3 Ingredient (No Bake) Energy Bars.

I love energy bars but typically dislike the nutritional information.  These bars are so delicious, no bake (well you do toast the almonds) and with only 3 ingredients.  So why not get energy from real ingredients, no preservatives & something truly healthy?


1 c of dried, Medjool dates that have been pitted
1 c of raw almonds
1 c of dried, tart cherries


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Place the almonds on a cookie sheet and bake for 8 minutes until toasted.

In your food processor, place the pitted Medjool dates that have been pitted and the cherries.  Process until it forms a large, pasty ball.  Remove and set aside.  Then add the cooled almonds to your processor and process until they are finely chopped (avoid over processing into flour).  Your looking for small pieces.  Then add the date/cherry mixture back and blend again until all the ingredients are incorporated.

Line an 8×8 glass square baking pan with parchment or tin foil.  Place the mixture on top.  Then I added a piece of plastic wrap over the top to press it down into one even layer.  I used a small glass to even it all out.  Refrigerate for 45 minutes.  Remove and slice.  Enjoy!


Strawberry Shortcake Shish Kabobs with fresh vanilla whipped cream.

Farmer’s Market today yielded a wonderful bounty of strawberries.  They caught my eye immediately and I couldn’t resist.  Once my daughter saw them… her wheels were spinning and she made some wonderful strawberry shortcake shish kabobs, her favorite!  I got to make the whipped cream :)  Such a wonderful, fun dessert idea.

2 pints of strawberries, wash and cut the stems off
1 angel food cake, cut up into cubes


Start with a strawberry and then alternate angel food cake cubes.  Add as many as you like.  You can certainly add other fruit like berries, pineapple, mangoes etc.

Whipped Cream:

1 c of whipping cream
2 tbl of confectioners’ sugar
1 vanilla bean (seeds on the inside only) or 1 tsp of vanilla extract


In your stand mixer, with the whisk attached, pour in the whipping cream and beat.  I typically beat this for about 1 minutes then add the sugar and vanilla.  Beat on medium to high until it takes on a whipped cream consistency.  Serve immediately .

Served on the side as a dip for the shish kabobs.


Low fat Chobani Raspberry Brownies.

I admit, I’ve never been a brownie fan but these may convert me!  I wanted to create a moist, lower fat brownie using my favorite ingredient, Chobani & add a bit of freshness to it by tossing in some gorgeous organic raspberries I purchased this morning.  The result is quite surprising.  The chocolate has a deep, rich flavor, almost like a decadent hot chocolate and the tart/sweet blend of the raspberries just makes these totally scrumptious!

2/3 c of granulated sugar
1/3 c of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (at room temperature)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 egg, room temperature
1/3 c of all purpose flour (unbleached)
1/3 c + 1 tsp of Dutch processed cocoa powder (I used my local favorite – Wilbur)
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/4 c of non fat Chobani yogurt
1/4 c of fresh, washed and very dry raspberries


Preheat the oven to 350.  Preheat for at least 30 minutes.  Spray your glass 8×8 pan with non stick flour baking spray.

In your stand mixer with the paddle attached, blend the sugar and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter until light and fluffy.  Add the extract and the egg.  Blend well.  In a separate bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and cinnamon.  Add to the mixer bowl.  Mix until blended.  Then fold in the Chobani yogurt by hand.  Mix well.

Pour half of your brownie mixture into the bottom of the pan.  Add the raspberries on top.  Then add the remaining batter.  Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out with only a tiny bit of batter on it and the center of the brownies is more firm (versus giggly).

Remove from the oven and let cool for 40-50 minutes then slice.  Dust with confectioners’ sugar and top with additional berries.  Enjoy!


Torta di Mele {Italian Apple Cake}

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/3 cups, all-purpose or any gluten-free flour will work (I used almond flour for this recipe)
2/3 c granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 c non fat milk, almond milk or low fat milk (whatever you have on hand)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Zest of 2 lemons
6 medium apples, cored and peeled


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray your springform pan with non stick baking spray and set aside.

In your mixing bowl with the whisk attachment on, whisk the sugar and eggs.  Next, add in the flour, milk, baking powder, baking soda and zest. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Peel and core each of the apples. One apple will need to be diced up and dropped into the prepared batter.  The other apples can be sliced in 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices and placed along the top (spiral pattern).  The apples will sink into the batter a bit but the more apples you layer, they will become more visible.  Mist the top of the cake with some olive oil.  Then dust with granulated sugar (about a tablespoon).  This will caramelize on the top giving it a great texture.  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.



Mixed fruit & spinach protein smoothie

Okay I have one child that lives to eat & one that eats to live!  My youngest daughter doesn’t have a huge appetite ever!  So, with that, I try to make every bite as vitamin packed & healthy as possible.  This smoothie is super healthy & delicious.  I promise… the kids have no idea how good it is for them!
In a blender, add a handful of baby spinach leaves, two cups of fruit – frozen, fresh – whatever.  I added peaches/strawberries/cherries & 1 banana.  I scoop of Whey protein powder.  Optional – you can add a scoop or two of low fat frozen yogurt or ice cream (I normally do this but didn’t today) or a scoop of yogurt.  I also add one cup of almond milk (you can use regular low fat milk) and 2 tsp of flax seed meal and then start to blend it.  My blender has a smoothie setting so I use that.  Once it starts to combine, I will drizzle more milk in to get the consistency that I wish to achieve.  Pour into a glass, add a straw and enjoy!

There is so much flexibility that you have when making smoothies.  You can go all green – spinach, green apples, avocados etc.  You can add or delete what you like.  Have fun with it but my only suggestion is if you’re adding the spinach… whip the smoothie up before the kids see it :)


Fresh Mango Banana Smoothie

My daughter had a herbst appliance put in her mouth today by our orthodontist & knowing how painful this must be, I decided to make her a liquid after-school snack to help.  I took my mango pitter – the best tool for removing a mango pit by far – & peeled the remaining flesh.  Toss that in your blender with 4 scoops of low or non-fat vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, 1 ripe banana & 3/4 c of low fat milk or almond milk.  I also throw in some flaxseed meal (2 tbl).  Blend that in your blender (mine has a smoothie setting).  And pour into glasses with a straw.  This makes two large servings.




This is my go-to snack!  I tend to eat them more at night & after a bit of research, now I’m glad I do.  I’ve always known that they are great for muscle inflammation, which I have training for a marathon, but check out all of these amazing OTHER benefits.

~It is nature’s most powerful anti inflammatory!  This is due to the anthocyanins that block free radical damage better than many anti-inflammatory drugs.

~It lowers the risk factors of heart disease including inflammation, fat and cholesterol according to a University of Michigan study.

~Cyanidin is a natural organic compound that gives berries it’s bright red color.  Cyanidin has been found to greatly reduce oxidative damage to cells, research has suggested that it may also be an important factor in fighting heart disease & cancer.

~Provides a memory boost thanks to the anthocyanin!  Anything to help me improve memory is a benefit!

~They have a ton of beta carotene!  19 times more than blueberries or strawberries!

~They contain melatonin, which helps regulate your body’s sleep cycles.  So glad I snack on these at night!