Healthy Valentine’s Day Trail Mix

Surprise your sweet Valentine with this healthy treat! I was at Target aka one of my favorite stores and I couldn’t help but go down the Valentine’s Day aisle. As usual, Target had so many cute things! I wanted to make my boyfriend something this weekend and instead of baking a sweet dessert (like heart shaped Valentines Day cookies that I really wanted to make), I made this healthy trail mix! It’s perfect for any any-time snack, breakfast or a sweet treat. There is a ton of crunchy, chewy and sweet in this mix!

Healthy Valentine’s Day Trail Mix

Healthy Valentine’s Day Trail Mix

Ingredients

2 cups of Kashi® Warm Cinnamon Oat cereal

1 cup of raw almonds

1 cup of strawberry or plain yogurt covered raisins

1/2 cup less sugar dried cranberries

1 cup freeze dried raspberries

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1 cup of Natures Path® Mixed Berries Granola Bites

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and enjoy with love!
http://kathrynskitchenblog.com/2017/02/healthy-valentines-day-trail-mix/

 

Caramel Butterscotch Rice Krispy Treat Bars

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For some reason I really enjoy making rice krispy treats because they are so easy to make and the possibilities are literally endless I feel like! Butterscotch isn’t an ingredient that I cook/bake with too often but butterscotch chips sure sounded and looked delicious when I was at the grocery store as they were laying  right by all the yummy chocolate chips.. So I thought, why not give it a whirl and add them to my rice krispy treats?! And boy was I sure happy I did! I highly recommend cutting these delicious pieces of heaven into bite sized pieces because they are way too good! Also, feel free to add more or less of one of the chocolate chips of your choice if you like! ENJOY AND BE CAREFUL (they’re addicting) 🙂

Ingredients:
6 cups of Rice Krispy cereal
4 cups of mini marshmallows (for extra gooey delicious-ness!)
2 ½ Tbsp butter
½ cup of caramel candy bits (you can find these by the chocolate chips in the grocery store)
¾ cup butterscotch chips (plus extra for the topping)
½ cup melting candy milk chocolate
½ cup white chocolate chips
½ cup milk chocolate chips

Steps:
1. In a microwavable bowl, melt together the marshmallows and butter for 1 minute.

2. In a large bowl, add the cereal and stir in the marshmallow mixture. ***spray spatula with non-stick cooking spray so the mixture doesn’t become too sticky. Stir in the caramel and butterscotch chips until slightly melted.

3. Spray a baking dish (I used a 9x13inch baking dish) with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the rice krispy treats and spread evenly with a sprayed spatula. (You can even spray your hands as well if you wanted to use your hands instead).

4. Melt the melting candy chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until melted and spread with spatula until it evenly coats the treats! Sprinkle white chocolate, milk chocolate, caramel, and butterscotch chips all over bars and let cool for 20 minutes. I like to put mine in the refrigerator if I am in a hurry..Cut the bars into any size you want and enjoy!
CAUTION: these are ridiculously good 😉

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Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

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You can’t beat a warm slightly soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie…I came across this amazing recipe by a fellow food blogger that I follow. This recipe really hits the spot when you are craving the perfect cookie!

Yield: 18 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups flour
3/4 teaspooon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1-1/2 cups chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips

Steps:
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook, swirling the pan frequently, until the butter is a golden brown..about 3-5 minutes. The butter will start to bubble and foam and then subside as the water evaporates and the milk solids start to turn a light brown color. Just as it starts to turn light brown, remove it from the heat and pour into a bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

2. Place the egg, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until mixture is pale yellow and starts to thicken, about 3 minutes.

3. Once the browned butter has cooled for 15 minutes, whisk the brown sugar into it. Add the butter mixture to the egg mixture in the bowl of the electric mixer. Whisk on medium speed for about a minute.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the wet ingredients in the mixer and mix on low speed until just barely combined. Add the chocolate and mix on low speed until dough comes together and chocolate is mixed throughout.

6. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop 2 tablespoon-sized portions of dough about an inch apart on the lined baking sheets. Lightly press down on the top of each one with the palm of your hand. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

7. Position baking rack on the very top shelf of your oven. Preheat oven to 325°F. Remove one cookie sheet from the refrigerator and bake on the top rack for 15-18 minutes, rotating after 10 minutes. Cookies should be crisp around the edges with some craggle and visible chew on top. Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the other cookie sheet from the refrigerator and bake the same way.

*You can skip the refrigeration step and the cookies will still taste great, but the refrigeration enhances the flavor and texture of the cookie so if you have the time, I would recommend it!

Recipe adopted from: The Baker Mama

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Banana Almond Protein Bars

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We all love treats so these come in handy so perfectly! The make a great grab-n-go snack or breakfast. Also, I love the additional protein and fiber that comes from Silk Almond Milk Protein and Fiber plus.

Yield: 16-20 servings

Ingredients:
5 Tbsp butter; softened
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cup mashed bananas (about 2 large bananas)
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Silk almond milk protein & fiber plus, origanal or vanilla flavor
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup chocolate chips..or a little more 🙂

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl cream together butter, honey, and brown sugar. Once butter is creamed with honey and sugar, slowly add in vanilla, egg, and egg whites.

2. In a small seperate bowl, mash together bananas with a fork until well mashed. Add bananas to batter mix until combined. Whisk in flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, 1/4 cup almonds, 1/4 cup chocolate chips, and almond milk until batter becomes smooth (batter will be a bit thick).

3. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray or butter. Pour mixture in baking dish and smooth out with spatula until batter is completely even. Sprinkle with leftover chopped almonds and chooclate chips..I added a little more ;). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let cool for 15 minutes and then cut into squares. Let cool on cooling rack for best results. Enojoy!
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Perfect M&M Pudding Cookies

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Easter is right around the corner so making these cookies was only necessary. Who knew that by adding a few tablespoons of pudding mix would make these cookies out of this world! I also made these in about 10 minutes and so can you. You can make these all season long by adding different M&M’s. Of course I went with the spring edition this time. I love how these cookies make the perfect cookie shape after you bake them. Did I mention they also go perfect with a tall glass of milk?!

Ingredients:
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter; softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons Instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 or 1-1/2 cups M&M’s(I used the Spring edition!)

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with a silpat liner or parchment paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl cream your butter and sugars until well combined. Add your egg and vanilla mixing to combine. Add your flour, pudding mix, baking soda and salt. Mix until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips and M&M’s.
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3. With a mini ice-cream scooper, place dough 1 inch apart from each other. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cooked through and golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes once done and enjoy!
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