Mocha-Chocolate Chip Muffins

I love coffee. I love chocolate. I love baked goodies (the healthy versions, of course). This recipe consists of all of all of these things. So by now you should have realized something.  And that is.. this recipe is awesome.

Oh. I almost forgot to mention that this recipe is free from any refined sugars, grains, gluten & dairy. BOO-YAH. …Who even says boo-yah anymore? Um. Moving on to the recipe before I embarrass myself any further…

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup pureed butternut squash
  • 1 cup nut-butter of choice (peanut, almond, cashew, sunbutter, etc.)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg (whisked)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa/cacao powder
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (or dark chocolate) (**I only only put 2 chips on top of each mini muffin, as I feel like there’s already enough chocolate in the muffins!)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350f/175c
  • Steam/Boil butternut squash until it’s tender (you’ll be able to easily stick a fork in it)
  • Use a food processor/blender to puree the butternut OR mash by hand (I’ve done both)
  • Mix all ingredients together
  • Evenly distribute batter amongst 24 mini muffins
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes

Substitutions:

  • Sweet potato in place of butternut squash
  • Crunchy or smooth nut-butters – your preference
  • Substitute another sweetener for the maple syrup (agave nectar, honey, etc)

Enjoy as part of breakfast, brunch, snack, dessert.. Hey, if you want them for lunch: go for it, who am I to judge? Though, I would recommend you accompany it with something a little more nutritious as well.

My excellent assistant, stirring away.

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Sniff test! Yup, that’s good and chocolate-y.

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Into the muffin pan they go! Bake for 15 minutes or so and..

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Voila! Look at these cuties!

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And a close up just to tease you.

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..What are you still doing on here? GO MAKE THESE!

Pumpkin cream bars

There’s a few foods that I realllly love, and one of them is pumpkin.  It’s one of those versatile foods that you can cook it various ways, each tasting different.  This recipe is a dessert, that is guilt-free, and could actually be served as a breakfast/brunch treat as well – being that it’s actually not THAT sweet (but totally hits the spot).

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Not all that long ago I wasn’t conscious of what I consumed, and I didn’t exercise on a regular basis. With that being said, I wasn’t as bad as I could’ve been, however I was no where near where I should’ve, needed, or even wanted to be. In 8 months I turned that around, and took control of my body. With eating a generally clean diet, and regular exercise, I’ve come a long way. Now, there’s no stopping me.

Look out world 🙂

Homemade pesto

 

 

 

 

Who knew that pesto was so easy to make? I surely didn’t! Not only did it take under 5 minutes to make, but it’s also only FOUR ingredients.

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Ingredients:

3/4 cup olive oil

3/4 cup dry pine nuts

1 bunch of basil

Juice from 1 lemon

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Now put all of those goodies into your food processor, and puree until you get this consistency:

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Voila! No need to buy store made pesto again!

I have to thank one of the lovely moms I work for, for sharing this recipe with me today. A real eye opener! If I’m capable (and it’s not super pricy) than I would much rather make it myself rather than purchase “store bought” any day!  When you do it yourself you KNOW what you’re putting into the recipe, therefor you KNOW what you’re putting into your body!

2 ingredient pancakes

Now, who doesn’t love pancakes? Only weirdos, right?  Well believe-it-or-not I was one of those weirdos not that long ago.  I’ve just never been that big of a fan of pancakes. Usually they’re just huge, too thick, and get soggy from all of the (very) sweet syrup..Gross! However, since my newfound lifestyle change, I’ve found myself craving them.  This is probably because I don’t eat sweet things often other than fruit.  So this put me in a bit of a predicament.. How can I satisfy my pancake craving without really indulging?

After a few minutes on google I came across this uh-mazzz-zing 2 ingredient pancake recipe.  Yes, you read that correctly: TWO ingredients; that’s all.  Those two ingredients you ask? Egg, and banana. That’s it!  Okay, okay, okay, I’ll stop ranting and give you the recipe already 😀

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Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 eggs
  • Optional: Chocolate chips, pecans, almonds, raisins, etc

Preparation: 

  • Mix the eggs and banana together.  (I prefer to use it blender/food processor – use whatever is easiest for you)
  • Add fillings if you fancy
  • Now just cook these bad boys like you’d cook any other pancakes
  • Top with fruit, nuts, syrup, nutbutter – ENJOY!

Tips:

  • I let the mixture set for a few minutes before cooking them otherwise you get extremely flat (yet still delicious) pancakes.
  • Look out for the little air bubbles on top of your pancakes – when there’s a bunch that means it’s time to flip those flap jacks!

I hope you enjoy these guys! They’re full of potassium, fiber, vitamin c,  and protein but you’ll feel like you’re indulging big time.  These pancakes are one of my absolute favorites now – I can’t get enough!

Lifestyle Change

Only a few short months ago, in May 2013, I decided it was time for a change.  I’ve always been relatively active, ate fairly healthy, and have been “skinny.”  However, one day it just hit me (quite possibly while I was dunking chips ahoy in a glass of milk) that I could be living life much, much healthier. And therefor much happier as well.

I never paid all that much attention to  what I was eating: never taking into consideration certainly not the calories, nor the ingredients – and definitely not the serving sizes.  On random occasions I would go on those “health kicks.” You know, we’ve all been there: “Oh, I’m going to start working out and eating healthy” Perhaps for a day or so you eat “healthy” and maybe even work out some.  Only for a few days to pass and you’re back in the cookie jar, sitting on your bum watching How I Met Your Mother.

Well, here I am 4 months later and I’m here to say that it is possible to make the change!  You’re more than capable of eating healthy, exercising on a regular basis all while not wrecking your budget, maintaining your work/school life, and even your social life.

Don’t believe me? Then allow me to prove you wrong. 🙂