Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Get Movin' Muffins

Because of busy lifestyles and time constraints, many people skip their morning meal. And when there are a few minutes to spare, fast food is often the only option. These food choices are usually loaded with calories and sugar. For example, a Cinnabon cinnamon roll contains over 800 calories and 32g of fat and a sausage biscuit from Chik-fil-a will cost you 590 calories and 41g of fat. Sure, these breakfast items will fill you up for a while; but due to an induced carbohydrate or sugar overload, a crash is soon to follow.

This raisin bran muffin recipe makes a quick, healthy breakfast to take on the go. The recipe makes enough batter for 36 muffins but the average household does not need 3 dozen muffins at one time. The solution: Make the batter, bake as many muffins as you would like, and store the rest in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Since it only takes 20 minutes to cook a batch, you can have fresh, healthy muffins in no time at all. While these raisin bran muffins are chocked full of nutrition, the average muffin is far from healthy. Many muffins sound nutritious because their titles include words such as "Blueberry, Banana, Carrot, or Wheat". The truth is that although they do contain such labeled fruits, vegetables, or grains, they also have a fair share of sugar and fat that is not advertised. Another problem with commercially baked muffins is their jumbo size. Muffins have tripled in size over the years, also tripling the amount of calories and making a single muffin close to a third of daily recommended caloric intake. If you were to examine a nutrition facts label of a prepackaged muffin, you would likely find that the serving size is 1/2 of the muffin. This type of labeling is deceptive, often leaving the consumer to believe that they have only eaten half the amount of calories upon devouring the entire pastry.

My recipe is adapted from the back of Hodgson Mills Wheat Bran box and contains only complex carbohydrates. Typically I like to substitute sugar with a calorie-free sweetener and butter with a reduced-fat margarine. When baking, these substitutions do not yield an equal product so sugar and butter are necessary, but in such small amounts they are fine (Remember the recipe makes 36 muffins). I will have later posts with muffins that are sugar-free and fat-free. These are tender, delicious, and healthy. The muffins can be paired with a piece of fruit or yogurt for a complete breakfast that will keep you full and energized until your next meal.

Get Movin' Muffins
Serves 36

3 cups unprocessed wheat bran
1 cup boiling water
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups fat free buttermilk
2 cups raisins

1. Mix 1 cup wheat bran with 1 cup boiling water; stir and let water absorb into bran.
2. In a separate bowl blend sugar and butter.
3. Measure and combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
4. Combine the moist bran with the beaten eggs, the remaining 2 cups of bran, buttermilk, blended sugar-butter mixture, and the flour, soda and salt. Stir until well combined. Mix-in raisins gently.
5. At this point you can place the batter in the fridge for future use or bake at once.
6. When preparing to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
7. Stir batter well and spoon into prepared muffin tins.
8. Bake for 15 minutes and store the extra batter in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Nutrition: 120 calories, 22g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 3g fat, 3g fiber

***You can also make these muffins without raisins to reduce the carbs and sugar content.
Nutrition (w/out raisins): 94 calories, 16g carbohydrate, 3g protein, 3g fat, 3g fiber

Photos credited to Jennifer Oetting

Monday, June 28, 2010

Totally Trim Taquitoes

This is not only my first recipe post, but also my first blog post ever. Although I read other food blogs daily, I am just now finding the time to create one of my own. I have a monstrosity of a recipe binder that is so unorganized that I rarely bother to open it when planning to cook a meal. But when somebody asks for one of my recipes, I become overwhelmed with loose sheets of paper that have been marked through, highlighted, and written (if you can even call it writing) on every side and every space available. As much as I love creating healthy recipes, it is an equal satisfaction to provide my recipes for others who seek a healthy diet and lifestyle. In all efforts to be able to do so, I have planned this blog as a way to help me organize my recipes and also to help you find them. I will be posting recipes mostly as I cook them in order to provide you with a bit of eye candy aka pictures to accompany each post. The pictures for this post are credited to Jennifer Oetting, one of my best friends and an amazingly talented photographer/artist. That is the plan for now but I would love any requests for specific types of recipes that anyone might want posted sooner. Most of my recipes are healthy, low calorie alternatives to typically unhealthy cuisines. I will post the nutrition information for each recipe to help anybody who may be dieting or just curious. In addition I have created recipes that are more diet-specific, including high-fiber, low-carb, and sugar-free. I also enjoy searching for healthy food products and I will relay those, as well as where you can find them. I would greatly appreciate comments or suggestions to any post or to the blog in general to help me in my beginning stages as a blogger.

This chicken recipe originated from a food blog that I frequent called Our Best Bites and is known on the site as "Baked Chicken Taquitoes". Following my healthy make-over, the recipe was transformed to be called "Totally Trim Taquitoes". This dish consists of whole grain flour tortillas stuffed with a chicken, cream cheese,and verde salsa mixture. The taquitoes provide a summery flare with the addition of fresh lime, chopped cilantro, and a hint of garlic. The addition of pepper-jack cheese adds just enough heat to provide a contrast for the addition of a creamy yogurt dipping sauce.

The tortillas that I used are made by La Banderita and are the Xtreme Fiber variety. They are high in fiber and protein and low in carbs and fat. Each tortilla has 72 calories, 5g carbohydrate, 8g protein, and 2g fat. They also contain a whopping 12g of fiber which is 47% of the daily recommended value. I have spotted this brand at Wal-Mart and Publix but if you cannot locate these, there are others available with similar stats.

Totally Trim Taquitoes
serves 6

1/3 cup fat-free cream cheese
1/4 cup green verde salsa
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp sliced green onions
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
6 slices 2% Kraft Pepperjack cheese slices
6 low-carb flour tortillas
kosher salt
cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. Heat cream cheese in microwave for 20 seconds to soften.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic. Add cilantro and green onions and then chicken and cheese. (After this step, you can refrigerate the mixture for later cooking)
  4. Lay out the tortillas and divide the the mixture evenly among them.
  5. Roll up tightly and place seam-side down on baking sheet.
  6. Spray the tops lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden brown.
  8. Dip them in salsa, fat free sour cream, or yogurt dipping sauce (recipe below).
Yogurt Dipping Sauce

1 pack Hidden Valley buttermilk ranch dressing mix
1 cup 0% Fage Greek Yogurt
juice of 1 lime
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup green verde salsa
hot sauce to taste

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and add hot sauce to taste. Make ahead of time and refrigerate for several hours. Pour into individual ramekins to serve.

Nutrition Information: 205 calories per serving (one serving- one taquito with dipping sauce, using La Banderita Xtreme Fiber tortillas)

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About Lauren


Nutrition student with a passion for giving yummy recipes a healthy make-over. Future RD on a constant search for the best food finds. And new blogger trying to relay my tasty ideas to everyone else.

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Please feel free to email me with any questions, suggestions, or comments at lamandle88@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you.

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