All Posts by Alison Bickel

2 fresh fruit lemonade popsicles

Fresh Fruit and Lemonade Popsicles

Your kids are going to love these fresh fruit and lemonade popsicles! They are a fun way to eat more fruit!

What do you get when you combine fresh fruit and lemonade? These awesome popsicles of course! 
fresh fruit lemonade popsiclesBy looking at the calendar it is officially summer, but if go by the temperature gauge it has already felt like summer for a few weeks.  We’ve been cooling off by spending hours in the swimming pool, having water balloon fights and eating popsicles.

Lots of popsicles.

If you haven’t made your own popsicles before, it is probably one of the easiest things you can do.  Those “layered” popsicles you see on the web can be intimidating to make; so if you want a recipe that you can “pour-and-go” this is the one!

The equipment doesn’t need to be fancy, and your kids will love being involved in dreaming up all the flavor possibilities.  It’s a wholesome way to make a cool snack that both you, your kids and probably even the neighborhood kids are going to love this summer.

Check out how easy these popsicles are to make!

Fresh fruit is always a great add-in for popsicles. The natural sweetness is just perfect for quenching the need for something cool and sweet after an afternoon in the summer sun.  Adding in the traditional drink of summer, the lemonade gives it a tartness that puts these popsicles over the top!

fresh fruit and lemonade popsicles

Fresh Fruit and Lemonade Popsicles
 
Author:
Serves: 6 popsicles
Ingredients
  • 2 cups lemonade, homemade or store bought
  • 1 - 1½ cups fresh fruit, chopped
  • Popsicle molds
Instructions
  1. Fill popsicle molds with chopped fruit.
  2. Pour lemonade into each mold, covering the fruit and leaving ¼ inch space at the top.
  3. Insert popsicle mold covers or sticks and freeze, for least 5 hours or overnight.
  4. Run water over popsicle mold to separate, pull popsicle out, and enjoy.
 

19 Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Butter Recipe

Think homemade nut butter may be too much trouble? Think again! This Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Butter Recipe is super easy, and a perfect thing to send in your child’s lunch

Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Butter - nut free butter

“There really isn’t much that is easier than making nut butter.”

These are the words I’d been told time and time again.  Yet, when it came my turn to make a creamy nut butter of my own, all I had was a bowl full of dry, crumbling, no-where-near-creamy nut butter.  If this was so easy, what was I doing wrong?  After polling a few friends and searching around the internet, it turns out just a couple of tips can make all the difference in achieving a creamy, homemade nut butter.  Here’s what I learned…

1.  Once you start…just let it go.

This was the advice of a good friend that ultimately was the most helpful.  All food processors are different and, it turns out, mine was taking longer than expected to take the nuts from a dry, crumbling mixture to the point where the nut oils are released and the creamy butter begins to form.  Be patient!

2.  Don’t be afraid to add oil.

If, after waiting on that magical moment for your creamy nut butter to evolve, you still think it’s a little dry, it’s okay to add a bit of oil.  A little goes a long way, so add about a teaspoon at a time, slowly and sparingly. Coconut oil can be used if you don’t mind a coconut-ty flavor to your nut butter, otherwise select a neutral tasting oil.

4.8 from 4 reviews
Cinnamon Pumpkin Seed Butter
 
Author:
Recipe type: spreads
Ingredients
  • 3 cups pumpkin seeds, raw and shelled
  • ¼ teaspoon cinamon
  • 1½ Tablespoons maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a bowl, toss cinnamon and pumpkin seeds to evenly coat.
  3. Place the pumpkin seeds on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden.
  4. Allow to cool.
  5. Place the seeds in a food processor and process into butter for several minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides with a spatula.
  6. After the first minute or two, it will look like a giant ball, keep going.
  7. Add your pure maple syrup (optional) and continue pureeing until it becomes smooth.
Notes
Cinnamon and maple syrup are optional. You can make plain pumpkin seed butter the say way just omit optional ingredients
 

8

Homemade Easy Caramel Sauce Recipe

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There are just some recipes that are a must have in your kitchen arsenal of goodies.  Recipes like a good chocolate chip cookie, a hearty soup, a good muffin…and a quick and easy caramel sauce.

Homemade Caramel Sauce 4

Caramel sauce?
Yes, you read me right.  I know, I used to be afraid of making it too.  Turns out that it really couldn’t be easier AND you don’t even need a fancy candy thermometer to pull it off.  Once you’ve tasted this buttery, creamy sauce you will want to make it again and again.

There are so many great uses for it too….a yummy lunch box treat for dipping apples, poured atop a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a celebratory dessert, or drizzled over a slice of peach or apple pie.

The key to making your caramel sauce successfully is to be patient.  Give the boiling sugar time to convert to a dark amber.  This is the point that the sugar has caramelized and gives your sauce it’s color.  Add the cream too soon and it will be watery and light.  Too late and you’ll have burned sugar.  This conversion happens in a matter of minutes, so make sure to not step away from the stove for more than a few seconds when the sugar is bubbling away.

1.0 from 1 reviews
Caramel Sauce
 
Author:
Cuisine: Snacks
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Place the sugar into a medium sauce pan.
  2. Pour in the water and stir to gently combine with the sugar.
  3. Bring the sugar to a boil, over medium heat.
  4. After about 10 minutes (give or take a couple) the boiling sugar will turn a dark, amber color.
  5. Pour in cream. It will bubble like crazy, but keep whisking. You may even feel a lump of caramel form in the middle of the pot. Keep whisking! It will melt and combine with the liquid.
  6. Take off the heat and add vanilla extract.
  7. Pour into a jar/container and allow to cool. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
  8. Once cooled to room temperature, store in refrigerator.
*adapted only slightly from Baked Bree

 

7

Strawberry Cheesecake Yogurt Parfait Recipe

This strawberry cheesecake yogurt parfait recipe is a delicious lunchbox treat or snack kids will love.  

Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait Healthy Dessert Idea and lunch box treat or snack

It’s strawberry season!  I’ll admit, I look forward to strawberry season almost as much as spring.  There’s just something about those juicy, sweet, ruby red berries that are a sign that warmer days and sunshine are on the way. However, if you are reading this in the middle of winter, know that you can use frozen strawberries too!

Related: Top 5 Lunchboxes We’ve Tested

My kids love strawberries too.  Many days I catch them eating strawberries plain, straight out of the box, but it’s fun to find new ways to enjoy this naturally sweet fruit too.

Why not add them to yogurt?  Fruit and yogurt make a great breakfast, after school snack, or in this case a healthy lunch box dessert.

While there are many great fruit yogurts on the store shelves these days, making your own version could not be easier.  The added bonus is that you know there are no artificial flavors or colors added.

Our version of cheesecake is much lower in fat than traditional cheesecakes and the ingredients are all natural.  This is one dessert, high protein snack or lunchbox addition you can always feel good about giving to your kids.  The protein provided by the greek yogurt and almond butter are an added bonus too.

No strawberries on hand?  Blueberries or raspberries fill in easily and are just as delicious!

Healthy Strawberry Cheesecake Parfait
 
Author:
Cuisine: Lunch
Serves: 1 serving
Ingredients
  • 1 6oz cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 2-3 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 graham cracker, crumbled
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix yogurt, almond butter, maple syrup and strawberries.
  2. Place inside a chilled thermos container, top with crumbled graham cracker and pack in lunchbox with your child’s favorite sandwich, fruit and veggies.
 

 

14

Glazed Cake Donut Muffin Recipe

Have you been looking for a glazed cake donut recipe that requires no special pan? Look no further. 
Glazed Cake Donut Muffins Recipe. So delicious you wont' miss donuts!

There is something about donuts that just makes the day feel special.  Maybe because it’s a sweet treat that feels like dessert for breakfast?  Yea, I think that might be it.

Making donuts at home is easy enough, but many recipes call for a special pan or even a special donut making kitchen gadget.  Today, I’m sharing a donut recipe that calls for nothing more than a good ol’ muffin pan and ingredients you are sure to already have sitting in your pantry.

Sound good?  I think so too.

The best part about this recipe is that now you can make donuts at home and even bring the kids into the kitchen to help using this simple recipe.

These donut muffins are perfect for a special breakfast (we love to make birthday breakfasts a notable occasion) or even for a delicious lunch box dessert.

Just a note about the flour used in this recipe…I often use Whole Wheat Pastry Flour in my baking as a substitute for all-purpose flour.  It is a flour made from a soft, winter wheat that works well when baking pastries, cakes and cookies giving them a much lighter texture than regular whole wheat flour.

Using whole wheat pastry flour is a great way to add more whole grains without the whole wheat taste or heaviness. If you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour, use regular all purpose flour.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Glazed Donut Muffins
 
Author:
Cuisine: Baking
Serves: 18
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup evaporated cane sugar
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 to 1¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg or cinnamon (optional)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2⅔ cups whole wheat pastry flour (can also use all-purpose flour if desired)
  • 1 cup milk
Glaze:
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin or line with muffin cups.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars till smooth.
  3. Add the eggs and apple sauce, mixing just enough to combine.
  4. Add in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and vanilla.
  5. Slowly add the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
  6. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full. Using an ice cream scoop makes it easy.
  7. Bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes, or until muffins are a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
  8. Remove the muffins from the oven, and let them cool for a couple of minutes, or until you can handle them.
For the Glaze:
  1. In a medium bowl combine all ingredients and stir until smooth.
  2. Dip top of muffins into glaze after they have cooled for several minutes.
  3. Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight. Store for a day or so at room temperature.
 

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