Favorite Food Makeover


What's for breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Snacks? It can often feel like we have to choose between eating delicious food and having something healthy. Why not combine the two?

But whether you want to enjoy a recipe passed down from your grandmother, or get our kids to eat more vegetables, you can make the choice to make some simple changes to recipes that will make them healthy and tasty.

An easy way to make a meal instantly healthier without sacrificing taste is to incorporate grated zucchini, squash, carrots, sweet potato and other veggies into the dishes you and your family already love. This is especially helpful if you have a picky eater in your house.

Some great places to sneak in vegetables are marinara sauce for spaghetti, pizza or other pastas; hamburger patties; even in muffins. You can tuck away extra nutrients and vitamins into almost any of your recipes! Jessica Seinfeld talks about this in her book, Deceptively Delicious.

And when you include shredded vegetables in your meals, you are able to consume more nutrients for a relatively small caloric increase. For example, one cup of zucchini only adds 20 calories. Add more fiber to your diet by replacing steel cut oats instead of rolled oats for breakfast. Try overnight crock pot breakfast.

With a little bit of recipe tweaking, muffins can be become nutrient-packed snacks or healthy breakfast options. To improve on the typical muffin recipes, substitute white flour with whole wheat flour and or almond meal. Whole wheat is higher in fiber and takes longer to digest, so you feel fuller longer. Almond meal is from blanched whole almonds. If the recipe calls for sugar, reduce it by half or add a banana instead. Bananas add natural sweetness and provide valuable potassium. You could also try coconut palm sugar instead of brown sugar, which has a 1:1 ratio. And if a recipe calls for oil substitute apple sauce or make sure to use coconut oil for added health benefits and reduce the overall calories from unnecessary fats in other oils. Click here for more on substitutions

With a bit of patience and some trial and error-you can make almost any recipe healthier. Don't be afraid to experiment in the kitchen so you and your family can still enjoy your favorite foods.

Pumpkin Banana Monkey Bites

2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (or add 3rd banana)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 bananas, mashed
1 cup organic pumpkin puree
1/4 cup coconut oil (or applesauce)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup chocolate chips (opt)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tins with baking spray and fill empty cups with water. Set aside

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the bananas, pumpkin, oil, eggs and vanilla, until well-blended.

4. Add banana mixture to flour mixture, gently folding in chocolate chips until combined.

5. Divide mixture evenly among prepared muffin cups.

6. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes for mini muffins/ 13 to 15 minutes for standard muffins, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Watch out because everyone in your home will nom nom nom these fast! Guaranteed.

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