Homemade Fruit Rollups!

Part of my mother’s day present included lots of new plants – including 2 flats of strawberries.  It’s be a while until we start picking them, but I wanted to share this fun recipe for a healthy, sweet fruit treat that kids will love (and it’s also 21 Day Fix approved!!).

homemade fruit roll ups strawberry raspberry honey 21 day fix recipe cheat sweet whats up moms video


INGREDIENTS
5 cups fresh fruit
1/2-1 Tbsp honey (optional)

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 225.

2. Blend fruit and honey in blender until very smooth.

3. Pour mixture onto parchment lined baking sheets (I usually use 2) and spread until thin. You want it to be very even so it will cook evenly. Otherwise, you will have some dry parts and other burned parts!

4. Remove from oven when the rollups are not stick (about 2-3 hours). Let cool then slice and roll!

strawberry fruit roll up 21df day fix 21 approved whats up moms

Enjoy!!

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Homemade HEALTHY Movie Theater Popcorn

homemade healthy movie theater popcorn how to make

Throughout the course of making healthy changes to my diet, the one thing I’ve really missed is good popcorn. Last year for my birthday, my sisters got me an air popper, which is AWESOME, minus the fact that air popped popcorn tastes NOTHING like actual delicious, buttery movie theater popped popcorn.  In fact, as my husband would say, it tastes a whole lot like cardboard.

I did find one tasty recipe for Rosemary and Black Pepper popcorn, and it was good, but it wasn’t what I’ve been looking for and consequently, while I’ve done great resisting microwave popcorn, I’ve almost always caved and went for the artificially disgusting popcorn you can get from the movie theater… until now.

This past weekend, my daughter, my husband and I decided to have a Harry Potter movie marathon.  I volunteered to make popcorn.

They both groaned and requested a trip to the grocery store to buy a bag of movie theater popcorn.

I refused.

But instead of subjecting them to cardboard flavored popcorn, a quick google search revealed that I may, in fact, be able to make a good substitute at home.  With just a few modifications, here are the results:  Delicious movie theater butter popcorn, without all the unhealthy stuff – because really, popcorn in and of itself is not terribly unhealthy, it’s all the junk we add to it. And while this isn’t 21 Day Fix approved, it’s an ok cheat once in a while.  The secret is using Ghee (clarified butter) instead of regular butter, which makes your popcorn overly soggy and not tasty.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unpopped popcorn

2 T. Coconut oil

1/4 cup melted ghee

Himalayan pink salt to taste

Directions:

Heat a saucepan over high heat – I used a 3 qt saucepan.  Melt coconut oil completely.  (You could use a different type of oil, but you won’t taste it.  I was wary, but the popcorn did not have a coconut flavor at all.)  Dump in 1/2 cup popcorn kernels and shake around in pan to coat them with the oil.  When one kernel starts to pop, cover your pan so you don’t end up with popcorn all over your kitchen.

When the popping stops, dump your popcorn into a bowl and drizzle with melted ghee.  Add salt to taste and enjoy.

amy allen fitness star diamond beachbody coach

Italian Meatballs

1 pound ground 93/7 beef

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 large eggs

1/2 cup grated white onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

To make the meatballs,mix all meatball ingredients by hand in a large bowl.  Roll mixture into bite size balls and place on foil lined baking sheet.  You can brown these on the stove top before baking them, or just bake them. I like to bake just because it doesn’t use up an oil serving.

Bake in oven for 15-20 min at 350.

How many meatballs are in one serving depends on how big you make them.  I measure out 3/4 of a cup and count these meatballs as 1 red serving.  There is a small amount of cheese and onions, but I unless I’m eating the whole batch of meatballs (which I’m not), I don’t stress about it too much.

I like to use these meatballs in my Lasagna Soup.  You can find the recipe for that here!

Eating Healthy With Kids

One of the things I hear all of the time as a health and fitness coach is “But what will I feed my family? I don’t want to make them eat what I am eating all the time…”

This has been especially true since the release of the 21 Day Fix. While following the program, you are learning HOW to eat. There are very specific things you can and cannot have, and it can be difficult to incorporate that into your family life, especially if you have picky kids. That is something I have struggled with as well.

21 day fix containers portion sizes control 21dayfix eating healthy with kids how can i

I homeschool so I am with my kids 24/7. And that means they eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack with me every day. Even if I wasn’t trying to follow a specific meal plan like the 21 Day Fix, preparing all those meals for three different picky children can be exhausting.

potatoe and leek pizza homemade picky kids how to eat healthy with kids

So a while back, I came up with a plan. I created a weekly meal plan for them, using healthy foods that they like (and are pretty easy to prepare from scratch). All of their breakfasts, lunches and snacks during the week are preplanned, and they are the same every week. In the morning, when they wake up, I tell them what the meals are for the day.

This actually saves me a ton of time and stress. I do make everything from scratch so I know what goes into it, but I make it up ahead of time because I already know what we will eat.  There is no arguing with my kids about what to eat, or thinking about it, or changing your mind. I’ve included all their favorites on the menu, and things the don’t like as well. So now I know what they are eating for every meal… That means I can plan my food schedule without having to worry about if they will like it or eat it.

Here is an example of what the kids weekly menu looks like:

amy allen fitness downloadable download meal plan for kids breakfast snack lunch dinner healthy wating with kids eating

You can download a blank copy of my Weekly Menu Plan here and plan your own weekly menu!

You may have noticed that the dinners are blank… as you can see above, I print this form off and put it in a plastic sleeve in our kitchen organization center, then I reuse it every week. I have already filled in the things that don’t change, but I leave our family meals blank so I can write them in. I’m not a short order cook, so the family eats whatever I make for dinner… so if I’m following the Ultimate Reset or the 21 Day Fix, everyone else is following that at dinner time as well. If they don’t like it, at least I know they ate during the day.

It’s nice because I can also customize this to my life. You’ll notice we go out to eat twice a week, every week. On Thursdays, we have a homeschool group, so I scheduled food that is quick and easy to pack for lunch.

As a side note, I will say that for years, people have told me that if kids are hungry enough, they will eat whatever you put in front of them.  I’m not saying that’s not true, but I know from my personal experience, it hasn’t worked that way.  My children are stubborn and they will choose not to eat for three days before they will try something they don’t want to.  So for me, this is a great compromise.  They are exposed to new foods at dinner, but the have enough healthy foods during the day that I know they aren’t starving if they choose not to eat what we are having.

So that’s my solution for healthy eating with kids. For my family, this has been one of the best things I have implemented and I hope it helps you!

Amy Allen star diamond coach

Grow your own Egghead Sprouts

After we grew our own organic sprouts a few weeks ago, Madison had the idea to grow eggheads.  I’m not sure where she saw this or how she came up with the idea, but its a great fun way to get your kids excited about eating something healthy and new, like sprouts, and it was a fun project for us to do together… and you know this healthy homeschool mama is always up for fun and messy projects to do with her kids.

Organic Egghead Sprouts

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 tsp organic sprouting seeds

water

all natural cotton

serrated knife

egg dish

markers

bowl

making your own egghead with kids homeschool project organic sprouts

Step One:

Cut the top off your egg.  I’m sure there is a better, more efficient and more practical way to do this, but we just grabbed a serrated knife and literally sawed the top off of our eggs.  And it worked really well.  If you are doing this with kids, you might want to do it for them, and if you are kid reading this, have an adult help you cut the top off.

Step Two: 

Once you have a decent hole in the top of your egg (about 1/5 of the way down the egg), dump the whole egg into a bowl.  You can use it for breakfast.  Now you have an empty but dirty egg.

Step Three:

Rinse the inside of the egg really well.  I suggest using some dish soap – you’re going to be growing something edible, so make sure all the egg is gone.

Step Four:

Dry off your egg and draw a face on it.  We just used regular markers.  If you have an egg dish, that’s really handy, but if not you can cut off a portion of your egg carton to have something to hold you egg while the sprouts grow.  Now you have a pot made out of an eggshell – time to plant your sprouts.

Step Five:

Fill your egg with a bit of all natural damp cotton. It will be mostly full – 3/4 of the way or more – with cotton. Put about a tsp of sprouting seeds on top and pour water over your seeds, then drain it.  The seeds will be very close to the top of the shell.  You want the seeds to be damp but not soaking wet.

Step Six:

Water your seeds for the next few days – sprouts grow in about 2-5 days.  After 2 days our sprouts looked like this:

making your own egghead with kids homeschool project organic sprouts

Remember to keep the seeds/sprouts damp everyday!  After four days, our sprouts looked like this:

making your own egghead with kids homeschool project organic sprouts

So after four days, they were long enough to EAT and enjoy on our salads.  You can pull them out or you can trim the tops and they will keep growing – the “hair” can get very long.  All three of my kids had a fun time pulling the sprouts out of the “head” and at least trying them – it’s fun, it’s healthy, and it’s a memory they will always enjoy.

Amy Allen star diamond coach