Tasty Tuesday: Thanksgiving Sides & Desserts

thanksgivingsides

With Thanksgiving just next week, many of us are sitting down to plan the menu or trying to decide what kind of dish we’ll bring to share at the family get together. Holidays can be tricky when it comes to clean eating because a lot of dishes are loaded with butter, oil, and sugar. It’s also easy to fill our plates and not even realize how many calories we just ate! Thankfully, with just a few simple ingredient swaps, we’ll can find many delicious side dishes and desserts to offer our family and guests next week.

Thanksgiving Sides

Maple and Turkey Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts

Total Time: 50 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: 35 min.
Yield: 6 servings, 4 Brussels sprouts each

Ingredients:
Aluminum foil
1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
24 medium brussels sprouts
12 slices nitrite-free turkey bacon, cut in half
24 wooden toothpicks, soaked in water
½ tsp. ground black pepper

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
2. Line large baking sheet with foil. Set aside.
3. Combine maple syrup and vinegar in a small bowl; mix well. Set aside.
4. Wrap each brussels sprout tightly with half slice of bacon. Secure with a toothpick.
5. Arrange brussels sprouts on prepared baking sheet so that they are not touching.
6. Brush bacon with maple syrup mixture. Sprinkle with pepper.
7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until brussels sprouts are tender crisp and bacon is crisp.
8. Remove toothpicks before serving.

10 more healthy sides found here

healthy-thanksgiving-sides

Go HERE for 10 healthier Thanksgiving dessert ideas like

  • Pumpkin Pie w/ a whole wheat crust
  • Pecan and Sweet Potato Pie
  • Pumpkin Coconut Custard
  • Pumpkin Cookies
  • Pumpkin Bread
  • Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Cups
  • Apple Crisp
  • Slow Cooker Baked Apples
  • Apple Raisin Cake

And finally, take a peak at this ULTIMATE HEALTHY THANKSGIVING GUIDE which will give you even more ideas for veggies, desserts, sauces, potato options, soups, whole grains, how to cook and carve your turkey, what to do with leftovers and more!

Tasty Tuesday: Caramel Sauce

caramel-sauce

There’s just something about autumn that demands we eat apples with caramel. It’s a fun treat to share with family, friends, and neighbors, and caramel can be used in so many ways! Use it to drizzle over fruit, pancakes, other desserts, or mix it with your protein or shakeology shake!

I found two caramel sauce recipes and I just couldn’t decide which one I liked better, so I’m sharing both with you! Each recipe is dairy, sugar, and gluten free. It’s a clean eating recipe that still gives you the traditional caramel flavor!

Coconut Caramel Sauce:

Ingredients

Directions

1. Place coconut sugar, coconut cream and salt in a small sauce  pan. Heat slowly while stirring to dissolve the coconut sugar.

2. Bring mixture to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes. The sauce will thicken further as it cools.

Caramel Sauce Ice Cream Topping
3. To test, take the saucepan off the heat. Spread a little sauce on a saucer (or similar) and place in the freezer for a few minutes. If the caramel doesn’t thicken (enough), simmer the sauce for a little longer.

4. Stir vanilla extract into finished caramel sauce.

Notes
I used the soft, paste-like kind of palm sugar, that you’ll find in Asia. Granulated coconut sugar works as well, but will produce a darker caramel sauce.
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (you can use either reduced fat or full fat – if you’re in the US you’ll want to use “premium” coconut milk that has as little ingredients as possible – ours just had coconut and water)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • A pinch of salt
  1. Place all of your ingredients into a medium to large non-stick saucepan over a medium-high heat.
  2. Stir to combine all ingredients and bring caramel to the boil.
  3. Keep cooking your caramel until it thickens and darkens, stirring occasionally.
  4. Once your caramel has thickened, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before serving or storing in a clean container or jar.
  5. The caramel will stay fresh in the fridge for around a week, but it will harden once cooled. To warm your caramel for serving, simply put a couple of spoonfuls of the caramel into a small microwave safe dish and heat for ~10 seconds or heat on the stove.

Don’t forget to check out the recipe index on  my page to find more of my favorite clean eating foods!

Tasty Tuesday: Pumpkin Spice & Everything Nice

pumpkin spice

I’m a couple days early posting this, but I know how some of you LOVE your pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING!! Nothing gets me in the mood for fall like the smell of pumpkin, cinnamon, and cloves baking in my kitchen. However, many recipes out there call for tons of added sugar and oil and are not very healthy at all. Who says your pumpkin recipes can’t be healthy AND taste good?! Some of the recipes I found aren’t just baked goods either. They’re things like hummus and salad dressing–I think it’s fun to branch out with flavors and see what new yummy favorites I can find.

Pumpkin recipes

Let’s start with an old favorite for many of you PUMPKIN COOKIES!

Pumpkin Cookiesrec30

Total Time: 20 min.
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time: 15 min.
Yield: 12 servings, 2 cookies each

Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2/3 cup almond flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1¼ cups pumpkin puree
⅓ cup maple syrup
¼ cup chopped raw pecans (optional)
24 pecan halves

Preparation:
1. Preheat oven for 350° F.
2. Lightly coat two baking sheets with spray. Set aside.
3. Combine oats, almond flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt in a medium bowl; mix well. Set aside.
4. Combine egg, pumpkin, and maple syrup in a large bowl; mix well.
5. Add flour mixture and chopped pecans to pumpkin mixture; mix until blended.
6. Drop by rounded Tbsp. onto prepared baking sheet; flatten cookies with a spatula. Top each cookie with a pecan half.
7. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes or until firm.

Fall Harvest Salad with Pumpkin Goddess Dressing

Ingredients8022440732_f11d580af4_o
  • For the Pumpkin Goddess Dressing:
  • 1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ cup sour cream or plain Greek-style yogurt
  • ⅓ cup pure pumpkin puree (I used the canned version)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (or about ¼ – ½ teaspoon garlic powder)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • For the Salad:
  • 1 acorn squash, plus olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt for roasting*
  • 1 apple, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup toasted pecans
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 pkg. (5-6 ounces) mixed salad greens (you can use any blend that you prefer, but I like a mix that includes broccoli slaw, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and chicory)
Instructions
  1. For the dressing: Place all ingredients in a blender and combine. Chill until ready to use.
  2. To roast the acorn squash: preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Slice squash lengthwise, remove seeds, and slice horizontally into ½-inch thick rounds. Place sliced squash in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon and salt, to taste. Toss squash to coat.
  4. Bake squash at 400 degree F for approximately 20 minutes (or until tender and caramelized), flipping halfway through.
  5. Once the squash has cooled, cut it into bite-sized pieces and place it in a large salad bowl with the remaining ingredients. Add Pumpkin Goddess dressing and toss gently. Serve immediately.

Notes*can substitute with diced roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash

Ingredients

pumpkin-blondies-image
Photo Via
  • 3/4 Cup Creamy almond butter
  • 3 Tbsp Pure maple syrup
  • 2/3 Cup Pure canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 Tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 Tbsp Coconut flour, sifted (31g) *
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tbsp Pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 Tbsp Almonds, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line the bottom of an 8×8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper and spray the sides generously with coconut oil spray. **
  2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl,*** melt the almond butter with the maple syrup in the microwave until the almond butter is creamy, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the pumpkin into the mixture and beat with an electric hand mixer until well combined, scraping the sides down as necessary.
  4. Beat the coconut sugar, vanilla and apple cider vinegar into the almond butter mixture until well combined.
  5. Add the sifted coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice into the mixture and stir until smooth and well combined. Make sure you scrape all the flour off the sides of the bowl into the mixture.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out evenly. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts. Let the batter stand for 5 minutes before baking, to allow the coconut flour to begin absorbing the moisture.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the edges are crisp, about 50-55 minutes. Let cool COMPLETELY before cutting into bars and DEVOURING. ****

Notes: Gluten free baking can be tricky, so I highly recommend measuring your flour to make sure you get perfect results.
*These bars are very moist and dense and you need to get them out of the pan carefully. If you want them to be super easy, you can leave an overhang of parchment paper, so you can lift them out of the pan to cut once they are cooled.
*** Don’t like microwaves? You can melt them together on the stove too!
**** Since these brownies and dense, you need to cook them low and slow. Resist the urge to check them before the time is up, or they will deflate. Also, make sure they are TOTALLY cooled before cutting. If you want them to be a little firmer, then let them completely cool in the refrigerator.
Store blondies in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Pumpkin Hummus

Ingredients:hummus-meal-chickpeas-paste-seeds-grains-6

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 & ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice {about 1 large lemon}
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 {15 oz.} can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • Handful of pepitas {optional}

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients, except pepitas, in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Top with pepitas
  3. Serve with pita chips or vegetables.

Flourless Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients5025148597_5efded775c_b

  • 2 and 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons almond butter*
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and then grease or line a muffin tin for 12 muffins.
  2. Place of all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips into a blender or a food processor and blend for about 30 seconds, or until smooth.
  3. Using a spoon, gently stir the chocolate chips into the batter. Pour the batter into the muffin tin, filling each about 3/4th of the way full. Bake in the oven for 22 minutes, until light golden brown.
  4. Allow to to cool for at least 10-15 minutes before stuffing in your face.

Notes *can also use 3T melted coconut oil *These muffins keep best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

For EVEN MORE healthy pumpkin recipes CLICK HERE for a MEGA recipe index!

 

 

Tasty Tuesday: DIY Energy Bites

Energy bites are so easy to make and are so good for you! They provide a pop of protein, fiber and healthy fats that help curb hunger pangs, especially when we’re craving junk food. They are quick and convenient and once you learn the basics to making these energy bites, the possibilities for flavor combinations is endless! Some of my favorite recipes linked below, but don’t be afraid to experiment with your own!

So first, the 5 Staples of an Energy Bite:

EnergyBites

  • The nut butter helps hold the energy bite together, plus gives you some protein & healthy fats. Use about 1/2 Cup
  • Your protein powder also provides protein, and if you’re using shakeology as your powder, you’ll also get all the other nutritional super-foods packed in there too. The powder also helps give you some flavor. Vanilla and Chocolate are common flavors used in energy bites, but don’t be afraid to use other flavors as well! Use about 2 scoops
  • Use one or more of the extras listed. Vanilla and Cinnamon are also great choices for some added flavor! Use 1/2 to 1 tsp for those, and with others, like the oats, try about 1 cup.
  • Adding seeds provides even more nutrition! Sprinkle these in to taste
  • Sweeten up your energy bite with any of the natural sweeteners on the list.Use about 1/4 cup, or to taste.

Most recipes have you mix ingredients, form into bite sized balls, and chill before eating. These can be kept in Tupperware for about a week in the fridge–which makes it super easy to grab and go when you need that pick me up. These are also a kid favorite as after school snacks or some added nutrition in the morning before heading out the door.

Try these Energy Bite Recipes–and if you don’t have some of the ingredients, try substituting some of the other ones mention above:

Recipe1.energyballs

Lemon & Coconut Bliss Ballslemon-and-coconut-bliss-balls

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded coconut + extra
  • ½ cup almonds
  • 2-3 tbsp honey or rice malt syrup (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Method:

  • Place all ingredients into the food processor and blend for 1 minute.
  • Roll into small balls
  • Roll in extra coconut.
  • Place on a lined tray and chill in the fridge until firm.

Makes approx 15 balls..

Ingredients:Carrot-Cake-Energy-Balls-2
1½ scoops Vanilla Shakeology
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
⅓ cup all-natural smooth almond butter
4 Medjool dates, coarsely chopped
¼ cup raw walnut pieces
¾ cup shredded carrots
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground ginger

Preparation:
1. Combine Shakeology, oats, almond butter, and dates in food processor; pulse until dates are incorporated.
2. Add walnuts, carrots, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger; pulse until just blended.
3. Roll into fifteen balls, about 1-inch in diameter each.

Total Time: 15 min.
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 15 servings, 1 ball each

Ingredients:
1½ scoops Vanilla Shakeology
½ cup almond flour
½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup all-natural almond butter
1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup sliced raw almonds

Preparation (Click here for step-by-step photos!):
1. Combine Shakeology, almond flour, and oats in a medium bowl; mix well.
2. Add almond butter and almond milk; mix well with a spatula or clean hands until it forms a thick batter.
3. Roll mixture into fifteen balls, each about 1-inch in size.
4. Roll balls in almonds.

 

Tasty Tuesday: Going Bananas over these clean eating recipes

bananas

Have some bananas lying around? Don’t let them go to waste! Try these delicious, clean-eating recipes that use bananas for a healthy treat.

Bananas are naturally fat and cholesterol free. Use mashed bananas to substitute for some or all of the butter or oil when making cookies, for example, for a healthier treat. Bananas are known for their high potassium content, with over 400 mg potassium in a single medium-size banana. According to Colorado State University Extension, potassium is necessary for good nerve and muscle function as well as for maintaining a healthy balance of fluids in the body. The potassium in bananas can help prevent muscle cramps after exercise. Bananas also have Vitamin C, Vitamin B-6, Manganese, and Fiber. (source)

So why no banana bread? An average slice of banana bread has 196 calories and 33g of carbs. This first recipe is way to still get than banana bread goodness with less calories and carbs: a serving a cinnamon bananas has only 73 calories and only 19g of carbs.

Recipe2.CinnamonBananas

Next up, try this Elvis Shake for a refreshing drink:

  • 2 large bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (can use almond, soy, or coconut milk)
  • 6 tablespoons nut butter (either peanut or almond)
  • 2 table spoons honey
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cups crushed ice cubes

Place ingredients into blender and pulse until smooth. Serve immediately.

avacadopudding

Need a chocolate fix? Number 3 on the list is a childhood favorite: Chocolate-Avocado Pudding

pancakes-party-children-fun-recipe-baking-cooking

No. 4: 2 Ingredient Flour-less Pancakes

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)

mash eggs & banana (and cinnamon)  together and fry them like regular pancakes! Serve with fresh fruit

No 5: Try these energy bites for an afternoon pick me up! I love when I can “clean cheat” a snack that tastes like a treat!

Recipe1.energyballs

 

 

 

Tasty Tuesday:Chocolate-Avocado Pudding

avacadopudding

Does anyone else get freaked out by foods that don’t seem to expire? Pudding is one of those store bought foods that has so many added and processed ingredients in it that it seems to have an eternal shelf life (seriously, my friend opened a package from her parent’s food storage room that “expired” in the 90’s and it looked exactly the same as a new package–not cool!) Unfortunately, pudding is a food that kids love and beg for when we’re at the store. Heck, even some adults love the creamy texture and sweet flavor.

I was able to find a clean eating version of this popular snack and it’s amazing! So many good for you ingredients and this is one of those fun recipes that kids can help with.

Chocolate-Avocado Pudding

  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions

  1. place avocados, bananas, and honey into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth
  2. add vanilla extract and unsweetened cocoa powder to avocado mixture and continue blending until well combined
  3. divide pudding into 4 single serve cups and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. These are best served very cold.

 

Tasty Tuesday: Guilt Free Frozen Treats

 

frozentreats

The days are getting hotter around here and sometimes a frozen treat just sounds so good! Keep cool this summer with these guilt-free frozen “ice cream” ideas. Both are dairy free and come together in less than 15 minutes. And the process of watching the ingredients turn into “ice cream” is so magical, your kids will love helping you prepare this too!

2 Ingredient Dole Whip:

 

1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or you can use almond milk)

1 Cup frozen pineapple

Place ingredients in food processor (or a blender works if you don’t have one) and blend until you’ve reached your desired consistency.. Eat immediately or put in freezer for later. Makes 2 servings

4 Ingredient Strawberry-Banana Ice Cream

2 bananas frozen in slices

1/2 cup strawberries

1 and 1/4 tsp Vanilla

1/4 cup almond or coconut milk

Place all ingredients in food processor (or blender) and blend until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Eat immediately or put in freezer for later. Garnish with fresh strawberries if desired. Makes 4 servings

IMG_6871