Well it’s official – in one month tomorrow I am getting hitched! Yes folks, I am finally taking these Grade A loins off the meat market (a pause while I wait for an audible sigh of disappointment from the single men of the universe….).
My life now centers around checking things off a seemingly never-ending “to do” list: Have final meeting with the planner – check. Vet all speeches for embarrassing content or just plain bad jokes – check. Make sure there is enough booze to ensure there are plenty of embarrassing stories to get us through the next day’s brunch – check. Marry my best friend and man of my dreams – big check (I know – barf.). And of course, the most important: Make sure bride does not have an ass the size of Texas….hmmmm.
Don’t worry, despite the fact that I have indulged in a little google research on a few popular diets (you may find “how to lose 10 pounds in 30 minutes while doing nothing and eating anything” in my search history), I have no intention of looking like this on my wedding day:
Despite being a little more focused on my eating habits than usual these days, I am not and will never be a believer in “fad” or crash dieting. Not only do they demand unrealistic eating habits (like 8 bowls of cabbage soup a day – which BTW will give you such bad gas you may not have a groom OR any friends left to invite to a wedding), but they are not sustainable. I am, however, a believer in eating well every day as a lifestyle, with some occasions calling for a little more focus than usual.
People often ask me how I can be so “good” all the time, but the truth is I am not. If you want proof just come to my place on a Sunday night when I am on the couch in track pants with a plate of 6 homemade cookies on my lap (there were 12 when I started). I need REAL food, including the odd treat. Which is why I started this blog – to share with you all the healthy but great-tasting meals that keep me fit and happy! And not ready to rip my co-worker’s pizza out of their hand because I can’t drink yet another f&%$ing green juice….
The trick is to find ways to enjoy healthy versions of your favourite foods. Which brings me to today’s recipe: Guilt-free Banana Blueberry Muffins. I LOVE muffins, but I don’t like the 400 calories and 50 grams of fat that come with the ones you’ll find at your neighborhood coffee house (too many of those and you’ll end up with the other kind of muffin top). But since in my books there isn’t anything better than a warm, fresh pastry with my coffee on a Saturday or Sunday morning (even during wedding “diet” time), I set out to make pretty much the most guilt-free muffin you could possibly enjoy that doesn’t taste like dry cardboard. Well, mission accomplished.
These muffins are sugar-free, gluten-free, extremely low-fat and even have a good dose of protein. And they taste amazing! The real secret (other than using mashed banana which in my mind is always delicious and eliminates any need for added sugar) is using Greek yogurt in place of oil or butter. It creates a dense muffin that’s moist and still fluffy but without added fat.
And by adding blueberries you get even more sweetness with next to no sugar! You also get a dose of antioxidants like vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper (a very effective immune builder and anti-bacterial), selenium, zinc, and iron (something many women are lacking in due to a certain time of the month). Plus – studies have shown they can actually reduce belly fat. So eating THESE muffin tops can help stave off YOUR muffin top. Huzzah!
So looks like I can check “manage size of ass” off my “to do” list while crossing “make cabbage soup” and “buy beano” off of it completely. Now it’s Trevor’s turn to audibly sigh – a sigh of relief.
The Natural Blonde
p.s. if you DO know a way to lose 10 pounds in 30 minutes while doing nothing and eating anything, I’m all ears.
Guilt-Free Banana Blueberry Muffins (makes approx. 8-10 muffins)
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I prefer 2% but fat free will work, too)
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups oat flour (make sure it is certified GF if intolerant)
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- ¾ cup blueberries
Optional: if you want an even sweeter muffin you could add a couple Tbsp. of maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar, but I found they were perfect without.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare a muffin pan by greasing the cavities with coconut oil or lining them with paper liners*.
Add all your dry ingredients in a bowl and sift together. Next add all the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine (I use an electric hand mixer to do this). Lastly, fold in your blueberries.
Using a measuring cup, pour batter into each cavity. I like to fill mine right to the top as this produces a nice muffin top (the good kind!). I also like to add a slice of banana to the top of each one as it looks pretty and makes me feel fancy.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops of your muffins are golden and a toothpick or fork comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in pan for at least 10 minutes before removing.
These can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week. They also freeze well for a quick on-the-go breakfast option.
*note: if you use muffin liners you may want to give them a light spray with canola oil cooking spray as they may stick due to the lack of oil in the recipe. However I found that once I put them in the fridge the liner peeled right off. Up to you!