nut free

fudgy black bean protein brownies

blackbean
blackbean

My kids love black beans with sour cream for lunch every so often.  And I love baking healthy versions of sweet treats for our family.

When I tasted these fudgy black bean brownies out of the oven I was absolutely amazed that they were loaded with black beans and tasted like the fudgiest brownie I'd ever eaten!  My biggest critics--my kids--devoured them with a glass of milk one night having no clue that they were not the gluten-filled, super sweet, traditional flour brownie.  (That was our movie night "treat" recently when we watched Paddington for the first time--loved the movie!!!)

IMG_3714
IMG_3714

I like this recipe because you can tailor it to your dietary needs.  You can make it an awesome brownie with some traditional sweetener in it (which is still only 15 net carbs--not an extreme sugar rush like most brownies) or make it relatively sugar free, low carb (based on how you sweeten it).

It's an excellent recipe to play around with, too, by switching out chip flavors, using chocolate protein powder instead of the cocoa powder if you want more protein, etc.

Here's to chocolate + good health!

 

Here's another protein recipe you might like....

healthy frozen yogurt bark (1)
healthy frozen yogurt bark (1)

My frozen yogurt bark!

Happy and healthy eating to you and yours.

the sleepy time gal

greek garden wrap + cucumber tzatziki dip

This has been the summer of wraps.

Sometimes I make my own wraps other times I buy them.  (I like [amazon_link id="B00B64Q2NS" target="_blank" ]these[/amazon_link].)  I love filling wraps with whatever leftovers I have in the fridge or sauteing up some veggies, adding them to eggs, and piling them in a wrap.

Our (very small) garden harvest has made me want to skip time over the stove and just enjoy the produce fresh.  With some cucumber + little effort, these Greek Garden Wraps + Cucumber Tzatziki Dip are absolutely amazing, fresh, and so flavorful!

I love the combination of fresh vegetables to the crisp and cool cucumber tzatkiki dip.  The goat cheese balances out all of the exciting flavors and the turkey is the substantial protein that leaves you feeling quite satisfied.

   

  

I hope you give these wraps a try for lunch.  You can store all of the ingredients individually to serve up as a wrap bar for friends or family to pick and choose their own toppings.

Seriously one of the most flavorful things I've tasted all summer.

 

healthy frozen yogurt bark

Thanks to you interested Instagram followers, I am sharing this wonderful summer treat with you this morning.

This Healthy Frozen Yogurt Bark is very simple to make and can be enjoyed as a snack or fancy summer dessert.  I love the contrast of white with red and how healthy this bark truly is--seriously, if you ate 1/3 of the whole batch it's 26 grams of protein and less than 200 calories!  You can control the sugar/sweetness based on your preference.  The sweetness comes from honey, stevia, + the toppings you choose.  I used roughly 1 TBSP of honey in the recipe with some vanilla liquid stevia for a lightly sweetened yogurt base before adding the toppings.

You can customize the toppings for the bark before you pop it into the freezer too.  Use whatever fresh fruit, roasted nuts, or chopped chocolate you have on hand.

{I used a chocolate toffee bar for the chocolate topping as seen in the photo}

It is such a grand thing pulling that sheet of frozen yogurt bark out of the freezer.  All of my kids were amazed.

It's fun letting the kids help you break up the bark.  And because it's super healthy, they can break + eat as much as they want!

I like the bark best 1-2 minutes after it's come out of the freezer.  It isn't too cold and is just beginning to soften so eating it is quite refreshing.

Enjoy your summer and eat refreshing yummy food! ;)

 

snow ice cream

{Recipe Exchange Friday is part of a series on The Sleepy Time Gal.  Share your own recipe below!}

Ok.  Snow ice cream is so awesome. 

I discovered the recipe online this week.  So we invited the girls' two neighbor friends over at 3:30pm sharp this week to make the ice cream as soon as they got home from school and right before my girls' ballet class.  With just a few ingredients (all were on hand) it whipped up super fast and it tastes so good!

The recipe we followed was Gimme Some Oven's recipe for snow ice cream.  You can check it out here.  I made a few modifications which delivers a more rich, sugar-free alternative.

Here's our creamy version of snow ice cream!

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{Can you tell which kids aren't mine in this photo?  The ones that are sweetly still looking at the camera for me??  Thanks girls.  I guess that's what I get for being a photographer mom.}

So there's our successful recipe and now it's your turn:  What is a new recipe you and your family are loving right now?  Share a link below!

Happy weekend friends!  Go out and make some snow ice cream together--it'll be the highlight of your weekend. ;)

Other posts:

Recipe Exchange Friday: Zucchini Parmesan Pizza Crust

 

breakfast sausage biscuits

My mother used to make sausage biscuits for special occasions.  She'd make the dough and crumble the sausage, roll them up, and freeze the sausage biscuit roll.  Then when she'd need them she would simply pull them out of the freeze, slice, and bake.

I loved her sausage biscuits.  We all did.  They were always warm, buttery, and the combination of dough to salty sausage was heavenly.

Although dear mom's recipe called for Bisquick I've come up with an awesome, healthier alternative for the biscuit dough.  You'll be amazed at how yummy these taste being gluten-free, grain-free, high protein, low carbohydrate, and of so cheesy...

This inventive, flavorful dough recipe is not my own.  It was a recipe from a blog, Up Late Anyway, I was intrigued by some time ago and tried as the dough for her stromboli.  Then as the base for her cheese danishes.  Then for many other recipes that called for standard gluten dough and the results, every time, were amazingly soft like dough and more flavorful than dough because of one of the base ingredients.  Mozzarella cheese.  Trust me.

Now let's make some breakfast sausage biscuits!

Make dough and roll out.  Crumble sausage and roll up.

Slice.

Bake.  These are absolutely awesome.  And all of my family love them.  I like making these to bake up in the early morning before we head out for an all day outing.  And they work great for car trips.  I pass out napkins and everyone grabs a handful of sausage biscuits.  These biscuits fill you up much better then a grain biscuit does and in a more more satisfying and healthy way.

 

 

open-faced turkey, avocado + cream cheese sliders

They may not look intimidating, but these little sliders have outstanding flavor.  If you're bored with lunch these open-faced turkey, avocado, + cream cheese slider sandwiches will add some excitement back to your noonday... And for your kids + hubby.

As the base of the slider sandwich, I made a coconut flour/flaxmeal loaf of bread (from [amazon_link id="1607745518" target="_blank" ]Paleo Cooking from Elena's Pantry[/amazon_link]) and let the loaf rest for almost an hour--really a must with making coconut flour or almond flour breads.  You can double or triple most grain-free bread recipes and keep them in the freezer for when you need it.  (I doubled this recipe and used the remaining batter for muffins to go with dinner this week.)

Check out how simple these sliders are to make...

Slice the bread into even slices.  Using a wooden bread slicer makes perfectly even slices.

Now just assemble:

  1. Spread softened cream cheese
  2. Layersliced turkey
  3. Next sliced avocado + salt
  4. Top with fresh grated dubliner cheese (or any other hard cheese you have on hand)

Because most grain-free loaves are smaller, they lend to better one-handed-pick up.  I like to stack the toppings high and make my kids and myself more open faced sandwiches then traditional sandwiches with a top and a bottom when using a coconut flour bread because the bread is more dense.

Oh yes, and they are perfectly customizable.  Rowan asks for everything "plain" so got plain bread and Saturday's leftover sausage, Ainsleigh had cream cheese and pepperoni, and so on.

Perfect healthy & filling lunch for the kids:

  • 2-3 open-faced turkey, avocado, + cream cheese slider sandwiches*
  • sliced apple + a heaping scoop of your favorite nut butter

*If packing these slider sandwiches for outings or lunchboxes, simply wrap each assembled slider in plastic wrap or place them in a glass tupperware container with a toothpick through the middle to keep toppings together.

Happy, healthy eating!

 

apple turkeys

I remember making these apple turkeys when I was a little girl.  Back then my mom would buy spice drops for the turkey feathers and now that I think of it, I don't think any of my siblings cared for them.  But it didn't matter: mom was actually buying bright-colored candy.  Period.

The concept for apple turkeys when I was little was pretty basic: marshmallow head, raisin eyes, and toothpicks holding all of those spice drops in place.

Now that this apple turkey tradition has been continued with my kids, we've added a few more options: clementine wedges halved and red grapes halved.  We've replaced the raisins with golden raisins for the eyes (since those are the only raisins my girls like) and JujyFruit Heidi candies for the spice drops.

I slice a few red JujyFruits into thin strips for the kids to moisten with a dab of water and stick to the turkey's marshmallow head.  The raisins can simply be cut in half and the moist inner raisin is moist enough to adhere to the marshmallow for eyes.

It's a delicate process, can't you tell??

{While some girls finished turkeys at the counter the others ran around downstairs, outside, and ended up gabbing right here.  I love happy commotion in my house.}

Interestingly, the oldest girls loaded their turkeys up with fruit and the younger ones...

Well, they tried fitting one clementine in there.  Great job, Annabelle.

I didn't dare want the eight girls to eat their turkey right away--goodness sake--at least let your moms see them first! So I made a coconut sugar caramel + apples turkey platter.  A very sad looking turkey that is.

Each apple turkey was so unique (some added tails and head feathers) and all of them were absolutely adorable.  All of us were pretty pleased with our colorful, pleasant turkeys on the counter.  And somehow, this little tradition never gets old.  Even when you're a mom.

And that's the tail of our story.

What pre-Thanksgiving family traditions do you have?

 

creamy orangesicle frozen yogurt

{Wanna see Chef Johanna creating this recipe with me?  Check out yesterday's post.}

I've loved exploring making our own frozen yogurt.  It is nothing like the stuff you buy at the chains that are popping up left and right around town.  What I love about this frozen yogurt is the combination of the yogurt base.  I've learned that the best combination of creamy frozen yogurt is a mixture of plain whole milk yogurt, greek yogurt, and a little cottage cheese.

I know it may sound odd, but cottage cheese does amazing things when blended.  I always put some in my protein shakes because it thickens the shake while adding a deep creamy/tanginess.  Trust me in this one.

This recipe is great to make and keep in the freezer or make and just eat chilled.  The orange juice + zest compliment the creaminess of the yogurts so well.  And a sprinkle of coconut on top to mix-in just adds to the tropical flavors.

Seriously, you should try making your own frozen yogurts.  If you have a processor  (I bet a bender would work as well) you can whip up healthy, super-protein packed breakfasts, snacks, or dessert for your family in minutes.  (Just remember to give yourself enough time to let the yogurt freeze partially to process.)

*If you don't have the 3 varieties of dairy for the yogurt base, just use what you have on hand.  It will still make a great frozen yogurt whether you use all plain, greek, or even cottage cheese to reach the 3 cups the recipe calls for.

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Here's another frozen yogurt favorite:

5 Minute Peach Frozen Yogurt

 

turkey + cheddar pinwheels

This is a perfect finger food lunch that packs up well.  It is great for school lunches, field trips, or served on a blanket outdoors.

Here is today's lunch menu:

Turkey + cheddar pinwheels

Sliced apple

Easy-to-grab vegetables + dip (ranch, hummus, nut butter)

Apple Cinnamon Paleo Bread (or you could switch out to your favorite low-sugar snacking bread)

Pinwheels:

This is one way we serve up "pinwheels" in our house.  Lay a piece of deli meat down on a cutting board, spread a thin layer of cream cheese, sprinkle on shredded cheese, and lay down a layer of spinach (for those that like it).  Tightly roll up one end and slice 3-4 times placing each pinwheel vertical on a plate or tray.

You could also switch out the meat, cheese, or spread and use what you have on hand.  There are so many exciting variations!

Sliced apples:

If your kids aren't eating the apple slices immediately simple dip them in a water/lemon juice bath to keep from turning brown.

Easy-to-grab vegetables + dip:

Have your kids pick their favorite snacking vegetable and add something new for them to try as well.  It seriously works in introducing new vegetables to my kids.  Add ranch, hummus, or a nut butter in a small air tight container for dipping.

Apple cinnamon bread:

I like this recipe because it is packed with filling protein +fats (almond flour, eggs, pecans + coconut oil) that will sustain my kids for many hours.  I reduce the amount of honey a bit and add the diced apple to help sweeten the bread.  It is a satisfying treat at the end of their meal that will keep them focused and sustained.

And if you're looking for a 100% finger food lunch, turn the apple bread into individual muffins and you're set!

 Enjoy!

Rethinking Lunch:

rethinking lunch: hot + crisp tuna cakes

rethinking lunch: the series

 

whipped pumpkin + spice cream cheese

I've been dabbling with making healthy bagels for my kids lately.  And I've been loving reworking this bagel recipe from Maria Mind Body Health a bit to make some savory bagels for bagel sandwiches  and cinnamon/raisin bagels for breakfast.

This recipe came about after the first batch of these beautiful protein-packed cinnamon raisin bagels came out of the oven.  This whipped pumpkin +spice cream cheese whips up in minutes and is so enjoyable to keep in the fridge throughout the week.

Here's how I like to eat it...

  • with baby carrots
  • slathered on coconut flour pancakes
  • in place of butter on muffins
  • dolloped in a protein shake
  • with sliced apples

We love to serve up this pumpkin cream cheese on a tray full of sliced apples.  The two pair together beautifully for healthy + kid friendly entertaining: it's our "treat" we brought to our recent Fall Carnival at church.  And I'm proud to say that among the treats and sweets at the activity, the apples + dip were snatched up the fastest.

See?  Kids really do crave nutritious foods! :)

 I'd love to be inspired... What are some of your favorite kinds of flavored cream cheese?