Gluten Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin Bites

 healthy gluten free banana chocolate chip muffin bites recipe

You know when you’re running out the door or packing lunches and wish you had a healthy snack to grab? These little muffin bites are perfect for that aaaaaaand for using up all those ripes bananas you’ve got hanging out in your freezer (it’s embarrassing how many I have in mine!!! I just don’t like the idea of throwing them out so I end up with half my freezer loaded with bananas waiting for me to get in the baking mood). These little bites pack a nutritional punch and are perfect for an on-the-go snack or as a healthy addition to packed lunches. View Post

Canada Day Strawberry Chia Parfait

Canada has a big birthday coming up this weekend and there’s lots to come to OHP to help celebrate our amazing country turning 150. To kick off the week of patriotic posts, what better than a recipe inspired by the colours of our flag? This red and white parfait is a healthy snack option (that only takes 3 steps to make!) for a Canada Day party or picnic and even though it’s inspired by July 1st, it’s perfect anytime as a great snack of breakfast option. See below for how to make them at home.

Ingredients

Recipe makes two parfaits

– fresh organic strawberries, sliced

– 2 cups organic vanilla yogurt

-chia pudding (see below for instructions)

Directions

  1. Start by making the chia pudding: in a jug or bowl mix 2 cups of organic milk with 1/2 cup of chia seeds (you can also add a tsp of vanilla extract). Stir well and allow to sit for 20 minutes+ or overnight.

2. When the chia pudding is ready build the parfaits by alternating scoops of the vanilla yogurt with the chia pudding and strawberries. Tip: If you want to create distinct layers, use the yogurt as a barrier to help keep the chia pudding from blending in with everything. Ie use a layer of yogurt after each layer of chia pudding and strawberries. 

  

   

3. Repeat until the jars are full and top with some strawberry slices. Serve & enjoy!

   

   

Looking for more ideas to celebrate Canada? See the links below!

#RedandWhite Pop Up at The Local Space: Post a Photo to Win!

Oh Canada: 10 Ways to Get your ‘Eh’ On for Under $75

Canada Day Bunting Printables

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No Bake Protein Bites

You know that feeling when you’re craving something sweet & salty but you’re trying to eat healthy and you can’t think of a snack idea that checks off both the tasty and healthy boxes? These no- bake protein bites are perfect. They’re tasty, quick to make, and loaded with good- for- you ingredients (aren’t I nice trying to help you stick with your new year’s resolutions? 😉 ).

I’ve shared similar recipes before and thought I’d revamp this one from a while back. I made a batch of these over the weekend and think I’ll double the recipe for next time so we’ve got plenty to spare. They’re great to make ahead and keep in the fridge as a quick, healthy snack to tuck into lunches and pop in your bag on busy mornings for an energy boost. And let’s face it, when healthy options are quick and easy (and don’t taste like cardboard), it makes it an easier choice to make. Now go get your nom nom on!

Ingredients

1 cup dry oats (I used gluten free)

1/2 cup organic peanut butter (+ 2- 3 tbsp if find your mix is a bit dry)

1/2 cup coconut flakes

1/4 cup flax seeds

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl until well combined…

… I added the peanut butter last so I could gauge if I needed to add more

3. Use your hands to knead the mix and help get all of the ingredients to stick together

4. Cool the mixture in the fridge for 10 minutes (this will help the bites hold their shape)

5. When chilled, scoop small handfuls and shape into balls either by squeezing the mixture in one hand or rolling with two. Depending on the texture of your mix one method may work better than the other

6. Place on a plate or in a dish as you make the balls. When you’ve rolled all of the mixture pop the bites into an air- tight container and store in the fridge. Enjoy throughout the week for a healthy/ yummy snack!

 

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Festive Popcorn

It’s that time of year when everything is starting to feel festive and Christmas spirit starts to take over. Will and I are still big kids at heart and get into the mood early with things like festive cocktails, decorating, and lots of Christmas tunes (I don’t think it gets any better than doing holiday baking while pumping your favourites in the background). If you’ve got some parties coming up or need some festive stocking stuffer/ teacher gift ideas, this popcorn is perfect. I made mine minty- what’s more Chrismtas- y than candy canes?- but you can choose whatever holiday treats you like for your mix. It’s simple to make and looks super cute when finished off with some Christmas wrapping or served in cute paper cups at a party. Just try not to eat it as you go or you won’t have any left! 😉
Ingredients:
4 cups popped popcorn
1 cup mint chocolate chips
1 cup mint candies (this will equal approx 1/4 cup when crushed)

 

Directions:
1. Once your popcorn is popped and cooled (you don’t want it to melt your candies), separate your various ingredients into bowls.
2. Unwrap your candies and place on a piece of parchment paper. Fold the parchment over the candies and using a rolling pin crush them into small pieces.

 

 

 

3. Now for the fun part! In a bowl or jar, begin mixing your ingredients together in layers starting with popcorn at the bottom. Do this until you’ve mixed everything up together and your container is full. It looks super cute stored in a mason jar with a lid or…

 

 

… wrapped up in a cute container like a Chinese take- out box to give as a gift!

 

 

… finish it off with some pretty ribbon or twine and some Christmas greens for an easy party favour or teacher’s gift.

 

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Ari Update: Reintroducing Foods to My Daughter {+ Giveaway}

OK parents, hands up how many of you are always looking for snack ideas for your kids? No matter if it’s for at home or you’re packing them up to go to school/ daycare/ grandma’s, sometime you just need something quick to grab (I know I did this morning with Liam- the kid doesn’t stop eating!). If you’ve followed the blog for a while, you know that dietary restrictions and food sensitivities have had a big influence on what we eat, just like many other families. It can make things interesting for parents trying to navigate what their kids need to thrive and can limit food/ snack options, among other unique challenges that arise when your kids can’t eat certain foods (‘they have it, why can’t I?’). Allergies/ sensitivities have become a major conversation as they seem to become more common, and it can be hard as a parent to know what to do- scary, even, if your child has a severe allergy- and sometimes it really comes down to trusting your gut instinct.
As of the beginning of September we started re- introducing foods back into Ari’s diet after more than a year and a half of her going without things like dairy, peanuts, and almonds. Her stomach and digestion had been doing much better, so it came time to try some of the foods we’d been keeping out of her diet. Knock on wood, so far, so good. Going dairy and gluten free had the biggest impact on our family, so I tended not to talk about certain other foods, like nuts, that we also removed from her diet, but I know this is another common allergy/ sensitivity. I’m not going to pretend to understand all the finer details of allergies/ sensitivities, but when removing food from her diet I also learned how sensitive someone can become if they’re never exposed to that allergen again; the body may develop a stronger reaction when it’s not exposed to something for a long time, and peanuts/ almonds had me a little nervous when it came time to give them to her again. Luckily, we didn’t have a problem, but it reminded me of the nerves that come with introducing foods to a baby for the first time- it’s exciting, but you’re also nervous to see if/ how they react. 
Now that she’s eating almost everything again (she’ll stay gluten free for the foreseeable future), it’s been fun trying foods and snacks that she wasn’t able to have before now. I know that foods like nuts, eggs, wheat, and milk can be biggies when it comes to allergies, but I’ve also learnt that completely avoiding them may not be the answer either, especially when it comes to introducing babies to foods that are common allergens (again, things like nuts, egg, wheat, milk, etc). This is a tough area for a parent to figure out, and I know our family sure has had some interesting experiences when it comes to food. But that doesn’t mean you have to be scared to try foods with your kids/ babies. There are now studies showing that introducing rather than avoiding common allergens can help children grow up without allergies to foods like peanuts (I know this might sound counter- intuitive/ confusing). But by speaking with your paediatrician or family doctor/ naturopath, you might find out that you’re able to give your child certain foods, even if you have concerns and/ or a family history of food allergies (please know I’m not trying to give medical advice, just a friendly suggestion as Mom who’s gone through a lot with her own kid’s health). And if you’re a parent with a baby about to start solids or just looking for some tasty snacks for your kids, it’s good to know what options are available. 
In the past I’ve shared about some of the snacks we’ve tried (convenience always seemed to be my biggest challenge when it came to gluten/ dairy free ideas), and we’ve recently been enjoying trying out Cheeky Monkey’s Peanut Butter Puffs with the kids. These were actually the first peanut- containing food that we gave Ari since adjusting her diet, and they were a hit with both her and Liam. Sure, I was nervous, but I also knew we had to see how she’d do; she was never diagnosed with a severe allergy, just a strong sensitivity so I was cautiously optimistic that she’d be fine with them (and she was, yay!). 
I understand that peanuts pose an interesting challenge when it comes to packing lunches for school/ daycare, but I love having these as an option when we’re at home or on a play date with friends, and even for taking to visit the grandparents. Both kids love them- who doesn’t love puffy snacks?- and I like the attention to the quality of ingredients (they’re 100% organic and non- GMO, and gluten free for starters). As we enter this new foodie phase in our house, I appreciate that fun snacks like this exist and that it’s a convenient option I now have that isn’t loaded with added sugars, weird ingredients, or preservatives. Somedays you just need something quick and easy, and these check all the boxes in my books. 
What I love about them:
– 100% organic & non- GMO ingredients
– gluten free
– no added sugars
– high protein
– baked, not fried
– no flavour extracts or trans fats
– no chemicals/ preservatives
If you want to find out more about introducing the ‘Big Eight’ foods known to cause allergies to your kids, check out this website for more helpful info. I know this can be a hot topic, so I’d love to hear how you handle(d) food allergies/ sensitivities with your kids. If you’re curious about Cheeky Monkey & trying their snacks with your kids, visit their website to learn more.
…And speaking of trying out these tasty snacks with your kids- Scroll to the end of this post to enter to win a case of Cheeky Monkey Peanut Butter Puffs (12 bags) for your kids! Nom nom, happy snacking!

Visit the Cheeky Monkey website for more info & follow along on social media:

Facebook: Cheeky Monkey Peanut Butter Puffs
Instagram: @cheekymonkeypbpuffs
Twitter: @cheekymonkeypb

#EatTheEight
Learn more at www.eattheeight.com