Five: A Random Blog Survey

After seeing this survey on Julie’s, Brittany’s, and Courtney’s blogs, I thought it would be fun to fill out myself. Especially after wistfully glancing over the photos of travel locations and jamming to the music selections! I decided to go alphabetically in each section, but there are shout-outs to a few of my number ones 🙂

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WIAW #46: Saturday Spoons and Plates

This WIAW is a change from the usual, because I’m sharing my eats from a Saturday at home in Connecticut instead of on a workday. That means food on actual plates and other fun stuff. Even for my pre-run breakfast, which was a banana version of my Peanut Butter Puff-in-a-Mug with chocolate chips and a spoonful of extra peanut butter, paired with a small Granny Smith apple. I ate around 8:30 and read the paper and stretched so I had an hour to digest before my 8.4 miles.

 

 

Banana scone with peanut butter and apple

 

 

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Five Healthy Snack Ideas

It’s been awhile since I posted a Five Things I’m Loving This Friday, and I figured it was about time to start again. The topic that came to mind this week? Snack ideas. As I mentioned in last week’s and this week’s WIAW posts, while on my elimination I’ve been hungrier than usual, and that’s saying something considering I’m generally in run-eat-repeat mode. And without my usual go-to snacks like Greek yogurt, I’ve been figuring out where else to turn. The fruits of my labor can be found in the five healthy snack ideas I’m sharing today. Pun totally intended 🙂

 

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Apple Cinnamon Flax Muffin Bites

Today we’re taking a little break from the plethora of pumpkin on here to focus on another member of autumn’s star produce ensemble. That’s right, the apple. The apple is one of my favorite foods. I eat at least the one a day recommended to keep the doctor away year-round, and in the colder months I often have two or three because they’re in season in the Northeast and most other fruits, like berries, melon, peaches and plums, are not (and are thus ridiculously expensive unless you buy them frozen). There’s no better autumn activity than apple picking, and other than munching on all the crisp, sweet, juicy fruit you fetch from the trees, a girl’s got to whip up some apple-licious treats with all the bounty. 

 

Apple Cinnamon Flax Muffin Bites

 

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Four Month Blog-iversary and an Apples n’ Peanut Butter Muffin Recipe

I can’t believe it, but today is my four-month blog anniversary! The past few months have been a whirlwind with family and friends, running and recipes, and of course law school and everything leading up to graduation. But I’ve really been loving every moment I’ve spent on the blog. I had forgotten how much I missed writing for fun, about whatever is on my mind, since I started law school. After all, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for it! But I’m so happy I made the time, because writing, and reading other blogs, and beginning to feel like a part of something in the healthy living community, have all been fantastic little pieces of the journey so far. That said, on to today’s post – a new muffin recipe combining two of my favorite things.

Honeydew makes these muffins another snack that smiles back!

Honeydew makes these muffins another snack that smiles back!

I’m constantly experimenting with new flavor combinations for my muffins because I whip up a batch weekly for breakfast, brunch, an on-the-go snack or a running pick-me-up. Honestly, they’re practically a food group for me (just look at what I eat on a typical day!) These little dollops of deliciousness are what would happen if my Caramel Apple Cinnamuffins and Peanut Butter Cuppins had a muffin baby. Apples + Peanut Butter = Yum. Every time. Plus, I had an excuse to try out my new silicone muffin pan – I usually stick to a regular stainless steel pan, but lately mine has been getting tough to clean and the muffins have been sticking even when the pan is greased well, so I decided to give this cute red one a try. It’s a little trickier to remove from the oven without bending, but I’m happy to announce it was a successful test run! If you slide a knife carefully around the edges of each muffin before removing, they’re easy to pop right out of the pan.

 

Muffins in their new baking home

Muffins in their new baking home

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

1/4 cup gluten-free sorghum or all-purpose flour

6 oz vanilla Greek yogurt (I used Oikos Traditional Greek Yogurt)

2 Tbsp milk of choice (I used So Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk)

2 large eggs

2 tbsp peanut butter, melted (My favorite Peanut Butter & Co)

2 tbsp powdered peanut butter (I used PB2 Original)

1/2 cup apple, peeled and chopped (I like using Braeburn apples to bake, they’re the perfect twist of sweet and snappy)

1/3 cup applesauce

1 Tbsp butter (you can sub extra applesauce if you prefer)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Extra tbsp olive oil, butter, or cooking spray (to grease the pan)

 

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Sweet and Saucy Cinna-cakes

Pancakes. Flapjacks. Hotcakes.

Whatever you want to call them, good old-fashioned pancakes are delicious. My traditional birthday breakfast has always consisted of pancakes with strawberries and bananas, drizzled with maple syrup. Lately I’ve been experimenting with my own batter, because I like to use whole foods as much as possible and to try different combinations of flavors. I already have a favorite basic pancake recipe that uses oats, but after whipping up so many flourless oat muffins I got to wondering if I could do the same with pancakes. This morning, I landed on a winner…so good, I just had to share!

I started with rolled oats. Frequent readers will realize by now that I am obsessed with oats. I often use them as a base rather than gluten-free flours, simply because I’m not a big fan of rice flour and many of the others use nuts as a base or additive, and I’m also nut-free. The good news is, they work great as a base for pancakes. I almost called these oatcakes, but there is already a food called oatcakes (very popular in the UK!) and that would be confusing. So I decided on Saucy Cinna-cakes, because the next ingredients to go in the bowl were applesauce and cinnamon, one of my favorite flavors (similar to my Caramel Apple Cinnamuffins). From there, I figured out the rest, and after a failed first flip, the rest of the batch came out hot, creamy, cake-y and delicious!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats (here, I abandoned my usual Country Choice in favor of Chex quick-cook rolled oats, because I didn’t want to bust out a blender and the slightly broken-down consistency is better for the batter. Up to you to try your favorite brand!)

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (you can also use one of the seasonal apple flavors – Dannon Greek Caramel Apple is scrumptious, as is the Chobani 2% Apple Cinnamon)

1 large egg OR 2 egg whites

2-3 tsp cinnamon

1-2 tsp stevia or other sweetener (to taste)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup chopped apples

1-2 tbsp maple syrup

Olive oil, butter, or cooking spray (to grease the pan)

Optional: berries, powdered sugar, or any other preferred pancake toppings.

 

Batter = light and frothy and bubbly

Batter = light and frothy and bubbly

Instructions:

1. In a small bowl, mix the oats, applesauce, yogurt, egg, cinnamon, sweetener, and baking powder. Beat until batter is light and frothy.

2. Bring a nonstick pan to medium heat and coat well with oil or butter.

3. Measure out just under 1/4 cup of batter and pour into pan. You can usually fit two cinna-cakes in the pan at a time.

4. Let cook for 2 minutes, watching to ensure there is no burning. Carefully flip each cake (this can be tricky!) and let cook another 1-2 minutes.

5. Transfer cinna-cakes to plate and repeat with the rest of the batter. It should yield 4-5 small cinna-cakes.

Cinnacakes cooking (pre-flip!)

Cinnacakes cooking (pre-flip!)

6. Chop 1/2 a small apple and toss with cinnamon. Ensure the pan is still greased well, and toss apples in to cook for 5-10 minutes (the exact time will vary based on how thoroughly you like your apples cooked, I like them with a little bit of crunch!)

7. Pour maple syrup over the cinna-cakes. Top with the apples and fresh berries.

8. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Saucy Cinna-cakes with scrambled eggs and fresh blueberries!

Saucy Cinna-cakes with scrambled eggs and fresh blueberries!

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

Caramel Apple Cinnamuffins

It’s official: my kitchen is experiencing olfactory overload. So many new recipes to try, and only so much winter break in which to try them!

This latest batch of muffins may seem familiar, cousins of my Banana-Maple-Oat and Apple-Berry-Nana creations. But these include a delightful twist of caramel, invisible in their warm golden-brown tops while infusing the scrumptious first bite. Enjoy!

 

Caramel Apple Cinnamuffins

Caramel Apple Cinnamuffins

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats (I love Country Choice Organic Gluten Free Rolled Oats)

1/2 large apple

2 large eggs

1/3 cup brown sugar

4 oz unsweetened applesauce (you can also use sweetened and decrease the sugar)

6 oz 2% vanilla or apple Greek yogurt (I love using the seasonal flavors, like Chobani 2% Apple Cinnamon or Dannon Caramel Apple, but unfortunately yogurt makers think we only like these in the autumn – FALSE!)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup caramel sauce (you can make your own, of course – this is the next skill I’ll tackle, but for now I used Stonewall Kitchen Sea Salt Caramel Sauce)

2-3 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

Butter, oil, or cooking spray (for the muffin tin)

 

Instructions:

Cinnamuffin Batter

Cinnamuffin Batter

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin with butter, oil or cooking spray.

3. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

4. Chop up half an apple into small cubes and toss into bowl.

5. Add egg, yogurt, and applesauce.

6. Mix well until the batter is uniform. This should be about 12-15 good stirs.

7. Now, for the caramel! I simply put my caramel sauce in at this stage and mix 4-5 more times so it becomes part of the batter, because I like the flavor throughout the muffin. However, you can also keep the caramel separate and fill each muffin tin about 2/3 of the way, then place a dollop of the sauce on top before adding the last bit of batter. This gives you a caramel center for each muffin, which can be a scrumptious surprise! I just like to mix it in, and then pour the batter into the muffin tin.

8. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.

9. Let cool.

10. Enjoy!

 

 

Bursting with apples, cinnamon and caramel!

Bursting with apples, cinnamon and caramel!

 

 

 

© 2014 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

More Marvelous Muffins: Apple-Berry-Nana Edition

The winter chill is in the air, I’ve got some time off from school, and I’m in training for a race – let the muffin-making commence! Like their banana-maple siblings, these muffins are made with gluten-free rolled oats and Greek yogurt, resulting in a hearty morsel of goodness. Using apples and blueberries with less banana results in a slightly fluffier texture, and a few secret ingredients create a crisp, browned muffin-top that sets them apart. The fruit is definitely the star of the show with these muffins, perfect to grab anytime you’re feeling like a healthy treat.

 

All the fruit!

All the fruit!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

1 small banana (roughly 6″ long)

1/2 cup chopped apple (about half of a regular-sized apple)

1/2 cup blueberries

2 oz unsweetened applesauce

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sweetener (I use brown sugar and stevia, but agave can also work great here)

6 oz 2% plain Greek yogurt

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2-3 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

 

 

Muffin batter with fruit mixed in

Muffin batter with fruit mixed in

Instructions:

1. Dice apple and banana into small chunks.

2. Combine oats, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar in a large bowl.

3. Add eggs, yogurt, and applesauce. Mix the batter until it gets to a uniform color, about 8-10 good stirs. Add the fruit, and mix another 4-5 stirs. Once the batter is a smooth, uniform consistency with the exception of oats and fruit, stop stirring.

4. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes.

5. Let cool.

6. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Muffins fresh from the oven, tops nicely browned!

Muffins fresh from the oven, tops nicely browned! (I just had to taste test one immediately…)

 

 

 

© 2014 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.