Fruit and Nut Healthy Snack Bars

Fruit and Nut Healthy Snack Bars will be your new go-to snack for on-the-go nutrition. Packed full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods, this bar will be a new family favorite. They are easy to make and they freeze easily. Have fun adding other dried fruits and nuts that you like for a variety of flavors. You can substitute apple sauce or pumpkin puree for the banana. I love having an easy snack to reach for in the mid-afternoon that will curb my sweet-tooth and give me a quick dose of high energy food. For so many of us that over extended in many ways during the holidays (excessive lack of sleep, overindulgence in activities and over eating) , this healthy snack bar is a great option. Bake up a batch and enjoy!



1 cup oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/2 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup coconut flour (nonfat dried milk can be used)
1/4 cup ground flax seed meal
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
1 ripe banana, peeled mashed (unsweetened applesauce can replace banana)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9 × 13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Combine the oats, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, apricots, pecans, raisins, cranberries, coconut flour, flax seed meal, and cinnamon in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. In a separate bowl combine the syrup, eggs, mashed banana, and vanilla and mix until well combined. Add dry ingredients from food processor to wet mixture in the bowl and stir until combined. Transfer the mixture to the pan and press down. Bake 20-25 minutes until the mixture is golden brown and firm to the …

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Grateful for Gathering

Women love to GATHER!!! We gather for play groups for our children. We gather for coffee to catch up with friends. We gather to hike or exercise together. We gather for counsel, encouragement, advice and support from women who have walked the road before us-in dating, courtship, marriage child-rearing, caring for aging parents….the list is endless. We find every and any excuse to gather because together we are stronger.
I am so grateful for my women friends. Those who lead me and challenge me to be the best version of myself. I am grateful for those who trust me enough to follow when I invite them into my life and share my passions. As I grow in my relationships with other women I have confidence to do brave things. I have strength to go out of my comfort zone. I have courage to love those difficult people in my life that cause me stress and anxiety. When my girl friends are cheering for me in my balcony and praying for me, I can do the hard but RIGHT things, I can love without limits, I can accept the hard stuff in my life.
So this week I am grateful for GATHERING!!!

Tonight we had a gathering of women from our church. We have a new campus and have a desire for building community. We shared a meal together and we were encouraged to answer a few questions that helped us get to know one another better. We will continue this tradition throughout this next year, once a month, to help get our women connected, have a place to belong and learn how we can serve one another in our church, serve our family and make an impact in our community.

I offered to bring a crock pot of soup to …

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Apple Butter

One of my favorite things to do in the Fall is go to Apple Hill and pick or buy apples. When I get my favorite apples home, I love to make apple butter. This has been my tradition for many years. I have a special buddy that I usually cook with but this year she is out of town and I have a new kitchen. So I decide to do some canning to get a jump on our Christmas gifts.


1 gallon apple cider (I use Trader Joe’s unfiltered natural apple juice)
4 quarts apples (about 7-8 pounds)
1 cup sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cloves
2 teaspoons allspice

I double or triple this recipe…..Start by brining apple cider to a boil in a very large pot. Turn to simmer and cook down for about 1-2 hours. Place all canning jars in dishwasher and wash on light wash setting so they will be dry within the 1-2 hours while apple butter is cooking. Place tops in a large bowl and cover with boiling water close to the time you begin to ladle apple butter into jars.
Cut and core apples. (No need to remove skin because it cooks down but feel free if you prefer)
Chop apples in Cuisinart. Add apples to large pan by batches. Continue to stir and simmer apple juice/apple mixture as you cut, core and chop all the apples. Keep on a low setting so apples begin to break down as they cook. Stir constantly so the apple compote does not stick to bottom of pan.

Mix sugar and spices in a separate bowl. When apples are glossy and mixture looks like applesauce, add the sugar and spices. Stir constantly on low heat so all the sugar dissolves. Turn off …

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Apple Cake-Wellness style

This apple cake is moist and full of flavor. You can make it gluten free and it is full of fiber, so as far as a healthy dessert recipe goes, this is a keeper. Since I chop all the apples in a food processor with the peel on and I also chopped the nuts and raisins together in the food processor, it is a quick and easy dessert to make and take to parties.


2 cups flour (you can use gluten free flour here without changing the taste or texture)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ cups walnuts
1 cup raisins
5-6 large tart apples (4 cups when chopped)
½ cup oil (I use coconut oil)
1 cup sugar (you can use honey, coconut sugar or brown sugar)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Sift dry ingredients and set aside. Chop walnuts and set aside. Peel, core and chop apples. You can chop the walnuts and apples in a food processor. (I actually do not peel the apples before I chop them in the food processor)

Cream the oil and sugar. add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Stir in the dry ingredients until well blended. Fold in the apples, nuts and raisins. The batter will be very stiff. Turn into a well greased 9×13 pan or a bunt pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven. Bake 45 minutes for the 9×13 pan and 50 minutes for the bunt pan. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

Apple Cake-Wellness style
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This apple cake is moist and full of flavor. You can make it gluten free and it is full of fiber, so as far as

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Pumpkin Ginger Scones

The sights, sounds and smells of Fall are in the air and the mornings are cooler. School has been in session for weeks now and hopefully the kids have settled into a routine that allows for a healthy breakfast.

But if you still find yourself running around in the morning with many days that they need a grab-n-go breakfast or a pick-me-up-snack midmorning, these Pumpkin Ginger Spice Scones are packed full of nutritious deliciousness. Make up a batch and they will be gobbled up in a day or two. You can easily double the batch and freeze some.

1 cup whole wheat flour (plus additional ½ cup flour when kneading dough)
1 cup old fashioned oats
¼ cup hemp seed
¼ cup oat bran
2 Tablespoons chia seeds
2 Tablespoons ground flax meal (I leave this out because Flax seed bothers my stomach)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup crystallized ginger chopped fine
½ cup cold butter
¼ cup undenatured whey pumpkin protein powder (you can substitute vanilla)
5 Tablespoons honey
½ cup pumpkin puree
1 cup plain greek yogurt
Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add chopped crystallized ginger to dry ingredients. Cut cold butter into the dry ingredients with ginger until resembles small meal. In a small bowl, mix honey, pumpkin puree and yogurt. Fold wet ingredients into dry in the large bowl. Only stir until dry ingredients are moist so scones stay light and fluffy. Roll dough out into a large rectangle 1 inch thick on a floured board and cut into scone sized squares, triangles or circles. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and bake in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Yields 25 small scones or 12 large …

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Pumpkin Harvest Hummus

This Pumpkin Harvest Hummus is absolutely the perfect snack to have on hand to take to a “Fall Festival-Harvest Party” or to have on hand when friends stop by. Serve with carrots, cucumber slices or any other of your favorite raw vegetables. We also love to steam broccoli and cauliflower for dipping. Put out a bowlful and serve with pita chips when friends come by. I made some for a party last week and it received rave reviews so I thought I would share it with you.


1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
2 Tablespoons Tahini
2-3 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
⅓ teaspoon cayenne (ground red pepper)
1 ½ teaspoon cumin
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2-3 Tablespoons water (if needed to thin as you blend)

Put all ingredients into a Vitamix or blender and mix until pureed to the consistency of hummus. Use a bit of water to thin it out if you think it is too thick. Pour into an airtight container and chill until ready to use. Serve with carrots, cucumbers, pita chips or pita bread. It also makes a great spread for your pita pocket veggie or turkey sandwich (with a bit of cranberry sauce, lettuce and tomato).

Pumpkin Harvest Hummus
Prep time
Total time
Best new fall or holiday hummus with a subtle spicy kick and tons of extra fiber and nutrition from the pumpkin puree.
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: mediterranean
Serves: 16
  • 1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tablespoons Tahini
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ⅓ teaspoon cayenne (ground

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Greek Style Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs

As summer comes to a close and families are back into the school routine…the weather shifts to Indian Summer…just in time for Labor Day. The best thing to do on Labor Day weekend is….have a BBQ! So that’s what we did. In honor of the end of summer and to initiate our new kitchen, we had three of our most favorite couples over for an evening of love, laughter and delicious food.


2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
¼ cup olive oil for marinade plus 2 TBS for veggies
4 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 TBS red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic pressed
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp coriander
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 medium sized zucchini
2 peppers (green, red or orange)
1 large red onion

1 medium cucumber
1 tsp salt
1 cup Greek plain yogurt
1 clove garlic pressed
2 TBS lemon juice
12 TBS chopped parsley
4 TBS chopped fresh dill or more if desired

For the Kebabs
In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and spices.
Cut chicken into 1-1 ½ inch cubes.
In a gallon ziplock bag, place the chicken cubes and pour the marinade over it and seal and shake until all the chicken is coated. Leave in refrigerator between 45 minutes and 2 hours but NO LONGER or the chicken will start to change texture because of the acidic nature of the marinade.
Cut the zucchini into ¾ inch slices,, cut the peppers into 1 ¼ inch cubes and cut the onions into 1 ¼ inch wedges. Place in another ziplock bag and add olive oil. Season lightly with salt.
When ready to skewer the meat (if using …

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Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

We are rejoicing today because after a 9 month and 1 week wait….our KITCHEN IS FINALLY FINISHED!!! I spent the entire afternoon baking in preparation for a baby shower for our 10th grandchild. My heart is bursting with joy to be the blessed Gammie that I am. Children are a gift from the Lord and grandchildren are a double blessing. Watching my girls be moms to their children is one of the most amazing aspects of my life. I am so proud of the job they are doing. Motherhood is the hardest job in the world but it has the biggest payback when you see your own children passionately focusing on passing on many of the intentional things you taught them about love and servant leadership. We love to celebrate new birth and this weekend we will be celebrating Baby Boy Banihashemi due to arrive at the end of October. His mom and big sister Sophie will be here for the weekend along with cousin Garrett and his mommy.

Here is the finished kitchen……

So today I tried out my new ovens by baking a new recipe called Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies.


2 ½ cups old fashioned oats (gluten free if necessary)
¾ cups flour (gluten free if necessary)
¼ cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
⅓ teaspoon cloves
12 teaspoon ginger
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ cup almond milk
¼ cup maple syrup
1 egg (make flax egg out of 1 TBS flax meal and 2 ½ TBS water, mix well and let sit a few min)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup grated carrots
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Mix all wet ingredients in a small bowl. Combine wet …

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Fresh Harvest Vegetable Marinara Sauce

This is the FIRST OFFICIAL recipe I have cooked in my new kitchen!!!!

We still have a few little repairs that need to be finished before it is completely done, but I can start creating new recipes and get back into my love of cooking now that I don’t have to cook in my laundry room anymore. It has been a LONG 8 months.

One of my distractions while waiting on the kitchen to be finished has been tending my vegetable garden…..Having a vegetable garden is fun and rewarding. The challenge is to use up the produce as it fills up the kitchen. So I decided to be creative and see how many of the vegetables from our garden I could use up in one recipe. I combined our garden veggies with a few things added from our local farmer’s market and cooked up a batch of vegetarian pasta sauce.
2 Tbs olive oil
2 onions
5 cloves garlic
6 carrots
5 stalks celery
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 cup fresh parsley
3 cups spinach
10 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbs sugar
2 (28 oz) cans organic crushed tomatoesmedIMG_5749

I washed all the vegetables and starting with the onions, I cut them each into chunks and used my Cuisinart to finely chop each vegetable one type at a time.  I put a large pot on medium heat and added 2-3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, celery, carrots and saute until vegetables are soft, 5-10 minutes. Stir regularly so vegetables do not stick. Chop the basil, parsley and spinach and add to the large pot and stir another 5 minutes. Add 2 cans of organic crushed tomatoes and  fresh tomatoes that have been chopped into chunks in the cuisinart. …

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Let’s Get Motivated!

“You can’t expect NEW results with the same habits.” – Susan Sly

Are you looking for motivation? Trying to get moving?

You have to do something different. You have to START.

Here are a few ways to get going:

  1. Get into action!
  2. Get accountability – tell some friends what you are doing. Better yet, encourage them to get going with YOU!
  3. Clear away distractions – clean up your workspace, make a nice workout area at home, turn off the TV, whatever is distracting you. MOVE IT AWAY!
  4. Stop Complaining. START DOING!
  5. Find inspiration. Put on uplifting music, read a good book, or listen to a podcast. Better yet, call a friend that makes you feel AMAZING!
  6. Exercise. It is good for your mind, body and soul!
  7. BELIEVE it will happen. Visualize yourself at your goal. Think about the way you feel and let that feeling motivate you!

If you are looking for more ways to get motivated, feel better and more energized, or start a healthier routine please contact us! We would love to help you get started or be your accountability partners!

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