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Tag Archive: Freezer Cooking

Healthy Homemade Protein Bars

This healthy homemade protein bar recipe is super delicious and SO easy to make!

{Looking for more healthy homemade treats? Check out this list of Delicious & Healthy Freezer-Friendly Snack Ideas — including Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Bars, Good For You Peanut Butter Fudge, Honey Sweetened Truffles, and Homemade Energy Bites!}

healthy homemade protein bars

Almost a decade ago now, I decided to do the P90X program. I remember it being a really fun time of coming up with creative, nutritious recipes that I could make from scratch on a budget.

And this homemade protein bar recipe ended up being one of my favorite go-to snacks during that season of my life!

I actually found the inspiration for this recipe in the P90X forums, but (in my usual fashion!) I decided to tweak it to my tastes.

The result was these delicious homemade protein bars — which every single person in my family ended up loving! Scroll to the bottom of this post for the printable recipe!

ingredients for homemade protein bars mixing up protein bar ingredients in a bowl healthy protein bars in a pan with chocolate glaze homemade protein bars with chocolate on top sliced homemade protein bar squares plated healthy protein bars individually wrapped protein bars for the freezerhealthy homemade protein bars ready to eat

protein bars on a plate

Looking for more recipes? Try these!


Easiest Homemade Easter Candy Recipe (Easter Basket Idea!)

Note from Crystal: I’m so excited to have my youngest sister, Olivia, sharing this fun homemade Easter candy recipe — a spring variation on our family’s favorite homemade Christmas Candy recipe! We typically make this candy to give as gifts during the Christmas season, but I never thought of the brilliant idea to make it for Easter baskets!

Looking for non-candy Easter basket ideas? Check out this Easy Homemade Slime Recipe that my daughter loves making!

Easiest Homemade Easter Candy Recipe

Looking for unique and different Easter basket ideas this year? This homemade Easter candy recipe is sure to be a hit with your kids!

This delicious recipe is a spin-off of Crystal’s incredible Christmas candy recipe — and if you’re a white chocolate lover like me, you might end up actually liking this one better than the original! 😉

(Not a fan of white chocolate? Just use milk or dark chocolate chips instead, but don’t forget to put on the festive colorful sprinkles!)

ingredients to make homemade Easter candy

This recipe is SO easy to make and only uses a few ingredients! It’s hard to believe this recipe could be so yummy with just these few ingredients, but it really is.

There’s just something about the concoction of crackers, chewy caramel, and chocolate! YUM!

layered Easter candy in a pan

I brought a bowl of these to a recent family gathering, and not only did the kids absolutely love it, but the adults raved about it, too!

This is a super simple dessert that you could totally use for Easter Sunday, if you want something a little different than usual. Just make a big batch ahead of time and you’re ready to go.

white chocolate chips on top of layered Easter candy in a pan
And it’s SO easy to make ahead of time, because it keeps really well in the freezer. I recommend making a batch and breaking it up into individual baggies to freeze for later.

Then just pull a baggie out when you’re ready to use it for a get-together or Easter basket!

white chocolate Easter candy with sprinkles

I love the fun colors of the sprinkles — and this recipe is really perfect for just about any spring parties or get-togethers! You could even use them as frugal end-of-the-year teacher gifts.

crumbled homemade Easter candy

This homemade Easter candy recipe will add such a personal touch to a kids’ Easter basket — even if it’s the only thing in it! You could even make some of this Homemade Slime to add a little non-candy gift to the mix!

close-up photo of broken Easter candy with sprinkles

Easter candy packages for an Easter basket

Related Links:

What other unique Easter basket ideas do you have? I’d love to hear in the comments!

10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Freeze

Make some room in your freezer because after you read this list of 10 things you didn’t know you could freeze, your life—or at least your refrigerator and your grocery budget—is about to change for the better!

I’ve been freezer cooking for years and I’ve experimented with freezing just about anything I can. Some were major fails, but I’ve discovered that you can actually freeze a wider variety of items than you probably realize!

I decided to put together this list of 10 out-of-the-ordinary things you can freeze. I’ve tried all of these and they have all worked for me! Just follow the links below to find the freezer tutorial for each item.

Here’s my list of 10 things you probably didn’t know you could freeze…

1. Cottage Cheese

Frozen cottage cheese doesn’t taste great plain once it is thawed, due to it being a little watery. But I love freezing cottage cheese to use later in my smoothies. It works perfectly!

I usually like to divide the containers into smaller bags so I can just thaw out a little bit at a time as needed. This also allows me to freeze them flat in plastic bags to save space in my freezer!

2. Taco Meat

Taco meat is one of my favorite things to make during a freezer cooking session. You can whip up a huge batch of taco meat at one time, and it’s SO versatile!

Taco meat can be used in all kinds of different recipes and it thaws really quickly, so it makes for a great last-minute dinner idea if you forgot to pull something out from the freezer earlier in the day.

Go here to see how I like to freeze taco meat, some of the frugal ways I stretch it to feed more people, and some of our family’s favorite recipes!

3. Milk

I’m often able to find organic milk on clearance that’s close to the expiration date. We use what we can until the expiration date and then I freeze the rest. By buying it on clearance, we’re able to buy higher quality milk without spending a fortune to do so.

While I don’t recommended using frozen and then thawed milk for drinking (due to the changes in consistency and flavor), I do freeze milk frequently for all kinds of other uses! For example, it works beautifully in pancakes, waffles, french toast, or other baked goods.

I’ve never had a problem freezing it in a cardboard container. It will expand some when it freezes, so you might want to drink or use a half cup or so before freezing. But otherwise, just stick the milk in the freezer in the paper carton!

When you’re ready to use it, you can thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Or, you can stick the carton in a sink full of cold water for 15 or 20 minutes.

4. Waffles

While I know that some people like pancakes and waffles fresh, I’ve found it’s so much more convenient to make a big batch of waffles and then freeze them for breakfasts later in the month!

This is one way we make sure we have filling, healthy breakfasts on busy mornings. We love trying different varieties and mix-ins, such as Carrot Cake WafflesPumpkin Chocolate Chip Waffles, Gluten-Free Waffles, or even Red, White, & Blue Waffles!

5. Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches

I first happened upon the idea of freezing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when Jesse was in law school and we were eating a LOT of PB&J.

While it doesn’t really take that long to make PB&J, it can still help speed things up a bit when your time is really crunched in the morning. Plus, it’s nice to have sandwiches at the ready if you end up needing to go somewhere unexpectedly and no one has eaten any lunch yet.

6. Pizza, Cookie, and Biscuit Dough

Our family loves homemade breads, and one of the easiest ways to speed up the process of bread-making is to make the dough when you have time and freeze it to bake later!

There are all kinds of different doughs I’ve experimented with freezing, but these 3 recipes are my favorite: Pizza Dough, Cookie Dough, and Biscuit Dough.

This pizza dough recipe has been my go-to recipe for years. Keep it on hand and pizza night will be a breeze.

Even if you’re not a fan of most freezer meals, I encourage you to try making cookie dough and freeze it! I can almost guarantee you won’t be able to tell a difference between frozen cookie dough and fresh cookie dough.

It makes it so easy to make a batch of fresh-baked cookies when you have drop-in guests or need to bring a dessert or snack to some event at the last minute. It’s also very handy for those times when you get a late-night craving for chocolate! 😉

These chocolate chip cookies are SO good and the dough freezes beautifully!

This biscuit recipe is quick, easy, inexpensive, and so practical! Say goodbye forever to canned biscuits with this winner recipe — especially when you freeze the dough ahead of time to make it even easier.

Freeze fresh herbs with this quick and easy method!! They'll never go to waste again!

7. Fresh Herbs

This a super simple way to preserve fresh herbs so that they don’t go to waste before you have a chance to use them! Frozen herbs work especially well in sauces, stews, and soups.

8. Avocados

I decided to try freezing avocados when I found clearance bags of avocados for just $0.99 at Kroger. I couldn’t pass up that price, so I bought 6 bags and was determined to not let them go to waste once I got them home!

It was a little hesitant to try freezing avocados… and I honestly didn’t love how they turned out when I thawed them. However, I have heard from many readers who have had great success with freezing avocados. I froze mine with salsa and lime juice since that’s the way I love to eat my avocado. You could experiment with all kinds of different seasonings and flavoring, though. (And if you’ve found a great trick for freezing avocados, let us know!)

9. Onions

I really do not enjoy chopping up onions (does anyone?), but I do love how they taste in recipes, so I often chop them in bulk and freeze them for later use. It’s such a time-saver!

10. Cooked Beans

Dried beans are much more economical than canned beans. Unfortunately, since they need to be soaked and softened, they can be inconvenient to prepare them on the same night you want to use them in a recipe.

Freezing them ahead of time is a huge time-saver — especially if you freeze a bunch of different types in bulk at one time!

Looking for more ideas?

Be sure to check out this post for a list of 15 more surprising things you can freeze!

Enjoy experimenting with some of these freezer-friendly foods on this list, and you’re sure to see a reduction in food waste and an increase in the amount of money you save!

What crazy food items do you like to freeze? I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below!

Freezer Meal Pro Membership (Access to 200+ freezer recipes) for $62.99, today only!

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

If you’re a fan of the New Leaf Wellness freezer cooking recipes we post frequently, you’ll be super excited about the fact that they just rolled out a brand new Freezer Meal Pro Membership!

With this one-time membership fee, you’ll get:

  • Online access to 225 easy and healthy recipes that can be frozen without any cooking ahead of time
  • Unlimited access to our 14 cookbook eBooks $181.86 included in your membership
  • Printer-friendly freezer meal labels $9.99 included in your membership
  • A shopping list generator $49.99 included in your membership
  • An Instant Pot “Cheat Sheet” that will teach you how to adapt crockpot freezer meals for your Instant Pot
  • The ability to save your shopping lists so you can use them again in the future

This is a HUGE value and is going to be regularly priced at $97, but they have it on sale for $69.99 through the end of today. On top of that, you can use the special coupon code MSM10 to get an extra 10% off the sale price, making it just $62.99 for your one-time membership fee!

This is only valid through the end of tonight, May 21st, so hurry!!!

Go here to get your membership for just $62.99 with code MSM10 at checkout.

Freezer Cooking: Baked Oatmeal & Turkey Meatballs

I’m currently challenging myself to stick with a $70 grocery budget for our family of five. This includes almost all of our breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners + most household products (toiletries, laundry soap, etc.).

For live updates, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories.

I had planned to do a Freezer Cooking Day earlier this week, but life happened and I ended up only getting two different recipes made. Sometimes, you just do the best you can do, right?

The good news? At least our freezer filled up a little more with yummy food!

I made 4 pans of Baked Oatmeal. This is a family favorite and my kids (and Jesse!) were so excited that I made it since it’s been quite awhile since I’ve made it.

I made the Baked Oatmeal on live video — only I forgot I was supposed to double it! So I ended up making a single batch on video and then another batch when I got off live video.

I also used the ground turkey I got marked down to make a double batch of Turkey Meatballs. I joked on Instagram Stories that I should call these Clean Out the Fridge Meatballs because I literally used odds and ends of thing we had on hand and needed to use up — including some rice.

We ate one pan for dinner this week and then froze the second pan. (I lined the pan with plastic wrap and then popped it out and stuck it in a freezer bag so that I could have this pan back. 🙂

See last week’s freezer cooking post here: Freezer Cooking Day: Crockpot Sausage & Peppers, Slab Apple Pie, Apple Pie Filling, Muffins, Ziti, and Taco Meat