Healthy Snacks

Cutie Pie? A Very Healthy Valentine’s Day Idea

Posted by on Feb 5, 2013 in Food, Healthy Eating, Healthy Snacks, Recipes | 2 comments

Last year when my in preschool, I was new on Pinterest and looked hard for healthy valentine fun treats. There are a ton of cute homemade treats you can give out, but our school has a no candy policy (which I like). Being a foodie, I wanted to do something healthy and did not include those goldfish crackers. After seeing a bag of cuties, it came to me. Cutie Pie? Here was last year’s A Very Healthy Valentine’s Day Idea. I started by making hearts out of construction paper. I hand wrote all the messages, taped them onto cake pop sticks with the following sayings: Cutie Patootie Will You Be my Cutie? Cutie Pie Valentine’s Cutie I then wrapped the cuties in Valentine cake pop bags, placed on stick and tied them up to hold the Valentine’s message. The only thing my daughter had to do was put them in her friend’s mailbox. She did not have to address each Valentine, which made it super easy. We made some extras for the teachers, they need to be healthy too! How easy is that? It was definitely a win-win and parents loved the healthy treat and message that went along with our healthy Valentine’s Day. And they are heart healthy! Do you have any healthy Valentine’s Day treat ideas? I’d love to hear...

Read More

Announcing the launch of my Snack Smart Solutions App

Posted by on Jan 28, 2013 in Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Eating, Healthy Snacks, Recipes | 5 comments

For the majority of 2012, I spent more than half of the year creating my app, Snack Smart Solutions. I originally met with the developer to create an ebook in helping parents understanding and recognizing early food sensitivities. She said, “Jasmine you need to do an app!” I left our meeting perplexed and drained about the idea of doing an app. However later that evening, next to my nightstand was a talk I had just given to new moms about healthy and quick snack tips to help moms with their energy levels. The idea was right next to my bed. Even though I had about 15 snacks that were paired to help boost energy and sustain blood sugars, I wondered how many moms were really going to keep that handout around. No body likes clutter, even I hate having papers around our small condo. Throughout the years, after doing numerous corporate wellness seminars, I learned people want to be told exactly what to eat and when to eat it. Working folks don’t have time to think during their day often grabbing something from a vending machine. But what about moms on the go? People who are trying to lose weight? Or those who are just bored with their snacks. The more I thought about it, the more excited I got about the idea. During my research I learned quite a few snack facts: Americans are consuming 570 calories extra in snacks than we did 10 years ago Americans first choice of snacks are chips and soda We eat the same 40 foods each week, including what goes into our snacks, boring! While fruit is making its way on top of the list and is a good choice, it is not the best choice as eating fruit leaves us still hungry because we did not pair it with some protein and good fats. We also snack 2-3 times per day Then I thought, how cool would it be to pull up an app and find a healthy snack idea that is proportioned, is the right amount of fiber, protein, and good fats that help sustain blood sugars to avoid over-eating and crashes at the wrong time of day. Also to have snacks that have been paired at certain times of the day to help create energy in the body naturally or to help it slow down, especially for the evening snackers. All 40 snacks on the app do just that. Are the snacks all fruits, nuts, veggies and seeds? No, you will see a couple of your favorites like Beanitos and surprisingly, Unreal Candy, but a couple of my local favorites like Simple Square Bars and Square One Organics Baby Food. Majority of the snacks are gluten free and there are Paleo, Vegetarian, dairy-free, nut and peanut free options, though they do not have their own category. The Future of the App: The app has the potential to grow and be more intricate. The plan is to work with healthy food companies that are free of GMO’s, food dyes, artificial sugars and preservatives. The ability to click on the product and go directly to their website will be a great feature. 20 more snacks will be uploaded between March-June and the goal is to have 100 snacks by the end of the year More categories will be added to the app such as: Toddler Snack Solutions, After School Snacks, Pre Workout and Post Workout Snacks, “Barred” Snacks and others. So come on over to the Snack Smart Solutions Facebook Page and like it to learn more Snack Smart tips. If...

Read More

Chocolate Toffee Gluten Free Granola

Posted by on Dec 21, 2012 in Corn Free, Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Eating, Healthy Snacks, Recipes, Vegan | 3 comments

This recipe happened by accident and often find those are the best ones. I started making homemade granola for the teachers at my daughter’s school. Now it is become a tradition and each year it has gotten better. I am the person who throws this and that in there, so this recipe is not exact, but play around with it indeed! When it began to bake, my condo smelled like buttered toffee, except I was using coconut oil. Then I sampled it, wow! Then I added some Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips…oh my wow! Can’t wait for the teachers to get this year’s Chocolate Toffee Gluten Free Granola. Chocolate Toffee Granola 7 cups of gluten-free oats 2 cups of raw pumpkin seeds 1 cup of quinoa flakes (or unsweetened shredded coconut flakes) 1/4 cup of chia seeds 1/4 cup of flaxseeds 1/3 cup of arrowroot starch (you may omit this I was trying to figure how to clump it together, though it did, I would have added more next time) 1/2 cup of maple sugar 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 1/2 cup of maple syrup 1/4 cup of honey 1 cup of coconut oil (or Earth’s Balance Soy-free Butter Spread) 2 tsp of cinnamon 2 cups of Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a big bowl and stir. Melt coconut oil. Add sugars, syrup, honey and coconut oil (or Earth Balance Spread) together. Add wet ingredients to try ingredients. Place wax paper on a cookie sheet and add 4 cups of the mixture onto the baking sheets. Cook for 40-minutes total, mixing the granola halfway during cook time. If the granola is still moist, cook for another 10-minutes. Allow to cool for another 15-minutes, then add the chocolate chips if you want it melted, or cool completely if you don’t want them melted. I am submitting this recipe into their Recipe contest to be featured in their next Allergy Free Cookbook. The contest ends January...

Read More

How to Make Breads From Anna Yeast Free Bread Mix Egg-Free

Posted by on Oct 12, 2012 in Corn Free, Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Eating, Healthy Snacks, Recipes, Refinded Sugar Free, Vegan | 9 comments

One of my favorite gluten free mixes is Breads From Anna. She is a hidden gem in this gluten free world. I first met and tried her stuff at the Gluten Free and Allergen Free Expo in 2009. She is a talented and super sweet woman! Baking without eggs is hard…I mean HARD! Eggs in baked goods provides four things when baking: 1. Structure – the egg white and yolk together tenderize the baked goods, making it moist. 2. Coagulation – converting the liquid of the egg to a solid as it binds with the other ingredients 3. Foaming – incorporating air into the batter (we can see the nice pockets of air that adds baked goods their fluff) 4. Emulsifying – helps stabilize liquids together that would not mix well together My son cannot do eggs or eggs in baked goods. Gluten-free and corn-free baking alone is tough enough and make it vegan? HA! Yes there are egg substitute, but we are limited too. These substitutes include: 1. Flax Gel: 1 Tablespoons of grounded flaxseeds and 3 Tablespoons of hot water for 10 minutes until it gels 2. Chia Gel: Same as above, but use 1T of grounded chia seeds and 3 T of hot water 3. Applesauce: 3T of applesauce and 1 tsp of baking powder (we use Hain’s Corn-free powder) 4. Psyllium Husk Powder: 1 Tablespoon Psyllium seed husks + 2 Tablespoons water = 1 egg (the longer they sit in water the “eggier” they become) I have tried Chia and Psyllium Husk powder of these with ok success, they are just too gummy, mainly because Breads From Anna already has Chia powder in it, which is great due to the omega content in them. I like the yeast-free bread mix the best. Thanks to an old article in Living Without Magazine, there was an egg-free gluten free pancake recipe that used carbonated water. I tried the recipe and was pleased with the outcome. So I tried it on my next batch of bread I made. The results was amazing and the bread was gone in 4 days. Here is what I did and followed the recipe almost exactly: 1/4 cup of grapeseed oil 1/2 cup of water 1 Tablespoon of Hain’s Corn-free Baking Powder It began to foam like this: Then I added half of the baking mix, half can of carbonated water, mixed lightly, then added the rest of the mix and the carbonated water. Baked for 65-minutes at 375 degrees and here is what the bread looked like: My favorite way to eat this bread is drenched in coconut oil. YUM! My daughter likes both coconut and olive and my son, well he can only have grapeseed or olive, he’ll just eat it as is and this is a gluten free bread mix you can trust. I use the Sassafras stone loaf pan to bake my breads, which is local to Chicago! I don’t have room in my small condo kitchen for a bread machine and this was the cheaper way to go! Oh and since Thanksgiving is coming up, be sure to order the Herbed Bread Mix, I have been using this for the last 3 years and everyone eats my stuffing up! Don’t forget her pie mix and her apple pancake, maple pancake and cranberry pancake mix…yes I am a fan! And just wait, I have an Apple Fritter Pancake recipe using her mix that is out of this world. Thank you Anna for making such a versatile, allergen-free bread and baking mixes that all can...

Read More

Creamy Rosemary White Bean Hummus

Posted by on Oct 2, 2012 in Corn Free, Gluten Free, Healthy Eating, Healthy Snacks, Recipes, Vegan | 0 comments

Yay, it has been some time since I have posted a recipe. Primarily since I relied on my iPhone for my food pics and had to wait to get a new one (since my other fell in the toilet while potty training my son..) I just stumbled upon creating this recipe. I was cooking white beans in the crock pot to make butternut squash and white bean soup (will have to try that again), I forgot to let my sister know to turn off the crockpot, so I had well overcooked beans. And when life hands you overcooked beans, you make hummus of course! Creamy Rosemary White Bean Hummus: 3 cups of soaked and cooked beans 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice (fresh is best) 2 and half Tablespoons of olive oil 1-2 cloves of garlic, depends how garlicky you like it 1 sprig of fresh rosemary 1/2 tsp of Himalayan Salt 2 tsp of paprika 1/2 tsp Herbamare Add contents in your blender, Vitamix or food processor. Blend until smooth and creamy. I gave some to my vegetarian neighbor and gave it a thumbs up! Since I made one pound of white beans, it made about 8 cups of hummus. Crockpot White Beans: One pound of white beans soaked over night in 8 cups of water. Rinse and place in the crockpot. Fill the crockpot up with water until you have about 2 inches of water above the beans. Cook on high for 4-5...

Read More

Homemade Blueberry Pie Granola

Posted by on Jun 1, 2012 in Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Eating, Healthy Snacks, Recipes | 3 comments

It is the end of the year and I have grown to love making granola as gifts. My daughter’s teachers have raved about it, while honestly I thought it was, ok. I came up with this one and several random people just happened to be over and I gave them a small sample. ” Wow, this is good” one said. “Oh my, it tastes just like blueberry pie!” said another. I asked my husband to “sample” it not realizing it was for gifts he said he ate a bowl full with milk. *sighs* that is ok, I had just enough for 3 jars for 3 special teachers that impacted and made a difference in my little girls life. They made a difference in mine too! I looked online for sample recipes and the only one Blueberry Pie Granola I found I did not have the ingredients to make, so here is what I came up with: 7c of gluten free oats 1c of unsweetened shredded coconut 1 1/2 c of slivered almonds 1T of cinnamon 1/4 tsp of allspice and nutmeg 1/8 tsp of clove and ginger 3T of vanilla powder (we use powder because most extracts have corn in them and we are corn-free. However you can use equal parts of vanilla extract in the liquids below) Mix the above in a large bowl. If using extract add to liquid ingredients in a separate bowl: 1/4 c of brown rice syrup 1/3 c of vanilla flavored agave (add extract here if using extract) Add liquid ingredients to dry above and mix well. Add 1/2 c of maple sugar, yes maple sugar, although you can use equal parts brown sugar, my goal for this recipe was to be free of refined sugars. Coat the maple sugar onto the mixed granola. Sprinkle on a little more if you desire. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread evenly onto two cookie sheets and bake for 30-40 minuted depending how dark you like your granola. Add a 12 oz bag of dried blueberries after getting out of the oven. Cool and enjoy! Here are the gifts I made. I bought three jars from the Container Store and puffy sticker letters and cute ruler ribbon from Joanne Fabrics. I stuck their initials on one side, the used the letters A, B and C to the other three sides. I wrapped the ribbon into a bow around the top for a cute...

Read More