I am a big believer of everything in moderation, and always having a balance in life. I especially try to apply this concept to the food we eat in our house! I want my children to grow up understanding the importance of eating nutritious meals, and also to have a healthy relationship with food.
That is why I have been especially focused lately on making sure that we snack smart! Recently, I was on the hunt for some healthy on-the-go snack for inspiration, and I came across the idea of topping apple slices. I decided to make this concept my own, and I played around with a few different variations — And they all turned out great! The best part is that they are really fast to make as an on-the-go snack, and prevent me from reaching for something less nutritious just because I am starving!
These topped apple slices are really easy to make, and you can pretty much get as creative as you like with the toppings! Simply cut up slices of your favorite kind of apple, and remove any remaining pieces of the core. Next, top with your favorite nut butter (I used peanut butter). Finally, finish off by topping them with whatever you like! I used a mix of the following toppings:
- organic granola
- vegan chocolate chips
- fresh shredded coconut
- crushed walnuts
This snack is also very customizable for any diet! It is already vegan, it can be made gluten free (make sure your granola is made with gluten free oats), and it can be made Paleo. I am just about to start eating a Paleo diet, and so I love that I can modify this recipe by using almond butter, and skipping granola. You can also easily limit the sugar intake by changing your toppings to other healthy options like: raisins, pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, banana or cinnamon!
Let me know if you guys try these apple slices, and if so, how you like them!
I really love the changing of the seasons, and I always try to embrace each one to the fullest extent. With fall just around the corner, that means that I am starting to look forward to cooler weather, pumpkin patches with my children and getting cozy and baking!
Baking for my family is one of my favorite things to do, but I also try and make an effort to keep my recipes as healthy as I can (it’s all about balance!). So, when I decided to seek out a new muffin recipe for fall, I got really excited about the idea of trying one out that is grain free, refined sugar free and would be a healthier alternative to a traditional muffin.
These Paleo Banana Nut Muffins certainly did the trick! Even though they don’t quite taste like your classic muffin (they are made with almond flour), my family all really enjoyed them. I really love the addition of vegan dark chocolate chips to this recipe, because it ties together the savory and sweet favors very well!
Let me know if you guys try these muffins, and if so, how you like them!
Paleo Banana Nut Muffins | Yields: 12 | Total Time: 45 minutes
- 3-4 large ripe bananas, mashed
- ¼ cup of melted coconut oil
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup of agave nectar (or you can use honey)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups of almond flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup of vegan chocolate chips
- ¾ cup of walnuts roughly chopped
- Start by pre-heating your oven to 350ºF.
- Line a muffin tin with paper cups and set aside.
- In one mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients (mashed banana, coconut oil, eggs, agave nectar and vanilla)
- In another mixing bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda and salt.
- Slowly blend with the wet ingredients (stir by hand).
- Fold in your chocolate chips and walnuts.
- Pour batter into your muffin tin.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean
With school starting again (and soon The Real), mornings are busier than ever in my house! I really try and make nutrition a priority for myself, even when I have a lot going on. I know that it is really important for me to make sure that I am starting my day off with something healthy. So, recently I sought out to make a protein smoothie because I knew that it would be a realistic morning meal option for me.
I am excited to share this recipe with you guys because it has proven to be such an awesome on-the-go breakfast! This particular recipe is quick to throw together, tastes really good, and is packed with protein and quality nutrition. The protein powder I use is organic, vegan and plant-based, and I also add additional ingredients like hemp hearts (for protein), chia flour and cacao nibs (for fiber).
If you crave a little more variety, you can definitely add other ingredients like almond butter or half a banana to make the recipe your own!
Let me know if you guys try my protein smoothie, and how you like it!
Chocolate Protein Smoothie | Serves: 1 | Prep Time: 5 minutes
- 2 scoops of vegan protein powder, I like to use: Orgain Organic Slim Weight Loss Powder, Chocolate
- 1 tsp of cacao nibs
- 1 tbsp of hemp hearts
- ½ tsp of psyllium husks
- 1 tbsp of chia flour
- ½ cup of almond milk
- ½ cup of water
- ¼ cup of coconut water
- 5-6 large ice cubes
Directions: In a blender (I like to use this single serving blender) combine all ingredients, and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Extra tip: If you are serving this smoothie to others (or are feeling fancy yourself!), rim your glass with honey and dip it in coconut (pictured above) for a very pretty presentation.
I am always looking for new and healthy dinner options for my family. That’s why I got really excited about coming up with this more nutritious twist on a traditional burrito bowl. I tried to create a recipe that would ditch the rice and cheese elements, and instead use ingredients that were a little better (like arugula and quinoa).
I have to say, this recipe turned out pretty well! The dish is easy to make, and is definitely full of healthy whole foods and good fats. It also has a lot of flexibility, so if you want to add other veggies or seasonings, you can easily make it your own. Everyone in my house thoroughly enjoyed it, and I hope you guys do too!
Let me know if you guys try this recipe, and how you like it!
Quinoa Burrito Bowls | Serves 4 | Prep Time: 45 minutes
- 2 cooked chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon of chili powder
- 2 large avocados, sliced lengthwise
- ½ pound of cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup of dry quinoa
- ½ cup of cooked corn kernels
- ½ cup of black beans, drained
- 5 cups of arugula, divided into quarters
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- ¼ cup of black olives, sliced
- Diced jalapeno pepper, to taste
- Sour cream, to taste
- Olive oil to drizzle on top
- 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt (divided up into quarter cups for each plate)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook quinoa according to instructions. Once cooked, let it cool for five minutes and then combine in a bowl corn and black beans and set aside.
- Shred cooked chicken breasts and season with chili powder and set aside.
- To assemble each bowl: Start by placing quinoa mixture in one half of the bowl. On the other side, add arugula. Next, place chicken on top, followed by all other vegetables. Top with black olives and jalapenos and one quarter cup of Greek yogurt. Next, lightly drizzle olive oil over each bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve and enjoy!
It may be hard to believe, but these delicious looking brownies are made of zucchini! I will admit, I was a little skeptical of how this recipe would turn out when I first came across it (vegetable brownies just don’t have an appealing ring to them), but they really did turn out amazing!
The truth is, these brownies don’t taste like your run-of-the-mill brownies … But once you get over expecting a more traditional dessert, they are really good! They satisfy your sweet tooth, and are super moist (surprisingly so!). Think of them like a yummy desert hybrid of traditional zucchini bread, combined with a fudgy brownie.
I also really like this recipe because it is free from white sugar, white flour and dairy, and is a healthier dessert option for my family. I served mine up with fresh raspberries, and everyone loved them!
Let me know if you try this recipe, and how you like it!
Chocolate Frosted Zucchini Brownies
Serves: 8 brownies | Grain Free, Gluten Free, Paleo, Dairy Free Option
Recipe adapted from Rachel Masfield
- 6 tablespoons of butter (or applesauce if you prefer to cut down on the calories and make them dairy free)
- 3 organic eggs
- 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
- 5 cups shredded zucchini (squeezed really well in paper towel to get rid of moisture)
- 1 box of Simple Mills almond flour chocolate cake mix (or other almond flour cake mix)
- ¾ cup of coconut palm sugar
- ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8×8 baking dish with butter, coconut oil or a non-stick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla and butter (or applesauce).
- Mix in zucchini then fold in chocolate cake mix and coconut sugar.
- Mix well until there are no clumps and batter is smooth.
- Fold in dark chocolate chips and bake in oven for 35-40 minutes (until toothpick turns out clean).
- Now begin making the chocolate frosting: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, mix together the chocolate chips, milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract.
- Stir until melted and completely smooth and creamy.
- Let the pan cool for about 15 minutes, you can also place in fridge to harden but I like mine smooth and more melted-like (it hardens easily!).
- Spread on top of brownies once brownies are done and cooled and enjoy!
- Brownies will stay good for 5 days or so in airtight container on counter or in fridge and leftover frosting should be stored in fridge.
Summer is officially in full-swing, and that means lots of warm nights, alfresco meals and of course, good food! With 4th of July tomorrow, I had to share with you guys one of my new favorite appetizer recipes. This Avocado Crudité Platter has been a big hit at my house, and I have to admit, I feel a little bit like I’m pulling one over on my family each time I serve it. The entire dish (with the exception of a little sea salt) is made of vegetables! Okay, well I guess technically avocado is a fruit, but you get my point — It’s healthy!
This recipe is a really nice alternative to traditional chips and guacamole, or veggies and dip. I also love it because my family can polish the whole thing off and they still haven’t filled up too much before dinner is even served. It’s very simple and quick to make, and is perfect to serve at a summer barbecue. The best part is, everyone always comments on how beautiful the platter looks!
What are your go-to summer appetizers?
Avocado Crudité Platter | Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 15 minutes
Avocado Dip Ingredients:
- 3 medium avocados (ripe)
- 1 tsp of coarse sea salt
- Juice from half a lime
Vegetables: These are the veggies I served, but feel free to select your own variety of vegetables!
- 6 Heirloom carrots, halved
- One medium orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
- I small bunch of broccolini
- I large handful of snap peas
- 3 large leaves of kale
- In a medium bowl, mash up avocados with a fork, and combine with sea salt and lime juice. Keep the consistency of the dip chunky so that it can easily be dipped with veggies.
- Layer a few pieces of kale in your serving bowl, and then place avocado dip on top.
- Place all your sliced veggies on a platter, and arrange a few veggies right in the bowl with the avocado dip.