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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    ranch house salad smoothie

    Ranch House Salad Smoothie | A Nutritionist Eats

    I know. The title is kind of scary. But also soooooo intriguing!

    I’ll be the first to say that the words ‘ranch house salad smoothie’ give reason for pause. But if you’re getting sick of salads at lunch and love the convenience of smoothies, you’ve got to give this savory smoothie a try.

    Ranch House Salad Smoothie | A Nutritionist Eats

    The first time I made this salad smoothie we had a friend over and after the first sip we all looked at each other with confused faces. But then we took another sip. And then another. We all decided that in a weird way, we liked it. It honestly tastes like a salad with ranch dressing. Which is always good in my opinion. :)

    Health-wise, it’s a great way to eat a variety of vegetables all packaged up with some high-protein greek yogurt and healthy-fat avocado. I’d pair it with some deli turkey or a slice of toast with a slice of melted goat cheese for a perfect lunch.

    Ranch House Salad Smoothie | A Nutritionist Eats

    I can’t take credit for this salad smoothie idea though, I found the recipe in a book called, Green Smoothie Cleanse: Detox, Lose Weight and Restore Your Health with the World’s Most Powerful Superfoods by Lisa Sussman. I was sent the book to review and while I have no intention of going on a smoothie “cleanse” I love that this book is full of smoothie ideas and inspiration. Check it out if you’re getting sick of your standard smoothies, the recipes won’t disappoint.

    nutrition facts: 456 calories, 24 grams of fat, 27 grams of protein, 42 g carbohydrates, 12 g fiber

    Ranch House Salad Smoothie

    by Green Smoothie Cleanse

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Keywords: blender salad gluten-free high protein low-carb vegetarian

     

    Ingredients (16 oz (1 serving))

    • 1 cup water
    • 1/4 avocado
    • 1 cup romaine lettuce
    • 1 cup spinach
    • 2 carrots
    • 1/2 onion (I used less)
    • 1 tomato
    • 1 cup greek yogurt
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 1 teaspoon chives
    • 1 teaspoon dill
    • dash of salt & pepper

    Instructions

    Blend until smooth.

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    Totally freaked out or slightly intrigued?  

    haricot verts with shallot vinaigrette

    Haricot Verts with Shallot Vinaigrette | A Nutritionist Eats

    I know I should probably say that kale or swiss chard or something with an insane amount of antioxidants is my favorite vegetable but if I had to name a favorite – and only one favorite vegetable – it would be haricot verts. (And not green beans, haricot verts.)

    If you aren’t familiar with haricot verts, they are a thinner, more delicate, and some say more flavorful, french green bean.

    Haricot Verts with Shallot Vinaigrette | A Nutritionist Eats

    Basically, I LOVE THEM!!!! 

    We eat them every week. And typically prepare them the same way: lightly steamed and then sautéed in a bit of olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt & pepper. But sometimes I switch it up.

    These haricot verts, are lightly steamed and tossed with a shallot vinaigrette and can be eaten warm, chilled or at room temperature. They are delicious and I love that they can be made ahead of time.

    Haricot Verts with Shallot Vinaigrette | A Nutritionist Eats

    Serve them alongside a protein for dinner and get ready to fall in love with haricot verts!

    nutrition facts (4 servings): 121 calories, 10 grams of fat, 2 grams of protein,  7 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber

    Haricot Verts with Shallot Vinaigrette

    by Emily Dingmann

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook Time: 3 minutes

    Keywords: steam side gluten-free low-carb paleo

    Ingredients (4 servings)

    • 1 Tbsp chopped shallot
    • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
    • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 3 Tbsp olive oil
    • salt & pepper
    • 12 oz haricot verts

    Instructions

    Whisk together all ingredients but haricot verts until emulsified. (Or shake together in a small jar.)

    Lightly steam haricot verts in a glass bowl with a splash of water for 2-3 minutes, depending on how done you like them.

    Drain off water and toss with dressing.

    Season with salt & pepper to taste.

    Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.

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    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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