Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Recipe ReDux Post # 50 Banana Walnut Protein Muffin



September's Recipe ReDux challenge is "First Cooking Recollections."   We were encouraged to share a healthy recipe that corresponds to early cooking memories.  My late grandmother was an awesome baker which she passed down to my mom and I am hoping I have received some of their good baking genes!  (I am practicing regularly, that's for sure!) Ever since I can remember I was often in the kitchen helping my grandmother and mother bake everything from cookies, to cakes, quick breads and muffins. It started out with me just helping mix (and taste!!) and then I slowly learned how to measure, crack eggs, follow recipes etc.  The smell of fresh baked goods is still one of my favorites and muffins are my all time # 1 most loved baked good.  So I though I would post a new muffin recipe that I just created.  Hope you enjoy and that you will check out all the other "memorable" culinary creations developed by the awesome Recipe ReDux team.


Ingredients:

2 cup rolled oats (old fashioned, not quick, use a gluten-free oats such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
3/4 cup oat flour (use a gluten free brand such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 Tablespoons protein powder *(preferably natural
unflavored, see notes on the one I use below)
3 large sized over ripe bananas, mashed
6 Tablespoons liquid egg white
¼ cup (packed) brown sugar
1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup finely copped walnuts
cooking spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the oats, oat flour, baking soda, baking powder and protein powder in a small bowl.  In a large bowl, mix together the mashed banana, brown sugar, egg whites, milk and vanilla. Add the oats/flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the nuts. Spoon into 6 jumbo size muffin pan cups (or 6 small ramiken/small oven safe baking dishes) coated with cooking spray and bake on the bottom rack of the oven for about 30 minutes, until top is firm, lightly browned and a toothpick comes out mostly clean when inserted into the center.

* I have had great success with using Nature’s Best
Isopure Perfect Natural Protein Powder, unflavored- it is gluten-free, lactose free

Makes six servings

Serving size 1 very large muffin Calories 310 Protein 13 g Carb 48 g Fiber 6 g Sugars 17 g Fat 7 g Saturated fat 1 g Sodium 200 mg


IMPORTANT NOTE: these muffins are very moist so the ones you do not eat on the day you bake them must be stored in the fridge.  I just leave one out for an hour or two to get to room temp or pop one in the microwave for 40 seconds right out of the fridge.

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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Saying Goodbye to Summer Recipe Round Up

Being that Labor Day is the unofficial end of Summer and I thought I'd commemorate the occasion by posting a few of my recent favorite Summer recipes that I have created (some with the help of my daughter Gabby!).  Enjoy and have a wonderful holiday!!



















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Friday, August 26, 2016

In The News: Eating Berries May Lower The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes



New research has been released about the potential for berries and the anthocyanins they contain to actually help reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes (DM) by 18 %. A new meta analysis conducted by researchers in China looked at 8 cohort studies, providing a total of almost 400,000 people combined. After analysis of data from these studies the authors concluded that consuming dietary anthocyanins was associated with a 15% decrease in risk of developing Type 2 DM and eating berries was associated with an 18% decrease in risk. This is a novel study in that it is supposedly one of the first to look into the impact of berry consumption and anthocyanin intake to reduce diabetes risk. The researchers speculate that risk reduction could be due to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of anthyocyanins contained in the berries. Check out the research HERE.

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Recipe ReDux Post # 49 Turkey and Veggie Taco Filling



One of my favorite places to escape Los Angeles for a weekend trip is San Diego.  Years ago when I was there for a conference we were treated to a wonderful meal downtown for dinner at a trendy Mexican place.  It was a warm evening so I decided to order a taco salad and I found it extra special since they used ground turkey and it contained one of my favorite veggies- mushrooms. I have been wanting to re-create it for a long time now and this month’s Recipe ReDux gave me just the chance! The August challenge is to make a vacation inspired recipe and this is the one I chose. I hope you will give it a try and sample some of the other tasty trip-tastic treats developed by the talented Recipe ReDux bloggers too.

Ingredients:

16 ounces lean ground turkey
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cups finely chopped bell pepper (red, yellow or a mixture)
4 cups chopped mushrooms (I used portobello)
1 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
salt to taste

Directions:

Coat a large sized pan with the olive oil, add the turkey meat and brown on medium heat, breaking up into small pieces, for about 7-10 minutes until browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the onion, peppers, and mushrooms to the pan and sauté on medium high heat until softened and starting to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Put the turkey back into the pan with the veggies, add the canned tomatoes and spices and simmer on medium heat for 7-10 minutes until warmed through.

Make 8 generous cups, 8 servings


Serving size: 1 cup Calories 110 Protein 16 g Carb 10 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 4 g Fat 1.5 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 120 mg

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

In The News: The New Food Label is Coming Soon, Get To Know It!



On May 27, 2016 the final regulations for the new food label were published and the changes are effective as of July 26, 2016.  So what does that mean?   You should start seeing some changes on the labels on food products very soon.  Companies with smaller annual sales have until July 26, 2018 to make the changes and those with larger annual sales (>10 million ) will have until July 26, 2019.  So what are the changes and what does it look like?  Check HERE and HERE for the latest info on the new food label!

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Monday, August 8, 2016

In the News: Eating Nuts Frequently Can Lead to Decreased Levels of Inflammation!



Nuts are constantly in the news and are a hot topic as far as their nutritional benefits are concerned.  Yet another study has just been released singing their praises showing that a greater intake of nuts is associated with lower levels of inflammatory makers in the body.

The study, conducted at Brigham and Women's and which included over 5000 participants, was a cross sectional analysis of data from the Nurse's Health study and the Health Professionals Follow Up Study.  Diet intake was assessed using questionnaires and the researchers looked at 3 inflammatory marker levels measured in the blood- C reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor receptor 2 (TNFR2).

The researchers found that participants who had consumed five or more servings of nuts per week had lower levels of CRP and IL6 than those who never or almost never ate nuts. And, people who substituted three servings per week of nuts in place of red meat, processed meat, eggs or refined grains had significantly lower levels of CRP and IL6.  These results persisted after adjusting for age, medical history, lifestyle and other factors.  The researchers can not isolate what healthful components (such as magnesium, fiber, L-arginine, antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids such as α-linolenic acid) of nuts are responsible for these beneficial effects, and note that further research needs to be conducted in this exciting and promising area.  Check out a synopsis of the study HERE.

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Monday, August 1, 2016

Gabby's Eats: Juice Cubes (well...Spheres!)



Being that we are in the throws of Summer and enduring the warm weather, which in Southern California (where we live) will continue easily into November (!),  it is super important to stay hydrated.  Water by itself can get a bit monotonous, namely for kids, but it really is a top choice because it does the job to naturally replenish to the body's fluids WITHOUT any added sugar, calories or other additives.

I was recently sent a fun package of goodies from The Cranberry Institute which included some cranberry juice, a lovely tumbler and a REALLY cool ice cube maker.  Well, not really ice cubes- ice spheres!!  It's called the Flamen Ice Ball Maker.  This handy tool is BPA free, dishwasher safe and creates 2 inch ice spheres which supposedly melt slower than regular ice cubes to keep your drink colder longer.  How cool, right? Literally ;)

Gabby and I decided we wanted to try out this intriguing tool right away, and what better way to liven up her plain ol' water than by making some juice cubes too put in her glass!  She is a big fan of cranberries so we used the cranberry juice that was sent to us. 

Basically, all we had to do was pour the juice in the mold...




Freeze overnight....



And voila- add the spheres to water and enjoy a hint of yummy cranberry flavor!  You can use any juice you like and also use a regular ice cube tray if you don't have a super fancy Flamen handy to make ice spheres!



A big thank you to The Cranberry Institute for the fun Summer care package-  our inspiration to make these delicious and refreshing juice spheres!


Enjoy! And, for cool cranberry news, research and recipes- check out the Cranberry Institute's webpage HERE!!

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