25 Alternatives for Halloween Candy

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Halloween is just around the corner, and we all look forward to dressing up in our costumes to go trick-or-treating,but a new campaign is aiming to make trick-or-treating safer for people with food allergies, and it can help a lot of other people be healthier as well.

The Teal Pumpkin Project was started by FARE: Food Allergy Resource Education. The idea is to paint a pumpkin teal or put a teal pumpkin poster up in your window to indicate that you are offering non-candy treats that are safe for people with food allergies. Collecting trick-or-treat candy can be dangerous for people with serious allergies because of the long list of ingredients on most store-bought candy, and because even candy that doesn’t list an allergen as an ingredient can be dangerous if it’s made in a factory that also contains allergens, such as peanuts and wheat.

But there are lots of other people  who need to limit sugar due to conditions like diabetes and ADHD who would also benefit from more Teal Pumpkin houses on their trick-or-treat route. Why not offer some non-candy treats, instead of or in addition to candy, so that Halloween can be fun, healthy and safe for everyone in the neighborhood?

  1. Bubbles
  2. Glow sticks, necklaces, wands, glasses
  3. Stickers
  4. Pencils
  5. Pencil toppers
  6. Fake/plastic bugs
  7. Cool tattoo/character bandaids
  8. Mini crayon packs
  9. Mini Play-Doh
  10. Hair bows, barrettes, clips (obviously for girls)
  11. Erasers
  12. Mini slinkies
  13. Bouncy balls
  14. Mini nail polish (again, girls)
  15. Temporary tattoos (Halloween themed or popular characters)
  16. Spider rings
  17. Halloween stickers
  18. Mini plastic army guys
  19. Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars
  20. Plastic vampire fangs
  21. Whistles/other annoying noise makers
  22. Mini bottles of water (for the adults)
  23. Mini water squirt guns
  24. Girls fake jewelry (rings, necklaces, bracelets)
  25. Mini coloring books

Use the hashtag #tealpumpkinproject to show awareness.

Happy haunting!! 

5 Pomegranate Recipes to Try

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It’s pomegranate season, y’all!  Now through the end of February, this nutrient dense, antioxidant rich fruit is full of great benefits and flavor!  It’s packed with zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium, just to name a few.   Around the holidays, pomegranates are great to toss into soups, salads, dinner meals, sweets, or even in a beverage. Check out these five delicious-looking recipes I’m going to try.

5-Ingredient Pear Pomegranate Salsa -- made with five fresh and tasty ingredients! gimmesomeoven.com

pear pomegranate salad

No-Bake Chocolate Pomegranate Tart | giverecipe.com | #tart #chocolate #pomegranate #fall

no-bake chocolate pomegranate tart

Honey, Pomegranate, Pecan Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps... light, fresh, and mayo-free. Perfect for a refreshing lunch or dinner! #glutenfree | iowagirleats.com:

honey, pomegranate, pecan lettuce wraps

Pomegranate Moscow Mule. The perfect Winter Cocktail! Be holiday ready with this delicious drink!

pomegranate Moscow mules

Moroccan Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Soup w/Coconut Ginger Cream + Pistachios | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

butternut squash + goat cheese soup topped with pomegranates

I’ve scoured the internet trying to find the best way to deseed a pomegranate, and this 7-step tutorial is definitely the best.

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 What are your favorite ways to eat a pomegranate? 

xxx

Pumpkin Spice Loaf with Whipped Buttercream Frosting

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Shew… that’s some title, but this pumpkin bread lives up to it. It’s pumpkin season, y’all!! This weekend we had a glimpse of fall with a cool breeze. I even pulled out a scarf to wear to church. I’m hoping it sticks around for a little while before turning into full-blown winter.

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While at the grocery store I was bombarded by all the pumpkin flavored stuff. It got me right in the mood to whip something up, literally. This bread is straight out of a Krusteaz quick mix box, but I added this homemade whipped buttercream frosting to make it even yummier (and sweeter!). I’m not sure whether to categorize this loaf in breakfasts or sweets. You be the judge.

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First of all, I’d like to give Krusteaz a little praise real quick, because they are amazing. Have you had their Belgium waffles? Or their lemon squares? Around the fall they have this pumpkin spice quick bread mix and it is fabulous. My boyfriend says I talk things up too much without giving people the opportunity to make their own opinions, but I have to with this stuff. I’m not lying. It’s the perfect mixture of sweet and spicy without being too overwhelming. If you love PSLs, you’ll love this bread.

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The frosting though, is the real treat. I started with this whipped buttercream frosting recipe and added some other spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. It was super tricky, but you have to stay patient and wait the allotted time for each step. It’s totally worth it in the end.

Ingredients:
one box Krusteaz Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread Mix + box ingredients
7 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cup milk
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tbsp nutmeg (optional)
pinch of salt

Directions:
For bread:

  • Mix and bake bread as the box describes. (I only cooked mine for 45 minutes and it was perfect. Watch your bread closely.)
  • Take bread out and while it’s still warm, puncture 15 small holes in the top with a wooden dowel or similar. You’re going to pour the icing in it later.

For frosting:

  • While bread is baking, in a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens. It will be the consistency of a thick pancake batter. This takes time.
  • Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  • Stir in vanilla.
  • While the mixture is cooling, cream the butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together until light and fluffy on medium high, about 3 minutes or more.
  • Then add the completely cooled milk and flour mixture.
  • Beat it for about 5 minutes (or more) on medium-high to high until it looks like whipped cream. If you can still taste the sugar granules, keep beating it until you can’t. This is where your patience comes in. Just keep beating until it’s not creamy anymore.
  • Cover with cling-wrap and store in fridge for about 10 to 15 minutes to allow frosting to harden a little.
  • While bread is still cooling, spread icing all over it. Icing will fall into holes, giving it the perfect flavor when you bite into it. You will have plenty if icing leftover for cupcakes or anther loaf of bread. Store in fridge, covered, for up to a week and a half, but don’t waste it!

Enjoy!

Healthy Chicken Taco Soup

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This crockpot taco soup with chicken is soooo good. In the cooler months my crockpot stays on the counter. We live off of soups because they are so easy and last 2-3 days. I’m always looking for healthy crockpot recipes, so when I saw this chicken tortilla soup from Turquoise and Teale, I knew I wanted to try it. I changed a few of the ingredients and made this more of a taco soup, and it’s packed with healthy ingredients and a whole lot of flavor.

Ingredients:
3 chicken tenderloins
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 can died and tomatoes
1/2 bag frozen sweet corn
1 can reduced sodium black beans – drained and rinsed
1/3 cup died onion
2 cloves garlic
2-3 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 tsp ground cumin
1 packet of taco seasoning
salt + pepper to taste

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in the crockpot and stir to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Top with shredded cheese.

Enjoy!!

 

Easy Saturday Breakfast

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I’m on a breakfast kick, y’all. On Saturday mornings I love to get up early and fix breakfast. It’s really the only day I can without being in a rush. When I asked J what he wanted, he said, and I quote, “Egg and cheese sandwich.” I’d never heard of such. I replied, “How about a ham, egg and cheese croissant instead?” He agreed and thank goodness. What the heck is a egg and cheese sandwich anyway!? These little babies were so delicious and so easy to make. You mostly just follow the instructions on the can and add in your toppings. Yum!

 Ingredients:
one Pillsbury crescent rolls (qty 4)
2 eggs
1/3 cup Hillshire Farms sliced ham
1/3 cup shredded Sargento cheese
3 tablespoons milk (depending on your preference)
salt + pepper

Directions:
Start by preheating a toaster oven to 350 degrees. Spray a small pan with cooking spray and lay out crescent rolls. Chop ham into small pieces. Crack eggs in medium size bowl and whisk together with milk and salt and pepper. Scramble eggs, leaving about a tablespoon of the mixture in the bowl for later. Add shredded cheese in pan. Mix together well until most of the cheese is melted. Add ham and mix some more. Using a spoon, portion out the mixture into each crescent roll. Roll it up starting with larger end as best you can. It’s hard to not let it all spill out! Gently wash the top of the roll with the remainder egg wash and bake for the amount allotted on the crescent roll package: 10 – 15 minutes until browned.

Enjoy!!


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Blueberry Lemon Steel Cut Oats

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I am a huge oatmeal fan. I recently discovered BetterOats Oat Revolution Steel Cut oats. They come in individual packets and are super easy to make. In the mornings, having something that’s quick and easy is a life-saver. I ran across this blueberry lemon oats recipe and had to give it a try. It is soo yummy and easily might be my go-to breakfast for the week.

 Ingredients:
one pouch of BetterOats Steel Cut oatmeal
3/4 cup milk
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp butter
1 tsp granulated sugar (optional)
blueberries
maple syrup

Directions:
Cook your oatmeal as the pouch explains. After it’s become a porridge consistency, add in the salt, butter, lemon juice, vanilla extract, and sugar. Stir until melted. Serve with blueberries and top with lemon zest and maple syrup. Enjoy!