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5 Easy Weeknight Meals: Your 7 Day Family Jump Start!

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Mega-Purim Post! Cute Mini Stuff in Mason Jars!

This week we are all about Purim around here!

The Healthy Family, Healthy You family is rocking a Healthy Family, Healthy You mishloach manot theme this year!

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Mini zucchini, mini banana, mini pepper and a tiny bag of chopped nuts from www.minimus.biz (great resource!).

We are always adventurous with hamantaschen (and of course we use a vegan recipe) around here. This year we used healthy homemade nutella from www.chocolatecoveredkatie.com, chocolate chips, orange marmalade and raspberry jam.

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and then, in the hamantaschen:

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We made plain raspberry, plain orange marmalade, plain chocolate chip. But these combo orange chocolate hamantaschen were my favorite.

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Happy Purim!

Calling all Recipe Testers! New Section Ready!

I haven’t been blogging as much lately because I am working so hard on The Healthy Family, Healthy You book! I haven’t stopped creating great ideas and recipes for you! I just want to get this book to you ASAP!

So, I wanted to give you, my dear readers, an update.

  • The book is written! I am editing the recipes (which may make up about half of the book) and sending them out for testing. After that, the entire book will go to the publisher for a final review and then the copy editor. Then you!
  • The appetizers are out for testing already.
  • Today I am sending out the breakfast recipes for testing!

If you would like to be a tester, go to my Facebook page and tell me which recipe(s) you are interested in testing. I’m taking volunteers today and sending out the chapter tonight!

What you get for becoming part of the Healthy Mama recipe testing team:

  • Immediately, you will receive all of the recipes in that section, not just the one or two you are testing.
  • When the recipe testing is finished, if you’ve tested 5 or more recipes,  you’ll receive your own electronic copy of ALL of the recipes-the entire section (about half the book!). Of course, I hope you’ll buy the whole book for yourself, your friends and family! However, I know how much easier it is to search for a recipe or ingredient in a document, rather than on paper.

So, go ahead, volunteer to be on the Healthy Mama Team! Go to my Facebook page and you’ll find the list of recipes up for testing today.

Status Report:

Appetizers – Out for testing

Breakfasts – Up for grabs! Going out for testing now!

Additional sections, up next! Currently in final editing stages!

  • Smoothies
  • Salads
  • Side dishes
  • Main meals
  • Desserts

Remember, go to my Facebook page to see the list of current recipes up for grabs and tell me which one you want in the comments!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

-Natasha

Unbelievable Brownies! Half Healthy, All Insanely Good!

The truth is, making a cake from scratch isn’t a big deal and doesn’t even take much longer than a cake mix. And brownies? Seriously exactly the same as a mix. The other advantage of making a cake or brownies from scratch, particularly brownies (because they’re always chocolate!), is that you can use cacao powder. That’s like cocoa powder before all the antioxidants are stripped from it. Cacao powder can actually have more antioxidants than blueberries! You know that whole, “But chocolate is good for you…” line we’ve been hearing for a few years. It actually can be true. But no, not a milk chocolate bar. Sorry!

This is what it looks like:

Navitas Naturals Organic Cacao Powder Raw Chocolate

The Duncan Hines brownie mix I used in the following recipe isn’t exactly healthy like cacao powder. However, with the secret healthy ingredient, the brownies are definitely in a different league than they would have been made with eggs and oil! And what is that? Black Beans! I know a lot of people have been trying this black bean trick lately. This particularly mix (found on www.allrecipes.com) was a new one for me.

Brownie Mix-Black Bean Brownies Recipe

Allrecipes.com Brownie Mix-Black Bean Brownies

Brownie Mix Black Bean Brownies

1 can (15 oz) black beans

1 cup water

1 brownie mix (I used Duncan Hines 13 x 9 pan Chewy Fudge Brownie mix)

1 cup chocolate chips, divided (I used Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet mega chunks)

Directions

Heat oven to 350. Blend the black beans and water in a blender. Place the dry brownie mix into a large mixing bowl. Add the black bean puree and mix completely. Add half of the chocolate chips. Spray non-stick spray on a 13 x 9 pan and pour in the brownie batter. Spread the rest of the chocolate chips on top of the batter. Bake at 350 approximately 25-30 minutes until the edges have pulled away from the pan. Be careful not to overcook. The chocolate chips on top will not be melted.

Let cool for 15-30 minutes and dig in! The warm melted chocolate is insane! I read all of the positive comments online and still had my doubts. I’m telling you. Do not doubt the black bean! My peeps had no idea until I told them. They’re BETTER than plain brownie mix brownies!

In the future, making black bean brownies from scratch with cacao powder is best. In the meantime, if you need the mental ease of a brownie mix or need to use up what you have in your house, MAKE THESE NOW!

If you are looking for a black bean brownie recipe to make from scratch, try these from Chocolate Covered Katie, with whom I am currently obsessed!

Finally, here’s a picture of my results. Yum!

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What are your healthy hacks?!