Happy National Pecan Day!

Not to toot my own horn or anything, but today I made amazing muffins.

I had 5 neglected, and therefore overly-ripe, bananas sitting in my kitchen begging me to turn them into something delicious. I could have gone with my standby banana protein muffins, but decided instead to throw caution to the wind and whip up a batch with quinoa, chia seeds and pecans instead.

And when posting about my new concoction on twitter I discovered it is National Pecan Day, how serendipitous! So although the day is almost over, I won’t judge if you extend the celebration into tomorrow so you can whip up a batch for yourself.

Banana Pecan Quinoa Muffins

Serves 12

Wet ingredients

2 overly-ripe bananas, mashed

1 egg

4 TBS butter

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (can sub vanilla extract)

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

Dry ingredients

1 cup white whole wheat flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill, but regular whole wheat or unbleached white would work too)

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

3 TBS chia seeds

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In medium bowl, cream brown sugar and butter. Add remaining wet ingredients and mix until combined.

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients. Add wet to the dry and mix well. Scoop into 12 lined & sprayed with non-stick cooking spray muffin tins, or silicone muffin cups, and bake 35-40 minutes.

Try to allow to cool before eating.

What is your favorite way to eat pecans?

Pumpkin Scruffins

I love scones. Especially freshly baked ones. This weekend I whipped up a batch of cranberry yogurt scones for my co-worker, who just got back from maternity leave.

I was craving some for myself, but since I had already made these last week, I started searching for a suitable replacement. I eyed my Costco-size can of Libby’s pumpkin, and determined it needed to be incorporated. Unfortunately, none of the pumpkin scone recipes were striking my fancy. Fortunately, I really enjoy playing with recipes and making them my own.

What resulted from my adaptions wasn’t quite a scone, and wasn’t quite a muffin. Therefore I dub these: Pumpkin Scruffins. They are scrump-diddily-umptious! Even my pumpkin-hatin’ hubs loved them. And I may, or may not, have eaten two of these on Easter.

Pumpkin Scruffins

Adapted from this recipe
Serves: 8
Nutritionals: Cal: 231, Carb: 34g, Fat: 9g, Pro: 4g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 14g

Ingredients

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup white granulated cane sugar

6 TBS cold butter

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp vanilla bean paste (can sub 1 tsp vanilla or the insides of one vanilla bean)

6 oz Stoneyfield Organics 0% French Vanilla yogurt

1/3 cup raisins

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

Directions

Preheat oven to 425.

Sift together: whole wheat flour, white flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & pumpkin pie spice.

Add cold butter and mix until incorporated, (do not be afraid to use your hands).

Add vanilla bean paste, yogurt, raisins and canned pumpkin.

Form into a ball and flatten on a greased cookie sheet, roughly 1/2 inch thick.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Cut with a knife (or a pizza cutter – this worked great!) and transfer to cooling rack.

Who says pumpkin is just for fall? Pumpkin is my favorite flavor year round! Enjoy 🙂

Whole wheat banana protein muffins

Today was one of those days when I really hated being a grownup. Last night our furnace stopped working. The hubs called the company we purchased said furnace from, a mere 4 months ago, and made a noontime appointment. He ran off to Lowe’s to pick up chicken coop building supplies before the appointment. While attempting to leave Lowe’s, he discovered the Volvo’s battery was dead. Insert father-in-law, Rob, to the rescue. Rob graciously drove into town to move all supplies from our Volvo to his truck in order to reach the dead battery. Yes, our battery is where one would normally find a spare tire. Why? Volvo thinks they are different/fancy/cool?

I hate you Volvo.

After finishing* the laundry, finishing up with the furnace repair man, and getting chicken coop materials home, I decided a little baking might improve my mood.

*a job that is never actually finished

I had these muffin liners sitting in my muffin sheet for two weeks. I hadn’t felt the inspiration to either bake muffins, or to put away the liners.

Yes, those would be Halloween liners my friends.

I took one look at my fruit bowl and decided something needed to be done with these sad looking nanners.

Inspiration finally struck, and I started combing the internet for a recipe that only required me to shop in my pantry.

I found one, but it didn’t look too fantastic. Halfway through the process of pulling items out of my pantry I remembered I only had whole wheat flour. Since my oven was already in the process of pre-heating, and I wasn’t in the mood to run to the store, I decided to give it a go.

I didn’t have high hopes, as I prefer to blend my whole wheat and white flour together. But I’m glad I did, because these muffins are so light and fluffy you would never guess they were whole wheat! I added so many additional ingredients to the recipe I found, it is almost comical to say I adapted the recipe. But, here is the original recipe in case you don’t feel like all the add-ins.

Whole wheat banana protein muffins

Makes 18 muffins

Nutritionals: Cal: 145, Carb: 28g, Fat: 2g, Pro: 6 g

Ingredients

4 very ripe bananas

2 eggs

3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

2 scoops GNC whey protein powder, unflavored (you could also use vanilla or chocolate or strawberry for a fun change)

2 TBS chia seeds

Directions

In medium bowl mash bananas, add vanilla, applesauce and eggs. Blend well.

In large bowl combine whole wheat flour, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and protein powder.

Mix wet into dry.

After combined fold in chia seeds.

Distribute evenly in muffin liners,

and bake 20-25 minutes, (until toothpick is inserted and comes out clean).

Transfer to wire rack to cool. I use the same toothpick to move my muffins.

Enjoy plain, with peanut butter, nutella, cream cheese, or whatever your heart desires.

Mmmm, nanner-nugget.

Positive words

Today was the first day back to school after a four-day weekend(!!). To kick off National Eating Disorder Awareness Week at school I posted a positive words wall. It was Mirrorless Monday meets Operation Beautiful.

*I wanted to play Bruno Mars Just the way you are on repeat in the hallway during passing periods, but I neglected to purchase “D” batteries for my CD player.

I don’t know if you had the same experience as me in middle school…but it surely wasn’t the best three years of my life. I remember being gawky, nerdy, wearing high-water denim with vests and a perm. While perms were all the rage in ‘94, I didn’t quite know how to style it, and always felt a tad out of place. I remember wondering is anyone going to like me? Why am I the only one not allowed to shave my legs? When will I actually need a bra? Ugggh, my nose is so big in comparison to the rest of my face!

I certainly could have used a little self-love. So why not give my students the chance to give themselves some self-love?

I posted these signs near the positive word wall:

Each passing period, during lunch and after school I stood in the hallway with a bucket of markers, encouraging the students (and teachers!) to write uplifting notes to one another, (or themselves). The response was overwhelming! I had to put a second blank positive word wall up during 4th period 🙂

Here are some of my favorites…

This one is my absolute favorite!

How can you not love that? Adorkable? Adorable!!

The rest of my day was so bland in comparison.

I decided to see how long it would take me to run 3 miles…38 minutes. Have I mentioned I am suuuuuper slow? But, I was impressed with myself for not giving up. However, I did NOT realize a news crew was behind me, filming my derriere, for the majority of my dreadmill experience. Erica was kind enough to inform me around the 30  minute mark. No wonder everyone cleared out of my little cardio corner.

After my run I dove into my pumpkin quinoa muffin.

I’m really glad I added the chia seeds – perfect crunch factor.

Lunch was a kiwi + Olive Garden leftovers.

I was at work until 6, and many snacks filled my afternoon.

Babybel + pink lady

Chobani + decaf chai tea

And then it was dinner, prepped by Libb. Bean burritos w/onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, avocado, sour cream and tapatio.

Rikka decided she needed to take control of my ear warmers.

And I decided I needed to take control of these cookies.

What would you go back and tell yourself in middle school?

For me it would be, don’t worry, life gets much better!