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Clean Eating Banana Muffins (gluten-free)

*womp womp*  After the last couple months of travel gluttony, it’s time to get back on track, and these muffins at least have the consolation of being delicious as well as super healthy.

Clean Eating Banana Oat Muffins

In the interest of full transparency, to be truly clean eating you’ll need to omit the chocolate chips from the recipe and use one of the other mix-ins instead (nuts, dried fruit, etc.).  But unless you’re completely following a clean eating diet, the mini chocolate chips do really add something to the muffins so I’d recommend leaving them in.  Because, duh.

clean-eating-banana-oatmeal-muffins-chocolate-chips

I made these on a Sunday night on a whim, and brought them to work the next day.  They were scarfed by my co-workers within a few hours, and got rave reviews.  They’re moist, flavorful, and—best part—insanely fast and easy to make.

clean-eating-banana-oatmeal-muffins

They’re the kind of healthy breakfast that gives you the fiber and protein you need, but still makes you feel like you’re getting a bit of a treat to start the day.  That’s a win in my book.  Add a couple strong espressos and you’re all set.  Bring it on, Monday. [Read more…]

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Healthy Apple Muffins with Cinnamon-Sugar Topping

Crunchy cinnamon-sugar topping.

Crunchy. Cinnamon. Sugar. Topping.

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Basically, that’s all you need to know about this recipe. But I guess I could mention the fact that they’re mostly whole wheat, low in sugar, and full of wholesome fruit. I mean, if that kind of thing’s important to you.

healthy apple cinnamon muffins apples whole

When you make this, the batter will worry you because it is crazy thick. Like, bread dough thick. You won’t pour or spoon it into the muffin tins, you’ll kind of awkwardly drop it in there and kind of smoosh it. Don’t try to smash it into the muffin cups, just kind of drop it and it will expand as it bakes to fill in the gaps. And despite the thickness of the batter and the density of the baked muffins, they’re super moist! [Read more…]

Persimmon Muffins with Lemon & Cardamom

I went on a roll this fall of trying new fruits and veggies that I’d never had before.  I tried acorn squash for the first time (definitely delish!), and then that same week saw these weird little orange tomato-like things in my grocery store and just had to grab one. Turns out it was a persimmon, specifically of the fuyu variety.

Persimmon Lemon Cardamom Muffin

So the next logical question was what to make. I browsed a ton of recipes, but most were salads, and I definitely didn’t want to go that route (boring). Then I found this somewhat odd-sounding muffin recipe and had to give it a try.

Persimmon Lemon Cardamom Muffins

I “healthied it up” by using half whole wheat flour and cutting down on the sugar just a little. The persimmons gave it a lovely sweetness, with the lemon giving it a tart complement. The overall texture of the muffins was pretty light but still hearty, due to the whole wheat flour. And, like most muffin recipes, they came together in a flash.

Persimmon Lemon Cardamom Muffins with Blackberry Honey

I ate one fresh out of the oven with blackberry honey from Croatia, and then took them to work for my breakfast for the next few days (with honey from New Zealand…I definitely have a honey souvenir addiction!). This is such an easy and versatile recipe that you could swap out the persimmons for many other fruits, and even swap in a different citrus zest to mix things up (orange would have been lovely here as well). [Read more…]

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

Last weekend I decided to make a few changes. Little changes. Healthy changes.

Oatmeal Flaxseed Chocolate Chip Muffin

By and large I lead a fairly healthy life—I eat well, exercise a lot, take care of myself (except the working too much and lack of sleep). But I’ve slipped into some bad habits (*coughtoobusyforbreakfastcough*) and feel like my body isn’t quite firing on all cylinders. But since I’m pretty overwhelmed with life right now, I knew I couldn’t do anything that required too much thought or effort.

oatmeal flaxseed chocolate chip muffin chooclate chips

So I made a list last weekend of a few things I was going to work on during the week. The first has turned out to be somewhat life-changing. It’s simple—before I go to bed I fill up a big glass with water and put it by my bed, and the minute I wake up, I down it. I’m not allowed to get out of bed until that glass of water is gone. And boy, is it crazy what that will do to purify and rev your system!

Oatmeal Flaxseed Chocolate Chip Muffins

The second is pretty simple, too, and is something I used to be good about. I made sure I had a quality breakfast every single day at work. Some mornings this was a smoothie with fruit and greens and yogurt, and other days it was these delicious, high-fiber muffins. [Read more…]

The Healthy Train…Starting with Breakfast

I don’t know about you guys, but this has been a pretty brutal winter. (I mean, I do know, my mom gives me the weather report nationwide.) I won’t pretend Atlanta’s weather has been worse than, say, New York or the Midwest. It hasn’t. But for us and our very poorly-insulated homes, it’s been tough. Not only has this affected moods and energy, I realized it has also caused a 10+ pound weight creep over the past two months. Cold weather + travel + ice storms + need for comfort food means I haven’t been able to get as much exercise as usual and I’ve defaulted to less healthy (like 3 variations on mac & cheese) and more convenient (I seriously ate my body weight in Chinese like 5 times) options. Plus practically no fruits and veggies. It’s amazing I haven’t succumbed to scurvy.

But no more! There is sun and warmth on the horizon, fruits and veggies will be back in season before you know it, and the fresh air is calling our names! I’m really focusing more on consciously planning my meals and snacks—I’ve slipped into a bad habit of not really eating breakfast over the past few crazy months—and having things on hand to get all the right vitamins and minerals. I’ve switched to organic whole milk (blech, I know, but after reading about how terrible skim milk is, I just can’t anymore; I’d love to find a raw milk resource in the Atlanta area), added some raw honey into my diet, and am trying to avoid GMOs where I can. Which is super hard.

I thought I’d pull together a few of my most favoritest tried-and-true super healthy recipes to have top of mind while planning out my next few weeks, and am sharing here in case you’re in need of inspiration. For breakfast, convenience is key, so it either needs to be made ahead in bulk, or a smoothie I can take to work with me. I rarely cook during the week since I work so much, so making a big meal on Sunday that becomes great leftovers is the focus. And not too expensive on all counts. I’ll post a dinner/lunch/leftovers one separately.

healthy breakfast breads [Read more…]

Most Popular Recipes in 2013

2013 was a pretty crazy year for me on several fronts. Including an insane year at work, I bought my first home, which was a huge learning experience and has been pretty amazing. (Also stressful…I mean, when my garbage disposal threatens to go out, I have to fix that nonsense myself. Ugh, being a grown-up.) I struggled with major hip pain, which led me to have what is still considered a fairly experimental hip surgery mid-year. The second half of my year was largely focused on recovering from that, and pushing myself to put in the time and effort at getting stronger and healing. I walk/jogged 3 miles in 34 minutes this week and took my first hot yoga class in a year, so I’m really proud of how hard I’ve worked to get there.

And then there’s this blog, which blew my mind this year by growing exponentially. Seriously, visits grew over 1200% in 2013 (that’s insane!), without me doing anything that different. What was surprising is that some of the most popular recipes in 2013 were some of the ones I posted back in 2012. So in case you missed some of these, here are the top 10 recipes everyone seemed obsessed with in 2013. Excited to see what delicious goodness 2014 has in store!

Baked Potato Soup (a.k.a. the best soup ever!)

baked potato soup finished

I don’t accept soup as an actual meal, but this stuff is amazing and easy and healthy. Also, bacon garnish.

Crockpot Breakfast Casserole

crockpot breakfast casserole finished

Again, easy (check), fairly healthy (check), crockpot (check), bacon (check)…I’m sensing a theme here.

Roasted Okra

roasted okra finished closeup

Mmmm, okra. Tastes just as good as fried, and okra’s surprisingly awesome for you.

No-Bake Cookies a.k.a. Haystacks

haystacks finished

You can never go wrong with no-bake. Or a peanut butter-chocolate combo. [Read more…]

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