Grinch Popcorn

A beloved tradition in our house this time of year is to make Grinch Popcorn and watch The Grinch. We love the newest animated version of The Grinch so very much – Cindy Lou Who just has our hearts. In my humble opinion she embodies the spirit of Christmas.

This popcorn is oh so very yummy. Warning – your hands might turn green while making, but no worries. It washes off and just helps you to embody your own “grinch”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Grinch Popcorn

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
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A sweet, decadent sweet popcorn treat perfect for your holiday festivities.


Ingredients

  • 8-10 cups of microwave popcorn popped
  • 3 cups of mini marshmallows
  • 3 TBS I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light (or butter or other butter replacement)
  • green food coloring
  • 1/2 cup red/green M&Ms

Directions

  1. Pop the popcorn and put in a large bowl. Be sure to try to pick out the unpopped seeds.
  2. Melt the butter and marshmallows in a separate bowl – slowly in the microwave (1 minute, stir, 30 seconds, stir, repeat until smooth).
  3. Add green food coloring to the marshmallow mixture – until you get it to the appropriate green color.
  4. Stir the marshmallows into the popcorn. Stir until popcorn is covered with marshmallows.
  5. Lay mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  6. Sprinkle with M&Ms.
  7. Allow to cool and enjoy.

Infamous Sugar Cookies

My mom makes the BEST sugar cookies. The BEST. She has flat out spoiled me and ruined all other sugar cookies. Hers are the standard by which I will forever compare all cookies. Think you don’t like sugar cookies? Well might I suggest trying these? And don’t worry. The recipe doesn’t make THAT many. Just enough to give you a really good batch to enjoy and freeze for later parties and treats throughout the holidays. In fact, when really doing heavy holiday baking, I will double (and have even tripled) the recipe. Because, in my opinion, when the mess is made – may as well just go with it.

We were quarantined this past week. So with nowhere to go, we took advantage of some of these fun, messy projects. The kids loved it. I was especially surprised by my 6 year old. He was maybe my most faithful “helper”!

Believe it or not underneath all of that goodness is a cookie. ๐Ÿคฃ This was his first cookie…he got less ambitious as his decorating progressed.

Iced Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

The cookie recipe that is the standard by which all other sugar cookie recipes are compared.


Ingredients

    Wet Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Dry Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  1. In an electric mixer, mix together the wet ingredients.
  2. Add in the dry ingredients.
  3. Combine. The dough will be sticky.
  4. Cover dough in the bowl. Or spray cling wrap with nonstick spray. Roll the dough in the cling wrap.
  5. Refrigerate for 2+ hours (or overnight).
  6. Allow dough to warm just enough to be able to handle.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Roll dough on floured surface and cut into desired shapes. It’s easier to work in batches. We like our cookies to be a little thicker and softer, so I roll out the dough to be about 1/4 of an inch thick.
  9. Bake cut-outs for 8-10 minutes. We prefer ours soft.
  10. Allow the cut-outs to cool before icing.
  11. While the cut-outs are cooling make the frosting: 3-4 cups of powdered sugar (depending on how thick you prefer), 1/2 cup melted butter, 1.5 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp almond extract, 1/8-1/4 cup milk. Mix well, whipping until nice and fluffy.
  12. Ice the cookies, decorate and enjoy!

Nutrition

Per Serving: 73 Calories; 9.2 g Carbohydrates; 3.5 g Fat; 0.9 g Protein.

Macro Friendly Candy Cane Brownies

So I went from pumpkin everything to peppermint, chocolate everything. My favorite new little go-to product is this Peppermint Stevia. A dropperful of this in hot chocolate? YUM! My favorite, macro-friendly hot cocoa mix is here.

I love a good mint and peppermint brownie. I wanted to make one that was something I could eat any day of the week and still be consistent with my nutrition goals. This time of year it’s good for me to try to be as consistent as I can so to maximize my health and energy.

There is too much at stake the month of December! It’s a season of hustle and bustle, lots to time with family and friends, lots of events, lots of fun, lots of sickness…just A LOT of everything! It’s important to have fun and enjoy oneself this time of year, but I have found it’s equally important to stay dialed in when and where I can.

So here you go – a YUMMY treat, but one that you can enjoy without compromising your nutrition goals!

Macro-Friendly Candy Cane Brownies

A nutritious yet fun and yummy treat for your the holidays and winter comfort.


Ingredients

  • 200 grams overripe banana (2 medium)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup almond butter (I used American Dream Nut Butter – S’mores)
  • 1 scoops mint or peppermint protein powder (I used 1st Phorm Peppermint Bark)
  • 4 dropperfuls of peppermint stevia (or other sweetener)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp peppermint extract
  • 5 Candy Cane, white chocolate Hershey kisses, chopped
  • 1 Candy Cane, crushed
  • 1 TBS dark chocolate chips
  • 1 TBS white chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 8×8 with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
  2. Blend the banana, applesauce, vanilla and wet ingredients until smooth.
  3. In a stand mixer mix together the rest of the ingredients, except for the candy and chocolate chips
  4. With a spoon stir in 1/2 of the candy cane and Hershey’s kisses.
  5. Pour the batter into your prepared dish and spread evenly.
  6. Sprinkle the candy, white chips and chocolate chips over the top.
  7. Bake for 22 minutes. A toothpick should come out mostly clean.
  8. Allow to cool and cut into 9 pieces.
  9. They will get sweeter with time.
  10. Can store on the counter for a day or so, but then after that will store best in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 116 Calories; 12 g Carbohydrates; 6 g Fat; 6 g Protein.

Birthday Cake Pancakes

We have a birthday morning tradition in our house – these birthday pancakes. I have made these all sorts of ways. Sometimes with cake mix when I have it on hand; however, I have made it without as well. They are still super delicious, special and sweet like a birthday cake (made either way). The keys to make these pancakes extra special are the sprinkles (how great are sprinkles?), extra vanilla, and then a powdered sugar glaze (with extra sprinkles of course!).

Birthday Cake Pancakes

The perfect breakfast for birthdays or other special mornings that everyone will be sure to love.


Ingredients

    For the pancakes
  • 1.5 cup pancake mix (I used Kodiak)
  • 1/2 cup yellow cake mix (or just use all pancake mix)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • sprinkles
  • 3 TBS egg whites
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • For the frosting
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 TBS Unsweetened Almond Milk (+/- for your desired consistency)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBS sprinkles, and then extra sprinkles for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat your pancake griddle or pan.
  2. Mix up your pancake batter (can be done the night before – may just need to add a little water or milk morning of).
  3. Mix up the frosting ingredients.
  4. Cook pancakes (about 1/4 cup batter per cake) until bubbly, flip, pull off, and stack.
  5. Top with more sprinkles and frosting glaze. Serve warm.
  6. Leftover pancakes and frosting keep in the refrigerator for several days. Simply reheat the pancakes. Spread a little of the frosting over the heated cakes, and let it melt.

What I Used To Make This Recipe

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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

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

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

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
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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 wonโ€™t change your price but will share some commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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? ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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. ๐Ÿ˜ 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 wonโ€™t change your price but will share some commission.

Peanut Butter Cup Blender Banana Muffins

This recipe originated due to several overripe bananas hanging over my fruit basket. We love banana bread and banana muffins in our house, but “the all things pumpkin” has been the prevailing theme to all my recent baking and recipes lately. The banana was long forgotten for a time there.

Well, there hung four overripe bananas, and I already had plenty in my freezer for smoothies, baking, and nice cream. Hating to throw food away, I decided to bake something with them. It had been a while since I had baked muffins. We love them for snacks, breakfast and desserts. I ALWAYS try to bake a double batch so to have some in the freezer.

Wanting to make my Sunday as relaxing as possible, I set out to see if I could make this entire recipe in one appliance – the blender (and the oven of course). I googled around for inspiration and came across a recipe by Erin. I have made a lot of her recipes. They are always healthy and yet tasty. I made a few tweaks, and I really liked my result.

These muffins are amazing fresh out of the oven as the chocolate and peanut butter cups melt to perfection. However, it’s a recipe that gets sweeter with time. They will store well on the counter for 1-2 days, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, and freezer for 3+ months.

Blender Peanut Butter Cup Banana Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A healthy, fun, and easy muffin recipe for your busy week.


Ingredients

  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 100 g oats (about 1 cups)
  • 170 g nonfat greek yogurt (3/4 cup)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 TBS liquid egg whites (46 g)
  • 1/2 TBS vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 TBS baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 TBS honey
  • 24 grams mini chocolate chips
  • 4 Trader Joe’s miniature dark chocolate peanut butter cups, roughly chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Prepare muffin tin.
  2. In blender place all ingredients except for the peanut butter cups and chocolate chips.
  3. Blend all the ingredients until smooth. I used a Vitamix, so I use that to scrape down the size and ensure all ingredients get mixed together. If using another blender, you might need to scrape down the sides once or twice.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Distribute the batter into the muffin tins.
  6. Sprinkle the peanut butter cups onto the tops. You can gently push them into the batter as well.
  7. Bake for 15-16 minutes.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 104 calories; 16 g carbohydrate; 3 g fat; 4 g protein.

These are yummy fresh out of the oven, but if you can wait for the next day, they will be even sweeter.