Blueberry Banana Mini Loaves

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Although I can’t take credit for this recipe creation, it is one worth sharing. I’m a sucker for a healthy loaf, especially with simple ingredients and no mixer required.

I made slight modifications to the original recipe to suit it for two mini loaves instead of one normal sized one.

I gave one loaf away to a friend and kept one for me. Now I wish I had both! Guess it just means more time in the kitchen to come.

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I frequently bake breakfast breads with blueberries and bananas. I’ve done banana bread, banana muffins, blueberry orange muffins, and blueberry loaves. Why not combine them all? Sounds like a good idea to me. I mean, look at that blueberry pop!

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The cute mini size makes it optimal for looking like a real loaf of bread from the store. These slices are just too cute. What I really liked about this bread was that it was very dense and not as pillowy as some breads. Yes, fluffy is good, but dense like a pound cake can be good too.

This bread was full of good stuff. There were blueberries and bananas, greek yogurt and eggs, and no butter or oils. I opted for white flour instead of whole wheat on this one because it just seemed good for a change.

You can’t really tell from the photos, but these loaves rose very tall. The recipe has 2 tsp of baking powder. That’s a lot! It really showed in how tall these loaves rose in the oven. Lucky for me, it didn’t spew over.

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Blueberry Banana Bread

(from Daily Garnish)

Ingredients (one normal sized loaf or two mini loaves)

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 large ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt**
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Start by combining flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, mash bananas with a fork until they are gooey and liquid-like.
  • Add sugars, eggs, and vanilla, greek yogurt.
  • Whisk until everything is well combined and there are no lumps.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. At this point, fold in the fresh (or frozen) blueberries.
  • Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and distribute evenly.
  • Pop into the oven and bake for one hour, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.**

Above ingredients and instructions were Emily’s. I used vanilla Greek yogurt and left out the vanilla extract. I also used two mini loaf pans, so mine cooked for about 45 minutes instead of one hour.

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Get Grillin’ with Family Fresh Cooking and Cookin’ Canuck, sponsored by Ile de France CheeseRösleEmile HenryRouxbe and ManPans.” This must be included for a chance to win the prize of the week.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

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You have missed my muffin posts, I am sure of it. It’s been a while since I made a muffin. I know this because my freezer is near empty.

Making a muffin healthy and easy is one of my favorite baking projects, and bonus if I don’t have to buy anything extra. This one fits the bill.

Here is the story of how this muffin came to be…

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I wanted to make a muffin, as opposed to a loaf or cookie, because I like taking them for breakfast. I wanted it to be “healthy style,” like without butter or too much white sugar/flour, and I wanted it to be with ingredients I already have. I’m a grocery-once-per-week gal, no more.

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I always have apples in the refrigerator, and I’ve already done the blueberry and banana thing anyway, so apples were in. Apples go with nuts and apples go with cinnamon, I’ll use both. Then it turned into something that sounded very Fall festive, and also appropriate for Passover because it’s like haroset. Too bad I thought of this in the middle of July. Apples are good any day.

That’s how this muffin was born. It was pretty great too. Very cinnamon-y, nice crunch from the apples.  And just pretty cute.

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Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 /2 C white sugar
  • 1/2 C packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 C pecans (or walnuts)
  • 3 T EVOO
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 C almond milk (could sub regular)
  • 1 C apple, peeled and chopped (1 big apple for me)

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375*.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients–egg, almond milk, EVOO, vanilla. Whisk together and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients–flour, sugars, salt, spices, baking soda/baking powder.
  • Add wet to dry and stir with a spatula. Mixer is not necessary.
  • Fold in apples and nuts until combined.
  • Spray cooking spray on a muffin tin and spoon batter into tins to fill 12 cups.
  • Bake for about 22 minutes, or until tops are browned and inside is cooked.

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I’ve been eating these for breakfast with about 4 oz Greek yogurt and a few berries or half banana. I would recommend keeping them in the freezer if you aren’t going to eat it right away, they stay a lot less sticky when you defrost one at a time.

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And my sister always likes to see the inside of the muffins.

P.S. Please “like me” on Facebook for more than what you see on the blog.

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Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast, muffin
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 12
 

Ingredients
  • 1¾ C whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 /2 C white sugar
  • ½ C packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ C pecans (or walnuts)
  • 3 T EVOO
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¾ C almond milk (could sub regular)
  • 1 C apple, peeled and chopped (1 big apple for me)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375*.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, combine all wet ingredients–egg, almond milk, EVOO, vanilla. Whisk together and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients–flour, sugars, salt, spices, baking soda/baking powder.
  4. Add wet to dry and stir with a spatula. Mixer is not necessary.
  5. Fold in apples and nuts until combined.
  6. Spray cooking spray on a muffin tin and spoon batter into tins to fill 12 cups.
  7. Bake for about 22 minutes, or until tops are browned and inside is cooked.

Double Strawberry Walnut Quickbread

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Hello beautiful fluffy pieces of bread. Have some leftover strawberries? Like a soft and fresh homemade piece of quickbread for breakfast with subtle sweetness and a surprise inside? This bread is for you, ready in one hour.

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The story of this bread is that I made a similar one over a year ago, pre-blog days, and have been thinking about recreating it for a while. You know I love breakfast breads, like muffins or loaf breads that I can freeze. I also love berries, and have a recent thing for walnuts. I also like the process of baking. It’s just as fun as the reward, if you ask me.

Quickbreads are things like muffins or loaf breads, anything without yeast. These are ready fast,  no rise time. That’s what makes it quick.

Strawberry Walnut Quickbread

(makes 8 large slices or 16 squares)

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 C whole wheat pastry flour (you could sub regular all-purpose)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 C plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 C walnuts, chopped
  • 1 1/2 C strawberries, chopped
  • 1/4 C strawberry jam

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350*.
  • Beat butter and sugar until fluffy and combined. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each egg goes in.
  • Beat in vanilla.
  • In a measuring cup or separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  • Add flour mixture and yogurt alternatively, starting and ending with flour. Mix until combined.
  • Fold in strawberries and walnuts by hand.
  • Spray cooking spray in a loaf pan and pour half in. Spread jam over the half evenly.
  • Pour other half on top and add a few strawberry pieces.
  • Bake for one hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool on wire rack before taking out of loaf pan. Let cool completely before slicing.
  • Freeze as a whole or in slices.

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This isn’t the healthiest bread to come out of my kitchen, it does use a stick of butter. But it is seasonal with fresh strawberries and has healthy fats from the walnuts. It has an extra kick of protein from the yogurt (that makes it healthy, right?). There’s also a sneaky factor of hidden jam inside for extra mmmm.

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It slices in thick, flowy pieces that just ask to be smothered with more butter or jam and eaten hot.

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It is husband approved, although he just nibbled as a snack and didn’t eat for breakfast. He doesn’t have a sweet tooth like me. We really are sweet and salty.

The below picture is half of the batter with jam on top before baking. If you want a thicker layer of jam, use more than 1/4 cup.

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Make sure you top it with fresh strawberries to make it look pretty on top when it comes out of the oven.

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Slice it once cooled, place it outside and fan the slices over each other in the sunshine for best presentation.

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Or enjoy your hard work pre-slicing as a loaf of bread. Wrap it in cellofane with a ribbon and present to your favorite school teacher or friend.

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Who wouldn’t like this?

What’s the story, morning glory?

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The story of this muffin started with a walnut. From the baby shower I hosted last weekend, there were a whole lot of walnuts left over from the ice cream bar. I usually don’t cook with walnuts because I have a lot of pecans in the freezer from Christmastime. Pecans are more “Texas,” and a common nut to gift and receive at the holidays.

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First, I had the walnuts I wanted to play with, and second, my sister wanted me to bake her something to bring to her this weekend. She’s graduating from UNC’s School of Public Health with her Master’s in Hospital Administration. What an accomplishment! I guess I can bake her and her friends some muffins since they will one day be CEOs of major hospitals in this country. I hope they remember me. She’ll be moving to Atlanta if anyone wants to be her friend!

That is how it was born to make a muffin using walnuts.

The next part was what else do I use? Besides flours, sugars, etc., this muffin needed an identity. I bought a bag of carrots and was going to make a carrot walnut muffin, so I started Googling that. And then I found morning glories. Oh man. The morning glory. I remember those! There is a bakery in Dallas called Celebrity Cafe that used to have the best morning glory muffins. Once I remembered that, I was set on making it.

 

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Morning Glory Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 C white sugar
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 C canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 apple, peeled cored and diced
  • 1/2 C raisins
  • 1/2 C carrots, shredded
  • 1/2 C walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 C plus 2 T sweetened coconut

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350*. In a small bowl, combine the wet ingredients and set aside (eggs, oil, vanilla)
  • On your cutting board or in a bowl, set aside apple, raisins, coconut (except the 2T), carrots and walnuts.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients (flour, sugars, baking soda, cinnamon, salt).
  • Add wet to dry and stir well. I did not use an electric mixer at all, but you could. I just used a large spoon for the whole recipe.
  • Fold in apple, carrot, walnut, raisins and coconut. Mix well.
  • Spoon into a muffin tin, sprayed with cooking spray. Fill 3/4 full.
  • Sprinkle on remaining 2 T coconut. Just a few pieces per muffin is good.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Notes:

  • Mine made 11 muffin cups. I think if you used an electric mixer, it may fluff up the batter and you can get an extra muffin. If I make these again, I would try an electric mixer.
  • Also, I checked the muffins at about 13 minutes because the tops looked golden brown. The inside wasn’t cooked at all, so beware the tops will cook quicker than the rest. For the second half of cooking, I put the muffins on a lower rack in the oven. Next time, I will lower the rack before I start.

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Blueberry Orange Muffins

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This fruity and zesty muffin is perfect for a Spring breakfast. It’s light and airy, not too bad for you, and perfect to grab on the go. There are ways to healthify this more, but I just wanted a classic blueberry muffin with a little twist by adding orange zest.

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You could take out the sugar and sub a natural sweetener. You could sub the egg for a flax egg (1 T flax meal + 3T water), and you could sub applesauce for canola oil. That would probably end up fine, but I wanted a good, solid blueberry muffin.And that is what I made.

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I really enjoy taking a muffin and two hard boiled egg whites for an on-the-go breakfast. Paired with strawberries or half a banana and you have a well balanced way to start your day. Bonus points if you store these in the fridge and let it defrost on your way to work. That’s really grab and go. You can also microwave for 20 seconds.

Blueberry Orange Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 11/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest (zest of one orange)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
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Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.
  • Combine orange rind, juice, oil, and egg in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.
  • Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in blueberries and nuts. Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
  • Sprinkle with 1 T sugar.
  • Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until the muffins spring back when touched lightly in center.
  • Carefully remove each muffin; place on a wire rack.
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These muffins would be great slathered in peanut butter or jelly (or both) for any meal of the day. I would eat them with eggs for any meal too.
What’s your favorite grab and go breakfast?

Passover Daily Eats

Lots of Passover related posts this week, but since I write about food and this holiday is a lot about food, that’s what’s on my mind! Thanks for your nice comments and interest in the holiday, I hope you’ve found it interesting!

Here’s my latest CultureMap story: Passover for Dummies: Explaining the holiday to the uninformed.

Haroset

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Haroset is a staple during Passover, and one of my favorites. I’d eat this year round. It is very simple to make, no baking or cooking. It also makes enough for a lot of people, or to have for yourself for a long time. Sweet, crunchy and juicy, a great addition to a meal anytime.

Ingredients:

  • 12 apples, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 C pecans
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1/2-3/4 bottle of Manischevitz red wine

Instructions:

  • Chop apples in a food processor or nut chopper, but watch so it doesn’t turn to mush.
  • In a large bowl, combine everything and start with 1/2 bottle of wine, add more if it’s too dry.
  • Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days.

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Quinoa for Passover

My husband sent me this article in the New York Times about whether quinoa is kosher for Passover or not. I love how it says that quinoa is like the belle of the Passover ball because I am digging using quinoa for breakfast.

Speaking of breakfast, it is really hard during Passover for me because I am such a breakfast person, and I really don’t like matzo. But I do like Tam Tams, a matzo like bite size cracker. I also like breakfast to be packed with protein because I workout before breakfast usually, and I want to start the day right with something nutritious. Protein also helps me stay full until lunch. Matzo with jam and cream cheese doesn’t sit well or keep me full.

Since I realized that quinoa is K for P, I decided to make it for breakfast on the first morning of Passover. I boiled 1/4 C black quinoa in 1/2 C water for about 10 minutes until the water dissolved and mixed it with Greek yogurt, blueberries and strawberry jam.

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Quinoa by itself is very nutty and chewy. It doesn’t taste like anything by itself, so I mixed the whole bowl together, seen below. Not pretty, but at least it’s filling and packed with protein.

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On the second morning, I had a cup of Chobani with a banana and a matzo bagel! Pardon the poor quality iPhone photo and bite out of the bagel, we were at my mother-in-law’s house and I thought I should take a picture. She makes matzo bagels and they are delicious. Much denser and smaller than a real bagel, but really tasty with jam.

When I first started dating Jeffrey during college, he brought these bagels back from Houston for Passover. I thought it was genius! But the recipe is secret. It is definitely a staple for Passover in this family!

Lots of breakfasts to go, what else do you suggest?

Do you have any questions about the holiday? I have a rabbi student friend who reads the blog who would probably be happy to answer!

Ode to Overnight Oats

Happy Friday! Happy April! My computer played a not funny April Fools joke on me yesterday. It had a heart attack! My computer is only four months old, it’s so pretty and new and fast. And it died. The hard drive just stopped moving. I’m in mourning. You may ask if I back things up, and well, no. I don’t know why, as organized and responsible as I am, that I have never been a computer backer upper. I have basically everything but the last four months because I have my old computer that still works. The new one took over from there.

And lucky for you (and my sanity), I pre-wrote some posts for the next few days because I had a back log of things to show. So those are all set, like this one.

And while we’re talking about the blog, March was another record month for me. My 11th straight month of increasing page views, just one more to go until I hit one year of blogging. Can I do it again? Hope so! Thanks, as always, for visiting. Your comments and visits and Tweets make me happy to keep blogging. You know I’d do this whether you came or not. But viewers make me feel like someone finds it interesting.

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I wanted to share my latest breakfast obsession with you. You see, I love a simple, cold breakfast. When thinking about breakfast, here’s what I want:

  • I want it to last until lunch.
  • I want it to come together in a jif.
  • I want it to be healthy and not weigh me down all morning. Between 350-450 calories is good.
  • I like things sweet over savory.

Foods I like for breakfast–yogurt, cereal, fruit, oats. Some combination of those. Breakfast is really important to me because I am a morning exerciser, meaning I am hungry for breakfast! No plain toast will do.

Last summer when I first started reading a lot of blogs, I saw overnight oats. I really never ate oatmeal much before, hot or cold. Honestly, I didn’t like that it takes two bowls for hot oatmeal–one large one to microwave or a pot and then a bowl if on the stovetop. And I don’t like burning my tongue. I had never heard of cold oats!

In the fall and winter, I figured out hot oats to make them how I like them, but it still takes about 10 minutes and it still burns my tongue.

Anyway, now that it’s hot again, I don’t like to sweat after a shower through breakfast. Hot oats are gone.

I experimented with a few combinations of cold oats, and have found the one I love the most.

Here’s why I like it:

  • It is sweet.
  • It is sooo thick.
  • It is versatile to what you want (berries, peanut butter, chocolate, protein powder, nuts, cereal, etc).
  • It takes zero time in the morning because you make it the night before.
  • It travels on planes! Airlines have not figured out what to think of this. Is it a liquid? A solid? Like toothpaste? They don’t know. I don’t either.

Here’s how it works (I apologize for not pretty pictures, I’ll work on it, but it’s not that pretty.):

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Simple Overnight Oats:

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 C Plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 C almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 T raisins
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 tsp flax meal

(top picture has 1/4 C canned pumpkin and no flax meal with Fiber One on top.)

added in the morning–anything you want, this picture shows a muffin crumbled on. This muffin. A crunch is nice.

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients in a tupperware if you want to take it somewhere in the morning, or in any bowl if you eat at home.
  • Place in refrigerator overnight.
  • Add your toppings in the morning.

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The yogurt + milk is key. Too much milk makes it runny, too little makes it paste-y. The raisins really POP. They are fundamental. The banana adds a nice texture, and the oats really dissolve in the liquids. I can’t wait to try more combos. This has the most staying power of any recent breakfast. I love it!

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My goal will be to get some better pictures. I’ve just been too excited to eat it and not tinker with lighting.

P.S. If you want to see how lighting changes a picture, check out these:

First one is flourescent back lighting in the kitchen, second is overhead room lighting, third is natural light outside.

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Can you eat hot oats in the summer? What’s your go-to hot weather breakfast?

Tastes like Spring: Mini Strawberry Lemon Muffins

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This is what happens when you have an itch for Spring and like to bake. It’s Mini Strawberry Lemon Muffins.

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These are pretty harmless, nutrition-wise. They are tiny, like two bites. There’s fruit in them, whole wheat flour, a little bit of butter and sugar, and also a short ingredient list.

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Mini Strawberry Lemon Muffins

(makes 26 mini muffins or 12 regular sized muffins)

Ingredients:

  • 2 C whole wheat flour (I did regular WW and not Pastry flour this time and think it’s fine)
  • 2/3 C white sugar
  • 2 flax eggs (2 T flax meal + 6 T water) or sub 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C Plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 C almond milk
  • 3 T unsalted margarine, softened
  • 1 T lemon juice plus zest of one lemon
  • 1 C frozen strawberries, in small pieces, not thawed
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

*many substitutions can be made, like regular milk for almond, real eggs for flax. Just use what you have!

Instructions:

  • In a small bowl, combine flax plus water and let sit for 5 minutes to get gel-like.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine milk, yogurt, lemon juice and butter. Add flax egg after 5 minutes
  • In a larger bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  • Add wet to dry and stir to combine
  • Fold in strawberries.
  • Spoon 1 T batter into a greased with cooking spray mini muffin tin. If you use a regular muffin tin, they will hold 2 T batter.
  • Bake on 350* for about 23-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

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They taste like spring. Pretty red color, hint of lemon, light and fluffy. Guilt free. It’s almost bathing suit time, but you can enjoy a muffin.

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Mmmm.

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Running:

Over the weekend, I had a great treadmill run. I ran 3.5 miles at good paces and walked .5. I tend to be quicker on the treadmill and have an easier time pushing myself to go faster than outside. I haven’t figured out how to speed up consistently outside and my overall pace is usually slower outside. The treadmill with its ability to control speed is good for me. Besides that, I also was very steady and felt strong in the legs for about 90% of the time. My knee started to tighten near the end, but I stopped before it got too bad. Very happy with spending more time running! I have missed it.

Amazon Shop:

I opened an Amazon shop! You will see to the right sidebar that there’s a square widget for my new Amazon shop. I have selected items that I either own or wish to own and love having in my kitchen or house. Some are books, some are kitchen or fitness related tools. I have set up a shop where you can click to see more about a product and buy directly from Amazon. I’ll add regularly when I think of products you might like too.

I always like to see what people enjoy and use frequently, so here is my list in this shop.

What flavors remind you of Spring?

Simple Cinnamon Raisin Granola

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I’ve been thinking that I should give you an update on fitness and things not food related. I realized that my posts have been very food heavy and not fitness related in a while.

But first, granola!


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On my quest for a simple and low calorie granola, I came up with this one. It is mostly oat based with less dried fruit than some of my other versions. It’s crispy and crunchy, and a great addition to yogurt as breakfast or a snack, or to munch on by itself. Stored in a container, it will last quite a while.

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Cinnamon Raisin Granola

Ingredients:

  • 2 C old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 C unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 C almonds (mixed whole and slivered)
  • 1 T flax meal
  • 2 T applesauce
  • 2 T apple juice
  • 1/4 C brown rice syrup (can sub honey)
  • 1 C raisins
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

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Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350*.
  • Mix dry ingredients and spices in a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • In a separate bowl, combine applesauce, apple juice and brown rice syrup. Stir with a spoon to incorporate.
  • Pour over oat mixture and stir well.
  • Spray cooking spray on baking sheet and pour granola on top. Spread evenly to cover baking sheet.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes.
  • Once cooled, store in an airtight container.

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One thing I might change is to not bake the raisins with the granola and add them in when it’s done. They expanded in the oven and then came back down to size, but tasted a little more crispy than soft. I would also add more cinnamon for a more vibrant flavor, maybe 1 T cinnamon.

I really liked the crisp-ness of the oats without the brown rice cereal which I use sometimes in granola. The coconut toasted nicely in the oven, and the flavor came from nutmeg and cinnamon.

A fitness update:

Well, if you’ve been following along, you might remember that I’ve been having pains along my right leg for quite a while. No one likes a complainer, so I just stopped writing about it. I’ve been doing some physical therapy, got a cortisone shot, had an x-ray, have stopped running for a few weeks, and continue to stretch and not do too much on my foot. My right ankle area is strained, which should get better with time, and my right IT Band continues to be a booger only when I run.

To make up for not running, I have been walking more, doing the elliptical, stair master, jumping rope, etc. I still do CrossFit two days per week which is still the most intense workouts I do. I would like to start swimming again, but for now I enjoy being outside since the weather is nice. When it gets really hot, I’ll want to get in the pool again. It could be tomorrow when it’s mid-80s, who knows.

I am glad that 2010 was the year of racing for me, because my right leg will not have it right now. Even though the half marathon in December was what really triggered some major lingering pains, I am very glad I accomplished it! And I’ll deal with my leg over time.

Until then, I don’t have many fitness related goals, except to keep exercising and sweating and challenging myself. I have some CrossFit related goals, like to get faster and hustle and to continually lift heavier, so those are good to work toward.

It has been quite a bummer to not be able to run the distances I want, but it could be worse.

 

Zucchini Pecan Bread

Eating healthy never looked so good.

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This loaf bread is so soft inside with a hard exterior and a crunch from the pecans on top. The green specs are zucchini, and I would even dare to say that this bread is nutritious. Filled with a vegetable, flax meal, and no sugar, butter, eggs, or oil, this bread is like guilt-free eating.

I don’t like labeling things as good or bad or ugly, but this zucchini bread is actually vegan. Now, vegan doesn’t automatically mean it’s good for you. You could be vegan and eat potato chips all day. However, it does mean that there’s no butter, eggs, or oil, so at least there’s no added fats or cholesterol. Your fats come from the nuts. There’s also added fiber from the flax and whole wheat flour. Don’t turn the page just because of labels. You would have no idea unless I told you.

You could count this as breakfast, lunch, or dessert. It’s so versatile. Like a bread for all occasions.

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Zucchini Pecan Bread

(adapted from Gabriela of Une Vie Saine)

Ingredients:
  • 1.5 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 T ground flax meal mixed with 6 T room temperature water (flax egg)
  • 1/2 C maple syrup
  • 1 C grated zucchini, skin on
  • 1/2 C chopped pecans
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Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 350*.
  • Prepare flax egg (mix ground flax meal and water with a fork and allow to gel while you prep the other ingredients. If you want to use a regular egg, sub 1 egg.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk applesauce, vanilla, flax egg, and maple syrup until combined.
  • Add wet to dry and stir.
  • Add in zucchini and pecans and mix well.
  • Pour into a loaf pan greased lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool before removing from loaf and slicing.
Freezes well.
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What else can I say about this bread…It would be great with peanut butter on top for breakfast or a snack. Or dessert. This bread is really for all parts of the day.

You could slice it smaller and serve as little bites lined up on a tray.

Leave it in loaf form and wrap as a housewarming or thank you or new baby gift.

I slice it and freeze for easy grabbing. Stack with parchment paper between layers.

The ingredient list is pretty simple. The only thing I had to buy was a zucchini.

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Now really, what are you waiting for?

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