Eat Smarter and Snack Brighter

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 I just discovered a healthy new product, and I could not wait to share! It’s an awesome healthy snack or dessert option that my 3 kids and I love. Outshine Fruit & Veggie Bars are a way to eat smarter and snack brighter! These bars are made with a blend of fruit and vegetable purees and juices, with each bar containing at least 25% vegetables. They combine a delicious blend of real fruit and vegetables in every bite. Outshine Fruit & Veggie Bars are available in five refreshing flavors, including: Blueberry Medley, Tangerine Carrot, Apple and Greens, Peach Mango Medley and Strawberry Rhubarb. This is a sponsored post for Outshine Fruit & Veggie Bars, but I couldn’t wait tell you how amazingly good these are! I was wowed when I tried these bars, and my kids are hooked! My oldest son, Alec said, “I am not typically a fan of frozen desserts, but from the first bite, I really enjoyed it. I really liked the Tangerine Carrot the best!” My daughter, Leigh, told me she could almost eat the entire box 🙂

Outshine Fruit and Veggie Bars

Besides the great flavor, these bars have some important health benefits. They are nonfat, non-dairy, kosher and contain no artificial colors or flavors. The 2.5 ounce bars are just 60 calories, and the 1.5 ounce bars, in the variety pack, are only 35 to 40 calories each. They are so perfect for a snack on-the-go for my family.

Health Benefits:

1. Edy’s Outshine Fruit and Veggie 2.5 fl oz bars are all an excellent source of Vitamin C.

2. The ingredients in these bars are all natural fruit, juice, veggies and coconut water.

3. The Apple and Greens bar is a good source of Vitamins A & K.

4. The Tangerine Carrot is an excellent source of Vitamins A & K.

5. Peach Mango Medley is also a good source of Vitamins A & E.

6. Vitamin A is great for bone growth, vision and your immune system. Vitamin C is important for skin and bones and helps promote healing. Vitamin E helps make proteins for healthy bones and tissue and Vitamin K plays a role in the immune system and metabolic process.

7. The bars are gluten free and have no high fructose corn syrup.

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I loved all of the flavors, especially the Tangerine Carrot! I would love to try the Apples and Greens so I am on the hunt for it!

Outshine Bars

Leave me a comment and let me know , which flavor would you want to try?

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Outshine Fruit & Veggie Bars. 

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Pizza Bites

My kids come home starving after school. Can you relate? We make smoothies, sandwiches, bagels, dips and everything under the sun. Last week, we put this fun idea together: Pizza Bites. Use water crackers or your favorite crackers, pizza or marinara sauce, shredded cheese and turkey pepperoni. They LOVED this! We have now made them several times with fresh basil, mushrooms, black olives and spinach. Try it for your kids (or yourself). This would also be a great March Madness appetizer. 🙂

Lightened Up Pumpkin Dip: Kid Friendly

Yay, it’s October, so let’s get cooking with pumpkin! Pumpkin is one of the most nutritious fruits, packed with disease-fighting nutrients such as alpha and beta-carotene, fiber, Vitamins C and E, potassium and magnesium. The carotenes found in pumpkin are potent with antioxidants, which promote healthy vision, ensures proper immune function and slows the aging process. My three kids love this dip as much as adults so you may want to make extra. Serve it with apples, pears, gingersnaps or graham crackers for an appetizer or healthy snack. It’s always perfect to make during Thanksgiving or Christmas too!

 

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”.

No-Bake Mini Healthy Bites: Gluten-Free and Passover

I love to experiment with “No-Bake” cookie recipes, especially those that are gluten-free, Paleo Diet or perfect for Passover which starts this week. I was excited to make this recipe for No-Bake Mini Energy Bites which I made and tweaked from a recipe I saw on the blog, “Gimme some Oven”.  Her recipe is great, but if you want a Passover or gluten-free version, try grinding your favorite nuts and omitting the oatmeal. These are incredible, and I honestly could not keep my hands out of the container. My 3 kids had absolutely no idea there was flaxseed in them. Feel free to use almond butter instead of peanut butter and any of your favorite nuts.

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.

4 Healthy Super Bowl Recipes: Rosemary Infused Nuts

Super Bowl XLVI is coming up this weekend with the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, and most of us are having or going to Super Bowl parties. I have had so many email requests for easy, healthy ideas for game, so I wanted to share one of our favorite lightened-up football snack recipes. Rosemary Infused Nuts are a tremendous hit! This simple, 20 minute recipe is filled with cashews, almonds and pumpkin seeds. Nuts are a great source of healthy fat, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and protein. By consuming this type of fat, you’ll feel less hungry, and your sugar cravings will diminish. They are filled with the following power food nuts:

Pumpkin Seeds: I love using pumpkin seeds in this nut mix because they are high in zinc and have been linked to so many benefits including great looking skin and boosting your immunity.

Almonds: Almonds are a power nut high in Vitamin E and potassium and one of the most nutritious nuts.

Cashews: Cashews are also a rich source of iron and zinc, and they have been linked to hair, skin and bone health.

Other Lightened Up Super Bowl Snack Ideas

Chicken Chipotle Dip   

Spinach Dip with Greek Yogurt

Panko Roasted Drumsticks

Saucepan Popcorn Recipe & Healthy Back to School Snack Ideas

Since school just started back, I am trying to start the year off right. I try to be creative and point my kids in the right direction when it comes to packing healthy lunches and providing after-school snacks that are good for them. My three children love this recipe for Saucepan Popcorn which is so easy and healthier than the other popcorn alternatives. Here are some other quick ideas for when you are in a hurry that have a nice balance of protein, fiber and carbohydrates:

Healthy Snacks Ideas for Kids:

Trail Mix

Homemade Smoothies

Homemade Granola

Healthier Banana Bread

Other Ideas:

Reduced Sodium Cottage Cheese with fruit

Whole grain crackers with cheese

Greek yogurt with honey and fruit

Apple and Skim Milk

Almond or Peanut Butter and Banana

Hummus with carrots and celery Nut Butter on graham crackers

Hard boiled eggs

Favorite Back to School Snack: Healthy Trail Mix

School starts in one week so I (and we) are trying to brace ourselves or get fired up (depends which way I look at it). I have been thinking about healthy snacks since my daughter, Leigh, takes her lunch every day and goes to cheerleading straight from school. Also, my two boys, Alec and Zachary, are ravenous when they get home from school, and this recipe really fills them up. This trail mix is a cinch. I call it a “dump and stir”. It has a got a great variety of ingredients with protein, fiber and carbohydrates. They love eating it plain, adding milk to it or even stirring it into Greek yogurt. The only problem is: I have to control myself. Once I start eating it, I cannot stop.

10 Health Benefits of Blackberries

While at their peak season, indulge in blackberries for a nutritious snack or dessert. One cup of fresh blackberries has 62 calories, 1 gram of fat, 15 carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein and only 1 mg of sodium. Here are the top 10 health benefits of eating blackberries:

1. Blackberries are one of the top ten foods containing antioxidants.

2. Blackberries are packed with polyphenols helping to prevent cancer and heart disease.

3. Blackberries are filled with anthocyanins (antioxidants which give blackberries their deep purple color) which help in memory retention and the risk of hypertension.

4. Blackberries are said to strengthen blood vessels, help fight heart disease and help improve eyesight.

5. The high tannin content of blackberries help tighten tissue, relieve intestinal inflammation, and help reduce hemorrhoids and stomach disorders.

6. Ohio State University found that blackberries may protect against esophageal cancer, a cancer caused by gastric reflux disease.

7. Blackberries have shown to protect against other types of cancers. They contain phytoestrogens (plant estrogens), a compound believed to play a vital role in preventing breast and cervical cancer.

8. Blackberries are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Manganese and fiber.

9. The high fiber content of blackberries help reduce risk of intestinal disease and the risk of developing diabetes.

10. Blackberries are a healthy food choice that kids and adults love. They are a great way to refuel after a hard workout and help aid in fighting obesity. See a recipe for Blackberry-Blueberry Cobbler from my site last year.