Category Archives: Recipes

Blueberry Chia Smoothie

 

Blueberry Chia Smoothie | Money Savvy Living

 

Need breakfast on the go?  Well, it doesn’t get any easier than this.  And that is one of the reasons that I love to make smoothies for breakfast… quick, easy, and healthy.

 

This smoothie is packed with protein and healthy antioxidants.  Besides the whole foods based protein powder, blueberries provide many health benefits such as boosting the immune system, reducing belly fat, preserving vision, and improving heart and brain function.  Top it off with some chia seeds, which are also packed with antioxidants, high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, and may even be helpful with weight loss, and you will have a complete, healthy meal.

 

Blueberry Chia Smoothie | Money Savvy Living

 

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free:

Blueberry Chia Smoothie

 

Blend until smooth…and enjoy!

 

**Add less milk if you want a thicker consistency.

**Smoothie tip** using a frozen banana gives my smoothie a much creamier texture (almost like a milkshake!)

 

Blueberry Chia Smoothie | Money Savvy Living

 

*This post contains direct links to my JP+ Virtual Franchise. Should you choose to buy a product through here, I would receive a commission.

 

 

 

Creamy Avocado & Mint Dip

Avocado Mint Dip 3

 

When ever you make a veggie tray to take to a party, you always serve it with dip, right?  It definitely tastes more appealing to eat vegetables when smothered in some sort of ranch or French Onion dip.  However, I always feel a bit guilty because I know that the benefit of eating all those good, fresh veggies was most likely just cancelled out by the artery-clogging fat of the dip.

 

I’m not alone in this feeling, am I?

 

So this year, I decided to plant my own little herb garden.  I figure, they are perennials, so they should come back next year, they will look nice, and I can actually use them throughout the summer and early autumn in my cooking.  Now if you don’t have your own herbs, it could get pretty expensive to buy all of this at the grocery store.  But, I have probably spent around $15 for all of these herb plants (probably about what it would cost to buy fresh herbs at the grocery store for just this recipe!) and I can use them all summer long… and hopefully, they will make it through the winter and grow again next year!  So making this will literally cost just a few cents by the time I average it out over everything I will use these herbs for this year.  Well worth the initial investment!

 

Herb Garden | Money Savvy Living

Top: peppermint, spearmint, mojito Middle: dill, basil, thyme Bottom: lavender, chives

 

If you are new to gardening, here are some pointers on starting your own herb garden that are important to know, such as how to prepare the soil, where to plant your herbs, etc.  Or, if you have limited space, or live in an apartment, you pay even want to consider a tower container garden, which is compact enough to go on a balcony or rooftop.  Tower gardens are also especially good for very dry areas because they use less water as well…

 

So now, instead of eating a fattening pre-made dip with preservatives and who-knows-what in it, this fresh dip is a much healthier alternative:

 

Creamy Avocado & Mint Dip | Money Savvy Living

 

And the best thing about this dip is that it is so versatile.  It can be used on sandwiches, burgers, even on pasta… so I guess, it really is a sauce too!  However you choose to use it…. healthy, fresh, delicious!

 

Creamy Avocado & Mint Dip | Money Savvy Living

 

 

Creamy Avocado & Mint Dip

Creamy Avocado & Mint Dip

  • ½ cup shredded cucumber (squeeze liquid out)
  • 3 cups fresh mint leaves (I use a mixture of peppermint, spearmint, & mojito)
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • Chives
  • Dill
  • ½ avocado (you can add the entire avocado if desired)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Put all ingredients into a food processor, except for the olive oil.  Start to pulse the food processor and blend ingredients, drizzling in the olive oil slowly.

 

I love to add herbs and ingredients by taste, so you may want to start with this recipe and then tweak it a bit by adding more of any ingredients of the flavors that you want to bring out…

 

Creamy Avocado & Mint Dip | Money Savvy Living

 

*This post contains direct links to my JP+/TG Virtual Franchise. Should you choose to buy a product through here, I would receive a commission.

Orange Julius Copycat Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Smoothie | Money Savvy Living

 

A smoothie from Orange Julius is one of my favorite treats! I remember the taste of an Orange Julius as a kid and thinking that it tasted like a creamsicle in the form of a drink—so good! Well, over the years, it has gotten even better and now there are several flavors to choose from. My absolute favorite now is the Strawberry Banana Smoothie.

So even though these are a low-fat, relatively healthy treat, it can get pretty expensive to buy them very often, so I had figured out a way to get a very similar, frothy drink right at home!  This way I can save a bit of money, and add a little “protein boost” to it as well…

 

Orange Julius Copycat Strawberry Banana Smoothie | Money Savvy Living

 

Orange Julius Copycat Strawberry Banana Smoothie

In a blender, add the following:

 

Blend until smooth…and enjoy!

 

Orange Julius Copycat Strawberry Banana Smoothie | Money Savvy Living

 

*This post contains direct links to my JP+ Virtual Franchise. Should you choose to buy a product through here, I would receive a commission.

 

 

Homemade Summer Salsa for Canning

Summer Salsa | Money Savvy Living

 

Now that spring is here, I am ready for my garden and all the delicious foods that come out of it!  But, of course, it will be a few months before I will get much from it… anyways, I am already thinking ahead to all the wonderful garden fresh recipes that I can make!  Any time that I can use vegetables from my own garden, I know it is healthier—and saves money too!  It literally costs a few dollars to buy the seeds and plants and I can make several jars of salsa from just a few plants.

 

While I love to eat fresh tomatoes, I love to make salsa with all those beautiful tomatoes, especially at the end of the season when they all ripen at once and I have to do something with them before they go bad… plus, I just prefer the taste of homemade to store-bought salsa… and making homemade salsa is easier than you may think!

 

Summer Salsa | Money Savvy Living

 

I like to put my tomatoes in the food processor because I like my salsa to be more of a smooth consistency, so just roughly chop any type of tomatoes that you have (remove some of the seeds or else it will get too runny) and the food processor will do the rest.  If you like a thicker, chunkier salsa, just dice to the size that you prefer and skip using the food processor.

 

Summer Salsa | Money Savvy Living

 

Add some peppers, onions, and garlic.  This is where you can really branch out and make it what you want.  I use sweet peppers and jalapenos, but sometimes, I add some pablano peppers if I have them.  If you like it hotter, add more jalapenos, or whatever other hot peppers you like.  I don’t have it in this recipe, but I often add some mangos or peaches to give the salsa a sweet flavor along with the spiciness.

 

Summer Salsa | Money Savvy Living

 

 

Homemade Summer Salsa

Homemade Summer Salsa

  • 10-12 cups chopped tomatoes, remove some of the seeds
  • 1-2 green peppers
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2-4 jalapeno peppers
  • 1 Tbsp cumin powder
  • Chop in food processor *Optional*  If you like chunkier salsa, just dice ingredients to the size you want.
  • Put in stock pot, bring to boil.  Cook for about 5 min.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Squeeze 3 Tbsp of lime juice into each pint canning jar
  • Pour salsa into each jar with lime juice, leaving ½ – 1 inch at the top of the jar.
  • Make sure each jar is clean and dry at the top.  Place lids and rings on jars tightly.
  • Boil in water for 30 minutes.  Make sure the water completely covers the jars.
  • Allow to cool for several hours, lids should be sealed (the lid should not pop up or move when you press on it) before storage.

 

 

*if you have a canner, you will not need to boil in water for 30 minutes.

Cinnamon Roll Smoothie

Cinnamon Roll Smoothie |Money Savvy Living

 

Who doesn’t love a warm, gooey cinnamon roll?!  That is one of my favorite breakfast treats.  Of course, I don’t love all the fat and calories that are packed into those decadent pastries.

 

Every now and then, I do allow myself to have a cinnamon roll (maybe a few times a year!)  But now, I can have some of those ooey, gooey delicious cinnamon roll flavors any time that I want in my breakfast smoothie.

 

Cinnamon Roll Smoothie | Money Savvy Living

 

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free:

Cinnamon Roll Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1½ cup almond milk
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • cinnamon to taste
  • splash of pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup Vanilla Juice Plus+ Complete protein

 

Blend until smooth…and enjoy!

 

**Add less milk if you want a thicker consistency.

**Smoothie tip** using a frozen banana gives my smoothie a much creamier texture (almost like a milkshake!)

 

*This post contains direct links to my JP+ Virtual Franchise. Should you choose to buy a product through here, I would receive a commission.

 

 

 

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

 

Creamy Macaroni & Cheese | Money Savvy Living

 

Macaroni and cheese is one of those comfort foods that you really just never outgrow.

Of course, the cheesy Velveeta macaroni and cheese is a childhood favorite, but this creamy, cheesy recipe is sure to be a hit with the adults…and kids!  You won’t even miss the processed cheese—I promise!

I also love to make this recipe with gluten free elbow macaroni and low fat milk, to make it a bit healthier.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (use gluten-free rice pasta)
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
½ cup sour cream
1 (10¾ ounce) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1 cup milk (I use 2%, but you could use whole milk to make it a bit creamier)
½ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly butter (or spray with cooking spray) 8”x 8” baking dish.
Boil the macaroni in water per package directions. Drain.
In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese on low to medium heat. Stir until the cheese melts.
To the cheese and butter mixture, add the beaten egg, sour cream, cheese soup, milk, dry mustard, pepper, and salt. Add the drained macaroni and stir again.
Top with bread crumbs and/or additional cheese, if desired.
Bake for 35 minutes, until bubbling and slightly golden.
Let the macaroni and cheese stand for 15 minutes before serving.

 

Enjoy!

Very Berry Banana Yogurt Smoothie

Very Berry Banana Yogurt Smoothie | Money Savvy Living

 

I absolutely love to start my day with a smoothie.  I have never been really interested in eating a big breakfast.  I was one of those kids that literally had to gag down breakfast before going to school each day.  Although, if I don’t eat breakfast at all, I am sooo hungry by mid-morning.  So, for me, drinking a smoothie is an easy way to get the nutrition that I need without having to eat a huge breakfast.

 

But having the exact same smoothie everyday can get a bit boring, so I like to change it up with different seasonal fruits and flavors.  However, I do like to freeze fresh fruit when it is in season and use it in my smoothies in the winter…  I must admit that adding in frozen fruit gives my smoothie a much creamier texture (almost like a milkshake!), so sometimes I use a frozen banana or add a few ice cubes just to give it that creaminess!

 

Very Berry Banana Yogurt Smoothie | Money Savvy Living

 

Very Berry Banana Yogurt Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 strawberries
  • handful of raspberries
  • 1 scoop of plain or greek yogurt
  • 1½  cup almond milk
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • ¼ cup Vanilla Juice Plus+ Complete protein

 

Blend until smooth…and enjoy!

 

**Add less milk if you want a thicker consistency.

 

*You can use any protein powder that you like, but I prefer the Juice Plus+ Complete because it provides hidden veggies as it is a whole food based protein shake!

 

Very Berry Banana Yogurt Smoothie | Money Savvy Living

 

*This post contains direct links to my JP+ Virtual Franchise. Should you choose to buy a product through here, I would receive a commission.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies | Money Savvy Living #glutenfree #healthy

 

Even though I try very hard to eat healthy and feed my family healthy foods, sometimes, I just have a sweet tooth.  I don’t want to feel like I am depriving myself, so having a treat now and then is good…

But what if I could have a treat that is relatively healthy too?  That’s a win-win!

A friend had shared a recipe for chocolate chip cookies made with chickpeas (I would have probably never thought to do that!), but I tried it and liked it, so I decided to put my own little twist on it:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies | Money Savvy Living #glutenfree #healthy

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies

 

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • ½ cup natural cream peanut butter (or any nut butter you like)
  • 2 Tbsp. raw honey, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. agave necter
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. gluten free all-purpose baking mix
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Mix all ingredients in food processor, except for chocolate chips.  Blend until smooth.  At this point, stir in chocolate chips. Now, you can either roll into 1 inch balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheet, slightly flatten; or you can simply spoon-drop them on and bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

 

Easy, right?

And so good, you won’t even know that they’re healthy too!

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies | Money Savvy Living  #glutenfree #healthy

ENJOY!

Valentine Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

Valentine Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

Valentine Sugar Cut-Out Cookies | Money Savvy Living

 

Cut-out cookies are a classic sweet treat.  I know that I remember my Grandma making these cut-out cookies for nearly every holiday… and they are my absolute favorite!  And I think your family will love them too.

 

Cut-out cookies can be tricky to make, so I’m going to share a few secrets with you to make cut-out cookies so good, you will never want to buy a pre-made sugar cookie dough or mix again!

 

Valentine cookie collage

 

Secret #1 Use a table mixer.  This is one of the only recipes that I actually get out the table mixer, but I don’t think that you can make these without it.  While you don’t want to over mix and make the dough too tough, it does need to be mixed until it is a stiff dough and a hand mixer just doesn’t do as good.

 

Valentine Sugar Cut-Out Cookies | Money Savvy Living

 

Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

3 ¾ cups sifted, all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 ½ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature

1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.

In another bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy and light.

Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Stir in flour mixture, a third at a time to make a stiff dough.

Secret #2 For best results, refrigerate for 15 minutes before rolling out cookie dough.

Roll dough out on floured counter-top.  Make cookies approx. 3/8 inch thick.

Secret #3 Divide cookie dough into thirds.  Only roll out  one-third of the dough at a time.  This way, once the dough has been covered in flour and rolled out, the excess will be mixed with fresh dough (that has not been floured or rolled yet), so it keeps it from becoming too tough.

Bake 8-10 minutes.

Secret #4 Make sure each batch of cookies is approximately the same size and thickness.  If cookies are different thickness or size, they will not cook evenly and you will have some that are overcooked, while others may be undercooked.

 

Icing

1 Tbsp butter, room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

2 ½ cup confectioners sugar

3 Tbsp milk

 

Beat butter, vanilla, and confectioner’s sugar until smooth.

Add in milk 1 Tbsp at a time.

 

 

Valentine Sugar Cut-Out Cookies | Money Savvy Living

 

Secret #5 Bake cookies on parchment paper.  Ok, this may not be a secret, but baking cookies on parchment paper prevents the cookies from sticking to the cookie sheet.  No need to buy a liner, just use parchment paper.

 

Valentine Sugar Cut-Out Cookies | Money Savvy Living

Valentine Sugar Cut-Out Cookies | Money Savvy Living

 

Secret #6 Let cookies sit on baking sheet after you get them our of the oven for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute before trying to move to cooling rack.  This is especially important with cut-out cookies because you want them to maintain their shape.

Let cool completely before icing.

 

 

If you don think you’re ready to tackle the cut-out cookies, you may want to try making some gourmet chocolates for Valentine’s Day.  Delicious… and much cheaper than buying gourmet chocolates…

Make beautiful, gourmet chocolates for Valentine's Day

Make beautiful, gourmet chocolates for Valentine’s Day

 

 

If you want the great taste of the frosted sugar cookies without the hassle of rolling out dough and using the cookie cutters, you can easily make cookie pops by taking a look at the post detailing how we make these for my son’s birthday treat at school.

Cookie Pops | Money Savvy Living

 

ENJOY!

Sweet Potato and Banana Cookies

Sweet potato banana cookies | Money Savvy Living

Sometimes you just crave something sweet.  But your inner, healthy self knows just how bad sugar is for you… so what can you do to satisfy your sweet tooth without overloading on sugar? Make some sweet potato and banana cookies.

Okay.  I know that sweet potato and cookie are not typically used in the same sentence, but if sweet potato pie can be a classic dessert, then so can sweet potato cookies.

I have to say, the thing that I like most about these cookies is that they are not sweetened with sugar… raw honey is used instead.  (Of course, there is a bit of sugar in the semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you really don’t even have to add these unless you want to.)

sweet potato trio

Sweet Potato and Banana Cookies

Sweet Potato and Banana Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup real butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, mashed
  • 1 medium banana, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup all purpose gluten-free baking mix (**or for a bit of a healthy boost, replace the baking mix with Vanilla Juice Plus+ Complete)
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 Tbsp raw honey, melted (warm in microwave until liquid)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Cream together: butter, vanilla, sweet potato, and banana.
  4. Add egg, honey, and baking soda, stir until combined.
  5. Add in oats, baking mix, and chia seeds, stir until combined.
  6. Add in chocolate chips (optional)
  7. Spoon onto cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until lightly golden.
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*to order Vanilla Juice Plus Complete for a nutritional boost to this recipe, click here.

 

These cookies truly are delicious… and it’s a sneaky way to get your kids to eat sweet potatoes and chia seeds.  The best part is, you don’t even have to feel guilty about eating cookies now.

Enjoy!

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