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.


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


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


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


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.


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


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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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.