12.29.2014

20 in 30 challenge

The 20 in 30 challenge - making monthly goals that are achievable to create a happy, healthy you! | realfoodsimple.com

With new year's just around the corner I am sure most people are thinking about goals and resolutions they would like to accomplish. I know I am. I have been thinking about resolutions since about Thanksgiving. :) 

I usually make a lot of goals. One thing I am going to do this year is what I am calling a 

20 in 30 challenge. 

Each month I am going to pick one thing to do for 20 days. I did this in the month of december with smoothies. You can see all my smoothies on instagram. This is a great challenge. 20 days is enough days to make it a bit of a challenge, but not too many days where it might be unachievable. 


I came up with a list of possible ideas for the challenge:

12.19.2014

simple butterscotch truffles

Simple butterscotch truffles - an easy recipe using only 3 ingredients for the filling and covered in chocolate. They taste just like See's Candy Butterscotch Squares. | realfoodsimple.com


These simple butterscotch truffles are almost an exact replica of See's butterscotch squares (except the shape :) ) If you have never had See's candy, you are missing out. And if you have never had a butterscotch square from See's candy, your life is not complete.

Although, I usually prefer to have healthy recipes here on real food simple, I still eat sweets once in a while and especially this time of year. Not only have I made these butterscotch bites, but I also have recently made my simple butter toffee and some whole wheat chocolate chip cookies.

I do have another version of this recipe on my other blog

12.15.2014

simple gingerbread granola

Simple gingerbread granola. A healthy, easy recipe that takes about 20 minutes and has the great flavor of gingerbread. | realfoodsimple.com

This homemade gingerbread granola is a really simple recipe that takes about 20 minutes and has all the yummy gingerbread flavor of the season.

Homemade granola is one of the easiest things to make. Although this one happens to be gingerbread flavor, you can use whatever flavors you like.

12.09.2014

simple 6 ingredient butter toffee

simple 6 ingredient butter toffee | realfoodsimple.com

This is absolutely the best, buttery, crunchy toffee ever. I dare say it is even better than that famous toffee that comes in the pink tin. It is a really simple recipe with few ingredients. The one key is to have a candy thermometer.

So let me tell you about this toffee.

12.08.2014

4 ingredient cream cheese mints

These cream cheese mints could not be an yummier, and with only 4 ingredients*,  they are so simple.

These cream cheese mints are very simple to make and only have 4 ingredients! | realfoodsimple.com

I think know I love anything mint. I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to peppermint. So when I was thinking of making something sweet the other day, mint immediately came to mind.

And lately, my go-to base for desserts has been cream cheese. If you are looking for a really simple recipe that can come together quickly, these mints are for you.

12.05.2014

5 stocking stuffers for a real foodie


On Christmas morning, I think one of my favorite things is digging in to my stocking to see the goodies. There always seems to be fun gifts stuffed in there.

If you are a real foodie like me, I am sure you get excited when there are kitchen or food related gifts hiding inside. Although I tend to like minimalism and a simple kitchen, these items I either have or I would make space for in my kitchen. 

Here is a list of 5 stocking stuffers you can give to the real foodie in your life.

12.03.2014

4 ingredient coconut cacao banana smoothie

This is a simple 4 ingredient smoothie that tastes like a milkshake!

4 ingredient coconut cacao banana smoothie | realfoodsimple.com

The smoothie challenge is in full swing and out of the 20 days I hope to have a smoothie in December, I am now at 3/3.

Normally when I make smoothies I put some spinach, fruit, and liquid in. But then I saw a cacao smoothie from Real Fit Real Food Mom on Instagram. Since I had pretty much all the ingredients I decided to try something similar. 

This was so yummy. And I put it in the fridge for a while while I ran an errand, when I came back it was thick and creamy like a milkshake. So good.

11.30.2014

real food simple smoothie challenge


The realfoodsimple December Smoothie Challenge: 20 days of a healthy breakfast. 

Why wait til the new year to start making healthy habits. Now is a great time to start the smoothie challenge. It is a quick, simple way to get more fruits and veggies in your day and will help you on those busy mornings when you don't have a lot of time for breakfast. | realfoodsimple.com

This smoothie challenge literally entered my brain today! I don't know why I didn't think of it before. Maybe because healthy challenges usually start in January. But think about how great you will feel if you started this month. Then the new year rolls around and you are already doing something healthy for your body.

I am going to be sharing my smoothies on Instagram.

11.24.2014

guess the food based on the ingredients | 2


Eating healthy can be a challenge, especially when you find ingredients lists that are very hard to figure out. Guess the food - based on the ingredients list is an eye-opening activity about what is in our foods. 



Eating healthy can be a challenge, especially when you find ingredients lists that are very hard to figure out. Guess the food - based on the ingredients list is an eye-opening activity about what is in our foods. | realfoodsimple.com




This food item is actually one that I highlighted years ago on my other blog. I recently went to the manufacturers website to see if the ingredients list was the same and it is not. This ingredients list is much better than it was a few years ago. Although, it is still not great and there is a key ingredient missing in the new, reformulated product. 

Can you guess the food based on this list?

Whole grain wheat, sugar, contains 2% or less of milled corn, brown rice syrup, corn syrup, natural and artificial flavor, modified corn starch, gelatin, soybean oil, glycerin, sorbitol, blue 2 lake, red 40 lake, red 40, BHT for freshness.

See the original ingredients list on page 2. 
The answer is on page 3. 

Pages: 1 2 3

11.19.2014

guess the food based on the ingredients | 1


Can you guess the food based on the ingredients list? Here is a fun activity to see how easy it is to tell what you are eating based on what is in the food. | realfoodsimple.com


Wouldn't it be great to be able to tell what a food is based on the ingredients list alone? Unfortunately, it is not always that easy. There are a lot of foods out there that have a list of ingredients a mile long.

I always find it interesting to see how many ingredients there might be in a food. When I was teaching nutrition classes, I would do a similar activity. The kids I was teaching loved it, but the adults loved it even more.

For this first guess the food I decided to go seasonal. That will be your only hint.

Here are the ingredients:

Flour Enriched ( Wheat Flour, Niacin Vitamin B3, Iron Reduced, Thiamine Mononitrate Vitamin B1 , Riboflavin Vitamin B2, Folic Acid Vitamin B9 ), Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup High Fructose , Vegetables Oil ( Soybeans, and, Palm Oil, with, TBHQ , To Preserve Freshness ), Dextrose, Sugar, Crackermeal, Contains 2% or less of the Following: ( Wheat Starch, Milk Non Fat , Salt , Pumpkin , Corn Starch , Maltodextrin , Leavening ( Baking Soda , Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate ) , Corn Cereal , Molasses , Corn Flour Yellow , Eggs , Gelatin , Cinnamon , Corn Starch Modified, Nutmeg , Ginger , Caramel Color , Sunflower Lecithin , Tricalcium Phosphate, Vanilla Extract, Soy Lecithin, Cloves, Vitamin A Palmitate , Niacinamide Vitamin B3 , Iron Reduced, Yellow 6 , Pyridoxine Hydrochloride HCl ( Pyridoxine Vitamin B6 ) , Riboflavin Vitamin B2 , Yellow 5 , Thiamin Hydrochloride Vitamin B1 , Red 40 , Folic Acid Vitamin B9 , Blue 1





Answer is on the next page...


Pages: 1 2

11.17.2014

gingerbread chocolate chip cakies


It is officially gingerbread season! What made it official? Not anything other than I was getting a bit tired of pumpkin and needed to change things up. It seemed like the perfect timing to enter Gingerbread into my kitchen.

Gingerbread chocolate chip cakies. A cake-like cookie with the subtle flavor if ginger and molasses. These have less sugar than regular cookies and just the right amount of chocolate chips - not too many, not too few.  | realfoodsimple.com

This recipe came about when I needed to return a plate. My SIL brought a plate of empanadas over for a party. I have always tried to abide my the long-standing good-hostess rule of

When you return a dish, you must have it filled.

I have no idea where this rule came from, but it is something I usually try to do. Plus it is a great way to try out new recipes and not eat them all myself. These cookies are one example. Had they stayed in our house even a few hours longer

11.12.2014

4 ingredient lemon ginger dressing

One of the most simple real food items you can make is homemade salad dressing. And this lemon ginger dressing only has 4 ingredients!


One of the most simple real food items you can make is homemade salad dressing. And this lemon ginger dressing only has 4 ingredients! | realfoodsimple.com


I remember (several) years ago when I was in school. A bunch of my classmates would talk about how easy it is to make homemade dressing. I was always so intimidated because the couple times I tried to make dressing, I failed.

Fast forward to today and I think I only buy store-bought dressing a couple times a year (yes, I know it is not as healthy, but I don't always have the energy to make everything from scratch.)

I am even confidant in throwing ingredients together to see if they work. This lemon ginger dressing was one of them. I knew lemon and ginger taste great together, so creating a homemade dressing with just 4 ingredients was simple.

Ingredients


1/4 cup light oil - light olive oil works well, also organic cold-pressed canola oil.
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 teaspoon raw honey

Directions


These are the easiest directions ever.
Place all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. It is that simple.

If you like this recipe, here is another 4 ingredient dressing - Lime Cumin Dressing

Lime Cumin Dressing

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11.07.2014

fudgy cocoa pumpkin mini muffins - grain free


These mini muffins are super moist and fudgy. They are made with coconut flour so they are grain free and have the great combination of pumpkin and cocoa. | realfoodsimple.com

I really thought I was done with the pumpkin. I really did. I was getting a bit tired of it, which is sad considering that it isn't even November.

But I found a can of pumpkin in the cupboard and I wanted to make some muffins as a snack. Originally I was just going to make a big double batch of my fudgy pumpkin mini muffins, but at the last minute I decided to change it up and throw some cocoa in there.

If you are not yet tired of pumpkin flavor, definitely try these. I even figured out that each muffin only has about 2 grams of added sugar and lots of fiber from both the coconut flour and from the pumpkin puree.

10.29.2014

fajita frittata

This fajita frittata is a simple way to use up leftover fajitas, either homemade or from a restaurant.

Fajita frittata - a simple, quick recipe that uses leftover fajitas to make a savory breakfast with mexican flavors. | realfoodsimple.com


I had made some steak fajitas one night and ate them for about three days in a row for lunch. I know some people like to have variety, but for me, if it is a great dish, I don't mind eating it several times in a week. It makes it much easier than cooking from scratch everyday.


10.27.2014

simple homemade taco hummus

simple homemade taco hummus | realfoodsimple.com


This simple taco hummus has a unique flavor and makes a great dip. I have to admit I am not a fan of hummus. It never really appealed to me. But #1 likes it, and since I have been making it homemade, it is starting to grow on me. This is a really simple recipe but tastes great.

Once again I used Dyno-moms taco seasoning. I now always have some on hand to add to different dishes. If you haven't yet checked it out, you must!

10.24.2014

5 single-use kitchen items...I kind of want

5 single-use kitchen items...I kind of want | realfoodsimple.com

Although I try to keep a simple, minimalist real food kitchen, I do enjoy gadgets at times. The past few weeks I have found a plethora (fancy word) of single-use kitchen items that really are not necessary and just seem to take up space.

However, in the interest of full disclosure, I have found a few items that although they are still single-use, I kind of want them. Will I get them? I am not sure. I really don't have the space for any more things, But if I got them as a gift I might not return them. 

So here is the list of single-use kitchen tools I kind of want:

1. S'mores maker - I think s'mores are my favorite dessert. They are pretty high on the list at least. And I love sitting in front of a fire roasting a marshmallow until it catches on fire and burns to a crisp. However, this indoor s'more maker would be so cool!

2. Cutlery Cleaner - In my defense, we do not have a dishwasher. So I am doing dishes by hand 3 times a day. This would just make it a tad easier. 

3. Cake cutter + server - Is this not a beautiful looking utensil?

4. Pot clip - cause I really like pigs and this would leave less mess. 

5. Herb scissors - I might be able to find more uses for them. Although I bet it is very difficult to keep them sharp and then they would just bruise the herbs. 

Did you miss the other posts?

Part 2
Part 1

Part 3



Part 4 - Wine


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10.22.2014

simple taco quinoa bites

Taco quinoa bites are an easy, healthy snack to have on hand. These are made with only 3 pantry ingredients! 

Taco quinoa bites are a simple, healthy snack to have on hand. These are made with only 3 real food pantry ingredients! | realfoodsimple.com


I have used quinoa in numerous different ways. It is very versatile, has a great flavor, and cooks as easy as rice. I recently used quinoa in place of pasta in this Quinoa "mac" and cheese

I first saw a pizza version of quinoa bites on pinterest (no I was not the creative one to come up with this.) Now these recipes are all over the place. Although I haven't yet made that version, I have made a few different versions of quinoa bites. My other versions are:*

10.20.2014

warm bacon & onion dressing

warm bacon & onion dressing - this is a simple real food dressing with only 4 components. It seems fancy, but it is so simple it will be your go to dressing to impress guests. | realfoodsimple.com

This bacon dressing with sweetened onions is one of my favorite dressings. I have been making it for years. There are times I will make a big batch and eat the same salad 3-4 days in a row.*

Is anything better than bacon? I have heard bacon called the gateway meat. Those who are vegetarian end up eating meat because of bacon. I believe it.

10.17.2014

5 ridiculous wine tools - you should throw away

5  ridiculous wine tools - you should throw away | realfoodsimple.com

What? Throw away things that make drinking wine easier? I know, it seems ridiculous that I would even suggest this. But as much as I love wine, I still don't think a simplified kitchen needs these gadgets.

If you missed the other posts, there are 3 more in this series!

10.15.2014

fudgy pumpkin mini muffins - grain free

Are you tired of all the pumpkin recipes yet? I am hoping you said no. So here is another pumpkin recipe, fudgy pumpkin mini muffins.

Fudgy pumpkin mini muffins - these are grain free and low in sugar. | realfoodsimple.com

These were a big hit in our house! I have proof at the end of this post. :)

These muffins are grain-free, low in sugar, and super moist. I used coconut flour instead of traditional flour, which means a lot of math. In fact #1 looked at my scribbled notes sitting on the table and asked why I was doing algebra.

10.13.2014

teriyaki chicken taco casserole

teriyaki chicken taco casserole - simple weeknight meal with great flavor but less mess | realfoodsimple.com

Teriyaki chicken is such a great flavor. I love teriyaki chicken in tacos. I used to work at a restaurant in SoCal and they had really great teriyaki tacos. Along with the teriyaki chicken, they used jack cheese, pineapples, lettuce and green onions.

I wanted to recreate that taco but in an easier to make, easier to eat casserole. This teriyaki chicken taco casserole is exactly what I was hoping for.

This recipe now has a new home! 

Visit suzyandco for this recipe plus 
nutrition info and oil education. 

10.10.2014

5 single-use kitchen tools you should throw away | part 3

5 single-use kitchen items. This is part 3 in the series. There are so many ways to clutter up a kitchen. Keep it simple and avoid these tools. | realfoodsimple.com

This is the third post in the series Single-use Kitchen Tools You Should Throw Away.*
You can read part 1 and part 2 here.

There are so many funny kitchen tools out there. I had no idea I would find this many to share. So here are 5 more single-use kitchen tools you should toss.**

10.08.2014

corn bread waffles - with only 5 ingredients

Corn bread waffles - This fun take on corn bread makes a great base for chili. And the best part? Only 5 real food ingredients. | realfoodsimple.com

Regular corn bread is the perfect side to a bowlful of chili, but waffle corn bread makes the perfect chili sundae!

These corn bread waffles are a fun and simple way to change things up for dinner. You can use pretty much any corn bread recipe, but the one I am including only has 5 ingredients!

Corn Bread Waffles (adapted from my favorite cookbook!)

10.06.2014

real maple syrup vs the Mrs.

real maple syrup vs. the Mrs. There is a battle that goes on over waffles and pancakes. Which side do you land on? | realfoodsimple.com

There is a little war that goes on in our house every Sunday. It happens over our traditional Sunday breakfast of homemade waffles that #1 makes.

10.03.2014

5 (more) single-use kitchen tools - you should throw away

5 (more) single-use kitchen tools - you should throw away | realfoodsimple.com

I previously wrote about 5 kitchen tools that were single-use and that you should throw away. (or maybe don't even buy them in the first place.)

My reasoning? Cooking real food from scratch is so much easier in an uncluttered, clean kitchen.

So here are 5 more single-use kitchen tools I have found that you might want to throw away*

9.29.2014

7 ingredient quinoa "mac" & cheese

7 ingredient quinoa "mac" and cheese | realfoodsimple.com

I really wanted to name this post easy, peasy quinoa-aroni and cheesy. But I decided to go a more classic route - quinoa mac and cheese.

Not only is this recipe simple, it only has 7 ingredients. (Oh, you already know that from the title.) If you were to use regular pasta, it actually only puts you at about 9, so you could still add another veggie or spice.

My intention in using quinoa was not...
Because it is a single ingredient.
It was not for health reasons.
Not because it has all the amino acids.
Not because it is gluten-free.
Not because it is trendy.

9.26.2014

5 single-use kitchen tools - you should throw away

5 single use kitchen tools - you should throw away | realfoodsimple.com

I am a firm believer in making your kitchen clutter free so that it makes it easier to cook. I know that some people love gadgets and want to cook with as many tools as possible. If you are a gadget lover, this post might not be for you.

For me, having a few great tools that are good for several things means my kitchen stays clean, uncluttered and easy to navigate.

Here are 5 things that (I think) you do not need in a real food kitchen.

9.24.2014

whole wheat chocolate chip cake cookies

whole wheat chocolate chip cake cookies. These cookies are cake-like, not overly sweet, and have the best amount of chocolate chips. | realfoodsimple.com


So I know I have said this before, but now I am serious. These are the best cookies I have ever made. They are fluffy and cake-like, they didn't go flat, they are not overly sweet, they have the perfect amount of chocolate chips. They are truly perfect and were gone so quick I barely was able to get a picture.

And these chocolate chip cake cookies are made with healthier ingredients.

  • 100% whole wheat, but not at all heavy and dense
  • Less sugar than most recipes
  • Less chocolate chips and the chips I used only have 3 ingredients!!


I really do not think I even need to ever try another chocolate chip recipe (although I probably will). I can really foresee that these will be THE go to cookies that I make for every occasion.

If you like cakier cookies and don't need every bite to be overrun with chocolate chips, then this recipe is for you.

9.22.2014

real food ingredients for cookies

real food ingredients for cookies | realfoodsimple.com

Although I try to eat healthy most of the time, I love baking. Or maybe I just love eating the dough. Either way, baking is a part of me. Even though I would not consider cookies to be a healthy everyday food, I still like to use better ingredients when possible. 

Here is a list of some better ingredients to have in your pantry to decrease your exposure to toxins while still enjoying cookies.

9.19.2014

simplifying your kitchen - the breadmaker

simplifying your kitchen - the breadmaker | realfoodsimple.com
I am constantly trying to declutter my kitchen. I want the least amount of gadgets, utensils, equipment, possible.

Last week I talked about how I thought the garlic press was an unneeded tool with one use that could be accomplished with other tools. This week I am talking about my bread maker.

I have had this bread maker for over ten years. It is big and bulky and sits downstairs in the basement pantry most days of the month. I don't like how bread tastes cooked in it.

BUT

9.17.2014

peanut butter & cocoa oatmeal bites

peanut butter and cocoa oatmeal bites - only 7 ingredients | realfoodsimple.com

It might be an understatement to say I am obsessed with making oatmeal bites. I cannot get enough of these simple, healthy, low sugar snacks. They only take about 20 minutes to make. They are all under ten ingredients, and they all taste amazing - if I do say so myself :)

I have made Pumpkin Oatmeal Bites and Pumpkin Cocoa Oatmeal Bites. 

But these peanut butter and cocoa oatmeal bites are one of my new favorites. I chose to use peanut butter, but if you have an allergy, you can easily substitute another nut butter for the PB.

I figured out that these bites only have ~1 gram of sugar per bite!*


Ingredients

1 cup peanut butter - or any other nut butter
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp cocoa
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups rolled oats - not quick oats unless you like mushiness

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients except the oats.
Once combined, add in the oats.
Form into balls approximately the size of a ping pong ball.
Bake for ~15 minutes.

Makes ~ 24 balls.

*This is assuming there is no sugar in your nut butter and that you only use 2 tablespoons of honey. I had a request (from #1) to increase the sugar. I think then I would have to call them cookies!


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9.15.2014

simple enchilada pie

simple enchilada pie | realfoodsimple.com

So I was attempting to make corn tortillas. Should be super easy. It is basically corn flour and water. That is it. And yet somehow I could not perfect a tortilla. They were too thick (maybe I need a press?) they would fold when I tried to flip them, and the flavor was meh.

I was not going to waste food though. It seems like that happens a lot for me when I am attempting new recipes. So instead of continuing down the failed tortilla path, I thought maybe I could make a crust out of the corn dough and just put the toppings inside and bake it. And...

Success!

I love enchiladas, but making each one individually can be time consuming. So I usually opt for a casserole version. But now I have this option of enchilada pie.

This enchilada pie has all the great toppings that go in enchiladas, just in pie form. The crust only has one ingredient (if you don't count water, and I don't).

Ingredients

For the Crust
2 cups Corn flour
~ 1 cup warm water

For the Pie Filling
~2 cups meat - shredded chicken, pork, carnitas, taco meat
~1.5 cups enchilada sauce or a 28 oz can
~ 2 cups shredded cheese - cheddar and jack work great
1 can milk green chiles - diced
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup sliced green onion

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
For the Crust
In a bowl, combine the 1 1/2 cups flour and 3/4 cup warm water. The dough should not be too sticky and wet, nor should it be crumbly. Add flour and water to get a good consistency. Let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.
In a 9 inch pie pan, press the dough in so it forms a crust about 1/4 inch thick.

For the Filling
This is the easy part. You can really go in any order you would like. I usually layer these topping starting with the sauce.
Spread 1-2 spoonfuls of enchilada sauce on the crust.
Next, put a layer of meat. Use ~ 4-6 tablespoons.
Next, put another couple spoonfuls of the sauce.
Layer some shredded cheese.
Sprinkle some diced chiles, olives and onions over the cheese.
Repeat.

You can make as many layers as you would like. You don't have to go in the order that I put above, it just works for me. You can also change up the toppings to your liking.

Bake pie for about 30 minutes, until the cheese on top is nice and bubbly.

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9.12.2014

simplifying your kitchen - the garlic press

simplifying your kitchen - the garlic press. Ask yourself, which tools do you really need to cook healthy, real food from scratch. A decluttered kitchen makes cooking easier and more enjoyable. | realfoodsimple.com
Not only do I like simple, real food, I also like a simple kitchen. Personally, I think that a decluttered kitchen makes cooking from scratch so much easier. And the more you cook from scratch, the healthier the food you eat will be.

So I have been trying to get rid of single use items. Those things that are really only good for one thing and don't seem to multitask. Like this banana slicer (you HAVE to read the reviews of it)

The garlic press is also one of them.

Some of you may think it is crazy* to not have a garlic press. Some may use theirs all the time. But I didn't. So I set out to see how much it actually gets used to see if I need it cluttering up a drawer.

I was going to keep a tally going for one month. I wasn't sure how many times I needed to use it to justify keeping it.

The month started on January 20th.

Yep, January 20th. What originally was going to be a 1 month experiment turned out to be over 7 months. And the number of times I have used the garlic press since January 20th...

Zero!

I have not once taken it out of the drawer I was keeping it in.

Now I know that it is a tool that is just cluttering up a drawer in my kitchen and it is not needed.

If you are wondering if I have a tool to mince garlic, besides a knife, I do. I use a microplane zester for garlic. Plus it has so many other uses. The garlic press has one use. And it is a pain to clean out those little squares.

Is there a tool in your kitchen that is unused?

* My SIL and cousin think I am crazy for not having a garlic press. We had this discussion a couple weeks ago. My cousin not only has some fancy garlic press, she also has a contraption for mincing several heads of garlic all at once. 

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9.10.2014

pumpkin cocoa oatmeal bites

pumpkin cocoa oatmeal bites - only 6 ingredients and 20 minutes for this simple healthy snack | realfoodsimple.com

These pumpkin cocoa oatmeal bites only have 6 ingredients and take about 20 minutes start to finish!


Pumpkin season is my favorite time of year. I love pumpkin recipes, pumpkin decorations, and right now my little one's favorite book is Patty's Pumpkin Patch. We have read it about 50 times in the last few days.

Last week I posted my pumpkin oatmeal bites and they quite a hit. I still had some pumpkin left so I decided to create another version of them. I kept the recipe pretty similar. Why change a good thing?

But adding cocoa to these pumpkin bites really takes them to another level. I like them even more than the original!

Ingredients

1 cup pumpkin puree - 100% pumpkin, not pie filling
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp raw honey
2 eggs
2 cups rolled oats

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin, cocoa, cinnamon, honey, and eggs.
Add in the oats.
Roll the dough into balls about the size of a ping pong ball.
Bake at 350 for ~12-15 minutes.

They are perfect as a quick breakfast or a snack. Unfortunately, they just won't last very long since they taste so frickin good!

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linked to sheeats.ca

9.08.2014

gluten-free pumpkin cakies

Pumpkin Cakies - a fluffy, cake-like cookie simply made from a cake mix and gluten-free | realfoodsimple.com

What are pumpkin cakies?


Cakies* is a term to describe cookies that are not as thin and crispy as a cookie. These are the type of cookies I prefer. Fluffier, lighter, and they tend to be not quite as sugary. For this particular cookie, I used a pre-made cake mix.

I love the idea of using a cake mix to make cookies. It is a simpler way to make cookies quickly. You might be saying to your computer screen right about now "Suzy, cake mix is NOT a real food!" True. There are many cake mixes out there that have a long list if ingredients you may want to avoid. But luckily there are some that are not as bad. The one I had in my pantry happened to be gluten-free, but you don't have to use a gluten-free mix. The mix I used for these cookies was...

9.05.2014

why I do not eat fat free dressing

why I do not eat far free dressing | realfoodsimple.com

...and I am hoping to convince you to avoid it as well for better ingredients and vitamin absorption.  


Although making homemade dressing is so simple and quick, I know that people will still buy pre-made dressings once in a while. In fact, I bought one not too long ago because I really was not in the mood to get all the ingredients to make the dressing I wanted. Believe me, I get it.

In choosing a dressing, I still looked at the ingredients list to find the least processed one I could find, but I completely avoided any label that said fat free. 

Here are a couple reasons not to consume fat-free dressing.

9.03.2014

zucchini mock and cheese cupcakes

zucchini mock & cheese cupcakes - only 8 ingredients | realfoodsimple.com

This simple recipe for zucchini mac and cheese only has 8 ingredients* and can be a main dish or a side.

Using zucchini for macaroni in a macaroni and cheese dish is a great way to use up zucchini, get more veggies in, make a low-carb pasta, or just change things up.

These cupcakes can also be done in a casserole dish. Which sometimes makes clean up much easier. I hate cleaning cupcake tins. I think I need to spring for some of these pretty soon.

9.01.2014

healthy & simple greek yogurt taco dip

simple Greek yogurt taco dip - An easy and healthier dip with probiotics. | realfoodsimple.com

This taco dip takes 5 minutes to make and tastes great. Why is this healthy? Because by using greek yogurt as your base, you are actually getting some probiotics as well. And considering that this will probably be served with tortilla chips...at a party...with lots of appetizers...and other foods of questionable healthfulness, even a little healthiness can help.