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Looking for a healthier marshmallow – free of artificial ingredients that are not made with gelatin? Dandies Vegan Marshmallows are completely free of the ingredient gelatin, 100% vegan, and perfect for making animal-friendly, gooey, warm and satisfyingly sweet homemade crispy treats or s’mores. In “Mom’s” kitchen, that is exactly what we made – Vegan Crispy Treats! A simple and fun cooking activity for little ones (with mom or dad’s help, of course!), these Vegan Crispy Treats were a hit using Dandies Vegan Mini Marshmallows!

Mom’s Vegan Crispy Treats

Ingredients

6 cups organic crispy rice cereal (“Mom” prefers Nature’s Path)
3 Tbsp. Earth Balance Buttery Spread
1 package Dandies Vegan Mini Marshmallows

Preparation

Coat 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan with coconut oil cooking spray.

In a medium or large saucepan, melt the Earth Balance Buttery Spread over low heat. Add in the Dandies Vegan Mini Marshmallows, and stir until completely melted. Remove this misture from the heat, and add in the organic crispy rice cereal. Stir until well coated.

Press the mixture evenly into the pan using a spatula and let cool. Once completely cooled, cut into squares and enjoy!

About Dandies Vegan Marshmallows

Dandies are the first Non-GMO Verified marshmallows on the market, and they are produced in the company’s dedicated facility, which is free of dairy, eggs, peanuts and tree-nuts. In addition, Dandies Vegan Marshmallows are free of artificial ingredients and high fructose corn syrup and do not contain any wheat, corn or soy. The best part is, these vegan marshmallows are indistinguishable from their conventional counterparts and perfect for making all of your favorite marshmallow treats. Dandies are air puffed, which gives them a traditional light and fluffy texture.

Dandies Classic Vanilla Marshmallows are available in campfire style and mini sizes at Whole Foods Market and other natural food stores across the U.S. for an SRP of $5.29 per 10oz package. Visit DandiesMarshmallows.com for more information or find @MyDandies on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

*Company generously provided Dandies Vegan Marshmallows for this recipe and review.*

Traditional muesli is made with rolled oats and dried fruit and soaked overnight. By using instant oats and fresh fruit, your muesli ready to eat in just minutes. Nature’s Path recommends you use organic ingredients whenever possible.

European-Style Fruit and Oatmeal Muesli

Ingredients

• 2 pouches Nature’s Path® Flax Plus Instant Hot Oatmeal, uncooked
• 1 cup Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt
• 3/4 cup Green or Red seedless Grapes, halved
• 1 Large Apple, grated, or 3/4 c. Chunky Applesauce
• 1/3 cup Toasted Walnuts, chopped

Preparation

1. Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
2. Let sit for 10 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Makes 3 Servings.

*This recipe was created especially for Nature’s Path® by Lorna Sass, the award-winning cookbook author of Whole Grains, Every Day, Every Way and Whole Grains for Busy People.*

Blend nutritious almond butter with honey, dried cherries, and Love Crunch, then roll the mixture into balls to create a festive party nibble or wholegrain snack. Nature’s Path recommends you use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Love Crunch Almond Bon Bons

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted almond butter (preferably crunchy), at room temperature
1/2 cup pourable (not solid) honey
1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice or ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cup Nature’s Path Love Crunch – Dark Chocolate & Red Berries, plus more if needed
1/3 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds, finely chopped

Preparation

1. Cover a cookie sheet with waxed paper or plastic wrap. Set aside.
2. Place almond butter in bowl of food processor. Pour honey on top and sprinkle on spice. Blend until smooth.
3. Add Love Crunch. Process until mixture begins to form a mass, about 30 seconds. If mixture doesn’t form a mass, add 1 to 2 heaping tablespoons more Love Crunch and process a few seconds longer. Stir in cherries.
4. Spread chopped almonds out on a plate. Place a heaping tablespoon of granola mixture in your palm and roll into a ball. Roll ball in chopped almonds to coat. Proceed with remaining mixture, setting balls about 1/2 inch apart on waxed paper as you go.
5. Refrigerate until chilled, about 40 minutes. If not using immediately, refrigerate in a closed container in layers divided by waxed paper for up to 1 week.

Makes 20 Bon-Bons.

*This recipe was created especially for Nature’s Path® by Lorna Sass, the award-winning cookbook author of Whole Grains, Every Day, Every Way and Whole Grains for Busy People.*

Here’s a classy dessert that you can make in a flash! Layering a stovetop vanilla pudding with Love Crunch gives you the best of both worlds: the creaminess of the pudding and the crunchiness of the granola. Nature’s Path recommends you use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Love Crunch Vanilla Pudding Parfait

Ingredients

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
Scant 1/4 tsp. salt
4 cups whole milk
4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 2 cups Nature’s Path Love Crunch

Preparation

1. In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
2. Gradually whisk in 1 cup milk.
3. Set over medium heat and whisk in remaining milk. Stir frequently until mixture begins to thicken, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook for one more minute while stirring.
4. Pour pudding into a large, spouted measuring cup. Stir in vanilla extract and let the mixture cool for a minute or two.
5. Spoon a tablespoon of pudding into the bottom of 6 wine glasses or dessert bowls. Add a heaping tablespoon of Love Crunch. Pour about 1/2 cup pudding over Love Crunch. Top pudding with 2 to 3 tablespoons of Love Crunch.
6. Cover each glass with plastic wrap. Chill for at least an hour before serving. Serve chilled.

Makes 6 servings.

*This recipe was created especially for Nature’s Path® by Lorna Sass, the award-winning cookbook author of Whole Grains, Every Day, Every Way and Whole Grains for Busy People.*

These chocolate clusters are an irresistible wholegrain reminder of the much loved chocolate confection known as “turtles.” They are very simple to make—a great rainy-day project for kids. Nature’s Path recommends you use organic ingredients whenever possible.

Love Crunch Chocolate Hazelnut Clusters

Ingredients

8 oz. dark or milk chocolate bars, chunks, or chips
1 cup Nature’s Path Love Crunch Dark Chocolate & Red Berries
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup raisins

Preparation

1. Set a sheet of baking parchment on a cookie sheet.
2. If using bars, break up chocolate into chunks. Set chocolate in microwave-safe bowl, and microwave until melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir until smooth.
3. Stir Love Crunch, hazelnuts, and raisins into chocolate until thoroughly coated.
4. Drop mixture by heaping tablespoons onto parchment. Refrigerate clusters until firm, about 1 hour.
5. Gently peel clusters off parchment. Store in a covered container in a cool place for up to 3 weeks.

Makes 16 Clusters.

*This recipe was created especially for Nature’s Path® by Lorna Sass, the award-winning cookbook author of Whole Grains, Every Day, Every Way and Whole Grains for Busy People.*

It is hard not to have a love affair with the four rich new flavors of granola from Nature’s Path that have just been introduced! With blends like Carrot Cake and Apple Crumble, a healthy dessert is in sight when these top your yogurt or fruit! Who needs the full-fat version?!

Nature’s Path Organic Foods is continuing their Love Crunch story, with new Love Crunch Granolas offered in four delightful and delicious flavors, making their debut just in time for Valentine’s Day!

· Dark Chocolate & Red Berries (the original flavor) – the perfect marriage of flax granola, strawberries, raspberries, coconut and dark chocolate chunks that has 14 grams of Whole Grains per serving, no cholesterol, low sodium, no trans fat and is an excellent source of ALA Omega-3.

· Apple Crumble – a deliciously sweet blend of green apples, pecans and cinnamon, with omega-3 and fiber-rich chia seeds that has 15 grams of Whole Grains per serving, no cholesterol, low sodium, no trans fat and is a good source of ALA Omega-3.

· Carrot Cake – a melt-in-your-mouth combination of carrots, raisins, yogurt, pecans and pineapple with 15 grams of Whole Grains per serving, no cholesterol, low sodium and no trans fat. (This particular flavor makes “Mom” swoon!)

· Aloha Blend – a tropical treat filled with pineapple, coconut and white chocolate chunks with 14 grams of Whole Grains per serving, no cholesterol, low sodium and no trans fat.

To learn more about the new flavors of Love Crunch Granolas, to locate a retailer near you, or to order online, visit NaturesPath.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Make this for your sweetie on Valentine’s Day – heart-healthy, filled with spices and topped lovingly with fresh strawberries, what better way to say “I love you!”

Love Crunch Cheesecake

Ingredients

1 3/4 cup Love Crunch cereal
• 1/2 cup Smart Bran cereal
• 1 tbsp. dark cocoa powder
• 1/3 cup butter, melted
• 1/2 cup greek yogurt, strawberry
• 4 oz. farmers cheese, room temperature
• 8 oz. low fat cream cheese
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
• 1 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
• 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
• 2 tbps. whole wheat flour
• 2 cups pureed fresh strawberries
• 1 cup Love Crunch cereal
• 12 fresh strawberries
• Fresh mint sprigs

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. Combine cereals and cocoa in blender, process until blended to fine crumbs. Reserve 1/4 cup of crumbs.
3. Return reserved 1/4 cup of crumbs to blender and grind to fine powder. Set aside for garnish when cake is completed.
4. Make the crust: Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Press into bottom of 9” springform or cake pan and set aside.
5. Make the cake: Combine yogurt, farmer’s cheese and cream cheese in a large bowl. With electric mixer, completely beat in sugar. Beat in vanilla, spices and flour. Stir in pureed strawberries. Pour into pan.
6. Bake for about 1½ hours or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
7. Remove from oven and let stand 30 minutes.
8. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving.
9. Dust entire top of cake with reserved finely ground cereal and sprinkle Love Crunch cereal around the edges.
10. Fan sliced strawberries in center of cake and place whole strawberry in the middle. Garnish with whole and sliced strawberries and mint sprigs
11. Enjoy!

Serves 12.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Diane Henderiks, R.D. (www.dishwithdiane.com) and Nature’s Path.*

Happy HalloGREEN! This year, make a conscious decision to choose nutritious, healthier options to pass out to the ghosts, vampires, and witches that ring your doorbell. Who knows, maybe you will inspire the whole neighborhood to make a change! “Mom” has highlighted her favorite picks this year for Halloween, sure to tempt both young and old!

Healthy Halloween Treats & Sweets

FruitaBü® Smoooshed® Fruit Rolls from Stretch Island Fruit Co.

This treat is sweet, naturally, of course! Tuck a FruitaBü® Fruit Roll or two into each trick-or-treaters bag for a kid-tested, kid-approved snack that satisfies the sweet tooth without hurting the tummy. Made of real fruit, each all-natural roll offers an entire serving of fruit, minus the artificial sweeteners. Unravel the fun in colorful fruit flavors like Apple, Strawberry, and Grape!

Panda Licorice Individual Bars

Made from Real Raspberries, Blueberries, Cherries or Licorice, Panda 100-calorie individual bars are an excellent all-natural choice for giving away this Halloween! Panda Licorice is made from all-natural
ingredients, and contains no added colors, salt, artificial flavors, or preservatives. Vegan and fat-free, the raspberry & cherry flavors include crushed fruit in them, too!

Nature’s Path’s Treat Size EnviroKidz Chocolate Crispy Rice Bars

At only 50 calories and 1.5 g fat, these treat-sized chocolate crispy delights from Nature’s Path are whole grain, low fat and low sodium and, for the growing number kids who are avoiding gluten, also gluten-free! Like all Nature’s Path products, they are USDA certified organic, which means they are grown without the use of pesticides (as well as other unappealing things like synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms and radiation). These make a delicious treat option for handing out to children on Halloween, and parents may be tempted to snack on them, as well!

SunRidge Farms’ All-Natural Milk Chocolate Rainbow Drops

A healthier treat option! Available in convenient 1 ounce packs, SunRidge Farms’ Milk Chocolate Rainbow Drops are the only better-for-you chocolate candy free of both food dye and titanium dioxide. The new Rainbow Drops are colored with vegetable juice and are made with premium milk chocolate, real vanilla and pure cane sugar. Trick-or-treaters will love these tasty little milk chocolate drops!

SUPERCANDY™ from SNAP Infusion™

Giving out healthy Halloween treats is a snap with the five new varieties of SUPERCANDY™ from SNAP Infusion™!
Offering a low-calorie, healthy alternative to traditional candy loaded with sugar, each SNAP Infusion product is loaded with B vitamins to boost energy, antioxidants to support the immune system and electrolytes to balance hydration. Sold in individual packets, Mel, Tart, Gum, Gummy or Bean are easy to hand out to older trick-or-treaters! Pick some up before October 31st at www.eatplaysnap.com.

Cow Treat Bags

Your little farmer or vet will love this reusable Cow Treat Bag from Pottery Barn Kids this Halloween! Made of soft, durable felt with a handle for carrying it can be used year after year to collect goodies and sweets when trick-or-treating! Whether it is meant to complement your child’s costume, or just to provide a reusable treat bag instead of a disposable bag, the Cow Treat Bag is moo-nificent! Plus, it can be personalized with your little one’s name! Available for $9.99 at Pottery Barn Kids. Check out their adorable selection of other Halloween Treat Bags, too!

HINT Water

Keep em’ hydrated while trick-or-treating without sugar or caffeine laden drinks! HINT Water provides children with healthy, sugar-free hydration. This all-natural essence water has zero calories, zero sugars, and no artificial preservatives, and comes in a bevy of kid-pleasing flavors, such as Strawberry-Kiwi or Pear! HINT Water can be found nationwide at Whole Foods and Starbucks.

*Companies generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Here’s a delightfully healthy cheesecake by Diane Henderiks to make for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day! The secret ingredient? Nature’s Path Love Crunch Cereal!

Diane Henderiks’ Strawberry Cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust

1 3/4 cup Love Crunch cereal

1/2 cup Smart Bran cereal

1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder

1/3C butter; melted

Cake

1/2 cup Lifeway Strawberry Greek Yogurt

4 oz. Lifeway Farmers cheese, room temperature

8 ounces low fat cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoon whole wheat flour

2 cups pureed fresh strawberries

1 cup Love Crunch cereal

12 fresh strawberries

fresh mint sprigs

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Combine cereals and cocoa in blender, process until blended to fine crumbs. Reserve 1/4 cup of crumbs.
  3. Return reserved 1/4 cup of crumbs to blender and grind to fine powder. Set aside for garnish when cake is completed.
  4. Make the crust: Combine all ingredients for crust in a large bowl. Press into bottom of 9” springform or cake pan and set aside.
  5. Make the cake: Combine yogurt, farmer’s cheese and cream cheese in a large bowl. With electric mixer, completely beat in sugar. Beat in vanilla, spices and flour. Stir in pureed strawberries. Pour into pan.
  6. Bake for about 1½ hours or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven and let stand 30 minutes.
  8. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving.
  9. Dust entire top of cake with reserved finely ground cereal and sprinkle Love Crunch cereal around the edges.
  10. Fan sliced strawberries in center of cake and place whole strawberry in the middle. Garnish with whole and sliced strawberries and mint sprigs
  11. Enjoy!

Serves 12

*Recipe and image courtesy of Diane Henderiks, R.D., Personal Chef/Culinary Nutritionist and author of Dietitian in the Kitchen? Visit her website at www.dishwithdiane.com.*

Feel the love this Valentine’s Day! Nature’s Path has partnered with Whole Foods Market and unveiled Love Crunch, a limited-edition cereal that you will simply adore!

This breakfast treat was inspired by a true-life love story and philanthropic endeavor, and each box of Nature’s Path Love Crunch sold donates $1 to help give women the chance to create or expand home-based businesses and lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

Love Crunch is the perfect marriage between the whole grain goodness of flax cocoa granola, rich dark chocolate chunks, the sweetness of strawberries, the tartness of raspberries and the decadence of coconut. Yes – it is simply heavenly! Whether eaten by the handful, in a bowl with vanilla soymilk, or placed on top of yogurt to make an one-of-a-kind parfait, this is one cereal that “Mom” is seriously crushing on this Valentine’s Day!

Love Crunch is USDA Certified Crganic and does not contain artificial preservatives, additives, genetically modified organism (GMOs) or synthetic pesticides.

Want to spread the love? Visit www.naturespath.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*