LARABARS... how has this scrumptious little bar not made the TASTE THIS COLUMN?? I love these little guys and carry them with me almost anywhere I go! My friend Monica turned me on to them about 4 years ago, but I have fallen even more in love with them since having a kid because they are the prefect snack for little ones too! They are just fruits, nuts, and spices- nothing else- no junk, no preservatives, no nada! And they stick with you and fill you up, give them a go! Trader Joe's sells them for $1.29 a piece (Costco used to carry them, but no longer does, at least in Bakersfield) and other nutritional stores do as well for a little bit more $ but also more selection in the flavors.... by the way, Cherry Pie is my all-time favorite!
For those of you in a bind this Thanksgiving with too many things to make and not enough time, try this quick fix! This stuffing from Trader Joe's is really fluffy and light with great seasoning and flavor! ! Add to it (sliced celery or cranraisins) or leave it as it is.... and pick some up to serve with Turkey Left overs!
This is a perfect and QUICK fall treat, great for a snack, breakfast, or a trip to the pumpkin patch! Super easy and a basic bread/ muffin that can be doctored up if you want! Trader Joe's carries this bread/muffin mix around the holidays, so get your fill! I have added raisins or chocolate chips or left them plan, but if you really want to get fancy, turn them into a cupcake and add a cream cheese frosting!
This Week: Mediterranean Hummus from Trader Joe's. This packs a ton of protein, can be served as a snack, lunch, or appetizer with a veggie platter, flat bread, pita bread or pita crackers. It is goooooood!
This Week: This is some seriously tasty popcorn, great afternoon snack for young or old- light, crunchy.... and best part: 3 ingredients: popcorn, olive oil, sea salt- that's it!
Costco had the BEST peaches this week that were LOCALLY grown!!! We have been eating them all week, for breakfast, with our smoothies, a snack, or for dessert! I also bought an extra box to cut and freeze for smoothies later on. Try dehydrating them as well- they are so tasty! You will find the best quality and prices when you buy fruit in season- and these guys are definitely in SEASON!
Shredded Parmesan Cheese from Trade Joe's...This is my all-time favorite parmesan cheese, it is fresh and flavorful and lasts me a long time... I always use it all before it goes bad! I love that it's shredded in thick pieces because it adds a ton of flavor to any dish- whether it's a salad, pasta, or veggie- this is a staple in my fridge!
Coconut Oil.... I am trying to make the switch to cooking with coconut oil (when cooking things above 200 degrees) for the nutritional benefits. I usually use Olive Oil, but I have been reading a lot about how the properties of the oil changes when it's heated to high temps, and how it is better to use an alternate oil like Coconut or Grapeseed. So, we have switched to coconut with our eggs in the morning- and we got 2 thumbs up from the husband AND the baby- she didn't bat an eye! And as a side note, my sister uses coconut oil on her skin (which is beautiful)- she swears by it!
Chocolate Fix Anyone??? Now, let me start by saying I have a couple fabulous recipes for homemade brownies, but I have to say, these are honestly just as yummy and SO much easier, and TOTALLY chocolatey!!! If you need a fix, or a quick dessert for friends, keep a box of these in the pantry, they are sure to not disappoint! Truffle Chocolate Brownies from... Trader Joe's!
Another alternative cooking oil that I have been using is Grape Seed oil. I picked mine up at Trader Joe's and have used it in just about everything! Some benefits: it raises good cholesterol levels and lowers the bad, helps lower blood pressure, it also has the lowest levels of saturated fats of any oil, and grape seed oil is lighter than olive oil but can withstand higher temperatures while retaining flavor and therefore is perfect for sautéing and frying. What more do you need to hear???