Smoothie Magic and {Not So Much} Muffin Tops

I’m on a smoothie roll!

Lately I just can’t go a morning without them. This morning I probably had one of my favorite ones yet and all it took was that one magical 1/2 tablespoon of peanut flour.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate-Rainer Cherry Smoothie

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • a couple frozen rainer cherries
  • 9 ice cubes
  • 1 serving chocolate protein powder (I use true vitality)
  • 1/2 T peanut flour
  • 1/8 t xanthan gum

I’m also on a baking roll. (Successful bakes are a whole other topic ;))

Every once in a while I catch the baking bug and it comes down to how much time and motivation I have.

Time was on my side the other day and I was craving muffin tops so I got baking.

Remember that really flat looking thing I had yesterday morning?

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need a muffin top pan.

That way my muffin tops can look like this…

rather than this…

It’s a sad looking thing, isn’t it?

I had a brilliant plan to use an ice cream scoop to scoop out little mounds so that they would miraculously bake into fluffy little muffin tops.

Couldn’t have been more wrong. As usual.

Apparently runny batter spreads when baked. I’m sure the whole world knew that. Yet I thought for some reason mine wouldn’t.

But’s its all good, because in the end all baked goods taste the same whether they’re flat, puffy, or in muffin form.

And these turned out pretty tasty.

{Not So Much} Chocolate Muffin Top

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup oat bran (or 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour if you don’t like the crunch of oat bran)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup chocolate protein powder
  • 1/4 cup sucanat
  • 2.5 T chia seeds
  • 1/4 t sea salt
  • 2 T dark cocoa powder
  • 1.5 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened chocolate almond milk
  • 2 egg whites
*Mix all wet ingredients in a small bowl.
*Pour wet into dry and stir to combine.
*Place bowl in refrigerator for 10 mins.
*Meanwhile, preheat oven to 35o degrees.
* After 10 mins, scoop mixture out with ice cream scoop into whatever pan floats your boat 🙂
*My muffin took about 17-20 mins to bake while my {flat} muffin top took 10 mins. 

These are best stored in the refrigerator or freezer. They’re just as great eaten straight out of the fridge, which I’ve been doing. Literally.

I don’t know how many times I catch myself standing in front of the fridge eating who knows what with the door ajar. I guess it’s a win-win. I get extra AC plus my hunger is satiated 😉

What’s your favorite muffin flavor? If I HAD to choose, I’d say I love a good classic blueberry muffin.


Breakfast-ing

I’m loving life here in the Maldives!

I awoke this morning around 7am and spent 40 mins in bed watching Star Trek (it was on HBO and I couldn’t help but watch. SUCH a good movie!) then it was a quick face wash and tooth brushing and I was off to breakfast.

Breakfast here is just glorious.

Notice how everyone is barefoot? No shoes necessary at this resort 🙂 (They even have these cute green paddings that cover the bicycle pedals and make it comfortable for bare feet to peddle.)

It’s served in the main ‘house’ – about a 5 min bike ride from my villa.

Fresh Fruit

Choose any fruit you like and these guys will cut it up for you.

Bread and Jam

Cereal (in the wooden boxes) and toppings

They have all sorts of toppings, from dried fruits [dates, figs, apricots..] to roasted nuts [pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds…] and more.

Pastries

Hot Foods and Yogurts

Some of my breakfast eats:

Yesterday:

Mango, guava, and rambutan

Detox Juice – beets, celery, apple, ginger

Dragonfruit and Mangosteens


Cereal & a dried fig in soy milk

Wheat toast, pineapple, chocolate chip muffin, pancake (i couldn’t resist and had to get one 😉 ), and jellies

Today:

Passionfruit, plum, rambutan, and two fruits I don’t know the name of

This was my first time seeing that bean-shaped fruit on the right. It originally looks like this with its shell on.

It tastes kind of like a dried date.

Carrot and apple juice shooter

Toast with honey, lemon basil jelly, pineapple jelly, and coconut jelly (the best out of the three!) and a side of muesli.

Fresh squeezed pineapple juice with ginger and mint.

Cereal with pistachios and cashews, waffle with chocolate syrup, and papaya

Mango, dragonfruit, and rambutan

I’m loving all this fresh fruit! I promise I didn’t eat ALL of this alone, but I did eat the majority of it. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yeah?
I need all the energy I can get in order to bike around the island 🙂
I get to bike past this organic garden everyday.

Above the garden is a restaurant, Leaf, where I actually just had dinner tonight.

I also get to bike along this path that smells so good and forest-y.

I love that this resort is eco-friendly and serves mainly natural and organic foods including free range meats, all locally sourced.

Today’s been a looong day and I can barely keep my eyelids from drooping. Time for bed! Night 🙂


Oat-session

So glad it’s finally saturday night!

That means two midterms done and just one project to go!

Then the cycle starts all over again in a couple weeks.  But until then, I’m gonna enjoy it.

Just like I enjoyed my dinner tonight.

Strawberry-banana oats – topped with some almond milk.

Right around dinner time I was conveniently overcome by a need to eat oats.

I know I have an obsession (oat-session?) when I crave hot oats for dinner even when I’m a sweaty mess and it’s 100 degrees outside.

I also know I have an obsession with oats when my mom buys me a pot just for cooking oats.

Yeah, you read that right.  I have a saucepan just for cooking single servings of oats.  Is that weird? 

Another obsession lately?

Yogurt bowls.

I go through cycles where I eat particular foods for weeks and then all of a sudden stop eating them for a while because I either found something new to eat or just kinda moved on.

I didn’t eat yogurt for a good while, but I guess the my yogurt cycle has come full circle and I’m back on board. [Anddd maybe I was a bit influenced (positively, of course ;)) by Amanda’s always delicious looking yogurt bowls]

Yesterday I had a strawberry-cashew yogurt bowl with cinnamon raisin toast and a side of operations management

And the day before I had yogurt topped with strawberries, papaya muffin, and shredded coconut.

I guess I need to continue the trend and eat a yogurt bowl tonight for dessert 🙂

But first, I think I’m going to make make a mess in the kitchen and do some baking or un-baking, since it may just be too hot to turn the oven on today.

Have a good night!



Grab and Go Breakfasts – Part 1

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  And I’m not just saying that because I may be slightly obsessed with it.

In reality breakfast is really what fuels our bodies and prepares us for the rest the day.

Lets do a quick comparison:  Breakfasts vs. Cars.  Say what??

Well, if you have a car that needs 93 grade fuel and you give it 87 or 90, it’s obviously not going to function too well in the long run. It’s the same with breakfast.  If I’m feeding myself refined carbs and sugary foods like toaster strudels, pop-tarts, or fruit loops every morning, I’m pretty much asking to have some kind of energy crash before I even reach for my mid-morning snack. We have to fuel ourselves with 93 grade fuel real foods that will keep us full longer and give us energy in the long run.

So basically, what I’m trying to say is that we are all european sports cars 😉

I know everyone is a busy bee these days and sometimes don’t have much time to make or eat breakfast, making it easiest to just grab something quick and easy from the freezer, counter, drive thru, or just plain skip out on breakfast.

My question is…why would you skip breakfast when it’s the best meal of the day?  Alas, I understand that not everyone is obsessed like me, so I’ve come up with a few suggestions for you busy young professionals who don’t have that extra time for breakfast, as you’re busy trying to make this world a better place.  At least that’s what I’d like to think. ;)

So get your notepads iPads out and jot this down…

First, I highly recommend stocking up on whole grains such as steel-cut oats, rolled oats, whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat tortillas, and whole grain cereals.

Next up is the dairy. Low-fat or non-fat yogurt (if flavored, I recommend the ones sweetened with fruit juice rather than sugar and are under 10g of sugar), 2% or skim milk, low-fat cottage cheese, eggs.

Lastly, the extras.  In-season fruits, frozen fruits, nut butter, unsalted nuts, veggies.

These are all very convenient and easy to purchase foods that can be effortlessly interchanged throughout the week for an assortment of breakfasts.

Breakfast in under 5 mins:

Cereal

This is probably one of the easiest and most convenient breakfasts.  However, it is key to choose the right kind of cereal. One that is high in nutrients, fiber, whole grains, and relatively low in sugar.

Cereal F.A.C.T.S has a great fact sheet that summarizes and ranks cereals by their nutritional content.  Check it out!

My personal favorite is a mix of Barbara’s peanut butter & chocolate puffins, 1 Barbara’s shredded wheat, a generous serving of Nature Path’s kamut or brown rice puffs and a sprinkle of fresh or frozen fruit.  All topped off with some ice cold unsweetened almond milk.

My usual ratio of unsweetened to sweetened cereal is 2:1.  So 2 portions unsweetened (kamut puffs & shredded wheat) and 1 portion sweetened (puffins).

I’d follow suit Amanda‘s recommendation and take it up to a whole new level by adding some cottage cheese and/or nut butter for an additional protein boost!

Smoothies

This is a great go to, especially during the summer, and it’s super simple. All you need is a blender, milk, frozen bananas, other frozen fruit and all else is optional.  I prefer to add a scoop of protein powder for more staying power, my favorite brand being Green Foods True Vitality in vanilla or chocolate flavor.

A couple of my favorite blends: chocolate heaven, açaí bowl, and almond banana.

The real smoothie queen, however, is Julie over at Peanut Butter Fingers. One glance at her smoothies and I’m pretty sure you won’t be skipping breakfast. That’s how good they look.

Just blend em up and bring it along to consume during your commute to work.

Yogurt

(source)

This one is all up to personal preferences as there are so many different types of yogurts out there. My personal favorites are Siggi’s, Whole Foods brand non fat yogurt, and Strauss plain non-fat yogurt.

Just mix in some fresh or frozen fruit, top off with some cereal, granola, or nuts and you’re good to go.

I like greek yogurt because it has a higher amount of protein and hopefully keeps me full a little longer.

So there you have it! Now you busy professionals (*cough* yusi *cough*) have three less excuses for for not having enough time for a nutritious breakfast.  Keep an eye out for Grab and Go Breakfasts – Part Two coming on Saturday!  Tomorrow is saved for my weekly in & out.

Night!