August 17, 2016

Recipe Wednesday ♥ Chocolate Chip Cookie Muffin

Have you ever used your microwave for 'baking'?
I quite often use the microwave to 'bake' individual cookies & muffins.
I actually saw them do this on "Chopped" recently.
Yes, I am a Food Network junkie and "Chopped" is my very favorite.
I can often be heard yelling at them for using a basket ingredient as a garnish...
Sure fire way to get chopped!
Don't they watch the show before they are on it?

Oh wait, I've gotten a bit off track...

Back to my microwave magic!
I am, by no means, a microwave baking expert.
I am sure there are websites and cookbooks dedicated to the art of making all kinds of baked goods in a flash. 
As much as I love the convenience of it, and have been able to get some very successful goodies in under 3 minutes...
I must admit, they are no match for the good old fashioned, slow baking oven.
I have come to love and appreciate the quickness and efficiency.

And check out this guy...
Not so shabby, right?
 Chocolate Chip Cookie Muffin
3 Tbs. 100% Liquid Egg Whites
1 Tbs. Unsweetened Applesauce
1 Tbs. Vanilla
1/2 tsp Butter Flavoring (optional)
Dash of Cinnamon
Stevia, to taste
2 Tbs. Gluten Free Flour of choice
2 Tbs. Bob's Red Mill Coconut Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/8 tsp. Baking Soda
7 g Unsweetened Chocolate, chopped

 Combine all of the ingredients (except for the chocolate) in a microwave safe container. 
(I use a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup) 
Add enough water (or liquid of your choice), to create a batter consistency. 
Stir in the chopped chocolate.
Microwave on full power for approximately 2:00 - 2:30 minutes. Microwave times may vary.
The muffin continues to cook and set once you take it out of the microwave, so you do not want it fully 'baked' when you remove it.
If the very edges are set, and the center seems is perfect! 
By the time you let it cool a minute and turn it out, it will be perfect!

{Kitchen Bits}
  • I have made many microwave muffins that were complete failures. The timing can be tricky. Go for the 2:00 minutes, as you'd rather have it be a bit soft in the middle than be a chocolate chip hockey puck!
  • You could easily replace the gluten free flour with a gluten free baking mix, but be sure and check the ingredients in case it already contains baking powder and/or baking soda.
  • The butter flavoring is optional, but it does give you that cookie flavor. No need to make a special trip to the store for it, but it is a nice addition to your pantry.
  • You could certainly use chocolate chips in place of the chopped chocolate.
  • Let the muffin sit a moment to cool and then turn it out. 
  • I've never found a need to grease or spray the baking dish. I truly use a 2-cup glass measuring cup to mix up all the ingredients, scrape down the sides and put it right into the microwave. One dish to clean? Yes, please!

I will definitely be sharing more microwave friendly recipes.
I love my oven baked goodies, but don't always have the time.
I am sure you completely understand that.
It's good to know that the microwave can do more than reheat leftovers and pop corn!

I wish you Happy & Healthy baking!

August 11, 2016

Transformation Thursday?

It's Thursday y'all!...
It is really late, but still Thursday.
This day has been all over the place; didn't even get my shower until 2:00 in the afternoon.
Grad school orientation, dentist appointment, senior picture finalizing appointment, and I don't even know what else...stuff, lots and lots of stuff!
Today's pictures are from Tuesday's workout, of course.
(Always running late with those things!)
I thought about just deleting them and sharing today's pics, but these are worth sharing.
Ok, maybe this one wasn't all the worth sharing and yet here it is!
I haven't slept good this week and I am going through some stomach issues.
Yup, I am back to the stomach junk and I have NO idea what in the world is bothering me this time.
I am resisting the need to track all of my food so I can help pinpoint what the heck is going on.
Seriously, will this stomach madness ever end?!
Ok, ok...this isn't what this post was going to be about!
What it IS about is that I went to my surgeon yesterday and I have been totally cleared!
Dr. Sears was super happy with my progress and released me, officially!
I also have the go-ahead to schedule my left hand carpal tunnel surgery but I am going to wait another month or so; I need to have a little more strength back in my right hand.
Speaking of which...
I am finally back to regular weight lifting and seeing myself reappearing.
Between the life events from the past year and a half, the surgery and everything else...
Man, it has been rough and I really have lost myself.
I just had so many things happen at once and then back to back, it really knocked me back.
Please read that knocked me BACK, but not down!
I am grateful for my ability to remain resilient.
I don't know where it comes from, but I am so incredibly thankful that I bend but don't allow myself to get to the point of breaking.
I have hated the struggle. I have struggled against the struggle!
It has taken me a while to get the strength to push back, but that time has come and I see the transformation beginning; it is slow but here nonetheless.
You see that tricep?
That's the surgery arm!
Do you see what happens? If you refuse to give up, your body won't give up on you!
I know, it seems that way sometimes but you have to be patient with yourself.
Change takes time.
Everything takes time.
I hope you have had a great day.
Please know that any change or transformation is going to take time.
There are going to be many highs and lows; you have to ride them out.

Love you guys!

August 10, 2016

Recipe Wednesday ♥ Oat & Fruity Muffins

Good Morning!
I am sitting here, editing pictures and munching on a couple of muffins that I made this weekend.
I made two batches and am trying to decide which one I prefer.

The first batch were made with strawberry puree and are delicious!
I have to say, the best muffin tins are the ones that have been loved & used for years.
The one pictured above IS clean, by the way...

For the second batch, I diced up a nectarine that I had. I chose the nectarine for no reason other than that it needed to be used up. It gives the muffins a nice little peaches & cream kind of taste.

I am going to go ahead and share the recipe, but I am going to work on it and will make updates on the recipe if I stumble on any improvements.

Oat & Fruity Muffins
1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Rolled Oats
1/2 cups Coconut Flour
1 Tbs. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Stevia Powder
1/4-1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Psyllium Husk Powder
1 Tbs. Coconut Oil, melted
6 Tbs. 100% Liquid Egg Whites (or 2 Eggs)
1 Tbs. Vanilla
12 drops Vanilla Stevia (optional)
1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar (optional, but gives it a little lift)
8oz-12oz Carbonated Water
1 piece Fruit, diced or 1/4 cups Fruit Puree of your choice

Preheat the oven to 350'F. Mix the oats, coconut flour, baking powder, salt, stevia powder, cinnamon and psyllium husk powder. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, add the egg whites, vanilla, liquid stevia, apple cider vinegar and 8 oz (1-cup) of carbonated water. Whisk until well blended and a bit frothy. Add the fruit.
Add the melted coconut oil to the flour mixture. Stir until well combined.
Pour the flour mixture into the egg mixture and fold until just combined. Carefully add more liquid, if necessary. Don't overmix!
Line muffin tin and evenly distribute the batter in the muffin tin cups.
Bake for about 18-20 minutes. 

I know the recipe seems a bit fussy, but the muffins turned out great!
The first batch I made with flax milk and they were pretty flat.
The carbonated water seemed to perk them up.

{Kitchen Bits}
  • Feel free to play around with the type of fruit. Both versions were tasty.
  • I had Peach-Pear flavored La Croix Water on hand, it was great with the nectarine. You could use plain or flavored, just be sure that it is unsweetened.
  • You could eliminate the psyllium husk, but you will have a bit more crumbly muffin. It acts as a binder and holds it together. I buy it whole and grind it to powder in the Ninja.
  • You do not want to overmix the batter. Determine as soon as you can, if you need to add more liquid. My strawberry puree batter took 1-cup of liquid, but the nectarine batter took the entire 12 oz. can of carbonated water. And I definitely overmixed. Don't do that!
  • I prefer powdered SweetLeaf Stevia to other brands. It is clean and no after taste when used correctly. The liquid vanilla stevia gives it a bit more flavor, but isn't necessary.
  • These will freeze well. I threw them all in the freezer after they cooled. They are even better today!

I wish you Happy & Healthy baking!