Chia Seed Banana-Nut Muffins

Have you heard of Chia Seeds? If you haven’t, read on. These wonderful seeds are on my list of top super foods of 2012. Chia seeds have more calcium and fiber than flaxseed, and they are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. They are also said to boost energy levels. They have a nutlike flavor, and they add flavor and crunch to baked goods, oatmeal, cereal, salads and in yogurt. Try them in this recipe for Chia Banana-Nut Muffins. It’s so easy, with no mixer needed. I made these on sunday, and before I could turn around, all of them were gone. My kids went wild over these. Feel free to use mini muffin pans for variety. If you use mini pans, bake them at 350F for 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Enjoy, and check out this powerful seed.

Chia picture from Pinterest

 

 

 

 

Start the Day Off Healthy: Oatmeal with Egg Whites

It’s a busy week ahead for me including with radio show on Magic 96.5 this Wednesday as well as a nutrition seminar this weekend at Bikram Yoga Birmingham. For both events I’ll be talking about “Healthy Eating Tips” to get your new year off to the right start. One of my top tips is to never skip breakfast. If you like oatmeal for breakfast, you’ll love this recipe for Oatmeal with Egg Whites. This simple combination is something my friend, Kelly, of Hulsey Gardens, told me she eats daily. I made mine with a touch of brown sugar and blueberries. Kelly normally adds 1 tablespoon of pureed pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and 1 teaspoon vanilla to hers. Adding sliced strawberries and ground cinnamon is also delicious. Regardless, this is one healthy breakfast recipe that has the perfect mix of protein, fiber and carbohydrates, and it is a great way to start your day and new year on the right foot.

Almond Butter-Flaxseed Pancakes

Since I have been obsessed with almond butter for quite some time, I thought I would try my hand at making these Almond Butter Flaxseed Pancakes. You combine almond butter with your favorite homemade or store-bought pancake mix, flaxseed meal (which can be found at most local groceries), banana and even nonfat Greek yogurt. My kids went nuts over these, and I felt great serving them such an incredibly healthy breakfast. They called them, “Banana-Nut Pancakes” which was a great name. These pancakes taste great reheated, and they make a great healthy afternoon snack. Enjoy anytime of the year, but they are perfect for a healthy Christmas break, New Year’s or weekend breakfast.

Date-Pecan Bread with Greek Yogurt

This Date-Pecan Bread with Greek yogurt is my newest favorite healthy, quick bread recipe. I used whole wheat and all-purpose flour, flaxseed and nonfat Greek yogurt to create a flavorful, moist bread. My kids were skeptical at first, but shortly after they tried it, they were gladly helping themselves to seconds. Perfect for breakfast, dessert, an afternoon snack or holiday gift, this recipe is a cinch to prepare (no mixer needed). I bought my dates at Costco, but you can find them at any local grocery store. Dates are filled with so may health benefits. They’re full of fiber, Vitamin B, Vitamin, A, Vitamin C, Iron and potassium. They are an excellence source of energy and work wonders for the digestive system.

Breakfast Almond and Raspberry Quinoa

I’m a huge fan of quinoa, and one of my favorite ways to enjoy it, is for breakfast. Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is one of the “it” or “super” grains right now, and it’s one of the best plant sources of protein with more high quality protein than any other grain. It’s loaded with protein, fiber and, best of all, is gluten-free. It is light, tasty and easy to digest, with a slightly nutty flavor. This recipe for Breakfast Almond and Raspberry Quinoa is fabulous. I had all 3 of my kids try it too, and they loved it. I love the combination of using almond milk, almonds and raspberries, but feel free to use any of your favorite fruits and toppings. Enjoy!

For Breakfast or Dessert: Lightened-Up Coffee Cake

There’s nothing better than a slice of Coffee Cake in the morning or even for dessert after a light meal. I have been searching for a really great recipe that is “lighter”. I used nonfat Greek yogurt and light sour cream and a topping made with chopped pecans, cinnamon and nutmeg. My kids as well as my parents loved this, and honestly, I could not stop eating it either. This would be great to serve for “break the fast” for those celebrating “Yom Kippur” this weekend.

Kid’s Healthy Snack: Homemade Granola Bars with No Nuts

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When I was asked to teach a healthy snack cooking class Monday for a group of first and second grade boy scouts, I thought these Healthy Granola Bars would be ideal. These have no nuts and are so delicious. I am serving them with some homemade smoothies, perfect for an afternoon snack.

Healthy and Easy French Toast for Mother’s Day or Spring Holidays

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We love French toast at my house. We make it just about every Sunday. I developed a healthier version, and this recipe is great. It uses maple syrup or agave nectar, egg whites, a touch of cinnamon and whole grain bread to produce an awesome Healthy and Light French Toast. You can also slice the bread into thin sticks to make French toast sticks (kids love this). Enjoy during the week or weekend and on holidays such as Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and Father’s Day.

Easy and Healthy Homemade Granola Bars

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One of my very favorite things in the world is granola. These Easy and Healthy Homemade Granola Bars are one of my favorite homemade snack recipe favorites. These are a more than a wow! I love making these for my kids. Not only are they very easy and fast, but they taste superior in quality than all of the packaged bars out there on the shelves. I am saving money preparing these homemade and feel good to serve my kids something with no artificial ingredients or preservatives. Try them soon and let me know what you think!

Incredibly Easy Blueberry French Toast

Blueberry French Toast

This recipe is perfect for this time of year when spring brunch celebrations are upon us. When we have family brunches, I am always  asked to make this version of Blueberry French Toast. It’s my niece, Jamie’s, favorite, as well as my kids. This recipe is a breeze and can be done overnight. Just see the directions under “preparation” below. It can also be done with strawberries or even bananas in the middle of the cream cheese layer. I love to use Challah bread, but if you can’t find that, use a good French bread.

Look for me today on The NBC 13 show in Birmingham “Daytime Alabama” at 11:30 central time in Birmingham. I will post the link next week for those of you who are outside the viewing area.