Pumpkin Spice Muffins

I am very excited for the cooler weather, so I decided to start making some “fall time” recipes. These pumpkin spice muffins are so yummy! My favorite part of making these is the warm pumpkin scent that fills my kitchen. That was exactly what fall is about. These muffins are very easy, and not to mention low-fat!!

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

A dash of ground nutmeg

½ cup splenda brown sugar

1 tablespoon agave syrup

½ cup pumpkin butter (or canned pumpkin)

4 egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup fat free milk

For the topping:

3 tablespoons splenda brown sugar

3 tablespoons whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon “I can’t believe it’s not butter”

Makes 12 muffins

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375. Coat muffin pan with cooking spray, or use paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg. In a larger bowl whisk the splenda brown sugar, milk, agave, pumpkin, vanilla, and egg whites. Gradually add in the flour mixture into larger bowl. Mixing well until combined. Pour the batter into muffin pan.

In a small bowl, combine your three topping ingredients (whole wheat flour, splenda, and butter). Mix and mush this with a fork until crumbly. evenly sprinkle on the top of each muffin. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool for at least 10 minutes.

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Sauteed Kale & Quinoa Salad

Garlic Kale & Quinoa Saute

This salad has very simple ingredients and is full of flavor. Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables on earth. It is full of antioxidants and vitamins including vitamins A, C, and K. Kale is also a great source of minerals like potassium, and iron. This little leafy green vegetable is packed with great nutrients.

Quinoa is also full of health benefits. This little grain is full of natural protein. It also is a great source of vitamin B2, which plays a huge role in improving your body’s energy, and metabolism.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

10-15 cherry tomatoes
2 bunches kale coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 pounds), remove large stems
1/4 of a yellow onion chopped
1/2 Cup quinoa (cooked)
Sea salt

Directions:

  1. In small pot cook 1/4 cup dry quinoa (following directions on box) when finished remove from heat & set aside. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil , tomatoes ,and garlic over medium heat. Adding the tomatoes in the beginning allows them to roast and get a slight char on the outside. Add kale, onion, and sea salt be sure to continually stir until the kale starts to wilt, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, mix in quinoa, Serve warm.

Guilt Free Brownie Bites

Low-Carb Coconut Brownie Bites!

These little brownie bites are are absolutely delicious! They are the perfect guiltless treat if you have a chocolate craving! I experimented with some ingredients and was pleasantly surprised with how these bites came out ! They are dense and moist with just the right amount of chocolatey richness!

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons coconut oil or “I cant believe its not butter” (for a lighter option)
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup non-fat milk
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar or sugar substitute (I prefer Splenda,or stevia)
4 egg whites
3 Tablespoons coconut flour
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter/oil in bowl . Whisk in cocoa powder, coconut flour, shredded coconut, and sugar until well blended. Add in milk, egg whites, salt, and vanilla. Mix well, make sure all ingredients are blended completely. Place in the fridge for 10-20, allowing the coconut to absorb & expand. Use muffin pan, grease well with pam. Fill each cup 1/2 full. Bake for about 12-15 minutes.


Fresh Vegetable Grilled Pizza

This isn’t your typical pizza recipe, it is fresh & light which makes it perfect for a summer dinner. At first I was hesitant to grill a pizza on the BBQ. I was worried the dough might stick to the grill or droop through the slats. To my surprise this was very easy and came out beautifully.

Ingredients:

1 package of whole wheat pizza dough ( available at Trader Joes, Sprouts, or Fresh and Easy)

3 green onions, chopped

Fresh spinach

6 Cherry tomatoes, sliced.

1 Avocado diced

1/2 cup fat-free feta cheese

1/4 Cup red wine vinegar

Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Directions:

Heat your grill to medium. Flour a surface to work with dough, stretching the dough into a circle . Lightly brush grill with olive oil to avoid the dough sticking. Place your dough on a baking sheet to so it will easily transfer and slide onto grill. Put dough onto grill and cook until bottom side is firm ( about 3 mins). Use tongs or spatula to flip pizza onto other side evenly sprinkle the crust with onions, tomatoes, and cheese. Grill for another 3 minutes allowing cheese to melt. Remove from grill.

In a medium-sized bowl mix your spinach, avocado, and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper . Pile this on top of pizza, cut and enjoy!


Protein Bites

No bake protein bites

The best part about this recipe is that there is no baking involved. These are extremely easy! They are packed with a ton all natural protein, which makes a great on the go snack.

Ingredients:

1 Cup rolled oats

1/2 Cup whey protein powder

1/4 Cup raw honey

1/2 agave syrup

2 Tablespoons Chia seed

2 Tablespoons flax-seed

1/2 Cup almond butter

1/2 Cup “Better N’ Peanut Butter” peanut butter ( I use this because it is lower in calories and has a sweeter taste to it, however you could use a full cup of almond butter)

1/3 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut

A splash of coconut milk ( just enough to moisten)

Optional: When available I will often add dried fruit such as raisins, or dates .For a richer more indulgent taste I will add in some carob chips.

Makes about 30 bites.

Directions: Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Form into balls using your hands or an ice cream scoop. Place balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil, freeze for 30 mins or store in fridge.

Tip: “Better N’ Peanut Butter” peanut butter can be found at trader Joes.


Crunchy Garbanzo beans

These are a great option for a healthy snack, and are tasty when added to salads. Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas are high in fiber and protein which make them a great staple for those who are on a vegetarian diet.  The protein in these keep you full and energized, and the fiber is great for your body’s digestive system! Overall these make for a delicious, healthy snack.

Ingredients:

3 cans garbanzo beans

Garlic powder

Sea Salt

Pepper

Olive oil (to grease pan)

Preheat the oven to 450. Completely drain each can of garbanzo beans, being sure to get rid of all liquid. Evenly spread beans on a baking sheet and season to taste with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bake in the oven for about 45 mins, rotating the garbanzos occasionally.

You can change up the spices in this recipe to whatever variation suites you, often I will add white pepper to them for an extra kick.

This serves about 6 people.


Sparkling Rosemary Vodka Lemonade

Rosemary Lemonade Cocktail

This refreshing cocktail is great for a summer day. Who doesn’t love lemonade on a warm day?

Ingredients:

1 Cup of fresh lemon juice ( about 4 lemons)

1 Cup seltzer water

3 Tablespoons agave syrup

4 Oz. Vodka

4 Rosemary fresh sprigs

For garnish : 8 lemon slices, 2 for each drink and Stevia sugar around rim of each cup

Makes 4 Drinks

Mix lemon juice and agave syrup until syrup is dissolved, add in seltzer water and vodka. Pour into 4 glasses and stir using rosemary sprig to add light flavor. Leave sprig in cup for garnish.