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Back to School Clean Eating Cookies Made Just About Any Way You Like!

allergy cookies

It’s that time of year again for brown bag lunches and busy fall schedules. To keep the kids healthy AND keep their sweet tooth happy, try these super simple, super clean cookies. What we love about these cookies is that they are very forgiving and flexible in terms of the goodies you add in at the end.

Consider adding almond butter, cocoa powder, protein powder, chopped almonds, canned pumpkin, extra cinnamon…the sky’s the limit!

healthy cookie ingredients

The mashed bananas as the base is a great way to keep the cookies moist while providing a stable base packed with nutrition and energy. Adding oats provides essential fiber to keep little bellies full.
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Our 13 Favorite Chocolate Covered Recipes to Indulge in on National Chocolate Day

Fellow choco-holics, today is our day. Though other days may masquerade as a Chocolate Day of some sort, today, July 7, is in fact Chocolate Day. Whether your preference is dark, milk or something in between, I think we can all appreciate a day dedicated to this delicious, and healthy (when eaten in moderation) treat.

chocolate heart

We don’t need to remind you about the benefits of enjoying a few bites of chocolate, especially dark chocolate which is full of antioxidants. It’s not just the finished product that’s good for you either. Raw cacao, the beans from which chocolate is made, is one of the best kept nutrition secrets.

If you’re looking to satisfy a chocolate craving on this holiday, or really any day, we’ve got the perfect line-up of recipes that will allow you to enjoy the chocolaty goodness without feeling like you’ve completely overindulged.

smores cupcake

S’more Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

S’mores are good, cupcakes are good, and both are made even better when combined into one finger-licking delicious treat! Topped with a simple chocolate cream cheese frosting, these cupcakes will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth.

chocolate peppermint donuts

Double Chocolate Peppermint Donuts
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The More the Berrier with Summery Blueberry Muffin Tops

The best part of the pizza? That very first bite of the pointy triangle end.

The best part of a cinnamon roll? The ooey-gooiest center.

The best part of the muffin? The top. Duh!

blueberry muffin tops

My completely made up statistic that 99.5 percent of people would rather eat the top of the muffin exclusively, rather than what a friend of mine calls “the stump,” is the reason an entire pan has been created to let you accomplish such baked good sorcery. There’s no waste; just bake the part people actually want to eat!

I know it’s warming up outside and the last thing you want to think about doing is firing up the oven. But berries are in season! So, you kind of have to. Rules and what not.

blueberry muffin tops pan

Blueberries are one of those can’t-fail foods, at least from a mom perspective. I don’t care what my four-year-old’s mood is, what she is or isn’t liking that week, or where we are — blueberries always get a yes. They are one of the original super foods, so it’s a no brainer to add them to pancakes, salads, smoothies, or just devour a fist-full every chance you get. One of the few, rare “blue” foods that occur in nature, those juicy little beads of sweetness can stand on their own with a healthy dose of fiber, a bit of protein, potassium, vitamin c, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and a host of other good-for-you goodness.

blueberry muffins

So when I tell you this recipe calls for blueberries, do not be shy. Dump ‘em in! The more the berrier, right?

You’ll notice we don’t add any sugar to this recipe. A generous, drizzly pour of honey with some natural applesauce really take on the heavy responsibility of sweetening these muffins. It’s not a two-man job though, the lemon juice, vanilla yogurt, and of course the blueberries, all carry their own weight in that department, too.

honey and applesauce

However, just before baking, I do sprinkle the tops with just a pinch of raw turbinado sugar. This gives the muffin that glazy top that you’d ordinarily create with a streusel topping, but without gobs of butter and white sugar.

sugar topping muffins

I use half-and half all-purpose and whole wheat flours. This gives me the bulk of fiber in a better flour with the texture we’ve all become accustomed to with white flours. To make up the difference, I add just a bit of uncooked oats for more fiber and a denser bite.

baking muffin tops

After it’s all whisked and folded together, scoop that batter into a pre-formed muffin top pan. Roughly 20 minutes later, you’ll have a pile of muffin tops that are just jam-packed with blueberries! You’ll want to save them all for yourself, but they’re so darn cute that sharing will seem like a reasonable option, too.

Blueberry Muffin Tops
makes 6

INGREDIENTSmuffin tops recipe

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp honey
1 egg
1/4 cup natural applesauce
2 Tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz. vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp. raw turbinado sugar, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl.

3. In a second bowl, beat the egg with the other wet ingredients.

4. Fold the wet ingredients in to the dry, then gently add the blueberries.

5. Lightly mist the pan with cooking spray, then add the batter. If you choose, sprinkle the tops with raw turbinado sugar.

6. Bake about 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

ALSO TRY THIS!

Turkey Burger Sliders with Blueberry Balsamic Reduction

S’More Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake Muffins Recipe is In Season!

 

Recipe by Brandi Koskie; photos by Kacy Meinecke

 



Work it Off: 3 Ways to Burn off the 350 Calories in a Chocolate Croissant

This past fall I noticed a big flaw in my diet: When I wrote from the comfort of a coffee shop I tended to treat myself to baked goods. When I worked from home I snacked on whatever was available, which was usually fruit or nuts. Oops!

choc croissant

Of course, my coffee shop routine didn’t start out this way. At first I ate a chocolate croissant every few outings, but before long this turned into an each and every time splurge. (Clearly I didn’t read this article on choosing healthy snacks at a coffee shop!) So I changed course and started working from home more. But after several months of this new routine I decided that I needed a change of scenery.

This past week I returned to my favorite coffee shop and, for old times sake, ordered my favorite baked good of all, a chocolate croissant. I love the flaky pastry, the gooey chocolate… the way I can drag it out to last a good part of an hour.

I do not love the 350 calories in each one.

What are some ways I could have burned off these extra 350 calories?
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Celebrate Spring with a Batch of Carrot Cake Muffins

Let’s be honest, muffins are just breakfast-approved cupcakes. But why does dessert get to have all of the fun? There’s really not an answer so we made one up in the form of a wholesome carrot cake muffin for breakfast. Trust us on this one.

I don’t even like carrot cake, and it was all I good do to eat just one of these. So, maybe I do, in fact, like carrot cake?

carrot cake muffins

With spring’s arrival, it’s hard not to lunge head-first in to the freshest produce around. Carrots are an early arrival, ready for picking in April and throughout the summer months. Whether brunching, celebrating Easter, Mother’s Day, or just looking for a better weekday breakfast, these muffins are a bright addition to your menu!

carrot cake pancake ingredients
This recipe has all the components of a good muffin recipe and a good cupcake recipe and you get to have it at breakfast without any awkward self-doubt. Wholesome carrots, sweet pineapple, and warm vanilla combine with whole wheat flour to make a pretty darn healthy muffin.
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