 content. Some research says that individuals who consume whole wheat products regularly tend to have higher levels of B6 and other important nutrients.

Basil is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, heart healthy and is a great source for vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A and manganese.

Put all this together with some homemade Margarita Sauce and you have a quick and nutritious meal. Maybe put a veggie tray with some French Onion Dip or a Creamy Italian Corn Salad on the side to make it even more delicious!

We like to make the Margarita Sauce ahead of time and freeze it. If you don’t have time to make the sauce yourself you can get some really tasty organic sauce at the store these days. It sure comes in handy in a pinch!

Try to keep the ingredients organic for optimum nutrition. Let’s eat some pizza pockets!

Resources for this Recipe:

Ingredients

Margarita Sauce
mozzarella cheese
fresh basil leaves
Sourdough Biscuits

Directions

Using a large golf ball size of dough, roll flat. Spread Margarita Sauce on, add mozzarella cheese and basil leaves. Take another ball of dough the size of a large golf ball. Roll in out and place on top. Crimp the sides. Lay into a waffle iron and close. Let cook until the dough is lightly browned.

Sourdough Biscuits

We found this recipe in one of our favorite Taste of Home magazines. We however make it with organic ingredients and whole wheat flour and we allow for soaking time to help eliminate the phytic acid.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups fresh ground whole wheat flour
½ cup butter
1 cup sourdough starter
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda

Directions

Combine whole wheat flour, butter, sourdough starter and buttermilk in a glass bowl. Let sit in a warmish place for 6-12 hours. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

For more quick and healthy meals make sure you stop by our Quick and Classy Chicken Salad Sandwich, Herby Hummus Sandwich Spread, In a Hurry Pasta, Egg Salad Sandwich and Topical Basil Panini.

Do you ever experiment with the waffle iron?