Holiday Re-Mix

This quick and easy trail mix is dairy-free, requires no oven and is fairly healthy when compared to most desserts that will be calling your name this holiday season.  This trail mix combines my favorite flavor combination – oreos and peanut butter.  It will keep well in an air tight container for about a week.  If you omit the mini oreos in this recipe it can also be gluten free.  The red sprinkles add some festive color but you can change out the colors to match the occasion. This snack is prefect for a party or pack it for the long car ride to the festivities.

Prep Time:     20 minutes                          Makes one large bowl


1 12 oz box rice chex cereal

3/4 cup fluff

3/4 cup natural peanut butter

3 tbsp of coconut butter or coconut oil

2 cups mini oreos

1/2 cup mini dairy free chocolate chips

1/2 cup salted cashews

1/4 cup red and green sprinkles

Place the fluff, peanut butter and coconut oil/butter into a heat proof bowl and melt the ingredients on a stovetop or in a microwave.  Stir the ingredients together until they are completely combined and smooth.

In a large bowl combine the cereal, oreos, chocolate chips, cashews and sprinkles.  Pour the melted mixture onto the cereal mixture and stir until all ingredients are coated.  Allow the mixture to cool and place in an air tight container for snacking all week.



Gluten Free and Dairy Free Oatmeal Bars

These bars are a great after school snack or breakfast on the go.  The allspice combined with the cinnamon and oats makes this bar taste like a bowl of oatmeal with no spoon required!  The oats add a chewy texture and the dates and brown sugar add a subtle sweetness.  Indulge in this comfort food with zero guilt while fueling your body with wholesome ingredients.

Prep Time:  10 minutes            Cook Time:  20-25 minutes           Makes:  9 large bars


1 1/4 cup of old fashioned rolled oats finely ground in a food processor until it resembles flour

3/4 cup almond flour

1 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats (reserve 1/3 cup of these oats for the topping)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark will do)

3/4 cup softened coconut oil

1/2 cup egg whites

2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup of dates pitted and chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.  In a medium bowl stir together the ground oats, almond flour, 1 cup of whole oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and allspice.  Set aside.  In a separate medium bowl place the brown sugar and coconut oil.  Use a hand mixer to beat the two ingredients together until combined.  Add the egg whites and vanilla and beat until completely combined.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and add the cup of chopped dates.  Mix until just combined and transfer to the baking dish.  Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the edges are browned and a toothpick inserted in the center is clean.

Allow the pan to cool completely before cutting the bars into 9 equal squares.  Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.  Enjoy!




Dairy-Free Elvis Banana Bread

The King would have loved this banana bread recipe because it has all of his favorite things baked into one loaf.  I took one of the most commonly baked breads and added a couple of ingredients that will make it a stand-out for dessert or breakfast.  I prefer to use almond or cashew butter because both of those nuts have anti-inflammatory properties but you can certainly use peanut butter if you prefer.  The carbs have been cut in half with the use of the almond flour and the majority of the fat is healthy fat from the nut butter and almond flour.  Enjoy a slice with your coffee and it will be hard not to cut yourself another piece.

Prep Time:  10 minutes             Cook Time:  50-60 minutes              Makes:  1 loaf (12 servings)


1 cup of almond flour or almond meal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approximately 2 medium bananas)

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/3 cup peanut, almond or cashew butter

3 tbsp vegetable or avocado oil

3 tbsp liquid egg whites

1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray the bottom of a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.  In a medium mixing bowl combine, flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Whisk to combine.  In a separate mixing bowl add the mashed bananas, almond milk, nut butter, oil and egg.  Stir until combined then add it to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips and pour the batter into the loaf pan.  Bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Loosen the sides and gently remove the bread from the pan.  Slice and serve.

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Granola Bar

These bars are so yummy and very versatile.  They are easy to whip up and great for a dessert or snack and a healthy way to get in your cholesterol lowering rolled oats.  The nut butter , egg whites and coconut oil adds protein and healthy fats and the chocolate chunks are just plain delicious.  Feel free to use any nut butter you enjoy and if your children need a nut-free treat for school simply use sunflower seed butter instead.  These store well in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Prep Time:  10 minutes                   Cook Time:  20 minutes                 Makes 12 bars


3/4 cup almond butter / cashew butter / peanut butter / sunflower seed butter

1/3 cup honey

4 tbsp liquid egg whites

2 tbsp of melted coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant)

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 tsp salt

1 cup dairy-free chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl beat together the peanut butter, honey, egg, oil, brown sugar , extract and salt until creamy.  Stir in the oats and chocolate chunks until the oats are completely covered in the peanut butter mixture.  Coat a 13X9 baking dish with cooking spray.  Press the oat mixture firmly into the bottom of the pan.  Place in oven for 20 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned.  Cool in pan for 15 minutes then transfer to the fridge for 20 minutes.  Loosen the edges with a spatula or knife and slice into bars.



Easy Pineapple Salsa

This salsa is so easy to make and serves as a great condiment to tacos or as a simple and healthy appetizer when served alongside tortilla chips.  If you like it on the spicy side add a chopped fresh jalapeño pepper.  It will keep well in the fridge for a few days.  *TIP:  Most people don’t realize that pineapples contain a lot of vitamin C, which boosts immunity.  They also contain anti-inflammatory properties which reduces inflammation in the body.  Pineapples are also a great source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion as well as Manganese, which strengthens bones.  Pile this yummy salsa on anything and you can ditch the guilt too!

Prep Time:  10 minutes                                              Serves: 6


1/2 fresh pineapple small diced

1/2 red pepper small diced

juice of half a lime

1 fresh jalapeño seeded and chopped (optional)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground pepper

1/2 shallot

Toss together the diced pineapple, peppers, salt, ground pepper and lime juice.  Grate half of a peeled shallot directly to the bowl.  Toss to combine all of the ingredients and allow to rest in the fridge for a few hours before serving so that the flavors can marry.


Dairy-Free Cranberry Margarita Bread

Studded with cranberries this sweet and tangy bread is perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack.  Egg whites, coconut oil and almond milk increase the protein and decrease the cholesterol while the use of almond flour reduces the amount of white flour in this recipe.  The lime and orange zest add a hint of refreshing citrus.  It’s perfect for those times when you could use a margarita,  but must settle for something a bit more sensible.

Prep Time:  10 minutes                         Cooking Time:  1 hour                     Makes 1 loaf


4 tbsp melted coconut oil

1 cup of almond flour or almond meal

1 1/4 cup white flour

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp liquid egg white

3/4 cup almond milk

1 bag of fresh cranberries (8-12 oz)

1 tsp lime zest

1 tsp orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a loaf baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.  In a large bowl whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, almond flour, baking powder and salt.  In a medium bowl combine the coconut oil, zest, egg whites and almond milk.  Whisk to combine.  Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and fold in the cranberries.  Stir until combined.  Pour batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow the bread to cool for 30 minutes then run a knife along the perimeter and remove from the pan.


Nonni Netta’s Spiced Roasted Pecans

This recipe will forever remind me of my grandmother because I made them for her shortly before she passed away.  These are a great snack for the game or a crunchy topping for desserts or salads.  They are easy to make and keep well in the fridge.  Keep in mind that nuts contain natural oils that tend to spoil quickly, so you always want to store them in the fridge or freezer.  You can certainly substitute your favorite nut for the pecans and it would be just as delicious.  Enjoy!

Prep Time:  5 minutes            Cook time:  15 minutes               Makes 9 oz roasted nuts

9 oz pecan halves

3 tbsp liquid egg whites

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp cardamom

few grinds of freshly grated nutmeg

pinch of salt

First whisk together the egg whites, sugar, salt and spices until well blended.  Add the pecans and toss util they are completely coated with the spice mixture.  Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the pecans onto the baking sheet in a single layer.  Place in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until the tops are brown.  Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before serving or storing.