Picnic Essentials and Giveaways!

Whether it’s at the park, beach, river or forest, we love summer picnics!  Our kids jump at any chance to get away from home, even if it’s just for an hour or two.  The break in routine alleviates summer boredom and they get to run wild without wrecking the house, which makes mom (and therefore kids) happy.

The best part about picnics is that you don’t have to go very far to enjoy fresh air and a bit of nature.  Oh, and all that running around wears the kids out while we get to relax in the shade on a blanket!  With the right essentials, a picnic can be a quick and low-stress activity for the whole family to enjoy.
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Recipe: Salmon Cakes with Kale

Salmon Cakes with Kale

Salmon Cakes with Kale

The first time I made this recipe, I wasn’t expecting the rave reviews I received.  We’re not crazy about kale like some folks are, and unless I’m making a lot of smoothies we often don’t make it through a whole bag of pre-washed and chopped kale.  I usually don’t waste food and, come on, all the prep work of washing and chopping was already done for me!  I must really be on the fence about kale.

I was so glad that these turned out more delicious than expected, and it’s a perfect showcase for a side of brown rice and a squeeze of lemon.
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Recipe: Raw Brownies

Raw Brownie

Raw Brownie

After all those healthy salad recipes, I was ready for some dessert! These raw brownies fit the bill without being too unhealthy.

They are gluten-free and paleo, but not too sweet. My husband was not a big fan, but I think they are great! You might not want to tell your kids/spouse what is in them until after they’ve had a bite.

If you’re like me, and find your Costco bag of avocados all ripe at the exact same time, this is a great way to use them fast!

 

Raw Brownies Adapted from Oprah Magazine

Brownie Layer:

  • 2 C raw pecans
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
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Recipe: Medjool Date Fudge

Looking for a holiday treat that no one else will be bringing to the annual pot-luck?  Fudge is a classic choice, but this spin will have everyone grinning over how “healthy” it is.  There is no added sugar and it uses unsweetened chocolate, an antioxidant powerhouse.  No one will know that it uses dates, unless you tell them.  I’ll leave that decision up to you!

It definitely is a seasonal recipe, since you can only find Medjool dates this time of year.  But you can get them just about anywhere, even Costco! Or if you are a Trader Joe’s fanatic like me, you can find all the ingredients (even the ghee) there.
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Peanut Butter Chia Balls

This was one of my favorite recipes when I was pregnant, and I’m making it again now that breastfeeding is making me even more hungry. The bite-sized morsels are perfect for tiding me over between meals, and fill me up enough that I snack less. Plus, there’s just enough sugar to satiate my sweet-tooth. You can adjust the amount of sugar based on your taste, so it’s a good recipe for anyone avoiding the sweet stuff.

My nieces loved this energy-packed snack as well, so it’s kid approved!

Mine look darker than this because I added cocoa and my flax seed wasn’t golden


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Slightly Healthier Puppy Chow

I’ve had Chex Mix before, but I hadn’t heard of Chex Puppy Chow until a few weeks ago. I was searching for something I could snack on while breastfeeding that would be sweet and tide me over between meals, but that wasn’t terribly unhealthy (like a plate of cookies, which is what I had been eating). I adapted this recipe from Undercover Mother after her version didn’t turn out for me.  This recipe, by the way, is gluten-free (as long as you use rice or corn chex) and can be made 100% organic.

Slightly Healthier Puppy ChowSlightly Healthier Puppy Chow

  • 1/4 Cup butter
  • 1 Cup creamy peanut butter (not the sweetened kind)
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