Bunny Cups a Healthy Snack for Easter Party Fun!

Bunny Cups a Healthy Snack for Easter Party

Are you looking for a healthy snack for Easter party fun?

These bunny cups are a nice alternative to all the sweets and treats that pop up this time of year.

Layered in a glass cup, this snack is supposed to resemble the “dirt” dessert that is so popular. Instead of layering chocolate pudding and chocolate cookies, this “dirt” is made from healthy hummus with a layer of ground nuts.

I like to make my hummus from scratch, and have linked to my favorite recipe. If you are strapped for time, just pick up a tub from the grocery store.

Bunny Cup Ingredients:

1 recipe zucchini hummus or a 7 ounce container purchased hummus
1 package organic baby carrots
1 cup finely ground almonds
Celery leaves

Directions:

  1. Using a spoon, fill a clear cup with hummus.
  2. Use a spoon to shake a layer of ground almonds over the top of the hummus.
  3. Take the pointed end of a knife and hollow out a small hole in the top of a baby carrot.
  4. Carrot with hole in top for bunny cup recipe

  5. Careful fill the hole with a small bit of hummus. Then, stuff the carrot hole with a celery leaf. (This step is optional)
  6. Celery Leaf in Baby Carrot

  7. Serve with additional carrots or your favorite whole grain chips for a delicious and nutritious treat!

The size of your glasses will determine how many bunny cups this recipe makes.

Make sure to serve with additional baby carrots since the dipping is so much fun!

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How to Freeze Cooked Brown Rice

How to Freeze Cooked Brown Rice

I love brown rice, but I hate how long it takes to cook it.

Most meals I prepare are prepped and done in 30 minutes. What can I say? I like quick and easy.

Waiting an hour for brown rice to cook just doesn’t fit in with my cooking style.

That’s why I’ll set aside a day to cook a double batch of brown rice and then freeze it.

This not only saves me time when I need to get dinner on the table, but it saves me money. Have you seen the price of prepackaged frozen brown rice? Ridiculous!

I use Alton Brown’s method to cook the brown rice. It turns out perfect every time. If you’ve never baked your brown rice before, give it a go! I think you’ll be pleased with the results.

Once you’ve cooked your brown rice, it is time to freeze.

How to Freeze Cooked Brown Rice

Step 1: Spread your cooked brown rice out on a large rimmed baking sheet to cool.

Cooked Brown Rice

HINT: If you add a tablespoon or two of water to the bottom of the pan, it helps keep the rice from sticking.

Step 2: Once your rice is cool, transfer it to a freezer safe container.

Portioning Cooked Brown Rice

Here’s what I do:

I like to use the plastic freezer safe jars. I get them here because I can use a 20% off coupon and they are super cheap.

If you buy the smaller size jars, you can pack 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice in each jar. That seems to be the perfect amount for most recipes or for serving our family of 4 brown rice as a side dish.

freeze cooked brown rice

Step 3: You do not need to thaw the rice before reheating. To reheat rice from frozen, transfer the frozen rice to a glass container and microwave in 1-minute increments until rice is hot.

What I want you to know: I freeze my rice in plastic. They are BPA free, but they are plastic all the same.

Here’s the deal. I’ve had glass jar disasters in my freezer. So I use these plastic freezer safe jars. They are reusable and dishwasher safe – plastic bags are not.

I recommend you NEVER use plastic in the microwave. Always transfer your rice to a glass container before microwaving.

Hopefully using this method to freeze cooked brown rice will help you get dinner on the table quickly and easily!

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The Best Cherry Berry Whole Wheat Muffin Recipe

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of MELT® Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

The Best Cherry Berry Whole Wheat Muffins

This Cherry Berry Whole Wheat Muffin Recipe is one of my family’s favorite recipes. Packed with sweet and juicy fruit and made with whole wheat flour, these muffins are a healthy treat I love to bake for an after school treat.

The secret to a muffin that is actually good for you is to start with fresh and wholesome ingredients.

Cherry Berry Whole Wheat Muffins Ingredients

While this recipe is a whole wheat muffin recipe, you don’t want to use all whole wheat flour in your recipe. A blend of 1/2 whole wheat and 1/2 unbleached organic all purpose flour will add the health benefits of whole wheat flour but it won’t weigh your muffin down.

If you are making this recipe in winter, it is perfectly alright to use frozen fruit. In fact, it will probably be cheaper. There’s no need to defrost the berries first, just stir them in!

I like to keep my freezer stocked with frozen fruit at all times. You never know when the mood for a muffin will strike. Be prepared for muffin attacks is my motto.

Since this is a recipe I make frequently for my family, I knew it was the perfect recipe to try with MELT® Organic Rich & Creamy Spread. MELT® Organic is a line of luscious, organic spreads made from healthy oils for butter lovers seeking a much healthier alternative, available in Rich & Creamy (original), Honey, and NEW Chocolate.

What appeals to me about MELT Organic is it is made from the Perfect Blend of “good fats” like Virgin Coconut and Flax Seed oils.

It also is a product I can feel good about using. It is Non-GMO certified, organic, and sources fair trade ingredients.

Melt Rich and Creamy Melts Like Butter

As you can see, MELT Organic melts just like butter, but with half the saturated fat and fewer calories.

But could MELT Organic pass my family’s taste test in one of their very favorite recipes?

The Best Cherry Berry Whole Wheat Muffin Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups organic unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Melt Organic Rich & Creamy, melted
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Place paper liners in 12 muffin cups.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
  4. Pour milk, eggs, and Melt into well and stir until well blended. Fold in blueberries, strawberries, and cherries.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each, three quarters full.
  6. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean.
http://thegreenbacksgal.com/cherry-berry-whole-wheat-muffin-recipe/

Our Cherry Berry Muffins turned out beautifully and not one family member asked if there was something different about this batch of muffins. In fact, all they asked is if they could please have another one.

Investigate MELT Organic for yourself. You can find MELT Organic at a store near you.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of MELT Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Slow Cooker Cauliflower Mash: Low Calorie Mashed Potato Substitute

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Mash

Slow cooker cauliflower mash is one of my go-to side dish recipes.

However, it’s not one of those slow cook all day recipes. You cook the cauliflower on high for 4 hours.

This means I’ll throw the cauliflower in the slow cooker about the same time the girls get home from school.

Our afternoons are spent running from practices to events to doctor’s appointments to errands. Raising teens, I feel like my life gets thrown into high gear in the afternoon. We are often gone for so much of the afternoon, there is no time for dinner prep.

With the cauliflower in the slow cooker, it is nice and tender by the time we’re ready for dinner. I could serve it as is, but we adore cauliflower mash in our house.

Cauliflower is high in vitamin C and vitamin B-6 and low in calories. Turn it into a mash and you won’t miss the high calorie potatoes.

Of course, I do like to add a bit of butter and milk. These are optional ingredients. Try chives and green onions to get flavor with less calories.

Slow Cooker Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients

  • 5 cups cauliflower chopped into large florets
  • water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: chives or green onions

Instructions

  1. Place cauliflower florets in a slow cooker. Add enough water to cover.
  2. Cook 4 hours on high.
  3. Drain water off cauliflower.
  4. Add to a food processor along with the milk and butter. Process until smooth.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Optional: Top with chives or green onions.
http://thegreenbacksgal.com/slow-cooker-cauliflower-mash-low-calorie-mashed-potato-substitute/

Cauliflower Mash Low Calorie Mashed Potato Substitute

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Sweet and Spicy Popcorn Balls {Without Corn Syrup!}

Sweet and Spicy Popcorn Balls Made Without Corn Syrup

Did you know you can make popcorn balls without corn syrup?

All natural honey acts as the sweetener and binder in these sweet and spicy popcorn balls.

I’m not kidding when I call these sweet and spicy. They start out sweet and innocent but then they hit you. BANG! Sooooo good and spicy!

Of course, if you don’t enjoy that much spice, you can add less. Or leave it out all together and just have sweet popcorn balls.

But for those of us that love spicy food, these don’t disappoint!

Two things to remember when making these:

1. Make sure there are no popcorn kernels left in your popcorn. They will kill your teeth if they get made into a popcorn ball.

2. Pack your popcorn balls together just like you would a snowball. You’d be surprised at how much pressure you can apply when forming a ball.

Sweet and Spicy Popcorn Balls

Sweet and Spicy Popcorn Balls {Without Corn Syrup!}

Ingredients

  • 6 cups popped organic popcorn
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Stir together honey, olive oil, salt, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon. Pour over popcorn and stir gently to coat.
  3. Bake popcorn for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and toss popcorn to evenly coat with melted honey.
  4. Bake 10 more minutes and stir again. Bake a final 10 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool for 3 minutes before forming 6 evenly sized popcorn balls.
http://thegreenbacksgal.com/sweet-and-spicy-popcorn-balls-without-corn-syrup/

Once you’ve made the basic recipe, play around with the spices you add. One time I made these with cumin and cayenne pepper. It was the perfect Southwest combination!

What other spice combinations would you use?

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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in a Slow Cooker

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash in a Slow Cooker

Did you know it was possible to cook spaghetti squash in a slow cooker?

This makes one of my favorite vegetables so much easier to prepare!

How can you not love a recipe where you spend two minutes prepping at 8 am, go about your business for the day, then come back at 5 pm and you have beautifully cooked dinner?!?

Maybe my favorite part of this cooking method is you do NOT need to cut your squash in half prior to cooking. Trust me, that is reason enough to try this method! Spaghetti squash can be near to impossible to cut in half. Those suckers are HARD.

 

Cooked Spaghetti Squash

There are a few things I learned by trial and error about this method of cooking a squash.

First, by the end of 8 hours my slow cooker will be almost out of water and your squash will start to brown on the side that is touching the bottom. DO NOT let your squash cook any longer than 8 hours or you may end up with a burnt mess.

Next, if you slow cooker tends to “spit” hot water during cooking, you can lift the lid, carefully add a bit more water, and return to cooking it. I’ve done this and it didn’t effect the cooking of the squash.

So how do you cook a spaghetti squash in the slow cooker?

  1. Use a sharp knife to poke several holes in the spaghetti squash.
  2. Add the whole squash and two cups water to the slow cooker.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  4. Carefully remove squash from slow cooker. Cut in half and scrape out seeds. Use a fork to separate squash into strands.
  5. Serve!

Serving your family spaghetti squash has never been easier!

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Non GMO Halloween Candy {All Treat, No Tricks!}

Non GMO Halloween Candy

What do you usually hand out at Halloween?

It is possible to hand out treats that you can feel good about. All of the candies listed here are non GMO.

Why Non GMO Halloween Candy?

There is increasing evidence that connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.

Choose one of these candies to hand out on Halloween night or to give to your own little monsters.

Endangered Species Individually Wrapped Chocolates

Who doesn’t like chocolate? The perfect combo of mint and chocolate, try Chocolate Mint for a perfect halloween treat!

Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups

Trash the Reese’s and replace them with Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups. They taste better than the mainstream candy without all the nasty stuff.

Gin Gin Chews

If you need lots of little yummy treats to hand out, check out theGin Gins Ginger Candy variety pack. It has a huge assortment including: Gins Original, Hot Coffee, Spicy Apple and Peanut Chewy Ginger Candies, Gin Gins Double Strength Hard Candy and Gin Gins Super Strength Ginger Caramel Candy.

I could eat the whole bag in one sitting, but then I wouldn’t have any for the next day.

Yummy Earth Lollipops

Yummy Earth Lollipops are a popular Halloween option since the cost is low for the number of lollipops you receive. Not to mention, they are perfect if you are looking to avoid food dyes!

TruJoy Sweets

TruJoy Sweets are another great option when you need a lot of individually wrapped candies. These craveable substitutes for a starburst chew are USDA Organic certified, Non GMO Project verified, gluten free and suitable for vegan diets.

Will you be going Non GMO for Halloween?

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