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/

Easy Breakfast Options: Make-Ahead Fruit & Yogurt Parfait

Photo Courtesy of Iowagirleat.com

Photo Courtesy of Iowagirleats.com

I have been MIA this last week due to family being in town! When you live in Southern California and people come to visit, you tend to visit all the tourist attractions and boy did we hit them all…. From Disneyland to Universal Studios to the San Diego Zoo to Sea World and finishing at LEGOLAND! I’m tired from just writing it all out! With early mornings and late nights I was looking for quick, healthy breakfast options we could grab on the go! I came across these Make-Ahead Fruit and Yogurt Parfait from IowaGirlEats.com! These are so easy and so delicious that it is sinful! By making them the night before you allow the juices and sugars from the fruit to combine for the sweetest most delicious flavor imaginable! These are simply AweMazing and are also a perfect breakfast for those hectic mornings when school starts!

 INGREDIENTS:

6oz Greek yogurt

1/3-cup old-fashioned oats, uncooked

1-teaspoon chia seeds (optional)

2 Tablespoons milk (almond, cow, soy, etc.)

1 cup frozen mixed fruit and berries

DIRECTIONS:

Combine yogurt, oats, chia seeds, and milk. Stir to combine then layer half in a wide-mouth mason jar or container. Add half the fruit and berries then layer in remaining yogurt mixture and berries. Refrigerate overnight, and up to 3 days. Enjoy cold.

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!

Easy Weeknight Meals: Fiesta Lime Rice

Living so close to the Mexico border, we are blessed with some of the most AweMazing Mexican food, and let me tell you I am a SUCKER for Mexican food! We are so spoiled that whenever I make Mexican food for dinner I have to go to the popular local restaurant to buy our tortillas. It’s the kind of restaurant where they have the ladies in the front window making fresh tortilla by hand and served to you hot off the grill-Oh, my mouth is watering already. We have become so spoiled with our fresh tortillas that my husband refuses, yes REFUSES to eat store-bought tortillas.  He claims the tortillas make the meal, which means we need to drive 45 each way to pick up these tortillas. I’ve created a monster, although I do agree with him, these handmade tortillas are beyond AweMazing!

Anyways, whenever I make Mexican food I am always trying to find a side dish besides the standard mexican rice and refried beans..Boring! Well, I have found it! Thanks to SkinnyTaste.com, I have found a side dish that provides extra nutrients and fills the family up. I even like adding this to one of the  fabulous tortillas and eating it plain with a slice of Avocado! Yum! So next time you make Mexican food or need an easy side dish for that neighborhood BBQ, try this easy Fiesta Lime Rice Dish! Everyone will be AweMazed!

Fiesta Lime Rice- Photo Courtesy of SkinnyTaste.com

Fiesta Lime Rice- Photo Courtesy of SkinnyTaste.com

Fiesta Lime Rice

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked long grain rice
  • 3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and heated
  • 3/4 cup cooked corn (I use fresh corn when in season or Trader Joes Frozen Corn), heated
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 large scallion, diced fine
  • 2-4 tbsp chopped cilantro (to your liking)
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • salt to taste

In a large bowl, combine hot rice, heated corn, heated beans, tomato, scallion, cilantro, lime juice and salt if needed. Toss and serve.

Yep it’s that easy and even more delicious!

Hope you have an AweMazing Weekend!

XOXO

30 Minute Meal: Lamb Chops and Mashed Peas Recipe

For some reason Mondays and me just don’t get along! We have a hate- hate relationship. I hate the fact the weekend is over and it was so short, I hate that my husband goes back to work and I hate that the state of relaxation we worked all weekend to achieve is gone with a single hit of the snooze button! Ewe, I even hate how Monday is making me so negative and such a hater. Let’s change that…. I love quick, easy and delish weeknight meals. This one does not disappoint and having lamb on a Monday definitely puts a smile on my face. Check out this quick lamb and pea mash recipe from Eating Well. Pair it with some carrots or a nice salad and some rice and you have an AweMazing meal that will be a hit!

Photo courtesy of eatingwell.com

Photo courtesy of eatingwell.com

INGREDIENTS

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3 large cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups frozen peas (12 ounces), thawed

3/4 cup water, plus more as needed

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

8 lamb loin chops (1 1/2-2 pounds total), trimmed

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and slightly softened, about 1 minute. Stir in peas, 3/4-cup water and 1/4-teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2-teaspoon salt and pepper on both sides of lamb chops. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large, ovenproof, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chops and cook until browned on one side, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Turn them over and transfer the pan to the oven.
  4. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into a chop registers 135°F for medium-rare, 8 to 12 minutes, depending on thickness.
  5. Meanwhile, transfer the pea mixture to a blender or food processor. Add mint; pulse until coarsely pureed, adding additional water a tablespoon at a time for desired consistency and scraping down the sides as needed.
  6. Serve the lamb with the pea puree, feel free to add rice and another steamed veggie or salad for a complete meal.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 267 calories; 12 g fat (3 g sat, 7 g mono); 68 mg cholesterol; 13 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 26 g protein; 4 g fiber; 590 mg sodium; 419 mg potassium.

Yep it’s that easy, enjoy!

XOXO

One Bowl Meal: Korean Beef Rice Bowl

My husband and I are absolutely obsessed with the new Korean BBQ restaurant that opened up near our house. When I say obsessed I mean we go there at least a couple of times a week, it’s AwwweMazzzzing! The flavors that come out of the BBQ are simply mouth-watering!  When I came across this recipe on Steamy Kitchen for a one bowl Korean Beef Rice Bowl of course I had to try it! I couldnt’ believe I only needed to make one dish for a complete meal AND it was Korean beef AND it took less than 30 minutes to make! This dish was a win all around with my family, enjoy!

Korean Rice Bowl- Photo Courtesy of SteamyKichen.com

Korean Rice Bowl- Photo Courtesy of SteamyKichen.com

You can use many types of beef, including ground beef, sirloin, flank steak, tenderloin trimmings — or change this recipe to include other meats such as ground pork, ground turkey, chicken. If you want to go vegetarian, use very firm tofu, cut into cubes. The dish includes cooked rice – please feel free to use whatever rice you want – brown rice, jasmine rice, short grained rice. In a pinch, use basmati. Typical Korean style rice is short-grained. At the market, just look for “short-grained” or sushi rice. Different rice has different cooking times and rice:water ratios, so read the package directions carefully.

ingredients:

2 cups raw rice
1 pound beef (see headnote)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 large carrot, cut into matchsticks (or 1 cup matchstick cut carrots)
1 small zucchini, diced
2 handfuls of spinach leaves
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds

directions:

1. Cook the rice according to package instructions. See How to Cook Perfect Rice recipe on Steamy Kitchen. If using basmati, see this recipe.

2. For the beef, if using flank steak: Cut the steak into very thin slices ACROSS the grain. If using other steak: Cut the steak into very small cubes, about 1/2-inch. If using ground beef: leave as-is.

3. In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and brown sugar. Add the beef and toss to coat. Let marinate while you prep the vegetables. Steps 1 and 2 can be done ahead of time up to 1 day before.

4. Heat a large saute pan or wok on medium heat. When hot, swirl in the oil. Add the onions and saute for 1 minute. Turn the heat to high and give it just a few seconds to heat up. Add in the beef, spreading the beef all over the surface of the pan, tossing with the onions. Saute for 2-3 minutes until just barely pink.

5. Add in the carrots, zucchini and toss. Cook for 1 minute. Toss in the spinach and cook for an additional minute. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with rice.

Recipe Courtesy of SteamyKitchen.com