Monthly Archives: October 2015

Healthy Halloween Ideas

Halloween, Sugar and Candy seem to be synonymous terms, and since we’ll have Halloween activities and treats given to us during the entire month of October, which could last through November (but they don’t at our house because after Halloween night, where they get to eat their favorites, we buy them from the children or take them to a dentist who buys them),  I try and provide some fun, festive, but healthier options to somewhat counter balance the massive amounts of sugar that are consumed.

2015-10-08 14.58.50

Last year our church had a Halloween party where we did a ‘trunk or treat’ at the end. I gave out light stick bracelets and the kids loved them! I think it’s just fun to have something that glows in the dark when you’re out late at night. We’re going to hand them out again this year and I found some at a local grocery store for pretty cheap. I know Michael Arts and Craft, usually has a box of 20 or so in their dollar bins.

2015-10-08 14.59.47

Here are a couple fast and easy festive Halloween snacks that you could send with your kiddos to school, or have out on the table for an after-school snack. We love cuties and all you need to make these festive is a sharpie.

2015-10-08 14.59.24

Same idea with the string cheese ghosts. I normally don’t buy string cheese because it’s cheaper to give them a few slices from a block, so these string cheese ghosts are a special favorite.

2015-10-08 14.59.37

Most days we have granola, toast or green smoothie for breakfast, but on Sunday and holidays we’ll do something a little more. We tend to make these pumpkin pancakes all month long in October and November and they’d be a great Halloween breakfast.

IMG_9765

This jack-o-lantern whole grain pizza is a family favorite…we actually make this pizza dough recipe every week of the year but on Halloween we shape the pepperoni to look like the face of a jack-o-lantern which makes it a little more fun and festive.

I cook these on a pizza stone and then slide them onto these large cookie sheets once they’re all done cooking and slice them up there.

2015-10-10 16.48.16 2015-10-10 16.57.48 2015-10-10 17.16.48

I also think it’s nice to have a warm soup just before going out into the cold to trick-or-treat with the kiddos, and this tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches is so yummy and is festive and color, and if you have a large pumpkin cookie cutter, you could cut pumpkin shapes into your sandwiches which would be super cute.

If you’re going to a party or having a spooky movie night, this honey kettle corn is perfect.

2015-10-01 12.45.26

These honey caramel apples and caramel popcorn are a lot more sweet than the kettle corn, but still only sweetened with honey, no refined sugars, which I love. I like to cut these apples up into slices and share one with the family after dinner.

2015-10-08 13.41.35

2015-10-19 13.04.31

These honey sweetened pumpkin cookies are amazing! We make them fairly often during the Fall months and would be perfect for a Halloween treat.

IMG_9732

Happy Halloween!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Halloween

Honey Sweetened Kettle Corn

I made this honey-sweetened kettle corn for bookclub a few weeks back and then shared some with my sister, who is vegan, and it was a hit with both. I love how simple, fast and easy it is and that it’s made with all whole-food and nutritious ingredients. Perfect treat for a movie night!

2015-10-01 12.45.26

There are only four ingredients in this kettle corn: popcorn kernels, honey, salt and coconut oil. Pop your popcorn kernels using an air popper (or whatever you use), and set aside. Since I popped 1 cup of kernels, I needed my largest bowl, which holds 8 quarts. Combine all the other ingredients in a medium saucepan and melt together. Pour over popcorn and carefully stir together.

 

2015-10-01 12.45.08

THE RECIPE:

Honey Sweetened Kettle Corn

1 C unpopped, popcorn kernels
1/4 C honey (preferably raw and local)
1/4 C coconut oil
1 tsp sea salt

Pop popcorn kernels into a large 8 quart mixing bowl. In a medium saucepan melt together honey, coconut oil and sea salt. Pour over  popcorn and carefully stir together until combined.

1 Comment

Filed under Snacks/Sides/Appetizers, vegan

Honey Caramel Apples and Honey Caramel Popcorn

I have a fun Fall treat for you today! I am going to share how to make your own caramel using all whole foods ingredients, with no refined sweeteners! This recipe can also double as the caramel in caramel popcorn, which is pretty awesome. I like to make a double batch of the caramel, cover 7 medium-sized apples(because there are 7 of us in this house!), and use the leftover caramel to pour over a batch of air-popped popcorn(I made popcorn using 1/2 c unpopped kernels).

2015-10-08 13.41.35

2015-10-19 13.04.31

This recipe is mostly made from whipping cream and honey, and then there’s a tiny bit of salt and vanilla. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, you should, so try and pick one up at your local grocery store. They are usually only a couple of bucks and they are super helpful and bring me peace of mind, so that I’m not wondering, ‘Did that boil long enough, will it be thick enough?’ or ‘did it get too hot? did I ruin it?’

2015-10-19 10.25.57

Combine your cream, honey and sea salt in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. This mixture rises quite a bit when it’s boiling so make sure it’s a large saucepan.

Bring to a rolling boil (reduce heat slightly if splattering). Stir and scrape sides of pan down occasionally until a candy thermometer reaches 260 degrees, hard ball stage (could take about half hour).

2015-10-19 10.44.24

 If you decide to double this recipe, you’ll need a bigger pan, like a soup pot. If you don’t use a bigger pan, you will regret it when you spend half hour or more, cleaning the top of your new, pretty glass top oven when the honey and cream boil over the sides and then burn on the surface…not that that’s ever happened to me before ;).

2015-10-19 12.06.57

While the caramel is cooking, prepare the apples. Wash, dry and skewer them with popsicle sticks or bamboo skewers.  I sometimes will make mini apples using a melon baller, the kids enjoy eating the caramel apple off a stick, but a normal sized apple is just way too big for them(it even feels big for me!). I only do that with one of my apples, because it’s more work, but I’ll usually take a large caramel dipped apple and slice it into 8 slices which also makes it easier to eat.

2015-10-08 12.23.38

Place in fridge to continue chilling until ready to use. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. When caramel has reached 260 degrees remove from heat. Add vanilla and let stand a couple minutes, stirring occasionally. It should start to thicken. Remove apples from fridge and dry them thoroughly with towel. Dip in caramel, rolling and twirling each one until well coated. Let excess drip off and then place on prepared baking sheet.

2015-10-08 13.42.09

Once the caramel is dry you can eat up! When I slice my apples, I cut it down the middle and then put the apple side down on my cutting board, and then cut through the caramel first and then the apple. If you cut it the other way, going through the apple first, the caramel tends to come off.

2015-10-19 12.39.28

You can wrap the apples up in parchment or wax paper, and store them in the fridge or give them as a gift! We took one apple out of the fridge each night this week after dinner, cut it into 8 slices, and each had a slice after dinner. Once sliced, I like to have them eaten right away so the apple doesn’t turn brown. 2015-10-20 15.15.11

Notice that the caramel on the mini apples doesn’t look as lovely as on the big apples, but the kids loved them.

2015-10-08 13.40.46

You can use any leftover caramel to pour over popcorn. If the caramel has thickened, warm it up again before pouring it over the popcorn and then stir it immediately to coat everything before it thickens and sticks together.

2015-10-19 13.02.54

2015-10-19 13.06.17

THE RECIPE:

Honey Caramel Apples– from our best bites

1 c heavy cream
1 c honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 large apples, refrigerated for at least an hour (or you can make mini caramel apples using a melon baller)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Combine cream, honey and salt in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil (reduce heat slightly if splattering). Stir and scrape sides of pan down occasionally until a candy thermometer reaches 260 degrees, hard ball stage (could take about half hour). While caramel is cooking, prepare apples. Wash, dry and skewer them with popsicle stick or bamboo skewer. Place in fridge to continue chilling until ready to use. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. When caramel has reached 260 degrees remove from heat. Add vanilla and let stand a couple minutes, stirring occasionally. It should start to thicken. Remove apples from fridge and dry them thoroughly with towel. Dip in caramel, rolling and twirling each one until well coated. Let excess drip off and then place on prepared baking sheet. Can refrigerate for a few minutes to set the caramel if needed, though you’ll want to take them out a few minutes before eating to allow the caramel to soften some. Can use extra caramel(warmed up) to pour over popcorn for a sweet treat.

*Can slice apples before eating for convenience

*if it takes longer than a few minutes to dip your apples (for instance if you’re doing a bunch of mini apples), and the caramel gets a little thick and hard to work with,  warm your caramel on the stove again for a minute or so, until it thins out a bit.

*Can store in fridge. Take out at least 5 minutes before serving to allow caramel to soften.

2 Comments

Filed under Desserts

Peanut Sauce

This Peanut Sauce is so yummy, with just a little bit of spice and it goes great with the chicken recipe I posted last week, along with some brown rice. Since I don’t eat chicken, I leave it on the side for family members to take if they like, and then I’ll just eat the peanut sauce over the rice, maybe with a spring vegetable roll on the side :).

2015-09-24 17.52.49

You’ll cook everything in a medium saucepan and from start to finish, it takes around 20-30 minutes.

2015-09-24 17.17.15

2015-09-24 17.47.24

THE RECIPE:

Peanut Sauce:

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 c finely chopped green onions (about 3 green onions)
1 tsp minced garlic
2 c chicken or vegetable broth (2 c water, 2 tsp bouillon)
1/2 c peanut butter
1 Tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos (soy sauce)
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (1/8 if you prefer milder spiciness)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Cook garlic and onions in oil until soft. Add broth and bring to a boil, then add remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick, about 15 minutes. Serve over rice and with Oriental Chicken Marinade.

1 Comment

Filed under Dinner, vegan

Oriental Marinated Chicken

2015-09-24 17.46.48

This is an easy chicken marinade that goes so well over rice and we love it the most when we also serve it with a peanut sauce. I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos which is a soy sauce alternative, but feel free to use what you have. Put your defrosted, raw, sliced chicken into a gallon ziploc bag or glass tupperware dish etc, add in the soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, molasses and red pepper flakes, mix around, close it up and allow it to sit and soak in those flavors for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil (for super easy clean up), and place chicken on foil with a little space in between pieces, and cook until done and no longer pink, about 15-20 minutes if sliced thin.

2015-09-24 17.38.42

 2015-09-24 17.52.49

Oriental Marinated Chicken

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, thawed, sliced into thin, small pieces
1/2 c Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
1/2 c olive oil
1 1/2 tsp(3 cloves) minced garlic
1 Tbsp molasses
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Soak chicken in marinade mixture for several hours or overnight, in a large ziploc bag or covered glass dish. Cook on a foil-lined baking sheet with a rim (so marinade doesn’t drip onto oven) at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until done.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized