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

Mediterranean Omelette

This is by far my new favorite way to eat eggs. I had had this for breakfast while on vacation last week and couldn’t wait to get home to make it in my own kitchen. Since Dave and I always eat the same thing for breakfast, I had to make them for dinner, which was a great excuse to whip up some kale tabbouleh on the side.

I used 4 whole eggs and about 4 egg whites, but you can swing the ratios to suit your calorie fat cholesterol protein profile.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 roma tomato, cut into eighths
  • 1/4 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 egg whites (1/4 cup)
  • 2 tbsp crumbled light feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat olive oil in medium pan over medium heat.
  • Toss in tomato, red pepper, onion and garlic and stir until onion softens, about 3 minutes.
  • Crack eggs into pan and pour egg whites around edges and to fill in gaps.
  • Turn heat to low-medium, cover and let cook until eggs cook through to medium (or as long as desired), about 5 minutes. Toss in feta, mint and pepper 2 minutes before eggs are done.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 265 calories, 8 g carbs, 15 g fat, 24 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

THE BEST BREAKFAST: Steel Cut Oats and a Side of Egg Whites

I can’t tell you how excited I am to make this post! This recipe is held very dear to me as it’s what Dave and I eat without fail every morning for breakfast.

I often hear people say they just don’t have time to do a hot breakfast in the morning, but the trick is to make everything the night before so that breakfast makes itself while you get ready for the day with literally a flick of a switch and a couple of stirs.

With such little hassle there’s no reason not to take advantage of a hot and healthy breakfast. A big bowl of oats is such a comforting way to start off your day (we all deserve a little spoiling) and with all that water, fibre and protein pumping through you, you’re sure to stay full well into late morning. Oatmeal (plain instant or large flake) itself is a super healthy breakfast option as a whole grain packed with heart-helping fibre, but I find the steel cut variety, being the least processed of them all, also offers a thick, hearty, chewy texture that’s truly hard to beat.

And what’s a bowl of oats without a super sidekick of protein!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 granny smith apple, chopped
  • 1 very ripe banana, sliced
  • 3/4 cup blueberries (I keep a bag of frozen on-hand at all times)
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 plain low fat yogurt
  • 3/4 cup (366 g) egg whites

DIRECTIONS

  • Assemble all ingredients but yogurt and egg whites, in a medium pot, mix well, cover and let soak over night. The soaking isn’t necessary, but it sure beats chopping and measuring in the early morning!)
  • Pour egg whites into a microwave-safe dish. Store in fridge over night.
  • First thing when you wake up in the morning, take egg whites from fridge and place into microwave.
  • Stir oats and cook at temperature 3 (low-medium). Go hop in the shower and get ready for the day!
  • Stir once after 30 minutes and let cook for 1o more minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low to keep warm until you’re ready to serve.
  • Microwave eggs on high for 4-5 minutes, depending on your microwave.
  • Use a fork to release egg from edges of dish. Turn dish upside down onto plate and divide into servings.
  • Crack a whole lot of pepper on the eggs for flavour, or explore your spice cupboard.
  • Place oats in serving dishes and top with yogurt.
  • Serve and enjoy the best way to start the day!

 

 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings (of which Dave eats 3!).

Oats & Yogurt

Per serving: 249 calories, 47 g carbs (11 g sugars), 3 g fat, 7 g protein, 8 g fibre

Egg Whites

Per serving:  43 calories, 10 g protein and that’s it!

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

Red Pepper Egg Cups

Last night the girls came over for brunch… though it was dinnertime… so really it was brinner, or a dunch… whatever it was, it was darn delicious. We had a super fun time cooking, catching up and sharing healthy secrets. Sophia in particular brought over these amazing gluten-free brownies made from black eyed peas, which I will definitely be trying out in my own kitchen in the near future. My contributions to the evening were banana apple pumpkin muffins and these roasted red pepper egg cups – a total experiment that turned out beautifully. The roasted red peppers softened right up and caramelized into a certain sweetness that complimented the savoury attributes of the onions, spinach, egg and cheese.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 4 whole eggs (or 8 egg whites)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Cut peppers in half height-wise, seed and arrange on baking sheet covered in aluminum foil.
  • Crack an egg into each half.
  • Top with onions, spinach, cheese, salt and pepper.
  • Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 119 calories, 7 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 7 g fat, 9 g protein, 2 g fibre

Along with our delectable eggs we enjoyed this beautiful fruit salad compliments of Sophia and a fresh batch of gluten-free Banana Apple Pumpkin Muffins.

Crustless Roasted Pepper Potato Quiche and Baked Asparagus

Though I absolutely adore eggs, I never make them in the morning as Dave and I make the most amazing steel cut oats breakfast EVER (so good we can’t go a day without them – I’ll post the recipe some day), so I’ve had to incorporate quiches and frittatas into the dinner menu instead!

This one was a bit of work dealing with the peppers, but so worth it in the end!

INGREDIENTS

For the quiche:

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and halved
  • 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and halved
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp mined garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 medium potatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup 2% evaporated milk
  • 1 cup shredded low fat cheddar cheese
For the asparagus:
  • 1 bunch asparagus spears
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt & pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Quiche:

  • Place peppers inside down on baking sheet sprayed in cooking oil. Toss onions and garlic in olive oil and distribute over another baking sheet sprayed in cooking oil.
  • Broil on high (onions for 5 minutes, peppers until charred and blistered – careful with this: I set off my smoke detector! Open some windows I guess…). Remove onions from oven and set aside in medium bowl.
  • Set oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Removed peppers from oven and let cool until safe to touch. Peel off skin with parring knife and slice peppers into thin strips. Mix peppers in with onions.
  • Steam potatoes for 10-12 minutes until cooked through.
  • Assemble quiche: layer half the potatoes on bottom of quiche pan sprayed in cooking oil, followed by half onion pepper mixture and half cheese. Repeat.
  • Whisk eggs and milk together and pour over quiche.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until cooked through. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Asparagus:
  • While quiche is cooking, toss asparagus, oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper together and arrange on baking sheet.
  • With 10 minutes left on quiche cooktime add asparagus to oven. Flip asparagus after 10 minutes when removing quiche. Let cook for 10 more minutes while quiche cools. Serve quiche and asparagus together and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings of quiche.

Per serving:

Calories 289

Carbs 30 g

Sugars 8 g

Fat 11 g

Protein 19 g

Fiber 4 g

Veggie Feta Frittata

My mother recently gave me The Looneyspoons Collection for my birthday and I’ve been absolutely LOVING it! Expect most of my upcoming posts to come from Janet and Greta.

Eggs for dinner!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced red onions
  • 1 tsp mined garlic
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushroom
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 8 large eggs lightly beaten (feel free to use egg whites)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled light feta cheese (57g)
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a 10-inch non-stick frying pan (make sure you have a cover to fit it). Add onions and garlic and sauté until onions soften (about 2 mintes). Add red bell pepper, zucchini and mushrooms and cook until tender (about 5 minutes). Stir in oregano and thyme and cook for another minute.
  • Reduce heat to low and pour in beaten eggs. Add salt and pepper and sprinkle feta cheese evenly over the top. Cover and let cook for about 10 minutes. Make sure you check the progress part way through – I didn’t have my heat up high enough to start so it didn’t cook after 10 minutes.
  • After cooked through, remove from heat and serve hot.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings. Per serving:

Calories 219

Carbs 5g

Sugar 2g

Fat 16g

Protein 15 g

Fiber 1g

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!