Three Easy Ways To Have a Healthier Halloween Party

What’s not to like about Halloween? Whether you are a fan of the creative costumes, the super-spooky stories or the loads of sweet treats, there really is something that everyone can enjoy about the holiday. Unfortunately, it seems that we’ve been overindulging with candy over the past couple of years, and it’s starting to show. In fact, recent studies have found that the average American consumes 25 pounds of candy per year, with Halloween candy making up the largest portion of seasonal consumption. With candy being one of the most iconic elements of Halloween, how are you supposed to cut it out of your party? Below are some ideas to help you cut the sugar while still giving your guests a treat this Halloween.

Veg Out With Your Party Guests

Despite what you may have been told in the past, there are actually quite a few ways that you can use fruits and vegetables to create healthy Halloween party snacks. Most obviously, instead of serving candy packed with refined sugar, try putting out some treats that incorporate dried fruit. Just as sweet, if not sweeter than candy, dried fruit offers similar flavors and textures to everyone’s favorite candies. With its huge range of uses, dried fruit allows you to create a ton of satisfying party snacks that won’t overdo it with the calories.

Halloween child friendly treats

One great idea is the classic “ants on a log” treat that combines celery, peanut butter and raisins to create the illusion of ants walking across a log. For a vegetable snack, try arranging some veggies on a platter to look like a skeleton. Let your creativity run wild, and you’ll be surprised at how healthy you can make the snacks at your party. You can even recreate classic Halloween characters and symbols with just fruits or veggies.

Chocolate’s Dark Side

A cornerstone of Halloween candy is, of course, chocolate. However, we don’t necessarily have to abandon chocolate to have a healthier Halloween party. We often forget that there is more to chocolate than the sweet milky stuff that we see in trick-or-treat bags every year. Dark chocolate actually has quite a few health benefits when eaten in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Dark chocolate is a great source of antioxidants and has been connected to lower blood pressure and prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Chocolate colored strawberries

One easy way to incorporate dark chocolate is to make chocolate-dipped fruit. These treats have the perfect amount of sweetness and deep chocolate flavor to satisfy your guests. If you can’t resist some of the more traditional chocolatey goodies like cookies and cake, try substituting dark chocolate for milk chocolate. You will be surprised at how much sugar and fat you’ll end up cutting from the recipe and how much rich chocolatey flavor you’ll end up adding.

A Protein Poltergeist

After all the sweet snacks you give your guests, they are going to want something more substantial and savory. Thankfully, there are loads of protein-packed snacks to fuel your party. Why not try a low-carb cauliflower pizza with melted mozzarella ghosts, or pretzel broomsticks with string-cheese bristles. Along with these conventional snacks, you can also add a protein punch to any treat by using our Hydrolyzed Collagen peptides blend. This unflavored collagen mix can be added to almost anything you want to serve your guests without affecting the flavor of the dish. Even though they can’t taste it, they are sure to reap quite a few health benefits like lubricated joints, improved skin hydration, rebuilt muscle and improved bone density.

As you can see, there are quite a few ways that you can put a healthy spin on your Halloween party without sacrificing the fun of the holiday. We hope that with these fun suggestions, you’ll not only create healthy habits for yourself and your family, but also introduce your party guests to these healthy options as well. Of course, Protein Essentials is always here to help you make health and wellness an integral part of your life, no matter the season. Who would have thought that Halloween party snacks could actually make you healthier? What are some ways you like to make your Halloween snacks healthy? Share with us in the comments below.


5 Healthy Fourth of July Snacks

Independence Day is always full of fireworks, flags, friends and food. Whether you’re hosting a get-together this year or you’ve been invited to a patriotic party, the snacks need to fit the holiday. This year, try mixing up your usual routine of hamburgers and sugary sweets with some healthy options that are just as tasty and just as American. Here are five we love.

Spicy Turkey Burgers – Try to find the leanest ground turkey you can to cut down on saturated fat per serving. Since ground turkey doesn’t have as much natural flavor as beef, adding spices such as red pepper flakes or cumin gives the meat a great kick. Skip the condiments and top it with some red onions and avocado!

Homemade Healthy Turkey Burgers

Potato Salad – Yes, you read that right. By swapping out fat-heavy mayonnaise for non-fat Greek yogurt or homemade mustard vinaigrette, you can make a potato salad that’s just as tasty with so much less guilt. We like using purple potatoes for a touch of color and garnishing with chives or some other type of fresh greens for presentation.

Potato salad

Patriotic Cake – Arranging berries in the style of the American flag is a staple of Fourth of July foods. To cut down on fat, make a whipped cream from egg whites and fat-free dry milk. Also, there are plenty of recipes for moist, delicious gluten-free cakes that are low in sugar. Try adding hydrolyzed collagen peptides to the mixture for a gluten-, sugar- and dairy-free supplement that supports healthy skin, bones, joints and muscles!

Patriotic American flag cake with blueberries and strawberries

Watermelon Cocktails – A nice, light liquor like gin would make a great base for a summery cocktail, and nothing says summer like watermelon. We recommend keeping it simple by modifying the classic gin & tonic drink, but how you make it is up to you. The natural sugars of the watermelon give the drink a nice sweetness, and a wedge of lime adds a touch of Vitamin C.

watermelon cocktail

Red, White & Blue Yogurt Pops – With a little food coloring, you can make healthy, patriotic treats for all your guests. Just layer the yogurt (try vanilla flavor for a sweet, subtle taste) in each frozen pop holder and leave in your freezer overnight.

4th of July Popsicles

Just a few small substitutes can turn your 4th of July foods from filling and heavy to light and refreshing. What are some of your favorite snacks for Independence Day, and what are your favorite ways to substitute fatty, sugary ingredients? Share with us in the comments below!


Five Healthy Snacks for Your Memorial Day Get-Together

The observance of Memorial Day to remember and respect those lost in the line of military duty has, over the decades, become a way for friends and family to reconnect and pay their respects as a group. A gathering always means food, which means you have some decisions to make if you’re hosting this weekend’s gathering. It may be tempting to load up on fatty, sugary foods, but here are five healthy substitutes you can add to your spread.

  1. Guacamole – Skip the cheese dip and go with this tried-and-true dip. Avocados are full of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), fat-soluble antioxidants, omega-3s and almost every vitamin letter you can name. You can add virtually anything you want to a guacamole recipe, including black beans, pineapple, balsamic vinegar, red onion and more. Mix it up!Guacamole
  2. Roasted Asparagus – Instead of French fries on the side, go with this fiber-loaded vegetable. Asparagus is also packed full of folate and vitamins A,C and K. Prep a hot pan with olive oil and minced garlic before adding the stalks and cooking until the skin begins to blister. Garnish with salt and serve.Grilled Asparagus on White Plate using Selective Focus
  3. Grilled Shrimp – This delectable seafood is a great way to get protein into your diet without the guilt of fat that comes with red meat. On average, one ounce of shrimp features just 30 calories and has 6g of protein. Shrimp are also full of B-vitamins and vitamin D. Marinade and dress them however you wish to match the cuisine’s theme.Grill prawns Large Shrimps on Skewer
  4. Red Sangria – Light, refreshing and undeniably summer, sangria is a great way to give guests an alcoholic option without loading them up with sugar. Be sure to fill your pitcher with plenty of limes, oranges and lemons to give your adult beverage a healthy dose of vitamin C.Homemade Delicious Red Sangria
  5. Yogurt Pops – Cool and refreshingly sweet, frozen yogurt pops make a great dessert option without the sugar and fat of normal popsicles. Take your favorite non-fat yogurt, fill up a freeze pop or ice cube tray, add some store-bought wooden sticks and wait for them to freeze. You might even add in a kick of protein with our hydrolyzed collagen peptides!BLUEBERRY YOGURT POPS

You can serve a Memorial Day weekend meal from beginning to end without over-indulging and expanding your waistline. Consider substituting ingredients or replacing sugary, fatty menu items for lean, heart-healthy options. The result? You and your guests will be full, content and happy on this reflective, important holiday. Share some of your Memorial Day recipes with us in the comments below!

Healthy Beef Fiesta with InstaBroth


Healthy Beef Fiesta w InstaBroth

2lb eye round beef, cooked*
1 c InstaBroth, beef
2 tomatoes
1 can black beans
1 shallot
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red pepper
7 radishes, sliced
2 c baby spinach, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 c brown rice, cooked*

Add thinly sliced or shredded eye round to large saute pan over medium heat. Add InstaBroth, garlic, black beans, shallots and peppers. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Add radishes and spinach. Add salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving add cilantro and parsley. Serve over brown rice, garnish with pepitas. Other toppings or garnishes could include: tortilla chips, sour cream, guacamole, avocado, and shredded cheese. Enjoy!

*Pro tips: Cook the eye round during the day in a slow cooker or cook in oven low and slow. Or you can use any leftover beef; flank steak, beef tenderloin or thicker cut deli roast beef would all work well in this recipe. If using chicken, switch to chicken flavored InstaBroth. Microwave brown rice is a quick and easy weeknight short cut.

Easy Veggie Packed Fried Rice

This is the perfect recipe to use leftover rice and leftover chicken. Or leave out the chicken and make this for meatless Monday, you can even make this a side – it’s a versatile and tasty dish!

1 c cooked rice *
1 1/2 c chopped vegetables
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T olive oil
1 t fish sauce
1 t low sodium soy sauce
1 T fresh cilantro or 1/2 inch cilantro paste
1/2 t ground pepper
pinch of ground ginger
1 t coconut sugar
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 c InstaBroth
2 eggs, beaten
1 chicken breast, cooked and cubed (optional)**

* Rice takes about 20-25 minutes to cook, which makes the timing pretty perfect. Set up the rice and let it simmer, while you do everything else.
** This is the perfect place for leftover frozen chicken. Whenever you cook chicken, add an extra breast or two. Double baggie them, label them and freeze them.  Defrost slightly before adding to pan.

Use a variety of vegetables with good crunch factor that you know your family likes. Excellent choices include: carrots, red peppers, green beans, snap peas and radishes. Add olive oil to large pan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, cook for 30 seconds stirring frequently. Add remaining vegetables, cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add fish sauce, soy sauce, cilantro, pepper, ginger, coconut sugar and red pepper flakes. Stirring frequently, cook 2-3 minutes longer. Add InstaBroth, bring to boil, reduce to simmer. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While that is simmering, grease a small saute/omelet pan. Heat to low. Add beaten eggs, help eggs to spread, making a big egg pancake. Cook for 1-2 minutes, flip and cook other side for 1 minute. Remove to cutting board and cut into small dice.
Add rice to simmering vegetables, stir to evenly coat rice with sauce. Add egg to vegetables.


Easy Baked Apples Two Ways

Use this baked apple dish as a seasonal weeknight side dish, then use any leftovers as a healthy warm autumnal dessert.

3 medium apples, peeled and diced
1/4 c Protein Essentials Hydrolyzed Collagen
Juice of 1 lemon
2 t cinnamon
tiny pinch of salt

Mix all the ingredients together, the cinnamon should coat each apple dice. Pour into a baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350. Easy, healthy side dish!

The next night, add this healthy oat topping to leftover baked apples. You can put the leftover apples into a smaller baking dish or individual ramekins.

1/2 c oats
1/4 c almond meal
2 T coconut sugar
2 T softened coconut butter
tiny pinch of salt

Add the topping ingredients to a small bowl. Use a pastry knife or two forks to combine the ingredients. Cover the apples with the oat mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350. You could even add ice-cream or whipped topping and a dusting of cinnamon or chocolate. Enjoy!


Easy Chicken Zoodle Soup w InstaBroth

1 small to medium zucchini
1 c InstaBroth, chicken
1 – 2 scallions, chopped
1 t fresh thyme
1 t chive, chopped
dash of celery salt

Add the thyme, scallions and chive to freshly made InstaBroth. Set aside. Use spiralizer to create zucchini noodles. If you don’t have a spiralizer, cut the zucchini in to small strands.
Put the zoodles in the microwave for 30 seconds. If you like your zoodles al dente, skip this step. Add the zoodles to the InstaBroth. Add a dash of celery salt. Stir. Enjoy!



Gluten Free Healthy Tacos with InstaBroth

1 lb ground turkey
1 carrot, diced small
1 1/2 t paprika
1 1/2 t minced garlic, dried
1 1/2 t pepper
1 t red pepper flakes
1 t ground oregano
1 t salt
1 can diced tomatoes or fresh in season
1/2 c InstaBroth, chicken flavored
1 bunch cilantro, diced, put some aside to garnish
taco shells, tortillas or make a taco bowl
Toppings could include: black beans, julienned radishes, diced peppers, diced avocado, diced tomatoes, lettuce, purple cabbage…….

Brown ground turkey in large pan over medium heat until cooked thoroughly.  Add carrot to pan. Sprinkle all the spice ingredients over the ground meat and stir. Add the diced tomatoes. Stir, trying to scrape up any brown bits on bottom of pan and breaking up any large tomato chunks. Add the InstaBroth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes. Finally add the cilantro and serve. Enjoy!



Easy Healthy Veggie Packed Stir-Fry

This super healthy dish is easy, delicious and low calorie. If you leave out the meatballs, it is the perfect Meatless Monday dish. You could even add mushrooms or tofu as a meat substitution. This recipe serves 4-5 people.

1 package Mann’s Power Blend (Shredded brussel sprouts, napa cabbage, kohlrabi,
broccoli, carrots & kale.)
1 Mann’s Nourish Bowl, Monterey Risotto Flavor (kale, kohlrabi, brown rice, butternut squash w roasted garlic sauce.)
1 T or 1 scoop Protein Essentials InstaBroth, Chicken Flavor
1/2 c warm water
1 Package Aidells Chicken Meatballs, Carmelized Onion Flavor
1 t olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
1 clove black garlic, smashed
salt & pepper

Bake Meatballs in oven at 375 for 8-10 minutes according to the package directions.
Meanwhile, in a large pan over medium heat, saute garlic and shallot in olive oil for a minute. Add the Mann’s Power Blend. Stir and cook. Add salt and pepper. Follow directions on Mann’s Nourish Bowl (open sauce packet & rice packet, combine with kale, microwave 3 min.) While the Nourish Bowl is in microwave, add InstaBroth powder to warm water. Stir until combined. Add to Superfood Blend on stove. Stir to combine. Add the Nourish Bowl contents to the Superfood Blend on stove. Stir. Finally, add the cooked meatballs to the vegetable blend in the pan on the stove.
If desired, serve over rice, quinoa, couscous or pasta. Enjoy!

Extra, super time saver: most of these ingredients are available at Target #multitasking!



InstaBroth Oven Poached Chicken

Poached chicken is super easy and has a million different uses. Poaching boneless, skinless chicken breasts also ensures the chicken won’t dry out. This requires a flavorful poaching liquid, InstaBroth chicken flavor is perfect. The chicken is moist and delicately flavored. Poached, sliced chicken can be added to salads and pastas. Or shred it with BBQ sauce for pulled chicken sandwiches. The list goes on…..

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 5 c chicken flavored InstaBroth

Arrange chicken in 9×13 baking dish. Add InstaBroth. Cover chicken with parchment paper. Really snug the parchment paper down and around the chicken. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes until instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees. Slice, dice, shred and enjoy!