Starters

Apple Muesli Balls

These easy-to-make treats serve double duty as either a snack or a breakfast option when paired up with a smoothie or some scrambled eggs. If you’re traveling over the river and through the woods this holiday season, tuck a few of these Apple Muesli Balls in your bag for a quick snack that will kick your sweet tooth to the curb and fill you up at the same time.

When I bake, I try to pack in extra protein, fat, and fiber to make my baked goods more nutritious and satisfying. I drew inspiration for these treats from the classic concept of muesli, which is really just nothing more than oats, nuts and seeds, and dried fruit served with milk or yogurt. To add a little texture and extra sweetness, I added grated apple to the muesli balls. You could also try grated carrots (or zucchini when it’s in season).

Lord knows the last thing we need this time of year is another baked good recipe, but I think you’ll find that these treats are healthier than most. If you have company coming into town around the holidays, tuck a few muesli balls in the freezer and you’ll have a quick grab-and-go snack at the ready at all times.

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Cranberry Sauce with Apples and Pears

Coconut Palm Sugar Cranberry Sauce

source: Kim Lutz

Oh how I love the side dishes of Thanksgiving. As soon as November comes around, I start fantasizing about glazed sweet potatoes, mushroom-y stuffing, and cranberry sauce.

Sure, Thanksgiving foods are notoriously heavy and rich and not-so-good for you. Does it need to be so?

Definitely not. Take cranberry sauce, for example. Traditional cranberry sauce is loaded with white sugar. This cranberry sauce, however, uses the better-for-you sweetener, coconut palm sugar, and mixes apples and pears in with those jewel-toned berries.

If that’s not enough reason to whip up some cranberry sauce a few weeks before the big holiday, how about looking at some of the nutrition benefits of cranberries. Cranberries are a great source of antioxidants, and loaded with fiber, Vitamin C and manganese.

Not only that, but if you mix a dollop of cranberry sauce in your morning oatmeal or vanilla yogurt, you have a breakfast that feels a little extra special!
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Have a Ball with Back to School Lunches | Nut-Free Protein Snacks

A Collection of Healthy Nut Free Protein Packed Snack Balls perfect for Your Kids Lunchbox from thebalancedplatter

My kids favorite lunchbox snacks are ”Energy Balls.” They request them weekly and I am happy to oblige because they are so simple to make and full of great healthy fat, protein, and fiber. These little guys will help keep your kids going through their busy day at school.

These protein balls are also great for getting little helpers in the kitchen. Requiring only a food processor, you really just put the ingredients in the machine and process until a doughy mixture forms. My kids love to help and we take turns as to who gets to turn the food processor ON (because that is a big deal apparently)! Our food processor is quite safe with several safety features making it pretty difficult for the kids to hurt themselves, and I am always there supervising.

I was looking around online for some different nut-free options and decided I would share what I found with you. We don’t tolerate nuts in my house, and I know a lot of schools are now nut-free. I have gathered a bunch of nut-free recipes, but I have found that you can switch up any recipe you find that uses nuts by replacing them with the same amount of seeds; such as these Banana Bread Protein Bites.
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On-the-Go School Breakfasts–and Breakfast Cookies!

I know we don’t really want to think about it, but it’s almost time for back to school. For most of us, it can be difficult to fit in a tasty, hearty, and healthy breakfast on the best of days, but throw in the mad morning rush before classes, packing up homework and backpacks, being sure that both shoes are on and secured—well, suddenly the breakfast relay challenge seems even more daunting.

One of my favorite ways to break the fast with a quick and nutritious meal is the ever-popular smoothie. Kids will lap these up if the fruit quotient slightly outweighs the veggie one.  And while smoothies can be fantastic (they can even be sipped during the drive to school!), there are also other options for yummy and nutrient-dense foods you can grab on the go—yet will still appeal to the younger students in your house.
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