Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcake-muffins with ganache

Chocolate Pumpkin Cup-muffin

Chocolate Pumpkin Cup-muffin

I love pumpkin foods… pumpkin pancakes, pies, breads, etc.   I love all of the great pumpkin things that come with fall, but sometimes I can get a bit pumpkin-ed out…. especially after Thanksgiving.   Maybe it also has something to do with the changing of seasons in December.   At any rate, if you have leftover pumpkin puree’ sitting in your fridge like I do and don’t feel like making something pumpkin tasting… then this is your recipe!    Or if you are a chocoholic (also, like me), and want to make something healthier.   Then, this is for you, too!

Behold, the Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcake-muffin…. or Muffin-cupcake??  Cup-muffin,  muf-cuppin??  It’s not too sweet, but the ganache on the top makes it  quite decadent… which makes you wonder what it is.  A cupcake or a muffin.  I will let you decide.

My kids think they are cupcakes and they are thrilled with them.  I am thrilled to feed them these instead of a traditional cupcake.   This is a much healthier alternative.   It’s a win win!

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce – no sugar added!

Healthy Cranberry Sauce

Healthy Cranberry Sauce

I have made this Cranberry sauce for the last two Thanksgivings, and it has been a hit each time. It’s sweet, but not TOO sweet. That’s what the pie is for after dinner! Another bonus is that this recipe is SO simple. 2 ingredients..that’s it! So, without further adieu, here is my super simple and super healthy Cranberry Sauce recipe!

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Healthy Candied Almonds!

Healthy Candied Almonds

Healthy Candied Almonds

Almonds really are a super food, aren’t they?  Kind of like coconut.    You can use them in so many ways, and they are a great and healthy snack.  But, sometimes I get tired of eating them plain.    I love the flavored kinds you can buy at the store, though they are not as healthy.

Recently,  I had a greek yogurt that came with some candied almonds to put on top… and let me tell you,  it was delicious!  The idea was so simple that I thought, “I bet I could make something like this at home.”

They turned out great on the first try.   That doesn’t happen very often for me when I’m making things up, so I was pretty thrilled.   And, it’s a 3 ingredient recipe that takes less than 10 minutes to throw together.  Pretty awesome.  I will definitely be making these on the regular.

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In honor of Arrested Development…Chocolate Covered Bananas!

"I'd like a Gob, please."

“I’d like a Gob, please.”

In honor of Arrested Development season 4 starting on Netflix this weekend, I decided to make some Bluth Frozen Bananas! And man, they were tasty! No wonder there was “always money in the banana stand”.

There’s really not much of a “recipe”… but I felt they were delicious enough (and healthy enough) to warrant their own post.


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Healthy Homemade Marshmallows!

marshmellows-plate

healthy marshmallows!

I feel so accomplished right now.  I made Marshmallows!!  I dont know why it seemed like such a huge feat for me, but marshmallows seem like they should be really difficult to make.  The reality is, they are very easy to make!

I found this recipe from Mommypotamus.  It has only 3 ingredients!  It kind of blew my mind and I didn’t think they would actually turn out like marshmallows.  Well, I was pleasantly surprised and I am definitely planning on making more.  I think these will be really fun to give out for neighbor gifts or at a party.   They are healthy, unique, and everyone will think you are a kitchen god.😉

These turned out so great,  I’m so ecstatic about them!

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Birthday FRUIT “cake”!

 

FRUIT cake! yum!

I got the idea from pinterest to make a birthday cake for myself completely out of fruit!

 

It was pretty fun!  Although, you have to put it together just hours before the party so that the fruit doesn’t start looking weird. haha.

Well, there is no real “recipe” for this.  There are a myriad of different fruits you can use to decorate the outside, though the main part should probably always be a watermelon… just because they are so big.   Here is what I made mine with.

Real Fruit “Cake”

1 large watermelon
1 c. green grapes
2 oranges (cut up with the skin off)
1 lb. strawberries
4 kiwis
2 peaches

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Healthy Fruit Jigglers!

fun little orange juice jigglers

I made some awesome healthy fruit jigglers, and let me tell you… They are so much fun!  They jiggle hard-core and my kids think they are great!  This is a great healthy recipe and I actually got it right off the Knox Gelatine box.  I can’t believe I haven’t tried it until recently.  I have done a couple different varieties: 100% grapefruit juice and this time 100% orange juice.   Fairly plain for now while I am figuring it out, but I think it will be fun to mix up juices and add chopped fruit to it as well.   There are a lot of fun possibilities.

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(fake) Sugar Review: Truvia

Truvia

Truvia.  Have you heard of it?  Apparently, It is made from stevia somehow… I’m not sure of the exact process, though I’m sure it is intensive.  It has zero calories and looks really promising.  I bought a little box of it a while ago.  I’m always curious about new kinds of sweeteners.  It did seem too good to be true though… a sweetener with zero calories and made “naturally” from an herb?  psh.

I pushed my cynic aside and tried it in a recipe.  Sadly, the results weren’t too pleasing.  It has a horrible weird and bitter aftertaste.
I guess I have to keep learning the lesson that when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  haha!

I researched it a bit and found an excellent blog post on it, written by one of my favorite real-food bloggers! Check that out if you are looking for more details on Truvia and how it is made.

Has anyone else tried Truvia?  What did you think?

Spinach Cubes! (and smoothie recipe)

spinach cubes!

Okay, so I am not the best at getting greens in my diet. (I know I’m not alone.  ahem, people!)   And, I like spinach alright in salads and stuff, but I can NEVER eat the whole bag of spinach from the store before it goes bad.  It goes bad so fast!  So… a little while back I had a bag of spinach in my fridge that was going bad.  I didn’t know what to do to use it and I HATE to waste.  BAM!  I came up with this ingenious idea!  I puree’d the spinach in my food processor with a little bit of water until it became a green paste (yeah, its creepy looking).

Then, I put the green goop in an ice cube tray and froze it.  The next morning, I had Spinach Cubes!!  I got the spinach cubes out of the tray and put them in a plastic ziploc bag and stuck them back in the freezer.  Easy, instant, serving size spinach!  I throw a couple cubes into my smoothies now and I can’t taste the difference, but I know I’m getting some green goodness!
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Breakfast Ideas: Egg in a Toast

egg in a toast. mid bite.

Sometimes it’s hard finding time to make a good breakfast in the morning.  This is one of my staples because it is healthy, filling, and pretty quick to make!

I love it so much that I sometimes make it for a quick lunch, as well.  (not on the same days that I had it for breakfast, though. haha!)

Another great thing, is that it is a portable breakfast (as long as it isn’t runny in the middle).  So you can grab and take it in the car on the way to work. Continue reading