Thursday, May 17, 2012

Healthy Snack of the Day: Agave, Yogurt, and Fig Muffins

Once again, I have attempted to make a healthy recipe another step healthier and it was a success! I wanted to do something a little fancy for my mom for breakfast on Mother's Day, so the decision was to make Agave, Yogurt, and Fig Muffins. Eating Well already had a recipe which involved goat cheese, but I did a few substitutions and was money-conscious and had just as great of results! Delicious!

Filling Ingredients:
3/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt (I used vanilla)
2 tablespoons of agave nectar (you may also use honey)
1 teaspoon of lemon zest
1/4 tsp of vanilla extract

Muffin Ingredients:
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup chopped dried figs

3 additional tablespoons turbinado

1-Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or cooking spray and flour.

2-Combine the Filling Ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

3-Whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and egg white, then add the sugar and vanilla extract until the sugar is dissolved. Gradually whisk in the buttermilk and Greek yogurt until smooth.

4-Combine the wet and dry Muffin Ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the figs.

5-Spoon half the muffin batter into the muffin cups. Add a large spoonful of the Filling on top of the muffin batter, then cover the muffins with the rest of the batter. Sprinkle the additional 3 tablespoons of turbinado sugar over the batter.

7-Bake the muffins until the edges are brown and the tops are springy to the touch, about 15 minutes.


Healthy Tip of the Day: What to Eat Before, During, and After a Run

Fitbie posted an article today on the best foods for runners at all points of their training. Good tips and simple to follow. Plus there are more links to further explore their hints and recommendations.

Here's the link:

Eating on the Run // sliced banana c Thinkstock
Here's a basic rundown:

Prerun: Easily Absorbed Carbohydrates (ie. Pretzels or Bananas)

Midrun (One hour or less): You don't have to eat anything. Stick with water to stay hydrated!!

Midrun (A little over one hour): Easily Absorbed Carbohydrates. This is when a good sports drink or sports gel will come in handy.

Postrun if Completed an Easy Run: Your body is not depleted enough to seriously refuel it, so just consume your next healthy meal, making sure there is good protein in it.

Postrun if Completed a Long or Hard Run: Carbohyrdrates and Protein at a 4 gram to 1 gram ratio. Refuel now and then have your next meal later to keep from starving your body and letting your muscles heal properly.


Healthy Snack of the Day: Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

For Mother's Day, I wanted to make a dessert that I knew would be a big hit, but be sure that I kept the ingredients nice and healthy. The answer: Cheesecake Swirl Brownies. I based my brownies on an Eating Well recipe, so they started out on the "good for you" side, but I took it to the next level. It comes down to substitutions, and easy ones, so that way you're using ingredients that are readily available to you and not spending a lot of money. The brownies were extra moist and had a rich taste so no one even guessed that they were good for you!!


For the cheesecake topping:
4 oz and 1 tblspn of Greek yogurt (I used Chobani's nonfat vanilla)
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 tblspn flour
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/8 cup applesauce
1/4 cup strong coffee (you can use black tea instead, if you'd like)
2 tsps vanilla extract


1-Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I used an 8x8 metal pan which I sprayed with olive oil and then patted down with flour.

2-For the topping: place Greek yogurt in a small mixing bowl, add sugar and beat until smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla and beat until well blended. Set aside.

3-For the brownie layer: Whisk the whole-wheat flour and cocoa in a bowl. In a large separate bowl, beat the egg, egg whites, and sugar until smooth. To the egg and sugar mix, add the applesauce, coffee, and vanilla and beat until well blended. Add the dry ingredients to this mixture, 1/3 at a time, until the first moment that the ingredients are well-blended.

4-Pour 1/2 the brownie mixture into the 8x8 pan. Next, pour the topping evenly on top. Pour the remaining brownie mixture on top of the topping layer. Using the tip of a knife or a toothpick, swirl the mixture.

5-Bake the brownies until the top is firm to the touch. For me, with my type of pan and oven, this took about 30 minutes.


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