rise and shine!

Yes, we all know it’s ‘the most important meal of the day’ but… do you eat breakfast?

I admit that for a long time, I did not. Mostly because I am not much of a morning person. Still not. When I did start eating breakfast, it was more like, grab a Special K bar before heading out the door. Even now, I’m not a huge breakfast fan unless it involves my sister’s oatmeal pancakes or a nice crab cakes benedict (anything with poached eggs really).

The issue with breakfast is I want something that’s energizing, not too filling, and of course yummy. These days, my very fancy breakfast usually consists of anything that’s easy to grab-and-go like these oatmeal applesauce blueberry muffins (which I waxed poetics about in my NY Diet). These muffins are the perfect on-the-go, nutritious breakfast. Seriously, I love these. I even eat them as a sweet treat after dinner. Bake a batch over the weekend then refrigerate them so you’ll be sure to have breakfast all during the week… if they last that long.

Oatmeal Blueberry Applesauce Muffins
adapted from Joy the Baker 

  • 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ¼ cups oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup low-fat buttermilk (I used soymilk)
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

(1)  Preheat oven to 375° F. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cases or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
(2)  In a large bowl combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
(3)  In a medium bowl whisk together the applesauce, milk, sugar, oil, egg and vanilla.
(4)  Make a well in dry ingredients and add applesauce mixture. Stir until just moist. As with most batters, it’s better to not overmix; a few lumps of flour are fine.
(5)  Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full (about ¼ cup).
(6)  Bake for 16-18 minutes. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before taking out and cooling on a wire cooling rack.

Makes 12 muffins

b-a-n-a-n-a-s!

As an extension of my last health-kick post, I decided to make this Whole Wheat Banana Bread. During hot summer days, the shelf life of bananas seems to be as short as Snooki’s skirts. I usually only buy them two or three at a time (bananas, not Snooki’s skirts) and even then must eat them immediately. So what to do with some truly sad, overriped bananas?

Turn those ugly duckling bananas…

into a beautiful swan banana bread.

I adjusted this Cooking Light recipe by swapping half of the flour with whole wheat flour and added a bit of cinnamon for a nice aromatic punch. The texture was a bit denser with the addition of the whole wheat but the flavor was delicious. In the future, I may mess around more with this basic recipe maybe with some flax seed meal, different spices, or replacing the butter with oil. either way you make it, banana bread is bound to be YUM!

Whole Wheat Banana Bread
adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • ⅓ cup plain low-fat yogurt (I used vanilla Greek yogurt)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

(1)  Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8 ½ x 4 ½-inch loaf pan.
(2)  Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, stirring with a whisk.
(3)  In a small bowl, combine the banana, yogurt and vanilla; mash together.
(4)  Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute).
(5)  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana/yogurt mixture and blend well.
(6)  Slowly add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Make sure not to overmix the batter, a few specks of flour should still be seen. Spoon batter into the loaf pan.
(7)  Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

on another note, I’d like to say to my friend

Happy Birthday Morgan!

 

Can’t wait to see and celebrate with you (hope you like banana bread!). I hope everyone’s looking forward to the long Labor Day weekend ahead. I’ll be heading to Nashville/Murfreesboro to see some old familiar faces. SO excited!