Yogurt is a final snack that can that can help you make your health more of a priority and boost your energy level throughout the day.

Yogurt bark is a sweet, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth treat that is in more of a liquid state than solid. This means that the nutrients… such as calcium, zinc, vitamin B and plenty of protein…are digested quickly to give you a boost of energy almost immediately.

 Plus, yogurt bark is extremely quick and easy to make.

Yogurt Bark

  • 2-3C vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt
  • 2tsp honey
  • 1C sliced strawberries
  • 1/2C blueberries 
  • 1C granola

Combine yogurt and honey. Spread yogurt mixture evenly onto a parchment paper-lined baking dish. Top yogurt layer with the blueberries, strawberries and granola. Press these into the yogurt. Freeze for about an hour. Cut into bite-size pieces. Store in the freezer.

Yogurt Popsicles…Nest of Posies

Greek Yogurt and Blueberries Pancakes…No2 Pencil

Dairy-Free Chocolate Covered Strawberry Mousse Hearts…Hungry Happenings

Greek Yogurt Zucchini Bread…Sally’s Baking Addiction

Orange Yogurt Loaf Cake…Sprinkle Bakes

Starbucks Lemon Loaf…Lil’ Luna

Little Lemon Drops…Butter With a Side of Bread

    Open an Oatmeal Packet Before Putting On Your Jacket

    Make a bunch of these gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan DIY instant oatmeal packets in advance to keep on hand for those busy mornings when you don’t have time to make breakfast or for a healthy snack any time of day. 

      Making your own instant oat packets is an easy, healthier alternative to store-bought packets which usually contain high sodium, artificial flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives.

        Your basic instant oatmeal packets could contain…

        , obviously…there are three different options of rolled oats that are all surprisingly similar in nutrients 

        • Quick and instant oats…these are digested more quickly and do not do as good a job as old fashioned oats at keeping you feeling full and stabilizing blood sugars…but these are normally preferred in oatmeal packets because they only require adding boiling water to cook them. 
        • Old fashioned oats…these must be cooked in the microwave or on the stove top….

        Chia seeds, ground flax, or hemp seed… these all have big health benefits but with little or no flavor

        Oat bran, wheat bran, or wheat germ… these all add heart-healthy fiber 

        Sweetener…options include coconut sugar, sucanat (dried sugar cane juice), pure maple sugar (dried maple syrup), and brown sugar

        Non-fat powdered milk or protein powder...this not only adds protein and calcium, but also creates a creamier texture and taste. 

        Freeze-dried or dried fruit…A good rule of thumb is to use a ratio of 1:2 for dried fruit to oats.

        • Freeze-dried fruit contains no additives at all and can be eaten by itself for a crunchy, healthy snack or added to oatmeal packets. Freeze-dried fruit rehydrates instantly when mixed with water. 
        • Dried fruit…this is more widely available, but often contains additives. 

        The following recipe involves mixing all of the basic ingredients together before making up individual packets.

        Basic Oatmeal Mix

        • 9C oats
        • 3Tbsp chia seeds or ground flaxseed (optional)
        • 1/4C oat bran (or wheat germ/bran)
        • 1/4C powdered milk, non-dairy coffee creamer, coconut milk powder, or organic milk powder
        • 1-1/2C sweetener
        • 1Tbsp cinnamon
        • 1tsp salt

        Assembling instant oatmeal packets

        1. Label the top of the snack-size Ziploc bags that you’ll be using while they are empty and flat, so that way you can store your oatmeal packets upright in a basket and easily flip through them to find the flavor you want. 
        2. Measure 1/2 cup of the oatmeal mixture into each snack-sized plastic baggie.
        3. Add any fruit, nuts, and “extra” ingredients.
        4. Seal the bags tightly to keep any humidity out and  extend the shelf life.

        How to make hot oatmeal.…Pour oatmeal packet into a microwave safe bowl or mug. Now Either pour in 2/C boiling water, stir, and let stand until thickened….or add 3/4C cold water and microwave on high. Instant oats are ready in 2-3 minutes. Quick oats are ready in 4-5 minutes.

        How to make no-cook, refrigerator oatmeal …Add an oatmeal packet to a half-pint jar. Add 1/2C cold water and 1/4C yogurt. Cover. Shake vigorously until well mixed. Refrigerate at least four hours and up to three days. 

        • Amish Style: 2 Tbsp raisins, 2 Tbsp dehydrated apples, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 2 Tbsp chopped pecans
        • Apple Cinnamon Maple…chopped dried apples, cinnamon, maple sugar 
        • Apples and Cinnamon: 1/4 cup dehydrated apples, 1/4 tsp cinnamon
        • Apple Pie…3 Tbsp. dried apples, 1/4tsp cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg and cloves and ginger 
        • Apricot Ginger…chopped dried apricots, minced crystallized ginger
        • Banana Bread: 1/4 cup dehydrated bananas, 1/4 tsp cinnamon
        • Blueberries and Cream…1/4 cup dehydrated blueberries, cream option
        • Blueberry… freeze-dried blueberries
        • Blueberry Vanilla Bean…3 Tbsp. dried blueberries, 1/4 tsp. vanilla bean powder
        • Cherry Almond…2 Tbsp. dried cherries, 1 Tbsp. sliced almonds
        • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup…1 Tbsp. raw cocoa, 1 Tbsp. peanut butter powder, 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips
        • Cocoa Banana…chopped freeze-dried bananas, unsweetened cocoa
        • Cranberry Orange Pecan…dried cranberries, chopped pecans, dried orange peel
        • Mango Macadamia Nut…chopped dried mango, chopped macadamia nuts
        • Mint Chocolate Chip… 1/2 tsp. powdered peppermint leaf, 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips, 1 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
        • Mocha..instant espresso powder, unsweetened cocoa
        • Mocha Chip…1 Tbsp. raw cacao powder, 1 tsp. espresso powder or instant coffee powder, 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips
        • Peach Macadamia Nut…chopped dried white peaches, chopped macadamia nuts
        • Peaches and Cream…1/4 cup dehydrated peaches, cream option
        • Peanut Butter Banana…chopped freeze-dried bananas, PB2 powdered peanut butter
        • Pina Colada…2 Tbsp. dried pineapple, 2 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
        • Pineapple Coconut…freeze-dried pineapple, dehydrated unsweetened coconut
        • Raisins and Spice: 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 tsp cinnamon
        • Raspberry Vanilla Bean…freeze-dried raspberries, ground vanilla bean powder
        • Strawberries and Cream…1/4 cup dehydrated strawberries, cream option
        • Strawberry Banana…2 Tbsp. dried strawberries, 2 Tbsp. dried banana slices
        • Tropical Treat…1 Tbsp. dried banana slices, 1 Tbsp. dried pineapple, 1 Tbsp. dried mango, 1 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut

        Stud Muffins

        This week I have been blogging about healthy snacks that can boost your energy level throughout the day…including apples, bananas, boiled eggs, canned tuna, and energy bites.

        Muffins can be another healthy snack…but store-bought tend to be fairly calorie-dense, usually contain preservatives and other hard-to-pronounce ingredients, and tend to be very high in sugar…oversized nutritional disasters packed with tons of calories and fat and little protein or fiber.

        Instead make your own muffins…they are so easy to bake and freeze in bulk…not to mention cheaper.

        The following base recipe allows you to be creative by adding different fruits or nuts…and is totally sugar, oil, and gluten free.

        Fruits and nuts may add calories, but are worth it. Dried or fresh fruits…such as raisins, cherries, blueberries, apples…are packed with antioxidants. Nuts…such as walnuts, pecans, almonds… provide heart-healthy fats. 

        The carbs in the whole-grain flour will help fuel your muscles, and the high fiber will keep you feeling full.

        The substitution of applesauce for oil reduces the fat content of the muffins.

          Energy Muffins

          • 2C whole-grain flour
          • 1 teaspoon salt 
          • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
          • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
          • 1/4C ground flaxseeds 
          • 2tsp cinnamon
          • 2tsp baking powder
          • 2 eggs
          • 3 ripe bananas
          • 1/2C unsweetened apple sauce
          • 1C unsweetened almond milk
          • 1tsp vanilla 
          • 1/2C dried, fresh, or frozen fruit (optional)
          • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

          Preheat oven to 350. Fill a muffin tin with 12 paper muffin cups.Mix  dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Slightly beat the eggs. Mix in the milk and applesauce. Add wet ingredients to the dry mix. Stir until just combined, sprinkling in the nuts or fruit. Spoon into muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until muffin tops are golden brown.

            A Peanut Butter “Energy Ball” Recipe to Make Sure That You’re Always The “Queen of the Ball”


             “Energy balls” are a great way to boost your energy levels and “recharge” your batteries throughout the day…and these taste just like peanut butter.
            Peanut Butter No-Bake Energy Bites 

            • 1 cup oatmeal
            • 1 cup toasted coconut flakes 
            • 1/2 cup chocolate chips 
            • 1/2 cup peanut butter 
            • 1/2 cup ground flaxseed 
            • 1/3 cup honey 
            • 1 tsp. vanilla

            Mix all ingredients well. Chill for 30 minutes. Roll into balls about 1″ in diameter. Store in an airtight container. Refrigerate up to a week.Makes about 20-25 balls.

            10 Unitaskers to Help Make Sure That You Don’t Waste a Dozen Eggs by Trying to Boil Them In the Oven…)Like I just Did)


            are another nutritional powerhouse snack that provide an abundance of protein, vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B and D, folic acid, and iron. 

            I was going to write this post about how silly using an egg cooker is to boil eggs, because you can simply “boil” perfect hardboiled eggs by baking them in the oven at 350 for thirty minutes.

            That was before I forgot that I had even put eggs in the oven to bake or boil or whatever it is that they do…and burned an entire dozen.

             And since boiling eggs on top of the stove can often feel as if you are just rolling the dice and taking a huge chance hoping to find the perfect timing…enough time so that the eggs are not soft-boiled, but not so long that the eggs turn into rocks…

            I am seriously reconsidering this whole egg cooker thing and might even pick one up on my Target run later today.

            A few factors to consider when shopping for an egg cooker include…

            • Number of eggs that can be prepared at once
            • Source of heat...electric or microwave 
            • Timers…audible signal or automatic shut-off 
            • Types of eggs made...boiled, poached, scrambled, patties for breakfast sandwiches, omelets, poached eggs 


              1.  Chef’sChoice® International® Gourmet Egg Cooker Model 810

              2.  Cuisinart CEC-10 Egg Central Egg Cooker
              3.  Dash Deluxe Egg Cooker
              4.  Dash Go Rapid Egg Cooker


                5.  DBTech Automatic Shut-off Electric Egg Cooker

                6.  Elite Cuisine EGC-007 MaxiMatic Egg Cooker

                7.  Maxi-Matic Maxi-Matic Elite Platinum EGC-207 Automatic Egg Cooker, Stainless Steel by Elite

                8.  KRUPS F23070 Egg Cooker With Water Level Indicator, White –


                  9.  Nordic Ware Microwave Egg Boiler 

                  10.  West Bend Automatic Egg 86628 Egg Boiler 4.1 (45)

                    Book Review…The Original 1950 Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book

                    The Original 1950 Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book is a recipe booklet about   eating and storing bananas written for thrifty housewives to show creative uses for ordinary bananas.

                    This book sparked my interest because our family watches idly while bunch after bunch of bananas turns brown and then black and makes its trip curbside with the rest of the trash..

                    The title Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book is appropriate for the book because the book was a part of the effort of Chiquita Brand Bananas to cultivate a strong relationship with consumers.

                    This book includes innovative recipes containing bananas, such as Ham Banana Rolls, Baked Bananas in the Peel, Banana Fritters, Banana Chocolate Cream Pie, Banana Oatmeal Cookies, and Banana Split.

                    The book, published by United Fruit Company in 1947,  introduced the later iconic “Miss Chiquita” character and contained the following recipe for Banana Nut Bread…

                    Banana Nut Bread

                    • 1/2C butter, softened 
                    • 3/4C sugar
                    • 2 eggs
                    • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed with fork and then whipped with beater until smooth
                    • 2C flour
                    • 1tsp baking soda 
                    • pinch of salt
                    • 1/2C chopped walnuts 
                    • 1/2C semisweet chocolate chips

                    Preheat oven to 350. Prep large loaf pan.Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add beaten eggs, bananas. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 45min.

                      Book Review…Pillsbury’s 1933 Balanced Recipes Cookbook 

                      • This book is a cookbook about everything from desserts to main dishes written for housewives during the Great Depression to show how to cookbread, cakes, cookies, desserts, lunch and supper dishes, pasta, meat and fish, pie, salads, soups and vegetables.
                      • This book sparked my interest because I love to read anything about domestic life before World War 2 changed American life forever.
                      • The title, Balanced Recipes by Pillsbury is appropriate for the book because the book not only recipes, but also tips for aspiring cooks and a section in the back for your personal recipes.
                      • Having first read the title of the book, I expected the book to discuss recipes that our great-mothers and grandmothers enjoyed cooking.
                      • This theme is carried out throughout the book as evident by the fact that the book was published in 1933…over eighty years ago and adequately pinpoints the message of the book because explains the book explains the Pillsbury’s home-type experimental kitchen in Minneapolis that was maintained at that time entirely for service to the women of America. 
                      • The author of the book was Mary Ellis Ames, Pillsbury’s answer to their competitor’s fictional woman, Betty Crocker….and in real life, Director of Pillsbury’s Cooking Service.
                      • Mary Ellis Ames also wrote, all for Pillsbury…. 
                      • Pillsbury’s Household Manual (1925)
                      • Twenty-One Successful Little Dinners (1933)
                      • Good Things to Eat (1934)
                      • Pillsbury’s Cooking Club Bulletins (1935)
                      • 15 Delightful New Recipes You Will Want to Try (1936)
                      • Let’s Bake: A Handbook of Baking (1941)
                      • The Three “Rs” of Wartime Baking: “Ration, ‘Richment, and Recipes (1943)
                      • 12 New Cake Recipes Made with Pillsbury’s Sno Sheen Cake Flour (1950)
                      • From 1925 onwards, the Pillsbury Cookery Club was run in her name. To enroll, you collected and sent in vouchers from Pillsbury’s products. In return, you would get recipes or cooking technique tutorials sent to you monthly. You could buy a metal binder to put them in for 10 cents. 
                      • The Cookery Club promoted the use of Pillsbury’s specialty flours such as Pancake Flour, White Corn Meal, and Sno Sheen Cake Flour, as well as of Pillsbury’s regular flours.
                      • From 1933 to 1936, Ames broadcast a cooking program which aired on Wednesday and Friday morningson CBS Radio called “Cooking Close-Ups”, matched by a syndicated cooking column also called “Cooking Closeups.” 
                      • The book is held together in an 11-ring (8-3/4″ tall x 6″ wide) Art Deco style hinged aluminum closed binder containing twelve tabbed sections of 238 recipes and menus on 3″ x 5″ punched notecards.
                      • The main idea of the book is cooking during the 1930s.
                      • My favorite part of the book was the history and nostalgia behind the book because I’m old fashioned.
                      • This book made me feel like I had spent more time learning to cook from my grandparents when I was younger.
                      • The book was published by Pillsbury in 1933 and can be found here for $11.38.

                        Yes, We Have No Bananas

                        Bananas on their own are always a great snack to eat on the go. They boost your energy levels throughout the day and recharge your body’s batteries.

                        Bananas are also packed with fiber, protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates, potassium and vitamins…perfect for keeping bodies and minds full and focused.

                        And one of the easiest, most portable ways to eat bananas as a snack…and get rid of any bananas that have gotten ugly—is to make simple banana bread.

                        Banana bread is typically a moist, sweet, cake-like quick bread made from mashed bananas.

                        Banana bread recipes may have been first created by resourceful housewives during the Great Depression who did not wish to throw away expensive, but overripe, bananas.

                        Modern banana bread recipes began being published regularly in American cookbooks around the 1930s, as cooking with baking soda and baking powder became more popular.

                        Two such cookbooks that helped popularize banana bread were…

                          Pillsbury’s 1933 Balanced Recipes cookbook 


                            and the original 1950 Chiquita Banana’s Recipe Book.


                            Each year National Banana Bread Day is celebrated on February 23rd.

                              Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Nut Bread

                              • 2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
                              • 1 cup granulated sugar
                              • 2 large eggs
                              • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
                              • 1 teaspoon baking soda
                              • 1 teaspoon salt
                              • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
                              • 1/2 cup sour cream
                              • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
                              • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

                              Preheat oven to 350. Prep 9×5 loaf pan.Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla. Stir in nuts. Pour into prepared pan. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes.Turn out onto a rack to cool.

                              Cream Cheese Filling

                              • 6 ounces cream cheese
                              • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
                              • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
                              • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 

                              Whisk ingredients together until smooth. Once bread is baked and cooled, halve horizontally. Spread filling evenly over bottom half. Top with remaining half.

                                Snacks to Pack…Apple Chips


                                One of the easiest snacks to make, apple chips
                                are quickly becoming a popular snack in grocery stores, health food stores and coffee shops. Yet a two ounce snack bag of dried apples can can cost nearly five dollars.

                                Making your own apple chips at home is much cheaper and healthier because you actually know that they contain only wholesome ingredients in your own kitchen….no preservatives or other mysterious ingredients at all….not to mention that the whole house ends up smelling like you have an apple pie baking, the entire time they are dehydrating.

                                Begin by selecting three or four crisp, ripe organic apples, whatever type you like. 

                                Each apple variety has its own unique flavor when dehydrated. Good choices include Spartan, Granny Smith, and McIntosh. 

                                Any apple that is low on flavor will not make a good dried apple slice either. Any apple with a good flavor but low sugar content will probably make a better apple to cook with, not to dehydrate.

                                Peeling the apples before dehydrating them is a personal preference. Some people leave the peels on, but other people claim that the peel gets too tough once dried.

                                Slice the with a mandoline slicer. It is important that the slices are all the same thickness…somewhere around 1/8″ thick. If your apple slices are different sizes, they will require different amounts of time to dry. Thinner slices take less time to dehydrate.

                                Apples naturally oxidize and turn brown over time. Soaking, spraying, or drizzling the apple slices with a mixture of one quart of water and 1/4C lemon or lime juice will prevent the fruit from turning brown. Dry any excess moisture from the apple rings with paper towels.

                                Arrange the apple slices in a single layer in your dehydrator…or on a parchment paper lined metal baking pan, if baking them in the oven. Space about ½” apart.

                                Sprinkle the tops of the apple slices with 1Tbsp cinnamon, apple pie spice mix, or sugar, if desired.

                                Dehydrate the apple slices at 135º for six to eight hours, depending on just how dried and as crisp you want them to be.

                                If you are making your apple chips in the oven…:Preheat the oven to 200ºF. Bake the apples slices for 1 hour. Flip them. Bake two more hours.

                                 Store apple chips in an airtight container to maintain crispness.


                                Buying a Food Dehydrator to Save Food for Later

                                Recently I posted about drying foods in your oven, but doing this is typically less energy efficient than using a dehydrator because of the long time – several hours and up to a full day – which you have to keep your oven on. 

                                The best food dehydrator for your need will largely depend on your particular preferences and how you plan on using it. 
                                Buying a dehydrator is a relatively small investment that can pay off with significant perks for you and your family.

                                These benefits include…

                                • avoiding food waste
                                • enjoying local and organic foods year-round 
                                • having a full pantry available when any natural disaster comes
                                • having a store of dehydrated foods on hand when the “world comes to an end as we know it” 
                                • having healthy, nutrient-dense snacks on hand 
                                • providing nutritional benefits…Dried foods keep in most of the nutrients, so you get the benefits of the vitamins and minerals than you would if you ate the food fresh. 
                                • saving money on snacks—dehydrating costs half as much as canning and almost seven times less than freezing
                                • snacking on out-of-season fruits and vegetables, no matter what time of year it is 
                                • Scientifically, food dehydration is a pretty simple concept. You merely need to keep the food at a consistent, high enough temperature for a long enough time to dry out a portion of the moisture. 

                                The biggest challenge is ensuring that the heat is evenly distributed.

                                To help you make the most informed buying decision, you should have a good idea of how much you’re willing to spend, what options are available, and what types of food you most want to try dehydrating, 

                                1.  Cost…A home food dehydrator typically costs anywhere from $30 to over $300…based on what particular features you value most and what type of food dehydrator you choose to go with.

                                2.  Design...There are basically two categories of food dehydrators—vertical flow dehydrators with stackable trays where the food is stacked vertically, and horizontal flow dehydrators constructed of a rigid box with removable shelves where the food is lined up side by side.

                                • Vertical flow dehydrators have a heat source at the base or at the top, and are more affordable. Although these dehydrators don’t spread heat as uniformly, they work well enough for most vegetables and fruits, but not for meat jerky.
                                • Horizontal flow food dehydrators, or shelf tray food dehydrators, work more like conventional oven, and the heating source located in the back. 

                                3.  Noise…The fan on food dehydrators produces noise. Check review sites and consumer reviews to see what people are saying about the noise levels of the dehydrator you’re thinking about buying.

                                4.  Size..Consider how much food you’ll want to make in one batch and how much space you have available in your kitchen. Smaller vertical flow models will take up less counter space, but typically have a smaller capacity. If you will want to dehydrate a lot of food in a short span of time, buy a larger model.

                                5.  Thermostat…Make sure that you can adjust the temperature in your unit because different types of foods will dry best under different temperatures.

                                6.  Timer…Food dehydration takes hours, which makes it potentially easy to forget about. A dehydrator with a timer helps ensure you can check on your food when needed and be alerted when it’s ready.

                                7.  Upkeep…Also keep in mind how much work will go into cleaning the different models—the number of parts the food dehydrator has, whether or not pieces are safe to put in the dishwasher, and where the fan is located.

                                1.  L’Equip’s Model 528

                                • Cost…
                                • Drying Space…1.2 sq. feet of drying space per tray
                                • Fan…base-mounted fans
                                • Height…30 inches tall
                                • Temp…93F to 158F
                                • Trays…six trays, expandable to a stack of 12
                                • Warranty…ten years
                                • Watts…500

                                2.  Excalibur 9-Tray

                                • Cost…
                                • Drying Space…15 square feet 
                                • Fan…rear-mounted
                                • Height…12-1/2″
                                • Temp…105◦F to 165◦F. 
                                • Trays…9-large trays, 15″ x 15″ each
                                • Watts…600 

                                3.  Nesco FD-1010 Gardenmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

                                • Cost…$129.99
                                • Drying Space…
                                • Fan…base-mounted 
                                • Height…30″ tall
                                • Temp…95-160° F 
                                • Trays..comes with four trays and can accommodate up to 30 trays
                                • Watts…1000

                                4.  Presto 6300 Dehydrator

                                • Cost…$35.09
                                • Fan…base-mounted 
                                • Height…15″ tall
                                • Temp…between 135 and 145° F.
                                • Trays…comes with four trays with it but can hold eight.
                                • Watts…600

                                5.  Tribest Sedona Classic, SD-P9000-B Rawfood Dehydrator

                                1. Cost…$449.95
                                2. Fan…dual fan 
                                3. Height…17″ tall
                                4. Temp…85-155ºF (30-68ºC)
                                5. Trays…nine.
                                6. Watts…600