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Frozen Yogurt Bark

The holidays are over and I, like many, have felt the need to stop indulging – all the time at least.  I feel that moderation and a healthy lifestyle are key, however I went wild this holiday season gorging on spritz cookies, sugar cookies, haystacks, fudge, caramel corn – you name the cookie/candy and chances are I took a bite.  Same goes for cheese – brie, cambozola, gouda…yum!  I enjoyed every moment, but I feel gross and my jeans are snug.  In an effort to save money and not have to purchase new pants I am breaking out some of my favorite recipes to curb my appetite.  Which leads me to this little gem I wanted to share, Frozen Yogurt Bark, a favorite treat.

Frozen yogurt bark is one of those items that I will eat and eat and eat, then I will forget about it for a while only to come back to this oh so easy concoction.   OK, so Yogurt Bark is crazy easy – just yogurt that you spread onto a piece of parchment paper, then sprinkle with whatever you want to add and then freeze for a couple of hours.  Once frozen, break the yogurt into pieces and enjoy!  The variations are endless since you can use any kind of yogurt you like as well as the toppings.  You can also add no toppings, tons of toppings, you get the idea.

My personal preference when making yogurt bark and I am trying to get back on track, is to use individual yogurt cups that are high in protein.  This way I am sure of exactly what I am eating in terms of carbs, protein, fat and calories.  For the variation pictured I used a mix of goji berries, chia seeds and cacao nibs.  All of these add-ons play double duty in that they are delicious, add tons of nutrients and add crunch.   Another delicious way to amp up the flavor is to add a teaspoon or two of maple syrup, honey or even some chocolate syrup.  Like I said, moderation is key. 🙂  Try this recipe out.  It takes under five minutes and could not be simpler.  Here’s to healthy eating!

Frozen Yogurt Bark
Ingredients
Yogurt of your choice
Toppings (use anything – be creative)

Directions
Line a pan with parchment paper and spread yogurt onto the parchment paper in a thin layer.   Place desired toppings on top of yogurt and freeze for at least two hours.  Break apart and enjoy!

 

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Extreme Chocolate Cupcakes

I love a good cupcake.  There is something about a fluffy, decadent, sinful piece of heaven that makes me want to melt and immediately cheat on an otherwise healthy day of eating.  And you know what?  It’s worth it.  Every. Single. Time.  No regrets – ever.  The one time I don’t like to buy those delicious cakes is when I need to bring a lot of cupcakes.  A couple of dozen cupcakes can cost a pretty penny which is why I LOOOOOVE this recipe for Extreme Chocolate Cupcakes.  It is moist, delicious and you won’t believe how easy they are to whip up.

The best thing about this cake is that you can dump everything into a bowl and let the mixer do the work.  There is no butter to cream or no liquid and flour mixture that needs to be mixed alternately.  It is so, so simple.  When baking or cooking anything for a crowd this is a huge bonus for me.  The cake uses oil instead of butter which keeps the cake from being too dry which is the ultimate killer when it comes to any kind of cupcakes or cake.  My favorite way to top these cakes is with my basic buttercream frosting that you can find here.  This is the perfect combination of fluffy cake topped with a creamy, sweet frosting.

So, this is my secret to baking delicious cupcakes for a crowd or anytime you are having a cupcake craving for that matter.  Even though this recipe is simple nobody will ever guess…they are that good.  Try making these, you won’t regret it.

Starbucks Passion Iced Tea Lemonade Dupe – Calorie Free

I love Starbucks Passion Iced Tea Lemonade – like LOOOOOVE it!  It is refreshing, delicious and I love the pink color.  So when I found a pack of the Starbucks Passion Iced Tea in the tea aisle of my supermarket I snatched it up.  My first inclination was to  simply make the tea and add some of my Monin Calorie Free Sweetener and enjoy another one of my fave Starbucks drinks, their Passion Iced Tea.  There were other plans for this delicious tea though and I must share.

The combination is so simple, yet so delicious and as the title reads, it is calorie free. 🙂  So drumroll….the secret is Crystal Light Lemonade.  Not only does this make this drink almost calorie free, it makes it crazy good and taste just like the Starbucks Passion Iced Tea Lemonade.

I can’t say enough about this crazy delicious drink, except that you must try it.  So delicious, so easy and almost calorie free.  Need I say more?  Try it!

Sorghum, Lentil and Brie Salad with Orange Maple Vinaigrette

Sorghum, Lentil and Brie Salad with Orange Maple Vinaigrette – so yes, I know this is a mouthful, however I feel like each flavor is integral which is why I included all of these ingredients in the title.  I felt it was important to give you an idea of all the deliciousness that is packed into this mouth watering salad.  I must re-iterate…this salad is mouth watering.

First I need to start with what exactly sorghum is.  Up until about a month ago I had no idea that this grain even existed.  I came across an article when going through my Flipboard that was titled, “Could 2017 be the breakout year for home-grown ancient grain sorghum?”  I highly recommend reading it, the article is very informative and describes the many health benefits.  A brief run down is that this grain is gluten-free, non GMO, rich in fiber, protein, iron magnesium and B6.   Sorghum also has a delicious, slightly nutty flavor and I would compare the grain to Israeli couscous.

Sorghum has one major drawback – it takes a while to cook, one hour to be precise.  I usually cook this over the weekend while I am milling around the house and keep it in the fridge to eat for lunch or if I want to make this salad.  Generally I am in a mad rush with everything so if I don’t cook this ahead of time, this salad is not getting made.  That said, if the sorghum is cooked, this dish will come together in a flash.

Now down to business, the recipe.   The very start of the recipe begins with bacon.  Yum!

Date Sweetened Chocolate Chip Cookies

Date Sweetened Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Stay with me here…I was not a believer – at all.  When it comes to chocolate chip cookies  I am a purist.  Butter, sugar (the good stuff – think C&H), brown sugar and all-purpose white flour is the direction my cookies go.  So, the unhealthy kind is where my head is at.  While I still adore chocolate chip cookies, especially my tried and true all-time favorite recipe that you must try (click here), these Date Sweetened Chocolate Chip Cookies are an awesome and healthier alternative.