Every day for breakfast I have a smoothie filled with all sorts of nutritional goodness from greens, berries, banana, homemade almond milk and flax seeds. Some days though, I want something different and I will make oatmeal topped with banana, grated apple, cinnamon, a few walnuts, some almond milk and a touch of maple syrup. Kinda hard to eat a bowl of oatmeal on the run or if you’re in a hurry though, and impossible to eat out of your hand (not that I’ve tried). So, I set out to make a super healthy muffin that would be like a bowl of oatmeal disguised as a muffin. These muffins have the same ingredients as my hearty bowl of oatmeal with delicious toppings. They are dense, hearty and satisfying and best of all – easy to make!
* You need a 6-cup muffin tin for this recipe as it makes larger muffins than the 12-muffin pans. You can purchase here:Jumbo Muffin Tin. You could use a regular 12-muffin tin and make smaller muffins – just cook them for less time, 30-35 minutes.
* If your bananas are super ripe you can omit the maple syrup as the ripe bananas will add just enough sweetness.
There is no shortage of granola recipes on-line, though I’d never heard of a chocolate variety so when it popped into my head as I was working out, I jumped on it. Many of my recipes come to me during exercise – weird. Anyhow, I got the idea to use cacao nibs and cocoa powder to make the granola chocolatey. Sure, I could use chocolate chips but this is granola, it’s supposed to be healthy!
For those not familiar with cacao nibs, they are basically raw chocolate, pieces of cacao beans that have been roasted, hulled and prepped to the point where all that there is left to do is process them into bars. Like dark chocolate, they are somewhat bitter and they are very pure with no added sugar. I like them in the granola however because there are plenty of other sweet elements. The bitter, nutty flavor of the nibs with the cherries, cranberries and maple syrup and/or date paste is delicious. Best part? Your milk in the bowl ends up like chocolate milk! Who doesn’t love that?
Cacao beans, and thus cacao nibs, are one of the best dietary sources of magnesium — a mineral needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in our bodies — with 272 milligrams per 100 grams. Cacao nibs are very high in antioxidants, and have about 9 grams of fiber per 1 ounce!
Since they will melt like any other type of chocolate, you need to wait until the granola is cooled before adding the cacao nibs.
This sprinkle is a great way to add a cheesy/salty flavor to any food. The main ingredient is nutritional yeast which is a deactivated yeast, unlike the type used in breads. It is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins, and is a complete protein. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium, and is free of sugar,dairy, and gluten.
I sprinkle this delicious mixture on steamed greens, broccoli, salads, baked white and sweet potatoes, popcorn…basically everything savory.
I needed to make a dessert for company recently and I knew I wanted something sort of summery, but warm since evenings are still cool here. Wasn’t in the mood for cake, pie or the Chocolate-Banana Muffin Cakes I always make. I decided a peach crisp was definitely in order since peaches are abundant and delicious right now. Unfortunately, most recipes for any kind of crisp are laden with sugar and butter. This version does contain some Earth Balance, so it’s best for special occasions, but it’s definitely less fattening than standard recipes – and every bit as good!