Get the Facts Up Front {Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken Recipe}

There are so many philosophies on eating and nutrition today. Personally, my philosophy combines several and the best way that I can describe it is to say everything in moderation.

That said, I don’t make decisions about what to feed my family or myself lightly. I do like to know what I’m choosing and all of the facts about it before deciding if it’s something that I feel comfortable eating or serving to my family. That’s why I love products that have the Facts Up Front label! You may have seen it on some of your favorite products- it’s the label on the front of a package that shows some of the important information about the food and displays it right up front for you to see.

Of course, this information is located on the Nutrition Facts Panel as well, but as a mom grocery shopping with a 4-year-old, I don’t have the time to look at each label & scrutinize each line. I want to know what matters to me quickly. The Facts Up Front label shows calories per serving and information on saturated fat, sodium and sugar. If a product has more than 10% of the daily value per serving of a particular nutrient then that is highlighted as well so that I can know that I’m making a good choice.

Many companies have already placed these labels on their products, like Nestle, Post Foods, Campbell’s, PepsiCo, Ocean Spray, General Mills, Coca-Cold, Kellogg’s, Kraft and Heinz. These labels are completely voluntary, but so far more than 50 manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers have decided to implement them on their products since Facts Up Front was launched in 2011.

Facts Up Front has a website full of resources for making informed choices when shopping. On their site you can find a nutrition calculator, a quiz, tips on using the label, and even recipes, like this one:

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken

Ingredients:

-{1} 8-ounce can reduced-sodium tomato sauce
-{1} 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
-3 tablespoons cider vinegar
-2 tablespoons honey
-1 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
-1 tablespoon tomato paste
-1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
-2 teaspoons dry mustard
-1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-1 clove garlic, minced

Directions:

1. Stir tomato sauce, chiles, vinegar, honey, paprika, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, ground chipotle and salt in a 6-quart slow cooker until smooth. Add chicken, onion and garlic; stir to combine.
2. Put the lid on and cook on low until the chicken can be pulled apart, about 5 hours.
3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred with a fork. Return the chicken to the sauce, stir well and serve.

You can learn more about building a better diet in this video from Facts Up Front:

Whatever is on your plate, make sure you get the facts!

FactsUpFront.org is a great resource you can use to understand how to read product labels, use a nutrition calculator, and find great recipes and tips!  Answer the question below for a chance to win $1,000!  Sweepstakes Rules.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Facts up Front. The opinions and text are all mine.

Easter Peeps Rice Crispy Treats Recipe

One of my favorite things about Easter is the candy. While I always got a couple of presents in my Easter basket, the sweetest part was always the candy that I dug out from a pile of Easter grass. Sometimes we had fun new treats in there, but every year without fail we got Peeps!

If Peeps are a big part of your Easter celebrations as well, you have to make these Peeps Rice Crispy Treats! They’re a fun version of a classic with a little extra Easter on top. We’re on Spring Break this week so I’m making them with Shane- just in time for Easter!

Peeps Rice Crispy Treats for Easter

Ingredients:

1 Box of rice crispy cereal
1 Bag of mini marshmallows
¼ cup butter
1 Container of white whipped icing
Red and Blue food coloring
Peeps Birthday Cake flavored chicks

directions:

Step 1: In a large bowl combine the mini marshmallows and ¼ cup butter. Microwave for a minute at a time, stirring well in between until the mixture is smooth.

Step 2: Add the box of rice crispy cereal to the marshmallow mixture and stir together well.

Step 3: Place the marshmallow coated rice crispies into a 9 x 13 baking dish and press down firmly all over with a sheet of parchment paper.

Step 4: Put the mixture into the fridge to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Step 5: In the meantime, place one half of the container of icing into one bowl with a few drops of red food coloring and the other half into another bowl with a few drops of blue food coloring. Mix thoroughly until you have a bowl of pink icing and a bowl of blue icing.

Step 6: Remove the rice crispy mixture from the fridge and cut into squares that are large enough for a Peep to fit on top of. Put icing on top of each rice crispy treat square, alternating colors.

Step 7: Place a Peep on top of each iced rice crispy treat before serving.

Easter Peeps Rice Crispy Treats Recipe

What’s your favorite Easter candy?

Thanks to contributor Kathleen for this delicious recipe!

12 Slow Cooker Sunday Dinners

This post is brought to you by Foodie. All opinions are my own.

Around here, Sundays are crazy. Justin works so much during the week that we save our errands for the weekend, but we like to take Saturdays to be together as a family. That means that pretty much the entire week’s worth of errands take place on Sundays!

Once we get home from the grocery store and wherever else we’ve been, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing for the week. We make & individually wrap Justin’s breakfast bars for the week, I try to partially assemble his lunches to save time during the week, and when I have time, I cut and wash fruits & veggies to snack on throughout the week. The last thing I want to do when I’m done with all of that is cook dinner! That’s why I love using my slow cooker on Sundays. I just spend a few minutes before my errands getting everything into the cooker & by the time I’m done with all of my errands and chores, dinner has cooked itself. Above I’ve included 12 Slow Cooker meals that would be perfect for a Sunday night via the Foodie collection above.

Whether you prefer chicken, pasta or vegetarian options, you can find great recipes on Foodie.com.

What’s your favorite slow cooker meal?

Pudding Filled Carrot Garden Cupcakes Recipe

Today is the first day of Spring, so what better way to celebrate than with these pudding-filled Carrot Garden Cupcakes? Whether you have a budding gardener or a little one who’d rather play in the dirt, these fun & delicious cupcakes are the perfect treat to celebrate the first day of Spring! {They’d be cute for Easter, too.}
Pudding Filled Carrot Garden Cupcakes perfect for Spring or Easter!

Carrot Garden Cupcakes

Ingredients

CAKE:
1 box Chocolate Cake Mix
3 Eggs
1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

PUDDING:
1 box Instant Chocolate Pudding
2 cups Milk

ICING:
1 cup Butter softened
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
5 cup Powdered Sugar
4 tbsp Milk

DECORATIONS:
24 Oreos (or 1 bag MIni Oreos) crushed
72 Orange Mike & Ikes
1 package Edible Easter Grass

Directions

1. Make cupcakes according to box directions.
2. Make Pudding according to box directions.
3. Cut a small square in the top of each cupcake and remove a chunk from the middle of the cupcake.
4. Place pudding in zippered bag and clip corner to pipe.
5. Pipe pudding into the middle of each cupcake.
6. Place the top of the “plug” back on each hole.
7. Cream butter and cocoa together until smooth.
8. Add in powdered sugar.
9. Add milk in slowly until frosting reaches right consistency.
10. Frost each cupcake.
11. Dust frosting with crushed Oreos.
12. Cut easter grass into 1″ lengths (these are the greens at the end of the carrots).
13. Take a toothpick or skewer and make a hole in the end of each piece of candy and insert some of the greens in each.
14. Stick several carrots down into the top of each cupcake.
Makes 24 cupcakes

How will you be celebrating the first day of Spring?

Thanks to contributor Jen for this yummy recipe!

Recipe: Whole Wheat Waffles

This post is part of the SPLENDA® 365 SWEET SWAPS ™ blogger program by McNeil Nutritionals, LLC. and The Motherhood, who sent me products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are my own, and I hope you enjoy them.

When cooking and baking for my family, I often make swaps in the ingredients to make them better choices. I tend to use whole-wheat flour for baking, coconut oil for sauteing, and Splenda No Calorie Sweetener products wherever possible in place of sugar.

One of Shane’s new favorite activities is helping me make waffles. My in-laws gave us a waffle maker for Christmas, and since waffles are already one of Shane’s favorite foods, he was quick to ask me to make some. We make them every couple of weeks now, so while I started out using this great recipe for traditional waffles, over time I’ve created my own recipe perfect for my family.

Delicious Whole Wheat Waffles

4.7 from 6 reviews

Recipe: Whole Wheat Waffles
Serves: 3
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tbsp Splenda No Calorie Sweetener- Granulated
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients with a wire whisk in a medium sized bowl. Preheat waffle iron to desired setting, pour in mix, wait to bake & enjoy!
  2. Optional: Sprinkle one packet of Splenda No Calorie Sweetener Flavors for Baking in French Vanilla over a finished waffle to add some extra flavor {as shown}

Since I’ve made good choices with the ingredients {using whole-wheat flour, unsweetened almond milk, and Splenda} and reduced the added sugar, I don’t feel so bad tossing a few chocolate chips into the batter for the last waffle as a special treat {sometimes} for Shane. It’s all about compromise!

It’s easy to use Splenda in your cooking and baking. Whether you opt for the Granulated, Sugar Blend, or Brown Sugar Blend, you can use the tips found on the Splenda website for tips on cooking and baking with Splenda No Calorie Sweetener products.

If you’re looking for ways to make life sweeter, be sure to check out the 365 Sweet Swaps page where Splenda will be sharing an idea every day this year!

What would you use a no calorie sweetener for?

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