Healthier Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

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My grandma always made these Chocolate/Peanut Butter treats at Christmas time when I was growing up, and they are actually pretty simple to “healthify” to remove a lot of the refined sugar and carbs!

I’ve given these Healthier Chocolate Peanut Butter Buckeye Balls for Christmas gifts the past few years, and everyone ends up raving over them, even after I tell them they’re pretty healthy! I think they will be a good Valentine’s treat too, so I’m pulling out the recipe and wanted to share it with you all!

WARNING: They are addictive! Even when I try to hide them in the back of the freezer, they disappear within a week. (Mainly by my own doing! Life is all about balance right?) You really can’t get much better than chocolate and peanut butter!

HEALTHIER CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BALLS
Yield: 15 balls

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup natural smooth peanut butter (just peanuts & salt)
4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 cup whole wheat or Gluten Free brown rice flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl, stir peanut butter and maple syrup until it thickens up.
  2. Add salt, then stir in flour ¼ cup at a time to reach a doughy texture that isn’t too sticky to roll. (Add a bit of water if it’s too crumbly!)
  3. Shape into small balls and place onto baking sheet covered with wax or parchment paper.
  4. In a small pot, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil over low heat stirring frequently.
  5. Once melted, remove chocolate from heat and dip the balls using a fork or toothpick. Tap off excess chocolate into the pan.
  6. Put finished buckeye balls in the freezer for 15 minutes until firm.
  7. If you have any left, store in the freezer or refrigerator!

PS Did you know Quinoa is a SUPERFOOD? It’s a grain that’s packed with protein, and the flour is perfect in this recipe. Want more SUPERFOOD SWEETS &  TREATS ideas? Just comment below! 

Transformation – Allyson E.

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Small steps every day add up over time….it’s all about progress, not perfection!

My friend Allyson is being super gracious and allowing me to share a piece of her journey…in hopes that it will inspire other busy mamas that they can take back their health & energy too 💃💕😍

Here are her thoughts: 🎄”The ugly sweater pic on the right is December 2015 when I first started out by just adding a plant-based superfood smoothie into my day.

Then in Sept 2016 I joined a healthier lifestyle group and incorporated a healthier meal plan and some exercise at home. 💕 Pic on the left is November 2016 😊

I have lost 30 lbs. in 11 months, I’m super excited and this *lifestyle* approach works better than any diet! 🎉 

This is best thing I’ve done for my health ever! 💃💃💃 I feel like I am in control of my future, and my health and weight goals are completely within reach if I follow this lifestyle. 🙌”

Allyson your honesty, humor and dedication to living a BALANCED healthy life (not just for yourself but for your girls too) are just a few of the many reasons your story is so amazing 💕 I’m so glad God has brought us together (via the wonders of the internet of all places lol!! 😂)

Need a solid support system to get started on your journey? Reach me via the CONTACT form and we can chat more! 

 

Healthier Broccoli Cheese Soup

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Panera Bread’s Broccoli Cheese soup used to be a WEEKLY obsession of mine…now that I’m trying to eat a little healthier and have realized Dairy doesn’t mix well with thyroid issues, I’ve been on the hunt for a healthier version that still tastes good! (Sounds impossible right?!)

I took several recipes and combine them into one, and I have to say even dairy fans seem to appreciate this soup! Plus you can pack a ton of hidden veggies in here, and adjust things based on your family’s tastes. The key is using Nutritional Yeast to get that cheesy-flavor, I like Bragg’s brand and get it from Amazon.com.

And this soup freezes much better than regular cheese soups that end to get all gloppy when thawed out (is gloppy a word?!)  So make extra for a busy day!

DAIRY FREE BROCCOLI CHEESE SOUP
Serves 6 (approx. 2 cups each)

INGREDIENTS:
4 cups of veggies cut into bite sized pieces (cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, onions, or a combo of these)
1 box low sodium organic chicken broth/stock
4 cups (about 1 head) broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
1 can chickpeas or northern white beans
3/4 cups plain almond or cashew milk, divided
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp. thyme or poultry seasoning
Salt & pepper to taste

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large pot cook 1/2 the carton of broth and the 4 cups of veggies until tender.
  2. While veggies are cooking, chop the broccoli.
  3. Once veggies are tender, blend together in a large blender (be careful with hot liquids!)  
  4. Back into your pot, add the veggie puree, remaining broth, broccoli, garlic & onion powder, thyme or poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Stir and cook covered for 7-10 mins, or until broccoli is tender.
  5. While soup is cooking, rinse and drain beans. Blend with 1/2 cup non-dairy milk.  Add more liquid if needed to achieve smooth texture.
  6. Add beans and additional 1/4 cup non-dairy milk to the soup once the broccoli is tender.
  7. Add 1/2 cup nutritional yeast and stir to combine.

21 Day Fix Equivalent: 1 green veggie, ½ yellow carb

What kind of soups do you crave as the weather gets colder? Is anyone in your house eating dairy free right now too? 

Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

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This soup is one of my favorites, because it’s fairly simple to make but has SUCH amazing flavor! Plus Bone Broth is SO nourishing, it’s great for energy, digestion and metabolism. If you want an easy Crock Pot recipe to make it from scratch, here’s the recipe I use. Or you can buy it prepackaged if you’re short on time!

I like to make a big double or triple batch of this Chicken Soup and freeze the extra for a busy day (just leave out the noodles and add them later after thawing it out)! We gotta save time wherever we can right? #busymomlife You can also sub rice for the noodles, or leave make it lower in carbs by leaving them both out and it’s still delish. (If you’re looking for more recipes, here is another one of our family’s fav soups)

EASY CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
Yield: 6 servings

INGREDIENTS:
2 large low-sodium Chicken Broths (32 oz each) OR 64 oz of Homemade Bone Broth
3 chicken breasts
3 medium carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp natural chicken bouillon powder
3 cups cooked whole wheat or brown rice/quinoa pasta
salt/pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

  1.  Add the onion, carrots, parsley, chicken, celery, garlic, olive oil, chicken broth, salt, pepper, chicken bouillon and italian seasoning to your crockpot. Cook on low for 7 hours or 4 hours on high.
  2. Remove chicken and either cut into pieces or shred with a fork. Add chicken back to the crockpot and cook for another 30 mins.
  3. Stir in cooked noodles and serve! (Adapted from: mistynana.com)

*When you’re in a rush, you can boil the chicken in water on the stove while you bring the remaining ingredients to a boil, then simmer. Shred the cooked, chicken then add to the rest of the soup and simmer for another 20-30 mins!

What’s your favorite comfort food, when it’s cold outside or you’re feeling under the weather? 

 

Transformation – Sarah L.

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Moms – What time of day is your energy the lowest?!
☕️ Morning
☀️ Afternoon
🌙 Evening

I was so excited when my friend Sarah said she is no longer having that dreaded AFTERNOON SLUMP!!! Because I know how life changing that can be as a busy mom 😊😊😊 She’s got two boys to keep up with, and her family recently moved cross-country for her husband’s ministry job. So she needs all the energy she can get 💕

Sarah’s also lost 25 lbs. 😍 And her immune system and mood are MUCH better, just from following a basic meal plan and adding a little exercise and superfoods into her day 🎉 Here’s what she says has helped her make this lifestyle shift 👉“I have a coach to hold me accountable and check in on me… that cares about my choices. And I have a basic plan to follow…I love that I am not eliminating whole food groups, so I can make meals that my whole family will enjoy 🍳🍝 I just watch my own portions!”

Sarah, I’m so proud of all the progress you’ve made, you are totally ROCKING this new lifestyle lady 🙌💕 #progressnotperfection #liveyourbestlife #busymamasunite #faithoverfear

Quick Ranch Veggies

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This recipe is SO easy, but good enough to serve for a holiday dinner. And if your kids love Ranch, they might just eat broccoli this way!

The past few years we’ve been trying to incorporate some healthier options into our holiday meals (along with the ham, potatoes, pies, and all the other usual goodies, because this time of year it’s all about balance, not deprivation).

And for this healthier Ranch flavor you just need some spices from your cabinet, not the chemical-laden Ranch Seasoning Packet that I used in all my recipes before I realized I could make it at home!

What types of veggies do you typically serve up for the holidays?
This and Cranberry Apple Pecan salad are two of my favorites! (Let me know if you want that recipe too!)

RANCH VEGGIES
Yield: 4 Servings (1 cup each)

INGREDIENTS:
4 cups frozen veggies (I like the California Blend)
4 tsp olive oil or melted coconut (plus a little extra to coat baking dish)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp dried onion flakes
1½ Tbsp dried parsley
1½ tsp dried dill
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried chives
1/8 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Grease baking dish with extra oil, then add in frozen veggies.
  3.  Drizzle with 4 tsp oil and sprinkle with seasonings.
  4. Toss to coat.
  5. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. Stir once halfway through!

No Bake Cookie Energy Bites

No Bake Energy Bites

We made some of these🍪 No Bake Cookie Energy Bites 🍪the other day to get more healthy fats in AND ward off the cookie cravings… instead of eating the sugar-laden granola bars we used to rely on.

😍MOMWIN: Some actually made it to the freezer to save for later without getting eaten 😉 Between my 3 year old, my husband and I they really don’t last long! I think because they taste like the No Bake Cookies we were used to eating back before trying to make our food choices a little healthier!

But eventually we just got sick and tired of being SICK and TIRED all the time, and figured we needed to find easier ways to get our health back under control as a busy family😊 And these cookies are full of healthy fats that keep our energy up, brains focused and metabolism going strong! 

I also have a Lemon Energy Bite recipe too if that’s more your style! Just comment below and I’ll get it to ya. 🍋🍋🍋

NO BAKE ENERGY BITES
Servings: 12 (two bites each)

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2/3 cup toasted unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup ground flax seed or wheat germ
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspooon cinnamon
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional!)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Use enough water to make the dough rollable but not sticky!
  2. Roll into balls about 3/4″ in diameter.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.What would your family like better, Peanut Butter or Lemon flavored Energy Bites?