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muffin



The Best Food Gift Recipes You Still Have Time to Make

Food gifts are one of the most popular of the gift-giving season, and almost always one of the most well received. Whether it’s a last-minute gift or just a desire to share something wholesome and homemade with friends and loved ones, this menu is all you need to share awesome food gifts.

Skip the expected boxes of drug store chocolate and tins of stale popcorn; these 14 treats and snacks will truly be unexpected, welcome surprises.

Pomegranate Pistachio Bark

POMEGRANATE PISTACHIO DARK CHOCOLATE BARK

This foodie gift is beautifully shared with wrapped in brown butcher paper.

chocolate covered pretzel protein balls

CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZEL PROTEIN BALLS

These bite-sized gems are like a homemade Lara Bar. Fill a Mason jar with the balls and wrap in a ribbon.

homemade sour mix

FRESH SOUR MIX

Prepare the mix and pour the juice in to clasp-top bottles or re-use wine bottles. Give this gift with a bottle of vodka or tequila.
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Crustless Pumpkin Pie Mini Muffins: Clean Eating Dessert That’s Entirely Decadent

crustless-pumpkin-pie-muffins

The holidays are here and that means we get to feast! Whether you do so mindfully or mindlessly, the point is to enjoy the time, the family, and definitely the food.

I LOVE sweets, however I don’t love how I feel afterwards. This means that some of my greatest ingenuity in the kitchen happens while trying to create desserts that still taste sinful without punishing my tummy later on. And this becomes especially necessary during Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season.

Enter: the Crustless Pumpkin Pie Mini Muffins. This quintessential holiday dessert does not need to be on your “No-no” list this year. I have adapted this recipe from 58 Day Dreams into a cleaner more health-friendly version. Why wait until New Year’s to start eating right again?

mini-pumpkin-pie-muffins

My favorite way to watch portions with most delectable treats is to make mini versions, and in this case that’s mini muffin pies. I often find that those few bites are enough to satisfy me for the rest of the night.
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The More the Berrier with Summery Blueberry Muffin Tops

The best part of the pizza? That very first bite of the pointy triangle end.

The best part of a cinnamon roll? The ooey-gooiest center.

The best part of the muffin? The top. Duh!

blueberry muffin tops

My completely made up statistic that 99.5 percent of people would rather eat the top of the muffin exclusively, rather than what a friend of mine calls “the stump,” is the reason an entire pan has been created to let you accomplish such baked good sorcery. There’s no waste; just bake the part people actually want to eat!

I know it’s warming up outside and the last thing you want to think about doing is firing up the oven. But berries are in season! So, you kind of have to. Rules and what not.

blueberry muffin tops pan

Blueberries are one of those can’t-fail foods, at least from a mom perspective. I don’t care what my four-year-old’s mood is, what she is or isn’t liking that week, or where we are — blueberries always get a yes. They are one of the original super foods, so it’s a no brainer to add them to pancakes, salads, smoothies, or just devour a fist-full every chance you get. One of the few, rare “blue” foods that occur in nature, those juicy little beads of sweetness can stand on their own with a healthy dose of fiber, a bit of protein, potassium, vitamin c, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and a host of other good-for-you goodness.

blueberry muffins

So when I tell you this recipe calls for blueberries, do not be shy. Dump ‘em in! The more the berrier, right?

You’ll notice we don’t add any sugar to this recipe. A generous, drizzly pour of honey with some natural applesauce really take on the heavy responsibility of sweetening these muffins. It’s not a two-man job though, the lemon juice, vanilla yogurt, and of course the blueberries, all carry their own weight in that department, too.

honey and applesauce

However, just before baking, I do sprinkle the tops with just a pinch of raw turbinado sugar. This gives the muffin that glazy top that you’d ordinarily create with a streusel topping, but without gobs of butter and white sugar.

sugar topping muffins

I use half-and half all-purpose and whole wheat flours. This gives me the bulk of fiber in a better flour with the texture we’ve all become accustomed to with white flours. To make up the difference, I add just a bit of uncooked oats for more fiber and a denser bite.

baking muffin tops

After it’s all whisked and folded together, scoop that batter into a pre-formed muffin top pan. Roughly 20 minutes later, you’ll have a pile of muffin tops that are just jam-packed with blueberries! You’ll want to save them all for yourself, but they’re so darn cute that sharing will seem like a reasonable option, too.

Blueberry Muffin Tops
makes 6

INGREDIENTSmuffin tops recipe

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp honey
1 egg
1/4 cup natural applesauce
2 Tbsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz. vanilla Greek yogurt
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 Tbsp. raw turbinado sugar, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Mix dry ingredients in one bowl.

3. In a second bowl, beat the egg with the other wet ingredients.

4. Fold the wet ingredients in to the dry, then gently add the blueberries.

5. Lightly mist the pan with cooking spray, then add the batter. If you choose, sprinkle the tops with raw turbinado sugar.

6. Bake about 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

ALSO TRY THIS!

Turkey Burger Sliders with Blueberry Balsamic Reduction

S’More Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake Muffins Recipe is In Season!

 

Recipe by Brandi Koskie; photos by Kacy Meinecke

 



4 Ways to Fit in Breakfast Even on Busy Mornings

By Team Best Life

We know how tough it can be to find the time for a healthy breakfast when you’re trying to get out the door in the morning. But a recent survey from the NPD Group, a market research company, suggests that people have found a solution: More and more Americans are opting for grab-and-go breakfasts.

breakfast

That’s a smart strategy since the benefits of breakfast have been well proven—people who start their day with a healthy meal are generally slimmer and healthier than those who skip it. Not only can a morning meal help keep your appetite in check, but it can also give you a boost of energy.

Check out the grab-and-go breakfast ideas below, all of which can help you power through your day:

  • Muffins. Make a batch of over the weekend, and enjoy them all week long. (Handy tip: You can freeze them and microwave them for just a few seconds to soften them up right before eating.) Pair with a skim latte and fruit for a balanced breakfast. We love these Pumpkin Spice Muffins. Don’t have time for homemade? It’s fine to go for store-bought—just look for one with 160 to 200 calories and at least 5 g fiber.
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5-Minute Breakfast Ideas to Fuel Your Mornings in a Hurry

By Bob Greene for TheBestLife.com

I’m a big fan of breakfast—in fact, starting off each day with a healthy, balanced breakfast is one of the key guidelines on my Best Life plan. A morning meal jump-starts your metabolism, delivers some much-needed energy after a night’s rest and can help with weight loss.

Don’t think you have the time? Check out these five dishes, which you can throw together in five minutes or less.


Speedy Cereal

Be picky about what you pour into your bowl. Our guidelines: Opt for a cereal that has at least 4 grams of fiber, no more than 5 grams of sugar, and no more than 120 milligrams sodium per 100 calories. (Click here for a list of healthy cereal choices.) Top it off with fat-free or one-percent milk or calcium-enriched soy milk. To add more nutrients and flavor, top with some fresh fruit or a tablespoon or two of nuts. Or try this shortcut: Mix a few healthy cereals together, put them in a re-sealable plastic bag, and go.
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