whole-grain oat muffins

(We just returned from Thailand and I can’t wait to tell you more about it – it was absolutely amazing!)

Whole-Grain Oat Muffins | A Nutritionist Eats

Ok, I’m usually an anti-muffin person. Why? Because most of the time they run a fine line. They’re either essentially a cupcake or they’re so healthy that they don’t resemble anything close to an actual muffin. So if I’m going to eat a cupcake, I’m going to eat a cupcake – with lots of frosting. And if I’m going to eat a healthy breakfast, I’m going to…you get the point.

But these muffins. Oh my. I don’t do a ton of baking but when the LA Times featured Clementine’s whole grain muffin with plump dried cherries, I knew it was a muffin I needed to try. Clementine is a bakery/cafe a few blocks from my office and I’m there a few times a month. Rarely do I get any of their baked goods though (even though their blondie is amazing), I usually stick with their deli salads and cold-brew coffee. (Other copycat Clementine recipes: lentil, beet & goat cheese salad and fall chicken salad)

Whole-Grain Oat Muffins | A Nutritionist Eats

So here I had this recipe for a muffin that I figured had to be good, but I had never tried it. Research time! I picked up the muffin one afternoon and actually thought I would save it for breakfast the next morning. Um, nice idea in theory, but totally not realistic. After I finished my lunch, I dug into the muffin (a small portion!).

It was so good and wholesome!

Whole-Grain Oat Muffins | A Nutritionist Eats

These muffins are dense, and pretty short but I promise you that they taste more like the ‘cupcake muffins’ than the ‘healthy muffins.’ That’s all to say, they are delicious! I (again, lacking any sort of patience) dug into them right out of the oven was honestly a little surprised by how good they tasted. Richie (and my coworkers!) agreed.

As you can see, they are packed full of oats, almond and flax meal and chia seeds. I love that the streusel topping gives it the ‘cupcake muffin’ feel without the typical white flour and sugar requirements of a ‘cupcake muffin.’ There are a few things that I think are worth discussing: 1) I decided to make the serving size two muffins. I felt it was a more realistic serving size. 2) These are calorie-dense. They are full of good-for-you ingredients that aren’t low in calories. Most of the time, I focus on ingredients rather than calories and this is a prime example.

Whole-Grain Oat Muffins | A Nutritionist Eats

Nutritionally, these muffins are pretty impressive. They are 100% whole-grain, gluten-free and have an impressive 10 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber per serving. Yes, there is real sugar in these muffins (remember I wanted them to taste like a cupcake muffin?) and normally I’m the type of person who is anti-ANTI-sugar, but for comparisons sake, the 17 grams of sugar are similar to what you would find in a strawberry greek yogurt.

nutrition facts (for two muffins): 405 calories, 25 grams of fat, 10 grams protein, 39 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fiber

Whole-Grain Oat Muffins

by

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Keywords: bake bread breakfast high fiber high protein vegetarian

 

Ingredients (24 muffins (12 servings))

    For the Streusel Topping

    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup soft butter
    • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats

    For the Muffins

    • 2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
    • 2 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
    • 1/3 cup coconut oil (liquid)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1 cup almond meal
    • 1 cup flax meal
    • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
    • 1/4 cup chia seeds
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp salt

    Instructions

    For the Streusel Topping

    In a small bowl, stir together sugar and butter until smooth.

    Add oats and mix until combined.

    Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet and place in freezer until hardened, about 10 minutes.

    For the Muffins

    Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

    In a medium bowl, combine oats and buttermilk and set aside.

    Beat together the oil, eggs and vanilla in a stand mixer with paddle or large bowl with a hand mixer.

    Whisk together the dry ingredients: almond meal, flax meal, sliced almonds, chia seeds, sugar, baking powder and soda.

    Add oat and buttermilk mixture to egg mixture and with the mixer running, slowly add in dry ingredients, 1 cup at a time.

    Spoon the batter into lined muffin tins, filling them about 2/3 of the way and sprinkling with streusel topping.

    Bake the muffins for 12 minutes, than rotate pan. Bake another 12- 14 minutes until golden brown.

    Cool slightly before removing them from pan.

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    5 plant-based (vegan) recipes

    With Earth Day right around the corner, I’m making a conscious effort to think about my impact on this amazing earth of ours. I grew up in a family who recycled religiously, reused sour cream containers (and sugar bags for lunch bags – which was SO embarrassing!) and even composted. So at a young age, it was instilled in me that leaving as little of footprint as possible was of the utmost importance.

    These days, I make the best effort I can to reuse, reduce and recycle. (And I’m proud that I’ve almost kicked my plastic water bottle habit!) But there is always room for improvement and that’s what is important to look at. In the coming months, my goal is to buy more local food – preferably straight from the source through a CSA membership or more frequent visits to the farmer’s market.

    So why the plant-based recipes? It seems that every spring, I’m drawn to more plant-based foods and less meat. The term ‘plant-based eating’ has been growing in popularity but the phrase is a bit confusing – and I think that’s the idea. The short explanation is that it’s a vegan diet (while some may consume a limited amount of animal products like eggs or dairy) and it seems to me that it’s a vegan diet without the vegan junk food and without the (sometimes polarizing) vegan label. It’s real, whole, unprocessed food – full of plants – and most of the time it’s beautiful. (Learn more about plant-based diets here.)

    But it’s not just about me. (Wait, what?!) A diet with more plants and less meat helps to reduce our ecological footprint (animal products require a lot of land, water and resources). As Mr. Pollan so wisely tells us, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” And also? It’s delicious. Here are 5 plant-based (ok, vegan!) recipes that are so tasty and gorgeous that even the most stubborn of carnivores won’t miss the meat.

     

    5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes

    5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

    1. This Vegan Green Chili Mac and Cheese has been on my list of recipes to make since…the first time I laid eyes on it. And while we typically think of mac and cheese falling into the junk food category, this cheese, made with cashews, is anything but. (image & recipe via Minimalist Baker)

    5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

    2. I know. I’m craving tofu now too. This Crispy Baked Salt & Pepper Tofu is much easier than it seems – simply toss and bake – and enjoy. (image & recipe via Heartbeet Kitchen)

    5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

    3. Herby, Peanutty, Noodly Salad is just that. This colorful salad is filled with fresh veggies and nutritious buckwheat noodles for a meal that screams spring to me. This post also gives some great insight on not giving yourself a vegan label and I pretty much love it.  (image & recipe via Eating for England)

    5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

    4.  These Not-So-Sloppy Tempeh Joes made such a satisfying lunch, I’ve got to make them again soon. Don’t be put-off by the steps and ingredients, it’s worth it! In fact, I’d recommend doubling the recipe. (image & recipe via Chickypea)

    5 Plant-Based (Vegan) Recipes | A Nutritionist Eats

    5. No matter the label, almost all of us love dessert and I think that Banana Split Ice Cream Pie is the perfect way to end things. (Both a meal and this post.) I mean, bananas are roasted and then turned into banana ice cream which is laid into an almond flour crust and topped with coconut whipped cream and chocolate sauce. Come on! (image & recipe via The First Mess)

    What is your favorite plant-based recipe or meal?

    7 toppings for your toast

    Toast Toppings | A Nutritionist Eats

    I ate toast every single morning for a good two years. Seriously.

    Sometimes I would switch it up with some oats or a smoothie but I started my day with a sprouted bagel or two slices of sprouted bread toast for two years. It was also when I worked in a bakery so there was a) lots of bread, b) I ate/slept/dreamt bread, c) it was easy and d) it was delicious!

    I’m getting back into my toast routine but I’m stepping up the topping ideas to add some more fun – and NUTRITION – to your typical toast.

    Get your toasters ready…

    Toast Toppings | A Nutritionist EatsAvocado has to be one of my favorite toppings for toast. A touch of mayo, or a slice of cheese adds a lot, but it’s also delicious on its own. Sprinkle with some high-quality salt (It seriously makes a big difference, I love maldon) and some red pepper flakes if you want a little heat.

     

     

     
    Toast Toppings | A Nutritionist EatsProtein-rich greek yogurt gets a sweet drizzle of sweet honey for a delicious and creamy breakfast. Your morning yogurt is now a full meal.

     

     

     

     

     

     
    Toast Toppings | A Nutritionist Eats

    This is a standard breakfast/lunch/dinner meal. Topping toast with a fried egg is a natural choice and for good reason. Spread with a pat of butter or coconut oil if desired, or simply leave the yolk runny for ultimate dipping.

    Toast Toppings | A Nutritionist EatsMozzarella + Tomato may be a little out of the ordinary for breakfast, but why not? A drizzle of olive oil + a sprinkling of salt + pepper is all this toast needs but if you want a little more flavor, add some high-quality balsamic vinegar. It also makes a perfect lunch.

     

     

     

     
    Toast Toppings | A Nutritionist EatsPeanut Butter is always a good idea on toast. And it is what I always topped mine with for those two years. Adding bananas + honey is icing on the “toast” cake in my opinion.

     

    Toast Toppings | A Nutritionist EatsVegetable Cream Cheese (I couldn’t find one that I liked, so I made my own!) + sprouts is one of those meals that is almost too good to be true. You could also top with some sliced cucumber.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Toast Toppings | A Nutritionist EatsRicotta Cheese + Preserves feels like such a treat on a weekday morning. I like it topped with preserves, but you could also go a savory route and top with a drizzle of olive oil + salt + pepper. Apricot or orange flavors are perfect, but really, anything will work.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I hope I’ve given you some inspiration to mix up your toast. What do you top your toast with? 

     

    texas caviar rice & beans

    texas caviar rice & beans | a nutritionist eats

    First things first: Texas Caviar Rice & Beans is genius. I’m a big fan of bean salad (you’re aware of this: black bean & corn relish + more recent obsession with simple bean salads) so this recipe caught my eye almost immediately.

    But let’s back up. I was sent The Slim Down South Cookbook, Eating Well and Living Healthy in the Land of Biscuits and Bacon written by Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RD. In addition to the standard, breakfast/lunch/dinner recipes, the book also includes “Stay Slim Secrets” and features “Slim and Savvy Southerners” who share their strategies for enjoying southern food while staying healthy. The images are beautiful (a must for me) and each recipe includes nutrition facts. 

    I oddly enough love Southern food. Odd only because I’ve never lived in the South and because well, we all know that Southern food is known for being anything but healthy. While I definitely don’t eat perfectly (or even close) I still don’t like that it frequently seems obnoxiously-rich, and way over the top. But this book changes that. It lightens up the classic recipes that we all love, like fried chicken and grits, to calorie levels that are more acceptable for every day eating.

     texas caviar rice & beans | a nutritionist eats

    The publisher let me share this recipe with y’all…catch that? It’s a fresh take on rice and beans and it’s flavorful, crunchy and oh-so-satisfying. We loved it!

    Canned beans and pre-made rice make this salad come together quickly. And the combination of rice and beans with fresh celery, tomatoes and cilantro is great. If you like spice, top the salad with lots of hot sauce and pickled jalapenos!

    nutrition facts (about 1 cup rice-bean mixture + 1 oz tortilla chips): 451 calories, 19 grams of fat, 13 grams of protein, 60 grams of carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber

    Texas Caviar Rice & Beans

    by The Slim Down South Cookbook

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Keywords: appetizer entree salad side gluten-free high fiber vegan vegetarian beans

     

    Ingredients (6 servings)

      For the Salad

      • 1 (15.8-oz.) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
      • 1 (15-oz.) can no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
      • ⅓ cup finely chopped roasted red bell peppers
      • ¼ cup seeded and finely chopped poblano pepper
      • Texas Vinaigrette
      • 2 (8.8-oz.) pouches fully cooked basmati rice
      • ⅔ cup thinly sliced celery
      • ¾ cup (3 oz.) shredded pepper Jack cheese
      • 1¼ cups chopped tomatoes
      • ¾ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
      • ⅓ cup thinly sliced green onions
      • 6 oz. tortilla chips
      • Garnish: sliced pickled jalapeño peppers

      For the Vinaigrette

      • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
      • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
      • 1½ Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
      • 1½ Tbsp. hot sauce
      • 1 minced garlic clove
      • ¼ tsp. chili powder
      • ¼ tsp. ground cumin

      Instructions

      For the Salad

      Stir together first 5 ingredients in a medium-size microwave-safe glass bowl; let stand 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Microwave at HIGH 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring at 30-second intervals.

      Heat rice according to package directions; fluff with a fork. Layer rice, bean mixture, celery, cheese, tomato, cilantro, and green onions in 2-qt. trifle bowl or straight-sided bowl. Serve with tortilla chips.

      Note: The original recipe tested with Tasty Bite Basmati Rice. I used brown basmati rice.

      For the Vinaigrette

      Whisk all ingredients together. *You’ll need only half of this dressing for the Texas Caviar Rice and Beans. Store the remainder in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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