Mom Knows Best : October 2016

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Delicious Drink Recipe For Better Night Of Sleep & A Giveaway

Having troubles falling asleep at night? This delicious drink may be all you need for sweet dreams.


 Lately, I have had troubles falling asleep at night. I do all the things that I can think of to relax several hours before bed. Things like take a warm bath, eat a high carb/protein snack, dim the lights, and spray lavender. None of these things seem to help. I get into bed and it seems like I am awake for hours before I fall asleep. The next morning when my alarm rings, I just want to stay in bed. Some nights I think to myself, why do I bother going to bed?  It has been very frustrating to not be able to get a good night's sleep. Most days it seems like my brain is in la la land. 


 I finally found the solution to my sleep problems! It is a delicious raspberry lemon fizzy drink! Garden of Life, a company that makes wonderful supplements from whole food, sent me their newest product and I am so glad they did. Their Relax & Restore Whole Food Magnesium fizzy drink is made from whole food magnesium and has done wonders for my sleep. I already knew that magnesium was great for my boy's leg cramps (growing pains) but I now learned how awesome it is to help me calm and relax so I can get a better night's sleep.

   Did you know that low magnesium levels are correlated with so many health-related issues? Me neither. Signs of magnesium deficiency involve all the body's major systems and include Irritability, Anxiety, Lethargy, Fatigue, Memory problems, Anorexia, Loss of Appetite, Seizures, Muscle Weakness, Muscle cramps, Tremors, Vertigo, Difficulty swallowing, and Irregular or rapid heartbeat. Wow, to think that a mineral could help with all of that and help me sleep better!


All I have to do is mix one teaspoon into a glass of water at bedtime and this delicious raspberry lemon fizzy drink starts to help my body relax. I tried this drink last night at bedtime and loved the taste. This Relax and Restore is also available in Orange Dreamsicle and Original Stevia free flavors. The next thing I knew was I was feeling sleepy, that does not happen very often, and I wanted to go to bed. I don't even remember if I said my prayers once I laid my head on my pillow and the next thing I remembered was my alarm ringing. The cool thing was I wanted to get out of bed. To think that this simple drink helped me to sleep. This drink contains
Whole Food Magnesium
Made Using USA-grown Organic Peas
350mg Magnesium
Contains Live Probiotics—1 Billion CFU

I like that this fizzy magnesium drink is made from whole food peas and not chemicals! The probiotics are a added bonus! This drink is also great for relieving stress. So, if you’re feeling stressed out or unable to sleep well, you should consider taking Relax & Restore at bedtime to help you de-stress and get a good night’s sleep. Find out more at Garden Of Life

Giveaway Time

I have a container of Garden Of Life Relax & Restore Whole Food Magnesium to giveaway to one of my readers, in your choice of flavor. So if you want to experience a good night sleep, then enter below. Good Luck!


This giveaway is open to US residents 18 years of age or older.  Chances of winning this giveaway depends on the number of entries. All entries will be verified. The winner will be notified within 24 hours of the end of the contest and will then have 48 hours to respond to the email or a new winner will be chosen. Sponsor is responsible for shipping out the prize. Void where prohibited


Gluten Free Caramel Mocha Black Bean Brownies & A Giveaway

These flourless cake like textured black bean brownies are delicious, moist and decadent. They are also high in protein.



  I like indulging in treats once in a while, ok about one a week. When I do give into my sweet tooth I like to sneak in some nutrition into my baked goodies. That way I can indulge without feeling guilty. The added nutrition in my dessert is also a great way to get the needed nutrition into my growing boy's bodies. Black bean brownies may sound different and weird but trust me you won't even notice the taste nor texture of the beans. All you will notice is a delicious tasting treat. The trick is to puree the black beans. The black beans and an addition of protein powder make these brownies a high protein treat. I use a protein powder that is made with coffee so you get a nice mocha taste. The protein powder also adds a nice caramel flavor to the brownies. I also included a recipe for a low-fat peanut butter frosting if you want to add a frosting to these brownies.


  This delicious Coffee & Protein Drink Mix contains a double shot of espresso coffee and is simply a great healthy way to get your caffeine fix in the morning. You can enjoy Click All-In-One Coffee & Protein cold or hot. Click also contains a one-of-a-kind combination of slow digesting proteins that helps control hunger. Try controlling your hunger with a regular cup of coffee. My new favorite coffee drink comes in three delicious flavors too, Vanilla, Caramel, and Mocha. Oh, it is also loaded with 23 essential vitamins and minerals and gluten free too. Check out my wonderful recipe below that uses Click All-In-One and then enter to win a canister of this delicious Coffee & Protein Drink so you too can enjoy coffee and protein together for a delicious drink that helps you to boost your energy and control hunger at the same time.


                      Gluten Free Caramel Mocha Black Bean Brownies 
                                           Makes 16 squares
Ingredients

1 15oz can black beans, rinsed/drained
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/3 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
3 scoops Click Caramel Coffee & Protein Drink Mix
4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 large eggs
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Peanut Butter Frosting
1 cup peanut butter powder, I used PB Fit
¾ cup almond milk, unsweetened
2 tablespoons honey

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Add all of the ingredients into a food processor.
2. Blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
3. Spray an 8 x 10" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, and line  with parchment paper. The        parchment will help you lift the brownies out later.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared dish and spread it out evenly.
5. Place the dish in the center of the oven and bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in     the center comes out clean.
6. Remove the brownies from the oven and let them cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
7. Using the parchment paper, lift the brownies out of the pan and place them on the counter.
8. Frost with peanut butter frosting is desired.


                              Giveaway
Go visit DrinkClick.com to learn more about this delicious drink and then enter my giveaway for a chance to win a canister of Click Coffee & Protein in your choice of flavor. Enter on the form below and good luck!

This giveaway is open to US residents 18 years of age or older.  Chances of winning this giveaway depends on the number of entries. All entries will be verified. The winner will be notified within 24 hours of the end of the contest and will then have 48 hours to respond to the email or a new winner will be chosen. Sponsor is responsible for shipping out the prize. Void where prohibited


Entry-Form

"These opinions are my own and I received samples of Click All-In-One Coffee & Protein Drink to facilitate this post and giveaway."

Keep Kids Healthy With Omegas & A Giveaway

It all started with a doctor's appointment.


     Last week I brought my boys to the doctor to get their flu shot. My boys had not been to the doctor for a check up for quite some time so in order to get their flu shot they had to have a wellness visit check-up. The nurse informed me that my 9-year old would be getting his cholesterol checked as this was something new they were doing. I talked with the nurse about how sad it is that they have to check cholesterol in kids, thinking that my kids did not need it as they eat healthy and exercise. The nurse took some blood from my son's finger and I thought to myself that his numbers would be fine. I was so wrong. The doctor informed me that his number was 185 and a healthy number should be less than 170. Granted my son did eat a peanut butter sandwich before the visit and the test should be done with fasting. The number may have been lower if my son had fasted, I don't know. Well, that got me to thinking that even active skinny kids could have high cholesterol if there was a family history. My family has a history of high cholesterol so I needed to help my kids have healthy hearts. I was already feeding them healthy food so I knew it was time to start my boys on an omega supplement.


  I was not sure if I could get my younger boys to take an omega supplement as that would mean swallowing a pill. So when SeabuckWonders asked me if I wanted to sample one of their many products, I thought of my boys and the need for a small sized omega pill. SeabuckWonders had an Omega-7 Complete that was not only small in size but had benefits beyond the Omegas 3,6,7 & 9. Their blend of berry and seed oil contained vitamins too, like C, C, B1, and Betacarotene. This gel cap , which was made from Organic Sea Buckthorn oil, would keep my boy's heart healthy while giving them immune support. My boys can always use extra immune support. Did you know that omegas are also great for the skin, liver, and gastrointestinal?


  The orange bottle of Omegas arrived in the mail and I discussed with my boys why I wanted them to take these. I told them about the high cholesterol number at the doctor and how I wanted them to have a healthy heart. The youngest was excited to try the Omega-7 gel cap, as he had a sample in the past that was lemon flavor. I informed my youngest that these had to be swallowed. He took the challenge of swallowing the pill to show his older brother that he could do it. The small gel cap was easier for my son to swallow so his older brother decided to try one. He also had no problem swallowing this small gel cap. Yea, score one for mom! I placed the bottle of Omega-7 Complete in the cabinet next to the probiotics that my boys take. I told my boys that I want them to have healthy hearts so they could run fast and that they could have one omega cap a day along with their probiotic. The next day my boys asked if they could have the omega pill and of course, I said yes.


Giveaway
     Do you want your kids to have a healthy heart? Are you concerned about high cholesterol in your kids or yourself? Take a look at SeabuckWonders website and find out more about their products including Omega-7 Complete and how they can benefit you.

Then enter my giveaway for a chance to win a bottle of Omega-7 Complete. Enter on the form below and good luck! 

This giveaway is open to US residents 18 years of age or older.  Chances of winning this giveaway depends on the number of entries. All entries will be verified. The winner will be notified within 24 hours of the end of the contest and will then have 48 hours to respond to the email or a new winner will be chosen. Sponsor is responsible for shipping out the prize. Void where prohibited

Entry-Form

"These opinions are my own and I received a sample of SeabuckWonders Omega-7 Complete to facilitate this post"

Strengthen Hair, Skin & Nails With New Mykind Organic Plant Collagen Builder & A Giveaway

You can’t build collagen by eating collagen.


  We all want beautiful hair, skin and nails. It can be frustrating when our hair starts to thin, the fine lines start appearing, and our nails break easily. The joys of getting older. So we ladies reach for those hair creams, face creams, and nail strengthening polishes to help with these conditions on our body that we do not like. While all of these items can be good to help with the thinning hair, the fine lines, and the breaking nails there is another way also. The answer is collagen. Collagen is necessary for our bodies and we need more as we age as our bodies tend to slow down in the production. Some people think that eating collagen will help our bodies build more collagen but the truth is You can’t build collagen by eating collagen. Collagen is a protein and when we eat it our digestive system breaks it down. So how are we suppose to build up collagen in our bodies to strengthen our hair, skin, and nails?


We can feed our body the necessary co-nutrients to help it build collagen. One way to get all  these necessary co-nutrients is by taking New Mykind Organic Plant Collagen Builder . This wonderful smelling supplement is made from over 30 real, nutritious organic foods. These ingredients help support your body's collagen production. I love that Organic Plant Collagen Builder can help restore and maintain youthful levels of collagen, keratin, and elastin—three proteins which promote the body’s healthy, natural glow! This supplement is also vegan certified! You can relax knowing that it has no GMO's or Gluten. This supplement has a whole lot of nutrition, just look at the back of the box! I just love seeing fruits and veggies in the ingredient list. This box has a lot of good information on it.



                                                   Just love the top flap of the box! Find out more here
https://www.gardenoflife.com/content/product/why-choose-mykind-organics/mykind-organicsplant-collagen-builder/


Giveaway

Garden of Life is allowing me to giveaway a container of the 
New Mykind Organic Plant Collagen Builder . One lucky reader will win this awesome collagen builder supplement. Just enter on the form below and good luck!


This giveaway is open to US residents 18 years of age or older.  Chances of winning this giveaway depends on the number of entries. All entries will be verified. The winner will be notified within 24 hours of the end of the contest and will then have 48 hours to respond to the email or a new winner will be chosen. Sponsor is responsible for shipping out the prize. Void where prohibited


Entry-Form

"These opinions are my own and I received a container of Mykind Organic Plant Collagen Builder to facilitate this post."

Friday, October 28, 2016

Vegetarian Mushroom "Meat" Loaf

This is for those vegetarian fans who still crave meatloaf. You won't even miss the meat


   I don't know what possessed me to make this meatloaf. I don't even like the taste of real meatloaf. I remember as a kid when my mom would make her weekly meatloaf. Out would come the bottle of ketchup and the loaf of bread. My mom would save the end pieces of the bread to use in her meatloaf as we 5 kids would not eat the end pieces. I thought the way my mom made meatloaf was quite disgusting, she would mix the gross hamburger meat with the bread and ketchup along with eggs with her hands. Then she would stuff into a pan and place bacon on top. The thing looked quite gross before it was cooked and afterward it still looked nasty to me but my dad loved meatloaf so she made it once a week. Maybe this is one of the reasons I choose not to eat meat as I never quite liked the taste of ground beef. My husband does enjoy meat and craves meatloaf once in a while.  So when I saw this recipe for a vegetarian "meat" loaf, I just knew I had to make it for him. The picture of the mushroom "meat" loaf looked like the real thing so I thought maybe he just might enjoy this vegetarian loaf. Lucky for him, I even had a bottle of ketchup in the fridge from the last Cub Scout event.


     This "meat" loaf was a hit with my husband as he was skeptical when I told him it was made without meat. I made this into two small loafs and a tiny one to taste before I took the pictures. I gave my husband a taste and he wanted more. I told him I had to first take pictures. My husband then said, "hurry up and take the picture" but I couldn't as it was night time. My husband then whined "you can take it at night time" as he wanted more of the delicious "meat" loaf. I even loved it and it tasted so much better than the meatloaf that I remember as a kid. This is a recipe that I will make again. It does require some time to make it and bake it but it was so worth it. The next time mushrooms are on sale I will be making this delicious mushroom "meat" loaf.

                           Vegetarian Mushroom "Meat" Loaf
                Makes 6-8 servings        
                                         Ingredients
                               4 slices wheat bread, torn into small pieces
                               3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing
                               1 yellow onion, finely chopped
                               2 pounds mushrooms, finely chopped
                               1 cup ketchup
                               1 tablespoon minced sage
                               1 tablespoon minced thyme
                               1 tablespoon minced oregano
                               2 garlic cloves, minced
                               1 cup walnuts, coarsely ground in a food processor
                               ½ cup instant oats
                               ½ cup bread crumbs
                               2 tablespoons kosher salt
                               2 tablespoons lemon juice
                               ½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
                               2 eggs, lightly beaten


       DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 375ยบ.
2. In a large fry pan heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until lightly caramelized, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until any liquid released has evaporated and the mushrooms are lightly caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Add 1/2 cup of the ketchup with the sage, thyme, oregano and garlic, and cook, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot until the garlic and herbs are fragrant about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the bread, walnuts, oats and bread crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly.
4. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the salt, lemon juice, pepper, lemon zest and eggs until well incorporated. Press the mixture into a greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and smooth the top. Brush with the remaining ketchup.
5. Bake the "meat" loaf for 1 hour, then place on a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving


The Java Factory Roasters Trick and Treat Giveaway


The Java Factory Roasters Trick and Treat Giveaway (1 Lucky Winner!) Ends 11/10

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Do you love coffee? Then I have a wonderful giveaway for you for delicious coffee1

1 Lucky Winner Will Receive a 40 Ct Box of Java Factory Roasters Trick and Treat Fall Seasonal Flavor KCups! ($23 RV). Read The Review Of This Delicious Treat HERE.


Sponsored By:

javafactorylogoHosted By:

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And Now The Giveaway!

GiVeaWAY_BannerDay
Giveaway Dates ~ Starts 10/28 9:00AM EST & Ends 11/10 11:59PM EST
Entrants must be 18 years old to enter and giveaway is open to US residents only

Any Questions Email Me At mcushing7 (at) hotmail (dot) com.
This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated or associated with Facebook,
Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway is valid only
in the United States. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter.
This giveaway will end at 11:59PM (EST) on 11/10/2016.

Good Luck! Enter Below

Also we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook!

By Supporting Our Blogs Via Social Media You Are Helping Us To Provide Fabulous Prizes For Amazing Future Giveaways! Good Luck & Thank You!

Free CESAR® Singles Wet Food for Dogs



Free CESAR® Wet Dog Food Singles Receive ONE (1) Free CESAR® Singles Wet Food for Dogs, any variety (3.5 oz). Available in most stores.
Exp 11/13/2016

This Friday, October 28th, 2016 – ONLY, you can load a coupon to your Kroger (or Affiliate) Plus Card for one Free CESAR® Singles Wet Food for Dogs
Although 10/28/16 is the only day that you can load the coupon, the coupon offer is redeemable through 11/13/2016
                             http://kroger.softcoin.com/programs/kroger/freefri/

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Spooky Low-Calorie Pineapple Orange Mango Halloween Drink

Check out this fun idea for a low-calorie Halloween drink.


   Halloween is a fun holiday. Kids get to dress up and go collect candy around the neighborhood. There are also fun parties with fun food. What is there not to like about Halloween? I think my favorite part of Halloween, after the candy, is the decorating. I love to decorate for parties and I have a fun way to serve drinks at your Halloween party that is simple to do. I also have a delicious low-calorie drink that is the perfect color for Halloween. What I love most about this delicious drink is the fact it is naturally flavored and tastes like my favorite fruits with a fun sparkly taste. This is a drink that grownups and kids will enjoy.


   I served my delicious  drink in this cute bottle but you can use any clear cup or container. The eyes and mouth are made with address labels that I colored and cut out. So all you need is the address labels, a black marker, plastic spiders, and my delicious drink recipe! My delicious drink is made with my favorite zero-calorie drink. Cascade Ice is a delicious naturally flavored sparkling water that comes is lots of flavors and colors. So I of course, chose the Orange Mango flavor for its nice orange color. This delightful fruit flavored drink is wonderful by itself and also combines well with many juices like the pineapple juice I chose to use in my drink recipe.



Cascade Ice also makes a wonderful Strawberry Kiwi  and a Strawberry Orange Mango drink that would also be perfect for spooky Halloween drinks.  Want to make a blood color or black drink? I think these Cascade Ice flavors would be perfect for those drinks.


These are just some of the wonderful flavors that Cascade Ice makes. My teenaged son loves the Coconut sparkling water as it is the perfect base for healthy pina colada drinks. Cascade Ice has twenty different flavors and all of them contain Zero Calories, No caffeine, No sugar, No gluten, No sodium, and No carbs. All they contain is plenty of delicious flavor! The Cascade drinks are sold in many stores nationwide too! So go check them out and see where you can buy these delicious drinks.


Spooky Low-Calorie Pineapple Orange Mango Halloween Drink
Serves 2
Ingredients
1 bottle of Cascade Ice Orange Mango naturally flavored sparkling water
1/2 cup pineapple juice

Combine the Cascade and the juice together. Serve in spooky designed glasses and enjoy.


"These opinions are my own and I received samples of Cascade Ice to facilitate this post."



Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Gift Ideas With A Difference That The Kids Are Sure To Love

There’s less than two months until Christmas - time really is flying this year, which means it’s time to get planning. For most parents, when it comes to selecting gifts for the kids, the main bulk of presents are made up of toys and games. While that’s all well and good, the chances are your kids don’t actually need any more toys or games. Or, at least, not a Santa sack full. Believe it or not, toys aren’t the only things that make great Christmas gifts for kids. There are plenty of other things that you can put into your children’s stockings that they’ll love. It’s just a case of getting inspired and thinking outside of the box.

child reading.jpg

Magazine subscription

Whether your child already has a favorite magazine or not, a magazine subscription can make a fantastic gift. For Christmas, buy your child a one-year subscription to a magazine that you know they will enjoy reading. It could link to their hobbies in some way, or it could simply be a magazine that’s made for their age group. If you’re not sure which one to go for, take your child to your local store and see what they show an interest in.

Books

Reading for pleasure is a hobby that all children should partake in. Not only is reading a great alternative to watching TV or playing computer games, it’s also a great way to help your children to do better at school. Studies have shown that children who read more tend to be smarter and achieve higher grades. So giving your child a book or two for Christmas is ideal. Once you find an author that they like, they’ll realize just how much fun reading can be.

Fun items of clothing

Clothing might not be something that you think of as a gift, but it can be. If there’s a certain item of clothing that’s more expensive than normal or that your child really wants, it can make a great gift. The same applies to shoes - stylish shoes or trainers can also make a great gift. To get some ideas, have a look online. From funny kids shirts to pretty dresses and designer coats, there are plenty of clothing items that make great gifts for kids. It’s just a case of finding the perfect ones for your child.

Jewelry or a watch

A great non-toy present could be the gift of jewelry or a watch. Children of all ages appreciate jewelry. It’s just a case of finding a piece that’s age appropriate. For younger children, a bracelet or an anklet is often the best option. If you’d prefer to get your child a watch, it’s best to get them one that’s smart, so that it can be worn to school, but isn’t too expensive. If your child is forgetful, it’s a good idea to opt for a waterproof watch, so that it isn’t damaged if they wear it in the shower.


These are just a few suggestions of non-toy gifts that kids are sure to love; there are also plenty of other options.

Blogger Giveaway Opp - $100 Bath and Body Works Gift Card





Hey bloggers! Here is a fun new blogger giveaway event opportunity (Hosted by Lil' Blog and More)

This will be another great event, that will help us all gather new followers, and get more traffic! So be sure to join in! 

There are a lot of different options available. 
 
Prize for the event: A $100 Bath and Body Works Gift Card.
 

Actual Giveaway Dates:  11/17/2016 - 12/10/2016.


This is a great way to gain a lot more followers on your social media channels! There are completely FREE options, sharing options (for additional entries on the form.) and paid options, available! 

Last day to sign up for this event: November 13th, 2016. 

You can sign up for this event HERE

How To Fall Back In Love With Cooking And Improve Your Family's Health!

It's no secret that as a nation, our waistlines are getting bigger. Of course, we all know the importance of healthy eating and exercise. But when it comes down to it implementing it into our busy lifestyles just isn't all that easy. Our day jobs, social activities and running around after our kids doesn't leave us with much chance to focus solely on health. As a result of this, you may find yourself leaning towards buying convenience food for your family, simply to buy yourself that extra time. But this is entering dangerous territory, as your children may become easily accustomed to this style of food. Convenience food tends to contain abnormally high amounts of fat, sugar and sodium, plus a whole host of additives. The combination of these ingredients produces an almost addictive quality in these types of food, which is why so many people end up relying on them so much. There's nothing wrong with indulging occasionally, of course. But if your children get a taste for these types of food, it can potentially be harmful to their future health. They may start to dismiss fresh, home-cooked food and will be less inclined to learn how to make it themselves. If food has become little more than a daily chore for you and you family, here's how to re-inject your love of cooking into everyone's daily lives!

Image source
Think about your routine

Consider carefully when you eat throughout the day. Then consider when your partner eats, and finally when you children tend to want their meals. More and more families are eating separately these days, whether that is making their own individual food or snacking on leftovers. In fact, just over half of all American families with children under 18 say that they eat dinner together at least six nights a week. That leaves an enormous 47% of families who eat separately on a regular basis. This can be detrimental to a family's development for a number of different reasons. Firstly, it can seek to break family ties. Thirty years ago, an evening meal was considered the time where the family would sit down together to talk about each other's days. Now, living separate lives means that all the family members may not even be in the same room very often. This lack of communication can make family members distant from each other and can make the younger generation even more reliant on social media. It can also change the way in which your family, especially your children, think about food. Other cultures, such as the culture amongst Italians, revere food as a social occasion in itself. If your children are simply grabbing food when they are out and about, they lose sight of the importance of eating together as a family tradition. Plus, you never know 100% what it is fast-food, or even packaged sandwiches. It can be incredibly hard to get all the family together for a meal, but try to do it at least a couple of times a week. You'll soon see your relationships and your attitude to food change.

Image source
Modernize your kitchen

Take a look at your kitchen and consider what is working and what isn't working. If parts of your kitchen are faulty, or you are lacking in equipment, don't wait another day to get it sorted. Putting it off will only mean that you are continually less inclined to spend time in your kitchen, meaning you are more likely to rely on takeout. If you have been struggling with parts of your kitchen that are inconveniencing you, consider replacing them. Old stoves can take ages to heat up and can be dangerous if you have young children. You might wonder 'what is induction cooking?', but this could be your very answer. Essentially, it is a safe, energy-saving piece of kitchen equipment that can save you time and money. Your oven could also be letting you down, so consider getting a replacement. As far as utensils and gadgets go, make sure you have all the basics such as tin openers and sharp knives. In fact, a good set of knives for all different purposes is ideal. You may shy away from brand new, sharp knives, but in fact, these are much safer than hacking away at something with a blunt knife. Efficiency is key when designing your kitchen, so make sure it works for you. Also, having the right equipment means that your family may also be tempted to chip in and have a go themselves.


Change what you cook

Do your family dread your home-cooked dinners because they know exactly what they are going to get? This is disheartening of course;  but as the saying goes, sometimes you need to be cruel to be kind. If you are cooking the same things week in week out, unfortunately, it's going to get a little boring. Plus, you and your family may not be getting the nutrients and vitamins you need. Look online for new recipe inspiration; there are plenty of healthy food blogs out there and Pinterest is always a good place to start. Don't try anything too overboard just let - it's best to just keep it simple and see how things work out. Plus, that way, your partner and children may also be inspired to give cooking a go themselves. It's easier than you would think to make your own pasta sauces and try adding some exotic vegetables to a big bowl of stir fry. Talk to your family about the kinds of food they like to eat. If you all tend to eat separately, you may not even know what it is that tickles their taste buds. We live in a culture where we are lucky enough to be able to sample a whole host of different cuisines. So, consider organizing your weekly meals by country of origin. Homemade tacos are perfect for a Mexican evening or add a hint of spice to your palate with a rich Indian style curry. This is also a great way to get younger children interested in food and where it comes from.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

An Easy Way To Roast Pumpkin Seeds


    I love carving pumpkins with my boys as it means I get lots of yummy pumpkin seeds to eat. I have a simple recipe to toast those seeds.  I toast my pumpkin seeds on the stovetop instead of the oven. The seeds only take 5 minutes to toast and are so crispy and easy to chew. So carve your pumpkin and save those seeds.  After scooping out the goop and seeds from the pumpkin, all you have to do is remove the big pieces of goop from the seeds. Then wash the seeds and drain them. There is no need to soak the seeds or thoroughly dry them like the oven method requires. Don't worry if a little orange goop remains on the seeds, it will cook off.





  Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add 2 teaspoons oil. Place the washed pumpkin seeds into the pan and add some salt. Stir the seeds with a spatula for about 5 minutes or until toasted.  They are toasted when they are lightly brown. Taste one to see if they are crunchy.


   I love the pan toasted method as it is so easy and quick. I love not having to turn on the oven either. If you want a sweeter pumpkin seed, add 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon instead of the salt while you are toasting them in the pan. You can add the salt also to make a sweet and salty seed version of pumpkin seeds.

Stovetop Pumpkin Seeds

2 tablespoons oil
Pumpkin seeds
salt

Instructions: 
Scoop the seeds out of the pumpkin. Then remove large pieces of the orange goop. Wash the seeds and remove any large stringy pumpkin pieces. Place the pumpkin seeds in a strainer to remove excess water. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the seeds and salt to taste. Stir the seeds in the pan for about 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Taste one to see if they are to your desired crunch. Remove from heat and enjoy.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Healthy Halloween Treats For Trick Or Treaters

My boys get so excited for Halloween as it means getting lots of candy.


   Halloween is almost here and my boys are getting their costumes ready. One of the boys is reusing a costume from last year while the other wants to make his. We bought the required black clothes the other day at the resale shop and ordered some glow in the dark fabric paint so he can be a skeleton. My boys just love being able to dress up as for them it means a wonderful night of collecting lots of treats. The excitement of all these treats just makes my boys so hyper as they think that this just might be the year mom lets them have control of all the candy. Think again boys as this mom is not going to allow my boys to be sick with all that sugar. My boys are allowed 2 treats on Halloween and then the rest gets put away. My boys then get one treat a day from their loot bag until the thrill wears off, usually in two weeks. I am sure many moms feel the same way with Halloween candy so I am going to share some great ideas for healthy Halloween treats for handing out to trick or treaters.


 Microwave Popcorn  

This is a favorite snack item at our house. My neighbor has been handing out unpopped microwave popcorn for many years at Halloween time. My boys always go to her house first as they love receiving this treat.







Fruit Cups  Fruit is always on the healthy snack list in our house. To make this treat extra fun, grab a marker and draw a Jack O Lantern face on the individual cups of fruit.

Pretzels  Individual bags of pretzels are a healthy snack that kids love to eat. Some stores even sell ones that are decorated for Halloween.

Crispy Fruit  This is a delicious freeze-dried fruit that comes in many different flavors like pineapple, tangerine, apple, and more. Crispy Green takes 100% fruit, seven different kinds, and freeze dries them into a sweet delicious treat. These crunchy fruits are great for kids with allergies are the perfect Halloween treat that kids and parents love!

Granola Bars  While they can be high in sugar, granola bars are a better option than candy. You might be able to find some healthier individually wrapped granola bars. 
Raisins or Craisins  Dried fruit is always a good healthy treat option. These treats come in individual boxes. You can even find some that are covered with yogurt or chocolate, yes they may have more sugar but still better than candy.


    These are just some items that are great to hand out to the trick or treaters. If you want to go the non-food route, some good choices are glow sticks, stickers, and pencils. The best way to prevent your child from munching on the candy while trick or treating is to serve them a healthy snack or meal before going out. I like to also bring some healthy snacks with while we are collecting treats. I also have a rule that my boys are not allowed to eat anything from their bag until we get home and inspect the items. When we get home from trick or treating, my boys get four bowls to sort the treats in. Our system in one bowl for healthy treats, one for chocolate, one for candy, and one for unapproved hard and sticky candy. 

Here is the website to find out more about those delicious Crispy Green freezed -dried fruits. My boys love snacking on these. Their favorite fruits are the pineapple and mango. You can find these fruits at stores like SafeWay, WholeFoods, and many more. You can also purchase them online.




Check out this article about how much sugar is in Halloween candy. It is simply shocking! The article also has more great ideas for healthier Halloween treats.





 "These opinions are my own and I received samples of Crispy Greens Fruit Snacks to facilitate this post,"

Mom knows best