Almond meal banana muffins!!! Yes, we’ll get to the recipe, but first, hi and how was your weekend?
Here in Chicago it was a beautiful 60 degrees (in February!). Of course, I took full advantage of the weekend by taking a break from work and taxes. On Friday night we stayed in, made cookies and watched the new(er) Steve Jobs movie. I full blown LOVED it and thought Michael Fassbender was fantastic. If you haven’t seen it yet, you must!
Normally I don’t ever claim things are the best, especially in my line of work. HOWEVER, when I’m able to make a normally calorie-laden blueberry muffins both nutritious AND incredible, I get a little excited. Even more thrilled when I somehow was able to make them gluten free.
First these beautiful, moist muffins were baked when I needed them the most: a few days after Thanksgiving after I came down with an absolutely dreadful post-nasal drip cough coupled with a lack of sleep from holiday festivities. The leftover blueberries that weren’t used in my blueberry pie were sitting in the fridge, begging to be thrown into some muffin batter. So off to the kitchen I went.
It neared 7am; Tony was still sleeping as I pulled the enormous muffins out of the oven and set them on the cooling rack. My goodness they were lovely and bursting with juicy blue color. I left a note for T to try them, then went out to grab cough medicine and run a few errands.
I’m back from Denver and not ready to come down from that vacation high. I realized after typing that last sentence that it was a fantastic pun. Hah.
In all seriousness, our trip to Utah and Denver was a raging success. Besides one near-death experience hiking and getting stuck at 10,000 feet in a outrageous ice/snow storm, things were incredibly awesome. There were so many places that I wanted to stop and eat at, or mountains I wanted to hike; I wish I was able to get all of it in. I do want to give a huge thanks for all of your fabulous recommendations over on Instagram. I’ll be definitely doing an AK guide to Denver SOON!
Have you see the movie Inside Out yet? Tony and I saw it Saturday evening and absolutely loved it. I have to say I was really impressed with the storyline; the move was a bit sad (for a kid’s movie) but I would still recommend it in a heartbeat. I laughed, cried, and was never bored.
My mom used to grow zucchini in her garden in Minnesota. She was the type of nonchalant gardener who allowed the zucchini to grow large enough to become the size of your arm. I actually never minded when the zucchini got that big because then I could stuff it with goodness and make batches upon batches of baked goodies.
Sadly I’m no longer as close to my mom since she lives in Minnesota (soon Utah!). This year I wasn’t expecting to get any free zucchini and figured I’d have to pick some up at the local’s farmer’s market. Turns out that Tony’s mom grew zucchini in her garden and so she kindly has been supplying me with all the zucchini I could ever dream of. I still have three left and have already baked three batches of muffins and two loaves of bread. Perhaps it’s time for a little something savory? Oh la la.
On Saturday I met up with Tony’s family and attended his Grandmother’s 95th birthday party. You guys, she’s amazing! She still lives on her own, cooks for herself and is in great health. Over the past year, I’ve gotten fairly close with her; probably because I bring her all the treats I make and she just so happens to love cookies as much as I do. This makes me happy, of course. I actually baked the nutella-stuffed chocolate chip beauties for her party; it always blows my mind how much people truly love those cookies.
Remember when I mentioned that I was going to try be a little bit healthier when it came to food choices? Well I’ve been pretty dedicated… so far anyway. Eating better and enjoying more refined sugar sweets made with wholesome ingredients has made me feel incredible, lighter and maybe a little bit leaner. Isn’t it funny how even the smallest changes in your food choices can make a BIG difference? I think so.
I think I was born with a sweet tooth. A ravenous one that comes out late at night and encourages me to go straight to the cupboard. I can’t help it, I swear.
As I mentioned last week, I’m trying to cut back on my refined sweeteners so I’ve been limiting my treat options down quite a bit. I’ve kind of been trying to adapt a new mentality about really nourishing my body; this means I pick nutritious food over empty calorie or sugar-packed sweets. Sounds easy, but it can be actually quite challenging. Turning down french fries when you are in a relationship with ketchup is never fun and it’s even more difficult to say no to Reese’s Eggs this time of year.
Of course, everything in moderation. I’ll take a peanut-buttery egg or two every now and then! Overall I’m determined to be mindful of what I’m putting into my body plus how it will nourish and make me feel after I’ve eaten it.
Healthy muffins! That taste like carrot cake! Oh, I think this might just be a dream come true.
Truth be told, carrot cake gets me every single time. I fell in love with it a few years ago and my craving for cake has quadrupled since then. I can’t get over the spices, flavor, and that thick-n-creamy cream cheese frosting that pairs so wonderfully with the cake. I’m not sure it gets better.
So I know, zucchini isn’t really in season in January; it’s more of a summer vegetable. However, I purchased a few last week before vacation because they were fairly inexpensive at the grocery store AND because I was planning on making stuffed zucchini. Well, of course things never go as planned and I never had the opportunity to use them up before I left.
Thankfully when I got back home they were still good, but needed to be used immediately. And um, what could be better than a muffin? Because of course, as you know I am the self-proclaimed muffin woman. Crown me! Kidding.