Healthy Fall Food Favorites

Written by lyricsmama on October 16, 2013 – 12:15 PM -

Halloween is only weeks away and festive fall treats are popping up everywhere. All though the various sweet and sugary temptations are hard to resist, you don’t have to break your diet to enjoy the seasonal fare. Certified nutritionist, personal trainer and exercise physiologist, Franci Cohen, has provided recipes for fall foods that won’t break your belt.

Pumpkin Cranberry Mini Breakfast Muffins


– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 cup oat flour (or fresh oats finely ground into a flour)
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1/4 tsp nutmeg
– 1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
– 1 large egg, lightly beaten
– 1/4 cup canola oil
– 1 cup nonfat milk
– 1 cup fresh cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray a mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
4. Combine pumpkin, beaten egg, oil and milk in a separate bowl.
5. Make a well in dry ingredients and ddd pumpkin mixture and stir until combined. Lastly, fold in cranberries.
6. Fill muffin cups and bake for 17-22 minutes.


Lowfat Individual Apple Pies in their own shell


(Image credit: Google images)

– Pie crust
– 6 Granny Smith apples
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1 Tbsp brown sugar
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the filling:
1. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Cut off the top of 4 apples and remove the inside with a spoon or scooper. Be very careful, as to not puncture the peel!
3. With the 2 additional apples, remove the skin and slice very thinly. These apple pieces will be the filling for the mini apple pies.
4. Throw the apple slices in a blow and mix with sugars and cinnamon. Scoop mixture evenly into each of the 4 hollow apples.

For the topping:
1. Roll out pie crust and slice into 1/4 inch strips. Note: You can also add a strip of pastry inside the top of the apple almost like a liner to add a little more texture and
sweetness to the pie.
2. Cover the top of the apple in a lattice pattern with pie crust strips.
3. Place apples in an 8×8 pan and add just enough water to the cover the bottom of the pan. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
4. Remove foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and sliced apples are soft


Ghostly Chocolate Pretzel Rods:


(Image credit: Google images)

– 1 box salted pretzel rods
– 16 oz fine white baking chocolate
– An edible ink black baking marker
– Wax paper

1. Melt chocolate in double boiler or on the stove.
2. Dip 1 end of a pretzel rod into melted Chocolate to cover pretzel approx. 2″ down
3. Lay chocolate covered pretzels on wax paper-lined tray
4. Repeat with remaining pretzels until all are covered in chocolate
5. Place baking tray in freezer for 5 minutes until chocolate hardens
6. Remove pretzel tray from freezer and using baking markers, draw scary ghostly faces on the pretzels.

Your ghostly pretzel rods are ready to eat!

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Posted in halloween, healthy ideas, healthy recipes, healthy snacks, recipes | 3 Comments »

Black Bean Brownie Bites

Written by lyricsmama on February 28, 2013 – 12:25 PM -

Brownies are everyone’s favorite, here is a healthier version that is just as tasty. These bites are loaded with fiber yet still maintain the chocolatey-goodness of a regular brownie! Your kids will love them too!

You can use a mini-muffin pan or an 8×8 brownie pan. Just adjust the cooking time to longer in the oven by about 10 minutes.


2 cups black beans (freshly cooked is best, but canned is ok- drain & rinse if canned)
1 ripe banana
1/3 cup of raw blue agave nectar or Grade B maple syrup
½ cup date paste* (see recipe below) *allow 1 hour soaking time for date paste
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
½ cup raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup oat or almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup grain sweetened or vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Grease mini muffin tins with coconut oil or coconut spray.

In a food processor with S-blade, combine black beans, banana, agave nectar, date paste, coconut oil, cacao powder, vanilla, cinnamon & sea salt until combined well and smooth. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Fill mini muffin tins about 2/3 full and bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes and transfer to a wire rack.

To make Date Paste: Pour 2/3 cup of hot water over 1 cup pitted dates and then soak for about an hour. Throw all ingredients into a blender and process until a smooth, thick paste is formed.

Makes about 30 mini muffins

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Recipe – No Bake Energy Bites

Written by lyricsmama on February 10, 2013 – 9:31 AM -


I’ve decided to finally take control of what goes into my body.  I’m not going to say I’m dieting, because diets fail.  What I’ve decided to do was to finally take a stand on what’s going in my (and my families) bodies.  What does that mean?

Eating healthier!  Eating cleaner!  I’m not saying we never go out to eat anymore, because we do, but it’s fewer and far between, I’m not going ALL ORGANIC, I just can’t afford to do that with a family of 4, but when I can, I do.  I’m cooking more at home, cooking a little more naturally, and making healthier decisions when I do cook.

I’ve also decided to use a resource I have, my fabulous Zumba Instructor MiZFitness-Liz Davis.  Liz just had a baby and her motivation throughout her pregnancy and after has inspired me beyond belief.  She’s also a fitness coach, which I’m taking advantage of very soon to help me reach my goals.

A few weeks ago she posted a recipe that sounded really good so I decided to try it out, not only do I like it but so does my youngest daughter and my hubby, so yummy!!!

No-Bake Energy Bites
(makes 18-20 bites)

1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup raw honey
1 cup shredded unsweetened organic coconut
1/2 cup ground flaxseeds
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Take all of your ingredients and mix them all up into a bowl until everything is thoroughly mixed. energy2Put into the refrigerator for about a half hour.

Once your ingredients have been chilled, roll them into balls, and ENJOY!

The Energy Bites can be placed into an air tight container and into the fridge for about a week.

There are various things you can put into your energy bites, don’t want to go organic don’t, don’t want to use peanut butter you can use any other kind of ‘butter’ that you’d like.

Next time I’m going to try to make them with agave nectar, you can also use that or any other kind of honey or syrup you’d like. I’m also going to maybe add some protein powder and goji berries to them, play around, you can add/omit things and make them your own!

Smashed Peas and Carrots where the recipe originated from, has a ton of other ideas you can use to substitute things in this recipe.

Visit my friend Liz on her Facebook page MizFitness-Liz Davis, Twitter @ZFitWithLiz, and on her blog, she has some amazing recipes and tips daily!

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Watermelon and Feta Salad Recipe

Written by lyricsmama on August 10, 2012 – 11:36 AM -

One of my favorite summer salads, and it’s super easy as well!  Great for summer BBQ’s or dinner parties!

Feta Cheese
Red Onion
Fresh mint
Lime juice
Seasoned rice wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Cut watermelon into bite size cubes.  Cut red onion into small pieces mix with watermelon. Crumble feta, mint and cilantro on top of watermelon. Mix equal parts lime juice and vinegar, add agave, salt and pepper to taste.  Pour dressing over top of salad and serve!

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Are you a breakfast person?

Written by lyricsmama on November 15, 2010 – 11:55 AM -

I’m really not a breakfast person. Some days I am more than other’s but normally I’ll find myself skipping breakfast totally, and I need to STOP!

Like this morning for instance, I got up at 8am got my daughter ready for school, jumped in the shower, took my meds, then ran out the door to the gym….Without breakfast… Not a big deal, until I was almost done with my workout, I could just feel the weakness kicking in… I got home and the first thing I could think of is I need to eat….. My body isn’t made of Ferrari parts, and even if it was, I need some fuel to keep it going!

I really need to figure out how to make breakfast more of a priority, especially before I go working out at the gym for an hour…. Here are some recipes I recently found that sound YUM YUM YUM! Maybe these will get me ready to eat something in the morning…

Breakfast Salad
1-ounce slices Canadian bacon
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. stone ground mustard
4 eggs, hard-boiled & chopped
8 oz. baby spinach
3 tbsp. olive oil (extra virgin is best)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions: Cook bacon over medium heat for 5 minutes, turning once. Remove from skillet and cut into strips. In a large bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and mustard until well blended. Place spinach on top of vinaigrette and toss until greens are evenly coated. Top with tomatoes and bacon and enjoy!

This recipe creates 4 servings of 260 calories each and 14 grams of protein

Easy Breakfast Scramble
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 tomato, seeded and diced
4 eggs
4 egg whites
1 tbsp. dill, fresh (taste more like dill than the dried stuff)
Salt & pepper
1 tsp. olive oil

Directions: Cook onion in olive oil over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes. Add the diced tomato and cook another minute or 2. Place onion and tomato mixture in a bowl and set aside. Beat together eggs and whites, add in salt and pepper as needed. Cook egg mixture over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until the eggs are just about set and no longer runny. Drain any additional liquids from the onion and tomato bowl and stir into egg mixture. Toss with dill and get your day off to a great start.

Makes 4 servings, 118 calories per serving. Add an apple or banana and a cup of orange juice for a well-rounded breakfast that won’t leave you wanting more.

Sweet Potato Hash
1 red onion, cubed
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh black pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp. thyme, chopped
1/3 cup Black Forest Ham, diced
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Directions: Heat oil over medium-high heat and cook onion about 3-4 minutes until browned. Stir occasionally. Lower heat to medium and add in sweet potatoes. Cook 10 minutes or until potatoes reach desired tenderness, then stir in ham, garlic and thyme and cook until warmed through.

This breakfast recipe makes 4 servings, 131 calories per serving. Add a scrambled egg or fruit salad to this to prevent those late-morning sugar cravings!

Fancy Breakfast Oatmeal
1 cup low-fat or soy milk
1/4 cherry jam
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 tsp. salt
3.5 cups water
2 cups, old-fashioned oatmeal
1 tsp. vanilla extract (no imitation, the real stuff makes all the difference!)

Directions: Add dried cherries and oats to boiling, salted water and return to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, stirring until the oats are tender, about 5 minutes for old-fashioned oatmeal. Remove the pot from heat and stir in vanilla and jam. Pour 1/4 milk over each bowl prior to serving.

This recipe makes 4 servings, 280 calories and 4 grams of fiber per serving.
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