Recipes

Pumpkin Recipes

Fall is here and it is time to start baking like it. If you’re obsessed with anything pumpkin, you’re reading the right blog post. These recipes all include pumpkin to boost your seasonal dosage of fall’s staple ingredient.

Breakfast

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Bake – Soft, doughy, and loaded with pumpkin flavor! This healthy pumpkin pie breakfast bake will start your day off right.gallery-1469801354-54ea469bb01b0-pumpkin-casserole-lgn.jpg

Pumpkin Pancakes – Elevate your pancake game with the addition of pumpkin.

No-Bake Pumpkin Oatmeal Bites – Quick, healthy no-bake pumpkin oatmeal energy bites that taste like cookies but are good for you.

Quick & Easy Pumpkin Muffins – Only 7 ingredients and 120 calories each.

Lunch/Dinner

Harvest Pumpkin Soup – Cooler weather means it’s time for soup.

Pumpkin and Cauliflower Casserole – You love fall? You’ll love this casserole.

Pumpkin Grilled Cheese – Unique twist on a classic sandwich. pumpkingc_feature.jpg

Desserts

Pumpkin Bread – Nothing like loaf of pumpkin bread to make your stomach happy and your kitchen smell great.

Frosted Pumpkin Bars – If you like pumpkin (and maybe even if you don’t) these pumpkin bars are for you.

Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies – These cookies are something different and great with a big glass of milk.


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Trail Mix It Up

Trail mix is the perfect snack for a pre or post workout, a hike, a long class lecture, or if you want a healthier alternative to a bag of Cheetos. There are thousands of combinations to appeal to various taste buds or cravings.

Countless articles state there are four ingredients to make any trail mix great — nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and a “fun” ingredient (popcorn, chocolate chips, M&M’s, etc.). Obviously it doesn’t have to stick to this formula, but your bound to find a combination that intrigues you within it. These four ingredients balance flavor and nutrition to make a well-rounded snack.

Nuts

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Nuts provide a solid base to add more ingredients to, while also giving texture and flavor. Trail mix nutrients generally come from nuts because they are packed with protein and fiber. While peanuts are inexpensive and classic to mixes, there are other options that have more health benefits such as, almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts. Tip: Go for raw, unsalted nuts or lightly roasted nuts with lower sodium.

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Including seeds into your trail mix adds an extra punch of nutrients and texture. Pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds each have unique qualities that are beneficial to your health and make a great alternative to nuts if you are allergic.

Dried Fruitsdried-fruits

Dried fruits are a great source of natural sweetness and can be used to spruce up your trail mix. Dried fruit is filled with nutrients. One piece of dried fruit contains about the same amount of nutrients as the fresh fruit, but condensed in a much smaller package perfect for a portable trail mix.

Fun Ingredient

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Whether it be M&M’s, dark chocolate chips, or popcorn, trail mix doesn’t have to be boring! It’s all about balance between the healthy ingredients and the fun ones. Add a fun ingredient to fulfill that sweet or salty craving.

Build Your Own

After seeing the four key ingredients to elevate your snacking experience, it’s your turn to build you own trail mix! Trail mix is super customizable, so there might be combinations you like more than others, but try them anyway! Here are a few recipes to get you started:

Sweet & Salty – Almonds, dried cherries, dark chocolate chips, sea salt, cinnamon

Energy – Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, dried apricots, dried cranberries.

PB&J: Peanuts, dried strawberries, peanut butter chips, wheat cereal.

Classic: Almonds, pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sea salt

Nuts for Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, pecans, raisins.

Beach Mix: Macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips, dried pineapple, coconut flakes.


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July 4th Treats

Sun is out, fireworks are booming, and it’s America’s birthday! Other than some sunscreen and plenty of water, patriotic treats and desserts are necessities. Check out some easy desserts to bring to the cookout to impress your family and friends! (Click the titles for each of the recipes)

Red, White, and Blue Brownie Pizza

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Pizza made out of brownie batter – what else could you want? This dessert is easy to make and looks great. Talk about impressing your friends!

Strawberry Blueberry Yogurt Pops

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July 4th is fun and all, but it’s generally HOT in July. While you’re sweating and playing an intense game of cornhole, a cool treat like this will sure help you out.

No Bake Summer Berry Icebox Cake

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Since summer is in full swing, the last thing you want to do is heat up your house by using the oven. This no-bake cake just uses the freezer so it will keep you and your house cool!

Patriotic Pretzels

Don’t like strawberries or blueberries? Here’s a recipe for you! Chocolate covered, salty pretzels are a perfect portable snack for 4th of July festivities.

Oreo Pops

Dessert on a stick. Oreo Pops are a simple dessert that look very festive for the 4th. America’s birthday wouldn’t be a real birthday celebration without America’s favorite cookie!

July 4th S’mores Dip

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S’mores, minus the bonfire, but equally delicious. Check it out!

American Pie

This American Flag Pie is pretty simple to make and is the perfect centerpiece of your cookout. And it kind of makes you want to start singing the national anthem or shout “USA, USA, USA” while you eat it.

Give these recipes a try and make your family jealous of your baking skills! Happy 4th of July everyone! Whip up some of your favorite tasty treats, kick off your flip flops, and let the good times roll.


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Freezer Smoothies

“Fresh, healthy, easy-to-prep, and cheap” – four things that college students love to hear. Freezer smoothies start your day off right and are the perfect snack to cool off from the heat. To make it a “freezer smoothie”, divide or mix fruits in plastic bags, seal the bags and place them in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you’re ready, mix the ingredients plus some milk or water in a blender until the consistency is smooth.

Here are just a few simple suggestions and recipes to help your freezer smoothies go to the next level.

Buy Frozen

According to ABC News, the minute fruits or veggies are picked, they begin to lose nutrients, so exactly when it’s plucked, and how long after harvesting you eat them impacts there nutritional value. Most frozen fruits and veggies are frozen shortly after they’re harvested, which means a lot of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are locked in. Buy frozen fruits and veggies when prepping smoothies because it’s healthy and makes your prepping a lot easier.

Look at the Label

When you buy frozen, look at the label. A lot of companies like to sneak in extra sugars or substitutes to freeze their products. The ingredients should be whatever fruit or veggie you are buying. Fruits already carry natural sugars and your smoothie will be sweet enough without extra sugars.

Buy a Blender

If you don’t have some sort of blender already, purchasing a decent blender isn’t going to break the bank! Check Target or Amazon for some affordable options. This Oster Classic Blender will do the job. Whatever you decide, shop smart. You don’t have to drop $200+ for a good blender!

Recipes 

Smoothies are highly customizable and you can replace ingredients easily.  You would be surprised with how many combinations people come up with once you do your research. A great site to research smoothies (and other recipes), is Yummly. It has tons of filters so you can narrow down what you are looking for. For example, if you are allergic or don’t like bananas in your smoothies, you can filter that out of your searches. Check it out!

Here are few recipes to get you started with your smoothie game.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie – This three ingredient recipe is easier than trying to spell “b-a-n-a-n-a-s” (it’s tough without a little help from Gwen Stefani).

Pineapple Mango Banana – If you can’t go to a tropical island this summer, replicate it in your kitchen. This video includes the Pineapple Mango Banana smoothie recipe and a few others! 

25 Quick and Easy 3-Ingredient Smoothies – A creative chart of some ambitious and unique combinations.


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Gourmet Popsicle Recipes

If you can’t fully enjoy a beautiful summer day without  a refreshing popsicle, look no further for inspiration. Tired of the same old, same old generic fruit flavors? Try these gourmet twists on some of our favorite summer classics.

Cake Batter

For that birthday party vibe, try these cake batter flavored popsicles. These are a great way to get an ice cream-like thickness, but in the portable form of a popsicle. You can add whatever sprinkles you’d like for a colorful surprise. While they do take a bit of time to freeze, the outcome is worth it when you’re basically licking cake batter off of a stick (as opposed to the usual spoon).

Bomb Pops

If you remember those red, white and blue delicacies fondly, you’re sure to enjoy this more adult version. Using real fruit, this recipe certainly makes the ice cream truck classic a bit healthier. Basically, you make three different smoothies and freeze them together in bright, colorful layers for a delicious summer snack.

Key Lime Pie

If you’re anything like me, you know that a staple to any summer diet is key lime pie. The tangy sweetness of a key lime pie is the perfect complement to warm sunshine and the smell of saltwater in the air (if you’re by a beach that is). A good graham cracker crust is hard to pass up as well. Finally, you can bring the delicious tastes of Key Lime Pie to your popsicles with this easy recipe.

Peaches and Cream with a Twist!

Peaches and cream is a classic summer flavor combination. Put them together in a popsicle form and you can’t lose. But what if you want something with a little more pop? Just add basil and honey to really bring out the sweet flavors in this recipe.

Fudgsicles

Fudge pops were a lunch room classic growing up. Now you can use everyone’s favorite (Nutella) as one of two ingredients in these super easy fudgesicles. They will satisfy all of your chocolate cravings while keeping you cool all summer long.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Mint Chocolate Chip is a totally refreshing flavor while cheesecake is rich and filling and deliciously creamy. Mix them together for this winning recipe. The instructions call for Magic Shell which gives this popsicle an added crunch.

Have a favorite new popsicle? Share your new love with us!


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Calorie Conscious Copycat Recipes

Eating out can be more expensive and, often, less healthy than whipping up something at home and with summer in full-swing, now is a great time to get in the kitchen! If you want the tastes of your favorite fast foods without the health risks — and wallet risks — you may want to try the copycat recipes curated below.

Chipotle

This copycat recipe for Chipotle chicken makes enough marinade for 10 pounds of chicken! Meggan, who writes the blog Culinary Hill, has fine-tuned this recipe over the years and offers helpful tips for different methods you might want to try. By cooking this chicken fresh at home, you can cut out a lot of sodium that often slips into fast foods. With the chicken, you can make your own burrito bowls, salads, tacos, burritos or quesadillas. Share with us your favorite variation!

Wendy’s

Clocking in at less than half the calories of a regular Wendy’s medium Frosty, this copycat recipe definitely drew us in. What kept us reading was the fact that this recipe takes just 5-10 minutes to create. Additionally, you can make this recipe comply with a paleo diet. By substituting spoonfuls of sugar with honey and vanilla, this dessert is both healthy AND delicious.

Starbucks

Similar to a Frosty, our Starbucks copycat is for a Mocha Frappuccino. With just five ingredients, this recipe is easier than waiting in line at the “Starbs” around the corner. Coconut milk and Stevia make this coffee-based drink naturally sweet. Pour it into your favorite travel mug and get going!

Panda Express

Because you’re making this recipe at home, you can use whatever high-quality chicken you prefer, along with the other ingredients. You can also customize your spice level and how much or how little pineapple you want with your chicken to strike the perfect balance for you. This recipe takes just about thirty minutes to make. You can serve the chicken with rice if you’re really hungry!

Panera

This recipe shows you how to recreate Panera’s classic Mediterranean veggie sandwich at home. Making the sandwich at home means less sodium and fresher ingredients. The blog post included with the recipe also offers helpful tips for making sandwiches in general, which is essential information for students of any age.

Try these copycats at home and share any others you have with us on any of our social media accounts!


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Tasty Ways to Top Toast

It seems like every month there is a new trend in toast, so we weeded out the good and the … not so good to bring you a list of some of our favorite ways to eat toast! Try them all and tell us your favorite, but don’t just butter us up — we really want to know!

Ricotta

My personal favorite way to eat toast is to top a slightly browned slice of sourdough with ricotta and lox (with a piping hot cup of coffee on the side, of course!). This recipe is super easy and is pretty much a more gourmet version of a bagel.

If you’re looking for something a little more sweet, you could top a piece of ricotta toast with a fruit like figs, strawberries or blackberries. Some other savory options include a caprese toast with ricotta, basil, and tomato slices (preferably from a grape tomato) with a balsamic drizzle or toast topped with ricotta, beets and arugula. You can find even more ricotta toast options here.

Avocado

Most people have at least heard of avocado toast, but have you tried it? While it might feel a little “extra” to mash up a ripe Haas, it is most definitely worth it. Give your avo-toast a little mediterranean zest with lemon juice, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, a hard-cooked egg, and a drizzle of tahini.

For a fresh, simple taste, top your toast with avocado, arugula and lemon juice. For an afternoon avocado-filled adventure, you could barbeque some shrimp and toss it atop a bed of avocado toast and spray with lime juice. You could even add feta cheese crumbles and scallions to your classic avocado toast or find more recipes here! Avocado toast is versatile meaning you can add pretty much whatever you’d like!

Greek Yogurt

Bread topped with … yogurt? Heck yes! Put down the smoothie bowl and pick up a butter knife to spread your smoothie onto a piece of toast! Top toasted bread with greek yogurt, chia seeds and fresh fruit for a healthy twist on two breakfast classics. You could use any flavor of greek yogurt and any type of fruit.

Try strawberry greek yogurt with cocoa nibs for a chocolate-covered strawberry toast. Or add a chocolatey-styled greek yogurt to toast and drizzle with caramel sauce for a sweet breakfast treat.

Hummus

Top toast with hummus for a protein punch! You can add any veggie to hummus toast, but we love to add roasted asparagus, asiago cheese, and fresh lemon juice. For a refreshing treat, add cucumber and cracked pepper to your hummus toast. You could also top toast with both hummus and avocado (in slices) for a protein double whammy. Add radishes, arugula and pepper to that for a little bit of bite. If you’ve never tried microgreens, you definitely should. This delicious, fresh produce packs a healthy punch in a tiny package. Add them to your hummus toast along with feta cheese for a delicious snack anytime of day. You could also add roasted kale and your favorite spice!

Tag us in your artsy food pictures and share your favorite recipe!


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Healthy Meal Substitutions Worth Trying

A common misconception with food is that in order to make smarter, healthier choices, you have to give up all your favorite meals. That isn’t necessarily true. If you get creative, and a little adventurous, you will find there are plenty of ways to still enjoy your go-to meals by substituting ingredients with other, healthier alternatives.

We found a couple meals that fit the bill with simple substitutions that can be made to add a fresh, healthy twist. These meal substitutions are definitely worth trying in your home kitchen.

Breakfast

Everybody loves to start the day with pancakes from First Stop or Pulley Diner. While you’re home for spring break, try a new twist on this breakfast staple. You can replace regular pancake batter with two bananas and two eggs for a gluten-free meal! Try this basic recipe with suggestions for common add-ins! Added bonus: bananas are high in fiber and antioxidants.

Lunch

If you’re a fan of Boneless Wing Wednesdays, you can switch it up a bit by replacing the chicken with cauliflower! It’s super easy to make this vegetarian dish and definitely worth a try. Just bake some cauliflower, cover it in as much sauce as you want and bake again. Here’s a recipe straight from the source. Replacing chicken with cauliflower makes this dish more vitamin rich, lower in calories, and gluten-free.

Snack

A great snack for the warmer months ahead is one that will bring with it a twinge of nostalgia. Throwback to childhood summers of pouring juice into popsicle trays, but now imagine an updated, more health-conscious version. Try replacing sugar-rich juice, found in the popsicles of your youth, with greek yogurt. All it takes is your favorite sliced fresh fruit, plain greek yogurt, and a natural sweetener like agave nectar or honey. The creamy and delicious treat will melt in your mouth … literally.

Dinner

Even fans of The Q can get in on this whole substitution thing. Barbeque pulled pork gets a healthy twist by replacing the meat with … fruit! Jackfruit can be prepared so that it has the texture of the average pulled meat. Adding barbeque for flavor and then using it on a bun, taco shell, or plate of nachos turns the fruit into a great meat substitute. This cuts down on cholesterol and calories and adds in more nutrients. It is definitely worth giving a try in your home kitchen!


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Recipes for Spring Break

Whether you’re hitting the beach, heading to the mountains or just chilling on the couch, you’ve got to eat! Try these yummy recipes so your stomach can be as happy and relaxed as you are this break.

Superfood Coconut Oil Granola with Chia & Flax

Chia seeds are known for their high fiber, protein and Omega-3 fatty acid content. Flax is a great source of fiber and Omega-3’s as well, but it’s also known for its lignans which are high in plant estrogen and antioxidants. This granola is chock full of these highly beneficial ingredients and more. Plus, the recipe is pretty easy to follow!

Granola takes some time to prepare, but once it’s baked it will last a while, making it a great snack to bring to the beach, take on a hike or just bring to the couch for any spring break activities you have planned.

One Pan Lemon Butter Garlic Shrimp and Asparagus

Whether you’re spending your break at the beach or not, juicy, flavorful seafood is sure to get you in vacation mode. Shrimp is super easy to make already and this one-pan recipe makes it even easier. This recipe takes just 15 minutes so you can squeeze a fresh-cooked, healthy meal into your fun-filled days.

You can eat the shrimp and asparagus alone, or add noodles for a roasted shrimp pasta with a side of asparagus. The seasoning for this dish consists of spices, herbs and oils you’ll find in many kitchens, so as long as you have some frozen shrimp and some asparagus on hand, you could make this anytime.

Salmon Bowl with Black Rice

I was first introduced to “power bowls” when I spent this past summer on the beach, so it’s only fitting that a power bowl make it onto this list. Power bowls are a delicious meal you can eat for lunch, or dinner. They are filling, which is why I always fueled up with one before an adventure on my days off.

This specific bowl is packed with salmon, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, carrots, avocado, purple cabbage, and black rice. The recipe will make you feel like you’re spending the day on a tropical beach, even if you’re just sitting at your kitchen table!

Edible Sea Glass Candy

If you’ve ever stumbled upon sea glass, then you know how pretty this treasure is. Now you can make your own, and eat it too! This sweet treat only uses four ingredients and is perfect for displaying at a casual get together or packing as a treat for the beach. Just don’t get it mixed up with the real thing. Although the recipe takes a little bit of technique, it is a great starter recipe for getting into hard candy making.


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Holiday Recipes

Cooking over the holidays is stressful enough. Finding the perfect recipe shouldn’t have to be. We have compiled a few easy recipes to share with you this season. Enjoy these for any occasion!

Roasted Applesauce

For a richer twist on a classic snack or side, try this recipe. Bake apples with butter in a covered pan in the oven for 15-30 minutes or until they soften. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes after turning up the heat. Then, stir up the softened apples and season with salt and sugar. This no-fuss recipe will help save time when there are other things to stress about this holiday season.

Fried Chickpeas with Sage

This delicious snack might just replace holiday cookies! Dry out chickpeas and toss in a mixture of flour, salt and paprika in a large bowl. Fry the chickpeas in a ½ olive oil, ½ canola oil mixture. Once they have stopped popping and have turned golden brown, remove the chickpeas with the skimmer. Next, toss the sage in flour and fry it, once again removing the product with a skimmer. Toss the chickpeas and sage together and they are ready to serve.

Tangy Spiced Brisket

Once these ingredients are in the slow cooker, you can leave to go gift shopping and come back to a delicious, hearty winter meal. First, caramelize onions and sauté halved garlic. Mix in paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne, oregano and thyme. Stir together beef stock, ketchup, chili sauce and brown sugar in a large bowl. Once the brisket is in the slow cooker, spread onion and garlic mixture over it and pour the sauce on top. Cook on low for about 10 hours. Once the brisket has cooked, chill it for a few hours. Then, heat it in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Apple Cake

This apple cake is the multi-tool of holiday recipes. It can be eaten for breakfast or dessert and it can be frozen and saved for later. First, beat oil and sugar together and add in eggs. Then, sift together flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda and stir into the sugar mixture. Add in vanilla, apples, walnuts and raisins until combined. Bake for one hour and 15 minutes.

Snowman Cupcakes

Start with cupcakes of any flavor. Don’t worry, we won’t tell if you use a boxed mix. Spread white icing on top and dust with decorating sugar or shredded coconut. Once sufficiently coated, use chocolate and butterscotch chips to make the eyes, mouth and nose!

Sausage Rolls with Caramelized Red Onions

Serve these sausage rolls at your holiday get-together and you’ll have people coming back for more next year. Cheat a little and use store-bought pastry puff to cut down on stress this holiday season. First, caramelize onions in olive oil, adding cranberry sauce and balsamic vinegar as you go. Then, mix together the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and fry. Roll out the pastry to a rectangle and roll the filling into a long cylinder in the middle, adding the caramelized onions on top. Brush the pastry with an egg wash and seal. Portion out the roll and chill it for about 20 minutes. Then, bake the roll for 15-20 minutes.

Slow Cooker Gingerbread Lattes

No gumdrop buttons here, just delicious, caffeinated beverages! Pour all the ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on low for about 3 hours. Turn it up to warm for another 2 hours and stir again before serving. For a special twist, dip the rims of cups in caramel sauce and graham cracker crumbs. Top with whipped cream and caramel syrup and enjoy!

Eggnog French Toast

Combine a classic drink with a classic breakfast food for a winning combination! Whisk together eggnog, eggs, nutmeg and rum extract. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish. Dip slices of bread into the mixture, making sure to coat both sides. Toss them on a griddle and cook until golden brown. Top with whipped cream for an extra-sweet treat.

Cranberry and Feta Pinwheels

Tide guests over before the main event with these scrumptious snacks. Combine cream cheese, feta cheese, dried cranberries and green onion. Spread the mixture on tortillas. Roll them up and refrigerate for about an hour. Slice up the wraps to make a festive hors d’oeuvre.

Rosemary Garlic Crusted Roast Beef

This dish will make you look like a professional cook, even though you just use your slow cooker. Rub roast beef with olive oil. Chop up some rosemary and combine with garlic, salt and pepper. Create a crust on the roast beef using this rub. Sear roast on each side in a skillet. Use balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan and toss everything in a slow cooker. Cook for 8-9 hours.