Browsing Tag

muffins

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Almond Butter Bran Muffins with Blackberries

July 15, 2013

BlackberryAlmondBrandMuffins_1

One of my favorite subjects to talk about on Espresso and Cream is breakfast. Probably because breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. No other meal really compares in my opinion, and although I typically eat the same breakfast (oatmeal, peanut butter, banana) I love mixing it up now and again. Since it’s been incredibly hot and looks like this week is going to be even warmer, I’ve been trading in my bowl of oats for colder breakfasts like yogurt with chia seeds and smoothies.

Last fall I shared with you one of my favorite muffin recipes, these Breakfast Bran Muffins. Today, I’m following up those muffins with another bran muffin recipe that’s equally delicious. It’s made with bran cereal, almond butter and stuffed with fresh blackberries. Blackberries were on sale at my grocery store this week, but you could easily substitute another berry like blueberries or raspberries if that suits your style better.

I’ve been crumbling these muffins atop a bowl of yogurt-chia pudding and it makes an incredibly tasty and filling breakfast. Each muffin contains around 200 calories, so it’s enough to satisfy without being overly indulgent. When I make a batch, I find that it works well to freeze half the muffins in zip top backs and keep them on hand for quick breakfasts or snacks. All you need to do is zap them in the microwave for a few seconds when you’re ready to eat!

Muffins2

Almond Butter Bran Muffins with Blackberries
Adapted from this recipe
Makes 12 muffins
Ingredients
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/3 cups almond milk or milk of your choice
1 cup bran cereal
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup almond butter
1 cup fresh blackberries

Directions
Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups. Set aside.

In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon until well combined. In second smaller bowl, combine milk, cereal, egg and almond butter. Stir until smooth. If your almond butter is thicker, you may need to beat with an electric mixer to get it fully combined.

Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in blackberries until just combined. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until muffins are puffed up and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Happy Baking!
Madison

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Breakfast Bran Muffins

September 3, 2012

I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day weekend! I can’t believe that summer has come and gone already. Where in the world did the time go? I feel, like everyone else, that I was just looking forward to summer and kicking things off with Memorial Day weekend, and now we’re getting all things fall underway. Is the rumor about Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks true, too? If so, I’m going to need the weather to cool down so I can get one in my hand asap.

Joe and I initially planned on heading to Chicago to visit his family for the weekend, but we promised ourselves that this fall we would not book ourselves silly every weekend. So in the name of relaxation and schedule management, we decided to opt for a little low-key time at home instead. Of course, we couldn’t sit still for long, so we did manage to play multiple games of tennis, run errands in Des Moines, squeeze in a couple great workouts and watch way too many hours of football on Saturday afternoon.

Also on my list was doing a little baking. It’s been a while since I really spent time in the kitchen baking for fun, and having a whole afternoon to play around in the kitchen felt like the ultimate luxury. A friend of mine and E&C reader, Rachel, passed along a couple recipes to me that she thought I would enjoy, and I’m seriously SO happy to have now discovered this amazing muffin recipe. Growing up, the bakery in our town delivered the best bran muffins to the local grocery store. For a while, I got addicted to eating a giant, gooey bran muffin for breakfast. Looking back, I’m sure the “oooey, gooey” part of those muffins made them rather unhealthy, but ever since then, I’ve had a thing for bran muffins.

It’s been years since I’ve had a bran muffin, and I can’t remember the last time I baked one at home, so when I got my hands on this recipe, I knew I had to fit it into the weekend baking lineup. I made a few tweaks to the original recipe and created two slightly different versions. The first version, Breakfast Bran Muffins with Carrots, uses half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose and vegetable oil and contains 2/3 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of grated carrots. The second version, Breakfast Bran Muffins with Banana, is slightly healthier and lower in calories. It uses 100% whole wheat flour, mashed banana, coconut oil, 1/3 cup brown sugar and a little bit of Stevia for added sweetness. The texture in both recipes is fantastic, and I couldn’t tell much of a difference between the muffin that uses all-purpose flour and the one that contains 100% whole wheat.

And my husband, the ultimate taste tester when it comes to the “Average Joe” set of taste buds? He loved them! In fact, he ate two the minute they came out of the oven and said he could easily eat more for breakfast or a snack as he works during the day. I made a few batches of each recipe and plan to store them in the freezer for breakfasts or snacks throughout the weeks to come.

Version #1: Breakfast Bran Muffins with Carrots
Adapted slightly from AllRecipes.com
Ingredients
*1 1/2 cups wheat bran
*1 1/4 cups buttermilk
*1/3 cup vegetable oil
*1 large egg
*2/3 cup brown sugar
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/2 cup finely grated carrots
*1/2 cup whole wheat flour
*1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper liners. Set aside.
*In a large bowl, combine the wheat bran and buttermilk. Let stand for a couple minutes. Add in the oil, egg, brown sugar, vanilla and carrots and stir until just combined. Stir in remaining ingredients until combined. Spoon batter into the greased muffin cups. This should make 12 muffins and cups should be filled about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Nutritional Information (per 1 muffin): 168 cal., 7 g fat, 16 mg chol., 41 mg sodium, 30 g carb., 4 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Version #2: Banana Bran Muffins
Ingredients
*1 1/2 cups wheat bran
*1 1/4 cups buttermilk
*1/3 cup coconut oil
*1 large egg
*1/3 cup brown sugar
*2 packets Stevia
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1 large ripe banana, mashed
*1 cup whole wheat flour
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions
*Same as above.

Nutritional Information (per 1 muffin): 151 cal., 7 g fat, 16 mg chol., 36 mg sodium, 236 mg potassium, 23 g carb., 5 g fiber, 4 g protein

Happy Baking!
Madison

Heathier Recipe 1: Banana Muffins

June 17, 2011
Since I had three very ripe bananas sitting atop my fridge, I decided to jump right in on this request to make banana muffins healthier. Banana bread is one of my favorite breakfast treats and an extremely easy food to make healthier because the ripe bananas naturally provide moisture and sweetness to the recipe.
Upon first looking at the original recipe, I noticed a few things. First, it contained sour cream; great for adding moisture and flavor but not so hot nutritionally. Second, they were made with all-purpose flour. Not the end of the world but something that could benefit from a healthy face lift. There was also a full stick of butter in these muffins and a hefty dose of sugar.
So what’s a girl to do? For starters, I stirred in vanilla yogurt for the sour cream to cut down on fat and calories and used a combination of whole wheat and all purpose flour for a dose of whole grains and fiber. I also cut back on the amount of sugar used, since I find most recipes are a little heavy on the sweetness. And I cut back on the butter by a few tablespoons and used a little unsweetened applesauce in its place. 
The calorie comparison (calculated using sparkrecipes.com) between the original and my new, healthier version are pretty impressive: 

Original Recipe: 205 calories, 11 g fat (6 g sat. fat), 60 mg chol., 25 g carb, 14 g sugar, 3 g protein.
New Recipe: 154 calories, 6 g fat (4 g sat. fat), 15 mg chol., 24 g carb., 12 g sugar, 2 g protein.

Banana Muffins 
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com
Ingredients
*1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*3/4 cup whole wheat flour
*1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
*1/2 teaspoon baking soda
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*2 very ripe bananas, mashed
*6 ounces light vanilla yogurt (such as Dannon Light and Fit)
*1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*1/2 cup sugar
*6 tablespoons butter, softened
*2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce 
*1 large egg
*1 large egg yolk 
Instructions:
*Preheat oven to 350°F. 
*In a bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 
*In a large bowl, combine mashed bananas, yogurt, vanilla extract, sugar, butter, applesauce and eggs until well combined. Add flour mixture to the wet mixture. Stir until just combined. 
*Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking liners. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. 
Happy Baking!
Madison

Cocoa Protein ‘Muffin’

May 30, 2011

Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day. As strange as it may be, I think about what I’m going to have for breakfast while drifting off to sleep the night before. Breakfast is a big deal around here.

In the past I skipped breakfast more times than I’d like to admit, thinking that it was better to avoid racking up calories first thing in the morning. My poor metabolism. Now I aim to eat about 400 to 500 calories at breakfast, which isn’t difficult considering how ravenous I am the moment I wake up.

I had been reading about protein muffins on Gena’s site for a while now, but it wasn’t until last week that I got motivated to dig through my pantry in search of the ingredients I needed to make one. Of course, I didn’t have all the suggested items so I winged it a bit and was thrilled with the results. It turned out moist, dense and was huge (major bonus in my book). And on top of it all, the ingredient list ended up being pretty stellar.

Give it a try next time you have a craving for a bakery-like treat without the guilt.

Sidenote: I’ve been traveling, running and going at a hectic pace this weekend so blog photography is courtesy of my iPhone. Eventually I’ll get better at bringing my real camera with me when I’m traveling. Perhaps when I cave and get a more atractive camera bag!

Hope you all had a wonderful long weekend, and thanks for all your feedback on the pies!
What are your favorite things to eat for breakfast? Do you eat breakfast at all?

Cocoa Protein ‘Muffin’
Inspired by Smoothie Girl and Fitnessista

Ingredients
*1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
*1/2 teaspoon baking powder
*1 egg white (from one large egg)
*1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I measured and it ended up being just shy of 1/3 cup)
*2 tablespoons peanut flour or whole wheat flour
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1 teaspoon stevia or 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Instructions
*In a small baking dish or microwave-going cereal bowl, combine the applesauce, baking powder and egg white. Beat until well combined. Add in the chocolate protein powder, flour, ground cinnamon and stevia or brown sugar. Beat until all ingredients are evenly combined.
*Place dish in the microwave and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes on high, until mixture is puffed up and bounces back when you touch the center with your finger.
*Remove from dish, transfer to a plate and top with desired toppings, such as nut butter, low-sugar pancake syrup or Greek yogurt. Makes 1 muffin

Calories per muffin: About 360 depending on the type of protein powder

Happy ‘baking’!

Madison

Breakfast Muffies

March 4, 2011

You know those special pans you can buy at specialty cooking stores that are designed to help you create muffin tops or ‘muffies’? Yeah, I don’t have one of those pans, but I am most certainly a fan of muffin tops.

Unless we’re talking about muffin tops above your jeans. Definitely not a fan of those.

The good news about these muffies? They won’t give you a muffin top. In fact, they’re actually quite healthy, made with mashed bananas, whole wheat flour, oats, and a little butter and sugar. If you’re a fan of soft, fluffy, cake-like cookie-muffins then these are for you.

Of course, a single muffie on its own isn’t enough to keep me full all morning, so I dressed mine up this morning with a smear of creamy peanut butter and a dollop of Greek yogurt. A divine way to start the morning, indeed.

Breakfast Muffies
This recipe calls for oat flour, which is incredibly easy to make. Just place 1 1/2 to 2 cups of regular rolled oats in a food processor and process for about a minute, until the oats form a finely ground meal. Use as you would flour! 

Ingredients
*1 cup oat flour (see note, above)
*3/4 cup whole wheat flour
*1/4 tsp. baking powder
*3/4 tsp. baking soda
*1/4 tsp. salt
*1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
*3 very ripe bananas, mashed
*1 large egg
*1/3 cup sugar
*2 1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted
*1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions
*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease with non stick cooking spray. 
*In a small bowl, combine the oat flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
*In a large mixing bowl, combine the bananas, egg, sugar and butter. Stir until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Stir in chopped walnuts.
*Drop by heaping tablespoons onto baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until cookies are lightly golden around the edges and puffed. Remove and transfer to wire rack to cool. Makes 10 muffies

Nutritional Facts per muffie: (estimated from SparkRecipes) 191 cal., 8.2 g fat (2.6 sat. fat), 26 mg chol., 109 mg. sodium, 27 g carb., 3.2 g dietary fiber, 11 g sugar, 4.4 g protein. 239 g potassium

Happy Baking!
Madison