>U Mom Knows Best: February 2019

Thursday, February 28, 2019

9 Things to Know About Living in Pittsburgh

Thinking about moving to Pittsburg?

Image Credit: PxHere
Are you considering a move to another town? Perhaps you have heard about Pittsburgh and want to know more about what it is like to live there. This article has plenty of information about many things from housing to food.

    It’s not exactly New York City, but the city of Pittsburgh is just as good. Whether it’s for vacations or to set up your new home, Pittsburgh has a lot to offer. Pittsburgh is like a quaint, old-fashioned working-class neighborhood stretched out for miles and miles. Pittsburgh hosts many unique restaurants, annual festivals, and sporting events. Of course, there are also many things about the landscape that require some careful planning before making your move. Listed below are some facts you’ll need to know about the city of Pittsburgh.

  The culture of Pittsburgh can be compared to no other. One of the first pieces of local dialect is the word, “yinzer.” “Yinzer” is a general phrase for a life-long city resident. It even has a plural, “yinz,” which means, “you guys.”

 While Pittsburgh does have subway systems, they’re not nearly as plentiful as highways. Trying to go about the city on foot can be a hassle considering the time of day. Always be mindful of pedestrian traffic signs to avoid personal injury.

 Gentrification has hit Pittsburgh as hard as any city. The cost of living, however, remains one of the most affordable in the country. Median prices run from $100,800 for home ownership and $844 for rentals. The neighborhoods of Shadyside and Point Breeze are perfect for socializing and raising families.

 Whether it’s finding a perfect school for your child or pursuing higher education, Pittsburgh is home to some top-rated institutions. Carnegie Mellon University remains one of the most prestigious STEM and Fine Arts institutions in the world. Chatham University is renowned for it’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

 Pittsburgh isn’t the type of city you save up for and move to in hopes of greener pastures (there’s plenty at Frick Park, though). The city’s employment rate measures at 2% below the national average. Make sure to find a job in the city, before you make a move.

  Since Pittsburgh intersects with the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers, there’s bound to be more than a few bridges. The Smithfield Street Bridge is the oldest. The Fort Pitt Bridge leads drivers into the city via the Fort Pitt Tunnel.

 One could say that Pittsburgh is a city of museums. Carnegie hosts three different museums for art, science, and history. The Andy Warhol Museum is the largest art gallery in North America, boasting seven floors dedicated to Warhol and the artists he inspired.

 Get ready for some of the weirdest takes on your favorite foods. Order a sandwich with fries at Primanti Bros, and the cook will add them as a topping (called the “Almost Famous”). Like pizza? Try pizza with a topping AFTER it’s cooked!

 In Pittsburgh, football means the Steelers, baseball is the Pirates, and hockey belongs to the Penguins. Each of these teams represents the pride of the Steel City. Expect Heinz Field, PNC Park, and PPG Paints Arena to be crowded with passionate fans. Just don’t forget your yellow towel.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Mellanni Is The Most Comfortable Duvet Cover For Great Sleep

A duvet cover makes all the difference in good sleep

      I received a duvet cover set to facilitate this post.

  I am always looking for ways to improve my sleep as healthy sleep habits are always a good thing. Did you know that the average person does not get enough sleep? Lack of sleep is not good for your body and can cause health problems beyond feeling tired. I know when I do not get enough sleep, I can think and I feel like doing nothing. Lack of sleep can cause accidents and more accidents occur after spring daylight savings time.

Not getting enough sleep over a long period of time can lead to health problems like 

  • Heart disease
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Diabetes

 So there are certain things like I try to do every night to make sure I sleep well. One of the most important of my sleep tips is having a comfortable bed to sleep in. If I feel comfortable, I can relax quicker and that leads to better sleep for me. So I like to use a comfortable pillow and a plush comforter. The comforter that I have is king-size and I do not share it with my husband. I find that having separate blankets helps me sleep better as my husband can be a blanket hog. I also like to wrap my self up in my soft comforter so that is why I have a king-sized blanket. I also get the best night sleep when my comforter smells good. It is hard to sleep with a dirty smelly blanket. So lately my sleep has been suffering as my king comforter is a pain to wash. It does not fit in my washer so I have to take it to the laundry mat which means it does not get clean as often as I like. So when I discovered a soft Double Brushed Microfiber Duvet Cover, I knew that this would be the answer to great sleep. The fact that this duvet cover was easy to care and would fit in my washing machine was awesome!

Keep your comforter clean with an easy to remove duvet cover

 My new duvet cover was easy to put over my large comforter. I liked that the duvet had easy to open buttons on the bottom as well as secure ties to keep my comforter in place. All I had to do was to stuff my comforter inside the duvet, kind of like stuffing paper into an envelope. I discovered that spreading the duvet cover on my bed with the buttons on the bottom of the bed was the trick. Then I opened up the buttons and started stuffing my comforter inside. Once I got the whole comforter inside the duvet, I then started spreading it out. The ties made it easy to keep the comforter from bunching up.

 The first night that I used my duvet cover was awesome. The cover felt like soft velvet and of course, it smelled nice and clean as I just washed. I love inhaling the smell of clean as I fall asleep. I used a natural lilac scented detergent and the scent is so wonderful. I had a good night of sleep and woke up refreshed. Since this duvet cover is simple to remove and dries so quickly in the dryer, I can wash it once a week so I can drift off to sleep with the smell of lilacs. This soft duvet is also stain resistant and hypoallergenic. It is more durable than those high thread count cotton covers so it made to be washed a lot. I really like that it is wrinkle resistant so I can take it straight from the dryer to the bed. If it does fade or shrink, I can get my money back as it comes with a lifetime warranty. 

Comes with pillowcases and shams

 My down comforter was white and looking a bit worn, so I loved how my new soft duvet cover gave my bed a new look. The duvet cover even came with free pillowcases and shams. So my ultra comfortable pillow matches my duvet cover and makes my pillows so much softer.  Now my comforter matches my husband's comforter. He has a grey chevron pattern on his duvet cover so my grey duvet cover matches his perfectly. Sure we could have matching duvet covers but then he might use mine thinking it is his. That would not be good as then he would make my duvet cover smelly. Yes, I am ultra picky about others touching my blanket and pillows. The boys know not to touch mom's side of the bed so they lay on dad's side of the bed.

Click HERE to find out how 

The Right Pillow Makes All The Difference In Getting The Best Sleep

 Did you know that sleep can keep your heart healthy and can help with the winter blues? Check out some other things you can do to keep your heart healthy HERE. I read online from a sleep survey that most people don't feel like they are getting enough sleep to be at their best. While others said they would give up coffee for a better night's sleep. Hmmm, maybe the coffee is causing the sleep problem?

Do you like your comforter to smell clean and fresh?

Check out these awesome coupons!
Purchase any 2 Mellanni Products and get $3 OFF the entire purchase by entering the code P2PMAXPO at the checkout.

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Purchase any 4 Mellanni Products and get $10 OFF the entire purchase by entering the code SEM65YXT at the checkout.

Purchase any 5 Mellanni Products and get $15 OFF the entire purchase by entering the code 78RFEE2N at the checkout.

My boys just had to have some fun with my duvet cover

 The boys had seen a video of a person making a tent with a duvet cover and had to try it. They said if you use a fan, it will blow up the duvet so it will form a tent. The boys really wanted to borrow my new duvet but I said, "no way!" Maybe this nice mom will have to buy a duvet cover so they cab make a tent.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Best Natural Deodorant For Sweaty Tween Boys

Does my tween need deodorant?

        I received samples of Crystal deodorant to facilitate this post.

  My 12 year old just started sports at school and I brought up the question "do your armpits smell?" He replied, "I don't know." So I told him to have his younger brother smell his armpits. The younger 10-year-old son was willing to smell his brother's armpits but his brother would not let him as he thought that was weird. How is a mom supposed to know when to start having her middle schooler use natural deodorant? I know he had the health class, the one where they separated the boys from the girls and talk about puberty. So he knows about puberty and body odor, I think. The problem is this child is small for his age and will probably follow his older brothers and not hit puberty until high school. This child is also self-conscious about his body and does not talk about body things as he is too busy talking about sports. I am preparing myself for a meltdown when puberty hits this child and he has hair in his armpits. My older son who is 19 was excited about armpit hairs and had to show me his pits when the first hair appeared. I remember him looking into the mirror every night, checking to see if he had any armpit hairs. I guess he felt left out as his dark hair friends hit puberty in 6th grade and were already shaving. Now, this same boy is thankful for his blonde hair as he can go a long time without having to shave.

Oh, the joys of boys!

  Last night, my husband asked me to buy him a book about raising boys for his Trail Life group. I asked why as I could tell him all about raising boys, hello I do have four boys! So back to wondering if my son needs to start using antiperspirant. Since the other child was not able to smell his armpits, how am I to know. So I used this opportunity to talk to both boys about body odor. The younger one is so much bigger than his older brother and will probably hit puberty first. I approached the question differently and asked my son if he would like to start using deodorant for boys and he got excited and said "sure!" I am sure his friends are using deodorant in the locker room and he feels embarrassed that he is not. I then had my son smell some natural deodorant that was made for men. I was happy to discover scents that are manly and not girly scented. It would not be cool for my son to smell like a flower. My son liked the Mountain Fresh Mineral-Enriched Deodorant Invisible Solid as it smelled like his dad's body wash. I liked that it was naturally scented from essential oils so it would not aggravate my asthma.

 Prevents odor safely for up to 24 hours
- No waxy residue, no staining, no white marks
- No flaking, non-sticky, non-oily
- No Aluminum Chloride/Chlorohydrate/Zirconium
- No Parabens
- Dermatologist tested
- Vegan and Cruelty-Free

No Aluminum Chloride/Chlorohydrate/Zirconium

  My thoughts in starting the younger boys with natural deodorant are that they won't have to worry detoxing their armpits and they won't be exposing their body to aluminum or other toxic chemicals. My boys will not be clogging up their armpit pores either and will realize that sweating is healthy. The natural deodorant will keep them from stinking and instead, they will have a nice manly scent. My younger son liked the Freshly Mint Indivisible Solid Natural Deodorant. This one had a clean mint, crisp linen scent. I liked that it gives 24-hour stink protection so my boys could apply it after their shower and still smell good after gym class. I know that the older son will remember to use his deodorant stick but the younger one will need to be reminded. This boy forgets to comb his hair and does not care. So maybe I will have to apply the "stink stick" as I am saying goodbye to him in the morning. 

The answer to the stinky sweat is a natural armpit detox!

 Most people are hesitant to try a natural deodorant as they worry about the stinky sweat. I have tried to get my husband to switch to natural deodorant but he always says "no way, I don't want to smell!" He also thinks that all natural deodorant is scented for girls. Well, Crystal, wants men to know that they have the best natural deodorant for men. Their newest scents are made for men and have the scents that men prefer. The Mountain Fresh scent reminds me of my husband's body wash and the Freshly Mint has a nice clean mint scent. So men have no more excuses when it comes to natural deodorant and the scents. Why men want to expose their body to aluminum and other toxins is beyond me. Crystal is safe and effective against body odor. I use their Crystal Mineral Roll-ons and I don't have bad body odor. They have so many wonderful scents for ladies, my favorite is the Lavender & White Tea Invisible Solid. I am glad that this company finally thought about the guys. 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

No-Knead Dairy Free Jalapeno Cheese Artisan Bread

This Easy No-Knead Artisan Bread is the perfect savory bread for sandwiches! It has the perfect amount of spicy heat. Best of all is that it is dairy-free! You will love the crispy crust and the chewy bread.

 If you are looking for delicious savory bread with a kick of heat, this no-knead artisan bread is perfect. This dairy-free bread requires no-kneading and vegans will rejoice in the cheese flavor. This bread is so moist and chewy with an incredibly crispy crust. The secret to this awesome-looking bread is baking it in a Dutch oven or a roasting pan. You could also use a covered slow cooker crock or a covered casserole dish. If you have no covered pans, you can also use an oven-safe pot and cover it with foil. These types of pans allow the steam to form while baking and this gives the bread its crispy rustic crust.

No-Knead Dairy-Free Jalapeno Cheese Artisan Bread is
~ Delicious
~ Dairy-Free
~ Chewy
~ Gooey with cheese
~ Perfect for sandwiches
~ Has a crispy crust
~ No-Knead
~ Loaded with flavor

This page may contain affiliate links

Dairy-free cheese makes all the difference
 Since I wanted the taste of cheese in this bread as it pairs so well with the jalapenos, I used a dairy-free cheddar style cheese so this bread is great for a plant-based or vegan diet. I also used sweet and mild jalapenos for just a small bit of heat. The sweet jalapenos add a wonderful spicy, sweet taste to the bread. If you want a spicier bread then make sure to use hot jalapenos. This bread is so full of flavor that it needs no dairy-free butter spread. I like to slice off a thick slice of the bread and warm it up. This bread would be the perfect base for any sandwich.

A roasting pan makes a perfect bread pan
 I decided to bake my bread in a roasting pan as I did not have a Dutch oven. I love using this unique roasting pan for my Chipotle Roasted Cauliflower as it caramelizes the cauliflower for a great taste. You have to try my cauliflower recipe as roasting the cauliflower gives it an amazing sweet taste that even my picky husband can not resist. This pan is an oval shape so it gave my bread a nice shape. I also love how easy this pan is to clean as it has a non-stick finish.

Tip: Line the Dutch oven with parchment paper for easy removal and cleanup. ~ I love the price of this 200-sheet pack of parchment paper.

The dough needs to rise for 12-18 hours
 Since this is a no-knead bread it needs to rise for at least 12 hours in a warm, draft-free spot. I like to make the dough at night and then place it in my oven. I turn on the oven light as this makes the oven the perfect warm spot for the dough to rise. Just make sure the oven is turned off and the oven door is closed.

A different way to make artisan bread
 This unique recipe is simply a different way to make artisan bread. The covered pan gives the bread a wonderful crispy crust and helps the bread to keep its shape. This bread has a delightfully chewy texture also. Since this is a no-knead bread that makes this bread so easy to make. If you are looking for an artisan bread that requires less time to rise, check out my recipe for Parmesan Olive Artisan Bread. If you have dairy problems you can omit the parmesan cheese in this bread. For an even simpler bread that requires no yeast, check out my Quick Caramelized Onion Bread. This flavorful bread can be made dairy-free without the cheese or you can use dairy-free mozzarella-style cheese.

Ingredients needed to make the bread
~ Flour
~ Vegan Cheese
~ Jalapenos
~ Yeast
~ Salt
~ Dutch Oven

Make sure to save this delicious recipe to Pinterest!

Yield: 16

No-Knead Dairy Free Jalapeno Cheeze Artisan Bread

This bread has the perfect amount of heat and sweetness to satisfy your cravings. Cooking it in a dutch oven or roasting pan makes the crust extra crispy and golden brown.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups dairy-free cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced pickled jalapenos (or more, if you wish!)
  • 1 1/2 cups water at room temperature


  1. Divide the flour into two bowls. In one bowl of flour stir in the yeast. In the bowl of flour, stir in the salt.
  2. Then pour both bowls of flour into a large bowl and stir a couple of times.
  3. Add the dairy-free cheese and sliced jalapenos to the dry ingredients in the large bowl and stir well until combined
  4. Pour in the water, making sure it is at room temperature. Too hot or too cold of water will cause the yeast to be killed or not work. Stir the dough up well. The dough will be rough and sticky, but that is normal.
  5. Once the dough is well combined, cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Since this is a no-knead dough, it will look very sticky.
  6. Place the bowl in a warm, draft-free spot and let it rise for 12-18 hours. Yes, the dough needs a long time to rise. I like to put my dough in the oven with the oven light on. Make sure the oven is turned off.
  7. After the dough has risen for 12-18 hours, place a piece of parchment paper on the counter and dust it with flour. Rub flour on your hands and pull all the dough out of the bowl. It will not feel like regular bread dough. Form your dough into a circle or the shape of your roasting pan/dutch oven. It is fine if the dough looks messy and this will give your bread a rustic look.
  8. Sprinkle your formed loaf with flour and loosely cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 45 minutes.
  9. While the dough is rising, place your dutch oven or roasting pan (without the lid) in the oven set at 450F to preheat.
  10. Once 45 minutes have passed remove the plastic wrap from the dough. If your dough does not look it rose much, don't worry as it will rise as it cooks.
  11. Remove your pan from the oven, it will be hot so use oven mitts and place on a heat-safe surface. Carefully pick up your formed dough by the parchment paper and gently place into the heated pan.
  12. Place the lid on the pan and return it to the oven for 30 minutes. Don't open the oven during this time, or take the lid off the pot, you need the steam to build up to form the crispy crust.
  13.  After 30 minutes, remove the lid from the pan and bake the bread for 15 more minutes.
  14. Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
  15.  Let the bread cool completely before removing from the pan. Also, do not slice it until cooled.
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Created using The Recipes Generator

Friday, February 22, 2019

FREE Cacique Queso Fresco

FREE Cacique Queso Fresco Receive ONE (1) FREE Cacique Queso Fresco (10 oz). Available in most stores.

Exp 03/10/2019

This Friday, February,  22th, 2019– ONLY, you can load a coupon to your Kroger (or Affiliate) Plus Card for FREE Cacique Queso Fresco
Although 02/22/2019 is the only day that you can load the coupon, the coupon offer is redeemable through 03/10/2019


What is the Free Friday Download?
Every Friday, you can download a digital coupon for a FREE item! This offer is available exclusively to Customers with a Smiths Food and Drug or other Kroger store reward card.

How does it work?
Visit this page on Fridays.
Download the digital coupon for the product between 12am-11:59pm PT. You can view your coupon under the "My Coupons" section of your digital account or the Mobile App.

Redeem your coupon in-store within 2 weeks.
Your coupon will automatically be applied at checkout when you use your Shopper's Card.
Remember to check back the next Friday for a new offer!

Don't forget to save even more money with other great coupons under the Savings & Rewards Tab!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Nutsola DIY Superfood Bar

Want to make your own superfood bars?

                I was sent samples of Nutsola to facilitate this post.

 I love superfood bars and admit that I buy them more often than I make them. While I enjoy making my own plant-based granola bars, I don't always have the ingredients in my pantry to make them. Then there is the problem of buying all the superfood ingredients like chia seeds, coconut, and dates in large quantities. Then after making the granola bars, you have leftover ingredients that sit in your pantry until the next recipe of granola bars. Also, most superfood bar recipes state that the bars have to be stored in the fridge. So how do I make delicious granola bars that I can pack for a snack when I am outdoors for the day on a long bike ride? Sure I could buy the prepackaged superfood granola bars but some of them contain way too much sugar or ingredients that I don't like.

With NUTSÓLA, you know exactly what you're putting into your body

  Now you can have the best of both worlds with Nutsola Do It Yourself Bar. This cool Kickstarter has reached its goal and has launched. So that means you can buy an awesome kit to make your own fresh all natural superfood bars at home. The Nutsola DIY kits come with pouches of ingredients that you can spell and want to put into your body. You also get the bar maker to make perfectly formed bars. Then you can select from different options on how to dry the delicious granola bars.

  I was sent some samples so I could try the finished product and they are quite tasty. I was hoping that I could try out the DIY kit so I could make my own superfood bars but by watching the video on their website, they seem simple to make. I could make enough bars for my snacks after dinner and by morning the bars would be ready to eat. I really like this easy option of making healthy snacks for my kids and the boys would enjoy all the flavors. The best part of these yummy superfood bars is awesome nutrition. The bars are dairy-free, gluten-free, have no added sugar, and are also vegan. The GMO-free ingredients also are high in fiber and antioxidants. 

Easy No Bake Dairy Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Bars

Stop buying store-bought granola bars! You will be amazed at how easy it is to make granola bars. These delicious bars are perfect for breakfast and after-school snacks.

 Granola bars are delicious and make for great healthy snacks. Most people buy packaged granola bars at the store for convenience and think that they are healthy. Most store-bought granola bars are loaded with sugar and unhealthy ingredients so they can be similar to eating a candy bar. The granola bars that contain nutritious ingredients are usually expensive. 

 Homemade granola bars are easy to make and can save you money. Making granola bars at home allows you to custom-make them to fit your dietary needs. A few simple ingredients are all it takes to make delicious granola bars at home. When you make your own granola bars, you can control the amount of sugar. You can also mix in your favorite granola bar ingredients. If you have food allergies you can omit certain ingredients or use ingredient substitutions. These granola bars can be made for all types of diets, from gluten-free to dairy-free. If you use homemade sunflower butter they can be nut-free granola bars.

No Bake Dairy Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Bars

+ Are Dairy-Free
+ Gluten-Free
+ Full of Fiber
+ Made with Healthier Ingredients
+ Made with Plant-Based ingredients
+ Can be made Nut-Free
+ Lower Sugar Content

 My family loves granola bars. My boys love to pack granola bars in their school lunches and also eat them for after-school snacks. So we buy a lot of granola bars and that can be costly. The store-bought granola bars can also be high in sugar and have dairy in them. I hate when we go shopping and my boys offer me a granola bar and after reading the ingredient list, I discover that I can not enjoy a granola bar. The trouble is dairy is in so many foods. So I now make a lot of my food at home since discovering that dairy was the cause of my severe allergy and asthma symptoms. 

Ingredients Needed For Homemade Granola Bars 

+ Oatmeal
+ Peanut Butter or Your Favorite Nut Butter
+ Coconut Oil
+ Maple Syrup 
+ Salt
+ Vanilla Extract
+ Chocolate Chips
+ Sunflower Seeds or Your Favorite Nut
+ Optional Add-In Ingredients
 With a few simple changes, most of my favorite recipes can be made dairy-free. My favorite allergy-friendly recipe was the amazing chocolate pretzel pie that I made for the holidays. These delicious granola bars are made with plant-based ingredients that are also vegan. The granola bars are also gluten-free and could be made nut-free by swapping out the peanut butter with a nut-free spread like homemade sunflower seed butter. Check out my recipe for no-nut butter cookies which are allergy-friendly cookies.

Homemade Granola Bars Are

+ Healthy
+ Plant-Based
+ Loaded With Fiber
+ Make Great Snacks
+ Perfect for School Lunches
+ A Grab and Go Breakfast Option
+ Dairy-Free
+ Gluten-Free

Homemade granola bars taste amazing

 I decided to make some homemade granola bars for my kids. I found an easy recipe and loved that it was lower in sugar than the store-bought granola bars. I also love that I could use Viva Natural Coconut Oil in my dairy-free granola bars. Since I am all about nutrition, I added sunflower seeds to my delicious DIY granola bars for some added protein. Of course, I added chocolate to my recipe as everything tastes better with chocolate. I am so glad that Enjoy Life, an allergy-friendly company, makes yummy dairy-free and vegan chocolate chips. Using oatmeal as an ingredient makes the granola bars gluten-free. For those that have kids with peanut allergies, just use sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter.

Healthy granola bars are great for snacks

Coconut oil makes the granola bars so good and healthy!

 You could omit the coconut oil in this recipe but I do not recommend it. Coconut oil not only gives it a great taste but it really helps the ingredients bind together so the granola bars are not crumbly. You mix in the coconut oil while it is melted but then the coconut oil goes back to a solid form after you place it in the fridge and that keeps all the tasty ingredients together. Viva Natural Coconut oil is vegan, paleo, keto, gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and 100% raw! I love using coconut oil in my homemade granola recipe

Tip: place a sheet of wax paper over the granola bars for mess-free pressing

So easy to make

  These No-Bake Dairy-Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola Bars were so easy to make and are so easy to pack in a lunch box. I just wrap them in wax paper and then store them in a container in the fridge. That way my boys can grab one for when they make their school lunch. These yummy granola bars will be perfect for my boys to bring to school for parties. I think the next batch that I make I will add some chia seeds or flax meal so they are superfood meal bars. You could even add pumpkin seeds.

Different add-in ingredients
+ pumpkin seeds
+ flax seeds
+ dried cranberries
+ chia seeds
+ dried dates
+ sliced almonds

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Pin this recipe on Pinterest so you can make it later.

Easy No Bake Dairy Free Peanut butter Chocolate Granola Bars

Easy No Bake Dairy Free Peanut butter Chocolate Granola Bars
Yield: 12
A delicious healthy after school snack


  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, optional


How to cook Easy No Bake Dairy Free Peanut butter Chocolate Granola Bars

  1. Combine the oatmeal, peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and melted coconut oil in a medium-size bowl. Stir until well combined. 
  2. Stir in chocolate chips and sunflower seeds.
  3. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to fall over the edges. Press the oatmeal mixture into the pan.
  4. Place in the refrigerator for1 hour, or until firm. Remove paper from pan and then cut the large square in half. Then cut each half into 6 rectangles. Wrap bars individually with plastic wrap or wax paper and store in the refrigerator.
  5. Note: To make these granola bars healthier, add two tablespoons of chia seed, flaxseed, nuts, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds. Just add 1 tablespoon more honey for each addition.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Monday, February 18, 2019

Plant based & Dairy Free Avocado Chocolate Pudding

This pudding will satisfy a chocolate craving without the guilt 

  Are you following a plant-based diet or choosing to be vegan? Then you know that the struggle is real when it comes to chocolate. Chocolate is one of my favorite foods and the hardest to give up when I discovered that I was allergic to dairy. I still crave chocolates and once in a while, I will sneak a piece of milk chocolate, thinking that I can eat it. Then about 2 hours later, I am having a coughing fit and having trouble breathing. I need to stop being in denial about my dairy allergy but it is so hard as I was fine with chocolate up until a year ago or maybe longer. I think that my allergy medicine was helping with my milk allergy or my body just became more sensitive. People can develop food allergies later in life. My daughter ate peanut butter all the time until she became an adult and now is allergic to peanuts plus all other nuts. So much that she carries an epi-pen after she had a bad asthma attack. While I am glad that a dairy elimination diet helped me discover that all milk products were making me sick, it is tough being dairy-free. So I am glad for a Facebook group that I belong to that shares plant-based recipes.

Avocados are the answer to creamy plant-based pudding

 Someone on the Facebook page posted this recipe for a pudding that is made with avocados and they also included a picture. I was instantly drooling and I knew that I had to try this healthy dairy-free recipe. I love avocados and eat a whole one several times a week. My favorite way to eat an avocado is with sea salt sprinkled on top. I am a salty person and love sprinkling it on everything. The sea salt that I use has minerals in it and does not cause any blood pressure issues. I discovered this delicious sea salt three years ago at a food conference and it is the only salt that I use. Did you know that most table salts have sugar in them? Real Salt has no added sugar in it so I also use it in my son's homemade toothpaste. I make toothpaste for my son because he is allergic to SLS and glycerin. I discover his allergies after he tried a sample of a natural toothpaste called Earthpaste and his mouth sores went away. When he used regular toothpaste, the mouth sores came back. The poor kid can't even chew gum as that has glycerin in it and he brings his toothpaste with him to the dentist as they use regular toothpaste. My son does give into gum once in a while and the mouth sores come back.

Check out my recipe for dairy-free caramels HERE

  So I have been making my sweet treats at home and learning how to adapt recipes. I have also been discovering when restaurants are allergy-friendly. I used to love going out to eat but it has become complicated. I also have not been attending food conferences as it is hard to be a foodie with food allergies. This was the first year that I missed the big restaurant food show as I didn't want to be tempted by all the unsafe food. Once my body adjusts and I get more familiar with ingredients in common food products, then I will attend that food show again. So enough rambling and on to the delicious Avocado Chocolate Pudding recipe that brought you to my website. This recipe is so simple to whip up in a blender. When avocados go on sale I stock up on them to make this healthy pudding. You can make ripe avocados last longer in the fridge. After the avocados ripen, place them in the fridge and they will last for about 2 weeks. I like to buy my avocados in the non-ripe stage and ripen them at home.

Check out another delicious dairy-free avocado dessert HERE

Enjoy this delicious pudding for breakfast by adding a scoop of chocolate protein powder.

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Plant-based & Dairy-Free Avocado Chocolate Pudding 

Serves one-two people
2 ripe avocados
2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder
1/4 cup plant-based milk, I like cashew
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon maple or agave syrup
sea salt

Blend all ingredients, except sea salt together in a blender until creamy. Place the pudding in a dish and lightly sprinkle with sea salt. Enjoy!
Tip: Make this pudding even healthier by adding chocolate protein powder for some amazing protein. I like to add 1/2 to one scoop of my favorite chocolate protein powder and that adds 12-25 grams of plant-based protein so I can enjoy this delicious creamy pudding for breakfast. Add 1 tablespoon chia seeds for fiber and wonderful omegas.

Make sure to sprinkle some salt on top of the chocolate pudding for amazing flavor!

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