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#Chocolate Energy Bites by @UpsideDownPear

I’ve eaten my fair share of cake and cookies this past weekend, and now it’s time for a different pace. And by different pace I mean still feeling like you’re eating dessert but all the ingredients are good for you….so maybe not all that different after all.

#Chocolate Energy Bites by @UpsideDownPear

These chocolate energy bites are made with dates, nuts, and raw honey. I threw a bit of cocoa powder in for those chocolate cravings and thought I was done. Until Bren decided that we needed to add chocolate chips. I also rolled a few in some extra cocoa powder for an even chocolaty experience. Even though these seem more like a dessert I’ve been eating a few of these for breakfast and also taking some to work for an afternoon snack. They could even be vegan if you substituted the honey for agave. I’m not exactly sure how the texture would be, but the taste should be very similar.

#Chocolate Energy Bites by @UpsideDownPear

I used raw honey since that’s what I had on hand. I wanted to see what all the fuss is about since I’ve heard that raw honey is supposedly healthier than processed honey. Many times processed honey has become heated and lost many of the vitamins and minerals that make honey healthy. However, I believe you can by unprocessed honey that is not raw. Raw honey is more of a solid than a liquid and doesn’t mix into things like yogurt so well. Since we through everything into a food processor, the honey blends in just fine for this recipe. If you don’t have raw honey, don’t panic. You should be able to use whatever type of honey you have on hand. There’s no need to go out and buy something special. Whip up a batch of these and enjoy a decadently healthy snack!

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Monkey Business #Copycat @UpsideDownPear

A few years back, my family became obsessed with Monkey Business trail mix from Trader Joe’s. And I do mean obsessed. On our family vacation, we went to Trader Joe’s just about every day. To be fair, it was mostly because my aunt from Hawaii was there, and apparently there’s no Trader Joe’s in Hawaii. There’s just something about the combination of peanuts, cherries, bananas, and chocolate. It makes for a great snack (or breakfast in a pinch).

nkey Business #Copycat @UpsideDownPear

Luckily, we calmed down since we got a bit overloaded. However, a while back I was out with my mom and we tried to find it again. We looked up and down the trail mix aisle, but couldn’t find it anywhere. I’m not sure if some Trader Joe’s still have this, but it looks like the ones closest to us no longer carry it. So what did I do? Recreated it of course.

nkey Business #Copycat @UpsideDownPear

I think I was pretty successful, and my favorite part has been the dried cherries. You can use milk chocolate chips if you would prefer, but I really like the semi-sweet chips. It gives just enough sweetness to make it feel indulgent, but doesn’t make it too sweet. I also used unsalted peanuts, but you could use salted to get a bit more sweet and salty flavor combo. This is so easy to put together! I really hope you enjoy this as much as we have.

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Roashed Butternut Squash #OrangeInspiration

You will love how easy and satisfying this roasted squash is. It takes a bit of work to peel the squash, but after that it’s just a matter of waiting for it to soften in the oven. I like to eat this either as a snack or an addition to dinner. Just sprinkle a little parmesan and salt on top, and you’re set! The squash is very creamy and quite filling by itself. Butternut squash is also packed full of vitamins and is very healthy. I like to add cheese because why not! So tasty!

Roashed Butternut Squash #OrangeInspiration

I was challenged by Fully Belly Sisters to make a dish that was orange for Cycle for Survival. My first thought went to butternut squash and I knew I wanted to make a dish with that for this wonderful event. Justine has put together a cycle team for one of their fundraising events on March 8th. If you would like to donate to this cause please visit this link http://mskcc.convio.net/goto/justine. All donations are tax-deductible and 100% of the funds donated for Justine’s ride will go directly to MSKCC to help patients around the world.

#OrangeInspiration

 

Cycle for Survival was founded in 2007 and has raised more than $61 million to date. The money raised directly funds clinical trials and research studies that bring new hope to countless lives touched by rare cancers. More than 50% of people with cancer are battling rare cancers, such as brain, pancreatic, cervical, stomach, thyroid and ovarian cancers, and all pediatric cancers. These cancers don't often attract research dollars needed for new therapies and treatments, so patients are left with limited options. Cycle for Survival has contributed to more than 100 clinical trials and research studies, and also to major research initiatives that will change the way cancer is diagnosed and treated. Please check out their site for more information cycleforsurvival.org.

Roashed Butternut Squash #OrangeInspiration

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Easy Miso Soup

This has got to be the easiest soup ever! It’s a bit of a cheater recipe as in I just use water instead of stock, but it tastes just fine to me so I’m not going to worry over that. This miso soup goes nicely with my easy onigiri for a nice light lunch or if you decide to pick up some sushi (which we totally did for dinner). You could even pair this with some curry if you were looking to round out your dinner.I’m usually weary about picking up sushi at the grocery store as I’ve had some bad experiences, but our Kroger actually has a really nice looking sushi bar. We’ve picked up sushi there a couple of times now and it’s been super delicious (and a bit cheaper) than some of the other places around here.

Easy Miso Soup

We’ve had this miso paste for quite some time now, so I decided it was time to make some soup. I mean especially with this super freeze that’s happening outside, we needed some way to warm up. Plus it gave me the perfect excuse to buy sushi and make rice balls (which I’m always up for). Miso is actually pretty healthy for you, and you can add a bit of seaweed which is also known to have health benefits.

Easy Miso Soup

The seaweed you’re going to want to look for is called wakame. It might be a bit hard to find if you don’t have an Asian grocery store nearby, but I have seen it sometimes at the regular store as well. If you still can’t find it, there’s always Amazon. If you search for it there, you get a bunch of choices. I’d probably pick based on reviews. Then you round out the soup with tofu. I always buy an Asian brand (usually Japanese) since the quality is better. That’s all you need for this soup, and you really don’t even need the seaweed and tofu. Those are just bonus. Make this totally easy soup and warm yourself up during this cold winter!

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Popcorn Snack Mix

I’m planning on making up another big batch of this popcorn mix and enjoying it with a movie. It’s super easy to put together and fun to eat! When you make this, you need to use stove popped popcorn. Stove top popcorn is amazing, quick, easy, and so much better for you than the packaged version. I actually used coconut oil and it was perfect! Coconut oil has a high smoke rate, so it’s perfect for this. Olive oil has a very low smoke point, so it would actually burn before the kernels had time to pop.

Popcorn Snack MixPopcorn Snack Mix

Don’t leave out the peanuts! You’ll need something salty in this mix to help balance out all the chocolate. I mean, who doesn’t love chocolate, but overload is still overload. You need something salty to help you appreciate the sweet. This would make a perfect gift for Valentine’s Day! It lasts for about a week in a zip top bag (but it won’t last that long…at least ours didn’t).

Popcorn Snack Mix

This has become my new favorite snack, and while normally popcorn is fairly low calorie, I wouldn’t exactly call this healthy…just addicting. So, it’s best to think of it more as a dessert.   Now that I know exactly how easy making popcorn on the stove it, I don’t think I’ll ever buy the microwave stuff again! I know you’ll love this just as much as I did.

Popcorn Snack Mix

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