Sorry it has been so long. It’s been crazy here in the Potter house. I’ve been subbing a lot AND we put our house on the market! It actually sold quite quickly but we have been busy designing our new home and packing the old one!
It’s been quite the experience! They were supposed to break ground last week but because of all the rain, it got delayed.
Luckily yesterday was a beautiful day and they were able to dig the basement and place the driveway!
Now that you are all caught up on our craziness, let’s move on to ice cream! Hopefully it gets warmer here and ice cream will soon be able to be enjoyed without freezing to death.
I LOVE ice cream but as we all know it has a lot of sugar in it. Enter my super foods ice cream. It so easy to make and tastes just like dark chocolate ice cream.
Now, I can’t attest for any other types of shake mix but I know Shakeology works perfect for this. You can also add whatever “goodies or toppings” you would like. I just ate mine plain but I have added nuts, PB, dark chocolate chips and even fruit. The consistency will be a lot like soft serve ice cream. If you want it harder, just throw it in the freezer for a bit.
The above statement can’t be any more true. It seems the last few weeks this has been the craziness of my life. I started a long term substitute position and though it is only 4 hours a day, it seems to have thrown off my entire schedule.
It’s amazing how just a few hours of your day spent doing something else, can change the way a household functions and operates. Phew!
This week is February break and on a rare occurrence for Western NY, it’s almost 70 degrees. Of course it’s supposed to go back to snowing next week but since we didn’t get to go somewhere warm for this vacation, I will take the warmer weather. Global warming at it’s finest!
As a quick treat for the boy’s to grab this week, I made some greek yogurt bark. I saw a pin on Pinterest where some one had made it with white chocolate and I thought, I could totally do that with yogurt and freeze it for a quick, tasty afternoon treat!
So I did. No oven required because it’s housing my laundry ;-).
Fast and easy. The boys grab a piece and go. I like to thaw mine just a bit but the choice is totally yours! Any fruits, nuts, even some dark chocolate pieces would work. This is what we had on hand.
Just mix plain Greek yogurt with some maple syrup or raw honey (for flavor) spread on a baking sheet lined with wax paper, sprinkle your toppings and freeze for a couple of hours! See, so easy! Just make sure you don’t the yogurt really thin because the bark will not break apart in sections, it will crumble. Still good if it does, just not the effect we are going for.
Or as I call them, little bites of heaven! These things are the best little snacks. They curb my sweet craving and they are actually good me for! My boys love them and request them in their lunch boxes as their snack.
I use Shakeology for these. I have never made them with any other protein powder so I can’t tell you how they would taste if you tried. Vanilla, Chocolate and Cafe Latte flavored Shakeology all work well for these. The vanilla actually look like raw cookie dough. I wouldn’t recommend using the Strawberry or Greenberry flavors. I haven’t tried it but it doesn’t sound very appetizing.
You just dump all the ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and let it do the rest. Once it is completely combined, roll them into 1-inch balls and store them in the refrigerator.
I use raw honey whenever a recipe calls for honey. It’s a bit more expensive bit most processed honey today has been heated and filtered, robbing it of its nutritional value and resulting in a product no more valuable than a simple sweetener. Raw honey contains up to 80 different substances important to human nutrition. Besides glucose and fructose, honey contains: All of the B-complex, A, C, D, E, and K, minerals and trace elements: magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, calcium, chlorine, potassium, iodine, sodium, copper, and manganese. The live enzyme content of honey is one of the highest of all foods. Raw honey also contains hormones and antimicrobial and antibacterial factors.
The recipe only makes one batch of 13-14 balls but it can easily be doubled. Give them a try, they truly are little bites of heaven!
Who remembers the good ole days when life was simple and fruit roll-ups were made to be wrapped around your finger and eaten (we alll know you did it so stop denying)? Those little cavity creators were the best. Of course they are not the healthiest things out there for kids (or adults). I came across a homemade healthy version of fruit roll-ups years ago. Fruit leather is was called. I can’t even remember where the recipe came from. Boy it was unbelievably good and so very easy to make. Hence, the reason I can’t remember where the recipe came from. You literally have to remember four things. Two ingredients, an oven temp and cooking time. BOOM!
Preheat your oven to 200°F. Line an 11-by-17 cookie sheet with a Silpat baking mat. If you don’t have one, use parchment paper, although a Silpat will give better results. DO NOT USE WAX PAPER! Wax paper is not made to be heated. Please do not use it. You won’t enjoy the results.
You start with 4 cups of fresh strawberries. Really 4 cups of any fruit you like would work. I have done blueberry-strawberry, cherry raspberry strawberry and a peach one but I wasn’t a huge fan of that. I have also only used fresh fruit. I have no idea how it would turn out if you used frozen. I think it would require more time to cook out all the liquid but I’m not sure. If you try, let me know.
To the 4 cups of fruit add 1 tablespoon of raw organic honey. Now depending on the sweetness of your fruit, you can add up to two tablespoons of honey. Fruit that is in season generally won’t need as much. Puree the fruit and honey till there are no chunks.
Slowly pour the pureed fruit onto the prepared pan. Use the back of a spoon or spatula to spread it out evenly. This is the only tricky part. You want to make sure you have it even because the thinner parts are going to bake faster and get hard and crispy.
Bake in the oven for 3-4 hours or until the leather is no longer sticky/tacky to the touch. I would start checking around 3 hours. If you notice the edges are getting done faster, you can remove the leather from the oven and careful cut the edges off and cool on a rack while the rest continues to cook.
Once done, remove from the oven and let it cool. When it has cooled, peel off the silpat mat and either cut into strips or you can place it on wax paper and cut it into strips that way!
Come on, you know you did it!
Serving Size: 2 Strips
Strawberry Fruit Leather
5 minPrep Time:
4 hrCook Time:
4 hr, 5 Total Time:
4 cups of strawberries
1-2 Tbsps of raw honey
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.
Wash and dry the strawberries. Remove the stems and chop.
Place into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add the honey and pulse to combine.
Pour the mixture onto the mat and use a spatula to spread evenly to about 1/4-inch thick.
Make sure that the mixture does not get thinner at the edges since they will cook faster than the interior.
Bake for 3-4 hours or until the mixture has dried completely. (Check it starting at 3 hours.)
When done, cut with scissors into strips and store in a zip top plastic bag or an airtight container for up to 1 month.
Spread the fruit puree evenly, and don’t let it thin out at the edges since they bake faster.
The mixture will dry from the edges inward, so if you notice that done around the perimeter but the interior is still tacky to the touch, remove your pan from the oven and simply cut it off the edges with kitchen shears. Let them rest on a wire rack while the rest of the fruit leather finishes baking.
You can tell that the fruit leather is done when it’s completely set and dry and it peels off easily from the mat.
If you happen to over-bake the edges, simply place those strips into a zip top plastic bag and let sit overnight at room temperature. In the morning, it should be softened up!
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I decided to make the boys and I some homemade strawberry frozen yogurt. It a wonderful red color, healthy and just screams Valentine’s Day!
Now, I can’t take all the credit for this recipe but the problem is, I’m not sure whom to give the credit to. I saw it on Pinterest and it led to a broken link. I HATE that. I was able to see from the picture what ingredients were in it but had no clue on how much of each. So I guessed. I must be having a good guessing day because this stuff is fabulous! I could sit and eat the entire bowl full.
The best part is, it’s four ingredients and the food processor does it all. Yeah for new food processors and being lazy!
I can’t wait to try the frozen yogurt over my heart shaped Shakeology Brownies! Who says you can’t enjoy the sweetness of Valentine’s Day and still be healthy?!?
Yield: 6 Servings
Homemade Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
10 minPrep Time:
10 minTotal Time:
5 cups Frozen Strawberries
4 Tablespoons Raw Organic Honey
Lemon juice from 1/2 a lemon, squeezed
2/3 cup Greek Yogurt
Place ingredients in a food processor according to the processors directions on how to order frozen things to liquids.
Blend until strawberries are pureed and everything is thoroughly combined.
Spoon into a freezer safe container and freeze for a couple of hours.
Every so often you get a massive chocolate craving that you just can’t ignore. Tonight was one of those nights for me.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a cake or pie person and I am not the type to sit and eat a chocolate bar (truffles are another story) BUT put cookies or a pan of brownies in front of me and I can rival any competitive eater. It’s shameful but true.
Enter Shakeology brownies. Four to five (one is optional) HEALTHY ingredients and that’s it! Chocolate craving gone!
My kids actually ate these for breakfast the other day. Yep, that’s how healthy and full of good stuff they are!
Now, I used Shakeology for this brownies, hence the name, because it’s my super food shake that I drink daily. Could you use another type of “protein powder?” Though Shakeology is SO much more than a protein powder, I guess you could. I haven’t tested it, so you are on your own with what you use and how it tastes. These came out more of a fudgey brownie than a cakey one. That’s the way I prefer my brownies.
I also used this Cacao powder (thanks Val). You could use a different one but I do not recommend Dutch Processed.
The flavor of Shakeology is also up to you. I used Vanilla and 1/4 of cacao powder for a richer chocolate flavor. If you use chocolate Shakeology, I wouldn’t use as much cacao powder, maybe 2 tablespoons. The new Cafe Latte flavor would be great too! Coffee and chocolate go wonderfully together!
Serving Size: 1 brownie
5 minPrep Time:
25 minCook Time:
30 minTotal Time:
3 medium overripe bananas
1/2 cup melted peanut butter or almond butter (can sub for any nut/seed or soy nut butter)
2 T - 1/4 cup cacao/cocoa powder (more = richer taste)
2 scoops of Shakeology
Handful of dark chocolate chips, optional
Preheat the oven the 350 degrees, grease a small pan and set aside. (Mine was approx 10x6, the larger the pan the thinner the brownies)
In a small microwave-safe bowl or stovetop, melt your nut butter.
In a food processor or blender, combine the bananas, cocoa powder, protein powder and nut butter until very smooth.
Pour the mixture into the greased pan, top with optional chocolate chips.
Bake for around 25 minutes or until cooked through.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing into pieces.
I know, pumpkin season is technically over but I had a request for a healthier pumpkin chocolate chip cookie and I have a good one so I figured I would just post it here.
It’s two things that just go together like peas and carrots or peanut butter and jelly. Pumpkin and Chocolate. Truthfully, there’s not much that chocolate doesn’t go with. That’s the beauty of chocolate. The majority of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are “cakey.” By that, I mean they have that spongy, cakey like texture to them. These oatmeal pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are moist, sweet and loaded with chocolate chips and rich pumpkin flavor and they come out more on the chewy side. AND….You just need 5 ingredients plus spices!
Pumpkin, oats, maple syrup, chocolate chips, a little coconut oil and some seasonings everyone has is all it takes to whip up a batch of these.
My kids…and maybe myself, devoured the 2 dozen in three days. They ate them for breakfast and for snack. I just ate them. Hey, they fit into my diet so no judging.
You will need some quick oats to make these. Have no fear if you only have rolled oats or old fashioned. You can make your own quick oats from regular old-fashioned oats by pulsing them up for a few seconds in your food processor. Easy Peasy!
Serving Size: 2 cookies
Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Easy to make, totally satisfying and full of pumpkin-chocolate chip yumminess. Can be made gluten free, vegan and clean.
15 minPrep Time:
10 minCook Time:
25 minTotal Time:
2½ c quick oats (Gluten Free if needed)
1¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
? c pure canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
½ c maple syrup
2 Tbs melted coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla
2/3 cup chocolate chips (your favorite kind, I used dark chocolate)
Heat the oven to 375.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
Stir the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
Stir the wet ingredients together in a medium bowl, then stir in the dry ingredients.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop by 1 1/2 tablespoon fulls onto the cookie sheet, or use a cookie scoop.
The cookies don't spread much during baking, so flatten them slightly with your palm if you wish. You should be able to get 12 cookies per baking sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes, then remove to a rack to cool completely.
**Make your own quick cooking oats by pulsing regular old fashioned oats in a food processor or blender for a few seconds!**
Since Thanksgiving is fast approaching, I thought I would share my recipe for homemade cranberry sauce. If you have never made your own cranberry sauce, it really is quite easy. Plus, there is no comparing homemade to the canned stuff. I stopped buying the sauce in a can a long time ago and have experimented with a many different recipes but this one is my favorite thus far. The taste is unbelievable! Plus it has wine in it and we all know how much I enjoy my wine. Win Win!!
I have been making this recipe for the past couple of years. The first year I made it, I followed the recipe exactly and it didn’t go over so well with the husband for one reason; CLOVES. Ask him any day of the week, “do you smell that?” or “what is that smell?” You get the response of, “I don’t smell anything.” He never smells anything. However, slightly loosen the lid to a jar of cloves, he becomes a blood hound:
“You bought cloves didn’t you?”
I thought maybe I could get away with it because he was at work when I made it but that didn’t happen. It’s all he smelled for days and candles didn’t help cover it up. And of course, he wouldn’t touch the sauce, I knew there was a chance he wouldn’t but I thought, I could trick him. His hatred (yes, it’s a hatred) of cloves makes baking this time of year difficult. His sister is the same way. In all fairness to them, it was the way they were punished if they talked back, swore or got sassy as kids. They had to sit with whole cloves on their tongue. Better than sitting with a bar of soap in your mouth but still.
I, on the other hand, LOVED the sauce. What’s not to love? It’s wine, blueberries, cranberries and a couple spices!
Last year I adapted the recipe and every single drop was consumed in two days. We probably could have eaten it with a spoon but we do have some etiquette. I made biscuits and we ate the leftovers that way.
You are going to use fresh cranberries and frozen blueberries. No, there is no need to thaw the blueberries out first. You could also use another fruit besides blueberries or a mixed berry blend but I have to be careful of seeds for some family members so I have only tried with blueberries.
I used a Merlot because it is my favorite and what I always have on hand but any type of red wine will work here. It also doesn’t have to be expensive. I have never tried using a white wine so I’m not sure how well that would turn out. Now, for those of you questioning my sanity of serving this to kids, I don’t have a problem with it. The wine is cooked for 30 minutes so any alcohol would be cooked out. No one will be getting drunk from eating the cranberry sauce. Sorry! However, it’s your choice as to whether this is appropriate for you and your family.
Here is the original recipe but like I said, I adapted mine to fit my family and our tastes.
I hate when my kids are sick. I know, no one enjoys when their kids don’t feel well. Seems like school just started and we are already out. This is the child that hardly ever gets sick. He came home yesterday from school with a massive headache and a high fever. Luckily, that is all he has. He’s eating and drinking fine. I’ll take it over the stomach bug any day but it still makes you feel horrible when you can’t fix it and make it better for them. It also sends me into an over the top cleaning frenzy. My house is clean and organized to begin with (thank you OCD) but I quite literally follow them around with cleaner, cleaning anything they touch. I can’t help it.
Any who, as a treat to help me relax and calm down in the evenings, I made frozen dark chocolate peanut butter banana bites. Can you say that three times really fast? They are basically like the ones Trader Joe’s sell and I believe Dole also makes some. Except I made them. Now you can make these with whatever type of chocolate you prefer. I am hands down a dark chocolate girl. LOVE IT!! I will chose that over milk chocolate or semi-sweet any day. You also don’t have to add the peanut butter. That is an added bonus but let’s be real, you’re going to because chocolate and peanut butter are awesome together!
All you do is slice the bananas (I do it kind of thin because it’s really cold on my teeth if they are thicker) and freeze them for about a half hour.
Pull them out of the freezer and spoon a small glob of peanut butter or any nut butter on a slice and place another banana on top of the peanut butter to sandwich them together.
I only did half of mine with peanut butter. I left the other half just banana and chocolate. If you don’t want to sandwich them, you can also melt the peanut butter and chocolate together and dip them in that. Freeze the banana bites for another hour or so till they are firm. Melt chocolate according to package directions and remove the bites from the freezer. Dip half (or whole if you want) the bite into the chocolate and place it back on the wax paper. Freeze for another 30 minutes.
Violá, frozen banana bites at your finger tips! Enjoy!
Serving Size: 3 Banana Bites
Frozen Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites
5 minPrep Time:
2 hrCook Time:
2 hr, 5 Total Time:
3 large bananas
1/3 cup nut butter of choice
1/2 cup melted chocolate of choice
Slice bananas into slices about ¼-1/2 inch thick.
Spread a little nut butter onto a slice and sandwich two slices together.
Place on wax paper on a cookie sheet and freeze until solid, at least an hour.
Melt chocolate and remove frozen banana bites from freezer.
Dip each banana bite in chocolate and place back on wax paper. Freeze for another hour.
Transfer and keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
Anyone that knows me well, knows I am a sucker for scones. I LOVE SCONES!! They are perfect with a nice cup of coffee or hot tea. Guess I should have been born in the UK instead of Germany. Luckily there are only a couple of places around here where a person can get scones and clotted cream and I avoid those areas at all costs.
Scones are not as hard to make as many people believe them to be. Although it took me about four tries to get this recipe right (healthier eating ingredient wise), they really are pretty easy to make PLUS they incorporate zucchini! Getting those veggies in at breakfast! Yeah!
There are a few things to keep in mind when you’re making these scones. First up: the zucchini. You’re going to want to grate the zucchini then drain the heck out of it just like we do in most of the baking items that contain zucchini. This is because zucchini is fullof moisture. Scones tend to be more on the drier side (think biscuits) so moisture and scones aren’t going to go well together. You’ll want to squeeze as much of that moisture out before adding it to the scone batter. You can do this by adding the zucchini to a fine-mesh strainer and letting it sit for about 15 minutes, then pressing as much moisture out as you can OR you can wrap the shredded zucchini in a clean hand towel and squeeze it all out. Either way will work just fine.
The second thing you need to note is the butter. This recipe does have a tiny bit of butter in it but the butter needs to be very cold butter and quickly incorporate it into the dry ingredients using a fork, a pastry cutter. You can also use your fingers but please note if you use your fingers you’ll need to work as fast as possible. Your fingers contain heat that will begin to warm the butter. If it looks like it’s getting soft, stop working it and pop the bowl into the freezer for a few minutes. The main thing to remember here is you want that butter to stay cold. It’s important for flakiness. I actually freeze my butter and use a grater to shred the butter and get smaller pieces so it’s easier to incorporate.
Once all of the ingredients have been added to the mix you’re going to dump the mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knead it together. This is going to take a few minutes but the dough will come together.
Cut the scones into 8 even triangles, arrange them on a a silpat mat or parchment paper on the baking sheet, brush them with an egg wash and pop them in the oven!
Healthy, delicious scones to enjoy with your morning coffee!
Serving Size: 1 Scone
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Scones
These Chocolate Chip Zucchini Scones are healthy and full of flavor!
15 minPrep Time:
20 minCook Time:
35 minTotal Time:
2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter, very cold and cubed or shredded
½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons non fat milk (almond milk works fine as well)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup shredded zucchini, patted dry
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
For the egg wash:
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon water
Preheat the oven to 425°F
Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or the back of a fork until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
Stir in the Greek yogurt, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla extract.
Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
Pour the shaggy dough out onto a clean, floured work surface and shape the dough (you will have to work/knead it quite a bit to get it together) into an 8-inch circle.
Cut the dough into 8 wedges and carefully transfer them to the prepared sheet.
Lightly brush each scone with the egg wash.
Bake at 425°F for 17-20 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden.
Cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Scones are always best eaten the day of, but will keep, in an airtight container for 3 days.