End of Summer Yogurt, Fruit & Cereal Popsicle Recipes

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The summer is coming to an end and we are trying to savor every last drop of sun, every weekend afternoon lounging at the pool or evening spent on the back porch enjoying a frozen treat after dinner. One of our favorite homemade frozen treats are yogurt popsicles made with fresh fruit and Kellogg’s cereal for a little crunch. They are so easy to make and they make yummy and healthy treats for everyone in the family. Kids also love them as an after school snack and it could even be served as a fun twist on breakfast.

Kellogg's Cereal & Fruit Popsicles-4

Froot Loops, Blueberry & Yogurt Popsicles

Kellogg's Cereal & Fruit Popsicles FINAL-1

Ingredients:

  • Vanilla Yogurt
  • Kellogg’s Froot Loops Cereal
  • Blueberries
  • OPTIONAL: Sugar or honey or sweetener of choice; sweeten yogurt to taste
  • Popsicle molds

Directions: Starting with the yogurt, add the ingredients to the popsicle molds in layers. Freeze overnight. When ready to serve, unmold and enjoy!

All-Bran, Berries & Yogurt Popsicles

Kellogg's Cereal & Fruit Popsicles FINAL-2

Ingredients:

  • Vanilla Yogurt
  • Kellogg’s All-Bran Cereal
  • Strawberries/Raspberries, pureed and a few very thinly sliced
  • OPTIONAL: Sugar or honey or sweetener of choice; sweeten yogurt to taste
  • Popsicle molds

Directions: Starting with the yogurt, add the ingredients to the popsicle molds in layers. Freeze overnight. When ready to serve, unmold and enjoy!

Yummy Fall Treat! Pumpkin Spiced Popcorn {Recipe}

One of our favorite snacks is popcorn. We pretty much eat it all the time–it’s low calorie, low fat, and it’s a whole grain. However, we stopped eating microwave popcorn a long time ago. Now, we buy the kernels and pop it ourselves and it is so much better than the microwave kind. So much. Not only does it flat out taste better, but it doesn’t have all of the chemicals that microwave popcorn has. You don’t need a fancy electric popcorn maker to make popcorn either–you can make fresh popcorn right on your stove top! With Fall in full swing, we’ve been snacking on this pumpkin-spiced popcorn that is to die for. It’s a little bit salty. A little bit sweet. And, a whole lot YUMMY!

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Pumpkin-Spiced Popcorn
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. canola oil
3 Tbsp. butter
2/3 cup popcorn kernels

Combine sugar, spice, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Stove top method:
Add canola oil and a 2-3 popcorn kernels to a large, heavy bottomed pot on stove top over medium-high heat. When those kernels begin to pop, the oil is hot enough to begin popping the corn. Add 2/3 cup popcorn kernels to the pot. Cook, covered, on medium high heat until fully popped–shaking the pot every 10-20 seconds to ensure that all kernels are popped and that popcorn doesn’t burn. Turn off heat. Quickly add melted butter to the popcorn and immediately sprinkle spice mixture over popcorn. Stir or shake pot to coat.

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If you do have an electric popcorn maker, follow the instructions for your model and then once the popcorn is buttered and done–IMMEDIATELY toss the popcorn with spice mixture.

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For more recipe ideas visit Beauty and Bedlam, A Beautiful Mess, and 5 Dollar Dinners!

Beat the Heat with Some Yummy & Healthy Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles (Recipe)

We just survived a record-breaking heat wave in Georgia this past week. Temps actually got to 107 degrees in some parts! So, how did we beat the heat? Relaxing by the pool and enjoying some icy, cold treats of course! We made Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles, which are both healthy and delicious!

 

 

 

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles

Ingredients

2 cups whole, fresh strawberries
Handful of sliced fresh strawberries
2 cups plain or Vanilla Greek yogurt
1/4 cup pure cane sugar
Popsicle molds

Directions

Place sliced strawberries into popsicle molds. Place the strawberries, yogurt, and sugar into a blender and blend until smooth. Fill popsicle molds with the strawberry yogurt mixture and freeze overnight.

 

Healthier Comfort Food: Baked Fried Chicken #KelloggsChamps

One of our favorite things to eat is breakfast for dinner – or brinner – as many like to call it. We LOVE breakfast foods – everything from homemade waffles to sweet pastries to cereal with cold milk. Another cool thing to do is to incorporate traditional breakfast items like cereal into your dinner. One of our favorites is Baked Fried Chicken, which uses to Kellogg’s Corn Flakes to give you that delicious crunch you expect from fried chicken with the added benefit of WAY LESS fat and calories.

 

 

 

Baked Fried Chicken

Ingredients

  • 7 cups Kellogg’s Corn Flakes®
  • OR
  • 1 3/4 cups Kellogg’s® Corn Flake Crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 pounds chicken pieces, (without skin) rinsed and dried
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

 


Directions
1. Whisk together buttermilk, mustard, salt and pepper, and cayenne in a bowl, and pour into a resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces, coat with the marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 8 hours.

2. When you’re ready to cook, place crushed KELLOGG’S CORN FLAKES cereal or KELLOGG’S Corn Flake Crumbs in shallow dish or pan. Set aside.

3. In medium mixing bowl, beat egg and milk slightly. Add flour. Mix until smooth. Dip chicken in batter. Coat with cereal. Place in single layer, in shallow baking pan coated with cooking spray or foil lined. Drizzle with margarine.

4. Bake at 375° F about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken is tender, no longer pink and juices run clear. For food safety, internal temperature of the chicken should reach at least 165ºF. Do not cover pan or turn chicken while baking. Serve hot.

 

 

 

 

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Simple, Summer Treat: Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas (Recipe)

One of our favorite Summer time frozen treats are Chocolate Dipped Bananas. They are simple and delicious! Plus, even kids can help to make them. Lucas loves rolling the bananas in the nuts and sprinkles!

 

 

Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas

Ingredients
4 large ripe but firm bananas
8 wooden craft sticks
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts
Sprinkles or shredded coconut
6 ounces milk chocolate chips

Directions
Peel, then cut each banana in half crosswise and insert a craft stick into each half. Place on a tray, cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until frozen.

 

 

Place the nuts and sprinkles in a shallow dish. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments until melted, stirring after each 30 second interval. Pour the melted chocolate into a tall glass. Dip each frozen banana into the chocolate, turning it to coat, and immediately roll in the peanuts.

 

 

Place on a tray covered in waxed paper. Serve immediately or wrap individually in plastic wrap or waxed paper and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Another option is to spread peanut butter on the frozen bananas and then you can roll in nuts or sprinkles, etc. Freeze for at least 3 hours and enjoy!

 

Light Summer Corn Salad (Recipe)

You know one of the ways I know that Summer is here? When I start to see fresh ears of corn pop up in the produce section of my grocery store and at the farmer’s market.

There’s nothing quite like a fresh ear of sweet summer corn. So good! We pretty much

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eat corn all Summer long – chomped right on the cobb, grilled, or in salads.

The Summer Corn Salad I am sharing with you today is very light and refreshing. It pairs beautifully with any meat you might be grilling this Summer – burgers, steaks, or chicken. Try it — I think you’ll love it!

Summer Corn Salad


Ingredients
6-7 ears corn,

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husked and cleaned
3 large tomatoes, diced
1 large white onion (sometimes I use a red onion instead), diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Cook corn in boiling water until just tender (about 10 minutes). Take the corn out of the pot and allow to cool. When completely cooled, cut kernels off the cob with a very sharp knife. In a large bowl, toss together the corn, tomatoes, onion, basil, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

Read How To Grill Corn on the Cobb

Strawberry Kefir Smoothie (Recipe)

Ever since I discovered kefir a few months ago, I have become hooked on Strawberry Kefir Smoothies. Mike, Lucas, and I drink one almost every day — they are delicious, so good for you, and the best part — so easy to make! If you haven’t tried or heard of kefir, it is basically a fermented milk that is rich in beneficial bacteria and yeast, it cleanses the intestines, provides important vitamins and minerals, and is an excellent source of protein. It has a very refreshing and tangy flavor that is perfect in a smoothie — especially now that the weather is warming up. Recipe below…




Strawberry Kefir Smoothie

Ingredients (shown above)

  • 1 large handful of frozen strawberries 
  • 1 cup of low fat kefir 
  • 1-2 packets of Truvia or other sweetener of your choice 

Directions: Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Serve. Makes 1 serving.

Enjoy!

Healthy, Low Cal Snack Everyone Will Love: Baked Kale Chips (Recipe)

 

I’ve been seeing everyone rave about kale chips for the past year or so and I’ve been meaning to try them. Everyone says that they are delicious and addictive…just like a real chip. This past weekend, I was at Whole Foods and saw a bunch of kale and decided that this was the weekend that I’d finally try them. I didn’t have high hopes. Well, what I mean is that I love greens and kale and pretty much every veggie on the planet, but the idea of kale chips being addictive and similar to any type of real chip seemed like a stretch sooooo while I figured that I would like them — I didn’t think I’d go gaga over some kale. Boy, was I wrong. While I wouldn’t say that kale chips taste like a real chip…they are crispy, delicious, and quell my need for crunchy, salty snack. Both Mike AND Lucas loved them too and that’s saying a lot. Best of all, they are actually very easy to make…instructions below. Enjoy!

 

Baked Kale Chips

Ingredients

  • Bunch of kale (the curly kind)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

 

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside. Tear kale into bite size pieces, carefully removing from the stems. Wash and dry kale pieces really well.

 

 

Toss kale with olive oil mixture. I like to use my hands for this part so that I can ensure that each piece of kale is covered with the olive oil mixture. Spread kale onto baking sheets making sure that it is in a single layer. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Start checking 10 minutes into the baking time and check for browned edges. Be careful because the kale will seem like it’s wilting, but in reality it is crisping up. The kale can go from done to burned very quickly so KEEP AN EYE ON IT!

 

 

Do not store kale chips in a plastic bag or container because they will lose their crunch. I store them in a paper lunch sack and loosely close it shut to allow for ventilation. 

Cabbage Soup Diet Results, Tips, & Recipes

As you guys know, I did the Cabbage Soup Diet a couple of weeks ago and lost 5 pounds after the seven days. I was afraid that after getting off the diet; I would immediately gain the weight back. The good news is that I kept all of the weight off last week AND I lost another 2 pounds. I basically focused on keeping my calorie range between 1200-1500 per day and I ate mostly lean protein, veggies, and fruits. I did splurge on Friday night with pizza, but it was homemade pizza made with whole wheat flour and topped with veggies and cheese. What I loved and I completely attribute to being on the Cabbage Soup Diet the previous week is that I didn’t really have any cravings and I was also able to stay away from nighttime snacking, which is always my undoing. I think the Cabbage Soup Diet helped me to “detox” so to speak. So, anyway–today I wanted to share some of the things that helped me get though the seven days of the Cabbage Soup Diet.

Cabbage Soup Diet Tips:

Make your soup the night before you are beginning the plan. Make a batch that’s big enough to get you to the halfway point of the week (Day 3 or 4). Take your time making the soup (Cabbage Soup Recipe). When your first batch is finished, make the second batch a little different. Try using different spices, vegetables, or anything that will make the soup more palatable because at this point; you will be sick of the soup. One thing I did was to blend the soup. This really helped change the texture and felt like I was eating something a little different.

 

 

 

On Day 1 you can have cabbage soup and all the fruit you want except bananas. Make sure to have a good variety of fruits that you like on hand and ready to eat. Another thing is that you can spice it up by roasted or grilling fruits like peaches, nectarines, pineapple, etc.

On Day 2 you can have cabbage soup and all the low-calorie vegetables you want (except beans, peas, or corn) and a baked potato with butter for dinner. Get creative with your veggies. The same goes with Day 3, which is fruit and veggies day (no starchy vegetables or bananas allowed though). I made a huge stir fry and added a little low-sodium soy sauce.

 

 

Another idea–spaghetti squash topped with a homemade tomato sauce. Or, roast a variety of veggies for lunch or dinner. 

 

 

I really liked Day 4, which is cabbage soup, up to eight bananas, and two glasses of skim milk. At night, I made myself a banana smoothie as a treat. I did cheat a little by adding a tablespoon of cocoa, but it only has 10 calories so I didn’t think it was a big deal. The smoothie was really thick, which really made it the consistency of ice cream instead (even better!).

 

Banana Chocolate “Ice Cream” Recipe

Ingredients:

2 large frozen bananas, broken into pieces
1 cup skim milk
1-2 Tbsp cocoa
1-2 packets Stevia or zero calorie sweetener of your choice

Directions: Put all of the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth and the consistency of soft serve ice cream.

 

The key to this diet is to be creative or you will quickly become bored! Good luck!

Cabbage Soup Diet Review & Recipe

If you’ve ever been on a diet, then you have probably heard of the Cabbage Soup Diet. It has literally been around for ages and still gets talked about today. I remember hearing about it for the first time when I was in high school. So what is the Cabbage Soup Diet? It is a 7 day diet that promises up to a 10 pound weight loss by the end of the week. It’s a strict diet with a short list of allowable foods that change every day. What doesn’t change is the cabbage soup, which you are encouraged to eat in copious amounts throughout the week. It is not a long term diet plan at all and should not be followed for more than 7 days at a time. It is intended to be used as a jump start to healthy eating.

Cabbage Soup 7-Day Plan
Day 1: Cabbage soup and all the fruit you want except bananas. Drink unsweetened tea, black coffee, unsweetened cranberry juice, or water.
Day 2: Cabbage soup, all the low-calorie vegetables you want (except beans, peas, or corn), and a baked potato with butter for dinner.
Day 3: Cabbage soup and a mixture of the above fruit and vegetables (except bananas and potatoes).
Day 4: Cabbage soup, up to eight bananas, and two glasses of skim milk.
Day 5: Cabbage soup, up to 20 ounces of beef, chicken or fish, up to six fresh tomatoes, and at least 6-8 glasses of water.
Day 6: Cabbage soup, up to 3 beef steaks, and unlimited vegetables.
Day 7: Cabbage soup, up to 2 cups of brown rice, unsweetened fruit juices, and unlimited non-starchy vegetables.

Over the years, I’ve tried the diet a couple of times and always gave up around day 3. However, after a holiday season spent eating way too many treats and a very sad end to the year, I have been feeling like I needed a detox and a jump start to my weight losss goals. I decided to once again try the Cabbage Soup Diet. I started last Monday and finished the plan this past Sunday.

My Results:
I lost 5 pounds, which for me–a very slow loser–is a huge amount to lose in one week. Granted, some of that is probably water weight, but that’s ok because I was surely retaining a lot of unneeded water after over indulging over the holidays, etc. I’m just happy to see the number going down, which gives me the motivation that I need to continue on the right path.

The Good:
After the seven days, I feel much more in tune with my body and able to assess whether I am actually hungry or just bored. I was able to cut out late night snacking and eat smaller portions than what I was eating before beginning the diet. I feel much lighter and ready to start a long term healthy eating plan now.

The Bad:
It is definitely a boring diet–especially on the non-fruit days. By Day 4, I couldn’t stomach anymore cabbage soup. It wasn’t the taste, really. The soup is actually quite good. It was a combination of the smell of the soup, which is very sulfury due to the cabbage and also eating anything for that many days in a row is very difficult. I powered through though and had the soup all the days except Day 7.

Speaking of soup, there are many versions of the Cabbage Soup on the internet. All of the recipes that I read said to dump a bunch of vegetables into a pot and cover with water and some seasonings. However, as in any soup, I find that it really pays off to put a little love into it by sauteing the vegetables first to develop a better depth of flavor. So I tweaked the recipe to my own taste and it turned out really delicious–even Mike liked it. I made two batches–one at the beginning of the week that was broth based and a second version at the middle of the week that included canned tomatoes. Recipe is provided below.

Cabbage Soup Recipe


Ingredients:
1/2 head cabbage, roughly chopped
2 large onions, chopped
2 green peppers
4 stalks celery
6-8 large carrots, sliced
1/2 pound green beans, sliced on diagonal
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
Quart of chicken stock (I use Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base to make my stock when I don’t have homemade on hand.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cooking Spray
OPTIONAL: 16-28 ounces canned tomatoes, chopped

Directions: Spray a Dutch oven or large stock pot with a little cooking spray and saute the mushrooms until they are golden brown.

Remove the mushrooms and add the onions, green peppers, carrots, and celery. Saute for 5-7 minutes until vegetables are softened.

Add the cabbage, mushrooms, green beans, parsley, salt and pepper to the pot and cover with chicken stock. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn burner down to low and allow the soup to simmer for 20-30 minutes or until vegetables are just tender (not mushy).

For version 2 of the soup, add the canned tomatoes when you add the stock. Serve hot with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Tune in later this week for some Cabbage Soup Diet tips and tricks that helped me survive the week without completely losing my mind!