Halloween Punch Recipe with Fanta

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Halloween has become a fun time of year for us now that we are parents. While our two year old still doesn’t really understand what is going on, I’m having a fun time introducing him to pumpkins (although he likes to carry his pumpkin around the house which I’m not a fan of ;) ), hayrides and Halloween crafts. When I was given the opportunity to purchase Fanta and make a Halloween dish with it, I jumped at it. I have been craving punch and I wanted to make a Halloween Punch out of Fanta! Follow Fanta on Twitter HERE.
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I headed to Walmart to pick up Fanta and a pack of Dasani 12 oz bottles. I found Fanta on the Beverages aisle.
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While I was at Walmart, there was also an in-store demo showing how to make Halloween treats out of Fanta, Wheat Thins, Oreos and more! It was a popular demo! The table was wiped clean of samples!

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Dasani water bottles are made from plant resin and is a special shape that won’t fall over in the fridge! I wanted to get Dasani bottles to hand out to thirsty trick or treaters that come to our door. Follow Dasani on Twitter!
halloween-punchI headed home armed with the three main ingredients for my punch. Fanta, pineapple juice and orange sherbet. I can not even begin to tell you how good this punch was! And how ridiculously simple it was.

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eyeballsIf you decide to make a more ghoulish version of the punch, you can make bloody eyeballs like I did using four ingredients. Marshmallows, grapes (halved), chocolate chips and red icing. I’m not going to lie – these were not the easiest to make because the grapes kept popping out of their sockets (the marshmallows). But when I pushed the grapes in deep enough, they did stay put. And the marshmallows floated in the punch making a perfect floating eyeball.
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Do you have any favorite Halloween Punch recipes? Or any other Halloween ideas you could use Fanta in? Leave a comment with your ideas!

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Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats Recipe

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When I started running almost five years ago, I learned about steel cut oats.  I was researching foods that supply long lasting energy and steel cut oats was raved about by running publications and nutritionists.  Steel cut oats are filled with macronutrients which give us long lasting energy, fiber and even protein.  Sometimes I will make plain steel cut oats and keep them refrigerated for about a week using a small portion every day for breakfast.  These oats do take longer to cook than typical oatmeal, hence the reason I will often more enough for leftovers.  This is a gluten free meal – just make sure that the Steel Cut Oats that you use are certified as g-free.

This Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats recipe is a great one if you like the flavors of apple and cinnamon.  This recipe is so yummy and while it is cooking, your house will smell like you are making apple pie.  I love that this is a crock pot recipe.  You can start your crockpot when you go to bed and have a warm breakfast waiting for you when you wake up.  Or, you can make this in the morning and have a yummy dessert!  Regardless of when you eat this recipe, you will enjoy the flavors of apple and cinnamon mixed with the crunch of nuts.

Combine the ingredients in your crockpot (recipe is below)

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Finished product in crock pot before serving (recipe is below)
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Recipe adapted from He and She Eat Clean

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Quick & Easy Recipe: Two Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Cake

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It’s that time of the year again! The time when pumpkin flavoring is everywhere and the time when I hope for cooler weather! With fall upon us, I had to repost this great recipe that I shared with all of you two autumns ago!  Even though the weather is still warm (okay, HOT) where I live, I am finding myself craving pumpkin pie, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin bread, pumpkin coffee… basically anything pumpkin.  This recipe is SUPER easy if you are craving pumpkin too!  You only need two ingredients take make the cake!

When I first saw this recipe, I immediately thought I was missing something.  I mean really.  Who makes a cake with just two ingredients?  And is the cake even going to be edible?  Well, I’m here to report that this recipe ended up turning out really good! The consistency is denser than regular cake (probably because you aren’t using eggs).  I would say that it is more of a pumpkin bread consistency.  This cake tastes great, made my house smell yummy and impressed hubby.  What more do I need than that?

I added a third ingredient by topping the cake with powdered sugar.  However, you don’t need to top it with anything.  Or, if you are someone who likes toppings, you could melt chocolate chips, pour on some caramel sauce, make a cream cheese topping, the possibilities are endless.   The nice thing about this recipe is you can add to it.  If you want to throw in some nuts or raisins or chocolate chips into the batter, go for it!  In fact, report back to here with any recipe variations you come up with!

Frugal Tips

  • Cake mix goes on sale 2/$4.00 or BOGO quite often.  During your store’s next sale, try to match a coupon with the sale to really maximize your dollar.  If you get a good deal (cake mix for under $0.80/box), buy more than one box and put it in your pantry to be prepared for last minute moments when you need to make a quick dessert.  Check out Addicted to Saving’s coupon database to see the available cake mix coupons.
  • Canned pumpkin religiously goes on sale every fall.  Because of holiday baking, stores and manufacturers know we are going to need canned pumpkin.  Stock up with enough canned pumpkin during the fall season to last you through the upcoming year!

Healthy Tips

  • The cake mix in this recipe is definitely not the most figure friendly.  Because we are not adding oil or eggs to the cake mix, we are saving on calories.
  • Canned pumpkin (especially organic canned pumpkin) is SUPER healthy.  On average, 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin contains 40 calories and contains no saturated fat, trans fat or cholesterol. And, each serving contains 4 g or 16 percent daily value of dietary fiber. I like to keep canned pumpkin on hand year round because it is perfect for those moments when my puppy has tummy trouble. Just 1 teaspoon (or less since my pup is small) of canned pumpkin is enough to make him regular!

 

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This recipe was inspired by All Recipes

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Creating Hot Sauce Recipes with El Yucateco Hot Sauce

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el-yucatecoCalling all Hot Sauce fans! I have a brand of hot sauce that you will want to try! I love hot food. Three summers ago I had jalapeno plants growing in my garden and every day I harvested 3 or 4 peppers and added them in every food possible. So when I was given the opportunity to try out El Yucateco hot sauce, I was very excited!

el-yucateco-1El Yucateco products are found at many Publix and Walmart locations. I found them in the International Foods aisle of my local Publix. If you don’t see El Yucateco products at your Publix, let customer service know!

El Yucateco has three different types of hot sauce to choose from at Publix. I bought all three so that I could try them each out. They have Red Habanero Sauce, Green Habanero Sauce and XXXtra Hot Kutbil-ik Sauce. If you take a taste of each of these sauces, you will tell immediately that they pack a great kick! They are hot! But besides the heat, they each have a unique flavor that will help any of your meals become more flavorful.

Of the three sauces, my favorite was El Yucateco’s Red Habanero Sauce. The immediate flavor that I tasted when I tried the Red Habanero Sauce was habanero peppers. But layered behind the peppers were tomatoes and spices.

I like to make cheesy scrambled eggs for my son. And while I didn’t add hot sauce to his eggs (he’s only 22 months and not a fan of spicy food.. yet ;) ), I added hot sauce to a simple cheddar cheese omelet that I made for myself. It packed a tasty punch. Just a few drops added such an amazing flavor to my omelet!

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I’ve also been on a huge pizza kick lately. When I bought the bottles of El Yucateco products at Publix, I also bought pizza dough from their bakery. With the dough, I made a Mexican Pizza. I followed my regular Mexican Pizza recipe but made a small addition. I added a few drops of El Yucateco’s Red Habanero Sauce to the ground beef.

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The pizza came out amazing. It is normally a flavorful pizza, but with a few drops of Red Habanero Sauce in the ground beef, it had an extra flavorful kick. You immediately noticed that the pizza was spicier and also flavorful as the ground beef took on flavors of habanero peppers!

el-yucateco-3I wanted to use both the Red Habanero Sauce and Green Habanero Sauce with the cooked pizza so I added a few drops to the plate of a piece of pizza. I was able to dip bite sized pieces of pizza into the sauce and get an additional bang of heat with each bite.

Have you tried El Yucateco Hot Sauce? What did you think of it? What recipes do you like to add your hot sauce to? Go HERE to see a list of recipes including their hot sauce available on El Yucateco’s website!

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Strawberry Kefir Pancakes with Lifeway Kefir Smoothies

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Last summer, when I traveled to Ethiopia twice, I relied heavily on probiotics to help prevent me from getting food poisoning. Because I was traveling, I brought probiotic capsules since bringing yogurt or Kefir across the globe was impossible. I had never tried Kefir before so when I was given the opportunity to try Lifeway Kefir Lowfat Cultured Milk Smoothies, I was very excited. I am always looking for alternatives to probiotic capsules and a smoothie is right up my alley!

I headed to Winn-Dixie to pick up a bottle or two of Lifeway Kefir Lowfat Cultured Milk Smoothies. They were a bit difficult to find. In fact, I had to ask the dairy manager for help! So when you go to purchase them, make sure you look on the top shelf of the dairy case as I show in my picture.

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I purchased two different types of Lifeway Kefir Lowfat Milk Smoothies because I really wanted to try both of them out and I couldn’t choose between the two! I purchased Plain and Strawberry.  The Lifeway Kefir Plain Smoothie is tart. It doesn’t have any sweetness to it. This smoothie would be awesome to add to fruit smoothies or maybe to add a little honey to! The Lifeway Kefir Strawberry Smoothie has a perfect amount of sweetness. In fact, my 21 month old son loved drinking it!

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Lifeway Kefir is a smooth, tart, refreshing cousin of yogurt, often thought of as the “Champagne of Dairy.” Kefir originated in Eastern Europe over 2000 years ago.  Kefir’s probiotic cultures have long been enhancing feelings of well-being. Lifeway Kefir contains 12 live and active Probiotic cultures that support the immune system and balance digestive health. It is Gluten Free, 99% Lactose Free and contains No Artificial Sweeteners and is rich in Calcium. Lifeway also only uses milk that comes from cows that are not treated with pesticides, antibiotics, or synthetic growth hormones. The cows are grass fed and GMO free.

I wanted to create a recipe using my Lifeway Kefir Strawberry Smoothie. I had read that kefir makes an excellent replacement for sour cream or buttermilk. So I decided to create a pancake recipe with the kefir smoothie since we love buttermilk pancakes!

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The finished product was a perfectly sweet pancake with hints of strawberry that was light and fluffy. I topped my pancakes with a few frozen berries that I had thawed and a little powdered sugar. Hubby topped his with loads of syrup since he loves his syrup. And my son ate his pancake without any toppings. I made some very small silver dollar sized pancakes and froze them to give to my son as a quick snack or breakfast. They froze really well and thawed really well too!

Have you tried Lifeway Kefir Lowfat Milk Smoothies? I would love to hear your thoughts! For more information on Lifeway Kefir products AND to sign up for coupons, including a $1/2 Kefir 32 oz coupon, go HERE.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream Recipe

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I originally posted this recipe last summer but now that we are in the heat of summer I had to pull this refreshing recipe out again!  My hubby isn’t a fan of fruit in his desserts.  So the strawberry ice cream recipe I posted last summer didn’t really float his boat.  But he is loving this Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream recipe!  This recipe utilizes the Raw Cookie Dough Bites recipe and the vanilla ice cream has just three ingredients – whole milk, vanilla beans and maple syrup.

If you have been on the fence about making homemade ice cream, it is time to get off of it!  It is so easy to make and involves just a few ingredients!  If you look at all of the ingredients on the back of your cartons of ice cream, you will most often see ingredients that you have never heard of.  Homemade ice cream, however, includes whole foods and ingredients that you can pronounce!  So pull your ice cream maker out of the closet and put it to use!
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This recipe is adapted from My Whole Food Life

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Quinoa Summer Salad Recipe

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With summertime upon us, I wanted to repost this recipe because it is just so good, so good for you and so easy to make!

This Quinoa Summer Salad recipe carries on my love for all things Quinoa.  Quinoa is a grain that is high in protein, iron, magnesium and potassium.  A one cup serving of quinoa has 222 calories, 8 g of protein, 39 g of carbohydrates and 5 grams of fiber!  (One cup equals one serving of protein!) When I make quinoa, typically I will make more than one meal’s worth of quinoa.  I will then refrigerate the cooked quinoa and use it in additional recipes.

Many of you have asked me where I get my quinoa.  Truthfully, I stocked up at my local Sweetbay Supermarket when it was closing down and everything in the store was 50% off.  But I have also ordered it on Amazon as well as Vitacost.  I will often compare the prices on both websites and order wherever I can get the best deal!

This salad below is perfect for summer (or all year round eating).  It is light and relies on fresh flavors like basil, lemon, tomatoes and green onions!  If you make any variations to the recipe below, I would love to hear what you made and how it turns out!

Below is the homemade dressing for this salad (recipe is below)
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How amazing do these salad ingredients look? (recipe is below)
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Go HERE to see my Apple Quinoa Bites Recipe

Go HERE to see my Quinoa with Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Red Onion Recipe (Gluten-Free)

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The recipe has been adapted from The Garden Grazer

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Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe

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If you haven’t tried this recipe, you need to! Peanut butter is a staple in our house. My amazing sister-in-law created this Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe.  It is so so easy and involves just one ingredient – peanuts.  This recipe is so easy that my sister-in-law calls this Five Minute Peanut Butter.  You literally need a food processor and five minutes of your time. Love it.

The best thing about this recipe (besides the fact that you just need nuts to make your butter) is that there are no preservatives.  If you look at the back of many store bought peanut butter jars, you will see lots of ingredients.  This recipe just involves one.  You can’t eat much cleaner than this!

Pour your peanuts in the food processor (recipe is below)
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As you process the nuts, they will start out looking like a dry powder. Keep processing.
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As you process your nuts more and more, they will change from a dry powder to most butter. Keep processing until your peanut butter is the consistency you like. I like mine extra smooth! 5-Minute-Peanut-Butter-1

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