Tag Archives: Muffins

NuNaturals Stevia Giveaway!

Welcome to the NuNaturals Stevia Giveaway! I am really excited about this giveaway because stevia is the only non-caloric sweetener I am down with. Aspartame, acesulfame K, sucralose, and all that other junk is bad. Half of them are banned in Europe, and yet America doesn’t seem to care about the studies that link them to cancer. Not to mention they make you bloat like a mother no other. Certain sugar alcohols do appear to be relatively harmless, but as far as low calorie sweeteners go, stevia is currently the best bet. It is a natural plant extract from the rebiana plant. In fact, one of my friends grows stevia and puts the leaves in her tea! Extracting the compounds from the leaves makes stevia extract far more potent and sweet, which is why it is so useful for cooking.

In my last post, I said there is no one thing that I say no to, and that is true. However, the number one thing in my diet that I do try to minimize as much as possible is

refined sugar.

Sugar is not your friend. It raises insulin levels which will increase fat storage, cause a spike and drop in energy, and mess with your other hormones, which can lead to far more serious conditions than an energy slump. On top of that, your body does not need refined sugar. All carbohydrates are composed of glucose (sugar) molecules, and your body is completely competent at breaking down the carbohydrates down into those units. Also, our bodies can convert dietary protein into carbohydrates when we need them, so carbohydrates themselves are necessary, but we do not need that much.

In this giveaway, 4 readers will win:

1 bottle of Lemon liquid stevia, 1 bottle of Orange liquid stevia, 1 bottle of Vanilla liquid stevia, and 1 box of stevia powder packets

Also, if anyone wants to order NuNaturals prodcuts online, you can use this code to get 15% off! Code: BLG0612. The code expires June 30th and there is free shipping on orders over 35$!

How to enter:

leave a comment for each of the following…

1 entry for a recipe or informational post you would like me to blog

1 entry for tweeting this giveaway link with an @NuNaturals and @wholewheatrbust

2 entries for re-blogging this giveaway

2 entries for Facebooking this giveaway

1 entry for a link to your favorite recipe

The winners will be announced on Wednesday, June 13th!

I use the vanilla stevia in my plain greek yogurt to make it delicious and in most of my baked goods. As for the lemon and orange flavored stevia bottles, I mainly use them for drinks, but there are several muffin recipes on this blog that utilize lemon and orange flavors. Here is some inspiration:

Refreshing, Sugar Free Lemonade

  • 2 handfuls ice
  • grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 dropper lemon stevia
  • 2-3 cups water, to taste
  • optional: handful frozen blueberries

Directions – Combine all the ingredients in a tall glass or pitcher and stir! Enjoy.

Orange Coriander Oat Bran Muffins

Adapted from Cake Batter and Bowl

Recipe: Makes 8-12 muffins

Dry ingredients -

  • 1 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • handful raisins

Wet ingredients -

  • 2 droppers NuNaturals Orange liquid stevia (or 1/4 cup more sugar)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • the zest of one small orange
  • the juice of two oranges (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 egg

Toppings -

  • sprinkle rolled oats
  • sprinkle of sunflower seeds
  • shake of cinnamon

Directions – Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and the wet in a separate bowl. Mix. Pour the wet over the dry and mix with a spatula until just combined. Pour into a baking muffin tin. Sprinkle rolled oats, sunflower seeds, and cinnamon on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes.

a remedy for the hard days

Health is such a fickle thing. You can feel strong and so good for so long that you start to think that you will never get sick again. That you are just above getting sick. Then, midterms come around, you stay out late a couple times, you work out because you miss it, and BAM – you transform into a walking zombie. My symptoms include…
 an aversion to vegetables
 ice cream dependence
 pain with deep inhalation
 an old man’s weeze
 a sore throat upon waking that only lasts an hour
 constantly tired
 crabby pattys.
My cure?

Chocolate Chip Banana Walnut Bread

this photo does not do the bread justice, I waited until there was only one slice left to photograph it… ;) 

This bread is undeniably delicious and perfect for breakfast, a snack, or even as a warm dessert with a scoop of  vanilla ice cream. It isn’t too sweet to have in the morning, but you can reduce the flour and increase the sugar if you want it to be extremely sweet and dessert-like.

Wet ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar or NuNaturals Baking Blend
  • 1 tbsp molasses
Dry ingredients
  • 1  1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cups wheat bran (you can just use more flour or ground flax, the purpose is increased fiber)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup chocolate chips (depends on your taste, I wanted less)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup walnuts (depends on your taste, I wanted tons)
Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all the wet ingredients and mix well. In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (except the choco chips and walnuts) and mix well. Pour the wet over the dry and mix well with a spatula. Fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Bake for 60 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and it passes the knife test.

Benefits:

Flax * high in B vitamins, magnesium, and f-f-f-fiber! It has more omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants than any grain!

Whole wheat flour * when you choose white flour over whole wheat flour, you are losing over half of the B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.

Wheat bran * contains TONS of iron, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorous and antioxidants! 1 cup has 25 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein!

Bananas * High in potassium which helps the body eliminate excess salt and water (good for bloating)! Also help prevent muscular cramps and improve blood circulation. Bananas are high in zinc, which is key for healthy hair. They have also been linked to the prevention of stomach ulcers because they protect the stomach mucous layer. They are high in vitamins C and A, and phosphorus (which helps improve memory).

Cinnamon * High in antioxidants. Also aids in controlling blood sugar levels. Why does blood sugar matter? Spikes in blood sugar are bad for your health because they cause your body to increase insulin production. Insulin, among many other things, tells your body to store fat. Therefore, eating a sugary/high-in-simple-carbohydrate meal = blood sugar spike = insulin spike = store fat. Even worse, years of insulin spikes can lead to insulin resistance, which can then lead to diabetes.

Walnuts * contain the healthy monounsaturated fats!

Yes Woman

I am trying to be a Yes Woman this summer (and beyond).

I want to live my life in such a way that I look back and think Damn I had fun! Not in an irresponsible, chaotic way, but in work hard play hard fashion. I want to do the work necessary to ensure the future that I want for myself, but I don’t mind doing it slowly. I still need to talk to more people about this, but I am currently at the conclusion that taking a couple years off between undergrad and med school (or grad school?..) is more than okay, beneficial even. I want to enjoy my time while I am in school, not hermit myself in my room studying for 5 classes and the MCAT and GRE, in between working 2 jobs, 3 internships, volunteering, staying active, and attending various groups meetings. All of those things will get done, but in due time.

We only have one life to life to live.

So why not fill it to the brim with unique experiences, people, and places? Each additional person you have met, place you have visited, and thing you have done adds depth to your perception and alters your perspective. A broader lens enables people to see more of the world in its true light. This world could definitely use a few more open-minded and open-hearted people, so I have been trying to do something new and/or strengthen a new or existing friendship every day. So far it has been going very well!

On Monday, a group of friends (both new and old!) and I went to a trivia night at cute restaurant downtown. The questions were ridiculously hard, so it turned more into a girltalk that lasted for hours. Marvelous.

On Tuesday, I went to a restaurant I had never been to before to catch up with my friend Sarah. And I ordered ginger seitan…… who am I?

On Wednesday, I went to a well-loved 1$ pint night at a local brewery that I had never attended. I met up with a friend and a large group of her friends and ended up having a blast playing various drinking games at table outside.

On Thursday, I made some amazing new friends at an intimate potluck dinner at Megan’s house. There was wine and pasta and basil buttered veggies and carrot cake cookies and hours of conversation ranging from summer camp experiences to the prison industrial complex to the cute guy that works at that coffee shop.

I simply sauteed chopped zucchini and squash on the stove with a few spoonfuls of basil butter and topped it all with crushed pecans and walnuts.

Addie, Megan, Me, Dominique (there were several unpictured fabulous women!)

On Friday, I went back to Delta of Venus with my housemate Kristi,whom I hadnt seen in months, and caught up with her while enjoying some delicious Caribbean food.

On Saturday, I drove to San Francisco and checked out the Gay Pride Festival. It was nuts. People were wearing the most fabulous costumes….or nothing at all! Did you know that New York just approved gay marriage? Nowyado.

I had intended on staying the night and going to the parade this morning, but plans fell through. Pero, c’est la vie. Instead I went home and convinced my other housemate, Chelsea, to check out the Davis Music Festival with me. We only caught the last two bands, but we danced and danced until our legs started to cramp.

Today is all about calculus, cooking, and taking Nina to a new doggy park to socialize.

And to fuel all of these work hard – play hard days….

Whole Grain Blackberry Pecan Muffins

(High fiber & Sugar free!)

Recipe: Makes ~5 muffins

Dry ingredients:

1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup NuNaturals baking blend stevia (1/4 cup is for a mildly sweet muffin. You can sub in real sugar in equal quantities to the baking blend stevia!)

1/4 cup chopped pecans (I used roasted & salted)

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

Wet ingredients:

1 egg

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup milk

1 tbsp melted butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup fresh blackberries

Directions – Preheat the oven to 375. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Combine all the wet ingredients, except the blubes, in another bowl and mix well. Pour the wet over the dry and gently mix with a spatula. Fold in the blueberries. Divide the batter into a well greased muffin tin. If desired, sprinkle the tops of the batter with a mixture of chopped pecans and sugar, for a crispy sweet topping. Bake for about 20 minutes, until muffins pass the toothpick test.

Delicious

Benefits:

Blackberries * an extremely concentrated source of antioxidants, including polyphenols, tannins and anythocyanins. They are high in fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K and a source of folate, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, and manganese.

Whole wheat flour * unlike refined flour, whole wheat flour has more B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.

Gluten, Dairy & Sugar Free: Purely Coconut Muffins!

I, personally, am very tolerant of gluten. You could even say I love gluten because ingredients that contain gluten often have a high fiber content… and we all know I love fiber. However, I have been interested in gluten free and lower carbohydrate baking lately. My biochemistry class has emphasized over and over again how our bodies do not need dietary sugar (glucose). We can make glucose from lactate (from weight lifting or heavy drinking…), amino acids (dietary or – hopefully not – muscle protein), pyruvate, or glycerol (from fat). So, I have been wanting to make more gluten free muffins (like my Lemon Poppyseed) and ever since Heather introduced me to coconut flour, I have had coconut flour muffins on the brain! With a few trials, I have created a gluten free coconut muffin that I have been enjoying every morning with some greek yogurt and shredded coconut!

*Recipe has been updated and improved! 9/10/2011*

GF Coconut Muffins


Recipe: Makes 6-8 muffins

Dry ingredients:

1 cup coconut flour

1  tsp baking soda

(optional: 1/2 cup sugar)

Liquid ingredients:

4 eggs

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 cup coconut milk

sweetener of choice (1 mashed overripe banana, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup coconut nectar, the sugar listed above, or just the stevia listed below – I recommend a combo of liquid sweetener and stevia)

1 tsp vanilla extract

stevia drops, to taste

coconut oil to grease muffin pan

Directions – Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all of the dry ingredients in one bowl and mix. Combine all of the wet ingredients in another bowl and mix. If possible, use room temp milk so that the coconut oil doesn’t harden when you combine them.) Pour the wet over the dry and combine with a spatula. Grease a muffin pan with some coconut oil and add the batter. If you wish, you can sprinkle some shredded coconut over the tops for a pretty effect. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, or until they pass the toothpick test.

Benefits:

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Coconut flour * 1 cup contains 40 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein. It is one of the lowest carb flours you can use!

Eggs * the yolk is where all the nutrients are! It contains tryptophan, selenium, iodine, B vitamins, and phosphorous, many of which are necessary for optimal metabolism. The egg white has 6 grams of complete protein!

Next up: Chocolate Coconut Muffins and COCONUT RUM MUFFINS!

My first try at gluten free baking and why you should cook with grape seed oil

I can be a little bit needy.

Sometimes, I want my muffins to be carblicious. Other times, I want them to have more fat and fiber. And sometimes I simply make them to use up some bizzarre ingredient that I want to be rid of.

That would be why I have two different gluten free lemon poppyseed muffin recipes for you today. They both taste very similar but have different nutritional profiles. Also, one calls for lemon curd (which you could substitute out) because I wanted to get rid of it.

Luscious Lemon Poppyseed Muffins (GF)

Recipe: Makes 7 muffins

These muffins are delicious and packed with flavor. The consistency is very muffin like, but slightly more crumbly – in a good way. They are on the sweet side (in my opinion) and definitely a crowd pleaser.

Dry ingredients –

1 ¾ cup brown rice flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½-1 tbsp poppy seeds

Wet ingredients -

1 egg

7 tsp lemon curd

1 tbsp grape seed oil

juice of 1 lemon

lemon zest of 1/2 lemon

5 tbsp sugar

Directions: In two separate bowls, mix all of the wet ingredients and all of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet over the dry and stir with as few swoops of a spatula as possible. Divide batter into a greased muffin tin and bake at 375 until they pass the toothpick test.

 

Now, although I loved those muffins, I was slightly disappointed by the lack of fiber in the gluten free flour. I did buy brown rice flour, which was better than the white rice, but I wanted the muffins to have a bit more staying power. So, I went to the Co-op and picked up some garbanzo bean flour which has an astonishing amount of fiber in it and is also gluten free! I also wanted to make them a bit lower sugar.

 

Luscious Lemon Poppyseed Muffins #2 (GF)

Recipe: Makes 6 muffins

Dry ingredients –

1 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup garbanzo flour (or use 1/4 cup garbanzo flour and 1/4 cup whole wheat pasty flour if you don’t need it to be GF)

1 tbsp poppy seeds

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

Wet ingredients –

1 tbsp lemon curd (you can sub out with bit extra lemon juice and sugar)

3 tbsp sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

14 stevia drops

1 egg

1 tbsp grape seed oil

optional: 1/2 tbsp lemon zest

Directions: In two separate bowls, mix all of the wet ingredients and all of the dry ingredients. Pour the wet over the dry and stir with as few swoops of a spatula as possible. Divide batter into a greased muffin tin and bake at 375 until they pass the toothpick test.

Benefits:

Garbanzo flour * 1 cup has 24 grams of protein, 20 grams of fiber, and 40% of your daily needed iron!

Lemon * a great source of vitamin C. Lemons are also said to help balance the bodies PH and put it into a more alkiline state.

Grape seed oil * contains 88% unsaturated fatty acids which are particularly good for the body due to their antioxidant activity. It is also high in vitamin E, flavonoids, vitamin C and beta carotene. It found to increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels and is great for high heat cooking!

Pink Lady Apple Bran Muffins!

Happy Monday everyone! I hope your weekends were both fun and relaxing. Mine certainly was! I went to see Country Strong (eh, decent), studied at coffee shops, worked out a bit, and road tripped to San Francisco on Saturday night to go downtown with my roomy, Ruby! We went to a few bars and randomly met some UC Davis DG alumni’s who gave us some recommendations on where to go, a guy from Houston in the food industry, and a group of Ruby’s friends from back home.

Me and my Rubix Cube

Today, we made the trek to Whole Foods and I baked up a storm when I got home. I made these wonderful Pink Lady Apple Bran Muffins, some gluten-free Lemon Poppyseed Muffins, and a twist on Lori’s sunflower butter cookies!

Precious baby muffins

These muffins are seriously delicious. They are high fiber but still have a perfect muffin consistency. They are tart and sweet, but in a healthful fashion. Basically, they rock and you should make them.

Pink Lady Apple Bran Muffins

Recipe: Makes ~16 muffins

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another. Pour the wet over the dry and stir with as few swoops as possible. Pour into a greased muffin tin. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Dry ingredients –

2 cups wheat bran

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/4-1/2 cups cane sugar (I used 1 1/2, but they were quite sweet!)

2 tsp baking soda

lots of cinnamon

Wet ingredients –

3 small pink lady apples, chopped

2 eggs

1 tbsp grapeseed oil

~1 1/2 cups milk

1 tsp vanilla

coconut oil (to brush the muffin pan)

Benefits:

Wheat bran * contains TONS of iron, B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorous and antioxidants! 1 cup has 25 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein!

Whole wheat flour * when you choose white flour over whole wheat flour, you are losing over half of the B vitamins, fiber, folic acid, calcium, zinc, phosphorous, copper, and iron. Whole grains reduce your risk for diabetes and have also been linked to weight loss and maintaining a lower BMI.

Pink lady apples * 3 a day can help decrease cholesterol by 10%!  They are rich in the antioxidants beta-carotenoids, vitamin C, and polyphenols. They also have filling fiber and pectin!

Cinnamon * The coolest thing about cinnamon is its ability to control blood sugar. Meaning, within reason, that if you use a fair amount of cinnamon in a dish that has sugar or another fast digesting carbohydrate, it will prevent the blood glucose spike that you would normally get. Why does blood sugar matter? Spikes in blood sugar are bad for your health because they cause your body to increase insulin production. Insulin, among many other things, tells your body to store fat. Therefore, eating a sugary/high-in-simple-carbohydrate meal = blood sugar spike = insulin spike = store fat.

Chocolate Muffins with a hint of coconut

With finals coming up, I have been depending on super easy recipes for all my meals, hence all the bowls of food you have been seeing lately. The only final I am worried about is Biochem. I need to know what happens when you eat carbs all the way until it has been transformed into H2O and CO2. So digestion, absorption, glycolysis, the malate shuttle, the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, the TCA cycle, then oxidative phosphorylation and ATP synthesis. Mmhmm. So when I am eating these effing delicious chocolate muffins, I know E X A C T L Y what is going down in ma’ belly.

I usually don’t like anything chocolate unless it is quality ice cream or straight up chocolate bars because I feel like chocolate cakes and cupcakes just taste fake. Not strong enough. So I am not sure what possessed me to make these muffins, but I am so glad that I did! They are perfect: Not too sweet, like a cupcake. Not bland at all. Chocolately, with a hint of coconut. And filled with whole grains, fiber, and flavor.

Chocolate Muffins

Recipe: Makes 4 muffins

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 tbsp shredded coconut

2 tbsp oat ban (totally optional, I just wanted so extra fiber!)

1/4 cup raw sugar

[Note: Use more if you want a sweeter muffin, like a cupcake. I have also done a low sugar version with 1 tbsp sugar and 12 drops of stevia – it was delicious as well.]

2 tbsp quality cocoa powder

pinch salt

shake cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp coconut oil, melted

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375. Place all the dry ingredients in one bowl and all the wet in another. Stir each individually. Pour the wet over the dry and stir with as few swipes of a spatula as possible. Divide batter into 4 greased muffin tins. Bake at 375 for about 12 minutes, or until passes the toothpick test.

Benefits:

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

Whole wheat flour * The outer bran layer in whole grains is where the fiber, vitamins, and minerals are, which is why you should ditch the white.

Cocoa powder * A surprisingly potent source of antioxidants!