These no bake peanut butter granola balls are super simple to make, full of healthy ingredients, and make a great snack for active kids and adults alike.  

peanut butter granola balls

I’ve been making these Peanut Butter Granola Balls for many years.  I’ve made lots of different versions but this recipe is probably our favorite.  Such a great combination of healthy fats, complex carbs, and protein!  They are easy to make, don’t require any cooking or baking, and they are sweet enough to feel like a little bit of a treat.  My boys love them and have some every day after school until they run out. Continue reading

crunchy oatmeal and dark chocolate chip cookies

I saw these Cookies the other day on A Bountiful Kitchen’s Instagram feed.  I was intrigued, probably because I had some leftover corn flakes from a Christmas recipe I made a few weeks ago.  These cookies are basically a twist on oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  The addition of corn flakes and coconut gives them a little crunch that really elevates these cookies into something special.  I knew I could make a few changes to the original recipe to make them a teeny bit lighter.  I decreased the amount of sugar by 1/2 cup (and they were still very sweet), swapped out all purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour, and used dark chocolate chips.  I also made 32 cookies instead of 22 and they were still a very good size cookie.  Now, I know they aren’t good for you and are still a treat but I always like making little changes when I can to decrease the amount of sugar and increase the amount of fiber in our foods.  It’s those small changes over time that have helped change our palate in a positive way.

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Pumpkin Coconut Cashew Bites

I’m back with another pumpkin recipe today.  I just can’t stop making foods with pumpkin.  It’s one of my favorite ingredients!  It’s always a plus when something you love is healthy too.  I adapted these from a favorite “cookie dough” ball recipe that’s made with cashews, oatmeal, and coconut.  I just added some pumpkin for a little fall flavor.  These pumpkin coconut cashew bites are full of healthy fat, protein, and fiber, which makes them the perfect snack in my book.  I keep ours in the freezer and pull one or two out in the afternoon when I need a pick-me-up.  They are just slightly sweet so if you are wanting them for more of a “treat” I’d suggest upping the amount of honey and adding in more chocolate.  I wanted them to be more of a heathy snack so I kept the honey and chocolate to a minimum.  But they are still delicious as is.

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Breakfast Oatmeal Bar

One of the ways I have found to get my kids to eat new things is to let them make their own.  When we make quiche, I let the kids put in the toppings of their choice.  I noticed when I started doing this they put in things like spinach, tomatoes and sweet potato. When I put those things in myself and then they sit down to eat they usually turn up their nose.  But if they put it together themselves they are more likely to eat it.  When I let my 7 year old make his own sandwiches he’ll add lettuce and tomato but when I add those things he doesn’t want them.

So I decided to try the same concept with oatmeal.  I made a big pot of oatmeal and let each family member scoop out their own bowl and then let them top it with the toppings of their choice.  The whole family really seemed to enjoy it.  I noticed my older boy (who is more picky) did try some new things today.  I topped mine with maple syrup, cinnamon, half and half, toasted nuts and a sprinkle of granola.  I had some watermelon and strawberries on the side.  It was delicious and kept me full until lunch at 12:45.

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Maple Cinnamon Oatmeal

I used to buy the Quaker maple and brown sugar oatmeal packets for breakfast. Once I started cooking more naturally, I ditched the packets and learned how to make oatmeal on the stove.  This oatmeal is delicious, quick and super easy to make.  It calls for quick oats rather than old fashioned oats, which need a little longer to cook.  (If you prefer old fashioned oats, see the note at the bottom for instructions.)  If you or someone in your family likes instant oatmeal packets maybe you can convert them to the real thing with this recipe.

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