Red, White and Blue Salad with Pink Lemonade Salad Refresher

Fresh berries and pink lemonade shine in this refreshing summer salad.

Fresh berries and pink lemonade shine in this refreshing summer salad.

 

Ingredients:

4 cups mixed salad greens

½ cup fresh blueberries

½ cup fresh raspberries

¼ cup toasted slivered almonds

 

1 tablespoon raspberry preserves

2 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ teaspoon onion powder

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Dash salt

Directions:

Gently combine greens through almonds in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine preserves through salt, stirring until smooth. Pour dressing over salad just before serving.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sand Dollar Cookies

Sand dollar cookies

Sand dollar cookies

What a fun way to start summer! I baked these a few months ago, when there was still enough snow on the ground to make summer feel like it was months away. But, I got to thinking about them again yesterday as I wore my shell necklace, which has a painted flower on the front that looks like these sand dollar cookies. My great uncle made it while serving in the Philippines during World War II, and it has always been a tradition to wear it around this time of year in memory of the veterans in our family. Though I usually make red, white and blue desserts a few times during the summer, these seemed fitting for our family, as well. The cookies are quick and easy to prepare, and I know my uncle and grandfather (who also spent quite a bit of time around water during his service in World War II) would have approved!

Directions:

Make your favorite recipe for sugar cookie dough as directed, shaping the dough into circles. (There’s a great one in The Fit Fridge for Fit Families cookbook.) Use a butter knife to gently “ruffle” the edges so they appear jagged, like a sand dollar. Using a drinking straw and toothpick, poke small holes into the top of the cookie, and add slivered almonds to form the star. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and bake. Serve out of a clean sand bucket. I put a brown dishtowel in mine for “sand” and lined it with a food storage bag to make it food safe before adding the cookies.

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

VLUU L100, M100 / Samsung L100, M100

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

National Nutrition Month 2015

Nutrition Month Bulletin Board

Happy National Nutrition Month!  All March long, celebrate ways to “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” with some of these great tips and tricks from around the web!

Tips for Eating Healthy with Frozen Veggies

Eating Well’s Guide to Cooking 20 Vegetables

Perfectly-Portioned Muffin Tin Meals

Cooking Light’s Amazing One-Pot Meals

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chase away the winter blues with “blue-brrry” mini muffins

Anyone else love to bake on a snow day?  Here is a recent favorite!

Blueberry Spice Mini Muffins

Ingredients:

1/4 cup extra light olive oil

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 teaspoon

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon each of ground cardamom, ginger and grated orange peel

1/2 cup milk (non-dairy milk works, too)

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Cinnamon sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 mini muffin cups with wrappers. In a large bowl, cream oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Combine vinegar with enough water to equal 1/4 cup, and beat into sugar. Stir in vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Gradually add dry ingredients to the liquid, alternating with the milk and beating well after each addition. Toss blueberries with the remaining flour, and fold into batter. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Adapted from a Taste of Home recipe, this yummy cookie is all ready for Santa to enjoy.  Elves with allergies will enjoy that it can be made without egg, soy, dairy or nuts!

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Ingredients

¼ C sunflower or canola oil

½ C sugar

2 tablespoons water

½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

¾ C plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

¼ cup baking cocoa

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1.5 ounces of mini, semi-sweet chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life)

1 teaspoon sunflower or canola oil

1 miniature crushed candy cane (or ½ of a full-size, TruSweets candy cane)

2 teaspoons sprinkles (read labels if food allergies are a concern; I used Target’s nonpareils, which are soy-free)

Preheat oven to 350°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, cream oil and sugar. Beat in egg.  In a small bowl, combine flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda. Gradually beat into the sugar mixture.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls, and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. With slightly damp hands, gently flatten cookie tops, forming cookies into a round shape as you work. Bake 6-8 minutes or until just set (be careful not to over bake the cookies). Cool cookies on pans for 5 minutes, and remove to wire racks to cool completely.

In a microwave-safe dish, melt chocolate chips and oil. Drizzle over cookies, and sprinkle with candy cane pieces and sprinkles. Allow melted chocolate to set before servingVLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Shopping Smart for Activity Monitors in the New Year

Just how trustworthy is that Fitbit? At last, several peer-reviewed articles have studied the validity of consumer-based physical activity monitors. One of the most recent, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, found BodyFit, Fitbit One and Fitbit Zip to be most accurate in estimating energy expenditure (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24777201), though others have found Fitbit Classic less accurate (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24770438). Click on the links to read more.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Apple Spice Muffins

Here is a sweet but low-fat treat for the fall and a great way to use up any leftover apples picked in recent weeks.  They remind me of apple pie in a muffin wrapper.  Enjoy!

Apple Spice Muffins

Ingredients

2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2/3 cup water

1/2teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice

2 tablespoons extra light olive oil

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and finely chopped

1/4 cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Cinnamon sugar for topping

Directions

In a large bowl, combine flour through baking soda.  In a separate bowl, combine the water, spice, extract and oil.  Stir into the dry ingredients until just moistened.  Toss apple, walnuts and cranberries with remaining flour.  Fold into batter.  Divide muffins evenly between 13 muffin papers, filling each 2/3 full.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment