Pumpkin Spice Roasted Almonds // Pumpkin Spice Roasted Almond Butter

"It's beginning to look like fall in blog land!" (Sung to the tune of "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..." if It wasn't obvi...)

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I've brought out my boots, unpacked my leggings, and took the kids apple pickin'! I'm doing my best to scream, "Oh Faaaalllll! I'm READY!!" But unfortunately if I put on boots & leggings, I'd probably pass out from heat exhaustion since it basically feels like the middle of July still...

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I'm ready to sip on hot cocoa & apple cider, while I cover up my whole body with an oversized coat and frilly scarf. I'm also ready to put on sweat pants. Oversized and extra comfy with long fluffy socks.

I'm ready to be unattractive.

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So if the weather isn't going to act it's month, then I'll just do my best to bring other aspects of Fall to our life.

Like food. Pumpkin everything. Apples galore. And the smell of cinnamon...

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And maybe, just maybe...If I do just that, I will FINALLY get to put on my sweat pants...

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Pumpkin Spice Almonds // Pumpkin Spice Almond Butter

Prep time:

5 mins

Cook time:

20 mins

Total time:

25 mins

The smell that fills your home while toasting these almonds is everything fall! Eat the almonds one by one, or puree them for a great spread on whatever your heart desires! (That includes your finger!)

Ingredients

  • (For the Almonds)
  • 2 cups raw almonds
  • 1 TB. pumpkin spice
  • 3 TB. honey
  • 1TB. coconut sugar (opt. or add more honey)
  • (For the Almond Butter)
  • 2 cups Pumpkin Spice Almonds (recipe below)
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 tsp. molasses
  • 1 TB. melted coconut oil (opt.)

Instructions

  1. (To Make the Almonds)
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  3. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
  4. Place almonds on tray, toss a little, and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and sprinkle spice, then toss to coat.
  6. Next add honey & sugar and toss to coat.
  7. Return back to the oven and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and place almonds on a covered plate. Let cool, then eat!
  9. (To Make the Almond Butter)
  10. Add almonds to a food processor and process until creamy. (This will take a few minutes. Just let it run completely until its creamy. You can scrape down the sides if you need to.)
  11. Once almond butter is creamy, then add honey, spice, and molasses. It's important to do this step AFTER the almond butter is creamy because it will ruin the almond butter if you do it before it becomes creamy.
  12. Blend until combined and creamy.
  13. If it the almond butter becomes thick after adding the other ingredients, add coconut oil and blend.
  14. Keep in air tight container in cool place.

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This is the perfect spread for those fresh picked apples that I know many of you will go pick! But of coarse my favorite way to eat homemade almond butter is with my hand a spoon. :)

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Happy Fall Everyone! Bring on the oversized sweat pants!

Healthy On-the-Go Snacks: Kid & Baby Mama Friendly

Snack foods can be a mama's life saver.

Either because that mama is 7 months pregnant and every 30 minutes it's like she hasn't eaten in 13 years...

OR because, that mama is out at the park, taking a jog, running errands, or driving to a farther destination with a hungry child.

Hungry child=No fun.

A lot of times mom's always ask me what healthy food items I pack in my diaper bag when I am out for a day on the go. It's easy to throw in a bag of chips, packaged granola bars, cheese crackers, or fruit rollups, but obviously those aren't always the best options.

A lot of times when it comes to making choices for eating and children, parents love options that are fast, quick, and easy, and a lot of times we forget about those snacks being healthy and nutritious.

And no...I'm not talking about cheez-its made with whole grain.

Sorry hubby, that's not considered a health food.

Luckily with a little (yes just a little) planning, you can have hearty, natural, and healthy snacks ready for on the go runs whenever you need them!

Let's begin shall we!

1. No Bake Cookie Balls

I love love love raw cookie balls, or protein balls. It's basically a blend of nuts/nut butters, dates, coconut, cocoa powder, seeds, sweetener, oats, etc. Basically the combinations are endless and I consider them to be almost like a dessert.

When I make them I usually grind most of the ingredients really fine, (like the nuts), so Baby Boo can enjoy them with her little baby teeth! It's a treat any child will love! Imagine...Here baby, have a chocolate cookie ball!

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Basic No Bake Cookie Balls

Ingredients:

1/2 c. cashews

1/2 c. walnuts

1/2 c. scant raw cocoa powder

1/2 c. almond butter

1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 c. oats

1/4 c. cocoa nibs

1/2 c. dried apricots (Organic)

1/4 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. honey (scant)

1/4 c. maple syrup (scant)

Directions:

1. Using a food processor, blend nuts until fine and crumbly. Add the rest of the ingredients until well combined and the mixture is fine and can be formed into balls. Roll into 1 inch balls and store in the fridge or freezer and grab one when hungry!

Other cookie ball recipes:

Fudge Balls

Peanut Butter Balls

Citrus Cookie Dough Balls (Optional on the citrus part)

S'mores Balls (Top recipe on the blog!)

Store Bough Options: Larabars

2. Mini Sandwiches

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If I have time in the morning I'll make a quick nut butter and jelly sandwich and cut it up for Boo to have as a snack later when we are out and about. Don't limit yourself to PB&J though, try hummus and cheese or hummus mixed with thinly cut veggies like cucumbers or tomatoes.

3. Raw Veggies

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Every mom in the world might be laughing at me right now thinking that a piece of broccoli would qualify as a 'snack' to their toddler.

I understand it's different, but start your kids young on loving raw veggies (with fun dips), and pretty soon they won't mind munching a carrot in the stroller. You can also try cucumber slices, baby tomatoes chopped, celery with nut butters and etc...If you are able to, you can also pack a side cup of dip like hummus!

4. Fruits

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When it comes to fruits the options are never ending.

Banana, apples, plums, pineapple, watermelon, berries, oranges, etc. Pack them pre-chopped, (and the skin off if necessary), in a to-go bag or container with an ice pack to keep them cool and refreshing!

5. Pre-made Baked Goods (Healthy/Natural/Homemade)

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Pictured above: Chocolate Protein Breakfast Cake Bars

Usually once a week I bake some sort of muffin/cookie/sweet bread etc. I usually put half in the freezer for a quick treat in the future, and save the rest for snack time and on-the-go. The baked goods I pack are usually whole grain and made with natural ingredients and sweeteners.

Other options for healthy on-the-go baked goods:

Date Muffins

Grain Free/Sugar Free Chocolate Chip Cookies (Single Serving)

Cranberry Orange Loaf

Sugar Free Whole Wheat Banana Spice Muffins

Chocolate Chip Bean Cookies

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6. Store Bought Items:

As much as I love food and treats made at home, I'm also a realist and I know that sometimes I'm not By Golly Miss Molly whose been baking away in my kitchen all week. After all, I've got story books to read, tea parties to have, and forts to build!

My advice for purchased goods is this: shop natural, whole, and sometimes organic when it comes to buying snacks. Make sure you can read  and understand the ingredients and know what each one is.

Remember, organic Oreos are still...Oreos. :)

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Pictured above: Peanut Butter Green Bars.

Despite that the picture above looks like marijuana granola bars, they are these insanely delicious PB bars that are sold at our local farmers market. (My husband even loves them!) Every time I go by I stock up and buy a bunch because they go fast! I show these because I think it's great to take advantage of local markets and companies that sell natural and whole foods/snacks. They come in handy for those days where you don't have time to cook/cut/and prepare, and you just want something ready to go.

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Another snack we love are these applesauce packets. Baby Boo LOOOVES them! Sometimes you can buy them with veggies in them too, which is great! These can be a little pricey, so if I buy them I usually get them at Costco. Despite the price, I always buy them because they are such a yummy quick snack grab!

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As for crackers and things, I aim for products that are whole wheat and minimally processed. Here are a few of our salty favorites:

Pretzels

Kale Chips

Popcorn

Pita Chips

Crackers (Simple ingredients)

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Dried fruits are another favorite in our household. The freeze dried ones have a crispy/crunchy taste, which some kids love!

Other options include, but aren't limited too:

Dates

Appricots

Raisins

Craisins

Banana chips (Roasted)

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Last but not least, drinks.

I usually always have a water bottle, but sometimes Baby Boo loves other options. Who am I kidding, if I pulled out a cup of chocolate milk she'd be in heaven!

Here are out favorite drink options:

Coconut Water

Flavored Coconut Water

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So remember, whether your headed to Target to spend $100 or a fun day at the beach, there are always healthy options to have ready and on-the-go when you need them.

And when in doubt, chocolate is ALWAYS an acceptable snack :)!

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