Pumpkin Bars

Here is a delicious recipe to indulge a little over the holidays and enjoy some of the flavors of the season.  I made these pumpkin bars for my neighbors on Halloween.  However,  I healthified the original recipe and slashed over 100 calories, 10 grams of fat and 18 grams of sugar!
Pumpkin Bars (healthified by Sara B)
the red shows what the original recipe called for
2C white whole wheat flour – all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 C sugar – 2 C sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
1 can pumpkin
1/2 C canola oil – 1 C vegetable oil
1/2 C unsweetened applesauce (to replace the other 1/2 C of oil)
6 T butter – 8 T butter
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese – 8 oz cream cheese
3 C powdered sugar – 4 C powdered sugar
2 T skim milk

Preheat oven to 375F.  In a small bowl mix the dry ingredients together.  In a larger bowl mix the eggs, pumpkin, and oil.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Pour into greased or paper lined muffin tins. Bake for 25-35 minutes.  Check occasionally to make sure they don’t burn!
Frosting: Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth, then add powdered sugar.  Add milk to create a spreadable texture. 
Frost once muffins are cooled and serve!

I made about 12 cupcakes.  The original recipe was about 693 calories and over 30grams of fat per serving.  The healthified recipe is around 475 calories and 19grams of fat per serving.  To make this even more sensible to your diet try making smaller servings like bite-sized muffins!

See how easy small changes make a big difference in your health!  Every calorie matters.  What are some ways that you healthify recipes?

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good
Sara B.

Fall Festivities

Happy Halloween!  I hope everyone has their costumes picked out and ready for the ghosts and goblins!  If you’re looking for candy don’t come knocking on my door…I’m handing out granola bars!  Go ahead, roll your eyes.  I’m not the only one fighting childhood obesity.  My mom is handing out fruit roll ups.  Do you have a healthified treat for all the little witches and werewolves?  Please share in the comments. 

I love fall!  There are so many happenings and ways to keep active.  Enjoy a few pics from our busy fall festivities.

High Trestle Trail

such a beautiful trail to ride…check out info here

Grandpa and Trey

We saw a sign that said winery 1 mile….so of course we veered off the trail and down a gravel road to find Snus Winery.  I perfect “aid” station if I say so myself.

and of course, we sampled the wine

Trey asked if he could do the corn maze…so we said oook

Howell’s Pumpkin Patch
this is a great place for kids to run around and have fun…might just have to make this an annual event…see last year’s photos

Trey enjoyed his first encounter with these aggressively hungry goats

Emmerson and Peyton (my nieces)

Mommy & Me Session with Melissa B Photography

Trey and I had a great time shooting these pics and surprising J!

Des Moines 1/2 Marathon (…NYC marathon in 9 days!)
time 1.37:29…10th out of 464 in my age group and J got 4th in his age group….until we realized I registered him as a female instead of a male…ooops.





Rachel’s Baby Shower

Sunday my sister, a few pals, and I hosted a baby shower for our girlfriend Rachel!
We are all anxiously awaiting meeting her baby girl Christmas Eve.

we had a great spread of yummy food and lots of pink decor

I wanted to try my hand at making and decorating cupcakes. With a little help from my mom, they turned out beautiful.
Lemon Cream Cupcakes
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar – I used about 1/4 cup less
3 eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour – I used 1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream – I used lite sour cream, I am guessing you could use plain yogurt too
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice – I would omit and just use vanilla and a little almond flavoring for a richer and less lemony flavor
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel – I did not have any left so omitted
1 tablespoon milk
the frosting was a bit runny so my mom came to the rescue and added about a 1/4 c lite sour cream and a bit more powdered sugar
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add lemon peel and vanilla; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick). Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. For frosting, cream butter and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add lemon juice, vanilla, lemon peel and milk; beat until smooth. Frost cupcakes.
I also made a new Pumpkin Bread recipe that turned out delicious.
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Bread
you will see my ingredient changes on the side
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour – I used whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice – I omitted and used a little more of the other spices
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups white sugar – can use about half to 1/3 of this amount
1 cup canola oil – used half unsweetened applesauce
4 eggs, beaten
2 cups solid pack pumpkin puree (1 can)
2/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two loaf pans.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon and cloves.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, blend sugar, oil and eggs. Stir in pumpkin. Slowly blend the flour mixture into pumpkin mixture. While blending the mixture add water incrementally. Pour the batter into two prepared loaf pans.
Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 90 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pans.

Erica Lea (Rachel’s sister-in-law) provided these other scrumptious dishes
Cinnamon Baked French Toast
on the side are options for those who would like to “healthify” it
1 loaf Crusty Sourdough Or French Bread – opt for a whole wheat version
8 whole Eggs
2 cups Whole Milk – opt for 1% or skim
½ cups Whipping (heavy) Cream – try lite cream, fat free half and half, buttermilk or mixing 1/2 T flour with 1/2 C milk
¾ cups Sugar
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
½ cups All-purpose Flour – whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
½ cups Firmly Packed Brown Sugar – loosely packed
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 stick Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces – could try to use slightly less, although does make a perfect topping
Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan with butter. Tear bread into chunks (or cut into cubes) and
evenly distribute in the pan.
Mix together eggs, milk, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Pour evenly over bread. Cover tightly and store in the fridge several hours or overnight.
In a separate bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add nutmeg if desired. Add butter pieces and but into the dry mixture until mixture resembles fine pebbles. Store in a Ziploc in the fridge.
When you’re ready to bake the casserole, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle crumb mixture over the top. (If you’re using fruit, sprinkle on before the crumb mixture.) Bake for 45 minutes for a softer, more bread pudding texture. Bake 1 hour or more for a firmer, less liquid texture.

Muffin Melts

crunchy and creamy in one bite

on the side are option for those who would like to “healthify” it
12 whole Hard-boiled Eggs, Peeled And Chopped
2 cups Grated Cheddar Cheese – opt for 2%
1 cup (Real) Mayonnaise – opt for lite or half plain yogurt
12 slices Bacon, Fried And Crumbled – try turkey bacon
1 Tablespoon (heaping) Dijon Mustard
½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
3 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
6 whole English Muffins Split – use whole wheat English Muffins
Combine eggs with all other ingredients. Fold together gently. Cover and store in the fridge overnight.
Spread on English muffin halves, then broil for 3 to 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly. (Don’t set them too close to the heating element. So good!

and of course….the lady of the hour….

showing off the belly bumps….
Rachel at 33 weeks
Me at 25 weeks

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

Howell’s Pumpkin Patch

This October weather we are having is amazing! What a perfect fall. As I look out the window of the office it looks like it is snowing leaves. Last year J and I racked for 5 hours one Saturday….and then more fell.

Kelli, Mike, and I took advantage of the beautiful day Sunday and took my nieces, Emmerson and Peyton, to
Howell’s Pumpkin Patch near Cummings, Iowa. J stayed back in Iowa City to compete in a Cylcocross race (he got second, wahoo!)

There were sooo many activities for the kids…and grown ups…to enjoy

our little cowgirl

off to the pumpkin patch and corn maze

the Corn Indy 500!

lost in the corn maze…

you had to put colored chalk on a finger every time you got to a check point
by the end you had 5 colored fingers

Peyton insisted on her finger being chalked as well

We told the girls they could each pick out a pumpkin.

the search was on for the BEST one, Peyton dug into the depths

at last…found them!

wait…………..never mind
If you haven’t yet been to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch….what are you waiting for!? Great way to get local produce and goods.
Take advantage of the best season for weather, food, and fun!
Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

Romantic Dinner for Two

For Jeremy and I’s wedding I made him a homemade coupon book 🙂

Last night he used his first one…

So I whipped up the Cranberry Spinach Stuffed Chicken (found in labels:Chicken) that he loves so much.

we had a side of butternut squash and Uncle Ben’s chicken flavored brown rice
I made the protein pumpkin recipe I posted last week (labels:pumpkin).
As the saying goes….don’t judge a book by its cover….same goes for pie 🙂 This was soooo tasty and packed with protein!
Getting ready for our Ugly Sweater Christmas Party tomorrow! Don’t worry…I will post lots of pics!
Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

Protein Pumpkin Pie

What do you think of when you think of Thanksgiving dinner….turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing….PUMPKIN PIE!  With my sweet tooth I look for “healthified” desserts.
Try this for your feast…Protein Pumpkin Pie!
I will post pics after I make it for our dinner.

Ingredients: (makes 2 pies)
8 oz fat free cream cheese
2 T skim milk
tub of fat free cool whip
2 lowfat graham cracker crusts
2 C skim milk
1 can pumpkin
2 pkg jello fat and sugar free vanilla instant pudding
2 scoops vanilla or plain protein powder (I use EAS)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ginger
Instructions: (remember you are making 2 pies unless you use only half the ingredients)
Mix cream cheese and 2T milk in large bowl until smooth.  Stir in whipped topping, the spread on top of crusts.  Pour 1 C milk into bowl, add pumpkin, pudding mix, protein powder and spices, mix well.  Spread mixture over cream cheese layer. Enjoy!

to come…Mom’s chicken noodle soup and mashed carrot-sweet potatoes

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good