Julie Green and Keen: healthy snacks
Showing posts with label healthy snacks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healthy snacks. Show all posts
It is so important to keep my kids stomachs from growling, especially while they are at school learning.  Today Liam and Hannah helped me make some granola bars for them to keep in their backpacks and pack in lunches.  Making granola bars is a fun and easy way to make sure there are good nutrients to keep your kids focused all day long.

Here are three easy granola bars that we made today.  I promise, they are kid friendly!

Chocolate Brownie Granola Bars

Ingredients-
•    1 ½ cup rolled outs
•    1 cup chopped nuts
•    1 cup walnuts- food processed into small pieces
•    2 cups pitted dates
•    ¾ cup cocoa powder
•    ¼ cup natural peanut butter
•    ¼ cup agave nectar

Instructions-
•    Use a food processor and process walnuts until they are in small pieces, add the cocoa powder and process to combine together.  Remove and set aside.
•    Process dates until they are small chucks and have a dough like consistency then add the walnut and cocoa mixture and process.
•    In a large mixing bowl, empty the mixture and add the oats and nuts and stir to combine thoroughly.
•    In a small skillet warm the agave nectar and peanut butter on medium heat until it is pourable and pour over the mixture.  Mix thoroughly, I like to use my hands.
•    Spread in a lined small pan to your desired thickness and press down to compact.  Freeze for about 15-20 minutes then chop into bars. 
•    Store in the freezer or fridge.  Enjoy your brownie granola bars!

Easy Peanut Butter Pretzel and M&M Granola Bars

Ingredients-
•    2 cups old fashioned oats
•    1 cup rice krispies
•    ½ cup pretzels, chopped
•    ¼ cup mini M&M’s
•    4 tbsp. butter
•    ¼ cup honey
•    ¼ cup peanut butter
•    ¼ cup brown sugar
•    1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions-
•    Mix the oats, rice krispies, pretzels, and mini M&M’s in a large bowl.
•    In a medium saucepan melt the butter, honey, peanut butter and brown sugar and bring to a boil then simmer on medium for about 2-3 minutes constantly stirring.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.  Pour the mixture over the oat mixture and stir together until everything is well combined.
•    Pour the mixture in an 8x8 inch lined pan and press and pack everything down.  Sprinkle extra M&M’s if desired and refrigerate for about 30 minutes, remove and cut.
•    Store in the fridge.  Enjoy!

Easy 30 Minute Granola Bars

Ingredients-
•    2 cups old fashioned oats
•    1 cup brown sugar
•    1 cup whole wheat flour
•    ½ tsp. baking soda
•    ½ tsp. baking powder
•    1 tsp. cinnamon
•    1 tsp. salt
•    1 tsp. vanilla
•    ½ cup honey
•    Any dried fruit or chocolate chips you might have on hand

Instructions-
•    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
•    Mix all the ingredients and press into a greased 11X13 pan.  It will be crumbly but press down really hard until a little resemblance of dough forms.  Bake for about 20 minutes until the edges are lightly browned.
•    Let cool and cut into bars.  Enjoy!

These are my “growling” fixes.  What are your favorite granola bars?

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

Homemade School Snacks

by on 5/10/2018
It is so important to keep my kids stomachs from growling, especially while they are at school learning.  Today Liam and Hannah helped me m...
Happy Super Bowl Sunday all you football fans out there!  :) Although I am not a football fan, my husband is quite the enthusiast and wanted to have “the guys” over for a Super Bowl party this evening.  Of course I am always up for cooking and having a little get together at our house.  My husband asked me to secretly make only vegetarian snacks for the guys then at the end of the night tell them.  I had to laugh a little bit, he wants to see if they notice and then surprise them.  Of course I am not going to say no to making yummy vegetarian “game day man snacks.”

Little do our unsuspecting victims know, the day associated with eating copious amounts of stereotypical “meaty” and “manly” food is going to be very different at our house.

At first you might think creating meatless Super Bowl Sunday snack menu would be difficult, but don’t fear, I have cracked the code.  Why not try surprising your guests and have vegetarian snacks?  Here is what we have made-

Oven-Roasted Spicy Potato Wedges

Ingredients-
•    6 russet potatoes, cut into wedges
•    ½ cup olive oil
•    1 tsp. paprika
•    ½ tsp. garlic powder
•    ¼ - ½ tsp. cayenne pepper, depending on your spicy taste
•    Salt and ground pepper
Instructions-
•    Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. 
•    On a foil lined baking sheet toss the potatoes with the oil, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.  Spread evenly on the sheet and roast for about 25-30 minutes turning once until they are golden brown.  Enjoy!

Not so Pigs in a Blanket

Ingredients-
•    Cheddar Cheese
•    Vegetarian “hot dogs,” your preference, I chose Field Roast
•    Crescent rolls, your preference again
Instructions-
•    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil
•    Roll out the crescents and begin wrapping your pigs in the blankets.  I sliced the hot dogs into quarters, topped with the cheese and rolled them in triangle crescents.
•    Bake for about 15 minutes until lightly browned and enjoy!

Mini Nacho Pizzas

Ingredients-
•    4 English muffins, halved
•    ½ cup pepper jack cheese, or cheddar
•    ½ cup roasted tomato salsa
•    ½ cup refried beans
•    2 small jalapenos, thinly sliced
•    ½ cup onion, thinly sliced
•    4 tbsp. tomato, diced
•    Additional toppings if desired, I used olives
Instructions-
•    Preheat oven to about 350 degrees F.
•    Top the English muffin halves with salsa, then refried beans, and cheese.  Add the rest of the toppings and sprinkle some extra cheese on top.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Let cool and add extra toppings if desired and enjoy!

What Super Bowl party would be complete without Taco Dip?

Ingredients-
•    1, 8 oz. package of softened cream cheese
•    1, 16 oz. container of nonfat sour cream
•    1 package taco seasoning mix
•    ¼ head iceberg lettuce, shredded
•    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
•    3 chopped tomatoes
•    1 green bell pepper, chopped
•    1 small can of black olives drained
Instructions-
•    Combine the cream cheese, sour cream and taco seasoning in a medium sized mixing bowl.  When thoroughly mixed and smooth, spread on about a 9-inch serving dish.  Top with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, pepper and olives.  Enjoy!

Jalapeño Poppers

Ingredients-
•    12 jalapeño peppers
•    8 oz. softened cream cheese
•    ½ tsp. kosher salt
•    Pepper to taste
Instructions-
•    Heat oven to broil and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil
•    Slice the jalapeños in a “T” shaped and open the flaps and scrape the inside to remove the seeds and ribs.
•    In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and salt, add pepper to taste and mix until smooth and combined.  Spoon the mixture into the jalapeño’s.  Place them on the baking sheet and broil for about 5 minutes, rotate the pan and broil until they begin to char.  Remove and let cool.  Enjoy!

I can’t wait for the guys to be shocked that we have delicious snacks for the game but it is all vegetarian!
Have a happy Super Bowl,

Julie

Super Bowl Snack Time

by on 2/05/2017
Happy Super Bowl Sunday all you football fans out there!  :) Although I am not a football fan, my husband is quite the enthusiast and wante...
Occasionally I suffer from migraines when I’m stressed or don’t get enough sleep; today has been one of those unfortunate days.  I am not one to immediately turn to pills to cure something that might have a more natural from.  I was searching the internet and found several people talking about how magnesium can help with migraines.  Although it is not a definite cure, I was up for it.

I read the many people who suffer from migraines have low levels of magnesium which is an essential nutrient for many of our body’s functions.  By no means am I a nutritionist or doctor, but I read with a specific ratio of magnesium and calcium there is a way to reduce the frequency of migraines.  Instead of trying to concoct a formula I turned to foods that are naturally high in magnesium like:  almonds, cashews, dates, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, dark chocolate…and the list goes on.


Although that list of foods high in magnesium sounds great, I thought I could one up just eating the nuts or seeds plain.  I modified one of my recipes to incorporate magnesium rich ingredients into yummy no-bake bites.  Here is what I came up with:


Ingredients-
1 cup of seeds, nuts, or bran…what have you prefer or have at home
¼ cup of dates
2 tbsp. tahini
2 tbsp. molasses
2 tbsp. cocoa powder

Instructions-
Put the 1 cup of preferred seed, nut and/or bran into a food processor and process until it is the texture of sand.  Put the processed mixture into a bowl and set aside.
Place the dates into the processor and pulse until chopped.  Add tahini, molasses, and seed or nut mixture and process until well mixed.  (It should have a consistency to make a ball out of the blend, if not add more molasses or tahini)
Make little bite sized balls with your hands and roll in cocoa powder.  Enjoy your magnesium packed power bite sized ball.

I think they actually taste really good and have migraine fighting foods that hopefully will help my migraines from coming again.

Do you have a natural remedy to fight migraines? I would love to find out!

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

Magnesium for Migraines?

by on 12/23/2016
Occasionally I suffer from migraines when I’m stressed or don’t get enough sleep; today has been one of those unfortunate days.  I am not ...
We all know that there are certain foods that are better for parts of your body and your mental and emotional health.  I swear that a good breakfast can keep my kids going all morning and keep them attentive.  But there are some foods that are even better than others to keep your energy and brain power.  Have two growing children has made me very interested in these kinds of foods.

I always try keeping up to date on latest findings and research about what is best for my kids and my husband and I.  I found a few really interesting articles about foods that fuel brain power and memory.  These foods are good for our entire family and can keep us healthy.  I believe it is important to know what is good for you and take it into your own hands. 






Here are my findings and knowledge on “brain power food”:

•    Almond Butter can help find memory loss because of their high content of vitamin E, which has been found to help reduce the risk of cognitive impairment.  Almond butter has three times as much vitamin E than ordinary peanut butter.  Why not make an easy switch to a healthier and better for you nut spread.

•    Leafy Greens like spinach or broccoli packed with vitamin K can help improve verbal memory and the ability to understand and remember verbal instructions.  Vitamin K is good for both my husband, our children, and myself.  Leafy greens are also high in tandem that works with vitamin B12 that helps cognitive function in older adults. 

•    Blueberries are the ultimate power food.  The flavonoids in them are shown to help spatial memory and the antioxidants reduce inflammation that helps with long term memory and brain health.  There are so many powers that blueberries have it is hard to name them all.

•    Green Tea helps improve brain plasticity making it easier to learn and retain information. 

•    Tomatoes are packed with carotenoids that help improve cognition and memory over long periods of time.  Tomatoes also have lycopene found in the skin that helps protect against depression-causing inflammation.

I hope to continue eating these foods and incorporate them a little more in my life.  There are huge lists foods that help brain power and cognitive health but these were some of my favorite foods. 

What are your “go to” brain boosting foods?

Go Green and Go Keen,

Julie
healing foods
I believe that foods can have a healing power on the body.  Becoming vegetarian has made me look at food differently and has changed my body for the better.  Instead of turning to medicine for minor aliments like muscle pain, headaches, sore throats or colds, I try finding a food or herb alternative to make the pain diminish.

Whether you are fighting stress, fatigue, or trying to boost your immune system I believe that a lifestyle change and healthy eating can help immensely.  Eating fresh fruits and vegetables help the body perform to the fullest potential and stay healthy.

Here are some of the foods that can help fight minor ailments-

•    Bananas are good for fighting stress and anxiety.  They provide a little bit of a sugar boost and have 30% of your day’s vitamin B6 that helps your brain produce mellowing serotonin to help calming down.

banana healing food

•    Raisins help maintain cardiovascular health and bringing down blood pressure.  They contain fiber and potassium that are both good for the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.

•    Kidney stones are something no one wants to deal with.  Apricots help prevent then because of the fiber, low sodium, and potassium help keep minerals from accumulating in the urine and from forming calcium stones. 

•    Ginger tea can help cure nausea from motion sickness.  The oils and compounds in ginger help to get rid of nausea without the side effects of other prescription drugs.

•    It is a little strange but I swear by buckwheat honey as a cure to coughing.  2 teaspoons of the thick, dark brown honey and your coughing will stop.  I find it so much more effective than cough syrup.  And the honey has antioxidants and other properties that can soothe the throat.

•    Ladies you know yeast infections are not fun.  By adding garlic to sauces, dressings, and other dishes you can help lowing the risk of getting them.  Garlic contains oils that inhibit the growth of a certain fungus that causes the unpleased symptoms of a yeast infection.


•    Chamomile tea can make heartburn disappear.  Although it may take a few cups of tea to fully ease the digestive culprit, who doesn’t like sipping tea all day?

•    Headache? Cure that with some potatoes!  The carbs in potatoes can ease tension headaches by raising serotonin levels and nixing that pesky thing.

There are many other foods that help diminish or prevent ailments from happening.  These are just some of the foods I eat frequently with more than just a nutritional value.  Foods can not only change your body, but can also help your mind fight off negativity.


Go green and stay keen,

Julie

 


Healing foods

by on 10/28/2015
I believe that foods can have a healing power on the body.  Becoming vegetarian has made me look at food differently and has changed my ...