Healthy Breakfast Pumpkin Muffins

 I had a weird craving for pumpkin ANYTHING the other day. Probably because I’m really missing the holiday season! However, I’m allergic to Ginger (bummer…not), so come October, I really can’t partake of the pumpkin party that everyone else gets invited to. Pumpkin pie spice is just as guilty, so I had to master my own concoction of fall flavor spices so I too could participate in the fun. I may be biased, but I think these pumpkin breakfast muffins beat out anything Starschmucks or Pantera Bread could try to offer me. Added bonus? These babies are only 160 calories and have loads less sugar (again…experimenting is a necessity) than the chain bakeries in the area. Guilt free? Allergen free (for me, at least–you betcha!), and full of flavor? Would I lie to you?

Pumpkin Crumb Breakfast Muffins
Serves 14
Dairy free, oil free, low-sugar, full of flavor pumpkin crumb protein muffins!
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
50 min
160 calories
33 g
2 g
1 g
4 g
1 g
81 g
185 g
11 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
81g
Servings
14
Amount Per Serving
Calories 160
Calories from Fat 13
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
2%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 2mg
1%
Sodium 185mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 33g
11%
Dietary Fiber 2g
8%
Sugars 11g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
82%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
4%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  2. 1/2 c. rolled oats
  3. 1 tsp. ground cloves
  4. 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  5. 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  6. 1 tsp. baking powder
  7. 1 tsp. salt
  8. 1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
  9. 1/4 c. white sugar
  10. 1/4 c. brown sugar
  11. 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
  12. 3 egg whites
  13. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the topping
  1. 1/8 c. brown sugar
  2. 1 tbsp. butter
  3. 2 tbsp. rolled oats
  4. 1 tbsp. flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your muffin pan.
For the muffins
  1. Combine flour, oats, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Whisk pumpkin puree, sugars, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract together in a separate large bowl. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture; mix well. Pour into muffin tins.
For the topping
  1. Beat brown sugar with butter in a bowl until creamy and smooth. Whisk 2 tablespoons oats and 2 tablespoons flour, using a fork, into sugar-butter mixture until streusel topping is crumbly.
  2. Top muffins with the mixture and bake until toothpick comes out clean. About 20 minutes. You may add more time if needed.
beta
calories
160
fat
1g
protein
4g
carbs
33g
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Sunbutter? I put that s#!@ on everything!

SBT-19120-0 I created this post for my fitblr, but then decided that since some of my readers are looking for healthy and tasty ways to stay satisfied, AND since some of my readers suffer from allergies, I could please both crowds with this recent find. PS: This is NOT a sponsored post, nor is Sunbutter affiliated with this post in any way, shape, or form. I really just love the stuff, but I am hoping to connect with them on some level for a giveaway at some point. *hinthintnudgenudge*

Sunbutter made its presence known to me when I was searching for “nut-free muddy buddies.” I wanted to make the recipe safe for my after school program kids who love getting their hands dirty and who love making snacks, but who also attend a nut-free school. Fast forward to the grocery store where Keith purchased my first jar of Sunbutter for me. I use it just like I do Peanut Butter, but with the benefit of more protein, less sugar, and a nice taste! I am obsessed with this stuff. Just an FYI for my fellow healthy eaters and Weight Watcher peeps. SUNBUTTER IS NOT LOWER IN POINTS PLUS, so if you’re looking for a low point alternative to PB, this is not it. If you’re looking for something new, paleo, and delicious, well, then you’ve found it!

Hey there! It's a Sunbutter, fat free greek yogurt, banana, and spinach smoothie! DELICIOUS!
Hey there! It’s a Sunbutter, fat free greek yogurt, banana, and spinach smoothie! DELICIOUS! This smoothie is 6 points and functions as a meal replacement!

HERE’S WHAT I DO WITH IT…

1 teaspoon Sunbutter added to 1/2c. cooked Quaker Oatmeal = 4 total points plus (and 5 hours of staying power when eaten with fresh fruit).

1 tbsp Sunbutter in a fruit smoothie made with a water base = 3 additional added points, but DAMN is it good.

1 teaspoon of Sunbutter with sliced apples = 1 points plus

1 teaspoon of Sunbutter divided onto 5 Ritz crackers = 2 points plus

 

 

So…do it! Seriously–and let me know what you come up with, if you’re already a convert, or if you think I’m a complete blasphemer. Please note: Sunbutter does contain Soy, so remember to read ALL labels before eating, cooking, or buying any products.

Weight Watchers Blueberry Buttermilk Cake

Since realizing that I’m a more friendly person when I bake on a regular basis, I’ve made the time to make some delicious treats for my family, friends, and colleagues. However, I think we can ALL admit that we like trying out our own treats to see how they come out. At least, I do! Since I also happen to be a lifetime Weight Watchers member, I try to keep most of my baked goods in a somewhat reasonable points friendly range. Enter stage right, the Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake from Alexandra’s Kitchen. It’s a delicious recipe I found on Pinterest and filed away. It’s also 11 points plus for one serving. So my snow day project was to lighten up a delicious recipe for all to enjoy and I succeeded (and only changed three ingredients!) Below, enjoy Alexandra’s recipe altered to a much more Weight Watcher friendly (and super rich!) 5 points plus.

Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake (makes 6-8 servings in a 9×9 pan)

It's all about the work space.
It’s all about the work space.

1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce (replaces butter)
2 tsp. lemon zest
3/4 c. plus 1 tsp. sugar
2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour (set aside 1/4 for the blueberries to be tossed into)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 c. buttermilk (make your own with fat free milk and 1 tbsp white vinegar)

Preheat your oven to 350. Cream applesauce, lemon zest, and 3/4 c. sugar until fluffy and light. Add the egg, vanilla, and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss your blueberries with 1/4 cup of flour in a separate bowl. In a third bowl, whisk remaining flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time alternating with buttermilk. Gently fold in the berries.

photo (5)

Grease a 9×9 square baking pan with Pam or non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan and sprinkle with the remaining tbsp of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes and test with a toothpick. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

photo (6)

And there you have it. I only changed the whole egg for egg whites, the butter for applesauce, and I simply made my own fat free buttermilk variation and shaved a whole 6 points (non-ww folk: that’s like a meal!) off of a serving of cake. I’ll be enjoying this 5 point wonder with some green tea and a banana. Yum!

Let me know what you think and I’ll continue to post more lightened up recipes as I find success with them!

 

 

Delicious Carrot Smoothie

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with some amazing smoothie recipes. Sometimes I’ll use them as a meal replacement, and sometimes I’ll use them as a type of detox for my body after a holiday, and sometimes I just like to have them as an accompaniment to a meal. It all depends on what types of ingredients you’re placing in the blender. I’ve posted a few of my smoothies on my fitblr, but I’m going to start posting them here as well. Let me introduce my latest creation: The Carrot-Melon Smoothie. Yes, there are vegetables in this, but you wouldn’t know! It’s also vegan. Here’s what you need:

Wow, how bright and colorful, no??
Wow, how bright and colorful, no??

1/2 c. no sugar added apple juice
1 medium carrot chopped into rounds
1 ripe banana
2 oz. cantaloupe
1 shimmy shake of ground cinnamon

In your blender, pour apple juice and place chopped carrots in with the juice. Blend on high chop setting for about 30 seconds or until smooth. It should border on a watery consistency. Next, place your chopped banana, cantaloupe, and cinnamon in the blender. Blend on chop for another 20 seconds, and slow down to a low mix for 10 seconds. Pour into a glass, drink, and be merry. It tastes like apple cinnamon goodness.

 

For those who also follow Weight Watchers, this recipe counts as 2 points plus, and it packs a punch of beta carotene. To quote the most interesting man in the world, “Stay thirsty,” and tell me what you think!

Cranberry Shortbread Bars

Super easy, and super delicious. I tried this recipe out last Sunday and wanted to share it with you. Warning, the 9×9 pan is not enough! I’m definitely doubling the recipe for the holidays and using a 9×13 baking pan. These things flew out of my house and out of the baking pan quicker than I could take them out of the oven. I’m not going to lie though, they were super delicious. Cooking the cranberries was fun too as it made the house smell delicious!

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I thought the bars looked so pretty in the baking pan.

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Here’s a nice side view of the cranberry filling.

And without further ado, here is the recipe! It’s super easy, and while the cranberries are cooling, you can make the shortbread portion. If you make them, let me know what you think!

Cranberry Filling:
8 ounces (2 1/4 cups) (225 grams) fresh cranberries
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons water

Shortbread Bars:
2 cups (270 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (20 grams) cornstarch (corn flour)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (70 grams) light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place the wire oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a non stick cooking spray) a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) pan.

Cranberry Filling: In a medium sized saucepan, place all the ingredients. Then, over medium-high heat, cook the ingredients until boiling. Continue to boil the filling until it becomes thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool while you make the shortbread.

Shortbread Crust/Topping: In a separate bowl whisk the flour, cornstarch, and salt. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter until smooth (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Evenly press two-thirds of the shortbread into the bottom of the prepared pan. Then evenly spread the cranberry filling over the shortbread base, leaving a 1/4 inch border. With the remaining shortbread dough, using your fingers, crumble it over the top of the cranberry filling. Then lightly press the dough into the filling. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven, place on a wire rack, and while still hot, cut into 16 squares. Allow to cool completely in pan.

Makes about 16 bars.

This recipe came from Joy of Baking, which my cousin Rachel told me about recently. I had a wicked craving for Shortbread cookies, and found this recipe as well. So, obviously, I made both. The cookies came out great, but these bars were AMAZING! I couldn’t believe how tasty they were. Credit also has to go to Keith’s Momma for providing me with a bag of fresh cranberries. She was going to make cranberry orange relish for Thanksgiving, but never got around to it. Now we all were able to benefit as I shared some bars with her, too.