Tag Archives: Sugar free

Cheesy Apple Bacon Muffins [gluten free]

This blog used to basically be a muffin blog. I ate a muffin a day. Muffins and eggs, muffins and greek yogurt, muffins for dessert, muffins for snack.

And then I got muffined out.

And then I got more paleo.

And now the muffins are back.

Cheesy Apple Bacon Muffins

Recipe: Makes 6 muffins – Gluten free, Primal adaptable, Sugar free

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (you can make your own!)
  • 1/4 cup real or sugar-free maple syrup (depending on your needs…and politics)
  • 1 cup diced pink lady apple
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded + extra for topping
  • 4 slices crispy bacon, nitrate free
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Primal version: 6 eggs and 1/2 cup coconut flour, no oat flour.

Directions – Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Microwave the bacon until crispy, about 5-6 minutes. Pour the grease into a jar and lay the bacon on a paper towel to dry. Dice the pink lady apple and set aside. Grate the cheddar cheese and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the coconut flour. Add the oat flour (I simply ground up oats in a blender until powdery) and maple syrup (I use Joseph’s Sugar Free with malitol) and beat again. Sprinkle the salt and baking soda over the batter and stir. Crumble the bacon into chunks and bits. Fold the apples, cheese, and bacon into the batter. Bake for ~20 minutes, or until the muffins have risen and are just lightly browned.

come to mama.

bacon never looked so cute

I’m on a bit of a life high right now. Yesterday was my first day at my LINC (low income housing) volunteer position. I got there early and helped my supervisor set up the room for the after school/summer program for the kids. The kids trickled in around 2:15 and had Enrichment until 4. I helped the cutest pair of 6 year old twins I have ever seen with their reading and writing. One of them has an afro mohawk and was really into his work and getting as far through the workbook as possible. The other was completely disinterested in working and just kept gazing off at the other kids who had already finished. He simply didn’t believe in himself! He thought everything was too hard for him. I kept telling him that he could do it – he could do whatever he wanted to accomplish as long as he didn’t give up and worked at it. We got through a few pages, but then it was snack time. During snack, my supervisor introduced me and we had the kids go around and introduce themselves. They ranged in age from 6 to 14 and were all very lively. Next, I had an hour to teach them anything. I started out with asking them to name a food they like and a food they don’t like.

They liked chicken, carrots, pizza, mashed potatos, tamales, fish, and chocolate. They didnt like broccoli, sea food, peppers, peas, onions and more broccoli.

Next, I asked them to name a food they thought was healthy and a food they thought “wasn’t good for them.” They thought carrots, lettuce, broccoli, watermelon, and olives (?!) were healthy. They thought cake, chocolate, gravy, bacon, cupcakes, ribs, and pizza was not good for them. I told them that we needed to move ribs to the good list because it was such a great source of protein.   That lead to a great little conversation on why and how protein helps us grow up and get stronger.

The main thing I wanted to get out of this first session was seeing how much they knew about the food groups, what the thought was healthy versus not, and what kinds of foods they liked.

The most successful part of the lesson was when I asked them to look at the list of foods they said were bad for them and figure out what the cake, chocolate, and cupcakes had in common. Silence. Eventually, one of the older boys screeched SUGAR!!!

 I asked them why sugar was bad for them… Silence again. Come on you guys, why is sugar bad for you? A boy in a 49ers hat raised his hand and mumbled “because it makes you fat.” This gave me a way to talk about how eating too much sugar and not moving around enough can make us gain weight because our cells aren’t eating all of the food we are giving them. The more we move around, the more our cells will eat the food that we eat.  It we eat too much sugar and don’t do anything, the food will become fat on our bodies. Also, sugar may give us energy at first, but then it will make us sleepy and leave us with less energy than we had before. They all seemed to understand and were particularly interested in why sugar leaves us tired and why protein helps us get stronger. I did my best! They also wanted to know what was wrong with my foot (I didn’t drink enough milk and yogurt growing up and didn’t wear proper shoes to work out in) and what that thing on my arm was (its a machine that measures my heart rate and steps every day to make sure I am active enough). 

I have three more sessions with them, so I’m thinking of theming one veggies, one fruits, and one protein/dairy. I contacted Chobani and they are going to send me yogurt to give the kids! I am so excited – I am sure that none of them have been exposed to greek yogurt!

Thank you to the couple of you that gave me suggestions. I really appreciate it. Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

go outside!!

This weekend was perfect. After days of being in the house, classrooms, and laboratories, the weekend just screams go outside! On Saturday, my friend Erin drove to Davis to visit me from San Jose. We went to middle school together in Austin and I hadn’t seen her in years! She happens to be doing an accounting internship in San Jose for the summer, so hopefully I will get to see her a few more times before she leaves. The fact that you can go years without seeing someone and then have it be like no time has passed at all speaks volumes about true friendships. While we are both very different than we were in high school, we still meshed well and were able to connect in new ways. We saw Ted that night, and it was actually way better than I thought it would be. I usually avoid comedies that look…. you know… dumb, but it was cute and funny. A slight over-reliance on racist jokes, but pretty good.

Erin and I, overlooking Lake Berryessa

meet the newest addition to our house, Kathleen :)

Northern California is so beautiful. I am in love. The vineyards, the farms, the bay, the ocean, the people. I think I may want to cozy in here. :)

On Sunday, my friend Aaron and I drove up to Marin to visit Zoe. Before she got off work, we went to the Marin County farmers market. It is the best market I have ever been to. I am so sad and sorry I didnt take photos! I bought…

  • a pound of pasture raised goat meat
  • pastured sheep yogurt
  • maple whiskey jerky
  • an entire pastured roasted chicken
  • an entire pastured raw chicken
  • organic goat cheese

That roasted chicken came in handy for the 5 hour hike we took afterwords!

It was three hours, and perhaps 6 miles, up to the top of Mt. Tamalpais.

We were very hungry and slightly exhausted once we got to the top, but the views made it all better. Long hikes like these require the best company. I realized how much more fun it was being able to talk during the hike than the many times I have hiked alone in New Zealand or Tibet.

beautiful Zoe and Aaron, who wore a weighted vest…. 

We treated ourselves to burgers, Cobb salads, french fries, and honey lavender ice cream. Third day in a row (between two cities) that I have had honey lavender ice cream. Obsessed.

Honey Lavender from Scoop in Fairfax

Honey Lavender in my bed ;), from Davis Creamery

But until I figure out how to make my own honey lavender ice cream, you will have to settle for this friggin amazing chocolate pudding recipe. Seriously, this was so delicious that I ate the whole thing in one sitting. I had meant for it to be two desserts, but that didn’t happen. I worked out hard that day, damnit! Not that it really matters, since it is sugar free and dairy free and paleo approved.

Aztec Chocolate Pudding

Recipes: Serves 1-2

  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2-1 dropper stevia, to taste
  • big pinch of salt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • tiny pinch of cayenne pepper (chipotle is good too if you like it!)

Directions – Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until nice and cold.  Store in an air tight container in the fridge. 

it seriously tastes exactly like chocolate pudding.

Benefits:

Avocado * contains vitamins A, B, C, and E. Also contain phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, folic acid, zinc, and iron. Their greatest asset is their monounsaturated fat content, which is linked to lower cholesterol levels, reduced risk of heart disease, weight loss, and even alleviating depression.

Bananas * a good source of natural sugars, fiber, and potassium, which is key for electrolyte balance. A great source of carbs for paleo followers!

Cocoa * a dense source of antioxidants. Cocoa is also a great source of pre-biotics to feed the healthy flora living in your digestive tract!

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.

what you thought you couldn’t have… paleo ice cream!!

I know I keep making paleo recipes and most people aren’t paleo, but I just can’t stop! I am not full blown paleo, but I have always eaten fairly low amounts of grains. Lately, I have just taken it up a notch by reducing grains a bit more and eating less cheese and sour cream. I still eat whole grains when I am craving them, exercising heavily, or taking huge scary tests, but I am enjoying the way eating increasingly paleo makes me feel. I feel more light on my feet and like my engine is running cleaner. I don’t think I will ever be 100% any one thing though. At the moment, I feel like life is just too short to say absolutely no to anything! Plus, dairy products make my world go round. I love Greek yogurt. I need ice cream. However, I cannnn cut down on my dairy ice cream consumption a bit with this recent invention. The one thing about paleo I figured I would never get over was the inability to eat ice cream.

Problem solved.

Vanilla Bean Paleo Ice Cream

This recipe is sugar and dairy free! The ice cream is dreamy creamy, and yet still light at around 100 calories per half cup. But who eats half a cup of ice cream at a time? Seriously. No one.

Recipe: Makes ~8 cups

  • 1 can organic, full fat coconut milk
  • 5 bananas
  • the seeds from 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions – Pour the coconut milk into a freezer safe container. Freeze the coconut milk. Peel the bananas and place them in a plastic  ziplock. Freeze the bananas. Run hot water over the frozen coconut milk container so that a block of coconut milk pops out. Place the bananas and coconut milk block into a blender with the other ingredients. Blend. To store, place in a freezer safe container and freeze.

Note: If you don’t have a vitamix, you will likely have to wait until the coconut milk is slightly thawed for it to blend. You may also need to do smaller batches since Vitamixes are huge. I bought mine for 150$ off on overstock dot com!

Another note: You can add a couple drops of liquid stevia if you dont think it tastes sweet enough, but I found it to be quite sweet with just the bananas and vanilla.

Benefits:

Coconut milk * 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 and are LESS likely to be stored as fat!

Bananas * A good source of natural sugars, fiber, and potassium, which is key for electrolyte balance.

ATTACKKK!!!

PS: My next post is going to be a NuNaturals Stevia GIVEAWAY!

Get excited!!

Perfect Paleo Pancakes

 

This morning, I was not in the mood for any of my typical breakfasts. Eggs and toast - bleh, savory oatmeal -  too hot, a protein smoothie – not filling enough, a greek yogurt bowl - lame… I wanted something new and exciting! But still satisfying, delicious, and healthy.

I peered in the fridge. No inspiration. I opened up the freezer, dug around, and saw my abandoned almond flour. I had tried to pancakes with it before, but they were too eggy and covered in second degree burns. It was time to try it again.

Perfect paleo pancakes with caramelized banana compote – for one!

for just the right kind of full

These pancakes came out perfectly! They are fluffy and lightly sweet with a hint of vanilla. They are very low carb, high protein & fat, paleo, and sugar & dairy free! I had a scrambled egg + an egg white on the side as well :)

Recipe: Serves 1

1/3 cup almond flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 tsp almond milk

1 egg

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

~6 drops liquid NuNaturals stevia (or to taste)

dash cinnamon

dash salt

For the compote- 

1 ripe banana

tsp coconut oil

tbsp real or sugar free maple syrup + plus extra for drizzling

Directions –  Place a pan on the stove with 1 tsp of coconut oil. In a bowl, mash a banana with some maple syrup and spoon into the pan. Cook on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the banana is caramelized.

Meanwhile, combine all of the pancake ingredients in a bowl (I recommend in that order) and mix well. Place a non stick pan on the stove on medium heat (mine was on 3.5 out of 8). Pour 1/3 of the batter into the pan. Let the bubbles rise to the top. Once the bubbles start to disappear, flip the pancake with a spatula. It should be light brown on the other side. Let cook for an additional minute or two. Remove pancake and place onto a heating plate and repeat with the rest of the batter. Plate the pancakes and top with the caramelized banana and additional maple syrup.

Benefits:

Almond flour * by subbing almond flour for regular flour, you are getting more healthy fats and less carbs in your cookies. These are monounsaturated fats, which raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels! Almonds also have fiber, manganese, vitamin E (another antioxidant), tryptophan, copper, B2 and phosphorous!

Banana * A good source of fiber and potassium.

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!

Coconut oil * 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. It is great to cook with because it is stable at high temperatures!

almond flour pancakes with caramelized banana and maple drizzle

Make these!

What to do with your leftover juicer pulp!

Chelsea’s boyfriend (and my temporary room mate) Tommy has been on a juice kick lately. He has been juicing everything, from normal things like carrots and apples, to failed attempts at banana and persimmon juice. He buys carrots in 5 lb bags from Costco and so I’ve had mountains of carrot pulp tempting me with their shreddedness. Part of why I don’t make more carrot-y recipes is because finely grating them and then squeezing out excess moisture is such a pain! The juice pulp is work free – y perfecto para mi. 

(Sugar free!) Rum Raisin Carrot Cookies

they are delicious, and don’t taste as healthy as they are ;)

Recipe: Makes 6 cookies

1 cup carrot pulp (or grated carrot)

2 tbsp butter

2 eggs

2 tbsp raisins

2 tbsp pecans, chopped

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

dash salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

3 tbsp NuNaturals baking blend stevia (or sugar)

1 tbsp brown sugar (or more stevia to make them sugar free)

1 tbsp ground flax

optional:  1 tsp rum

Directions – Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

BENEFITS:

Carrots * a prime source of vitamin A and antioxidants

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!

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.

And here is a simple body weight workout for when the gym is unexpectedly closed and you are all amped up to work out…

Body weight circuit workout

5 minute warm up jog

60 jumping jacks

10 pushups

20 walking lunges

40 doggy side kicks

20 jumping squats

1 minute plank

5 burpees

50 high knees

 repeat circuit 3x (except the warm up jog)

It was about 8pm when I showed up to the gym only to find that it had closed early for Labor Day weekend. Instead, I headed to the university’s old track. It was dark outside and the track wasn’t lit up, but I had enough light from the nearby parking structure to not kill myself doing the circuit. After I finished, I wasn’t tired and my favorite 120 minute electro/dance song came on so0o0o I danced alone – under the stars – on the track – for a solid 14 minutes. I worked up a sweat equivalent to the circuit! So after you finish the circuit, you MUST

dance as hard as you can for 15 minutes

warm down jog home

My all time favorite go to snack..

I’ve been bad. I’ve been keeping a secret from you.

Or more, withholding one of my favorite recipes of all time.

The recipe is for nut bars that are out of this world delicious and incredibly nutritious.

They are high (healthy) fat, high fiber, gluten free, low carb, suga free, and the portion size is awesome.

The inspiration came from my obsession with Kind Bars. Unfortunately, my wallet is not so obsessed with them. The tanned hide actually cringes as I remove a 10 dollar bill for a measly 5 bars.

My favorite flavor is the Almond Walnut Macadamia protein plus bar. It has hints of vanilla and extra protein. May I present…

Positively Nutty Bars!

Recipe: Makes ~5 bars

1/4 cup cashews, roasted

1/4 cup peanuts, roasted

3 tbsp almond flour

1 tbsp pecans, chopped

3 tbsp puffed kamut

2 tbsp ground flax

1 tbsp shredded coconut

1 tsp sunflower seeds

1 tsp wheat germ (sub flax to keep them gluten free)

dash salt

Wet ingredients - 

2 egg whites

1 tbsp tahini

30 drops NuNaturals vanilla stevia, or to taste

optional: 1/8 tsp vanilla bean scrapings

About substitutions: Obviously there are a lot of ingredients, but that is because I wanted them to have a bit of everything, not out of necessity. Feel free to sub in and out different types of nuts for endless flavor combinations. If you don’t have stevia, you can use a bit of honey or maple syrup and a few drops of vanilla extract. If you don’t have almond flour, you can make it in the blender or food processor, or just use whole or chopped almonds. Substitutions should be okay as long as when you add the wet ingredients it can all be held together and is not too dry and not too wet. You want to be able to spread it in a baking sheet.

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Combine the wet ingredients in another bowl and mix until homogenous. Pour the wet into the dry and mix until combined. Spread into a greased baking sheet (that has walls) so that the batter is about as thick as your finger nail. Bake for  7-8 minutes. Let cool and slice and enjoy! Store in the fridge or freezer.

look at the chunks of nuts, all weaved into a blanket of protein and fiber ;)

Benefits:

Pecans * contains vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, protein and fiber! The fat in pecans is 90% monounsaturated and 70% monounsaturated (the good kind). Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant. Studies have shown that pecans can lower cholesterol and thus are heart healthy! They also have been linked to reduced risk of breast cancer and weight loss.

Peanuts * a great source of manganese, Vitamin E, tryptophan (calming!), niacin, folate, and copper! Peanuts also contain lots of healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants! They have been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and have been shown to significantly lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer.

Almond flour * by subbing almond flour for regular flour, you are getting more healthy fats and less carbs in your bars. These are monounsaturated fats, which raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels! Almonds also have fiber, manganese, vitamin E (another antioxidant), tryptophan, copper, B2 and phosphorous!

Cashews * may help prevent gall stones and are a prime source of copper, tryptophan, magnesium, and phosphorous. Low copper intake can lead to anemia, osteoporosis, elevated LDL cholesterol (bad), and join problems. Inadequate magnesium can lead to muscle cramps (the kind that wake you up at night in agony), headaches, high blood pressure, and fatigue. While obviously high in fat, most of it is monounsaturated and may help lower triglyceride levels and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.

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.

Kamut puffs * a gluten free grain that has calcium, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin and iron!

In summary, make these bars!

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July from Lake Tahoe! This weekend has truly been a blessing. Carlyn and I drove to Tahoe early Friday morning to her parent’s new home on North Shore. It is the longest period of time I have been able to spend with her throughout our entire friendship. She is the busiest girl I know. She wants to be a vet and apparently getting into vet school is even harder than med and law school combined. I have to fight for a sliver of her time between her two jobs, internship, and school – so obviously spending an entire weekend with her and her fam has been extra special. We have gone hiking…

We have tanned…

We have eaten delicious food and made fresh mojitos…

And simply enjoyed the beauty around us..

In 4th of July spirit, I have a recipe that can easily be made red, white and blue! Just add a few red sprinkles or cherry chunks ;)

Vanilla Cashew Blueberry Cookies

sugar free but delish!

soo creamy

Recipe: Makes ~10 cookies

Dry ingredients - 

1/2 cup whole wheat white flour

1/2 cup NuNaturals baking blend stevia (can sub in sugar in equal quantities)

1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup blueberries

optional: dash cinnamon and/or tbsp brown sugar

Wet ingredients - 

1 tbsp butter, melted

3 tbsp cashew butter

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions – Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all the wet ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Combine all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl (except blueberries) and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet bowl and mix with a spatula until well combined. Fold in blueberries. Take a spoonful of cookie dough, roll into a ball, and flatten onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 8-12 minutes.

they were a hit –  literally gone in 10 seconds

Benefits:

Cashews * may help prevent gall stones and are a prime source of copper, tryptophan, magnesium, and phosphorous. Low copper intake can lead to anemia, osteoporosis, elevated LDL cholesterol (bad), and join problems. Inadequate magnesium can lead to muscle cramps (the kind that wake you up at night in agony), headaches, high blood pressure, and fatigue. While obviously high in fat, most of it is monounsaturated and may help lower triglyceride levels and reduce risk of cardiovascular disease.

Blueberries * have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of all fruits and veggies. Their anthocyanidins counteract free radicals, which damage cells and tissues. One study demonstrated that blueberries improve memory and learning capacity in aging animals. They also protect against all forms of cancer, especially colon and ovarian cancer.

Finals: Survival Mode

First of all, I just want to thank you all for the sweet comments on my last post. Y’all are truly the best.

*

You know that biochemistry lab I have been bitching about for the last 9 weeks? Well, it is finally over. Completely. No more labs. No more lab reports. No more mid-protein-assay break downs. No more quizzes. And no more final.

I had so much anxiety about the final that it caused me to stress eat. Stress eating is something that I think is very common amongst women (especially school-aged), and is even more prevalent around midterms and finals. However, I usually don’t have much of a problem with it. I’ve found that if you fill up on mostly balanced and nutritious foods during the day, you don’t really have all that much room to cram in froyo, cookies, and brownie bars. But this lab final bypassed all that logic and sensibility and had me scouring our kitchen for anything with a 6 carbon chain and a hydroxyl group on the end. (AKA sugaaaaaa.) After a day or two of that, enough was enough. I decided to make something that was sweet, but actually satisfying and healthy to boot. And thus, the personal blueberry pie was born.

Comfort food at its best

This little pie is sugar free, made from whole grains, and packs a punch of antioxidants. Sweet and delicious. Best of all, it can be made in under 5 minutes flat, if you want. The blubes burst in the microwave (or oven) and soak the granola and coconut in sweet blueberry juice. [Since it is sugar free, all you bloggers who are doing Alex's sugar free challenge can feel free to imbibe in this lil' beauty!]

5 ingredients – say whattt?!

Personal Vanilla Blueberry Pie

suga free and supa easy.

Recipe: Serves 1

3/4 cup blueberries (I am obsessed with Rhythm and Blueberries, if you’re local!)

2 tbsp plain greek yogurt

4-5 drops vanilla NuNaturals stevia (or regular stevia + a few drops vanilla extract)

2 tbsp Love Grown Granola + 2 tbsp high fiber cereal (I used Fiber One Honey Clusters)

1-2 tbsp unsweetened coconut shreds

pinch salt

Directions – In a bowl, combine the blueberries, greek yogurt, stevia, and salt. Mix well. Scrape into a small ramekin. Top with granola, cereal, and coconut. To cook, either microwave for 1 minute (or until the blueberries have burst) or bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes. Enjoy with a dollop of whipped cream!

my precious… 

Benefits:

Blueberries * have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of all fruits and veggies. Their anthocyanidins counteract free radicals, which damage cells and tissues. One study demonstrated that blueberries improve memory and learning capacity in aging animals. They also protect against all forms of cancer, especially colon and ovarian cancer.

Oats * A prime source of soluble fiber which has been proven to help lower total cholesterol levels. They also contain a unique antioxidant called avenanthramides which prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. This is good because the oxidation of LDL cholesterol is part of the atherosclerosis process. Basically, oats help prevent heart disease. They also contain selenium, potassium, phosphorous, pantothenic acid, and magnesium.

[source]

I have been meaning to do a review of Love Grown Food’s granola for ages now. They kindly sent me two flavors: Raisin Almond Crunch and Sweet Cranberry Pecan. Honestly, both were so good that this was the only recipe I was able to make with them before my housemates polished it all off! I am not usually a big granola fan, but Love Grown’s texture is really different – in a great way. It is very crunchy and light. And they don’t skimp on the goods, which is both rare and awesome. There are giant coconut flakes in every bite and each flavor had plenty of cranberries, raisins, and nuts. To top it all off, they don’t add any artificial flavors, HFCS or hydrogenated fats (blech) to their products. Definitely a fabulous granola.

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!