Thursday, September 11, 2008

Healthy Treat Ideas

We all need something that we can indulge in. Treats make our lives more fun and interesting. But we don’t want to compromise our health on a regular basis either. It is great when we can eat treats that are also giving our body good nutrition.

So here are some of my favorites that also offer nutritional benefits:

Frozen fruit:

So simple and easy! Miles has just been enjoying some frozen pineapple. He says it must be made out of ice cream. LOL. I have to admit that I had to recheck the package because it tasted like it was laced in sugar. It was sooo yummy.

Another new one that I've been enjoying this year is frozen dark red cherries. We keep the frozen strawberries, triple berries, and blueberries from Costco on hand as well.

I had a friend whose kids called frozen fruit "little popsicles." I thought that was so cute. And it inspired me. I started giving my kids bowls of frozen blueberries for a snack instead of otter pops and other stuff I'd succumbed to. They loved it. It was Miles and Simone's favorite when they were babies.


Smoothies deserves its own post! There are so many good ones. It is a good way to get something sweet.


We love chocolate around here. In fact it was one of Miles's first words. Jared has a friend that used to bring us some Xocai chocolate all the time. It is kinda pricey, but we've done trades and been able to get it for a bargain. Dagoba is also a good one. I love to break off a thin piece and dip it peanut butter.

Chocolate has lots of antioxidants, and is actually pretty good for you. It is the waxes, sugar and fillers that isn't good for you.

Healthy Hot Cocoa:

I don't have the recipe down really well for this one yet. But it is non-dairy and is really creamy and yummy!

Protein Shakes:

I've said before I love my Jay Robb's Protein. With only four ingredients, it is a good one. Jared has another brand that seriously tastes like a milkshake. It has far more ingredients that I don't know what they are--which is something I try to stay away from, but man is it good! This is it:


Okay, cooked nuts are not really good for you. But my sister Angela made the tastiest salad that had nuts glazed in maple syrup. It was so good. I had some handfuls of those nuts and really enjoyed it!

Apples dipped in Peanut Butter:

This is one of my favorite snacks. I love Adam's peanut butter. You can get it at the regular grocery store. I like the crunchy. The oil separates, so it has to be mixed when you buy it. I dump it all out into a mixing bowl, and mix it with the blender, then put it back in the jar. I've tried lots of peanut butter, even the ones you don't have to mix, and my favorite is still Adam's.

Popcorn with butter and spices:

I like popcorn, and with a bit of butter and salt, it is really good. Growing up, a good friend had fun movie nights with her family where they'd make popcorn on the stove (glad I can do it in the microwave now!) and have orange julius drinks. I loved it. We make orange julius's in the blender. We just put in OJ concentrate, add a ton of ice and less water, and put vanilla to taste. My blender really blends it all smooth. You can add pure cranberry juice for some extra tang.

Coconut Dates:

I went to a raw food class once and it was fun to see the treats they made. One was a date stuffed with an almond and rolled in cocoa powder and unsweetened coconut flakes. It was really good.

Coconut Macaroons:

This is another raw food treat. Take 1 cup of fine coconut flakes, mix in a couple teaspoons of cocoa powder, a few drops of vanilla and mix with 3 T agave nectar. Mix well. Form balls and let dry.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cranberry Orange Cheesecake Pears

I was making a list of all my favorite healthy treats and realized that I had no replacement for cheesecake. I really love a little slice of cheesecake.

The same day, I was checking out the magazine aisle and saw the newest copy of my favorite food magazine Clean Eating. And right there on the cover it had this recipe. It is mostly healthy ingredients--low fat cream cheese is really the only one that would qualify as bad for you on my list, but for a treat, I'll take it. The cinnamon and cranberry makes your house smell sooo good and is fun to do with the kids. Miles said "Thanks mommy, this is the best cake ever." I had to agree, it is delicious and would be a beautiful Thanksgiving pie replacement.

So here it is, in all its 208 calorie per serving glory:

Serves 10


10 bosc pears (really only five total pears, then you half them and have 10 halves. Bosc pears are brown and have longer necks than the others)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups 100% cranberry juice
2 cups orange juice
1 vanilla bean split lengthwise (I omitted this since I don't have any, but I am sure it makes it extra delicious)

Cheesecake Stuffing:

1 cup light cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp dried ground ginger
1/8 tsp almond extract
1/3 c dried unsweetened cranberries
1/3 c unsalted, sliced almonds toasted


1. slice pears in half and peel. Trim bottoms so that they lay flat. Using a small spoon or melon baller, scoop out and discard cores. Place pears in a very large, wide, heavy bottomed saucepan. (I just used my big covered skillet). Add cinnamon sticks and juices. Scrape out seeds from vanilla bean and stir in; add scraped bean husks too.

2. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Cover and simmer, occasionally turning pears over (I didn't do this and they were fine) to carefully ensure even cooking until almost tender but still a little firm, about 20-25 minutes.

3. In a bowl, stir cream cheese with vanilla extract, ginger and almond extract until mixed. If the mixture is too thick, asdd a few spoonfuls of hot pear cooking liquid. Stir in cranberries and almonds.

4. Carefully spoon pears onto a large platter. Cover and refrigerate to cool completely. Boil remaining pear liquid in pan, stirring often, until it reduces to 1/2 cup. The sauce will foam and bubble toward the end of the cooking, so be sure to stir often. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon sticks and vanilla husks.

5. To serve, fill pears with cream cheese mixture. Place on plates and spoon sauce over top.

Calories: 208
Total Fat: 6 g
Carbs: 38 g
Fiber: 5 g
Protein: 4 g
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