Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

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banana muffins

Fall is one of my favorite times of year.  The weather is crisp and cool, the leaves start to fall, and best of all it’s pumpkin season!

Pumpkin is a hearty squash that boasts many vital nutrients to keep your eyes, heart and immune system healthy, loaded with beta carotene, vitamin C and potassium to name just a few.  Get your pumpkin on early with this seasonal favorite of mine, and kids tested and approved!

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Holiday
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

These tasty and kid approved recipe is great for that holiday brunch party
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup whole wheat or white flour
  • ¾ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 /2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans (Optional)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line two- 12 mini muffin pans or one 12 muffin pan with muffin liners.
  2. Whisk flour, oats, brown sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Stir pumpkin puree, milk, oil, eggs, into the dry ingredients until batter is smooth. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups, filling them to the top. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
  3. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cook for 5-10 minutes and serve

 

 

Delicately Roasted Delicata Squash

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Working at Google has many perks and one of the top perks for a nutritionist is all the expertly prepared gourmet foods.  I love going to one of the 27 odd cafe’s and finding some vegetable I have never seen before.  Recently, I found a roasted squash in the salad bar with a light colored, stripped, thin, edible skin.  I do love the taste of a nice roasted winter squash and delicata squash is no exception.  There are now 3 types of winter squashes I know of that have thinner delicate skins you can easily eat.  These are acorn, kaboca, and now delicata!  I once again got several of these in my farmers market box  that gets sent monthly to my house.  This squash has a sweet, creamy texture making it a perfect side dish or afternoon snack on the weekends.  This is the most basic recipe, but I’ve also tried varieties with sweet spices or savory herbs.  Check back for those varieties soon.  Winter squash is rich source of beta carotene  (vitamin A) in your diet, with one cup having over 300% of the DV.  Squash is additionially  an  excellent source of vitamin C, both vitamins A and C are important for immune system function and can help keep you healthy all winter long.

Delicately Roasted Delicata Squash
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 75
  • Fat: 4
  • Saturated fat: 0
  • Trans fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 12
  • Fiber: 9
  • Protein: 2.3
  • Cholesterol: 0

You can make this recipe with delicata, acorn or kabocha all taste fantastic.
Ingredients
  • 2-3 delicata squash
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
  1. preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. wash delicata squash thoroughly and cut in half
  3. scoop out seeds, I like to use an ice cream scooper
  4. cut squash into ½-1 inch pieces and season with oil and salt
  5. bake in oven for 25-30 minutes until brown turning half way through, add more salt as desired.
  6. DONE! super easy

 

 

 

Chia Seed Pudding with Fresh Berries

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If the only thing you’ve done with chia seeds is grow a pet then you’re in for a treat.

Chia seeds are a nutritional powerhouse.   They not only contain omega-3 fatty acids but are an abundant source of fiber 10 grams per ounce, that is 1/3 of your daily value.  Although flax seeds have more research out chia seeds are sure to contain even more health benefits that we will discover in the years to come.  This pudding is a great end to your day, reminiscent of good old fashion tapioca.

Chia Seed Pudding with Fresh Berries
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serving size: 1
  • Calories: 180
  • Fat: 10
  • Saturated fat: 3
  • Trans fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 18
  • Sugar: 7
  • Fiber: 9
  • Protein: 4

Chia seeds are small,little, black seeds, Once they are introduced to liquid they expand and have a texture very close to tapioca. This recipe is one of my favorites for a dessert when you want something sweet and healthy.
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup milk (soy, almond, coconut, regular)
  • ⅓ cup chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbs. sugar in the raw
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • berries to garnish (I love fresh strawberries and blueberries)

Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the milk, chia seeds and sugar in the raw, vanilla and cinnamon. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. The chia seeds will puff and expand.
  2. Pudding may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  3. Before serving, stir once and spoon into serving dishes. Garnish with fresh berries and serve immediately.

 

Green Smoothie

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I love smoothies for a refreshing afternoon snack, this one I’ve perfected over time to make a perfect creamy smooth and nutrient packed smoothie!

Green Smoothie
 
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Ingredients
  • ½ ripe pear
  • ¼ avocado
  • ¾ cup frozen spinach
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • one cup greek yogurt or one scoop vanilla protein powder
  • one cup almond milk
  • one cup ice

Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in the blender

 

 

 

Cinnamon Sugar Chickpeas

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These are absolutely my favorite snack for having on hand.  They are crunchy and sweet, trust me you’ll want these as a staple for snack time.  I even put a few bags in my car in case I’m stuck somewhere and getting overly hungry. These are great to tide you over for a few hours.  Chickpeas are low in fat and high in fiber.  They are a nutritional powerhouse of vitamins and minerals including iron, zinc and potassium.

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Cinnamon Sugar Chickpeas
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serving size: 8
  • Calories: 135
  • Fat: 3.4
  • Carbohydrates: 18
  • Sugar: 2
  • Fiber: 4
  • Protein: 6

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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I like to snack on these over the holiday time, they are a perfect alternative for overly sugary cookies during this time of year.
Ingredients
  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 1½ tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Rinse and thorougly dry the chickpeas.
    This is a very important step to make sure your chickpeas are crunchy. Roll them in a paper towel and then let then sit uncovered for an additional 10-15 minutes.
  3. While waiting for the chickpeas to dry, mix the oil and cinnamon together and set aside.
  4. As you roll the chickpeas many of their outer covers will start to fall off, take these off, if you have the time (say an extra 15 minutes you can remove all the outer layers although I’ve found this just takes too much time).
  5. Once the chickpeas are totally dry coat in the cinnamon oil mixture and lay on a baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes and then sprinkle them with the sugar, back in the oven for an additional 20 minutes. Check the beans a few times to make sure none are burning. Take one out and test it for doneness the beans should be crispy crunchy.
  7. Allow to cool and serve, delicious.

Butterscotch Chip Trail Mix

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This is another Google Chef inspired snack.  Now we have tons of snacks already in the micro kitchens but sometimes the chefs like to get extra creative.  The trail mix contained, butterscotch chips, sliced almonds, walnuts, dried cranberries, and heart to heart cereal.  Simply awesome!

 

Peanut Butter and Sweet Honey Yogurt Dip

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I took a look in the refrigerator to find a pleasing afternoon snack.  My plan was to have 2 tablespoons of peanut butter for a snack, but today that just seemed a little boring.  So I had an idea why not combine 3 of my favorites, freshly ground peanut butter from whole foods, organic local honey, and plain greek yogurt.

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The result was a delicious creamy sweet afternoon snack that satisfied my sweet tooth and provided me protein to fill me up until dinner.  Bonus when my daughter tried it, she said “great snack mommy”

Peanut Butter and Sweet Honey Yogurt Dip
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2
  • Serving size: ½ recipe
  • Calories: 225
  • Fat: 8
  • Saturated fat: 1
  • Fiber: 3
  • Protein: 12

Prep time: 
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This afternoon snack will satisfy both your hunger and sweet tooth for hours!
Ingredients
  • One container of your favorite plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground peanut butter, I love Whole Foods
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • fresh fruit, like sliced apples or banana

Instructions
  1. Slice apples and bananas
  2. pour all ingredients into a bowl mix until the peanut butter is mixed well with the yogurt, pour into 2 serving bowls and dip

 

Baked Kale Chips

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Growing up, I thought of kale as a salad bar decoration.  We would put large bundles of kale over the ice in the salad bar at the pizza restaurant I worked in. I never even knew you could eat the stuff.  It wasn’t until I became a dietitian that I started realizing the amazing nutrient richness of this dark green leafy veggie.  Kale can help your body naturally detox at a cellular level and provides more than 1,300% of the DV for vitamin K.  Even after I learned so many benefits to eating this veggie,  I couldn’t think of any way to prepare it.  Until one day at Google one of the chefs in Nourish prepared crispy baked kale chips as an appetizer at our cooking demonstration.  Now, whenever I get a big bunch I love to make a nice weekend snack for the family.  I can eat almost the whole bunch myself!

Baked Kale Chips
 
Author: 
Nutrition Information
  • Serving size: ½ batch
  • Calories: 85
  • Fat: 7
  • Carbohydrates: 4
  • Fiber: 1
  • Protein: 1

these simply delicious kale chips are a fantastic weekend snack or appetizer at your next party.
Ingredients
  • large bunch of fresh kale
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions
  1. preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. wash the kale and dry thoroughly (very important step to make the crispiest kale chips)
  3. cut the ribs out of the middle of the kale
  4. roughly break the remaining leaves into large and small sizes, throw into large bowl
  5. toss with olive oil
  6. sprinkle salt
  7. arrange in single layer on large baking sheet
  8. bake 20-30 minutes turning kale every 10 minutes
  9. serve warm

 

Healthy Halloween Treats

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This year for Halloween I got in the spirit to have a fun kids party at the library.  It was fantastic we were able to have a private party in the Saratoga library before the library opened.

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After the story time and craft, we settled in the cafe area for our snacks.  Because these were toddlers 1-3 years old I really wanted to have a healthy array of snacks for them to chose from.  I find that if you put out healthy snacks they will eat them.

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Even got my Dad to come down, although couldn’t get the kids to cooperate for the picture.

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Healthy Halloween Treats
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks

Banana Ghosts, Pumpkin Oranges, and Apple teeth!
Ingredients
  • banana
  • chocolate chips
  • cutie oranges
  • green pepper
  • apples
  • nut butter (almond or peanut)
  • mini marshmallows

Instructions
  1. Banana Ghosts- cut banana in half, press on 2 chocolate chips as eyes
  2. Pumpkin Oranges- peel orange cut a small piece of green pepper as the stem
  3. Apple Teeth- slice apples, spread a small amount of nut butter on one side of two slices put mini marshmallows in middle and press slices together.

 

Peaches and Cream Popsicles

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It’s a hot July Summer day and I just got back from the farmers market.  I was there with my 1 year old daughter sampling all the sweet sweet summer fruits.  The peaches were simply amazing so when I got back home I was excited to try out a new popsicle recipe.

Ingredients:

2 large sweet juicy peaches

6 oz. brown cow cream top plain yogurt

1/4 cup almond, soy or regular milk

1/4 cup sugar in the raw

1/4 tsp. almond extract

Directions:

cut peaches in half and take out the pit, cut into 1 inch pieces

pour all ingredients into the blender

pour into popsicle molds and freeze 5-6 hours makes 4-6 popsicles


Disclaimer

Stephanie Lasher is a registered dietitian. Information contained on this site should not be used to diagnose medical conditions. Persons with serious health issues should consult a physician before undertaking any new diet or exercise plan.