Tag Archives: healthy muffins

PB & J Banana Muffins {vegan + gf}

As with most food bloggers & writers, I love to bake and cook for loved ones. Whenever we have guests in town, I enjoy feeding them well. A lot of the time when I meet up with girlfriends, I’ll bring them some of my latest kitchen creations to try. I show my love for people by making them nutritious, delicious food.

When I stay at my parents’ house in Jersey, it’s fun to make snacks, dinners, and desserts for everyone to enjoy. A few weeks ago when I was there, I was a little off of my Chef Nicole game because I was under the weather, but I still whipped up some yummy recipes for them.

One night I made creamy spring veggie & asparagus puree soup for dinner, because I knew my mom would dig it (She did!).

I also made my most recently published Shape recipe, blueberry banana Greek yogurt muffins.

Continuing with the blueberry theme, I also made bluebery oatmeal chia bars one morning – except when I took the baking dish out of the oven, I mistakenly placed it on a burner that was on low heat….and then left it there for hours. I was in the kitchen the whole time and didn’t even smell the bars and pan burning because my sinuses were all congested! It actually worked out well because my dad loves burnt things. They wound up being super dry, but he was a fan of them anyways…so it was only half a kitchen fail!

Another muffin recipe that I decided to make were peanut butter & jelly banana muffins. I first shared the recipe on here years ago when I was a newbie blogger, and I hadn’t made them in quite awhile. My dad loves PB & J (and so do I!) so I thought he’d like these. I always like having muffins, bars, or energy bites around as a healthy snack, and we all snacked on these muffins throughout the week.

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Healthy Chocolate Chip Matcha Banana Muffins [vegan + gluten free]

This is the story about how I tried three times to create a naturally green recipe and totally failed… but came up with two yummy recipes in the process!

St. Paddy’s Day is coming up this Friday, and I was actually thinking ahead a few weeks ago when I decided I wanted to come up with a sweet recipe that had a green hue, sans food coloring.

I first heard that the chlorophyll in sunflower butter can turn baked goods green when it interacts with baking soda/powder when a friend of mine accidentally wound up with a green colored sunflower butter recipe, so my original idea was to make sunflower butter banana muffins. The result? They did not turn green, and they also turned out a bit dry, so it was a no go.

I decided it was possible that because I mixed all of my muffin ingredients together in my food processor, it too vigorously combined the ingredients and broke down the baking soda properties too much to successfully interact with the sunflower butter enough to turn them green. So for attempt #2, I made sunflower butter breakfast cookies that I only mixed by hand until the ingredients were combined.

While the cookies turned out yummy & I’ll be sharing that recipe soon, they did not turn green at all. Whomp whomp.

Feeling over the whole sunflower butter idea after two failed attempts, I moved onto another idea: making something with matcha. Matcha is a green tea powder with powerful antioxidant properties and a bright green color.

So for naturally green recipe attempt #3, I made matcha chocolate chip banana muffins. The batter was looking like it may have had a green hue to it prior to baking, but when I pulled them out of the oven, I practically screamed, “NOO, they look normal!”

While these muffins aren’t green in color, it turns out they’re delicious, so I’m sharing the recipe with you today. Made with oats and banana, they have some of my favorite healthy baking hacks – including the use of apple sauce & coconut oil. They’re sweetened only with maple syrup, banana and dairy free dark chocolate chips, and the matcha flavor is subtle.

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Pumpkin Apple Banana Muffins {vegan}

Packed with apple, pumpkin, banana and cinnamon, and free of refined sugar, these healthy vegan muffins make for a great autumn snack, small breakfast, or guilt-free dessert!
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One of my favorite September activities is apple picking. But since it’s pretty warm and summery feeling in San Diego in September, sometimes I forget that the apple orchards are ready to be visited. A few years we’ve been too late in the apple picking game and either a.) go when the orchards are pretty picked over, or b.) miss apple picking all together (like last year!). BUT NOT THIS YEAR!

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Nope, in 2016 I was on high apple picking alert! In the San Diego area, the best area to visit for apple picking is Julian – a cute little town I’ve talked about before. It’s about a 75-minute drive from my house, and it’s like a whole different world there.

It’s known for its farming, apple pies and boutique vineyards. It’s the kind of place where some of the local establishments don’t have websites. It’s country living still close to the wonderful city of San Diego, and it’s a fun little getaway spot.

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So even though it seemed early for autumn to already be here, off we went to Julian last weekend for some local apples.

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For all of you locals, the orchard I chose is called MJ Ranch – mainly because they’re organic growers, had their opening day last weekend so I knew they’d be stocked with fruit, and because they’re dog-friendly and I wanted to bring my pup along. The Visit Julian website has a good list of U-Pick orchards listed here.

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It turned out to be the best year yet that we’ve had with apple picking! The trees were lush with a variety of apples, and the farm also grows pears as well.

As you can see in the picture above, Harley made some friends at the orchard and enjoyed eating fruit from the ground (and this little girl had Harley lick the apple she was actually eating – not too sure about that!). There were lots of people there with dogs, which was fun.

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We came home with two full bags of apples ready to be eaten. It’s funny comparing local, organic apples to typical store-bought ones. They’re smaller, flawed and not perfectly shaped – just how apples were meant to be I think!

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Naturally, I had to do some sort of baking with a couple of the apples that very day.

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I had been thinking of making pumpkin banana muffins, so instead, I added some chopped apple to the mix to make it a very autumn-ish muffin recipe – using just a food processor as my mixing bowl!

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Maple Cashew Butter Stuffed Banana Muffins [vegan + gluten free]

Hey friends!

Shall we start the week off on a yummy note?

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More specifically, let’s chat about these maple cashew butter stuffed banana muffins – which are all decked out for the holidays because I simply couldn’t help myself from nabbing candy cane muffin decor. Between having a very Christmas-y weekend watching both Home Alone and Elf, plus going ice skating (more on that later this week!), along with lighting up my living room with my Christmas tree and fireplace decorations every night and playing nonstop Christmas music as of late, I’m full blown in holiday mode. I can’t get enough of it!

cashew butter muffin ingredients

But back to food. For this recipe, I played around with coconut sugar for the first time with muffins. I was pleased with the result, and will be experimenting with coconut sugar more often moving forward! The muffins are stuffed with a maple syrup & cashew butter blend that is a delicious combo of sweet + salty. I also pumped up the cashew flavor by using Almond Breeze‘s new Almondmilk Cashewmilk Blend in the batter. I love anything cashew!

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Easy Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Yogurt Muffins {+ Mighty Nut Powdered PB Giveaway!}

Nut butter, oh how I love you so. 

At any given time, there are probably 10 jars of nut butter in my pantry. I most often spread it on fruit or throw it in my smoothies for some extra creaminess and flavor. I also am a fan of incorporating peanut/cashew/almond butter into my baked goods, like today’s muffin recipe.

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One brand of nut butter that you’ll always find in my kitchen is Peanut Butter & Co. I especially love their Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter! While I love smooth nut butter, powdered peanut butter is also a staple in my kitchen. So, you could imagine my excitement when I got involved in a Fit Approach collaboration with Peanut Butter & Co. to experiment in the kitchen with their new powdered peanut butter line, Mighty Nut.

banana pb muffins-5Created from quality USA grown peanuts, Mighty Nut is a non-GMO powdered peanut butter line made by roasting and pressing the peanuts. What remains is the protein, fiber and delicious peanut buttery taste – but much less fat and calories. Mighty Nut is now available in 4 varieties:

  • Original
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Flax & Chia

I decided to come up with a muffin recipe that gives you lots of chocolatey and peanut buttery goodness, while also being low in fat and calories. These wholesome, gluten free babies were the result:

choc pb banana yogurt muffins

Let’s discuss…

For the base of the muffins we’ve got some oats and Mighty Nut chocolate powdered peanut butter.

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Banana Almond Butter Muffins {Vegan & Gluten Free}

Happy Friday friends!

Hope that your first full week of January has been awesome, and that you have some fun weekend plans ahead. Speaking of fun, today I’ve got a fun recipe to share with you guys!
browned bananas

Whenever I go food shopping, bananas are always on the list. I buy a ton of bananas! A and I both use them for smoothies almost daily, plus I like to smear bananas with nut butter or top yogurt bowls with banana slices often.

However, I somehow wound up with too many bananas in the house over the past week. We couldn’t eat them fast enough, and before I knew it, I had 5 brown bananas sitting in my fruit basket. I threw a few of them in the freezer for later smoothie use, and then I had a yummy idea for the remaining ones…

banana almond butter muffins-2….baking some muffins! 

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