Banana Walnut Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium overripe bananas mashed

  • 1 and ½ cup whole wheat flour

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • ¼ tsp. salt

  • 1 tbsp. vanilla

  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

  • 3 tbsp. honey

  • 1 large egg

  • ½ cup plain 0% greek yogurt

  • 1 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk

  • ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips

  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 and spray or line 12 standard muffin tins

  • In a bowl, whisk dry ingredients together (whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt)

  • In a large bowl, mash bananas. Next, add honey, vanilla, milk, greek yogurt, and the egg. Mix until well combined or smooth.

  • Add in the dry ingredients and whisk or mix (by hand or an electric mixer) until smooth.

  • Fill muffin tin with batter to almost the top and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until baked through.

Vegan Apple Crumble and Maple Cashew Cream

Ingredients:

For the crumble:

  • 1 cup whole oats
  • ½ cup oat flour
  • ½ cup raw pecans
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the filling:

  • 6-7 sweet apples, skins on (I used crab apples and didn't measure, but used about 12-15 crab apples)
  • 1 TBS ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour

For the maple cashew cream:

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 TBS Grade B maple syrup (I used Grade A because I couldn't find Grade B) 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Lightly grease a 10.5" by 7" casserole dish. 
  3. Core and chop apples and mix with tapioca flour and cinnamon. 
  4. ut the crumble ingredients into a food processor and mix until the ingredients stick together. 
  5. Lay the apples out in the dish and top with the crumble mixture. 
  6. Cover lightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes. 
  7. In the meantime, blend the maple cashew cream mixture in a food processor. 
  8. Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes. 
  9. Remove from oven and drizzle cashew cream mixture on top. 
  10. Enjoy! 

Eggs

For years, I only ate egg whites because I was afraid the yolk had too much fat and I also never really liked the taste of a runny yolk. Well that has changed and I seriously think I could eat eggs, with a runny yolk, everyday! Well... to be honest, I pretty much do! They have become one of my favorite foods and my go-to when I want something quick and easy, yet nutritious! My favorite way to eat eggs is on a piece of toast with mashed up avocado!

One egg contains about 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 200mg of cholesterol and about 13 other essential vitamins and minerals. Although people who have high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease should limit their cholesterol intake, cholesterol is actually essential for good health! There are vast amounts of it found in the brain and it is used to make the sex hormones oestrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.

Benefits:

  • Eggs contain all of the essential amino acids! Amino acids are the building blocks that make up protein and are necessary for muscle growth.
  • Rich source of the amino acid leucine, which is crucial in stimulating muscle protein synthesis.
  • Eggs are easily digested and are bodies use these proteins efficiently.
  • The yolk is fairly high in vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and some of the B vitamins. The yolk also contains all of the fat and cholesterol, as well as most of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc.
  • The white of the egg contains about half of the protein, no fat, not vitamin A and about 20% of the total calories. Egg whites also have less of the other nutrients, except sodium and potassium. 
  • Eggs are a great brain food and are the richest dietary source of choline! Choline is also important for proper liver function, maintaining a healthy metabolism and increasing energy levels.
  • Great source of Vitamin D! They provide 10% of the daily value and essential in developing and maintaining healthy bones, and is important for maintaining calcium and phosphate levels.
  • Lecithin is concentrated in the egg yolk and is a substance that is crucial in the cell membranes in the body. Lecithin is important for the brain, specifically in regards to memory and cognitive processes.  

Grapefruit

Although I have always liked grapefruits, I really fell in love with them when we went to my grandparents place in Phoenix one winter. We picked them right from a tree in their yard and ate them for breakfast and they were seriously unbelievable. I don’t think I’ve had one that good since, but needles to say, I still love incorporating them into my diet because of their amazing taste and numerous benefits!

They are low in calories and are rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, and many other vitamins and minerals. They are especially high in fiber, vitamin A and C, as well as potassium. I love to eat grapefruits on their own, however, they can easily be added to salads or smoothies.

Benefits:

  • Can help promote weight loss and can help speed up the breakdown of fat. They are not only low in calories, but they have a natural fat-burning enzyme and can help to absorb and reduce the amount of starch and sugar in the body.
  •  Aids in digestion because if their high water and fiber content, which helps to promote healthy colon function and prevent constipation.
  • They are packed with bioflavonoids that help boost the immune system.
  • Their high antioxidant content, especially vitamin C, is crucial in the formation of collagen and therefore helps to fight skin damage, reduce wrinkles, and improve overall texture.
  • Grapefruits are particularly good for the cardiovascular system because its nutrients work to protect the arteries. The pectin content actually helps lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure. Pectin is also known to strengthen and maintain the elasticity of arteries.
  • The potassium content can also help to lower blood pressure, as potassium neutralizes the negative effects of sodium.
  • They are a natural anti-inflammatory and are good for people with chest congestion, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other inflammatory disorders.
  • When applied topically, grapefruit can reduce cellulite due to its high levels of anti-inflammatory and skin-cleansing agents.
  • Ideal fruit for people with diabetes, as they are low on the glycemic index and don’t cause rapid increases in blood sugar. 
  • The bioflavonoids and vitamin C can actually help reduce swelling and water retention during pregnancy.
  • Grapefruits are over 90% water and are therefore extremely hydrating and full of electrolytes.
  • The aromatherapies of citrus fruits are known to help increase energy and vitality!
  • Although grapefruits taste acidic, its juice actually has an alkaline reaction after digestion, which helps put good bacteria into the intestines and is very beneficial for the digestive tract.
  • Grapefruits can help promote sleep and alleviate insomnia 

Pomegranate

Pomegranates are one of my favorite seasonal fruits! This powerful fruit usually starts popping up by mid-fall through early winter. Although pomegranates can take some work to eat, they are well worth it! They are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium. I usually eat them alone or sprinkled into my oatmeal or Greek yogurt!

Benefits:

  • Rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help reduce free radicals, protect cells from damage and reduce inflammation.
  • Because of their high antioxidant (specifically flavonols, which act as anti-inflammatory agents) concentration, pomegranates help reduce inflammation in the body, particularly the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
  • Their abundance of antioxidants can reduce inflammation in the gut and thus improve digestion. Therefore, the consumption of pomegranates is beneficial for those with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other inflammatory bowel disorders.
  • Their high antioxidant content reduces oxidative stress and damage. Oxidative stress refers to the imbalance between the production of free radicals and antioxidant defense, which can lead to potential tissue damage
  • Pomegranates contain loads of vitamin C! 
  • Vitamin C helps boost the immune system, which is something everyone needs in these cold winter months in Saskatchewan!
  • Vitamin C helps develop, grow and repair all of your body tissues. 
  • Vitamin C is vital in the production and formation of collagen in the body.
  • They have a high content of Vitamin K, which is essential for maintaining healthy bones, regulating normal blood clotting, as well as maintaining brain function and a healthy metabolism.
  • Good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which is essential for good digestion and regular bowel movements.