Healthy Banana Nut Muffins

Healthy Banana Nut Muffins via @alisonlewis

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you can tell that we have been into making muffins lately at my house. Over the weekend my daughter, Leigh and I made these Healthy Banana Nut Muffins for the week for breakfast, lunches and afternoon snacks. We made regular size and mini muffins so the directions for the different baking times are below. These are really light and filled with flavor, and you won’t even believe they are whole wheat. No mixer is needed, so these are so easy and fun to make with the kids. If you make mini muffins, each muffin has 140 calories, 2.2 grams of fat, 26 grams of carbohydrates and 3.7 grams of protein per serving, so enjoy!

Berry Peach Smoothie

Easy Peach and Berry Smoothie
Easy Peach and Berry Smoothie

Just in time for Passover, this healthy Berry Peach Smoothie recipe is perfect for breakfast, dessert or an afternoon snack. Feel free to use fresh or frozen fruit, but don’t forget frozen fruit is just as healthy as fresh. Frozen fruits are picked at their peak and then flash frozen. This smoothie is a great way to kick off the week. It’s filled with natural antioxidants and protein!

Nuts and Bolts for New Years Day

Happy New Years! We are hanging out watching football today. Did you see the Texas A & M/Duke game? Wow! For New Years Day, I made this Nuts and Bolts recipe. This super easy snack mix is ideal for football games, Super Bowl sunday and March Madness. My kids can’t stop eating it, so I assume that is a good sign. Happy New Year and here’s to a healthy, happy New Year! May all your wishes and dreams come true!

Carrot Bran Muffins

Since my three kids and I have been living with my father (who has been ill),  I have tried  spoil him with some of his favorite foods. He loves muffins, so I made those Carrot Bran Muffins that are perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack for him and the kids. I tweaked a recipe I saw on Taste of Home and used whole wheat flour, nonfat Greek yogurt and omitted the raisins. This recipe came out great, my dad said these were perfect comfort food.

Blueberry Yogurt Parfait: Gluten Free

I get a lot of requests for gluten-free breakfast recipes, so how about this Blueberry Yogurt Parfait? Serve this gluten-free and high protein recipe for breakfast or an afternoon snack.  It also makes a wonderful, light dessert that my three kids like too. With only 3 ingredients, how can you possibly go wrong? Blueberries are so good for you. Here’s just a few of the wonderful health benefits of eating blueberries and adding them to your diet:

1. Blueberries are full of  Vitamin C-In just one serving, you can get 14 mg of Vitamin C which is almost 25 percent of your daily requirement. Vitamin C aids in the formation of collagen, helps maintain healthy gums and capillaries, and promotes a healthy immune system.

2. Blueberries are full of fiber-A handful of blueberries meets your daily fiber instate which is terrific for heart health and lower cholesterol levels.

3. Blueberries are high in antioxidants-Antioxidants help to neutralize free radicals linked to the development of cancer and Alzheimer’s. Blueberries contain polyphenols which have high antioxidant properties.

4. Blueberries can help protect against urinary track infections-Blueberries, like cranberries, contain flavonoides. Flavonoids can help protect bacteria that causes urinary tract infections from binding to the lining of the bladder.

No-Bake Date Nut Energy Bars

I am always looking for new, healthy snack ideas for the kids, and if I can come up with a no-bake recipe idea, then even better. My two boys love dried dates, so I thought this combination of dates, nuts and flaxseed would make a great healthy snack, dessert or breakfast idea. You’ll love these too. No-Bake Date Energy Bars are not only “no-bake”, they are also gluten-free and perfect for all of my friends following the Paleo Diet. They also make a great pre or post workout snack so enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from “The Dramatic Pancake”.

Easy Trail Mix Recipe

It was great to have a Leap day last week for Leap year. It was like having an extra day (although I worked), but I was so excited to be a part of the “Delightful Discoveries for Leap Year Campaign” for Quaker. I had the chance to giveaway a $75 Visa gift card to a great blogger, Marnely Rodriguez, who won it from my blog a week ago. For my Leap Day discovery, I used my time to create a new Easy Trail Mix Recipe with the new Honey Nut Oatmeal Squares from Quaker. This is a wonderful Easy Trail Mix to eat for a great afternoon snack for the kids and adults. It also makes a great topping to stir in nonfat Greek yogurt, and it’s perfect to make to take on trips (I think I’ll be making some before spring break). My kids and neighbors went wild over it, and before I could get my hands on it, it was all gone.

Gluten Free: Grain-Free Granola

One of my food weaknesses is definitely granola so I thought I would develop a recipe for a Grain-Free Granola for all of those who can’t have grains, are gluten-free, are following the Paleo Diet or are watching their carbohydrate intake. This recipe for Grain-Free Granola is super easy to make, and it’s full of my favorite seeds and nuts. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand as all of the nuts and seeds are easily interchangeable. This granola makes a great breakfast idea stirred into nonfat Greek Yogurt or with almond milk. It also makes a great afternoon snack, a healthy sweet to put in your children’s lunch, or a wonderful dinnertime dessert served with fruit.

Acai Pomegranate Smoothie and Blendtec Blender Giveaway

I hope everyone has had a great holiday weekend. Did you go shopping? I am so excited about sharing my recipe for Acai Pomegranate Smoothie (my kid’s favorite). It tastes great, and it’s full of vitamins and antioxidants. Now, I can’t wait to announce my Blendtec Blender giveaway: One lucky winner will receive the Total Blender Combo including the Fourside and Wildside Jar, a $474 value. This blender is my newest all-time favorite all-in-one kitchen appliance. Not only does it make the best smoothies, but I have used it to prepare dips, fondues, ice cream, salad dressings, sauces, soups, milkshakes and even bread dough.

My kids have been making smoothies and milkshakes daily, and I feel great letting them try different fruits and yogurts to create new concoctions. Whether you’re in college, single or have a family, using a Blendtec is a great way to stay healthy this time of year. The winner will be able to choose a white, red or black model, and this is one of the best holiday presents ever.

To enter this giveaway, follow the steps below. Winner will be chosen by random.org on Thursday, December 1st, at 9 a.m EST.

1. Follow Alison Lewis on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know

2. Like Ingredients, Inc. on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know

3. Follow Alison Lewis on Pinterest  and leave a comment letting me know

 4. Follow Blendtec on Twitter and leave a comment letting me know

5. Like Blendtec on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know know

6. Join the Blendtec Mailing list and leave a comment letting me know

7. Join the Ingredients, Inc. email list and leave a comment letting me know

8. Tweet about this giveaway by mentioning the following or something similar:  check out @alisonlewis @Blendtec giveaway just in time for the holidays

Coffee Cake with a Twist: Apricot and Almond Coffee Cake

Coffeecakes have always been one of my favorite baked items. Serving and eating a piece with a cup of coffee or tea always make me feel warm and comforted. A friend recently shared a version of this recipe for Almond-Apricot Coffee Cake with me from the “Cooking with Paula Dean” magazine. I lightened it up a bit substituting egg white for some of the eggs, used reduced-fat cream cheese instead of regular and nonfat Greek yogurt for the sour cream. Apricots and almonds are two special ingredients to twist this recipe a bit, and they make this coffee cake even better. This is a great breakfast treat to serve to the kids, special snack, brunch recipe, bridal or baby shower recipe and, of course, dessert recipe.