Berry Baked Apples – Easy Dessert Recipe



berry baked apples collage, easy dessert recipeWho doesn’t love a great apple dish, right? Apples are one of those versatile foods that can be enjoyed just as they are, completely raw and natural, or in salads, snacks, and desserts.

We made some Berry Baked Apples recently. Wow! Were they good! (According to Bon Appetit, the best types of apples for baking are Honeycrisp, Mutsu, and Pink Lady – we used Gala since that’s what we had on hand).

This is such an easy dessert recipe, whether just for yourself and a friend or for a large group (bake up a whole cake pan full of them).

On top of that, it is a reasonably healthy recipe with no added sugar, especially if you use homemade granola.  Even the coconut oil adds healthy benefits, (like benefiting your immune system and digestion and providing Vitamins E and K).

First, we gathered the ingredients (only 6 of them!) – apples, cinnamon, honey, coconut oil, granola and blueberries (or use any kind of berries that you prefer – frozen or fresh).

berry baked apples, easy dessert recipe, apples and berriesWe trimmed a little bit off the bottom of one of the apples so it would sit straight in the pan without wobbling around. Then we cored both apples (an apple corer makes this a super easy task).

With the apples sitting in the baking dish, we filled them with the berries and a little bit of honey – oh yeah!

cored apples, blueberries, granola, easy dessert recipe

In a small bowl, we mixed together the granola, coconut oil, some more honey, and cinnamon. Then we placed this mixture on top of the berries and apples.

Done! Now we cover lightly with foil and put in the oven for 30-40 minutes (until the apples are tender) and they’re ready to eat.

berry baked apples, easy dessert recipe, apples and berry granola

This is perfect to make-ahead for a large group; fill a cake pan with a dozen or so apples and fill them so they’re ready to bake, cover with foil, and put in the fridge until you’re ready to bake and serve them.

After baking, you could also top these off with a dash of whipped cream or a drizzle of honey, sweet caramel sauce, or melted jam for a little extra special touch.

Berry Baked Apples (printable recipe)

Ingredients (for serving 4):

4 apples, cored and tops removed
4 tablespoons frozen or fresh berries (blackberry, blueberry, raspberry)
8 teaspoons honey, divided
6 tablespoons granola
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Set the cored apples in a baking dish and fill each apple with a tablespoon of the berries and a teaspoon of honey.  In a small dish, mix together the remaining 4 teaspoons of honey with the granola, coconut oil and cinnamon.  Divide this mixture evenly among the apples, placing it on top of the berries and apples.  Cover with aluminum foil (“tented”, not tightly) and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until tender; remove foil and bake another 5 minutes.

We hope you enjoy this super easy dessert recipe with berries and apples.  Leave us a comment below with your thoughts or ideas and favorite apple dessert recipes.  What would you serve on top of your Berry Baked Apples?

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Apple Crisp

Apple Crumb Pie

Quick and Easy Apple Dumplings

Quinoa Salad with Apples, Almonds and Dried Cranberries

Baked Apples with Chocolate and Almonds

5 Quick Healthy Breakfast Recipes



5 quick healthy breakfast recipes

Eating a healthy breakfast is important.  We have all heard about how it’s important to start the day out right, eating healthy to get our bodies started on the right foot for the day.

But sometimes the morning can seem so rushed and hectic or maybe you need to eat while on the go, and squeezing in a healthy breakfast just doesn’t quite seem possible.

Well, we have the perfect ideas for you with 5 quick healthy breakfast recipes you can put together even on the most hectic morning (and eat while on the go, if needed).

1. Let’s start out with this lovely Strawberry Breakfast Yogurt Parfait (it looks beautiful enough to serve to guests or in miniature dishes for a brunch or shower), and with only 3 ingredients you know it’s going to be simple.

strawberry breakfast yogurt parfait, healthy breakfast, breakfast recipe

For 4 servings, you will need:

▪ 1 pound strawberries, cut into quarters
▪ 2 cups of low-fat vanilla yogurt
▪ 6 tablespoons Muesli (or similar granola) cereal

Divide half of the cut strawberries into 4 serving dishes.  Divide 1 cup of the yogurt and 3 tablespoons of the cereal evenly among the same dishes.  Repeat with remaining berries, yogurt and cereal, topping off with a couple of sliced berries.  Voila!  (And if you really think you’ll be rushed for time in the morning, quarter up the strawberries the night before, so all you have to do is toss the layers into a dish and eat).


2. If you enjoy oatmeal in the morning, but don’t think you have time for that, this Whey Too Easy Oatmeal is the perfect choice for you, with added whey protein.  Ready in about 5 minutes, thanks to the microwave.

whey too easy oatmeal, breakfast recipe, quick healthy breakfast

For 1 serving, you will need:

▪ 1 cup 1% milk
▪ 1 cup rolled oats
▪ 1 pinch of salt
▪ 1 pinch ground cinnamon
▪ 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
▪ 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Mix together the milk, oats, salt and cinnamon in a microwave-safe bowl; cook on high for 2 minutes or until thick.  Let cool slightly, then sprinkle with protein powder (to avoid lumps) and stir well; top with blueberries and enjoy!

(See 10 Overnight Oats Recipes that are easy to mix up the night before and have ready for a delicious, healthy breakfast in the morning.)

3. Breakfast Burritos packed with eggs, crumbled bacon pieces, (and green chilies, if you like) rolled with shredded cheese in a tortilla actually cook up pretty quickly.  If you have to eat it on the go, consider tossing the filling into a pita pocket instead of trying to wrap in a tortilla.  These can also be made ahead in batches and frozen for a quick microwave reheat in the morning.  Top with salsa for best flavor and results.  OR eat the scrambled filling without any tortilla or bread and enjoy a gluten-free breakfast.

breakfast burrito on plate with salsa and parsley, breakfast recipe, healthy breakfast

For 4 servings, you will need:

▪ 6 eggs
▪ 2 ounces canned diced green chilies (if desired), drained
▪ 2 tablespoons crumbled bacon pieces
▪ 2 tablespoons milk
▪ 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
▪ 1 pinch of freshly ground black pepper
▪ 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
▪ 4 flour tortillas (8-inch rounds)
▪ 3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (or your favorite cheese)

Whisk together the eggs, chilies, bacon pieces, and milk; add salt and pepper.  Melt butter or margarine in non-stick skillet on medium heat.  Pour in egg mixture and scramble until just set (about 5-6 minutes).  Place mixture evenly divided onto tortillas (or into pita pockets) and top with cheese (and salsa, if desired).  Roll up tortillas burrito-style and eat.  (If freezing for later, wrap burritos individually in waxed paper and place in freezer bag; reheat in microwave for 75 seconds).

4. Next we have a recipe for Clean Eating French Toast, using Ezekiel bread (a complete protein), egg whites and cinnamon, topped with fresh berries.  Yum!

clean eating french toast, healthy breakfast, groovy beets


For 1 serving, you will need: 

▪ 2 slices of 100% whole grain or Ezekiel bread
▪ 1/4 cup liquid organic egg whites
▪ 1 dropper of pure liquid stevia
▪ 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
▪ 1 teaspoon organic coconut oil
▪ 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (or more, to taste)
▪ fresh berries of your choice, for serving

Heat coconut oil in small non-stick skillet over medium heat.  In a small dish combine the egg whites, cinnamon, stevia and vanilla.  Dip bread in egg mixture to cover, flipping over to cover other side of bread, too.  Place both egg-battered slices of bread in the pan and cook until firm.  Place on a serving plate and top with fresh berries. (If you’re in a hurry and headed out the door, fold the toast in half with berries in the middle so you can eat on-the-go).

5. Lastly, this Easy Homemade Granola should be made up the night or week before (make as big a batch as you like and store in an airtight container for a couple of weeks), so you’ll be ready to dish it up and eat without any prep.  And other than the time to bake the batch, with only five ingredients, this dish takes almost no time to put together.

easy homemade granola, healthy breakfast, recipe

For 4 servings, you will need:

▪ 2 cups oats
▪ 3 tablespoons almond butter
▪ 4 tablespoons maple syrup
▪ a couple of dashes of vanilla
▪ 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with nonstick cooking spray).  Stir together the oats and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.  Place a small saucepan over medium-low heat and melt together the almond butter, maple syrup and vanilla.  Stir the almond butter mixture into the oats and mix until well combined.  Spread mixture in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes; allow to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes to allow for it to firm up.  Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

We are happy to share these quick healthy breakfast recipes with you.  Please leave us a comment below with your favorite healthy breakfast ideas or suggestions, especially for quick mornings when things seem rushed.

The Most Rewarding Shopping Experience Ever



giving assistant, cash back, earn money fast, feed the hungryYou might be thinking … And what does shopping have to do with food, cooking and recipes?!?

Well, no matter what kind of food or recipes we enjoy cooking, all of us like to save money when we shop, being smart about the purchases we make, right?

So we want to share with you the perfect way to earn cash back while you shop online AND do even MORE by providing meals for hungry, poverty-stricken families.

What if you could make your planned purchase, save money on the purchase, earn cash back while shopping, AND know that a needy family would receive a healthy meal?

Giving Assistant offers a way for you to do exactly that! They find great deals (posting flash sales and offers like the one below) and offer coupon codes at thousands of stores where you are already making purchases, and offer up to 35% cash back at each of those stores, paying the cash back quickly (within just days of your completed transaction).

giving assistant flash sale offer

Last but not least, Giving Assistant provides a way for us to be Conscious Consumers, choosing to give back to those in need with every purchase. They linked up and partnered with thousands of stores across the country and became a donor to the hunger-relief charity, Feeding America. With every purchase made through Giving Assistant, a needy family receives a meal on your behalf.

If you’re already shopping at stores like Amazon, Kohl’s, Staples, Shutterfly, Eastbay, Vera Bradley, and thousands more, take your shopping to the next level! Save some money and earn cash back, all while giving a helping hand to poverty stricken families while you shop.

It’s as easy as signing up for your free account at Giving Assistant and getting started today. Topping off everything else, you earn $5 cash back immediately just for signing up. What more could you ask for?

giving assistant, poverty, feed the hungry, cash back

We hope this service will help you and your family save money, get great deals, and be part of a huge movement helping others who are less fortunate.


Disclosure: #affiliate – All opinions are our own and we hope many families join this opportunity to help families in need across the country.

The Many Benefits of Cast Iron Cookware



cast iron skillet with two eggsCooking for many of us boils down to quick and easy. We opt for both easy preparation and clean-up, rather than health and safety. Teflon and non-stick cookware has become a way of life. We enjoy the ease of our flawlessly cooked eggs and prefer no scrubbing afterward. Natural cast iron, once the only cookware we used, has been forgotten.

Cast iron has many benefits which have long been forgotten. Not only is cast iron durable, but it is the healthy choice. When seasoned properly it is non-stick and has many benefits for its user.

Benefits of Cast Iron Cookware

● No unhealthy toxic fumes are given off of cast iron. The health risks of aluminum and Teflon are avoided.

● Cast iron has a high heat tolerance and can be used in the oven or the outdoor grill.

● As stated, cast iron is non-stick when seasoned properly. It can also be purchased pre-seasoned or easily treated at home with a few simple steps.

● Compared to other types of cooking options, it is fairly priced and lasts a lifetime.

● The health benefits include a boost to the immune system and an added intake of iron, both of which improve health.

● Cooking is flawless. Browning is even, and cooking is thorough and once the heat source is removed, food stays warm for an extended period of time.

● Cast iron cookware is made to last and can be passed down through the generations.

● It is a natural cookware which has withstood the test of time. It never warps or loses its sturdiness, whatever heat source is used to prepare food.

● Cooking technologies have not come up with a better design for all of the benefits of cast iron cookware.

● The benefits of this type of cookware are the best choice for modern families. It is a healthy choice and a durable and diverse way to cook. If you are looking to improve health or want flexibility in cooking, cast iron is the best choice.

● The next time you cook, think about the benefits of cast iron and pull out that old pan or purchase a new one. Your health will improve, and your cooking will be easy.

Written by Cynthia Y. Haltom, Ph.D. of

Cynthia is an accomplished health educator and holds many degrees in health education, technology, psychology and life coaching. Her expertise has given her the ability to direct change in the behaviors of her students. She is always striving to improve.

8 Hacks for Healthy Recipes



8 Hacks for Healthy Recipes
Maybe you’re trying to drop a few pounds, renew your energy, or just wanting to move forward with better healthy eating (rather than trying something more serious like a detox, cleanse or juice diet).  Whatever your motivation, these easy tips to lighten up and make healthy recipes will convert favorite comfort dinner recipes into healthier options that still taste great!

Stock the Pantry with Healthier Options
When buying canned vegetables, stocks or sauces, be sure to choose reduced-sodium or low-sodium versions; this simple step will go a long way in reducing sodium intake and making dishes healthier (and be sure to rinse and drain canned goods to decrease the sodium content even more). Remember that whole-grain pasta, bread crumbs, as well as brown or wild rice can be healthier, more filling, and as simple to prepare as the plain white options.

can rack with cans on pantry shelf

Cut Away the Fat
Everyone agrees that cooking poultry with the skin on helps lock in the scrumptious flavor; however, be sure to remove the skin before eating and save some serious calories. Trim any excess fat off of roasts (whether beef or pork) as well.

Fat Fear
Choose healthier fats, like the unsaturated fats in olive oil and grapeseed oil which work well for cooking and make a good replacement for butter. Oils can also be high in calories, though, so use sparingly (save 100 calories for each tablespoon of oil or butter you omit from a recipe).  If using oil to grease a skillet, try using an oil mister or oil spray to give you just enough coverage without the excess.

olive oil, cooking with oil, healthy oil, online cookbook,

Save the Skin – On veggies, that is. Always be sure to wash fresh fruits and vegetables well; but leaving the skins on potatoes and apples, especially, gives you the benefit of nutrients and fiber found in the skins.  (This is great to keep in mind when making mashed potatoes, potatoes au gratin or other potato dishes, apple desserts and salads).

Healthier Cooking Methods – Try sticking to healthy recipes that require stir-frying or grilling, which require little added fat; grilling even allows fat to drip away from ingredients. For vegetables, oven roasting is super easy, preserves nutrients in the food, and highlights the natural flavors. Steaming is another healthy way to prepare food; try using broth instead of water next time for some added flavor.

kabobs with zucchini on the grill, grilling recipes, grilling tips, how to grill, 4th of july, father's day, family reunion, online cookbook

Crying for Cream? – No need to give up creamy flavors completely or always settle for fat-free dairy products. Try using smaller portions of the real thing or reduced-fat dairy.  In addition, many times buttermilk, low-fat sour cream, or fat-free plain Greek yogurt can make terrific substitutes for butter or cream and still work well when thickening sauces or soups.

Great Grains – While you may think of brown rice and quinoa primarily as side dishes, try incorporating them in other dishes for a nutritious blend. Cooked quinoa can be used instead of bread crumbs the next time you’re mixing up meatballs or meatloaf.  Soups, stews, and tacos can be enriched with cooked grains like barley or wild rice.  And any leftover cooked plain grain turns into a nutritious breakfast when you add milk and cinnamon and re-heat.

types of rice, rice grains, rice recipes, dish dish

Fresh Seasoning – Add some of your favorite fresh chopped herbs to any dish for added flavor and health benefits.  Many fresh herbs and seasonings contain vitamins, minerals and powerful anti-oxidants.

herb garden

Check out these healthy recipes on Dish Dish.  And remember you can always view recipes on Dish Dish by categories such as allergy or health concern as well (i.e. gluten-free, dairy-free, diabetic friendly, heart healthy, etc).

Be sure to save all your favorite recipes on Dish Dish with your own online cookbook account or our Digital Recipe Album, finding your favorite recipes in one place along with your shopping list and menus, easy to access when at home or on the go.

We would love to hear if you have other hacks for making healthy recipes.  And please share us with others if you enjoyed these ideas.

10 Day Detox for Clean Health


10 day detox program, detox diet, healthy recipes
It’s now 2016 and everywhere you look there is advice on how to lose weight and get healthy.

Well this post is no exception, but you have to seriously think about what plan will work best for you. Maybe you enjoy drinking nothing but lemon water for days on end, or maybe you don’t mind completely cutting one food group from your life.

Or maybe you just need to detox. Now before you groan and think, “I’m not going to starve myself”, my detox plan is not about drinking some juice for a week or simply surviving on cabbage or even counting calories. My 10-Day Detox Program for Clean Health is all about eating when you’re hungry, but eating the right things.

You can still enjoy things like fish, turkey, chicken, eggs, grass-fed beef, leafy green vegetables, olive oil, coconut and almond milk, spices and much more! But items like sugar, alcohol, dairy, gluten, caffeine, grains, and processed foods are a no-no.

When your computer or phone start to slow down and struggle to perform a task, you restart it, right? Well think of a detox in the same way. You’re restarting your digestive system by eliminating toxic foods from your body. At the same time you’re eating well and giving your body the fuel it needs to go about your day and live a healthy lifestyle.

Here is an example of a breakfast smoothie recipe as part of my 10-Day Detox Program for Clean Health:

Breakfast Detox Smoothie


•  1 cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk
•  1 cup water
•  1 cup organic frozen or fresh berries
•  1 TBS almond butter (organic and raw is best)
•  3 TBS hemp seeds
•  1 TBS flax seeds
•  1 TBS coconut butter
•  4 raw organic walnuts
•  1/4 lemon
•  2 TBS cinnamon
•  Pinch of cayenne

Blend all ingredients and enjoy!

For more information on my 10-Day Detox Program for Clean Health, check out my website If you register before January 15, you’ll receive a free bonus pack, which includes a non-GMO shopping guide and two 2-week weight loss meal plans!


leann forst, author, nutritionist, cookbook, healthy recipesLeann Forst is a happily married wife, mother of 2 wonderful children, board certified holistic health practitioner, author, speaker, medical researcher and health education advocate. Leann speaks frequently at schools, hospitals, organizations, and on radio shows.  She is also a principal at Groovy Beets Wellness Company, providing individual and group health coaching.  Leann has authored 2 books: “100 Ways to Lose Weight” and “How to Get Your Kids to Beg for Veggies”, both available on Amazon.

 Disclosure: this recipe was adapted from the recipe by Dr. Mark Hyman, “10-Day Detox Diet” and Kim Wilson Pollock.