Recipe: Banana Nut and Oat Muffins

My Sundays tend to revolve around food: grocery shopping in the a.m., followed by food prep for the week in the afternoon and a yummy, home cooked dinner in the evening. I always look forward to fresh baked muffins during the week, so most Sunday afternoons you can find me mashing ripe bananas to make up a batch of muffins to get me through the week ahead.

This Sunday was no exception. The fiancé and I started our Sunday with brunch and Garfield cartoons on Hulu+ (our newest Sunday ritual), followed by grocery shopping, the weekly food prep and muffin making, obligatory homework, a long walk with the Piper dog and a game of chess before enjoying mahi-mahi and veggies for dinner. We’re not the worlds greatest chess players, but we’re learning as we go and have fun regardless. Even though Sunday is filled with work, we try to throw a little bit of fun in there too … ya know, since it’s supposed to be Sunday Funday after all!

Anyhow, back to those muffins I was telling you about. Banana nut bread has long been one of my favorite treats. To meet my dietary restriction and in an effort to eat a healthy and balanced diet, I make it into single serving muffins that are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free.

141 calories, 3.8g fat, 21.8g carbs, 3.1g fiber, 9.5g sugar3.1g protein, 138.7mg potassium each (without additional pecans)

141 calories, 3.8g fat, 21.8g carbs, 3.1g fiber, 9.5g sugar, 3.1g protein and 138.7mg potassium each (without additional pecans)

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Recipe: Two Birds, One Chocolatey Stone Cookies

Almost every week, I bake up a batch of cookies or muffins to serve as a healthy snack or dessert. And despite my best efforts, my chocolate cravings always seem to get the best of me and I end up picking up a bar of chocolate at the store mid-week. This week is going to be different because this week, I added chocolate to my cookies.

At ~95 calories each with 2.5g of protein, 3.5g fat & 13g carbs these cookies are a balanced snack that also boast 2.5g of fiber and 45mg of potassium each! Delicious and nutritious, these cookies definitely knock out two birds with one chocolatey stone! They’re also gluten free, dairy free and soy free!

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January 2013 POPSUGAR Must Have Box

fabulously delish got a makeover! what do you think of its sleek new look? is the new design intuitive and easy to navigate?  shoot me an email, send me a tweet or leave a comment on this post letting me know what you think!

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It was a slow week for me. There was the usual schoolwork and housework. And, I went to one class before coming home, succumbing to my run in with the devil gluten. Between naps and Law and Order SVU episodes on Hulu+, I spent the remainder of my week obsessively tracking the status my POPSUGAR Must Have Box. My reward for finally feeling semi-human by Friday afternoon must have been its early arrival (FedEx Smart Post still had it listed as chillin’ at the local post office, guess the mail carrier knew I needed a little pick me up).

JanuaryMHB

The Goods

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Recipe: Banana Berry Muffins

At the end of the week, I always seem to be left with a few brown bananas. Sometimes I throw them in to smoothies, but more often than not, I (guiltily) throw them in the trash. Until a few weeks ago …

Bananas in the trash no more! I’ve finally found a super easy, healthy & delish way to turn those brown bananas in to a healthy treat that I can eat for breakfast or dessert!

Recipe makes 10 muffins (at about 160 calories each, with 3 grams of fiber and 90mg of potassium)

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Birth of a Pancake Monster + Recipe

Pancakes are my new favorite breakfast item …

They’re good with strawberries & sun butter …

And with blueberries inside …

Or with bananas, sun butter & local honey …

However you top ’em, pancakes make every day better!

Recipe …

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Recipe: Pumpkin Brownie Pie

Sometimes I get the urge to bake … and I’m not much of a baker, but this time, I got it right! I’ve been craving fall for weeks. And since the weather wont cooperate, this dessert was the perfect substitute!

Not the best the best photo … But I promise, it’s tastier than it looks!

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Restaurant Review: Gigi’s Cupcakes

Every time I walk through the bakery section of the grocery store, I find myself practically drooling over the fresh baked desserts, a.k.a. the yummy, chocolatey, icing topped goodness that I cannot have (darn you gluten) … During last weeks trip to the farmers market, I noticed a Gigi’s Cupcake Shop in the Kingwood Town Center. After picking up an arm load of healthy, locally grown produce, I decided to check it out. Once again, I found myself drooling over the cupcakes on display. I was frantically scanning the names of each, looking for a gluten free option. When the cashier finished with the customer ahead of me, I hesitantly asked if they had any gluten free cupcakes. Expecting to hear no, I was pleasantly surprised when she informed me that they have them every Saturday. She went on to explain that they thoroughly clean the kitchen and equipment every Saturday before baking the gluten free cupcakes to reduce cross contamination issues. Additionally, they keep them on a separate tray in the back to further reduce risk of cross contamination. As yummy as the treats on display looked and the cashiers confidence in answering my gluten concerns, I was very much looking forward to returning on Saturday for a gluten free cupcake.

So, Saturday afternoon the fiancé, father and I headed back to Gigi’s for cupcakes after lunch. This Saturday’s gluten free cupcake was Tuxedo: chocolate cupcake complete with chunks of chocolate, topped with whipped vanilla icing and sprinkles. The guys got gluten-filled chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes. We contemplated bringing them home and eating them later, but I just could not wait so we sat at a table on the sidewalk and dug in! … Oh boy was it good! My cupcake was so moist, chocolatey and delish — I could not believe it was gluten free! The guys were just as impressed with theirs. I ate mine slowly, savoring every little bite! It was so good that I brought a second one home for the next day … but I admit, I ended up eating it later that night — it was too good not to. I am not usually so glutinous, but as much as I love sweets I cannot bake very well and I whole-heartedly believe that a splurge is good for you every once in a while.

Now, I have to say a little something about the adorable little box these beauties came in. The sticker they seal it up with states “You will develop an overwhelming sense of joy after opening this box!” But it was so much more than that: I felt normal for a once! It was really nice to enjoy a delish cupcake with two of my favorite people. My cupcake experience was made even sweeter by the fact that a gluten free cupcake cost the same as a regular one, gotta love that! The only thing missing was the nutrition info, but then again I probably do not want to know! … Big thanks to the Gigi’s Cupcakes in Kingwood for offering a gluten free cupcake day! And family, if you are reading this, I would like to request cupcakes from here to celebrate my (first gluten free) birthday this year 😉

Gigi’s Cupcakes are individually owned and operated, so check with the location nearest you to see if they have gluten free options available. If you are in the Kingwood area, I definitely recommend checking out this location — their service and product is top notch! Gluten and non-gluten eaters alike are sure to love a sweet treat from Gigi’s!

Product Review: Annie’s Gluten Free Bunny Cookies

I have not found many gluten free cookies that I care for. I have tried several brands (and will allow them to remain nameless), but none of them compared to the gluten filled cookies of yesteryear … Until I found these delicious new bunny cookies from Annie’s HomegrownThey are available in three flavors: Cocoa & Vanilla, SnickerDoodle and Ginger Snap. I started off trying the SnickerDoodle flavor and boy, oh boy are they yummy! So good in fact that my non-gluten free Father helped me devour a quarter of the box. Call us crazy, but we both thought that the SnickerDoodle cookies would be great eaten as cereal — they taste a lot like cinnamon toast crunch! Yesterday I went back to the grocery store and picked up a second box — this time in the Ginger Snap flavor and they are just as yummy! I have not been able to find the Cocoa & Vanilla cookies at any of my local grocery stores, but I will certainly be trying them in the future … because I am always up for a little on-line gluten free food shopping!

Here is what Annie’s Homegrown has to say about their cookies:

Made with white and brown rice flour and yellow corn flour, these bunny-shaped cookies are a great addition to lunch boxes or after school snacks. SnickerDoodle flavor offers the sweet taste of cinnamon and vanilla.

… Warm and spicy ginger makes these little bunnies extra delicious.

… Chocolate and Vanilla bunnies are delicious by the handful!

You can buy Annie’s products straight from their website. While you are there, check out the ‘Doing Good’ tab and learn about the many ways that Annie’s gives back to the community and how you can help! Also, be sure to sign up for their free e-Newsletter to get product information, recipes and coupons delivered straight to your inbox!

Annie’s makes many other gluten free products. I am a big fan of their gluten free mac & cheese, fruit snacks, salad dressing and organic BBQ sauce!

What is your favorite Annie’s Homegrown product? Share it with me in the comments section!!