Fitness, Food and Photography

Follow me on my road to fitness… Because it's all about the journey, not the destination.

Healthy Brownies with Zucchini

These were a huge hit at my party on Saturday.  And an even bigger hit with my kids!!  I’m thrilled, of course, that I found a way to sneak in an extra serving of veggies to my unsuspecting children.

 

Healthy Brownies with Zucchini

Adapted from Spark People

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 small bananas, mashed

1 cup brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1-1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups finely shredded zucchini

2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9×13 pan.

In large bowl, mix together the applesauce, bananas, sugar, vanilla and cocoa.  Mix well.  Then add baking soda, salt, and zucchini.  Turn mixer on high to make sure it is thoroughly combined.  Slowly add flour.  Spread evenly into pan.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

made with love

 

YUM!!  Makes 24 servings.  Kid-approved.  And at only 122 calories per serving, it’s free of guilt.

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Nutella Cookie Bites

While browsing my favorite site, Pinterest, I came across a quick and easy recipe for 4-ingredient cookies here.  My son absolutely loves the taste of Nutella.  I try to use it sparingly since it really doesn’t have much nutritional value.  But after having a stellar week at school, I thought he deserved some homemade cookies.  Time to break out a new recipe!!

Nutella Cookie Bites

1 cup Nutella (or Kroger brand hazelnut spread like I used)

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup AP flour

1 egg

Blend all ingredients til smooth.  Shape 1″ balls.  Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.

Doesn’t get much easier than that.

nutella cookies

In an effort to keep them bite-size, I used a mini-muffin pan.

nutella cookies

nutella cookie bites

YUM!!

nutella cookie bites

Serve and enjoy!!!   They were really good warm.  (Even better with a spoonful of peanut butter on top!)  🙂

Two-year old approved, too!

Silly girl

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My Favorite Vice

I love eating real food.  Produce, nuts, meat.  I would say I eat healthy 90% of the time.  If I decide to splurge, then it’s only on something that I deem worthy.  Boxed cookies and packaged snack cakes just don’t do it for me.  I don’t think Oreos or Little Debbies are worth the fat or calories.  Unless, of course, they are IN ice cream!!  Cookies and cream ice cream, yes please!  Or Oatmeal Cream Pie by Ben & Jerry’s??  Definitely!

Ice cream is my favorite vice.  There was a time when my husband and I used to sit down on the couch with two spoons and a carton of ice cream.  Yes, I said CARTON!  It was nothing for us to knock out a half gallon in two nights.  Thankfully, we don’t do that anymore.  But I still love ice cream.  I try not to buy it very frequently because if it’s in the freezer, there’s a good chance I’ll eat it.

My hubby and I disagree on which flavors are best.  He likes them kept simple – a nice flavor with no chunks and no swirls.  Me, on the other hand, I love the chunks and swirls.  The more, the better!  And one company that KNOWS chunks and swirls is Blue Bell.  They have surely beaten out Breyer’s and Mayfield to make it to my #1 favorite brand.  The only problem is, unless it’s on sale, it’s rather expensive.  I usually wait til Kroger is having a 4-day sale before I buy any Blue Bell, but when they do, I stock up!!

blue bell ice cream red velvet cake

Best flavor EVER!

The only problem with Blue Bell is they have monthly rotational flavors.  If you find a flavor you love, there’s a good chance it won’t be there next time you go to the grocery store.  That’s exactly what happened with Red Velvet Cake.  It was a rotational flavor earlier this year.  I only got one carton of it and then I never saw it again (which, truth be told, is probably a good thing)!!

Anyway, I got their email newsletter yesterday.  They are running a promotion right now called ‘Cranking Back the Clock’ where you get to vote on the flavor they bring back!  Unfortunately Red Velvet Cake was not on the list.  But there were 27 other options to choose from.  How does one choose between flavors like Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Peanut Brittle, Carrot Cake and S’mores??

Pineapple Upside Down Cake – Flavorful brown sugar pineapple ice cream blended with pineapple chunks, maraschino cherries, vanilla wafers, and a praline sauce swirl

Peanut Brittle – Smooth, creamy vanilla ice cream with chunks of crunchy peanut brittle and a rich praline sauce swirl

Carrot Cake – Cream cheese coated pecans and bits of carrot  cake are blended into a brown sugar-cinnamon ice cream

S’mores – Smooth milk chocolate ice cream with marshmallow creme swirl and pieces of milk chocolate coated graham crackers

Oh. My. Word.

If you want to vote, you must register first.  www.bluebell.com

You can vote once per day between now and August 31st.  (As of right now, Caramel Turtle Cheesecake is in the lead with 10% of the vote).  Each week the 6 flavors receiving the lowest votes will be eliminated.

Oh, and guess what?  You can also print a $1.00 off coupon too!  I love you, Blue Bell.

(Just to clear the air, I am not affiliated in any way with Blue Bell.  I do not work for them.  They did not pay me to post this.  But if they wanted to pay me in free ice cream, I would not turn them down.)  🙂

 

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