Diets make me sad. I had a client send me the below picture of her dinner.
I see a plate like this and all I can think is, man I will be hungry when I finish this.
My speciality as a dietitian, is in what is called the mindful eating approach. Mindful eating, is a diet-free approach to healthy living. In practicing mindful eating we are retraining our brains how to eat. If our brain senses deprivation like what is typically involved in a diet, then it won’t be happy and eventually we will go back to our old ways. One way to overcome this is through pumping up the volume of your foods without pumping up the calories.
When our brain sees a full plate it sends signals to our stomach that it is enough food, regardless of the calories. Two things that add volume, without a lot of calories, are water and vegetables. I know what you are thinking, BORING! Not if you start your day with my Mindful Oatmeal. This oatmeal includes a full serving of veggies, and allows you to fill your bowl to the brim so your eyes can feast too!
I am notorious for doing about a billion things at once, anyone else with me?
Imagine this, I decide I want eggs for breakfast; as they are busy sizzling in the pan, I realize I have a few extra minutes while they cook, so I rush to change a load of laundry and I come back to a stuck to the pan, overcooked, egg hockey puck. Maybe you prefer your eggs like that… not me.
We recently moved, and my husband realized how many kitchen gadgets I have. So now I am on a mission to prove to him how essential all of these gadgets are in my life. In my last post, I shared an unconventional way to use your toaster.
Today, I am sharing another use for your waffle iron, to prepare eggs! My waffle iron isn’t anything fancy, but it does automatically turns off as soon as it is done cooking. Do you know how long it takes to cook an egg? Approximately the same amount of time it takes to cook a waffle. The only hard part about this is having to clean out those little tiny squares, be sure to pre-spray your waffle iron.
We all know that we don’t eat enough veggies! Some of the people I talk to say they don’t eat veggies because they don’t know HOW to prepare them. Some of the people I talk to say they don’t eat veggies because they don’t like them, which I would argue, is that they also don’t know how to prepare them.
I shared a recipe on KCTV 5’s, Better Kansas City, that is veggie-filled, easy, and almost fool-proof; in fact, it barely requires a recipe. Nothing should stand in your way of preparing and eating veggies, so I won’t even make you read a recipe, you can just watch the video on how to prepare it, that’s right, no reading required. You can watch it while you are lounging by the pool or shopping at the grocery store. #NoExcuses
I originally shared this post on National Donut Day. As I have learned new things about feeding my picky eater, I have referenced this post for healthy donuts over and over. I wrote this post when mug cakes were all the rage and the donut pan was not a thing you could order on amazon. Now, that donut pans are easy to find I’m sharing 2 easy ways to make these healthy donuts. You can make them in the oven with a donut pan, or individually as mug cakes in the microwave. Whichever way you decide to make veggie donuts, I always top mine with my Healthy Chocolate Frosting, and then let the kids help decorate them.
If you’ve already jumped on the donut pan trend. Harness your donut pan for good by making a batch of veggie-filled healthy donuts!
If you don’t want to turn on your oven, try this mug cake variation of the healthy donuts. Your veggie-filled donuts are ready in less than 5 minutes for breakfast or a snack. One recipe includes a full delicious serving of veggies.
1 cup fresh spinach or kale, or 1/2 cup frozen spinach or kale
2 Tablespoons vanilla unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
1 ripe banana
2 Tablespoons coconut flour (If using whole wheat flour use 3 Tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons rolled oats
1 Tablespoon ground flax
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
dash of vanilla
Optional: 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey*, mini chocolate chips, nuts
*highly recommend adding something sweet if you are using kale.
Place the spinach or kale in a small microwave safe bowl with 1 tablespoon water. Microwave for 30-60 seconds. If you are using frozen spinach or kale it should be thawed, if you are using fresh it should be slightly wilted.
In a mini food processor, or blender mix eggs, milk, prepared spinach or kale (see step 1) and banana until greens are finely shredded.
Pour into a medium bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix until incorporated, but do not over mix. The texture should be very thick.
Spray microwave-safe mug, or donut tins. Pour batter into mug or tins. If you are using donut tins it should be spread over 3. Microwave 3-4 minutes. The "cake" should be very moist, but no longer runny. If you are using donut tins you will divide the mixture over 3 tins, so the cook time will be about 1 minute each.
Serve warm. Drizzle or glaze with melted chocolate for an extra pinch of YUM!
The first time I post this recipe my daughter (photo on the left) was about 18 months, now my son, also 18 months is enjoying the same recipe. I’ve perfected my frosting a bit more though, so it’s a little messier.
I don’t think that I need to tell you that Pumpkin is packed-full with nutrients. The problem with pumpkin is not the pumpkin itself, but the things that we put with it. Think pumpkin spice lattes or pumpkin pie… O but never fear, the Kansas City Dietitian is here to reunite you with your love of pumpkin in this delicious protein-packed smoothie. Plus pumpkins are a technically a vegetable so it’s like eating a delicious veggie for breakfast!
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
½ frozen banana
½ cup light canned coconut milk (or unsweetened almond milk)
½ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 Tablespoon Almond Butter
2 Tablespoons Plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon Maple Syrup (optional)
½ teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)
Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. That’s it! All you have to do is blend away. You can also make this ahead and freeze.
I’ve made blueberry, banana, lemon and probably many more fruit-inspired muffins in my lifetime, but never a grape muffin.
We had a great sale on grapes at our grocery store this week. In my experience usually that means that the grapes are less than tasty, but when I tried these black grapes I knew they would be a SUPER highlight for some Superfood PB&J muffins. If you missed my previous post on Superfood muffins I highly recommend that you indulge. In that post, we talked about: sweet potatoes, pomegranate, citrus, walnuts, cranberries, and dark chocolate.
I had such a great response to that post that I decided to create a second superfood muffin with a few new SUPERSTARS!
Our old friend, the sweet potato, is back in this recipe. If you have ever made muffins with applesauce instead of oil it is the same concept. However, by adding sweet potatoes instead of applesauce, you are adding 290% more potassium and over 200% of your recommended intake of Vitamin A. Potassium may naturally help with regulating blood pressure and vitamin A is good for your eyes and your immune system. Now that is what I call a SUPER food!
The new superfoods in this recipe are grapes and healthy fats.
Nut butters have healthy fats which don’t raise your cholesterol and they also help us absorb the vitamins in our foods!
Grapes contain antioxidants called polyphenols that help reduce inflammation in our bodies. Studies have also found that people who eat a diet high in blue/purple fruits and vegetables eat fewer added sugars, which is definitely true in this recipe.
When I pulled these muffins out of the oven they oozed with grape goodness, and I wondered why I hadn’t been making grape muffins forever! Be ready to serve these warm to your PB&J loving kids. Your family will love these, but I think my favorite thing about this recipe is how little sugar it needed. I added just a hint to bring out the natural sweetness of the grapes, juice, and sweet potatoes (less than a teaspoon of sugar per muffin, compared to 7 teaspoons in a typical muffin).
SUPERFOOD PB&J Muffins
3/4 cups Welch’s 100% White Grape Juice
2 – 4oz jars of pureed sweet potato (I use baby food, but you could also make your own)
2 cups flour
1/8 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup of black grapes
2 Tablespoons natural peanut butter or your favorite nut butter
1/4 cup powdered peanut butter (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spray or line the bottom of 12 medium muffin cups.
3. In a large bowl beat egg; stir in juice, sweet potatoes and grapes.
4. In a medium bowl combine, flour, sugar and baking powder and powdered peanut butter if using. Mix into wet ingredients just until moistened.
5. Scoop a small spoonful of batter with at least one grape into the bottom of each cup (should fill no more than a 1/4 of the muffin cup)
6. Warm nut butter in a microwave safe dish for 30 seconds or until thin and easy to spread.
7. Drop a small dollop of nut butter into each muffin cup. Then top with remaining batter until each of the muffin cups are about 3/4 full.
8. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. While still warm spread a thin layer remaining nut butter on each muffin for an extra peanut buttery delight.
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