Valentine’s Themed Cream Cheese Brownies

Guess what today is y’all! It is National Cream Cheese Brownie Day! We are celebrating with some super easy brownies. They are beautiful, but they sure are delicious. I decided to make them fun and add a little Valentine’s Day twist on them.

Throwing everything together was super easy and simple. I basically mixed dry ingredients separately and then combined it all. The first thing I opted to do was combine the butter and chocolate chips. The butter I used is Country Crock Plant Based.

Next, I mixed together the flour, salt and cocoa powder and set aside. I already had organic table salt and Simple Truth Cocoa powder. I did purchase extra Bob’s Redmill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour, I already use this frequently so it wasn’t a new product for me. 

Once that was done, I measured the hot water and espresso and mixed it up. I just set this aside while I combined the sugars and eggs. I used the store brand organic, cages free eggs. Beat this until it gets fluffy then add your other ingredients. Begin with the chocolate mixture, then the espresso and add the vanilla at this time. Last, combine the flour mixture to your brownie batter. 

I spread it in my pan (I actually used 2 small glass pans; size unknown, too lazy to measure). Make sure to grease these pans! Chosen Foods makes an amazing avocado spraythat I use. It was perfect for the Grinch Brownies. I watched it closely in the oven (preheated to 350 degrees). It took 40 min to bake, keep in mind I am aprox 6,000 feet elevation so be sure to watch yours around the 30 min mark. 

Once the brownies had cooled, I added cream cheese frosting to them! I just picked some up at the store, super unhealthy, but so good! Then I threw a few red hots on time and some red sprinkles!!

Be sure to tag me in the in you make them!

-Laura


Fun & Tasty Spring M&M Cake

I recently did some work with M&M’S® Orange Vanilla Creme Candies (available only at Dollar General) on some Instagram posts and decided I would write a blog on my cake and how I made it. Please note, this blog post is in no way sponsored or endorsed, though the candy was send to me as an Instagram sponsored post.**


For this cake, you can make it as easy or as difficult as possible! You can buckle down and make a coke from scratch (my preferred method), grab a box from the store to make, or even purchase pre-made cake from your local grocery store! If you purchase a pre-made cake, make sure the icing is a solid color, as you can see, I did mine with white icing. I am sure chocolate would be just as good and the M&M’S® Orange Vanilla Creme Candies may even POP a bit more!

I simply baked the cake (I did 2 round cake pans and layered it) and let it cool. Once my cake had cooled, I iced the center of each cake and around the top and outsides. Once that was done, I grabbed my bag of M&M’S® Orange Vanilla Creme Candies and put them around the top and outsides. I didn’t worry about any particular pattern, just make sure you do every other one. 


Once it was COMPLETELY covered in M&M’S® Orange Vanilla Creme Candies, I let it sit to “dry”. This way the M&M’S® can basically bond and you do not have to worry about them falling off of your cake!

Now, ENJOY!!! And FYI, these M&M’S® Orange Vanilla Creme Candies are ONLY available at Dollar General, for a limited time, while supplies last! Do NOT miss this opportunity. 

– Laura


Easy Valentine’s Day Rice Krispies Treats

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to do a super easy Valentine’s Day treat recipe. Everything I used was really cost friendly (I actually used the “off” brand of almost everything). Even better, the entire recipe took about 15 minutes. Being a mom of 5, a super quick and easy treat is just about the only thing I have time for.

Where I Got My Supplies

 

Walmart for the win!! You guys, I know part of being a mom is being a Target mom these days, but I am so opposite. I live at Walmart, I NEVER go to Target. In my opinion, Target prices are high and they don’t have as good of a selection as Walmart. 

I ran to Walmart, picked up some Valentine’s Day themed cookies cutters, Great Value brand marshmallows and Rice Krispies and some butter sticks. I always use Country Crock Plant Butter. That is it. If you don’t have food coloring, cooking spray or Vanilla extract, be sure to pick some up.  

The Mixing Process

 Literally the most simple thing in the world to make. I grabbed a large pot, added 1/4 cup of my butter and 10oz of mashmallows and melted them together on low. Once my marshmallow mixture was smooth, I added 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract and red food coloring. The amount of red food coloring really depends on how vibrant you want your rice krispies.

Mix well. Next, add 6 cups of your cereal and mix it all together. 

Molding Your Treats

 

 

This is the part that gets a bit sticky and messy, be sure to use your cooking spray. I used a flay sheet pan and sprayed it generously with cooking spray. I additionally sprayed the cutting end of my cookie cutters with cooking spray and began cutting my shapes. It is important to do this right away, before your mixture begins to harden, it will be much easier. 

Once I had my shapes cut out, I used a spatula to move my shapes to a separate sprayed pan to mold and harden a bit. That is literally it you guys! Super simple and so easy!

Eat 

Enough said, ENJOY! Your kids will love the holiday theme and the fun making these easy treats! 



-Laura

 

 

 

Noturaverage Easy and Delicious Oven Roasted Pears

Hey everyone!! Can we take a moment to talk about how excited I am for this recipe?! Oven roasted, dairy free, HEALTHY, oven roasted pears AND they are all organic! On top of that, these pears follow the Whole30 diet and are a simple and quick way to get a little treat **If you are in the 1st 30 days, they recommend NO honey, my Doctor did tell me she was okay with local/organic, but be advised!

So are you ready to make it for yourself?! I made a batch big enough for my entire family. So keep in mind, the recipe is for several people. Don’t worry, they store well in the fridge and can quickly be reheated as a treat anytime of the day. 

First thing, preheat the over to 375 degrees and get an oven safe pan heating with 1/4 a cup of dairy free butter. I use Country Crock Plant Butter for mine. Heat over medium heat. While the butter melted, I got my pears ready.

I used 4 organic pears, I know there are several breeds of pairs and any kind will work. I cut each pear into 4 pieces, lengthwise. Don’t forget to cut the ends off and take out any seeds.

Before adding the pears to your pan, add 4 tablespoons of honey. I always use only local honey and recommend the same to you. Local honey has so many benefits to your health and local economy.

Once your honey is added, put your pears in on one of the meat sides. Sear both sides for a few minutes then put it in the oven. Set a timer for 40 minutes. Half way through (at 20 minutes) flip your pears to the opposite meat side of your fruit.

With 10 minutes left, mix your yogurt up. I used an entire container (aprox 2 cups) of Forager Organic Dairy-Free Cashewmilk Yogurt (this particular one was on sale which was why I picked it). I like Cashew or Almond Yogurt. Measure your yogurt into a large bowl. Mince up a small handful of fresh mint leaves (it should come to about 2 tablespoons). Add the mint, 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of your local honey to the yogurt and mix well.

By now your pears should be done and looking like golden perfection. Doesn’t your house smell like all things amazing?! Let your pears cool a bit and enjoy! I prepare my plate with the pears on the bottom and yogurt dripped over the top, it is better than ice cream. And garnish with a mint sprig (if entertaining).

Enjoy y’all! Thank me for this one later, trust me, you will!

– Laura

*** Again, if you are in the first 30 days of the Whole 30 diet, some people recommend NOT adding honey. You can easily make this with NO honey. If you opt to use honey, make sure you use organic, local honey! I did not ever cut this, I have terrible allergies and local honey is SO good for this!

Noturaverage Healthy Super Bowl Snacks

It is that time of the year again my friends! Super Bowl is upon us. If you have been reading my blog or following my Instagram for awhile, you know that we are HUGE football fans. In the past, chips and dip and some more unhealthy options have always been our go to. This year, that is changing. I know you are all aware of our cleaner eating goals so even on event days and holidays, we are trying to stick to it (we did decide to “cheat” on vacation).

I am going to share 2 of our game day recipes with you today. In the weeks leading up to Super Bowl, I will post more so you have multiple options and ideas for you and your guests/family.

The first one is a zesty bacon chip dipped in avocado! This one is my FAVORITE! This is a snack I could eat any day, literally. AS good as regular bacon chips are, I loved adding a little but of extra flavor to these. It offers and interesting twist without being too spicy or hot for the little ones. AND they are super easy.

For this one, I used Smithfield® Bacon and organic avocados. Start off by preheating your oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (I have used non stick foil as well). While your oven preheats, cut the bacon slices into 3 even smaller piece. In a bowl, mix together 1/3 C of lime juice, 1 Tablespoon of siracha and 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar and mix well. Lay your bacon pieces on your cookie sheet and coat with your mixture. Cook the bacon approximately 15-20 minutes. 

While the bacon cooks, get out a second dipping bowl. Cut, peel and deseed 2 large and ripe avocados and put in the bowl. Add 2 Tablespoons of lime juice (this helps with browning and give a good flavor), a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Mush and mix your dip. 



Your next snack is also made with Smithfield® meats. I used various lunch meats for this. I opted to use this brand because the meat has amazing flavor and doesn’t fall apart. I laid out the slices and got out a block of almond cheese. I cute the cheese into string cheese sized pieces. We try to eat dairy free, if we didn’t I would use precut string cheese. 

Now, just wrap your meat around the cheese pieces. It is as easy as that. If I was more motivated, I would have made a home made dip for these, but I didn’t. I found a Vegan honey mustard in the salad section of my local grocery story. This was the perfect sweet. I even cross dipped some of the bacon chips in it!

If you make this be sure to tag me and let me know what you think!

-Laura


Noturaverage Easy Whole 30 Salmon With Kale & Sweet Potato

As most of you know, I am working really hard at sticking to the Whole 30 diet this year. I have found with my autoimmune issues and hives, this diet is optimal and helps reduce outbreaks. I find I am better at sticking to a diet if I meal prep. So I ordered some reusable BPA free meal prep containers and made a plan!
This week, I prepped all of my lunches. I wanted to do it Sunday, but with Wildcard playoffs yesterday, I failed to do so. So this morning, I made it a priority to get everything all ready for me to stick to my lunches this week. 
So here is what I used for this weeks lunches. 5 small, peeled, Organic sweet potatoes. I diced them with 1/2 an organic diced onions. I cooked these together in a cast iron pan with County Crock Plant Based Butter and a bit of garlic Chosen Foods cooking spray. I sautéed them and then set aside. 
In the same pan, I sautéed 2 cups of organic kale and 2 cups organic spinach with the other half of the onion. As you can tell, I love onions! Adding them is optional, so if you aren’t a fan, don’t use them. I added about 2 tablespoons more of the plant based butter and sprayed more of the Chosen Foods cooking spray – garlic. 
While those were cooking, I got 4 pieces of wild caught Alaskan Salmon out. In a separate pan, I sprayed a bit of garlic Chosen Foods spray to the bottom of the pan and on top of the salmon. I then sprinkled salt, pepper, and dill on top of the salmon. I cooked it from frozen since I didn’t dethaw it yesterday. I covered the man and cooked it on medium heat for about 16 minutes. 
Once everything was done, I put it all in my meal prep containers and they are waiting for me to start eating tomorrow! 
Next week, I plan to make 5 days worth on Sunday. Follow along for my new lunch recipes weekly. 
-Laura

Noturaverage Grinch Brownies with Gluten & Dairy Free Option

For me, Christmas time means lots of baking. I grew up helping my mom make everything homemade from Santa cookies to pies and breads. Naturally, I have followed in her lead, but to the max. I begin baking just before Thanksgiving and don’t stop until New Years. It is my absolute favorite thing to do, I look forward to it all year and plan my recipes out during the “off season”.

This year I decided to make a new recipe that incorporates our year of bad luck into our Christmas treats. Grinch Brownies! They turned out even better than I had imagined so I ended up making multiple batches since the neighborhood kids are always hanging at our house. 

Most of you know that I try to eat completely gluten and dairy free and organic. I did incorporate that into this recipe by using organic, cage free eggs, gluten free flour and plant-based butter. The changes in my recipe turned out amazing. The flavor is wonderful! I found gluten free oreo knock offs at Sprouts, along with gluten free icing for the topping.

Throwing everything together was super easy and simple. I basically mixed dry ingredients separately and then combined it all. The first thing I opted to do was combine the butter and chocolate chips. The butter I used is Country Crock Plant Based.

Next, I mixed together the flour, salt and cocoa powder and set aside. I already had organic table salt and Simple Truth Cocoa powder. I did purchase extra Bob’s Redmill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Flour, I already use this frequently so it wasn’t a new product for me. 

Once that was done, I measured the hot water and espresso and mixed it up. I just set this aside while I combined the sugars and eggs. I used the store brand organic, cages free eggs. Beat this until it gets fluffy then add your other ingredients. Begin with the chocolate mixture, then the espresso and add the vanilla at this time. Last, combine the flour mixture to your brownie batter.  

I spread it in my pan (I actually used 2 small glass pans; size unknown, too lazy to measure). Make sure to grease these pans! Chosen Foods makes an amazing avocado spraythat I use. It was perfect for the Grinch Brownies. I watched it closely in the oven (preheated to 350 degrees). It took 40 min to bake, keep in mind I am aprox 6,000 feet elevation so be sure to watch yours around the 30 min mark. 

Once the brownies had cooled, I added my white frosting to a bowl and mixed in a few drops of green food coloring. I found a good premade frosting at either Sprouts along with an oreo type cookies. Red hots were probably the most difficult thing to find. I found the good old sugar filled.. unhealthy version at Walgreens. 

ENJOY! Be sure to tag me if you make them!

-Laura