Monday, January 30, 2012

Banana Chips

I know, I've had a little too much fun with my dehydrator recently...I can't help it! It's so fun to do such little work and in a few hours have a completely new product! MAGIC!

Well... here's my newest experiment in dehydration-Banana Chips.

These little guys are really delicious and I have a few variations that bring them over the top! (below the standard recipe) My favorite is by far the Peanut Butter Banana Chips :) Mmmm......

I almost feel guilty saying that this is a recipe-with only one ingredient and one step can it really be considered a 'recipe'? Well, hopefully the variations at the end make up for it!



1. Cut up banana(s) and place on dehydrator sheet-dehydrate 6-8 hours on 135*

-Peanut Butter Banana Chips:
     Spread each banana chip with peanut butter on top side before laying on dehydrator
     Dip each slice of banana in PB2 (a powdered peanut butter)
-Sweet & Salty
     Sprinkle the banana chips with a touch of salt (sea salt works best) before dehydrating
-Cinnamon Bananas
     Dip each banana slice in cinnamon or cinnasugar (just like the apple chips) before dehydrating

Nutrition Information (This will change depending on size of banana, extra toppings, etc.)
For one medium sized banana:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Larabar Copycat

According to, Larabar produces healthy, gluten free energy bars made from minimal, pure ingredients. The reviews are pretty much all positive. Everyone loves Larabar's taste and nutritional stats...however...the price is there people begin to hate the Larabar. They make such a great product but it comes with a price-namely, your left arm and right leg, and in some cases-your first born male child!

So I set out to create my own...

There are many people that have posted their recipe for a 'Larabar Copycat' on the internet...I did my research! I know that an original Larabar has two things: dates, and nuts. There are many variations on this of course... I did a few trial and error recipes before finding the best combination for a homemade Larabar:

Standard Recipe:
-1/2 cup dates
-1/2 cup salted peanuts (this cuts out the step of adding salt in the end)
-1 tsp. water


1. Blend dates in a food processor until finely chopped.

2. Remove from processor to a medium sized bowl.

3. Blend nuts in a food processor until finely chopped.

4. Add dates back to processor and add water.

5. Blend all together until sticky

6. Dump sticky mess out onto counter and squeeze together into a ball. 
7. Separate into desired sized bars (for this recipe I got three nicely sized Larabars)

8. Wrap each individually in Seran-Wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat-or, freeze if keeping more than 2 weeks. (though, I'm not really sure how you could keep your hands off these bad-boys for more than 2 weeks!)

Nutritional Info (1/3 of recipe)

Now, don't get me wrong...these are amazing in their pure standard form but I wanted to experiment a bit farther to get a more peanutty taste :) ...I succeeded! However, when I got done I got a little excited and wanted to get a PB&J version and ended up with this:

-1/2 cup dates
-1/2 cup salted peanuts
-3 TBSP. Peanut Butter
-1/4 cup raisins
...if you only want peanut butter flavored and not PB&J simply omit the raisins!

1. Follow steps 1-5 of standard recipe (DO NOT add the raisins!)
2. Add the raisins in after all the rest have mixed and blend in processor until raisins are just slightly chopped

3. Finish with steps 6-8 of standard recipe 
NOTE: This recipe makes 4 bars

Nutritional Info (1/4 of recipe)

Peanutty Apple Wrap

Looking for a quick and delicious snack or light meal? One that is different than your usual pb&j? And healthy?

Well you've come to the right place! Here's a recipe for one of my favorite wraps. It's sweet, satisfying, easy to prepare and filling.

-1 tortilla (I use a 'Flat Out' wrap here)
-1 small apple
-1 TBSP. Peanut Butter
-1/4 cup vanilla (or plain) yogurt
...can also use Greek yogurt here if you want to add even more protein!

1. Wash and chop apple into small pieces
2. Mix yogurt with peanut butter
3. Spread yogurt mixture onto wrap
4. Top with apples
5. Roll into a wrap & ENJOY!

Nutritional Info:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Peanut Butter Smoothie

It has recently been brought to my attention, (by a close friend and fellow peanut butter addict!) that today is the best day in the whole year! What I mean by this is that it of course it National Peanut Butter Day!

So in celebration I am going to post my recipe for the perfect Peanut Butter Smoothie :)

Did I mention it is really fun to eat out of an empty (but not completely cleaned out) peanut butter jar?! Mmmmm!

This makes 1 serving:

-Dannon Light & Fit Yogurt (6 oz.) -frozen!
     ~This can either be vanilla, plain, or pina colada (sounds weird, but amazingly delicious!)
-2/3 Cup Milk
-2 TBSP. Peanut Butter
     ~Any kind will work but when you have the choice always go with natural!

1. Add all to a blender, mix and enjoy!
2. Optional: Top with whipped cream and chopped peanuts! :)

-Add a frozen (or thawed) banana
-Add a handful of chocolate chips
-Add a few Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
-For extra protein: add 2 TBSP vanilla or chocolate protein powder
-Swirl in 1 TBSP of jam after mixing the smoothie for a PB&J smoothie!
-Crunch an Oreo on top
-For a heartier smoothie: add 1/4 cup oatmeal to blender before mixing

Nutritional Info (of regular smoothie-no additions)

Zucchini Chips

Am I the only one that still has a gazillion zucchini plants left from this summer's harvest?

Well I do! And if anybody else out there does as well-I have the perfect recipe for you!

These zucchini chips are delicious, out-of-this-world nutritious! not to mention an amazing use for all those pesky zucchini slowly rotting in your basement.

They take only 2 ingredients and are even easier than yesterday's recipe for apple chips (if you can believe that!)

-Seasoning Salt (to make these low in sodium I use Mrs. Dash salt-free seasonings)


1. Wash zucchini thoroughly
2. Cut off ends about 1/2 inch inch
3. Slice zucchini thinly with a mandolin (about 1/4 inch)
-or you can cut thinly with a knife
4. Lay in a single layer on the dehydrator sheets
5. Sprinkly generously with seasonings
6. Let dehydrate for about 8 hours on 145*

Nutrition Info (One small zucchini... servings will vary depending on how many you use):

Monday, January 23, 2012

Apple Chips

..."An apple a day keeps the doctor away..."
Yeah, yeah, we all know-apples are good for us, but there are only so many ways you can eat an apple!
Let me be the first to say-I LOVE apples! I could (and usually do) eat them everyday...usually more than one a day!
I like them by themselves, with peanut butter dip (recipe coming!), in nacho form (recipe to come soon!), as a warm cinnamon apple dessert (again, recipe coming!), the list goes on and on...
But what happens when the apples you have aren't the crispest? And you've already made all the warm cinnamon apples you can handle for one week. Anyone? Anyone? APPLE CHIPS of course!
These are simple, healthy, not to mention amazingly delectable! They take only 3 ingredients and little preparation time...
The only downside is that they do require a dehydrator... you could use an oven on a very low temp. But, if you do this method, be sure to watch them closely so they do not burn!

We have SOOOO many apples, and the extra are surely going to go to waste as they are quickly getting soft...but this recipe is the perfect antidote for that!
Ingredients (Makes about 8 servings):
-6 apples (you can do it with any amount, but be sure to adjust the other ingredients accordingly)
-1/3 cup sugar substitute (works just as well with regular sugar, just adjust the nutritional information to match)
-2 TBSP cinnamon


1. Wash apples thoroughly

2. Mix cinnamon and 'sugar' together

3. Cut apples
 -You can do this pretty much any which way you'd like but what I've found the easiest is:
     ~Cut center out with an apple corer
     ~Slice with a mandolin (this will produce equal sized slices of about 1/4 inch)
-If you slice thinner-reduce dehydrating time, thicker-increase dehydrating time

4. Dip each apple slice in cinna-sugar mixture and place in a single layer on your dehydrating sheets (or a single layer on a cookie sheet if doing it the oven-way)

5. Continue until all apples are cut, coated, and placed on the sheet

6. Dehydrate for 8-12 hours on ~135*
-Check every few hours to get them to the stage you enjoy, longer for a crispier apple, shorter for a chewier one

Nutritional Info (1/8 of recipe):

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sweet Vanilla Compost

Want a healthier heart? Lower cholesterol? More energy?
I have your answer right here! NUTS!
Eating nuts are a simple way to improve your health-and with this recipe you will enjoy doing it! Who would think something so sweet and so addictive could also be so good for you?!

These sweet little treats are extremely easy to make and smell divine! :) The entire house will smell like vanilla-y goodness, you will hardly be able to wait for them to come out of the oven...but don't I repeat DO NOT eat them as soon as you take them out of the extremely hot oven! It will burn your mouth so badly you will not be able to enjoy these little beauties. Also, be aware that when you take them out of the oven they will not be crispy and crunchy...just give them a few minutes to cool-they will crisp up nicely and be absolutely delectable! Enjoy! :)

-1 egg white
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp. cinnamon
-1/4 tsp. salt
-1/4 cup granulated sugar
-1/2 cup sugar substitute
-1 cup shredded sweetened coconut
-4 cups nuts (Here I used 3 cups almonds, 1 cup pecans-but any variation will work)

 Step One:
-Preheat oven to 350*
-Beat the egg white and vanilla extract

Step Two:
-Add almonds to wet mixture and stir to coat
-Slowly sprinkle in the coconut and be sure it gets fully covered with egg white mixture as well

Step Three:
-Combine the cinnamon, salt, and sugars

Step Four:
-Combine with wet almond mixture

Step Five:
-Spread on a greased/parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer

Step Six:
-Bake for 20 minutes

Nutritional Information (Makes 18- heaping 1/4 cup servings):

S'Mores Bars

Alright, I know what you're thinking...this is suppose to be a healthy food blog right? Well yes, but I had to get your attention somehow! :P While this first recipe post isn't the healthiest food in the world, it sure is delicious! And-everything is good in moderation... So here goes:

S'Mores Bars:
These really will taste like a big bite of a S'More that has cooked perfectly on your campfire!


1 softened stick of butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 cup cinnamon sugar graham cracker crumbs (the regular will work as well-but I like the addition of the cinnamon!)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup chocolate chips

1 3/4 cups marshmallow fluff

Step One:
-Preheat oven to 350*
-Beat the softened butter, and both sugars until fluffy
-Add the egg and vanilla
...It will look something like this...

Step Two:
-Slowly add flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt

Step Three:
-Press 1/2 of dough into bottom of greased baking dish (I like to use a 8x8 inch or 6x10 inch)

Step Four:
-Sprinkle chocolate chips

Step Five:
-Spread marshmallow fluff on top
 (This may get a little messy, but it is oh so worth it!)

Step Six:
-Top with remaining dough and press the layers gently together
-Let bake 30 minutes (or until marshmallow fluff starts oozing out and browning)

~They may not look the neatest, but they sure are delicious!

*Sidenote: Do not fall into the temptation of cutting these as soon as they are removed from the oven! They will be very gooey and fall apart! But, I guess if you'd like to eat it with a spoon a bowl more power to you! If you do wait to actually cut these, they will make 16 bars

Nutritional Information (1 bar):