Can you believe today is the first day of fall already?! I am always amazed at how quickly the summer flies by. But, although I will miss the warm weather and the longer days, I can’t help but be excited for all of the amazing fall foods that are now in season. Especially apples!
I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of apple crisp! It’s one of my favorite desserts. But unfortunately, it’s typically packed full of added sugars and belly-bloated refined carbohydrates. That’s why I decided to create this simple recipe- which I hope you will love as much as I do: HEALTHY APPLE CRISP STICKS!
2 large apples, sliced into sticks
1/2 Cup prepared pancake batter (I used my favorite whole grain instant mix)
3 Tbs cinnamon
¼ cup rolled oats
2 Tbs Truvia® Brown Sugar Blend (you can also use traditional brown sugar)
1 sheet parchment paper
Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix together cinnamon, oats, and brown sugar. Slice apples into small sticks. Dip each stick into pancake batter. Then roll each stick in dry cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place each stick onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes or until pancake batter has set and apples are soft. Serve warm or chilled.
NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING (Makes 4 servings)
90 calories, 19 gm carbs, 2gm fiber, 1.5gm protein, 1 gram fat
If you try these out, please comment below and let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: I did receive a free sample of Truvia® Brown Sugar Blend, however, I have received no compensation for writing this article or developing this recipe.
I don’t know about you, but every year I am amazed at how early stores begin to stock their shelves with Halloween candy. I mean, I know next week is October already (that went fast!), but still, so we really need to be tempted to fill our pantry with candy that we will inevitably eat well before Trick-or-Treaters make their arrival on our doorsteps? Well maybe if you have much better willpower than me you are able to buy candy now and resist opening it until Halloween, but I can’t do that. If it’s in my house, I want to eat it. That’s why I typically only buy Halloween candy the day before (and I still find myself digging into it!).
A favorite candy in my house is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Those things are delicious! But even the mini version packs in 44 calories per piece (and who can stop at just one!). So I decided to try my hand out creating a much healthier version I can enjoy daily throughout the Halloween season without guilt (or the negative effects on my waistline). This version takes just like the real thing and contains only 16 calories per serving! There’s no added sugar, no unhealthy fats, and they leave your tastebuds just as satisfied. The only caveat is that you have to keep these in the freezer and just pop them out when you are ready to enjoy them. Don’t worry- they thaw fast (and peanut butter cups always taste even better chilled!)
- ¼ cup PB2 Powder
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup 70% cocao dark chocolate chips
- ¼ cup part-skim milk
- 2 Tbs low fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tsp stevia
- 2 Tbs water
- Mini muffin tray liners
In a small bowl, mix together the PB2 powder, water, and 1 teaspoon stevia. In a separate bowl mix together cocoa powder, yogurt, milk, and 1 teaspoon stevia. While mixing, melt the dark chocolate chips in a separate bowl.
Line a mini muffin tray with liners, then drizzle dark chocolate to coat the bottom of each mini muffin liner. Pour 1 teaspoon of peanut butter on top of the dark chocolate, then top with 1 teaspoon of cocoa mixture. (Optional: blend together cocoa mixture and peanut butter and pour 2 tsp into each mini muffin holder). Cover tray with plastic wrap and freeze for two hours. Serve chilled and enjoy!
(You can also use popsicle holders to make this recipe as a popsicle treat instead!)
NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING (makes 24 servings)
16 calories, 2 grams carbs, 1 gram protein, 1gram fat
If you try these, make sure to comment and let me know what you think!
Summer is over and school is back in session. This week, my terrific intern Kelly Sloan, shares some easy tips to get your schedule and healthy eating plan on track as the days get cooler and the schedules get more hectic in today’s guest blog post:
The relaxing routine of summer has now transitioned into the hustle and bustle of back to school. When so busy it’s easy to skip a meal now and then but don’t get in the habit, for this wreaks havoc on your body and can have unintended health consequences including weight gain (over eating) or increased risk of heart disease.
Planning meals and snacks at times can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be if you put together some simple recipes. Make sure the recipes are nutrient-dense which means high in vitamins and minerals compared to calories. This will help you feel full and satisfied until the next meal or snack. Healthy proteins such as fish, turkey, nuts or beans, good fats such as avocado and olive oil and high fiber carbohydrates such as whole grain bread and crackers are all great choices.
Here are easy and nutrient-dense recipes that will keep you from skipping another meal:
Chicken Walnut Salad
Makes 4 servings
- 4 raw skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons Greek plain yogurt
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a bowl combine raw chicken, oregano, basil, garlic and olive oil. Mix until chicken is fully coated in all ingredients. Place chicken on a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly.
- Let chicken cool, for 10 minutes. Cut chicken into cubes.
- In a clean bowl, combine cooked chicken, yogurt, mustard, lemon juice and walnuts. Mix well, until fully coated.
- Serve chicken walnut salad on whole wheat bread, tortillas or straight up.
Photo Credits: Kelly Sloan
Avocado Tomato Basil on Whole Wheat Toast
Avocado and extra virgin olive oil provide good fats and whole wheat toast provides additional fiber.
Makes 2 servings
- 2 slices whole wheat bread
- 4 tablespoons Neufchatel cheese
- 2 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 slices tomato
- 1 ripe medium avocado, pitted and sliced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Lightly toast two slices whole wheat bread. Spread two tablespoons Neufchatel cheese on each slice.
- Add a tomato slice to each slice and sprinkle with bacil
- Top with half of sliced avocado and add salt and pepper to taste
String Cheese Turkey Bites
Makes 4 servings
- 4 mozzarella string cheeses (or your favorite cheese sticks)
- 4 slices deli turkey (or your favorite deli meat)
- 4 dill pickles spears
- Dijon mustard or yellow mustard
- On a flat surface, place one piece deli meat. Place one cheese stick and one pickle in the middle of the deli meat. Add mustard.
- Roll deli and repeat for each slice.
Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps
Bulk up on vegetables by using lettuce leaves instead of tortillas for wraps which will decrease calories and carbs.
Makes 2 servings
- 1 (5-ounce) cans chunk light tuna, drained
- ½ red onion, chopped
- 1 medium celery stalk, chopped
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 10 grape tomatoes, halved
- 4 large lettuce leaves of your choice
- In a large mixing bowl combine tuna, red onion, celery, lemon juice and Dijon mustard.
- Gently fold tomatoes into the mixture.
- Place a scoop of the tuna mixture in a large piece of lettuce and wrap up.
It’s that time of year again – back to school time! If you are dreading those hectic mornings forcing you to grab whatever random food item you see as you run out the door and call it ‘breakfast,’ you will love this recipe. I call the Veggie Egg Muffins my secret weapon in the fight against poor breakfast choices. Starting your day off with lean protein, whole grains, and vegetables is one of the best ways to jumpstart your metabolism and keep hunger and cravings at bay all day long. But, if you are like me, having the time to actually prepare and eat a meal that includes all of these things and still get out the door on time can seem impossible.
That’s how I can up with this recipe. Its super simple, you can prepare it in bulk, and it freezes perfectly! Simply whip up a large batch on a day you have a little time, freeze the muffins in a resealable container, and pop in the microwave whenever you need a quick meal or snack. With only 55 calories per serving, these muffins don’t have to be just for breakfast either. They also make a perfect recovery snack after a tough workout, or an indulgent treat when you are in the mood for something savory. And because they are so fun to make and eat, it’s the perfect way to squeeze in more vegetables to your child’s (or spouse’s!) diet!
Have fun with them too. Since you are making them in muffin tins, every egg muffin can be unique. In my last batch I made a mix of mushroom and onion muffins, tomato and onion, tomato and pepper, broccoli and tomato, and a blend of sweet and hot pepper. Get as creative as you want and let me know what vegetable combination you love the most!
- 6 large eggs
- ½ cup shredded cheese, low fat
- 1 cup diced vegetables (your choice!)
- 2 slices 100% whole grain bread, cubed
Whisk eggs and add in shredded cheese and bread. Mix together until the bread is covered in egg. Fill a muffin tray with ½ egg mixture and ½ diced vegetables. Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes or until cooked throughout. Serve warm.
NUTRITION per serving (makes 12 servings)
55 calories, 5 grams protein, 3 grams carbs, 2 grams fat