Kid Friendly Snack Options Featuring Peanut Butter

I am probably the worst example for my daughter when it comes to snacks.  I crave sweets, I don’t believe I have a sweet tooth; I have a mouth full of sweet teeth.  I am trying to get better for my own sake but also; I am trying to provide her with healthy snacks while also satisfying my sweet tooth (or teeth). I have experimented with several recipes and have fallen in love with so many different ones. Here are a few of my favorite healthy snack recipes using peanut butter!

Carrots with Peanut Dipping Sauce

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What you need:

  • 3 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • A splash of soy sauce
  • A few drops of sesame oil
  • Water to smooth
  • Carrot sticks

Mix everything but the carrot sticks together with a fork or whisk in a bowl. Add water as needed to thin mixture to a dipping consistency (all-natural peanut butter needs more; everyday brands need less).

Source: http://www.parenting.com/gallery/healthy-kids-snacks?pnid=104880

Cored sliced apples with peanut butter, oats, nuts, and chocolate chips

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You will need

  • 2 apples
  • 3-4 Tbsp. peanut butter, chocolate peanut butter or chocolate soy nut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. granola
  • Choice of nuts
  • Chocolate Chips

Wash and core apples.

Slice crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.

Spread nut butter over apple slices.

Sprinkle granola, nuts and chocolate chips over top.

Two-Ingredient Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream

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What you need:

  • 4 large very ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter

Peel bananas and slice into 1/2 inch discs. Arrange banana slices in a single layer on a large plate or baking sheet. Freeze for 1-2 hours.

Place the banana slices in a food processor or powerful blender. Puree banana slices, scraping down the bowl as needed. Puree until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Add the peanut butter and puree to combine. Serve immediately for soft-serve ice cream consistency. If you prefer harder ice cream, place in the freezer for a few hours and then serve.

*Note-if you have a hard time creating a creamy consistency, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to help puree the banana slices. Make sure you use a powerful food processor or blender!

Source: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/two-ingredient-banana-peanut-butter-ice-cream/

Peanut Butter Balls

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What you need

In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Mold the mixture into small balls (like a large marble), and place them in a container lined with parchment to separate the layers. Freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.

Source: http://mariamindbodyhealth.com/healthy-kids-snack/

Chocolate Covered PB Banana Bites

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What you need

  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/8 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/8 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • Sea salt

Peel bananas and slice into 1/4′ pieces.

Mix the peanut butter and the applesauce in a small bowl. Spread the mixture on top of each banana slice.

Place bananas on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and freeze for 30 minutes.

During the last 5 minutes of freeze time, place chocolate chips in a small bowl. Microwave for 1 minute or until chocolate melts.

Remove bananas from freezer and dip 1/2 of each banana piece in the chocolate. Sprinkle sea salt on the chocolate tops.

Place bananas back on parchment paper tray and put back in the freezer.

They will be ready to eat in 15 minutes. Store in a ziplock bag.

Source: http://www.skinnymom.com/2013/10/06/chocolate-covered-peanut-butter-banana-bites/

Simple Homemade Pudding Pops

Every night, my husband goes snooping around the fridge and pantry looking for a snack or some kind of dessert. He is one of those guys that we hate, you know ladies the kind that can eat anything and stay skinny…. In fact he loses weight by just thinking about losing weight, it really makes me sick! Ugh sorry, back to dessert. I admit also like to have a little dessert, which is exactly why I don’t keep desserts in the house. The other day he was searching for some ice cream or something chocolate and at that very moment I just happen to be on Pinterest looking at pudding pop recipes. It was definitely a sign that I needed to make these childhood favorites.

I found this amazingly simple recipe on OneGoodThingbyJilliee.com. Not only was there this simple recipe but there were also variations to choose from. I ended up making mine with sugar-free pudding, fat-free milk and fat-free cool whip. Hey, I might as well not feel guilty if I sneak one! These are simply AweMazing and satisfied hubby’s cravings without any artificial ingredients! Can’t ask for anything more! Enjoy!

Pudding Pops

Pudding Pops: Photo credit here

Pudding Pops: Photo credit here

INGREDIENTS

1 large box chocolate pudding
3 cups cold milk
2 cups frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip)

DIRECTIONS

1. Beat pudding mix & milk in medium bowl with whisk for about 2min.
2. Stir in Cool Whip.
3. Spoon mix into small paper/plastic cups.
4. Insert wooden sticks into the middle of each.
5. Freeze for 4 hours or until firm.
– To remove from cups, run under warm water.

The family will thank you and think you are absolutely AweMazing for spending hours on this dessert!

Weeknight Meal: Shrimp Quesadilla with Tropical Salsa

Easy Weeknight Meal: Shrimp Quesadilla with Tropical Salsa

Easy Weeknight Meal: Shrimp Quesadilla with Tropical Salsa

As you know by now I hate Mondays and I’m all about making my life easy on this dreaded day.  This is why I like quick and easy dinner options! Since Friday was the first day of summer today I’m using some of those fresh fruits from the Farmers Market to make a Shrimp Quesadilla with Tropical Salsa. This recipe is so easy that it takes less than 15 minutes to make and fits perfectly into the summer theme!  Dinner will be a breeze tonight and your family will think you’re AweMazing!

Shrimp Quesadilla

1 Lbs. peeled and deveined shrimp

Southwest Seasoning (I use Chef Paul’s Magic Southwest Fajita Seasoning)

1 Tsp. Olive Oil

Butter

Tortillas

1 Cup Shredded Mexican Cheese

  1. Rinse shrimp with cold water and squeeze lime juice over shrimp.  Sprinkle with seasoning and cover well.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add shrimp. Sautee 2 minutes or until shrimp reach desired doneness; remove from pan. Wipe pan with a paper towel
  3. Lightly butter one side of tortillas. Arrange shrimp on the non-buttered side of the tortilla and sprinkle with 1/3 C of cheese.
  4. Return pan to heat and place quesadilla in pan; cook 2 minute on each side or until browned.
  5. Cut each quesadilla into wedges and serve with Tropical Salsa. Yield: 4 Servings

Tropical Salsa

1 Mango peeled and diced

2 Kiwis peeled and diced

1 Avocado cored and diced

1 Tomato diced

Cilantro (I use a handful)

2 TBS Lime

1 Tsp. Olive Oil

  1. Combine ingredients in a medium bowl and toss well.

              Option: Blend salsa in a food processor for thinner salsa.

Serve with a side of Black Beans for a complete meal that will be AweMazing!

XOXO

P.S. Are you following me on Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/AweMazingMom

Easy Crock-pot Dinner- Chinese Spare Ribs

Ugh, the weekend is over already and now its time to refocus for the week. Why not start the week off with an easy crock-pot recipe that will take you minutes to prepare and will be a huge hit with the family. These Chinese Spare Ribs are tender with a ton of flavor. Serve with rice and steamed broccoli for a complete meal!

Pork Ribs
Skillet
Oil
Salt
Pepper
Slow Cooker
Hoisin Sauce (Chinese Black Bean Sauce)
1/4 cup of water
Juice from one orange

How to Slow Cook Pork Ribs

  • Piece of pork ribs (uncooked) cut into sections (I prefer sections of three).
  • Add a little water to bottom of crock-pot (about 1/8-1/4-cup water, and the juice from one orange. Stir until mixed completely.
  • Place ribs in the crock-pot, and baste each rib with Hoisin sauce. Make sure to cover the entire rib for maximum flavor.
  • Spoon remainder of sauce mix into the bottom of crock-pot to cover the bottom.
  • Turn crock-pot to low heat and place cover over ribs.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until meat falls apart easily.
  • Enjoy your ribs!

(OPTIONS – Chop onions and garlic and place on the bottom to thicken the sauce)

This meal is so easy it should take less than 5 minutes to prepare and your family will think you are absolutely AweMazing!

XOXOImage

AweMazing Activities to do with Dad on Father’s Day

All of those hard working dads out there deserve some quality time with those they love the most. What better way to thank dad for being your rock and your biggest supporter than to plan a special day to show him just how special he is. Below are a few ideas of activities you can do with dad!

Plan a Picnic in the Park

Gather the kids, pack Dad’s favorite lunch items and head to the park for some family time.  Choose a park that you don’t typically go to so it will be new and exciting for everyone.  Bring a kite, soccer balls or your sandbox toys to add some additional family fun

Go on a Nature Hike

While driving to the hiking spot, as a family brainstorm things you hope to see, hear or experience while on the hike.  Cross the items off as you come across them

Bike Ride

Check the air in your tires and dust off the seat for a family bike ride. Pick a fun destination or play the quarter game for a surprise ride. To play use a quarter (or any coin) and every time you come to a corner, a light, or ride for a certain distance flip the coin to see where you go. Heads is right and Tails is left… or straight which ever works for your area. It will make for a surprise destination and a carefree ride for the whole family

Putt-Putt Golfing

If dad is a golfer, challenge his  skills in a round of putt-putt

Take Dad to a ballgame

Nothing says summer time like America’s past time. Take Dad to a ballgame for some hotdogs, crackerjacks and a good ol’ game of baseball

Have a Backyard BBQ

Fire up the grill with dad’s favorite items and throw him a BBQ with all his favorite sides

Take a Day Trip      

Load the car with you Dad’s favorite CDs, pack some snacks and bring the kids for a road trip to Dad’s favorite place. Spend the day exploring the area as a family and engage the Kids by playing games such as I Spy

Additional Ideas

  • Go to the Zoo
  • Visit a Museum
  • Go Fishing
  • Explore a new Restaurant
  • Visit the local Fair
  • See a Movie together
  • Go swimming

Don’t forget to tell Dad just how AweMazing he is this father’s day!  Post a comment and tell us what you have planned!

XOXO

Day 14 June Ab Challenge

65 Sit-Ups

85 Crunches

42 Leg Raises

55s Plank

Your body can do this; get your mind to believe it can!

Kale the New Super Food

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Photo from tastepart.com

Kale is considered one of the healthiest vegetables there is and has been dubbed the latest and greatest super food. The large amount of iron found in Kale creates a bitter taste making it less than desirable for the family.  Here are 4 ways to make kale that will have the family begging for more!

1.)  Kale Smoothie: Perfect way to for the family to start the day. This healthy drink is filling and packed with nutrients to help get the day started.

  • 2 C Kale removed from stem
  • 1 C apple juice
  • 1 C ice
  • ½ C vanilla yogurt
  • 1 banana

Combine ingredients in a blender until well blended. Pour into glasses and enjoy. Makes 2 full 12oz glasses.

2.)  Sautéed Kale with Spinach: For a powerful dinner super side combine Kale and Spinach with a little olive oil for a delicious super food combo

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ pound Kale
  • 1 pound spinach
  • 2 minced garlic clove
  • salt & pepper to Taste

Heat Olive Oil in pan over medium heat. Add Kale, Spinach, Garlic and Salt and Pepper and sauté for 5 minutes until wilted.

3.)  Kale Chips: Need a healthy snack or a side to go with your lunch, try these nutritious Kale Chips:

  • 1 bunch of Kale
  • 1 Tbsp. olive Oil
  • salt to taste

Pre-heat oven to 350 and cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove Kale leaves from stem and tear into small pieces and spread on cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with Salt. Bake 10-15 minutes until edges are brown but not burnt.

4.)  2 Bean Soup with Kale: For a hearty soup stuffed with nutrients try this 2 bean soup with kale

  • Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Emeril’s), divided
  • 7 cups stemmed, chopped kale (about 1 bunch)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added cannelloni beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups vegetable broth and kale. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer minutes or until kale is crisp-tender.

Place half of cannelloni beans and remaining 1 cup vegetable broth in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Add pureed bean mixture, remaining cannelloni beans, black beans, and pepper to soup. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar, and rosemary. recipe from http://www.myrecipes.com

With these recipes your family will be getting the benefits from this AweMazing super food while enjoying the excellent taste.

Please send us your favorite Kale Recipes!

XOXO

Day 13  of June AB Challenge

60  Sit-up

75 Crunches

40 Leg Raises

50s Plank

Easy Weeknight Meal- Baked Salmon

Every Mom needs an easy go to weeknight meal! This baked Salmon is not only delicious and healthy but it takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish. We enjoy with steamed brown rice and steamed vegetables for a well-rounded meal!

1 (1½- to 2-pound) salmon filet, in 1 piece

Salt

Oil

Lemon slices

1 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon minced shallots

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup minced fresh dill

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

1. Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the salmon, meat side up, on a cutting board and feel along the surface of the flesh with your fingertips just above and below the midline. If you feel pin bones, pluck them out with tweezers or needle-nose pliers. Season the salmon with one-half teaspoon salt, or to taste, add lemon slices to top of salmon and place on a jelly-roll pan lined with lightly oiled aluminum foil.

2. When the oven is ready, place the pan with the salmon on the rack. Cook until a paring knife or toothpick penetrates the flesh easily, 25 to 30 minutes. Note that the flesh will be somewhat denser than usual and that it won’t change color as much as with other cooking methods.

3. While the salmon is cooking, prepare the dressing. Combine the mayonnaise, shallots, mustard and (fresh) dill in a food processor or blender or use a mortar and pestle and puree until fairly smooth.  (Suggest you remove major stem, leaving minor shoots).  There should still be some dots of herbs visible. Add lemon juice and puree again. Taste, correct seasoning and set aside.

4. When the salmon is done cooking, there will probably be some white collagen collected on the surface. Moisten a pastry brush with butter and baste salmon.

6. Serve the salmon on a large platter with a bit of the mayonnaise spooned to one side. Serve the remainder of the mayonnaise in a bowl to pass. Scoop up the salmon with a spoon, leaving the skin behind.

With hardly any effort from you, your family will think this meal is AweMazing!

XOXO

Day 10 June Ab Challenge

50 Sit-Ups

50 Crunches

30 Leg Raises

38s Plank