Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

Looking for a healthy and fun recipe to stir up this weekend? These Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins make a great nutritious breakfast, snack or dessert!

My daughter couldn’t wait to make these. She utilized her math skills by counting the mini chocolate chips on top of each muffin and her tiny muscles by having her stir all the ingredients until smooth. Get messy! Have fun! And eat healthy!

Double Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins Recipe


            3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
            1/2 cup light brown sugar
            1/4 cup white sugar
            2 large egg whites
            2/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
            2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
            1 teaspoons vanilla extract
            1/2 cup all-purpose flour
            1/2 cup whole wheat flour
            1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
            1/2 teaspoon salt
            1 teaspoon baking soda
            1 teaspoon baking powder
            1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
            1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg
            1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, plus ¼ cup for sprinkling on top


1.) Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Spray 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray. If using cupcake liners, spray those lightly with nonstick spray. Set aside.
2.) In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, sugars, egg whites, Greek yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract. Whisk them all together until smooth.
3.) Next add flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Blend in mini chocolate chips. The batter will be a little chunky and thick.
4.) Pour batter into the muffin cups to the top. If desired, sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips on top of each muffin before baking.
5.) Bake for 5 minutes at 425F. Keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the temperature down to 375 and continue to bake for 13 more minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center of one muffin. If it comes out clean, they are done. If not, bake for 2 more minutes.
* These muffins are amazing warmed up with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt for a heavenly dessert or snack!


Easy Spaghetti & Meatballs

Not sure what to make for dinner next week? With cooler temps and darker days, here is a hearty yet healthy meal the whole family will enjoy!

My kids had fun making a gigantic mess with the ingredients and then rolling the beef into meatballs. Despite the mess, I was thrilled they ate their entire plate! Get messy! Have fun! And eat healthy!

Easy Spaghetti & Meatballs

1 1/2 lbs uncooked lean ground sirloin
1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs or panko crumbs
¼ cup Parmesan cheese- grated- plus extra for sprinkling on top
1 large egg
½ tsp salt
whole wheat or whole grain spaghetti- cook according to package directions
your favorite pasta sauce
¼ cup fresh basil- chopped


1.)  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.)  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil coated with cooking spray.
3.)  In a large bowl, blend beef, breadcrumbs, cheese, egg and salt.
4.)  Roll into about 1 inch shaped meatballs and place on prepared baking sheet.
5.)  Bake until cooked through, turning meatballs after 10 minutes and then continue baking for another 10 minutes or until cooked through.
6.)  While meatballs are baking, cook spaghetti according to package directions and pour pasta sauce in a pan over medium-low heat.
7.)  When meatballs are done, place meatballs in sauce and coat with sauce. Serve meatballs covered in sauce over spaghetti.
8.)  Garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan cheese.


After School Snack- Baked Zucchini Chips

I have one child at home by 12:30pm on most school days. I am always looking for craft ideas to keep my daughter busy until my son gets home (and then he can entertain her!).

I am a big fan of engaging her in projects, particularly ones that involve healthy delicious foods (like preparing dinner but she doesn’t always think cooking dinner is fun)! A new kid-friendly box company called Foodstirs combines creativity, fun, and healthy food! Check out www.foodstirs.com for a complete list of their brilliant kits for more after school, holiday, and weekend ideas.

Each box includes ingredients and recipes ranging from brownie popsicles, to meatloaf cups, to lemon chicken. For Healthfull Ever After readers, save $5 when you place an order using code CP5off.

Don’t miss Foodstir’s Blog, which also shares creative and healthy recipes to stir up some fun with your kids. Here is a great afterschool activity and recipe from their blog that helps kiddos practice counting and fine motor skills. Get messy! Have fun! And eat healthy!

Baked Zucchini Chips


5 medium size zucchinis, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt, pepper and favorite seasoning to taste


1.)  Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
2.)  Slice zucchini as thin as you can but still keeping it in a circle shape.
3.)  On a parchment lined baking sheet, evenly spread slices in a single layer.
4.)  Lightly sprinkle with desired seasoning and allow to sit out for 10 minutes to draw out excess water.
5.)  Blot zucchini with paper towel.
6.)  Using a pastry brush, gently brush each zucchini chip with olive oil.
7.)  Bake for 60 min to 90 min or until zucchinis brown and become crispy. Oven times may be longer without convection fans.
8.)  Remove from oven and cool before serving.
9.)  Can store in airtight container for up to 2 days.


Easy Ginger Shrimp Stir Fry

In an effort to avoid another night of cooking chicken, we visited the fish section at the market today. My kids think the fish are sleeping with their eyes open. My 1st grade son informed me that is how fish sleep.

Once home, I let the kids remove the tails, which is a good thing because I didn’t want to do that anyway. They helped set out all the ingredients and fought over who got to mix the sauce.

We had a nice sit down dinner where we went around the table and discussed our highs and lows of the day and both kids actually ate all their shrimp stir fry! Get messy! Have fun! And eat healthy!

Easy Ginger Shrimp Stir Fry Recipe


1 lbs raw deveined and peeled shrimp- let your kids pull off the tails!
1 cup broccoli- cut into pieces
1 red pepper- sliced thin (if your kids prefer carrots you can add or substitute in for the red pepper)
3 teaspoons reduced sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable broth
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoon sesame oil
½ cup cashews (leave out nuts if anyone has tree nut allergies)
1 cup brown rice- cook according to package directions


1.)  First cook brown rice and set aside.
2.)  In a bowl, combine soy sauce, vegetable broth, minced ginger, olive oil and sesame oil. Whisk.
3.)  Steam (or microwave if frozen broccoli) broccoli separately with water and a pinch of salt for 5-7 minutes or until tender.
4.)  In a pan over medium high heat, pour in ginger mixture and warm it up for 20 seconds. Then add shrimp and pepper slices. After two minutes or when bottoms of shrimp appear to turn opaque, turn over each shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes.
5.)  Add cashews and steamed broccoli to the pan for 1 minute. Blend with shrimp and peppers.
6.)  Serve hot over brown rice.