Healthy Chocolate Brownie Muffins

Dessert is my favorite meal of the day. It always has been, and it always will be!! But that is also what caused me to spend most of my life a tad bit on the chunky side haha. After gaining over 60lbs with my first child, I realized I had to make some changes!! For awhile, I cut out all dessert, but that was just miserable and did not last long! Eventaully, I learned the key was NOT to cut out dessert, but find ways to make it healthier and have it in moderation.
This is one of my favorites! You can do them as muffins or brownies. I make a big batch and stick them in the freezer and then just warm them up for a treat. I also like to add a little whipped cream to mine. Delicious, healthy, and takes care of that chocolate craving!
INGREDIENTS:12003862_549722285178617_6039242230941085087_n
1 egg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Mashed Bananas
1 cup oat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips (optional)
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease the muffin pan. Combine the egg, sugar, applesauce, and vanilla Blend the bananas and then add them to the mixture. Mix the dry ingredients and then combine them all and stir until well mixed. Add chocolate chips. Bake for about 20-25 minutes for regular muffins . Once they are cooled, you can also freeze these and then just heat them up when you want one!

 

 
Dana

Slow Cooker Chicken

Being a busy Mom can be tough!!! Especially at lunch/dinner time! See, I want to eat healthy, save money, and have quick meals. That’s not asking for too much right?!?! One of my favorite ways to reach all those goals is to utilize my Slow Cooker!! I’m a big fan of cooking soup in there, and freezing half of it for later meals.

 

12065860_10153287801124576_1231623165631488924_nI also use it every single week (yes I’m a creature of habit!) for my lunch! For a while I was buying the bags of grilled chicken that you just toss in the toaster oven, for my lunch each day. But those are expensive! One bag was around $5.99 and only lasted a few days. You know me, I had to find a better way!

 

Now I buy a whole chicken for usually around $5, cook that in the Slow Cooker, and eat it for lunch all week long! Here is the recipe I like, but you can change up the spices to fit your tastes.

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 Whole Chicken

1 Bag Baby Carrots

2 Cups Celery

1 Whole Onion, chopped

½ Cup Water

1 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Pepper

1 Tbsp Basil

1 Tbsp Oregano

 

DIRECTIONS:

Pour the water in the bottom of the Slow Cooker. Next chop the onion and celery and add those. Pour in the carrots. Rinse the chicken and remove the giblets and place in the Slow Cooker. Rub the seasonings on top of the chicken. Cook on slow heat for 4-6 hrs.

 

And enjoy!!!!!

 

For more money saving tips in the kitchen, make sure to get my Healthy Eating On A Budget EBook!

 

Dana

We All Scream For Ice Cream

As summer time approaches, many of us like to indulge in our favorite warm weather treat, Ice Cream!!! But regular ice cream can be high in fat and calories and put a stop to your weight loss goals. Instead, reach for a healthier yet still just as delicious, treat!!

Your best bet is going to be frozen yogurt, or a home made smoothie with fruit. Those are usually the lowest in calories and fat and they use real sugar, not substitutes or additives. In the calorie department, nonfat frozen yogurt is the best choice by far. Usually it ranges around 100 calories per servings with zero grams of fat. What makes it even better is it often has good for you probiotics in it which gives you live cultures to promote good gut health. For added protein, look for frozen yogurt that is made with greek yogurt.

Smoothies are a great choice as they are packed full of vitamins from the fruit. Throwing in some greek yogurt also gives you probitotics and extra protein. To up the protein, add a scopp of protein powder ( I like Try About Time Vanilla, use code TDF for a 25% off discount).

Here is my favorite smoothie recipe:

1/2 Cup Low Sugar Apple Juice

1 Cup Mixed Fruit (strawberries, mango, peaches, and bananas)

1 Cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt

1 Scoop Try About Time Vanilla Protein Powder

8-10 Ice Cubes (If your fruit is frozen, skip the ice)

Blend and Enjoy!!!

 

Here are some other good choices.

 

So Delicious Dairy Free Coconut Ice Cream: Comes in many flavors ranging from vanilla to chocolate to ore. They are 100 calories per serving, 7 grams of fat, and 1 gram of protein.

so

Arctic Zero: 75 calories per serving, 3 grams of protein, and 2.5 grams of fat! Flavors range from coffee, to cookie dough to key lime pie! Lactose free, gluten free, nut free.

art

Häagen-Dazs Cranberry Blueberry Fat Free Sorbet: 100 calories per serving and 0 grams of fat. Made from cranberries and blueberries.

hd

Baskin-Robbins Light Aloha Brownie Ice Cream: 160 calories per serving with 5 grams of fat. Made with fudge and chunks of macadamia nut toffee

baskin

Haagen-Dazs fat free sorbet mango: Great choice for only 120 calories per serving and 0 grams of fat

hag

Ben & Jerry’s Black Raspberry Swirl Low Fat Frozen Yogurt: 140 calories, 1.5 grams of fat

ben and jerry

What is your favorite type of healthy sweet dessert to have during the summer? I would love to hear!!

Dana

Graham Cookies

As a parent, it is always a struggle between finding foods my kids will eat, and my desire to have them eat healthy foods. Lately as I have noticed that effects sugar have on my 4 year old, I’ve been working hard to find healthy foods that I can make. And that he will still enjoy haha. One recipe I recently found that everyone loved, is home made graham crackers! These are very easy to do and delicious!

INGREDIENTS:graham cookies

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour or flour of choice
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup butter, cold
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a blender combine the ingredients.
  3. Next put in the chilled butter.
  4. Scoop the mixture onto a piece of wax paper, with another sheet onto and roll out with a rolling pin or cup
  5. Roll dough out and use cookie cutters to make shapes or a cup just for circles.
  6. Place cookies on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

 

To Freeze, simply cut the cookies into shapes and then place them onto a baking sheet and place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Then you can place them in a plastic bag and you can freeze them for up to 3 months. When you are ready to bake them, just cook them with an additional 1-2 minutes of bake time added on and keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

yuuuummmmy

 

 

 

Dana

Save $400 Off Your Grocery Bills

saving moneyWhen extra money is needed, my first suggestion is to always look at your budget and see where you can make cuts. My family was living paycheck to paycheck and we had a strong desire to pay off all our debt, but with no extra money that was hard to do. A detailed look into my budget showed me my family of 5 was spending over $1000 a month on food. Eating out, snacks, extras, desserts….all those goodies were adding up, and adding up very fast. So I decided to make some cuts. Ok, BIG cuts to be honest, and get our grocery bill down to $400-$500 a month.

 

Is it doable?? YES! I have been sticking to this new plan for over 8 months now and have saved tons of money, and in fact I wrote the whole plan out to help others do the same!! ((you can read more about that at the end plus how to get it for 50% off!)) The hardest part for me is I am a healthy eater, so I needed foods that were cheap, but also healthy for my family. That took some researching, trial and error, and finding bargains. But it worked and we are now able to put at least $400 a month into our savings!

save 400 on food

 

Here are a few of my top tips for eating on a budget, and scroll down to the bottom for a list of cheap, easy recipes!

 

TIPS:

*Plan out your meals for the week. This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks! If you know what you are going to eat, you will be less likely to spend money eating out

*Make your own snacks. I make all my kids snacks except pretzels. I do homemade cheese crackers, graham crackers, yogurt, muffins, bread….pretty much everything can be made from home for cheaper and a LOT healthier

*PLAN PLAN PLAN: I promise this is the number one tip for staying on track

*Make two nights a week a “veggie night”. Meat is pricey and you can get just as much protein from veggies, but for cheaper.

*Make a grocery list and stick with it! If its not on the list, and you don’t need it, then don’t buy it!

*Go with frozen or canned fruits and veggies. Cheaper!!

*Buy from stores like Aldis, Save A Lot, Costco, or Sams. Make sure to compare prices though as items aren’t always cheaper.

*Buy discount items in bulk and freeze! When I see meat or cheese on sale, I buy a lot and stick it in the freezer.

*PLAN! Keep snacks in your bag so you aren’t tempted to go through a drive thru

*Coupon! But make sure you have your meals planned out before looking for coupons. Otherwise you end up spending more by buying things you didn’t need that were on sale.

CHEAP MEAL IDEAS:1947685_10152074914309576_1158232217_n

*Grilled Cheese

*Cheese Quesadilla

*Veggie Quesadilla

*Soups (chicken and rice, vegetable beef, broccoli and cheese, etc)

*Veggie Spaghetti Sauce

*Chili

*Rice and Beans

*Chicken or Tuna Salad Wraps

*Tacos

*Casseroles (chicken, broccoli, rice and cheese is my favorite!)

*Potato “Bar” Night

*Breakfast for dinner

*Homemade pizza

 

OR take all the guesswork out of meal planning and go snatch up my copy of Healthy Eating on A Budget. (( https://sellfy.com/p/inKs/ )) Over 100 copies sold and thousands of dollars saved!!! Make sure to enter code “ Musings ” when you checkout and get it for 50% off! This program includes:

4 Weeks Of Meal Plans (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)cover
Recipes For the Meal
Additional Healthy, Cheap Recipes
(over 30 total recipes)
Weekly Grocery Lists
Money Saving Tips
Grocery Shopping Tips
Healthy Cheap Foods List
Meal Ideas
Specific Food Tips

And more!!!!

Go read a few of the fabulous testimonials from people who have used this program and saved big!

Dana