Tag Archives: baking

Whole Grains Month

Whole Grains Month

It’s Whole Grains Month, and we can help you make hearty and cozy meals this fall with healthy whole-grain recipes.

First, learn about your favorite grains and how to cook them.

Cooking Grains
Image via Berkeley Wellness


Throw together these Vegan Whole-Grain Spelt Waffles for a guilt-free brunch.

Vegan Whole Grain Spelt Waffles.


Your lunch is covered with these 50+ Gorgeous Grain Salads

Image and recipe via Popsugar


Wow the family this holiday season with these beautiful Whole-Grain Oat Rolls.

Whole Grain Oat Rolls


This Blueberry Oatmeal Bread is sure to be a hit for breakfast or dessert.

Blueberry Oatmeal Bread


Need a weekend baking project? Try this Homemade Multigrain Sandwich Bread.

Homemade Multi-Grain Sandwich Bread
Image and Recipe via Whole and Heavenly Oven


This Healthy Barley Soup is a hearty soup perfect for your next rainy or sick day.

Healthy Barley Soup Recipe

National Bake for Family Fun Month

National Bake for Family Fun Month

It’s National Bake for Family Fun Month, so we have some healthy family favorites to help you get in the kitchen with your kids.

First up are Clean Triple Chocolate Scones that the whole family will love.

Clean Triple Chocolate Scones
Image and Recipe via Amy’s Healthy Baking


Satisfy your sweet tooth with this Healthy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Healthy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Image and Recipe via Running with Spoons


Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal Cookies are the perfect after-school snack and activity.

Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal Cookies
Image and Recipe via Amy’s Healthy Baking


Make breakfast ahead of time with Healthy Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.

Healthy Raspberry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Image and Recipe via Baker by Nature


These Clean “Elvis” Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes will be a hit with your kids.

Clean “Elvis” Peanut Butter Banana Cupcakes
Image and Recipe via Amy’s Healthy Baking


Make everyone happy with these Best Healthier Brownies in their lunchboxes.

Video and Recipe via Chelsea’s Messy Apron


Get baking on the weekends with these One-Bowl Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins.

One Bowl Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins
Image and Recipe via Running with Spoons



Holiday Cookie Eating

Chasing Health: My Ho-Ho-Horrible Holiday Eating & Exercise Habits

I love the holiday season. In the fall and early winter, it seems like there is something special to celebrate nearly every other week. The list goes on and on, and I can’t get enough of it.

As a holiday enthusiast, I appreciate it all, from decorating, baking, and gift-buying to curling up and watching holiday-themed movies, not to mention mouth-watering smells, twinkling lights, and feeling like you’re in a magical snow globe at the first sight of flurries. Seems innocent enough, right?

Well, when I’m not watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation or Home Alone 2 for the 80th time, tearing up when “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” comes on the radio, or obsessing over the placement of ornaments on my tree (perfectionism strikes again), you can probably find me eating all the delicious holiday goodies that come along this time of year.

On top of turkey, ham, and the wide selection of casseroles, you get fudge, cookies, cheeseball, cheese dips, and pretty much any other finger food you can imagine. It’s amazing.

This is the time of year a lot of people take a break from their diets and indulge. It’s also the time of year when the days are short and cold, and your couch and TV seem to call your name the minute you walk through your door. (“Nicole, come catch up on The Walking Dead for the next five hours. I already set out your favorite blanket.”) It’s not a good combination.

But there is hope. Whether you overeat because your stress from the holiday grind has reached Clark Griswold level or (like me) you’ve waited all year for your mom’s chocolate crinkle cookies, you don’t have to put your healthy eating and exercise on hold.

I realize it’s hard to control yourself when you’re surrounded by fabulous snacks in every direction. I go into my family’s celebration with the same strategy every year, and it’s not a healthy one.

On Christmas Eve, I skip breakfast, make ham-and-cheese pinwheels (my decade-and-a-half-long contribution to our family’s party), nibble on the ones that don’t quite make the cut, and consider that my lunch.

An hour or two later when I’m extra hungry from skipping two meals, I help my mom set out all our delicious cookies. I’m an expert in taste-testing.

Cookie pic 2
My mom is in charge of chocolate crinkles (my all-time favorite!), peanut butter, and molasses. I’m in charge of the iced sugar cookies.

Once my aunt’s cheeseball and grandma’s fudge arrive, it’s game over. I’m usually not even hungry by the time my dad’s secret-recipe glazed ham is ready. But I somehow rally like a true holiday-eating champion and get through that meal and an equally delicious meal the next day with the other side of my family.

How does the two-day affair almost always end? With a stomachache and a tinge of regret.

Here is the fabulous spread of delicious goodies. Notice the salad and bowl of oranges. Not everything is unhealthy! Full disclosure, I skip right over both of those.
Here is the fabulous spread of delicious goodies. Notice the salad and bowl of oranges. Not everything is unhealthy! Full disclosure, I skip right over both of those.

Holidays don’t have to end in stomachaches or regret. Here are some tips based on my own worst holiday habits to help you stay on track this holiday season.

  • Don’t cut back on sleep before the big celebration. I like to stay up late any chance I get, whether there’s a special occasion or I’m just watching Netflix by myself. I’m no better than the millions of kids staying up to wait for Santa. But research shows that not getting enough sleep can make you crave the not-so-healthy foods, which isn’t good when the not-so-healthy foods are everywhere.
  • Don’t skip meals to overeat at the party later. Sometimes I think skipping breakfast and lunch gives me a free pass to fill my body with chocolate. It doesn’t. It not only puts me in the wrong mindset, but an Ohio State study suggests that doing this regularly can also affect how your body gains belly fat.
  • Don’t stand around the snack table. This is my favorite place to camp out for the afternoon, but it makes snacking a little too convenient. I probably don’t need a 10th piece of fudge, but who’s counting? (This brings me to my next point.)
  • Keep track of what you’re eating. I started tracking what I eat at the beginning of December as part of a headache diary for my migraines, and my snacking has fallen way off since then. I can only imagine how much this tracking system will help me through the holidays. Any kind of food diary can help you see how healthy or unhealthy your eating habits are.
  • Eat something healthy. Sadly, despite what Buddy the Elf tells us, the main food groups are not “candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup.” Mix some fruits and veggies into your holiday meals and snacking options, and eat the unhealthier options in moderation.
  • Keep yourself busy with something other than food. Play games (my brother and I are quite the Catch Phrase duo) or set up a tournament. My cousins and I have hosted all kinds of championship events, everything from table tennis to Guitar Hero to rock-paper-scissors (we must have been feeling either really bored or hyper-competitive that year). The more physically active and farther from the food, the better.
  • Keep up your exercise routine (or something close to it). If you fall off, don’t feel discouraged (and don’t eat more cookies to console yourself). Just start exercising again. It’s easy to make excuses, but if you’re like me, you’ll feel better physically and mentally if you don’t ditch the physical activity.

I hope to follow at least some of these tips this holiday season and hope you do, too. I’ve already tried pretending celery is chocolate. It didn’t go so well, but I have high hopes for these other more reasonable tips.

Happy holidays!

me alternate option


Fight the Common Food Allergy

Food Allergy Awareness Week

It was Food Allergy Awareness Week, so we had more info each day.

Find ways you can help raise awareness!

Image via FARE


Millions of people suffer from different kinds of allergies, and there are a lot of myths around them. Get informed on the facts:

Allergy Myths Dispelled
Image via Allergy Be Gone


This handy app, LifeCafe Healthy Pantry, can also help you find out what allergens are in your food. Search for it in your app store!

Peanuts are one of the most common food allergies for kids, but there are other nut butters you can try!

Nut Butter Alternatives


Eggs are another common food allergy, but there are easy substitutions you can try while cooking so you won’t even notice they’re gone:

Egg Substitutions
Image via Swanson Health Blog


If you’re allergic, or just avoiding added sugar, these are some of the best sugar alternatives to try.

Sugar Alternatives


Still adapting to a new food allergy? Or never found a good alternative? This chart can help you find options when you’re cooking:

This for That Chart
Image via eReplacementParts.com


Healthy Cherry Recipes for Fresh Cherry Season

Healthy Cherry Recipes

This week we featured healthy cherry recipes to make the most of the fruit while they’re in season.

First up was an easy overnight recipe for Chocolate Covered Cherry Refrigerator Oatmeal.

Chocolate Covered Cherry Overnight Oats
Image and Recipe via Grocery Budget 101


This Purslane Salad with Cherries and Peaches combine the ripest produce in a healthy and unique salad.

Purslane Salad with Cherries and Peaches

purslane salad with cherries and peaches


This Sparkling Cherry Spritzer is a refreshing way to drink your fruit.

Sparkling Cherry Spritzer


These Rosemary Polenta Pancakes with Fresh Cherries and Lime combine the best flavors of the season.

Rosemary Polenta Pancakes with Fresh Cherries and Lime

rosemary polenta pancakes with sliced cherries and lime


This Tomato Bruschetta with Sweet Cherries is a new take on a classic, mixing sweet and savory.

Tomato Bruschetta with Sweet Cherries
Image and Recipe via Babble


Very Cherry Hazelnut Coffee Cake takes some time, but it tastes like an old-fashioned breakfast straight from Grandma.

Very Cherry Hazelnut Coffee Cake


This Bittersweet Chocolate-Cherry Sorbet with Fresh Cherry Compote tastes rich but is still only 197 calories.

Bittersweet Chocolate-Cherry Sorbet with Fresh Cherry Compote


Thanksgiving Dinner

Healthy Thanksgiving

Save these healthy Thanksgiving tips and recipes we shared on social media this week, and always be prepared. You can also find healthy recipes year-round on our Pinterest!

Cooking fires double on Thanksgiving Day! Make sure you have a smoke alarm in your home, and that it is tested regularly.

Make sure you thaw your turkey safely, in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in a microwave oven, to keep it out of the temperature range where it grows bacteria!

If you’re baking things ahead, or making the bird on the big day, make sure you check on the oven regularly and use timers.

Don’t leave the kitchen unattended while your burners are going, and avoid loose sleeves while over the stove.

After your guests leave tonight, make sure you check the house to ensure all candles or fires are out. Start packing up leftovers within 2 hours.

Make sure you removed all the stuffing from the inside of your turkey, and store the two separately.

Don’t leave leftovers in their serving dishes with plastic wrap or foil coverings, transfer them to smaller, airtight containers.

Leftovers in your fridge are good for 3 to 4 days. If you have a lot, freezing leftovers is a great option, and they will keep for 3 to 4 months.

First, we had a savory recipe for Maple-Cider Brined Turkey with Bourbon-Cider Gravy.

Maple-Cider Brined Turkey with Bourbon-Cider Gravy


And Ciabatta Stuffing with Chesnuts and Raisins to go inside.

Ciabatta Stuffing with Chesnuts and Raisins


If you want something that will wow your guests, make this Truffled Pommes Anna instead of mashed potatoes.

Truffled Pommes Anna


And try this light Green Bean Casserole with Madeira Mushrooms that is only 173 calories.

Green Bean Casserole with Madeira Mushrooms



Make these delicious Meringue and Streusel-Topped Sweet Potatoes this holiday and skip the marshmallows.

Meringue and Streusel-Topped Sweet Potatoes


And whip up this Cranberry Sauce with Apple Cider with ingredients you already have on hand.

Cranberry Sauce with Apple Cider


Got leftovers? You can make this Sweet Potato Buttered Rum Flan with your leftovers and things in your pantry.

Sweet Potato Buttered Rum Flan


You can never have too many recipes for your leftover turkey. Try this Mexican Turkey Stew that won’t remind you of your holiday meal.

Mexican Turkey Stew