Category Archives: breakfast

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Muffins

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I guess I was on a muffin kick? A pumpkin kick? A baking kick? Some type of kick…a sweet kick, that’s it! Yes, as I procrastinated studying for my Econ test, I was on a baking kick. Plus, I needed a quick breakfast that I could grab on my way out to the car. Plus, I had a lot of pumpkin puree (overstocked for Thanksgiving…). PLUS I love peanut butter. And almond butter. And pistachio butter. AND these little things are actually pretty healthy- about 230ish kcal and 5/6g protein per muffin.

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ANYWAYS.

Here’s a wonderful recipe that I got from food52. I changed it up a little to lower the calories a tad. But boy, did they come out well!

Ingredients-

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2tablespoons toasted wheat germ
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  • 3tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Directions-

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put cupcake liners into 9 cupcake tins.

In a large mixing bowl combine the white flour, wheat flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, sugar and brown sugar. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk, peanut butter, vanilla extract, pumpkin puree, egg, and honey.

Gradually mix in the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients by hand. No hand mixer involved! Mix until there are no visible dry bits left, be careful not to over mix (how many times have I said the word “mix” in the last two lines?).

Scoop enough batter into each tin so that it’s 3/4 (or almost all of the way) full.

Bake in a middle rack for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove to a cooling rack immediately.

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Enjoy! Here’s a link to the yummly link to it…I can’t find it on the actual food52  blog! This will have to suffice :p

http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Peanut-butter-pumpkin-muffins-332658

 

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

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As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently got my driver’s license. What does this mean? Driving to school! What does THAT mean? Parking at a farm that’s at least a 5 minute walk from campus! What does that mean? Leaving the house at 6:40a so I can get a good parking space so it’s a 5 minute walk, not a 15 minute walk! And finally, what does THAT mean? Breakfast on the go!

What will I ever do without my overnight oats, or my ezekiel bread with almond butter and yogurt? Hmmm…as I pondered this idea, I started to crave a pastry. But not just any pastry. An awesome breakfast: muffins. And it just so happened I had some peanut butter on hand…and some really ripe bananas…

BAM. Breakfast and a happy Nica. And these muffins happen to be: huge, jam packed with protein (about 4 or 5g), low calorie (190kcal/muffin), and delicious! It’s the best all of the dimensions of the world of baking. So, without any further hesitation…

This recipe was adapted from the blog Crumb. Original link is at the bottom.

Ingredients-

  • 3 medium mashed bananas (about 7′)
  • ½ cup peanut butter (like Jif)
  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (I used Fage total 0%)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Put 10 cupcake liners in cupcake tins.

In a large bowl, beat together the mashed bananas, peanut butter, honey, yogurt, egg, and vanilla until smooth.

In a smaller bowl, mix together the flours, baking power/soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add the dry to the wet ingredients, and stir until just barely combined. Don’t over stir! Divide the batter among the prepared cups; they should be pretty filled.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the middle of a muffin comes out with moist crumbs. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Store in air tight container. These muffins taste especially good when toasted.

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Enjoy! Here’s the original link-

http://www.crumbblog.com/2011/10/love-me-tender-peanut-butter-and-banana-muffins.html#ixzz2oFJwm2dw

Almond butter for my nut-butter habit

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No, dear blog! I haven’t forgotten about you! Unfortunately, junior year has been difficult. More than difficult. There’s just so much going on! Classes are hard (although, I enjoy them), winter rowing has started (UGH. It’s all indoor conditioning. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love rowing and in a way, I love the winter season because you get so much faster. But it is very, very physically and mentally demanding) and of course, violin every morning before school! In addition to that, I recently got my driver’s license, which is an awesome thing, but practicing took up so much time. So fair to say, stress has been on my plate. Ironically, I just had to create a Public Service Announcement for my health class about stress. The irony.

With stress comes those sudden urges to make food. Seriously. I mean, I’m not making cupcakes every night or cookies every weekend. But, once in a while, if I have a few minutes, I’ll make something simple and sweet that satisfies that cooking craving.

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So one night, I noticed two things. 1. I had a lot of almonds. 2. I was out of peanut butter.

The rest is history.

5 great benefits to homemade nut butter-

  1. it’s fun
  2. it’s simple
  3. you can add in whatever you want (sweet or savory? Honey or salt? Cinnamon or…more salt?)
  4. it’s cheaper (get a thing of almonds from Trader Joe’s for about $5 vs store- bought almond butter for $7-$10_
  5. It’s healthier. Many store bought nut butters have oils added in. In other words, it isn’t made from JUST nuts. For example, a certain huge peanut butter producer also includes sugar and palm oil in their product. Not that this is bad, it’s just unnecessary and not all that great for you. At home, you can choose whether to include some oil or to just blend the nuts and eat.

You get the idea.

So without further ado, here is the simple approach to making homemade almond butter.

Need:

  • 2 cups almonds
  • cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 tbs veggie oil (also optional. I didn’t use any because I like raw almond butter, but for those who want a smoother consistency, adjust amount of oil to your liking.)

Directions:

Pour everything into a food processor and let it go. It’ll take a while for it to get to it’s true butter consistency. First, a powder will form. Then it’ll get crumbly. Then a ball will form. That ball will stay together for a while, but it’ll eventually break up. It’ll start to stick to the sides, becoming more and more buttery. Don’t stop it yet! Don’t fret, you’ll know when it’s done. It’ll be that creamy consistency that you love.

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*Note: Make sure to scrape the sides down every once in a while so that no crumbs are left out.

Scrape into a jar and enjoy on toast or in muffins or plain with a spoon (that’s my favorite way). This recipe makes about 1.5 cups of almond butter (I think? maybe 1.25). But anyways, I don’t have exact nutrition facts, but they are around 180 per 2 tablespoons and 7 grams of protein if this is made with no oil. Enjoy!

 

Pumpkin Butter aka The Best Thing Ever

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I love fall. The morning air is brisk and fresh, you wake up curled in blankets because of the cold air outside, and the leaves are changing into the best colors.

And you start transitioning from summer to winter food. And sorry, but winter food is way better. It’s not that I don’t like BBQ or ice cream or things like that. I do. I love it all. But fall brings a bunch of warm, cozy, ancient recipes back into the kitchen. Osso Buco. Puttanesca. Paprikash. Green chili. Dilled veal. Just to name a few of my family’s favorites.

A lot of specific foods are also more acceptable in fall/winter: sweet potatos, pasta, baked veggies, and…..

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PUMPKIN. The best food ever. You will see me posted lots of pumpkin recipes in the fall; I shall bask in it’s glory and awesomeness while it is still socially acceptable to use it. So if you don’t like pumpkin, I am sorry. Learn to love it. Because it range from being super healthy (like this recipe) or just terrible-artery clogging-awesomeness (pumpkin pie, another thing that is just…ugh. I can’t. I want it. Wahhhhh).

But anyways going on. This recipe is from skinnytaste.com. It was the best decision I made all week. It tastes just like pumpkin pie. I am not kidding. It doesn’t have any weird ingredients in it or whatever; it’s all good stuff going in to produce probably the best type of butter on the face of the planet. It’s super low calorie, and super easy. And you can use it a number of ways! You can: put it on toast, use it as a pie filling, eat a spoonful plain, spread it on a cookie or ice cream or froyo, stir it into oatmeal, eat a jarful plain….For all the pumpkin lovers, give this a go!

Note: I actually halved this recipe from the original. The original recipe makes a whopping 3 3/4 cups. I can’t eat that much pumpkin that quickly without fearing it’ll go to waste. Thus, I decided to avoid the situation.

This all is from skinnytaste.com! You will find an endless supply of recipes for every single part of the day that are healthy and delicious! Gina Homolka, the author of many books and of the website does an awesome job of marrying pure ingredients and favorite foods into healthy recipes. Go check that website out.

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling!
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup apple cider or juice
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (to taste)

Directions:
Combine pureed pumpkin, vanilla, apple juice, spices, cinnamon sticks and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. Adjust spices to your taste. Makes a little more than 1 1/2 cups.

1 serving (2 tbs) =32 calories

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Enjoy! Here’s the link to the original recipe

http://www.skinnytaste.com/2010/10/pumpkin-butter.html

Mean-Green Smoothie

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I think my mind is subconsciously trying to tell me green is my favorite color. I have been eating so many green things.

Pistachio nut butter

Guacamole

Kale

And now this new smoothie I created! I mean I’m sure people blend these fruits all the time, but these proportions I used seemed to work 😉 plus, it’s super huge (liiiike 25-28 ounces?) but low calorie. Which is nice. I like low calorie food not for the fact that I am not eating as much; I like low calorie food because it means I can eat MORE food. For example- would you rather have half a cup of ice cream, or a whole cup of froyo when they taste exactly the same? I have made my point.

ANYWAYS this smoothie is also very high in potassium, protein, and vitamin A. These benefits will keep you properly hydrated, energized, and boosts your immune system.

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 2/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 2 cups raw baby spinach
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ice cubes: optional. I actually forgot about them hahaha. But honestly, it really didn’t need them. It was very creamy, but pretty thin for a smoothie. If you want a thicker, colder smoothie, add about 6 ice cubes.

Procedure: Blend until desired consistency is reached. I did the “mix” version of my blender, the did “liquify” for about 30 seconds.

Enjoy! Nutrition Stats below

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Happy Healthy Huge Cookies

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I’m happy.

Do you want to know why? I’ll tell you.

My mother made guacamole. That’s not what you were expecting, huh. Well it’s true that as I am writing this I am sitting in my kitchen with the bowl she made it in and a spatula, spooning off the leftover guac as a late afternoon snack. Think that’s gross? I don’t care. I love guac almost as much as I love chocolate.

Almost.

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I’m also super thrilled about my newest creation, adapted from http://www.healthfulpursuit.com. It’s a cookie, but not my typical chocolate filled artery clogging cookie recipe. No, no. It’s a healthy cookie. YES. It has been done. I was actually tasting the batter and I was thinking “oh dear I don’t know if these will work out…” but they DID and they are AWESOME. As previously mentioned, I found the recipe for “Runner Repair Cookies” on Leanne Vogel’s healthy food blog, healthful pursuit. I decided to make them because I had almost all of the ingredients needed, and with school starting up soon, I usually get hungry around 10am-ish for a snack. These cookies literally taste like a pumpkin muffin, and I didn’t even use that much pumpkin! It’s the perfect balance of sweetness, with a light cakey texture with chunks of pepitas and cranberries. The protein powder, almond butter and chia seeds also bring a much-desired nutritional aspect to the the table (or rather, to the desk): protein! Then of course, being a coconut lover, I included some flaked coconut on top.

Let’s get to it!

Ingredients-

  • 1/2 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup nut butter
  • 1/2 protein powder
  • 2 tbs pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 oz pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs ground chia
  • 2 tbs no sugar maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • optional: flaked coconut for garnish

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Blend the banana, eggs, and dates in a food processor until dates are thoroughly chopped. Transfer to bowl.

Stir in everything else, except for the optional coconut.

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Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet. Scoop the cookies out onto the baking sheet, probably 6 or 7 per pan. Garnish with coconut. I did these dudes in two rounds because I only had one silicon baking mat and was too lazy to butter another pan. Stick them in the oven for 6-8 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of a cookie comes out with moist crumbs attached. Let cool on pan for a couple minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy! Nutrition facts are below 🙂

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Here is Leanne’s original recipe for her version of these cookies as seen on her blog-

http://www.healthfulpursuit.com/2011/02/runners-repair-cookies/

Blueberry Muffins

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So in case you didn’t see my previous post about blueberry pie, I went blueberry picking. And picked 12 lbs of blueberries.

Hence the abundance of blueberry posts.

Hence Blueberry muffins.

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In my opinion, they are the best breakfast muffins. Not to sweet, but not too tart. And honestly, you can adjust them to however you like yours. More sugar, less, more salt, less, etcetc. In my opinion, when it comes to flavor, you can mess around a teeeeeeny bit. Just don’t mess with the flour.

Seriously.

So my cousin Cooper gave me this recipe. So I don’t really know where it came from. But it’s yummy!

By KRUSTY on January 10, 2003. Makes around 18 muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, at room temp
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh blueberries or 2 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
  • For Topping 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, mixed with 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions

1. Heat oven to 375°.

2. Grease 18 regular-size muffin cups (or 12 large size muffins).

3. In bowl, mix butter until creamy. Add sugar and beat until pale and fluffy.

4. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each.

5. Beat in vanilla, baking powder and salt.

6. With spoon, fold in half of flour then half of milk into batter; repeat.

7. Fold in blueberries.

8. Spoon into muffin cups and sprinkle topping onto each muffin.

9. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and springy to touch.

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Enjoy!