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December 2, 2014 10 comments

Almond Joy Granola // Tried and TastyI’m a granola fanatic. You may or may not know that about me already. My favorite is my Easy Toss and Bake Granola, but I also love my Coconut Butter Granola, Coconut Almond Granola, Honey Apple Granola, Honey Almond Granola Recipe, and Peanut Butter Granola. You may have also noticed I love Almond Joy’s as well (i.e. my No-So-Guilty Almond Joy Trifle). I figured it was time for a new granola recipe and couldn’t have picked a better more delicious version!

I got the idea that this would make a great neighbor gift for the holidays because this past Spring I used granola as a gift. When Steve and I got our pictures taken by the lovely Brittany Marie Photography, I was so head over heels in love with how they turned out, I needed to make a treat! Again, since I’m on a health journey, I wanted to make something that was both healthy and delicious. So I made granola. She LOVED it! With the right packaging, it’s the most darling gift around! I used some of the Lily’s Dark Chocolate Premium Baking Chips that I had on hand from my No Bake Peanut Butter Pie and they were perfect!

Holiday Popcorn Snack Mix // Tried and TastyI couldn’t more excited than I am today for this series to begin! Last year I brought you the 12 Days of Christmas Cookies. There were SO many great cookies and bars!! This year I decided that since I’ve become passionate about my crazy wild fitness journey, I’d share some fantastic neighbor gift ideas that aren’t loaded down with an overwhelming amount of unhealthy ingredients. Believe me, you are in for a real treat for the next twelve days and I’m sure you will get some really awesome ideas for your neighbors, friends, co-workers, and even family!

Snack mixes are so fun, and although caramel popcorn is the typical indulgence, you can still have a great popcorn snack without feeling guilty. I learned maybe a year or so about the dangers of microwave popcorn. Food Babe (whom I absolutely LOVE) has an excellent article about Why Microwave Popcorn Is An Absolute Health Nightmare. I haven’t made or eaten microwave popcorn ever since. Now, I just air pop some organic non GMO popcorn kernels that I’ve picked up from my local health food store and can feel good about what I’m putting in my body! But back to this yummy snack mix. What’s so great about it is how versatile it is. You can add in your favorite ‘mix-ins’ and leave out the things you don’t like! Packaged up with some Christmas ornaments, rafia, and twine, you’ve got an excellent and tasty gift!

 No Bake Peanut Butter Pie // Tried and TastyI love peanut butter. Love it. It’s probably in my top five favorite foods if I had to guess. I also love chocolate. When you put together peanut butter AND chocolate you get a killer combo. A while ago a friend shared a recipe with me for a No Bake Peanut Butter Pie and since then I’ve been dreaming of that pie. If you’ve been around my site for a little bit, you know that I’ve all but eliminated refined sugar all together in my cooking and baking (with the exception of this time of year, it creeps in a bit…). I went on the hunt for a great alternative to regular chocolate chips. I stumbled across Lily’s Sweets chocolates and immediately fell in love.

Listen to this. Their Dark Chocolate Premium Baking Chips have no sugar added, are all natural, vegan, AND non GMO. HELLO!!! I’m sorry? Were these MADE for ME? I know what you are thinking. Well, with all that said, surely they don’t taste great. That’s where you’d be wrong. They are fantastic. Sometimes to me things sweetened with Stevia have a bit of an aftertaste. These do not. As I was making and finishing up this dessert, the hubs said ‘hey, a dessert I can actually eat!’. Seriously. The crust on this is phenomenal. Oh and that peanut buttery filling? Equally amazing. In fact, the filling reminded me of my 2-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream! Ahh, and then finished off with the peanuts and baking chips… just too much I tell you! 

Savory Sausage Stuffing // Tried and TastyIt’s hard to believe that it’s Thanksgiving week! I don’t know about you, but my year has just flown by at an alarming rate. It seems like just yesterday I was slaving over last years holiday meal. So what’s on your menu for this Thanksgiving? I can almost bet you’ll have stuffing… am I right? I know it’s certainly a staple in our house. With all of the many involved recipes that usually end up on the table, I’m happy to make the load a little easier with this Savory Sausage Stuffing. Want to know my shortcut? Rhodes Bread! It really makes pulling this together a cinch and when you pull this stuffing out of the oven on turkey day, you’ll have to ward off everyone until the complete meal is ready. It smells AMAZING!

Not only did I participate in A Blogger Thanksgiving last year, I also had A Tried and Tasty Thanksgiving with everything you’re heart desired. It was the last year my family was all on the same state and it was nice to to all out for everyone to make it special. So what’s your favorite side dish? I find the general consensus with stuffing is that you either love it or you don’t. Thankfully I’m on the side that loves it, and I really LOVED this recipe!

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Chip Almond Biscotti // Tried and TastyHave you ever had biscotti? I was converted when I first tasted this Nonna’s Almond Biscotti with Lagrima Vanilla Extract last fall. Last year for the holidays I made my Sensational Cinnamon Chip Biscotti and it was a HUGE hit! Now that I’m primarily baking with whole wheat flour, I wanted to make another fantastic biscotti variation. I was eager to give Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour a try as soon as I saw it! The hubs and I shop at least 85% organic, so each time I find a new product to buy organic I’m all over it!

The great thing about Bob’s Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour is that it’s stone ground from organic hard red wheat and has all of the nutritious bran and germ still intact. Nothing is lost in the process of grinding the flour. Which is a MAJOR bonus! Whole Wheat Flour is a robust, full-flavored flour containing vitamins, minerals and protein. I was worried that my biscotti would be dense or heavy using the flour, and was pleasantly surprised to taste it was quite the opposite! In fact, I would dare say you wouldn’t even be able to tell these were made out of whole wheat flour if I didn’t tell you. 

*This post is sponsored by Dr. Praeger’s, but the opinions are my own.

Veggie Lovers Breakfast Burritos // Tried and TastyThere are so many yummy delicious unhealthy recipes flying all over the internet this time of year. The holidays get people a little bit crazy over sweets and treats (myself included, I’ve got to be careful!). When I was contacted to try a few of the Dr. Praeger’s Veggie Pancakes I was eager to get my hands on a healthy AND delicious product. I’ve been nothing short of impressed by not only the ease and flavor, but most importantly: the ingredient list! With the slogan ‘Where You Recognize All The Ingredients’ I knew this company was made for me!

I’m a huge advocate of the importance of breakfast, and why not ‘have cakes for breakfast’? These veggie pancakes were absolutely perfect for breakfast burritos. The sweet potato, spinach, and broccoli veggie pancakes married wonderfully together within this breakfast burrito. In fact, I don’t have kids, but I can almost bet they’d fall head over heals for this breakfast. They are delicious! Not only is this a healthy meal, it’s also hearty and filling – the perfect way to get your day started on the right foot.

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