This post features recipes from Natural Delights Medjool Dates- a brand I LOVE working with, but this is not a sponsored post. As always, all opinions are my own.
Fun + Healthy = YES, it's really possible. When kids get to play with food, they often end up trying and liking new foods, even fruits and vegetables! Halloween is the perfect time to have some fun in the kitchen with fruits and veggies. Check out some of my personal favorites AND some seriously creative and tasty treats from some of my favorite dietitians!
Let's dig in- it's time to get your fingers sticky and your tummies happy!
These Caramel Apply Dippers have been seriously upgraded because instead of caramel, they have Medjool Date Paste Caramel. Which is basically Medjool dates + water blended in a food processor until it's the consistency of caramel. Medjool dates naturally taste like caramel and they're naturally sweet- no added sugars needed for this sweet treat! Drizzle on some "caramel" and add your favorite toppings like coconut, mini chocolate chips, chopped nuts or pretzel pieces!
String cheese fingers and carrot eyeballs are some of the creepiest and creative ways to get your kiddos playing with some vegetables. Simply cut a piece of string cheese in half and use a butter knife to make small "knuckle" indentions. Put a small dab of cream cheese on pieces of bell pepper shaped like fingernails, and create a creepy kid-friendly snack!
If your kiddos are olive lovers (this always surprises me when kids love olives, but I've worked with many families whose children do love these briny funky tasting little weird blobs of healthy fat.....confession, if you can't tell, I am NOT an olive fan!), place sliced black olives on sliced carrots with a little dab of cream cheese to bring the eyes to life!
Talk about fun and easy- Mandarin pumpkins will make your kids giggle and their tummies happy. Simply peel a mandarin and stick a small piece of celery on top and you've got yourself a pumpkin. You can also make jack-o-lanterns by taking a sharpie to an unpeeled mandarin!
Let's take a quick sidestep from creepy snacks and talk shop (shop=pumpkin). Pumpkin peanut butter stuffed Medjool dates and Pumpkin Cream cheese stuffed Medjool Dates. These little bites of goodness are GOOD FOR YOU and perfect for everything from an afternoon snack to appetizers at your next dinner party. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of pumpkin into either 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or cream cheese and stuff inside pitted Medjool dates. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top and enjoy!
Here's a few other spooky, fun and healthy treats from some of the best dietitians around!
Wishing everyone a safe and fun Halloween! <3 Shannon
This month's Recipe ReDux is all about showing off our favorite plant power bowls. I'm not gonna lie- when I first saw the theme, I was a little hesitant because I'm a big beef/chicken fan. BUT I'm so glad I had the opportunity to create a complete plant based meal because this Fall Plant Power Bowl is errthing I dreamed of and more!
Plant Power bowls are packed with fiber, color, protein and they're like, super posh right now. Does anyone even say "posh" anymore? I don't know where that came from.
Winds picked up as a cool front began to roll in today. My usual corner of the house with perfect lighting wasn't cutting it with the clouds... so I took this plant power bowl to the grass. My neighbors (most of which I haven't actually met) undoubtedly think I'm a weirdo as I tote a full meal, pumpkins, props and a camera in the front yard. I'm really trying to work on not caring what other people think (or what I think they are thinking), so this was GRREEEAAATTT practice.
There were many lessons learned with this outdoor food photography experience:
•Cilantro and quinoa are incredible sensitive to wind
•Hemp hearts look like bugs and bugs like to get in your food when you're outside
•Dog walkers hate me, but their dogs love me
•The neighbors I haven't met probably think I'm REALLY weird as I carry bowls, pumpkins, a camera, a full meal and other props outside •Distractions abound, but the change of scenery was lovely
See- that pesky cilantro? It's little leaf blew up right before I snapped the pic. I'm quick to forgive though.. because cilantro is delicious.
This bowl is the perfect combination of naturally sweet butternut squash, savory white bean hummus, crunchy pomegranate arils, protein packed quinoa, creamy avocado and bursting with flavor from cilantro. Topped with hemp hearts, this is seriously a nutrition powerhouse.
KISS Fall Plant Power Bowl
1 cup quinoa, cooked (I use the microwaveable pouches or cook a bunch at the beginning of the week)
1 cup butternut squash, diced
1 Tbsp avocado oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tbsp white bean hummus
1/2 large avocado
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
3 cups spinach or kale, if desired*
1.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil, toss butternut squash in avocado oil, sprinkle with cinnamon and place on baking sheet. Cook 15-20 minutes until roasted through and you're happy with the consistency. Note- I purchased pre-chopped butternut; it's usually available both fresh and frozen!
2.) In 2 large bowls, place a bed of greens, if desired.
3.) Next, add the quinoa, butternut, hummus, avocado, pomegranate arils and cilantro to the bowl. If desired, add your favorite dressing, but these flavors are SO yummy you probably won't need it!
*Sometimes I like to make bowls without greens to have a break from salads. This bowl is pretty amazing without a green base, but experiment with it and make it your own! <3 Shannon
“I received free samples of Sabra Spreads mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Sabra and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
I could eat breakfast food 3 meals a day. Alright, if I'm being honest I could squeeze a 4th meal in for the sake of bacon, eggs or anything else breakfasty. I'm also a condiment girl... and will dip anything into condiment justs to able to eat more ofa sauce, dip or spread. So when I learned about Sabra's new "Spreads", I immediately thought- I'm taking hummus to the land of breakfast.
Sabra's Spreads have fresh ingredients and flavors, are better for you (with 75% less fat than mayo), AND come in a convenient squeeze bottle... which definitely added a fun element to the sandwich making process. And of course, all 3 flavors taste delicious so it's really a win-win all the way around.
The good Lord only knows how many different types of breakfast sandwiches I've had over the years, but I can't say I've had one with hummus, until now. Shame on me. Sabra Spreads helped me take a classic breakfast sandwich to a whole new level. The savory experience is out of this world... especially when paired with bacon, peppery arugula and a runny egg yolk.
This sandwich would also be delish with turkey bacon, spinach or tomato just to name a few... there are so many options. BUT I can personally attest to the profound flavor combo of bacon + greens + egg + Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Sabra Spread.
KISS Bacon Egg & Arugula Sandwich (Featuring Sabra Spreads)
Time: 15 minutes
4 slices whole wheat bread
1 cup fresh arugula
2 slices bacon, cut in half
2 large eggs
4 Tbsp Sea Salt & Black Pepper Sabra Spread
1.) Cook bacon with your method of choice (I use a bacon tray in the microwave, but in the oven or skillet work great too!)
2.) Toast bread in toaster or toaster oven.
3.) While bread is toasting, fry 2 eggs in a skillet over medium.
4.) Lay the 4 pieces of toasted bread flat, squeeze about a tablespoon of Sea Salt & Black Pepper Sabra Spread on each bottom slice of bread, put 1/2 cup of arugula on top of Sabra Spread, followed by one more tablespoon.
5.) Place bacon slices on top of arugula followed by the egg and top piece of bread. Press down firmly and cut each sandwich into 2 halves.
6.) Enjoy and try not to be disappointed you hadn't made this breakfast sandwich before now.
Welcome to KISS in the Kitchen! I'm Shannon, and my dad always told me "Keep it simple, Shannon". And that's what you'll find here- simple recipes and simple ideas to help you get healthier and happier.