Mega Moist Banana Blueberry Muffins

As you can see in my lack of recent posts, I haven’t cooked much as of late. Family Thanksgiving gatherings in Vancouver, training for / running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco, and business day trips out of town have somehow all gotten in the way of me and my kitchen. So when I finally had a weekend at home to sort myself out, all I was craving was the simplicity and comfort of never-fail bananas, blueberries and maybe some carbs (still trying to kick my carb addiction after running that darn half!). This recipe uses whole wheat flour, but you could easily substitute oat (for gluten-free), spelt, (dare I suggest) white or any other flour you like.

My mother used to (all the way up until I moved out of home last year) make us fresh muffins for breakfast every second day and would always put chocolate chips in mine (you’re the BEST, Mom!). But rather than crack open the Costco-size bag of Chipits in my freezer (cause once they’re open they, quite pathetically of me, become my go-t0 afterwork snack) I opted for the bag of frozen blueberries, which may have been even better than the chocolate. Okay no, who am I kidding, chocolate always wins, but the blueberries are pretty darn good.

At the very least the blueberries do cut out enough sugar and fat that these muffins only have 121 calories each, meaning you can have not one, but TWO, for breakfast and still have room left for yogurt or fruit. Or enjoy the best of both worlds and do half and half chocolate-blueberry!

INGREDIENTS

Dry

Wet

and 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

DIRECTIONS

  • In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients.
  • In a medium bowl, or large liquid measuring cup (as above), mix all wet ingredients.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until dry are moistened.

  • Fold in blueberries.
  • Pour batter into muffin tin (for 12) sprayed with oil.

  • Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick pushed into the centre comes out clean.

Just look at how golden these guys come out of the oven!

  • Let cool for 10 minutes in pan before removing to cooling rack…or skip the cooling and just dive right into one!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 12 muffins.

Per muffin: 121 calories – 26 g carbs – 3 g fibre – 1 g fat – 4 g protein

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Creamy Avocado Dip

Man is this post overdue! The past month went by in a flash, but not without some great memories: bike riding around one of the world’s greenest cities (Copenhagen), lunch at the world’s best restaurant (Noma), catching up with the best of friends (Stockholm), exploring one of the greatest capitals (Washington), and running a 10K PB through the Rockies (Banff).

Needless to say, I haven’t had much time in the kitchen, so Just Indulgence has been rather neglected. But I’m back home and back at it with a phenomenal recipe: creamy avocado dip!

I was not expecting this dip of a few veggies, avocados and greek yogurt to come out so decadent, but after tasting the spatula I was honestly torn between jumping for joy and going in for a re-dip. So huge thanks to Dave’s mom, Janis, for the recipe book that inspired such a beautiful creation.

I cut recipe’s salt in half and replaced the sour cream with non-fat greek yogurt, which couldn’t be a better substitute  – you cannot tell the difference! Plus it dilutes the heavy avocado calories and adds a punch of protein. Serve over rice cakes, on a sandwich, with veggies and pita chips or basically anywhere you’d throw traditional guacamole and you’ll honestly never go back!

A little tip to keep the avocado from going grey: save the pits and plop them into the finished dip. I have no idea how it works, but it’ll sure save the ascetics of your dip!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium shallot, chopped
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup 0% fat plain greek yogurt
  • 2 avocados, pitted and peeled

DIRECTIONS

  • Toss shallot, jalapeno, garlic, lime juice and salt into a food processor and blend well.
  • Add greek yogurt and blend until smooth.
  • Add avocados and blend until smooth.
  • Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving and then enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION 

Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Per tbsp: 19 calories, 1 g carbs, 2 g fat, 1g protein, 1 g fibre

Chocolate Coconut Clusters

Here’s another treat I made for the baby shower last weekend. Love that these are no-bake and totally remind me of chewy chocolate puffed-wheat squares, but coconutty and with a little more fibre. With only 69 calories per cluster, you can have a couple without feeling the least bit guilty.

I used sweetened coconut flakes, but I think you could get away with the unsweetened variety – these clusters were sweet enough!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups coconut palm sugar
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup 2% evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine (I like butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix sugar, cocoa powder, milk, butter and vanilla in a medium pot.
  • Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly.Bring to a boil for 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat and stir in oats and coconut.
  • Use a 1 1/2 tbsp to spoon clusters onto a baking sheet lined in parchment. Leave as messy clusters or shape to your desire.
  • Let cool in the fridge for 30 minutes and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes about 50 clusters.

Per cluster: 69 calories, 12 g carbs, 2 g fat, 1 g protein, 1 g fibre

Fruity Fibre Optics

Post run, this smoothie was a great way to tie us over until we finished making dinner, which turned out to be shredded wheat, berries and soy milk… Figured we’d treat ourselves for the sweat. Actually, we just got lazy after preparing our yogurt snacks and lunches (chicken, broccoli, sweet potato, quinoa and white cheddar) for work today.

Packed with tons of fruit (and therefore mega antioxidants and fibre), with a touch of undetectable spinach for an iron boost, it was so sweetly delicious you could probably have it for dessert. The banana and Greek yogurt really give it the perfect level of creaminess to leave you satisfied.

Fruity Fibre Optics is what Dave would call this creation if he owned a smoothie stand.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups frozen mixed fruit
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple
  • 100 g nonfat Greek yogurt

DIRECTIONS

  • Throw it all in a blender and let er rip!

I have a Vitamix, like they have at Booster Juice or any commercial smoothie joint, that works like a charm. They aren’t exactly cheap, but do come with a 7-year warranty and grind through frozen fruit, ice, avocado pits, flax seeds, etc. like nothing else. I highly recommend this machine for anyone serious about smoothies.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 270 calories, 57 g carbs, 1 g fat, 12 g protein, 12 g fibre

Yogurt Protein Snack

This is the super power snack that Dave and I use as a midmorning pick-me-up, though it’s substantial enough to eat as a breakfast too. This snack is packed with nutrients:

  • cinnamon – lowers cholesterol; regulates blood sugars; natural food preservative; great source of magnesium, fibre, iron and calcium; and is known to boost cognitive function and memory
  • protein powder – contains essential amino acids for a healthy body (muscles, ligaments, hair, nails, teeth, body fluids, organs, glands); weight-loss friendly (high protein, low sugar, low fat = lots of calories burned in digestion); stress relieving (slows production of cortisol)
  • figs – high in fibre (control blood sugars), calcium (strong bones), potassium (lower blood pressure) and iron
  • yogurt – source of probiotics (healthy intestine); low lactose (easier to digest than milk); good source of calcium and vitamin B; and high in protein
  • cottage cheese – high in protein, calcium and vitamin B
  • olive oil – monounsaturated fat (controls LDL cholesterol)
  • blueberries – extremely high in antioxidants (highest of all fresh fruits), and high in fibre

The cinnamon and blueberries give it just enough flavour and sweetness to avoid using sweetened yogurts and protein powders, and the figs are little tasty treasures floating in a sea of sweet calcium. I love that the protein helps keep me full all the way until 1 PM – so I can make it through lunchtime yoga without passing out.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop 100% natural whey protein powder
  • 3 dried figs
  • 1/2 cup low fat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries (or fresh)

DIRECTIONS

  • Add cinnamon, protein powder, figs, yogurt, cottage cheese and olive oil to a liquid-tight container.
  • Stir well.
  • Mix in blueberries.
  • Pop the top on and take it to work! Or, if you want to enjoy it right then, defrost the blueberries in the microwave before mixing them in.
          
  
Thanks, Dave, for being my hand model

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

The above recipe is for what Dave eats. Since Dave has about 50 lbs on me (and I’d like to keep it that way!), I like to cut all ingredients, but the protein powder, by half. I’ll also skip the olive oil and figs on days I’m not working out.

Per serving (full recipe): 548 calories, 50 g carbs, 18 g fat, 51 g protein, 11 g fibre

Banana Apple Pumpkin Muffins

Part 2 of making brinner was baking these muffins. The girls just raved at how flavourful and moist they came out and gluten&eggyolk-free Sophia was even able to enjoy them.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/4 cup large flake oats
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon stevia powder
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 ripe medium banana, peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 egg whites (or 1 whole egg)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 green apple, chopped
  • 2 tbsp orange zest (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  • Grind oats into a flour in a food processor.
  • Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  • Mix all wet ingredients, expect for chopped apple and orange zest, in a medium bowl.
  • Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and stir until moist. Fold in apples.
  • Distribute batter into 12 silicone muffin cups or muffin tin. Sprinkle with orange zest.
  • Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 12 servings.

Per serving: 143 calories, 22 g carbs, 10 g sugar, 6 g fat, 4 g protein, 3 g fibre

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

More of a chocolate cake than a bread, but hey, who says cake can’t be healthy?

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat, oat or spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar (or white if that’s what you have)
  • 1 tsp stevia
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup packed, grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup 70% cocoa dark chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.
  • Whisk together sugar, stevia, eggs, applesauce, oil and vanilla. Stir in zucchini.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, folding mixture until moist. Fold in chocolate chips.
  • Pour batter into 8″ x 4″ loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool for 5 minutes in pan, remove and let cool on rack before slicing. Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 10 servings.

Per serving:

Calories 143

Carbs 13 g

Fat 6 g

Sugar 9 g

Protein 3 g

Fibre 3 g

Chili Kale Chips

No, these aren’t really chips, nor are they chili, but they are healthy, darn tasty, and satisfy that craving for a crunchy snack.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or olive oil spray
  • chili powder to taste
  • salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  • Wash kale, remove firm stems and tear into bite size pieces. If using oil, shake kale pieces and oil in a ziplock bag.
  • Spread kale out on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spray with olive oil if not added earlier.

  • Add chili powder and salt to taste.
  • Bake for 10-15 until edges brown. Be sure not to under bake or chips will come out chewy.

Would love to hear what you think!

Healthy Apple Pumpkin Muffins

I’m in no way a blogger, but made this made these muffins today, took a bite and though they were so darn delicious that it must be shared. It’d be selfish if I didn’t! And who knows, maybe I’ll actually take to like this blogging thing…

I found this recipe here, but made a few changes. My mother had recently been down in Florida and brought back some coconut palm sugar for me. It’s a one-to-one substitute for sugar, but is low on the glycemic index so it doesn’t spike your blood sugar and make you crave sugar half an hour later, though I can’t guarantee that you won’t be craving another one of these muffins after you try one… I’m guilty of wolfing down two in about four minutes…

Image

Sorry about the terrible photo, I wasn’t planning on making a post, so I only used my phone to snap this one.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled/flake oats
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar (or sugar, agave nectar or honey, you choose!)
  • 1/4 cup stevia (I use this one, which isn’t pure stevia, so cut back as necessary if you have the concentrated stuff)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 2 cups peeled, cored and chopped apple

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Grind oats into a flour in a food processor or blender.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together oat flour, sugar, stevia, spices, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, pumpkin, oil, applesauce, vanilla and greek yogurt. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stirring just to moisten. Fold in apples. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups.
  4. Bake in for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

Makes 12 servings.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Per muffin:

Calories   183

Carbs 26 g

Sugar 8g

Fat 7g

Protein 5g

Fiber 3g

Would love to hear what you think!