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Once Upon A Time Muffins October 28, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.
40 comments

Once Upon A Time . . .

Junk-Food Jacques tasted a heart-healthy muffin packed with anti-oxidants  (apples, cranberries, and nuts) and fiber (apples, cranberries, nuts, and oats).

The fiber and anti-oxidants boosted his immune and  cardiovascular systems and put a smile on his face.

No, really, they did!   

And he lived happily ever after . . . on a moment by moment basis, of course.

2 wicker baskets full of muffins sit on a blue...

Wikipedia ~ Muffins (in Public Domain)

Once Upon A Time Muffins

1 large egg
3/4 cup milk or half & half
3 Tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1-2 tsp. cinnamon
1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In small bowl, beat together egg, milk, oil and sugar.  In larger bowl, combine remaining ingredients.  Fold liquid ingredients into dry mixture and mix to moisten. Fill non-stick muffin tins 3/4 full.

Bake 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown and the muffins spring back when touched lightly and/or when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool for 5 minutes, remove from pan and serve.

Makes 12 muffins ~ 173 calories, 4 g. protein, 3 g. fiber, 8 g. fat.

Variations ~ omit last 5 ingredients (nutmeg, cinnamon, apple, cranberries, and walnuts) and replace with:

Blueberry ~ 1 cup of fresh blueberries, dredged in 1 Tbsp. flour
Carrot ~ 1 1/2 c. shredded carrot, 1/3 c. raisins, 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
Zucchini ~ 1 1/2 c. shredded zucchini, 1/3 c. raisins, 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
Peach ~ 1 1/2 c. finely chopped fresh peaches and a dash of ginger
Pumpkin ~ decrease milk to 1/2 c. and add 3/4 c. canned pumpkin, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg, and 1/4 c. chopped walnuts

For Brain Rants:  Bacon Muffins ~ 3 strips of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  Sidey’s Weekend Theme ~ Once Upon A Time * Start With The Pebbles

Start With The Pebbles October 28, 2011

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Food & Drink, Health & Wellness.
40 comments

Our thoughts play tricks on us . . . in order to maintain the status quo.

For example, if we start thinking of clearing out the clutter, our thoughts gravitate to the MOST DIFFICULT issue first :

What are we going to do with the grandma’s silver tea set? 

Stymied and unable to come up with a satisfactory answer, we abandon the task entirely.

If we want to make changes in our lives, we can start small, moving step by step in the right direction.  Instead of worrying about the antique tea service first, we can clear out the “real clutter” ~ STUFF that is not giving us ANY VALUE and is just taking up SPACE in our homes and our thoughts.

After we’ve tossed the old magazines, the toys and games that have been outgrown, and clothes that no longer fit, we can tackle the tea service.

Every move in the right direction counts . . . a bucket is filled drop by drop.

Instead of tackling the BIGGEST boulders straight out of the starting block (before we’ve got momentum going), we can start with a few SMALLER pebbles.

Kicking several small pebbles aside, and side-stepping a few small potholes along the way, will give us the confidence we need to “climb every mountain and ford every stream.”

When it comes to nutrition, we need not change ALL of our “bad habits” to improve our health and wellness.  Instead, we can make a series of smaller changes and build momentum before attempting to tackle any BOULDERS that are standing in our way.

We should enjoy eating.  If we want to choose foods that help prevent and treat illness, and enhance our well-being, we don’t have to be fanatic about it.

Instead of marching into the kitchen to throw away ALL the junk food that is lurking there . . . we can start on the road to better health by adding some “better for us” choices to the grocery cart and to our meals.

These 20 Healing Foods offer exceptional nutritional value:

1.  Artichokes ~ aids digestion and assists liver, gallbladder & kidney function.

2.  Broccoli ~ antioxidants (beta-carotene, vitamins C & E), iron, folic acid, calcium and zinc.  Ideal:  2-3 servings a week.

3.  Cabbage ~ raw cabbage contains more anti-oxidants than cooked.  Ideal:  2-3 servings per week in tossed salads or cole slaw.

220px-Carrots_of_many_colors

Wikipedia ~ Carrots (in Public Domain)

4.  Carrots ~ high fiber, low calorie with plenty of anti-oxidants.  A carrot a day keeps the doctor away.

5.  Lettuce & Salad Greens ~ excellent source of raw fiber.  Eat freely.

6.  Onion ~ eating 1/2 an onion a day helps combat infections.

7.  Sweet Potato ~ great source of anti-oxidants, vitamin E, potassium, iron.  Ideal: one per week.

8.  Blueberries and Bilberries (wild blueberries) ~ improves circulation and counters infections in the digestive track.

9.  Cranberries ~ assists bodily defenses and fights UTI’s.

10.  Oranges ~ eating the fruit is more beneficial than drinking the juice. Use orange zest, rich in orange oil, to garnish salads & desserts.

11. Pineapple ~ beneficial enzymes are killed with cooking.  Eat fresh.

12.  Chili Pepper ~ stimulates circulation, clears airways, aids digestion, and raises the rate at which we burn calories.  Got chili peppers?

13.  Garlic ~ defends against colds and flu (and vampires).  Improves blood flow.  Best eaten raw.  Ideal:  1-2 cloves a day.

14.  Ginger ~ fights colds and coughs and aids circulation.  Delicious in stir fries, curries, desserts, and tea.

15.  Tea ~ Green tea has the most anti-oxidants.

16.  Oats ~ Soothes nerves and lowers cholesterol.  1-2 ounces a day ~  more may limit absorption of calcium, zinc, and iron.  Oatmeal pancakes, bread, granola, and muffins.  Hmm . . . Oatmeal Raisin Muffins!

17.  Sunflower Seeds ~ richer in Vitamin E than any other commonly available food.  Ideal:  2 Tbsp. a day.  Delicious sprinkled on salads.

18.  Walnuts ~ reduces severity of rheumatoid arthritis.  Omega-3 fatty acids.  Ideal:  5 a day.

19.  Yogurt ~ live cultures don’t survive long in digestive track.   Ideal: 1/2 c. of low fat yogurt with live cultures a day.  Delicious topped with fruit, nuts, and honey.

20.  Oily Fish ~ eating 4-13 oz. of fatty fish a week supplies beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids.

Wikipedia ~ Catfish (in Public Domain)

How many of these have you eaten in the past week?  How many are in your pantry and fridge right now?

How many will you incorporate into your meals today?

Related posts:  Food Matters ~ You Are What You Eat * Focus On What You’re Gaining * Friday’s Fabulous Facts ~ Chocolate & Smiles (Reflections From A Cloudy Mirror) * Great Nutrition Starts On Your Plate