Zucchini Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Bars

Have an overripe banana lying around or a portion of a can of pumpkin puree leftover from another recipe? I feel like there is constantly a rotation of one of these in my kitchen right now. It’s no secret that I am making a lot of pumpkin recipes right now. Very few recipes use an entire can. Therefore, this means there is often a portion of some can in my refrigerator at one time or other. And bananas? There is a continual rotation of green, ripe, overripe bananas hanging or in my fruit basket.

This recipe is a great way to use up some of those ingredients. The banana adds moisture without having to add oil, and it also adds some sweetener to the recipe. The banana, along with the honey, adds the right amount of sweetness. If you are able to wait a day, the sweetness definitely intensifies as well.

Zucchini Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Bars

A wonderfully moist, nutritious bar recipe sure to satisfy your sweet craving or chocolate craving.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (120 g)
  • 46 g liquid egg whites
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 100 g zucchini, shredded (1 zucchini)
  • 100 g banana, mashed (1 small banana)
  • 2 TBS I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light (can sub any oil or butter)
  • 3 TBS honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 TBS pumpkin spice white chocolate chips (or regular chocolate chips)
  • 2 TBS chocolate chips
  • 2 Squares of dark chocolate chunks (cut into 9 chunks – or just regular chocolate chips for the top)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 9×9 pan with spray and parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the banana and add the pumpkin, grated zucchini, egg whites, honey, butter substitute, vanilla. Whisk together well.
  3. Add in the flour and baking powder, whisking and stirring until smooth.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Top with chocolate chunks.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes until toothpick comes out nearly clean.
  7. Slice into 9 squares and enjoy!!!
  8. Store on the counter for up to 24 hours, and then in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 138 calories; 24 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 4 g fat.

What I Used To Make This Recipe

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Apple Cranberry Crisp

Need a fresh recipe idea that is not only beautiful but also DELICIOUS? This would be a lovely alternative to pie for your Thanksgiving meal and festivities. It’s a gorgeous dessert for holiday meals and get togethers. Or frankly, it’s healthy enough to make for breakfast, snack, or dessert for your everyday. No need for excuses. It’s perfectly nutritious enough to have at any time. But certainly, it’s wonderful for special events.

I love using fresh cranberries. They are so lovely in color, texture and give such flavor complexity. They are the perfect fruit to use in baking and cooking this time of year.

I like to microwave my fruit to soften it before baking. I want to be sure the fruit isn’t still crunchy after baking, and also, I don’t want to have to bake for so long that the crumble on top has to get too dark.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!

Apple Cranberry Crisp

This is an amazing recipe for your Holiday table. It's also nutritious enough that it can be made for any day. It's not only pretty but also delicious and nutritious!


Ingredients

    For The Filling:
  • 3 cups apples, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1 TBS flour (or cornstarch for GF)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • For the Topping:
  • 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup (or 40 grams) unpacked brown sugar
  • 1 TBS flour
  • 3 TBS I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light, melted
  • 1/3 cup (or 30 g) granola (I used Julian’s Bakery granola)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 8×8 inch pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Microwave apples for 4-5 minutes until they begin to soften.
  3. Microwave cranberries 1 minute until they begin to soften.
  4. Stir together the filling ingredients.
  5. Spread evenly into the pan.
  6. Stir together the topping ingredients and crumble evenly over the fruit filling.
  7. Bake uncovered for 50+/- minutes or until the topping light brown and crisp.
  8. Cool slightly and serve warm with whipped topping, ice cream or milk.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 150 calories; 31 g carbohydrates; 2.8 g fat; 2.7 g protein.

What I Used To Make This Recipe

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Pumpkin Waffles

I want to say, “Last pumpkin recipe for 2020!” But that would probably be a lie. I know it, and you probably know it, if you have been around my site for any length of time.

Wednesday nights are often Waffle Wednesday’s at my house. Breakfast for Dinner (or Brinner) is always a “winner dinner” at our house. We all love it. It helps me in planning to have themes for our meals on certain nights. Each day of the week has a theme from which I base my meal planning.

I had an open can of pumpkin puree so I decided to make the waffles on this particular night pumpkin-flavored. It’s nearly Thanksgiving, so I have to capitalize, right?

The recipe is super easy, and I completely cheated by using Bisquik pancake and waffle mix. My husband stocked up a few months ago, and I feel like it needs to be used. So I incorporated this into the recipe. Easy peezy!

Pumpkin Waffles

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: EASY
  • Print

An easy, pumpkin waffle recipe that can be enjoyed for breakfast, dinner, or anytime this fall season.


Ingredients

  • 2 cups Bisquik mix
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 100 g egg whites
  • 4 TBS I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light
  • 2-4 TBS maple syrup or sugar free maple syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat the waffle iron.
  2. Whisk together all ingredients. Add water until desired consistency is reached.
  3. You can cover and store in the refrigerator until mealtime, or you can make immediately.
  4. If you do use it later, you might need to add more water or Unsweetened Almond Milk.
  5. Cook waffles according to your waffle iron – size and duration. I recommend cooking these on a high setting. I put mine to the hottest temperature to crisp as much as possible.
  6. Serve with toppings of choice.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 268 Calories; 43 g Carbohydrates; 8 g Fat; 7 g Protein.

What I Used To Make This Recipe

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with Orange Cinnamon Glaze

YUM!

I am going to say something quite bold here. This might be my favorite muffin recipe yet! I was perusing the produce at Kroger, looking for something seasonal and different and saw fresh cranberries. I love cranberries – fresh and dried. They are so pretty, so full of flavor, and so universal! They can be used in baking and sweet dishes, but they are just as wonderful in savory dishes as well!

I feel like these little gems get a bad rap around Thanksgiving because of all the love-hate with cranberry sauce. However, all throughout the holidays these little berries are a must have for your cooking, baking and even sipping! They are wonderful in warm drinks and cocktails as well.

Moving on to the recipe at hand…feast your eyes and your buds on these beauties. This recipe can for sure be made into a bread or even a bundt cake. I like muffins because I feel like I can freeze them if we don’t eat them fast enough. Also, I find muffins are nice to serve to the kids or to have on hand for grab-and-go fuel.

Low Fat Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins with Orange Cinnamon Glaze

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: EASY
  • Print

A mouth watering, healthy muffin recipe perfect for fall, winter, and holiday baking.


Ingredients

    For the muffins:
  • 1-15 ounce can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 127 g brown sugar (3/4 cup unpacked)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 TBS vegetable oil
  • 100 g liquid egg whites (7 TBS)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2-3/4 cup fresh cranberries enough so there are about 3-4 in each muffin.
  • For the glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 TBS orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Prepare muffin pan.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, pie spice and cinnamon.
  3. With an electric mixer mix all the wet ingredients together.
  4. Slowly incorporate the dry.
  5. Fold in the cranberries.
  6. Bake the muffins for 20+/- minutes. Mine took exactly 20 minutes.
  7. While baking, prepare the glaze.
  8. Allow the muffins to cool slightly and cover with the glaze. If the muffins are too warm and too much glaze runs off, I recommend mixing up another batch of the glaze and adding after they cool longer. The glaze takes the muffins to the next level.
  9. These are excellent day of, but they are even sweeter and more moist the next day.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 168 Calories; 35 g Carbohydrates; 3 g Protein; 2 g Fat.

Peanut Butter Apple Crisp

Apples are best in the fall! My particular favorite apple – always – is the honeycrisp apple. They are pricier for sure, but much more economical in the fall. Eating seasonally is not only better nutritionally, as you are getting the benefits of produce being optimal in nutrition and taste. It’s also better to eat seasonally for the pocketbook.

I had a bunch of apples, was craving something sweet for our weekend dinner, and was inspired to make an apple crisp. We have a few in our home that don’t prefer apple desserts and dishes because they don’t like the apples to be crunchy. I get that. Texture and consistency are key.

So for this recipe I used both no sugar added apple pie filling and fresh apples; however, I microwaved the chopped apples for 5 minutes to soften. Microwaving the apples lessons the time needed in the oven, takes away the crunch, and helps so that the topping doesn’t get as dark.

Apples and peanut butter pair so well together. Why not add some peanut butter to your crisp? I can think of no good answer, so I did it. Oh yes I did.

Also, you can or can not add a scoop of ice cream on top. I can’t think of a good reason not to – so how about it? I recommend Edy’s Slow Churn Vanilla. It is surprisingly VERY good on macros. Per 1/2 cup it has 100 Calories, 14 g Carbohydrates, 3 g Fat, and 3 g Protein. AND it’s incredibly creamy and delicious!! No need to skimp on quality ice cream!!!

Also, you are welcome to use regular peanut butter; however, I used Grandma’s PB Fudge by American Dream Nut Butter. I obviously recommend the ADNB, but know good old Jif would probably be delicious as well! I certainly don’t think you can go wrong with either.

Before going into the oven.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

After baking, cooling.
  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

    For the peanut butter topping:
  • 121 g (1/2 cup) of Grandma’s PB Fudge American Dream Nut Butter (or peanut butter)
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/16 tsp baking powder
  • For the apples:
  • 3 cups (350 grams) unpeeled, cored, chopped apples
  • 1 28 ounce No Sugar Added apple pie filling
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Prepare 9×9 pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the peanut butter topping. It might be thick, so you can add a bit of water if needed. Or microwave the nut butter to soften.
  3. Cut, prep the apples, and microwave for five minutes, or until they begin to soften.
  4. Stir the cinnamon and cornstarch into the microwaved apples.
  5. Layer the apples in the bottom of your pan.
  6. Cover the apples with the apple pie filling, spread so it’s an even layer and kind of mixed with the apples.
  7. Crumble the peanut butter topping on top and press down so smooth. It will be more dense and cookie-like than other crumbles.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until the apples are bubbling and the crisp is browned.
  9. Let cool and serve a la mode.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 178 Calories; 21 g Carbohydrates; 8.5 g Fat; 7 g Protein.

What I Used To Make This Recipe

FITFOODIE10 to save at American Dream Nut Butter. This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

It’s a Monday. Do you have a meal plan for the week? Working on it? How about a new pasta dish? This one is a great recipe to try if looking to mix it up a little.

Fridays are pasta nights for us. We have A LOT of activity over the weekends. My husband and I like to be active and get in some good workouts. Our kids are very active in sports and have pretty extensive sports schedules over the weekends. We used to always have pizza on Friday nights, but recently with all the sports and activities we have decided pizza might not be the BEST fuel for everyone. So pasta is the new pizza. A nice pasta dish with some good bread and maybe a glass of wine is the perfect dish for a Friday evening around here.

I was looking for a different recipe to some fresh inspiration to our normal pasta. We love a good red sauce, but I thought I would try something with some flair. This recipe was inspired by the Minimalist Baker.

For my husband and I, I like to cook spaghetti squash to go along with the regular spaghetti noodles. I combine the two to increase the volume of my dish. My husband sticks to the spaghetti squash. He eats from more of a ketogenic diet.

The sauce works great for all diets – vegan, dairy-free, vegetarian, gluten free, keto…whatever your dietary needs, this is for you!

Also, one tip before I move on to the recipe…the recipe calls for charred peppers and onion. Do you yourself a big favor and save a lot of time by using your air fryer if you have one! Simply quarter the pepper and onion, place in the air fryer. Fry on 400 until blackened – about 15 minutes.

Vegan Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Quick and Easy
  • Print

A delightfully sweet-savory twist on your traditional pasta dish.


Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 TBS minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • handful of fresh basil (optional)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 2 TBS nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 TBS arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 12 ounces of pasta of choice

Directions

  1. Quarter the onion and red pepper. Place in air fryer on 400 until charred. You can do this in the oven as well – it just might take a bit longer.
  2. Place the onion, pepper and rest of pasta ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  3. While the onion and pepper are cooking up, start your pasta and cook until al dente.
  4. Combine the sauce and pasta and warm.
  5. Optional – serve with fresh chopped basil and parmesan cheese.

S’mores No Bakes Recipe

No bake bites are a guaranteed hit for post-school, afternoon snack, mid-morning snack, breakfast, dessert…basically everything. They are the perfect bite of quality fuel and nutrition. They can be loaded with tons of fat and sugar, but mine are not. I have a little secret ingredient – can you guess it? Have you heard me mention American Dream Nut Butter? 😉 If you have been around me, my Instagram or Facebook feed, or blog at all, you have heard me rave and rave over these nut butters.

We had an evening where we didn’t have much going on after school. I knew the kids would be able to come home, and we could just be home – doing homework, hanging out, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, and just enjoying each other. I wanted to bless the kids with a fun treat as they walked in the door. Some days the kids are full of energy after a great day at school. Other days they are exhausted. My daughter is her mother’s daughter – high achieving, perfectionist, type A. She can get overwhelmed and overly intense, so I like to bless her with little things that will ease her mind and mood. Bless her. She is only 12. I hate it that she takes life so seriously, but then again, I was the same way. Dang it.

Anyway, we all love no bakes, and like I said, they serve so many purposes. So it’s a treat – but also a practical treat. 😁 I perused my stock of nut butters to see what might inspire me, and S’mores jumped out at me. We have been doing a lot of actual s’mores lately with all of our bonfires, so I knew I had the chocolate and graham crackers to add as add-ins. And this particular flavor comes with mini marshmallows already in it. So perfection! Also, because the S’mores nut butter already comes with chocolate and sweet treats mixed in, I didn’t need to add as much sweetener, making this lower in sugar and fat – as I used lower fat add-ins with the graham crackers and just a half a tablespoon of mini chocolate chips – just enough to add about 3-4 per bite – giving just the right amount of chocolate.

Without further ado here is the recipe…

S'mores No Bake Bites

A fast, easy, delicious, and nutritionally-balanced treat.


Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 sheets of graham crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 cup S’mores American Dream Nut Butter
  • 2 TBS maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • .5 TBS mini chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Roll into 10 balls.
  3. Freeze or refrigerate to store.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 132 Calories; 14.8 g Carbohydrates; 6 g Fat; 5 g Protein.

Use code FITFOODIE10 to receive a discount at American Dream Nut Butter.

What I Used To Make This Recipe

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

Taco Seasoning Recipe

Happy Taco Tuesday! Every Tuesday I make some variation of Mexican food. My family LOVES Mexican, so it’s a guaranteed win, win, win. It’s an easy way for me to meal plan.

I have on several occasions planned for tacos, looked in the pantry for taco seasoning, and what? No taco seasoning!?

Well, now – no worries! I have made this recipe time and again. I have tweaked and mixed it up with different seasonings, and it’s just as delicious and more flavorful than the packets. Bonus, I make it lower sodium than the packets. I LOVE to eat salty foods, but my body and blood pressure do not love the salt.

Taco Seasoning

  • Servings: 1 pound meat
  • Print

Taco seasoning that is cheaper, healthier and tastier than the packets.


Ingredients

  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1.5 tsp Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Flavor God Everything seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions

  1. Mix all the spices together.
  2. I use all of this in 1 pound of cooked meat, along with 2/3 cup water, and 1 tsp arrowroot powder for thickening. (Could sub flour or omit altogether)
  3. Depending on how spicy you like your meat – you can use more or less of the mix.
  4. You can double, triple, quadruple the recipe and store in a small jar for future use.

What I Used To Make This Recipe

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

Ham Salad Recipe

“What do I do with all these hams?” This was a question I posed to my husband when he came home with an entire hog butchered and processed for my freezer.

Several months ago when the pandemic was making everything weird (more so than it is currently), there became a shortage of pork due to COVID outbreaks in many meat plants. My husband – the meat lover that he is – panicked. It was one thing to be quarantined. It was another to wear masks and wash hands. It was another to have the potential of being short on toilet paper. But shortage on meat!!!???? He was standing in line at Sam’s Club faster than you can spell the word m-e-a-t. The man is a meat and cheese guy if there ever was one.

So when his parents called and said they had a hookup on a couple of hogs – he was like yes, yes and yes!!! I personally am OK with meat. I like it. I will eat a little day to day, but it’s honestly not super important to me – so I put him in charge of what he wanted to order. Well, he of course was super busy, had to make an order quickly, and came home with 5 HUGE hams!

I am personally not a huge ham lover, so I’m like what in the world!? Now what!? Thankfully, the rest of my family LOVES ham, so it’s been a great, easy meat to prep. Bonus, they’re all HUGE! So when I make one, it feeds the family for SEVERAL meals and then some.

Well, the novelty of the ham has worn off a bit, and it’s getting eaten with less and less enthusiasm. Of course, hating to throw away food like I do, I decided to try something different. Now I will say that while ham is just OK to me, I do LOVE me some ham salad.

I feel like ham salad is something you either love or you hate. I love it. My husband loves it. Some of the kids love it – but that’s ok. It goes fast. I did up a batch and YUM!!!! This is something I could definitely get used to!

If you are a fan of ham salad – it is so EASY. If you have the ham – I HIGHLY recommend whipping up a batch of this for lunches, after school snacks, or busy, easy weeknight dinners.

Also, as we are nearing the holidays, I feel like many of us will have leftover ham in our refrigerators at some point. So instead of allowing it to go to waste or eating it out of obligation to simply eat up the leftovers, mix it up. Give the ham an upgrade, turning it into a completely different meal!

Ham Salad

A delicious and way to use up ham leftover from the holidays or family dinner!


Ingredients

  • 1 pound cooked ham, cut into chunks or sliced
  • 3/4 cup mayo
  • 1 TBS yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 large eggs, hard boiled and diced
  • 3 TBS dill relish

Directions

  1. Placed cooked ham in the processor and run on high until the ham is ground.
  2. Place the ham in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Stir and combine well.
  3. Serve with crackers, on bread, or with veggies.
  4. Store in refrigerator.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 153 Calories; 1.5 g Carbohydrates; 12.7 g Fat; 8.2 g Protein.

Things I Am Loving

Wow what a week!!! Election crazies, busy schedules, a lot of heavy things going on with people I love. Could there be any more crazy in 2020!?

I am ready to focus on those things in my life that are good – that are bringing me happiness and life this week. It’s time to focus on the blessings. There is a season for everything, and I do believe we have to make time to mourn and go through the hard. However, it’s also good to be reminded of all the good as well – and sometimes it’s the littlest of things.

For starters my family. Man am I thankful for these people in my life that grow me, challenge me, make me smile and laugh, do the daily grind with me. I could go on and on over my love for my husband and kiddos. We recently got family pictures taken, and I am in love! Jamie did an incredible job!!! So thankful for these snapshots into our world right now.

Secondly – lunch dates. This is something John and I are attempting once a week. With all of our kids in school, we are finding this to be the easiest time to carve out for weekly dates. Our nights are so jam packed right now with sports, work, meetings, etc. Even our weekend nights include kids’ sports practices and games. Dates are just not easy nor really possible in the evenings most weeks, so lunch dates are perfect. We carve an hour out of our Thursdays and catch up. It’s amazing how much you can catch up on when uninterrupted and dialed in! We catch up on work, business, strategy, family issues and goals, life, etc. It’s been awesome.

I am such a sucker for words and quotes. Most of my home decor includes a quote or words of some sort. They are inspiring and uplifting to me. So naturally, I also love graphic tees. This week I have been wearing my graphic tees exclusively. My heart needs the reminder of the words. Today this shirt just seemed right. “In the waiting God is working.” I got this particular tee off of Crazy Cool Threads.

Also, pictured here are these blue light glasses. I ordered these because I keep hearing about the benefits of these glasses to shield us from all the blue light given off by all of our electronics. I am on electronics all day – my computer screen for hours, phone, and then television for a bit at night as well. I get tension headaches pretty regularly. And although my eyes are still pretty good, they are aging.

So far I am really liking these! I don’t know if it’s mental or not, but I feel like they reduce the tension the computer screen puts on my eyes. Also, I feel like the tension in my head has reduced as well! They are super reasonable on Amazon, so I figure it’s definitely worth a try!

Also pictured above and below are the bracelets I am loving. I love a good set of bracelets, and my friend at Shoebox Market has the best bracelets! I can’t get enough.

I finished this book this week. I loved it! It was very well-written and an amazing insight into the hard world of single motherhood as well as poverty. The perspective was very eye opening, and I loved the insight the read gave me.

Lastly, would it be a typical blog post if I didn’t talk about food? I don’t think so. This breakfast has been a hit this week. I made a batch a couple of days ago, and made a double batch the very next day. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal. We love baked oatmeal, and this recipe is next level.

What are some things you are loving right now? I love to hear about it all!!!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.