Sweet & Salty Valentine’s Day Popcorn Mix

Salty popcorn, peanuts, and pretzels are drizzled with dark chocolate and topped with sprinkles for a Valentine’s Day snack both adults and kids will love! 

Sweet & Salty Valentine's Popcorn Mix - Salty popcorn, peanuts, and pretzels are drizzled with dark chocolate and topped with sprinkles for a Valentine's Day snack both adults and kids will love!

Can you believe that January is already almost over? I feel like this month has flown! We finally got the holidays wrapped up – decorations down, thank you notes finished… and now we’re in full prep mode for February! That’s when birthday season seems to start for our group of family and friends as well as Valentine’s Day festivities.

I feel kind of lame but I don’t have a ton of holiday recipes on this blog. I have Christmas covered – it’s my favorite time of year  but every other holiday? Not nearly as much. I have a few older recipes that are begging for new photos and a big update (i.e. molten lava cake for two) but otherwise it’s pretty much Valentine’s Day Blondies (huge hit with the kids) and a dinner for two – Jerk Scallops with Pineapple Salsa over Coconut Rice.

Sweet & Salty Valentine's Popcorn Mix - Salty popcorn, peanuts, and pretzels are drizzled with dark chocolate and topped with sprinkles for a Valentine's Day snack both adults and kids will love!

That brings me to today’s recipe  my kids LOVED this sweet and salty popcorn snack. No joke. I was swatting away little hands multiple times, usually both before and after dinner.

This Sweet & Salty Valentine’s Day Popcorn mix is super easy to make. The chocolate adds the perfect amount of sweetness to the salty snack mix. And you can make this all year round, swapping out the sprinkles for something more seasonal, or leaving them out all together.

Sweet & Salty Valentine's Popcorn Mix - Salty popcorn, peanuts, and pretzels are drizzled with dark chocolate and topped with sprinkles for a Valentine's Day snack both adults and kids will love!

Recipe Notes:

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Sweet & Salty Valentine's Popcorn Mix - Salty popcorn and peanuts are drizzled with dark chocolate and topped with sprinkles for a Valentine's Day snack both adults and kids will love! 

Sweet & Salty Valentine's Day Popcorn Mix

Salty popcorn, peanuts, and pretzels are drizzled with dark chocolate and topped with sprinkles for a Valentine's Day snack both adults and kids will love! 

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Rest Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 281 kcal
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 7-8 c. salted popcorn
  • 1 1/2 c. pretzels (small shapes or crushed slightly)
  • 1 c. unsalted salted peanuts
  • 7 oz. dark chocolate candy melts melted
  • 2 oz. Valentine's sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. First, spread out popcorn. Then evenly top with peanuts and pretzels. 

  2. Drizzle snack mix with about half of the melted dark chocolate candy melts and sprinkle with half of the sprinkles. Allow to set, about 5 minutes. 

  3. Once set, use a spatula or clean hands to gently stir and flip snack mixture. Drizzle with more chocolate and top with sprinkles. (You may want to reserve a little of both to stir things up one more time.)

  4. Once you've used up all of the chocolate and sprinkles, and chocolate has set completely, serve or store in an airtight container for up to 48 hours.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition calculated based on 8 cups of popcorn. This makes about 10 1-cup servings.

Sweet & Salty Valentine's Popcorn Mix - Salty popcorn, peanuts, and pretzels are drizzled with dark chocolate and topped with sprinkles for a Valentine's Day snack both adults and kids will love!

Looking for more Valentine’s Day inspiration?

We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table!  Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you’re at it, join our Pinterest board, too!

Sweet & Salty Valentine's Popcorn Mix - Salty popcorn, peanuts, and pretzels are drizzled with dark chocolate and topped with sprinkles for a Valentine's Day snack both adults and kids will love!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Fruit Dip #Choctoberfest

Lightly sweet Peanut Butter Chocolate Fruit Dip compliments fresh apple slices, bananas and strawberries for an indulgent and relatively healthy dessert.

This post is sponsored on behalf of #Choctoberfest. Our generous sponsors have provided products for a giveaway for our readers, and may have provided product to bloggers. As always, all opinions are my own.

Lightly sweet Peanut Butter Chocolate Fruit Dip compliments fresh apple slices, bananas and strawberries for an indulgent and relatively healthy dessert.

We’re over a month into the new school year now, and things are getting a bit crazy. I was so pleased with how the start of the school year went – everyone adjusting to new schedules well, me keeping on top of the chore list, cooking healthy dinners, etc. A month later? We’ve started to slip a little bit.

It hasn’t helped that work has been tough – I’ve been doing 80 hours worth of work in 30 hours a week. Someone finally showed up, so I’m hoping that I’ll have some relief soon, after he gets trained up. But the past few weeks? Ugh. They’ve been pretty stressful. I’ve craved junk food and an evening glass of wine. I’ve arrived home exhausted, both mentally and physically.

Lightly sweet Peanut Butter Chocolate Fruit Dip compliments fresh apple slices, bananas and strawberries for an indulgent and relatively healthy dessert.

But I really have no excuse to not have fresh fruit on hand for snacking, especially when I can whip up this dip to satisfy my sweet tooth in just a minute or two. While I want this dip in my fridge at all times, just for snacking, it’s also great for setting out when entertaining, to make a fruit tray a little more exciting. I chose to make my fruit platter with apple slices, bananas and strawberries, but use whatever you and your family would like!

Recipe Notes:

  • This recipe calls for powdered chocolate peanut butter. I have also made this with powdered peanut butter, and it was really good. Powdered peanut butter varieties are easily found at most grocery stores, at least in my area, but there’s also an Amazon (affiliate) link at the bottom of this post, in case you have trouble finding it.

Lightly sweet Peanut Butter Chocolate Fruit Dip compliments fresh apple slices, bananas and strawberries for an indulgent and relatively healthy dessert.

Don’t Forget:

    1. To scroll to the bottom of this post and check out the other #Choctoberfest recipes that went live today! Or, search the hashtag on social media and drool a bit over the deliciousness of the day.
    2. Enter to win one of the prizes donated by our sponsors in the Rafflecopter below. For information about the PRIZES, check out this post.
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Lightly sweet Peanut Butter Chocolate Fruit Dip compliments fresh apple slices, bananas and strawberries for an indulgent and relatively healthy dessert.

Lightly sweet Peanut Butter Chocolate Fruit Dip compliments fresh apple slices, bananas and strawberries for an indulgent and relatively healthy dessert. 

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c. powdered chocolate peanut butter
  • 1 c. cold water
  • 1 8-oz. container whipped topping I used fat-free Cool Whip

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together powdered chocolate peanut butter and cold water until combined. 

  2. Fold into whipped topping.

  3. Store in the refrigerator until serving. 

Lightly sweet Peanut Butter Chocolate Fruit Dip compliments fresh apple slices, bananas and strawberries for an indulgent and relatively healthy dessert.


This post is sponsored on behalf of #Choctoberfest. Our generous sponsors have provided products for a giveaway for our readers, and may have provided product to bloggers. As always, all opinions are my own.

Apple Oatmeal Muffins #AppleWeek

Sweet apple oatmeal muffins make a delicious grab & go breakfast or snack for busy weekdays (hello, meal prep!).

This post is sponsored on behalf of #AppleWeek. Our generous sponsors, Swiss Diamond, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, Nordic Ware, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, Nairn’s and The Spice House have provided us with products for recipe creation and a giveaway for our readers. As always, all opinions are my own.

Apple Oatmeal Muffins - Sweet apple oatmeal muffins make a delicious grab & go breakfast or snack for busy weekdays.

Breakfast is probably my least favorite meal of the day. I enjoy leftovers, freshly made salads and sandwiches for lunch, but breakfast? I want bagels and bacon (super healthy, I know)… but usually not for at least a few hours after I wake up.

So mornings are tough. I look for heartier breakfasts that can be made ahead and either heat up or that still feels freshly made. For me, that tends to mean one of two things – turkey bacon and avocado on a freshly toasted English muffin (I bought a toaster for my office at work so that I could make breakfast or lunch sandwiches on demand) or some sort of baked oatmeal. I’m not a fan of traditional oatmeal – it’s a texture thing – but baked oatmeal? Yum! The recipes I enjoy tend to have some sort of fresh fruit (i.e. strawberry banana oatmeal muffins and blueberry lemon baked oatmeal), are hearty enough to be satisfying, and keep me full until lunchtime.

Making a batch of oatmeal muffins or baked oatmeal and tossing individual servings into tupperware or baggies for the week is one of my secrets to making my weekday mornings go a bit smoother. It’s meal prep for breakfast, if you’re into that sort of thing.

AppleWeek - Swiss Diamond Paring Knife

Several of the ingredients used in this recipe were compliments of the #AppleWeek sponsors – brown sugar from Imperial Sugar, oats from Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal, Envy apples, and gourmet vanilla extract from Rodelle Vanilla. I have used and enjoyed all of these products in the past and would encourage you to try them, if you haven’t already. The quality of ingredients is top notch. That being said, the most important thing is to use quality ingredients from brands you trust.

I’d also like to give a shout out to Swiss Diamond Cookware who provided a paring knife made of German steel – it was a dream to peel apples with (because my husband keeps losing my peeler!). 🙂

And Don’t Forget!

  • Be sure to enter the #AppleWeek giveaway – for several great prizes – at the Rafflecopter below. There are multiple ways to enter and multiple prizes (description of each prize is listed here) so be sure to throw your name in the ring!
  • Finally, scroll down and take a look under the recipe and check out the other #AppleWeek recipes that went live today. You can also search #AppleWeek on social media or follow the #AppleWeek Pinterest board to see all of the great recipes going live this week.

Apple Oatmeal Muffins - Sweet apple oatmeal muffins make a delicious grab & go breakfast or snack for busy weekdays.

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Apple Oatmeal Muffins

Sweet apple oatmeal muffins make a delicious grab & go breakfast or snack for busy weekdays.

Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 12 Muffins
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 2/3 c. unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c. light brown sugar
  • 2 c old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 c. chopped, peeled fresh apples

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a standard muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg white, egg, milk, apple sauce and vanilla extract until combined. Whisk in brown sugar. Switch to a spatula or wooden spoon and stir in oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt until combined. Gently fold or mix in chopped apples.
  3. Portion evenly into prepared muffin tin and bake for 20 minutes, until muffins are beginning to brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Serve hot, or, allow to cool before transferring to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Microwave for 30 seconds until hot, before serving.

Recipe Notes

A breakfast-sized serving is 2 muffins.

This recipe was rewritten but barely adapted from Emily Bites.

Sweet apple oatmeal muffins make a delicious grab & go breakfast or snack for busy weekdays (hello, meal prep!).

Today’s Recipes:

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Disclaimer: Thank you AppleWeek Sponsors: Swiss Diamond, Nordic Ware, Envy Apples, Imperial Sugar, The Spice House, Rodelle Vanilla, Flahavan’s Irish Oats and Nairn’s  for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for AppleWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The AppleWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Seven (7) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The AppleWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the AppleWeek posts or entry.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Moist whole wheat banana bread – customized to taste with chocolate chips or walnuts – it a healthy(ish) breakfast or snack for busy days. Best part? It’s kid-approved.

Moist whole wheat banana bread - customized to taste with chocolate chips or walnuts - it a healthy(ish) breakfast or snack for busy days.

Two months full of travel and houseguests has finally come to an end. Last week was the last trip on my calendar for a while, and I’m thrilled with having some downtime. I got a surprise day off last week due to some pretty horrendous winds and managed to knock out most of the laundry that had piled up. And I got to spend some special “craft time” with my daughter (who is soooo much like me!). The winds died down enough over the weekend for me to get in a nice long walk, some time with friends, and quite a bit of time in the kitchen. I even managed to steal a few hours to work on a scrapbook. I can’t remember when I managed to fit so much into a weekend!

Moist whole wheat banana bread - customized to taste with chocolate chips or walnuts - it a healthy(ish) breakfast or snack for busy days. Best part? It's kid-approved.

This recipe is what I call a Mom Win. It’s relatively healthy, as it’s made with whole wheat flour, bananas, and apple sauce (to reduce the amount of butter in the recipe). AND BOTH MY KIDS ATE IT!!! Miss. Hazelnut – the world’s pickiest eater who is known for gagging when a banana comes within an inch of her mouth – actually liked it! I was shocked! Who am I kidding? I am STILL in shock.

I’ve made this bread several times before. My personal favorite is adding in coarsely chopped walnuts, because I love the contrasting texture it brings to a soft, moist bread. Not to mention the extra protein and fiber. Unfortunately, walnuts aren’t daycare-friendly. Instead, I used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, which I knew the kiddos would love.

So if you’re looking to make a healthy snack or breakfast for your or your family, may I suggest this banana bread?

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Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Moist whole wheat banana bread – customized to taste with chocolate chips or walnuts – it a healthy(ish) breakfast or snack for busy days. Best part? It’s kid-approved.

Course Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Cool 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 10 Servings
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 ripe bananas mashed (about 1 c. mashed banana)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 c. whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips or walnuts optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a standard loaf pan (8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches) with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, apple sauce and sugar until combined. Add mashed banana and beat in. Repeat with eggs and vanilla extract. Finally, add flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat to combine, scraping down sides of the bowl as necessary. With a rubber spatula, fold in chocolate chips or nuts, if using.
  3. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in plan before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool complete.
  5. Store, covered in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Makes 1 loaf of banana bread, about 10 slices. 

This recipe was adapted from Whole Wheat Banana-Nut Bread in Williams-Sonoma Cooking At Home (p. 434).

Whole Wheat Banana Bread on Books n' Cooks - Moist whole wheat banana bread - customized to taste with chocolate chips or walnuts - it a healthy(ish) breakfast or snack for busy days. Best part? It's kid-approved.

Hummus

With a slight kick from fresh garlic, homemade hummus is an easy, healthy munchie for snack or entertaining. Pair it with veggies, pitas, or pretzel chips for an irresistible snack.

With a slight kick from fresh garlic, homemade hummus is an easy, healthy munchie for snack or entertaining. Pair it with veggies, pitas, or pretzel chips for an irresistible snack. Ok folks. Who out there has a New Year’s resolution to eat better or lose weight? <Raises hand.> It’s soooo hard to eat well when weekdays are so busy – I walk in the door and the kids are immediately asking to eat or demanding other things…

I know that the months of January and February are crazy for us, due to some travel and houseguests, so I’m doing my best to position myself for success. Lists of healthy options to expedite planning, lots of weekend prep, and as much help from the grocery store as possible (hello pre-chopped veggies!).

One of my favorite go-to snacks for healthy eating… or even when I’m not being my best… is hummus. I love it with veggies, pretzel crisps, pita slices and pita chips. Great for easy entertaining or snacking. This homemade version only took a few minutes to make and is bright with flavor. The Tabasco and garlic give it a bit of heat, which is evened out by fresh lemon juice.

With a slight kick from fresh garlic, homemade hummus is an easy, healthy munchie for snack or entertaining. Pair it with veggies, pitas, or pretzel chips for an irresistible snack.

What is your favorite snack (bonus points for a recipe) for healthy eating?

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With a slight kick from fresh garlic, homemade hummus is an easy, healthy munchie for snack or entertaining. Pair it with veggies, pitas, or pretzel chips for an irresistible snack.

Hummus

With a slight kick from fresh garlic, homemade hummus is an easy, healthy munchie for snack or entertaining. Pair it with veggies, pitas, or pretzel chips for an irresistible snack.

Course Snack
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Author Liz

Ingredients

  • 1 14-oz. can chickpeas
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 c. tahini
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 8 dashes Tabasco sauce
  • paprika optional

Instructions

  1. Drain the chickpeas and reserve liquid.
  2. Place chickpeas, salt, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and Tabasco in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 10 times. Add 2 Tbs. of reserved liquid and continue to pulse until desired texture, adding additional liquid 1/2 tablespoon at a time if needed.
  3. Transfer to a serving dish and, if desired, dust with paprika (optional).
  4. Serve within an hour, or store in refrigerator until serving.

This recipe was adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook (p. 46).

With a slight kick from fresh garlic, homemade hummus is an easy, healthy munchie for snack or entertaining. Pair it with veggies, pitas, or pretzel chips for an irresistible snack.