Breakfast

Double Chocolate [hidden beet!] Muffins

I’m not joking when I say that I’ve been trying to get this recipe blog-ready for like… three months. It’s become a slight obsession that I’m almost embarrassed by. I say “almost” because, if you know me by now, you have just come to expect these things. I like to hide vegetables in baked goods, dinners, under my bed.

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I was joking about that last one. I’m not trying to attract anything that doesn’t have a six pack to my bed. HAHA I’m joking about that, too. Promise.

Well, now that I’ve sufficiently made things kind of awkward here, let me tell you about these wonderful baked goods. You could trick a five year old into eating vegetables with these. You could also trick a fifty year old into eating vegetables with these (I did!). These babies are family-approved. I mean – they’re double chocolate muffins. You really can’t go wrong.

Double Chocolate [hidden beet!] Muffins - Nutty for Life

My dad almost didn’t believe that I snuck beets in there, which made me really proud of myself. Make these ASAP. You’ll get a little dose of vitamins and a good chocolate rush. You can have your chocolate and your vegetables, too.

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Double Chocolate [hidden beet!] Muffins

Makes one dozen muffins
Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients

  • 1 c. oat flour (just grind down oats)
  • 1/2 c. coconut palm sugar
  • 1/2 c. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1- 14.5 oz. can no salt added sliced beets, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 c. 2% Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, mix together all dry ingredients, except chocolate chips.
  3. In a high powered blender or food processor, blend down beets and greek yogurt until completely smooth.
  4. Transfer to a different bowl and add the rest of the wet ingredients.
  5. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until well-combined, but do not over mix.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips.
  7. Prepare your muffin/cupcake pans with non-stick spray (I used coconut oil spray).
  8. Fill tins (no liners!!) 3/4 of the way.
  9. Bake muffins for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down to 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes. A toothpick will come out clean when the muffins are done.

Questions of the Day:
>> What was the last baked good you made?
>> Do you prefer muffins as breakfast or a snack? 

More places to find me:
Twitter: @angiggy
Facebook: nuttylifeang
Instagram:@angiggy
Pinterest: Ang @ Nutty for Life
Email: nuttylifeang@gmail.com

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An Anniversary Dinner [Recent Eats + Fitness]

Lately I’ve been trying to get my family to eat a little healthier. Sure, I always encouraged them to, but now that I’m home with some extra time on my hands, I’ve been making dinner for them most nights. Mom and Dad have been on board, which I’m truly thankful for… Adam, not so much. I’m still holding out that I’ll eventually get him to eat more than seven baby carrots with his chicken patties.

I’ve been testing out one or two new-to-them and/or -me recipes per week, filling in the rest of the days will other staples. Breakfasts and lunches are still an individual thing, but hopefully I can start to help my mom meal plan her lunches, too. My parents have pretty much loved everything I’ve made for them so far, and, not surprisingly, I source most of my recipes from blogs I read. Yay blogs!

Recent Eats

I’ve tried this one out prior to this week, but The Hummusapien’s Chickpea, Brown Rice and Broccoli Crockpot Casserole has been and continued to be a big hit. I actually added too much water to this batch, so I soaked up the extra liquid by adding some quinoa, too. It’s not pretty, but it’s SO good.

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My mom and I munched on these Southwest Quinoa Burgers from Eat Yourself Skinny last night. They were really tasty! I made the whole recipe, but I found that six patties was more reasonable than the recommended eight. My mom agreed – but she also agreed they were delicious and “tasted like chili on a bun.” We used TJ’s whole wheat buns, for the record. Also very good. I topped mine with tomato and ketchup. #ketchupfreak

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On Sunday night, my entire family plus extended family on my dad’s side went out to dinner at Bravo! to celebrate my grandparents’ 55th wedding anniversary (!!!!! congrats! I love you both!). The food was pretty good – I ordered the Light Chicken and Vegetable Pasta – but the company was better.

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And check out these cookies my grandma got for dessert! Aren’t they the coolest? And talk about a good looking couple. They were actually married on the 4th of July, so that’s why the cookies are outlined in patriotic colors.

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As for breakfast, I rocked some pancakes on both Saturday and Sunday morning. The ones pictured here are made with spinach; the pancakes from Saturday were made with zucchini. They essentially looked the same, except the zuke ones completely broke up. Pancake fail. They still tasted amazing. I’ll credit the blueberries and maple syrup for that.

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I don’t remember what day I had this breakfast, but those strawberries were seriously on point. I put two over easy eggs atop some spinach and had a banana with Nuttzo on the side.

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And then of course I had to have my good old standby of avocado toast with Vegenaise, eggs, and carrots. And those cherries? PHENOMENAL. I could have eaten the entire bag (I know it looks like the entire bag there, but it was maybe 1/4 of it 😉 ).

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I also had this yummy concoction for lunch one day: my Red, White & Blueberry Granola Parfait. Super tasty and healthy!

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Recent Fitness

Last week’s workouts included yoga (of course), ellipticalling, a run, and this deck of cards workout.

I actually only made it to yoga once, but it was a 90 minute class I definitely needed before the weekend. I went the morning of the 4th, and it was incredibly crowded. Like an inch between mats crowded. It was a little more stressful of a class than I wanted, but it turned out to be a great sweaty workout despite the strange woman next to me who was staring right into my eyes during one of our final twists on the floor.

And, yes, that does say I went for a run. On Wednesday, I headed down to a trail with my friend to test out the ‘ol knee. Unfortunately, there was still pain even after basically taking the anti-inflammatories for a month. I went to the specialist yesterday, and I’m scheduled to get an MRI to make sure I don’t have any torn ligaments. The doctor wants to be sure before he gives me a cortisone shot, which is the next step if the MRI shows no out-of-the-ordinary ailments. It’s my first MRI, and I’m kind of nervous! I’ve never had to have anything more than an x-ray, knock on wood.

Questions of the Day:
>> Have you ever had an MRI or anything of the like? I’ve had x-rays for my scoliosis and wisdom teeth, but that’s about it.
>> What is your strangest yoga experience?
>> Three things you ate this week! & go. 

More places to find me:
Twitter: @angiggy
Facebook: nuttylifeang
Instagram:@angiggy
Pinterest: Ang @ Nutty for Life
Email: nuttylifeang@gmail.com

Red, White & Blueberry Granola Parfait

Happy 4th of July!! [to my American readers, that is… to everyone else, yay Friday!]

I never used to be a huge fan of the 4th when I was a kid. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was deathly afraid of fireworks. When my family would watch them, my mom would put earplugs in my brother’s and my ears so that we wouldn’t freak out.

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I’m still kind of afraid of fireworks, mostly because I know the damage that they can cause if they go wrong… but they’re undeniably beautiful. These days, I love the 4th of July. It could be that said fear of fireworks has decreased, or it could be that I’m of legal drinking age. Either/or, I dunno.

That said, I still love to get a little something healthy in my body before all of the afternoon and evening indulgences. But I still love to be festive. Enter: granola and yogurt parfait. Remember when I did the 21 Day Sugar Detox? There was this stuff on the detox called “banola.” It’s basically grain-free granola, sweetened with bananas. I decided to make a blue granola based on this recipe, and what better ingredient to add a little US of A color than blueberries? That’s a rhetorical question.

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You could really put this granola on whatever you wanted, but just take into account that it’s not overly sweet. There’s a lot of natural sugar from the blueberries, but if you find that you want it sweeter, just add some honey or maple syrup. I decided to make a fun parfait with some strawberries to get the full flag of color into the jar. If you want to keep breakfast light today or over the weekend, this is the perfect, USA-inspired dish.

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Red, White & Blueberry Granola Parfait

Banola adapted from The 21 Day Sugar Detox
Makes approximately 4 cups of granola

Ingredients

For the blueberry granola:

  • 1 banana
  • 2 c. blueberries
  • 1/3 c. egg whites (or 2 egg whites)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. raw almonds
  • 1 c. walnuts
  • 1/2 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1 c. almond meal

For the parfait:

  • 2/3 c. blueberry granola
  • 2/3 c. greek yogurt
  • 6 medium strawberries, cut into chunks
  • 1/3 c. blueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a blender, process bananas, blueberries, egg whites, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until smooth. There will still be a few pieces of blueberry skin that won’t blend, which is fine.
  3. Prepare a cookie pan with either parchment paper or non-stick spray (I used parchment paper. If you use non-stick spray, expect the granola to brown more.
  4. In a bowl, combine remaining ingredients with the blended ingredients and stir until combined.
  5. Spread the mixture on the pan into as thin a layer as you can.
  6. Bake for 35 minutes or until some pieces turn golden, breaking up and flipping every ten or so minutes.
  7. After the blueberry granola cools, assemble the parfait. Layer 1/3 c. greek yogurt, half of the strawberries, the blueberries and 1/3 c. blueberry granola, in that order. Follow with the remaining greek yogurt, strawberries and granola.
  8. Top with a little more yogurt or fruit, if desired.

Have a safe and fun holiday weekend!

Questions of the Day:
>> What are your 4th of July plans? Weekend plans if you’re not celebrating?
>> What are your favorite parfait additions?