Cinnamon Bun Protein Granola Bars

We use a decent amount of protein powder in our house.  I always love trying new brands and flavors and over the years have gradually made the switch from whey protein powders to [mostly] plant-based ones.  I prefer plant-based protein powders simply because they are easier on my stomach.  I have also had better success with plant-based protein powders when it comes to baking; they seem to handle heat better than animal-based ones.

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My favorite ways to use protein powder are in smoothies and eaten with kefir and berries.  When I bake with it, I often just make single serving mug cakes (like the one here) but I was in the mood for making my own protein bar, which is what led to this creation.  These Cinnamon Bun Protein Granola Bars are soft and similar to a granola bar, but contain a decent amount of protein and fat.  These protein granola bars do not contain any added sugars (sweetened from the protein powder and raisins) and are gluten free.  And yes, they taste like Cinnamon Buns!

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Garlic Mashed Potatoes

My husband’s favorite food: mashed potatoes.  Or at least it’s one of his top 5 favorite foods.  He calls it “real food ice cream”.  In other words, it’s like a healthy ice cream that is acceptable to eat during meal time.  (Haha, don’t know that I agree with him on this one!)

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But whether or not I agree that mashed potatoes are just as good as ice cream, what I can agree on is that these Garlic Mashed Potatoes were something else!  They had such a lovely flavor, which I mostly attribute to the type of potatoes I used: Yukon Gold Potatoes.  These potatoes have a sweeter, more buttery taste than your regular russet potato, but aren’t as sweet as sweet potato.  And once cooked, their texture is smooth, rather than crumbly, which morphs into the perfect mashed potato.

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This recipe is just 5 ingredients (4 if you’re not including water) and extremely easy to follow.  You don’t even need proper potato-mashing equipment to make these Garlic Mashed Potatoes!  (I mashed these with a fork.) Read More

Salted Rosemary Crackers

It has been too long since I’ve shared a cracker recipe.  Crackers are something that I used to eat all the time as a child (hello Cheez-Its, Wheat Thins and Ritz) but as I got older and more health conscious, I quit eating these types of foods.  Having a child, however, changed my outlook once again and we now buy crackers ALL THE TIME!  Thankfully there are many more options available, many of which are actually healthy.

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But healthy often coincides with expensive.  Some of my favorite crackers to purchase can cost up to $7 a box, and I often don’t want to spend money like that.  In-between waiting for my favorite brands to go on sale, I enjoy making my own crackers.  I have quite a few recipes already up on my blog (Carrot & Apricot Crackers, Kale & Carrot Crackers, Red Pepper & Kale Crackers, Grain-Free Graham Crackers) and this is another great one to add to the list.

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These Salted Rosemary Crackers are allergy-friendly, making them a great option for any child.  They have a flavorful rosemary taste and satisfying salty crunch.  This recipe is extremely easy to follow and requires less than 10 ingredients! Read More

Spring Salad

I’m starting a new post series called “Salad Series”.  Basically, my Instagram is full of salads and vegetables and I want to showcase a little more of that on my blog.  Plus, it will give you an inside look as to how I create/arrange my plates for Instagram.  I will share my steps for how to “build a salad” from start to finish and provide simple topping ideas that can hopefully inspire you all to add more variety to your meals (or perhaps bring salads from boring to beautiful).  I’m a firm believer that salads can be filling, satisfying and nutritious, so long as you choose the right toppings 😉

All of the salads I will be sharing are vegetarian, but I highly recommend adding in some sort of meat (or eggs) to create a more filling dish.  (Which is something I nearly always do to make my salads more of a meal than a side dish.)  Also, each of these featured salads will be single-serving and won’t have the amount of each ingredient listed.  I’m doing this because my goal is to simplify salad making and allow you to customize the salad and proportions to your liking.  You do not need to measure or weigh ingredients to make a great salad. Read More

Coconut Muffins

My toddler has been eating SO much lately!  Well, it’s all relative…he definitely isn’t eating as much as me or my husband, but his appetite seems to be through the roof.  I’m constantly bombarded by his request (demands?) for “snacks”.  So these Coconut Muffins were an impromptu creation to meet my son’s endless hunger.  They are allergy-friendly (free of gluten, dairy, eggs and nuts), slightly sweet, and have a delicious coconut-vanilla flavor.  Probably best of all, they are quick and easy to make (only one bowl required and just 15 minutes to bake)!

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Shortbread Cut-out Cookies

It shouldn’t be any surprise that I love cut-out cookies, as I have many cut-out cookie recipes on my blog (Simple Sugar Cookies, Vegan Sugar Cookies, Protein PB Cookies, Chocolate-Kale Cookies).  I don’t necessarily love them for their taste (although don’t get me wrong, I think all of these recipes taste wonderful) but rather the fact that making them is so fun!  Basically, I get to bake and craft all in one!

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My favorite part about making cut-out cookies is frosting them because it’s like an art.  Plus, my son enjoys helping me from rolling out the dough, punching out the shapes and then decorating them with frosting and sprinkles.  It is a fun way for us to spend time together that doesn’t involve building airplanes out of Legos, shooting “bad guys” with his Nerf Guns, or racing cars across the kitchen floor.  I mean, I love these activities too, but baking and crafting is a little more up my alley 😉

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3 Layer Raw Mint Bars

These bars didn’t stand a chance in my house.  I think my boys and I managed to eat the entire batch in just 2 days!  I guess that just gives me an excuse to make them again and again 😉

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These 3 Layer Raw Mint Bars have a soft cookie base, smooth and minty middle layer and are topped with a hard chocolate shell.  It’s the perfect texture combination to satisfy any chocolate lover.  These bars are Paleo and Vegan; therefore free of gluten, grains, dairy, eggs and refined sugar.

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Pregnancy Update: Week 30

Roughly 10 weeks left in this pregnancy!  I’m ready for it to be over, but really my only complaints are that I’m tired more frequently and miss all the activities I used to do.  It’s a lot harder to move around with all that extra weight in your belly!  So here we are with my 30 week update – Enjoy!

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