Category Archives: Snacks

Healthy Orange Julius

When I was a kid one of my favorite treats to get at the mall was an Orange Julius.  I loved that delicious combination of oranges, sugar and ice and would spend those afternoons at the mall sipping my beverage as content as could be.  It’s been a long time since I had one of those drinks, and decided to try my hand at making a healthy Orange Julius.

Healthy Orange Julius PinI found that it’s ridiculously easy to make a healthy orange julius, because the ingredient list is so short!  Just some fresh oranges, a hint of banana, vanilla, ice, and unsweetened almond milk and you are done.  That’s it.

The banana adds a nice creaminess and sweetness to the drink so you don’t even miss the sugar.  The vanilla, ice and oranges give it that traditional Orange Julius taste, and the unsweetened almond milk finishes it off.

If you wanted to make this an “adult” healthy orange julius, I recommend adding some Veev Coconut Colada or even a splash of rum to give it a tropical beverage feel.  I may or may not have had some spiked healthy orange julius drinks while watching some Sunday football.  Ahem

Bottom line is, you need this drink in your life.

Healthy Orange Julius GlassesHealthy Orange Julius (makes 1 large or two smaller servings)


1 orange, peeled

1/2 frozen banana

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 cups ice


Place ingredients in blender.  Blend until nice and smooth.  Add a shot of liquor if you feel so inclined.

Healthy orange Julius close upDrink, and enjoy!

What was your favorite snack at the mall as a kid?

The Fare Trade Artisanal Basket

When it comes to food, I love supporting small businesses.  Whether it is a doughnut from Sidecar or a dark chocolate bar from Madecasse, I’m always on the lookout for unique goodies that you can’t find at a regular supermarket.  The Fare Trade is a monthly subscription service that provides food treats from small businesses, and after connecting with the company through twitter, they were kind enough to let me try The Fare Trade artisanal basket for the month of August.

the Fare trade artisanal basketThe Fare Trade works with a variety of different food curators – from chefs and culinary influencers to local farmers and small businesses to create an artisanal basket that is delivered to subscribers each month.

What sets The Fare Trade out from other gourmet food delivery boxes is not only to they pick unique items, they also include cards with a recipe for each of the ingredients in your box from the featured chefs for that month.  Subscribers can also go online and watch video tutorials from the featured chefs.  For the month of August, chefs Megan and Colby Garrelts provided a bunch of unique recipes that paid homage to their Midwest roots.

The Fare Trade Artisanal Box Recipe CardsEach basket also aims to tie in with the season, and August’s basket was full of items that would be perfect for a summer afternoon BBQ.

The Fare Trade Artisanal Box Close UpThis basket included:

Quinn Popcorn:  This Oakland based company strives to create popcorn that is free of GMOs and artificial ingredients.  While I couldn’t try the popcorn due to my allergies, my husband was quite intrigued by it.

Baia Pasta: Another Oakland company that collaborates with California farmers to grow unique durum and spelt wheat to use in their pasta.  The recipe included with this one was a crab & prosciutto pasta which I can’t wait to try!

Joe’s BBQ Sauce: This company hails from Kansas City and focuses on using all local ingredients whenever possible.

The Roasterie Bluestem Blend Coffee:  Also from Kansas City, Bluestem aims to find the best coffee beans in the world and roast them the best way possible.  The coffee ice cream recipe that came with Bluestem also looks pretty amazing.

Speckman Honey: I’m a sucker for a good jar of honey and Speckman Honey from Shawnee Kansas produces all honey from their own bee colonies to ensure quality of the product.

Overall I was really impressed by the Fare Trade artisanal basket.  If you are a big culinary enthusiast or just want to try out some new stuff AND learn some new recipes, then definitely check the Fare Trade out!

Yumvelope Boxes

It seems like subscription boxes are all the rage these days.  I am a frequent Stitch Fix user, I’ve tried Blue Apron, and recently I got to try a couple of Yumvelope boxes to review.  Yumvelope is a monthly subscription service that delivers a box of 6 different artisanal food products.

Yumvelope BoxesThe thing that’s great about the Yumvelope boxes is that no two are the same.  I received a box in June and one in July and they both had very different items which was fun!  The June box contained the following:

Madecasse Dark Chocolate with Salted Almonds

Gilded Nut Co. Salt and Pepper Pistachios

Masala Pop

McCabe’s Granola

Bearded Brothers Energy Bar

My three favorites in the June box were definitely the granola, the dark chocolate and the salt and pepper pistachios.  The granola made for a great afternoon snack at work, and I loved how the dark chocolate was made from bean to bar in Africa.

Yumvelope ProductsI couldn’t have the popcorn so I gave it to the Englishman, and while the energy bar was good, it was a bit too dense to eat in one sitting.

The July box contained a different assortment of goodies, including:

Bart’s Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies


Mayesa Banana Drink

Marshall’s Wildflower Honey

Beanfields’ Nacho Chips


Yumvelope BoxesAgain, I passed the popcorn off to the Englishman (it wasn’t his fave), but the Beanfields chips were free of corn and soy which was great!  The banana drink was good (I think it would go great in a smoothie) and the chocolate chip cookies were a nice afternoon treat!

I really like the concept of the Yumvelope boxes – you get a chance to try products from brands that you wouldn’t normally try/see in stores which is awesome.  Unfortunately you can’t list any dietary preferences, so it’s always a gamble to see what will pop up in your box next (which can be part of the fun!)

Thanks for letting me try out some delicious new snacks Yumvelope!  I’ll definitely be buying more of that Madcasse chocolate in the near future.

Healthy Travel Snacks

Aloha!  The Englishman and I are currently on the beautiful island of Maui for our honeymoon.  After a crazy few weeks this vacation was much, much-needed.  So while I’m soaking up as much sun as I can, I thought I’d share some of my favorite healthy travel snacks.

When I first found out about my food allergies one of the things I worried about the most was how would I travel?  Gone were the days of just grabbing whatever at the airport or relying on the snack mix on the airplane.  But after many years of a trans-continental romance and work travel, I finally have the healthy travel snacks thing down.  Here are a few of my staples:

Oatmeal and Tea

Healthy Travel Snacks OatsI always pack a few oatmeal packets with me when I travel.  They are great for a quick breakfast in the room, make an excellent afternoon snack and definitely work when you are in a pinch and can’t find anything else to eat.  All you need is a cup and hot water and you are set!  If I have an early morning flight sometimes I get the Starbucks perfect oatmeal and sometimes I just bring my own and ask for hot water.  For an extra protein boost I usually add peanut butter or almond butter which brings me to my next favorite healthy travel snack.

And the tea?  Well, the Englishman and I are big tea drinkers so it’s nice to make a quick cup in our room before starting the day.  Plus it saves money on all those Starbucks stops!

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Nut Butter Packets

Healthy Travel Snacks Peanut ButterThese are another travel staple for me.  I squeeze a packet onto some oatmeal, add it to apple slices or a banana, or even just eat it on the go if I need a snack fast.  Peanut Butter and Co. and Justin’s are my two favorite brands and I never travel without them!  I’ve also used the packets to make quick sandwiches that I can just throw in my bag while I’m sightseeing.

Snack Bars

Healthy Travel Snacks BarsSnack Bars are great for an energy boost.  I’ve been in a few situations where I didn’t have time for lunch or didn’t get to eat until really late and these were the perfect thing to tide me over.  I stick to bars with as minimal ingredients as possible.  Current favorites are the Dark Chocolate Turtle Larbar UBER (so good!), KIND Bars, SKOUT Organic Trailbars and Health Warrior Chia Bars.

All of these make great portable snacks and the good news is you can find a lot of these bars in convenience stores or supermarkets.

Nuts, Seeds, Etc.

Healthy Travel Snacks Nuts and SeedsIt’s always nice to have a packet of trail mix or some nuts and seeds lying around when you travel.  Skout Organic has their pumpkin seed trail paks, Trader Joe’s sells their trail mix in small individual pouches, and you can buy small packs of hemp seeds or protein powder for an extra boost in your oatmeal or as a midday snack.


Healthy Travel snacks fruitI love packing apples, bananas, oranges, grapes etc as a good healthy snack for travel.  Whenever the Englishman and I arrive at our destination we always head to a local market to stock up on fruit because it’s just nice to have on hand.  It’s also nice to have with breakfast or after an indulgent meal out.

Those are just a few of my healthy travel snacks – what do you like to pack when you travel?  Any favorite snacks you want to share?