Healthy Snacks

I have decided that 2014 is the year that I will finally get rid of the baby weight. Seeing as the baby is now 3 I would say it is time. Haha! I have 15 ornery pounds that have been lingering on my body since my first pregnancy 8 years ago. Talk about annoying!!

In an effort to determine where my problems were I kept a journal of my eating and workout habits for a couple days. It didn’t take long to see where my main weakness was in my daily routine, turns out, besides my typical ‘mommy chores’ I was not working out at all!! Talk about denial, I seriously had myself convinced that my walking up and down two flights of stairs thought the day, walking Costco every other week, doing the dishes, etc. was enough of a physical workout.

Now for the good news! Turns out my eating habits are not that bad. After reviewing what I eat with the food suggested on healthy eating, cleaning, etc. websites I came to the conclusion that my eating habits are decent, even good. I was shocked! Haha! So I thought it only fair to share.

Main requirements for my snacks:

  • Convenience factor- I am often on the go and need a snack that can be tossed in my purse or eaten on the go.
  • Variety is the spice of life-my taste varies day-to-day, even hour-to-hour, haha! So I like a variety of sweet, crunch, sour, etc. snacks.
  • Needs to satiate- I need a snack that will help tie me over till the next meal. No empty calories. I look for snacks with fiber.  That being stated I also need to satiate my mental need…if I want something sweet I will have something sweet as opposed to eating something else and then eventually caving and eating the sweet snack in addition to all those other ‘filler’ snacks.

Here are a few of my favorite snacks……

Minnie Sweet Peppers (a lot of punch for only 30 calories)

I love these with a little hummus or even just by themselves, they are so crunchy and sweet, they definitely satisfy!

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Celery with Almond Butter and Chia Seed a.k.a. Ants on a Log

Adult take on a classic kids snack! This snack is packed with crunch, sweetest from the almond butter and it definitely fills you up thanks to the protein in the almond butter and fiber in the Chia seeds.

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Carrot Crisps!

These are perfect for on the go moms! These are a great substitute for the crunch of a potato chip. Though these have a sweeter taste than a chip they have a powerful crunch and are a great source of fiber and vitamins. And you can just throw them in your car thanks to the individually packaged servings. I recommend doing so, since you will be less inclined to go through a drive-thru when you have a snack on hand!

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Greek Yogurt, Muesli, and Honey Parfait!

This is a yummy treat that truth be told I sometimes enjoy for breakfast. It is the protein and fiber that really helps keep my blood sugar at bay and ties me over for hours and it’s the touch of honey that satiates the sweet tooth.

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Brookside Dark Chocolate Acai and Blueberry flavored snacks (dark chocolate is an antioxidant)

These are perfect for those people who need to devour something sweet in the evening. Like me! You can eat up to 16 little morsels for only 170 calories! They definitely satisfy the sweet tooth and when you take your time and let the chocolate slowly melt in your mouth they last longer…making it feel like you ate more, for more of a physiological satisfaction.

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Classic Golden Delicious!

God’s gift to us Momma on the go! The absolute perfect way to stabilize the blood sugars in the afternoon, give you some added energy to make it through to dinner time without losing your mind. And I love the crunch, juiciness, and delicious taste. I keep these in my car along with the Carrot crisps.

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So what is your snacking temptation…salty, sweet, crunch? Do you crave something sweet in the evenings? What is your go to snack? Know of a great site or blog that has great alternatives to the high sugar, high fat, high processed snack? Please share.

Aamazing Steel-Cut Oatmeal Cookies

My little love bug (our 3 yr. old) is under the weather. Her allergies are flaring up and her body is trying to fight off a bug.  She had to stay home and didn’t get to see her school friends this week. We also had to change our weekend plans so now she will not be seeing a beautiful bride, she is way bummed!  So, in an effort to turn that frown upside down I decided to bake some cookies!

But not any ordinary cookies, I like to get more ‘bang for my buck’ so to speak. So, these cookies though delicious, have a little secret; they are full of healthy antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and could possibly lower bad cholesterol while increasing good, (and the steel-cut oats are lower on the glycemic index…but the frosting kind of negates this point, lol!) What I really like is the fact that they help satiate the children’s appetites so they are not asking for a snack every 15 minutes.  What they like is the yummy pumpkin cinnamon and vanilla frosting that satisfies their sweet tooth.  But the best part, they don’t taste like a healthy cookie. They are moist, not dry! Try them for yourself and let me know what you think….they are the perfect afterschool snack and/or breakfast on the go!

In case you aren’t familiar with flaxseed and chia seeds I have included a few great links to help better explain the health benefits of each.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Chia Seeds

The Benefits of Flaxseed

Made with love…..

What make these cookies extra special, they were made with love.  Instead of mommy baking by her lonesome it became a shared experience, one that touched all five senses and will be treasured for always…the aroma, laughter,  the touch of their soft delicate hands as I  guided them while measuring ingredients, and the children’s smiling eyes as they tasted the warm chewy cookies fresh out of the oven.

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Ingredients:

2  cups  coach’s ‘steel-cut’ oats  

2 Tablespoons Flaxseed

2Tablespoons Chia Seeds

3/4 cup butter  

1  ½ cup brown sugar  

1  teaspoon baking powder  

1/4 teaspoon baking soda  

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour  

2   eggs  

2  teaspoons vanilla extract  

2  teaspoons cinnamon  

1 cup, sliced dates (or raisins, cranberries, dried fruit)

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Directions:

(Preheat oven to 375)

1 Place steel-cut oats, flax seeds, and chia seeds in bowl and mix together then pour water over… just enough water to cover all ingredients. Set aside (water soaks up quickly)

2  Cream butter in mixer.

3 Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon and mix

4 Slowly mix in the flour

5 Add steel-cut oats, flaxseed, chia seed mixture and dates (or other dried fruit)

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6 Place by spoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet.

7 Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Then place on cooling rack.

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Frosting

Ingredients:

¼ cup butter

½ cup pumpkin

3 ½ cups powdered sugar

2 Tablespoons vanilla

2 Tablespoons cinnamon

3-7 Tablespoons Milk

Directions:

1 Mix butter, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and 3 tablespoons milk

2 Slowly add remaining milk till frosting is the right consistency.

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Do you enjoy baking with your children? Do you have a favorite baked good or recipe you make when your kiddos are feeling blue? Please share.