Juice Pulp Muffins

Ok, so for some of you this might require some trust. Pulp doesn’t sound appetizing, I know. Bear with me though, because these muffins are fantastic. They’re dense but moist, sweet and flavorful but without all of the added heaviness of regular muffins. Part of the new meal plan I started in August included a three day juicing phase. I borrowed a coworker’s juicer then immediately turned around and got my own. I loved it so much! I kind of always knew I would and for years have wanted to try it but honestly, I couldn’t bring myself to swallow the cost of one. Luckily, we got this juicer using Mike’s credit card points, so that’s a total bonus and I’m infatuated with the damn machine. I love how little time it takes to make a juice in the morning. I prep everything the night before, maybe 5 minutes of effort, then juice enough for two daily juices. Of course, the recipes are absolutely endless but the only one I’ve discovered that I don’t like involves beets and lemon. Blech! Anyways, I had a hard time with the amount of waste juicing induces. I compost everything, but I thought there was surely a way to use the pulp – afterall, it’s only vegetables and fruit. I found so many awesome ways! Like muffins, soups, salad toppings, stir fries etc! So I set aside the pulp from a carrot, apple, ginger, spinach pulp and started scouring the internet. (The pulp is freezable) I came across a paleo recipe for carrot cake requiring shredded carrot and I went from there. I had to adapt it quite a bit then adapt it a few times but so far, this is the best one. I even burnt a batch and they still tasted great! They’re packed with fibre, protein, healthy fats and all that good veggie goodness. I was hesitant to post them here because the nutritional value looks a little daunting. But honestly, they’re all natural and everything you’re consuming has been minimally processed and has no added sugars, chemicals or preservatives. Basically, all of the ingredients are happily digestible by your body. So do it – I eat one for breakfast with my coffee and one for my afternoon snack. Use any combination of pulp that sounds good to you! I started you off with my favourite.

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Coconut Cream Yogurt

Hi. I haven’t seen you guys in a while! It’s been a rough few months for me and I’m finally starting to get my stuff back together. My dad succumbed to cancer in July, somewhat unexpectedly so I took a month off of work to help mom sort things out. After that, I had no energy, too hot, too tired, too sad to focus on cooking and taking pictures and writing these posts up for you. At the beginning of August though, I hooked myself up with two personal trainers and I feel like my life is on a different track. A path that I could always see off in the distance but could never get to, one that I constantly thought about but could never pull the energy out of the depths for. So, I’ve been going to the gym. And I’ve been given a meal plan. And since August I’ve lost 16 pounds and in the last month I’ve lost 12.75 inches! It’s moments like this that I’m so grateful for this blog because if it weren’t for this and these recipes and all of the work I’ve put into learning how to cook healthy meals, a meal plan would be so much harder! My plan, for now, is gluten free and dairy free. I was already 90% there so I didn’t find this too difficult. This recipe helped me step over the roadblock I had with my homemade yogurt. My trainer was letting me still use the dairy yogurt but that’s all I was allowed to have. I wanted to eliminate it entirely and do the best that I can with this exercise ‘thing’. This recipe makes two servings so I have to make it more often but it takes less than 5 minutes to prep, a night in the oven and we’re done. It’s slightly more expensive but totally worth it as far as I’m concerned – I’m happy to have a sugar free, preservative free vegan yogurt for my morning snack. I’m still in love with the dairy yogurt though and hopefully I’ll be able to incorporate it back into my diet in small doses.

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Homemade Yogurt

I have some serious rants about yogurt. Things that really just get my goat every time I buy it. We like it for breakfast, I use it in cooking and some baking but is it just me or is it outrageously expensive? I could easily spend $30+ a week on yogurt. I want to say that I do this without batting an eye but that’s just not true. There is a lot of eye-batting at the dairy counter. Plenty of blink-blinking going on! Making yogurt this way costs me $7 for 7-10 days worth! Another thing that causes excessive blinking is the ‘nutritional value’. When was the last time you looked at the nutritional information on your favourite yogurt? I’m usually pretty shocked by the amount of sugar and fat in one of those itty bitty containers. Itty. Bitty.

Which leads me straight into complaint #3 – Is there anybody out there that thinks a 2oz container of yogurt is satisfying? Aside from a 3 year old, that is. I’ve noticed over the years that the sugar content is going up but the servings are getting smaller. Ridiculous! Complaint #4 stems from the part of me that likes to know where my food comes from. I don’t know where the milk came from, what kind of process it went through, how long it sat before being fermented etc. So yeah, then there’s that. But we all know I like the easy things in life. Anything to make life a little more convenient, a little bit more tolerant of my laziness, I’m in. And we certainly know I love my slow cooker. Homemade yogurt has got to be one of the easiest kitchen experiences – EVER. I started off by making this on the stovetop. It’s a great method for small batches but is a smidge more high maintenance in that you really have to monitor the temperature. Make this once and you’ll never have to buy yogurt again. With this recipe you can control where you buy your milk and what you put in the yogurt in the way of flavor; as much or as little sugar as you want, fresh berries, honey – you choose! It’s perfect in every way – you can probably tell I’m passionate about my yogurt.

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Homestyle Hashbrowns

I’m not vegan. Though I appreciate veganism and am totally down with throwing some vegan meals into my weekly routine. Especially when the recipe is so good you aren’t obliged to tell your significant other about dinner’s lack of all thing animal. So I bought this amazing cookbook called “The Garden of Vegan” It’s a local cookbook and everything I’ve tried is awesome. One might think “Hashbrowns? Why waste your time posting about hashbrowns?” I’m sharing with you because it is so easy and it spices up regular ole’ hashbrowns (and because sharing is what I do!) Breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Homestyle Hashbrowns
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Broccoli Quiche with Crispy Rice Crust

I do like quiche. I won’t hide that fact from you but I do prefer quiche that doesn’t have a bazillion eggs in it. To top all of that off, I haven’t made quiche since going gluten free. It’s not so easy finding gluten free pie crusts. This friendly, and riotous woman at The GF Authority suggested I use this recipe as an alternative. It worked surprisingly well. Crispy, cheesy, perfectly gluten free. I used the whole recipe and it was good but I prefer my original version of Broccoli Quiche. Of course, you can use whatever ingredients and spices you want. Mike’s suggestion for next time was Ham and Caramelized Leeks (yum!) but then he suggested yams and that weirded me out. I do have to draw the line somewhere. I’d like to try a Mexican Quiche – black beans, corn, cayenne powder, chili powder and salsa on top – we’ve even got the rice! Give it a whirl, let me know what you think. Continue reading

Overnight Oatmeal – No Bake

I don’t like oatmeal. The texture makes me gag. At least, that’s what I thought. See, my past experiences with oatmeal have been pretty much limited to oatmeal from a package that you just add water to. Totally unappealing! I eat cottage cheese with chia seeds and buckwheat groats for breakfast almost every day. I LOVE it. But once in a while I need to break away from that. This is perfect. It makes a large serving so you will definitely be satisfied until lunch. Plus, you can make it in a jar, screw on a lid and take it to work with you – best part is, it’ll be ready to go when you wake up so it’s even more perfect if you know you won’t have time to make breakfast. This is the point that your mom should pipe up and tell you it’s bad to not eat breaky! But maybe your mom will feel better about you eating something so packed with fibre and protein. Make this and then add whatever you feel like at the time.

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Baked Oatmeal

I’ve never been a fan of oatmeal and porridge. The texture throws me off. In high school I went on a 3 week canoeing trip in the Yukon and the breakfast menu every day consisted of oatmeal. Needless to say, my breakfasts were made up of several packages of fruit leather. You have to eat a lot of fruit leather to get the same amount of food as you would with a bowl of oatmeal. I just could not eat it. With the berries and seeds/nuts in this dish though, I can easily overlook everything else. This is the perfect Sunday morning breakfast. (OR dessert if you throw some vanilla ice cream on it!) It comes together so easily and we devoured the whole thing. The original recipe says this serves 6-8 but unless you’re putting it in a small ramekin and calling it a breakfast side dish, it’s not right. I’ll compromise and say it serves 4.

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Broccoli Quiche

Delicious, healthy, filling quiche. Best breakfast/lunch/dinner ever! It’s so easy to make that I don’t mind throwing one in the oven on a Saturday morning but it would also be more than satisfactory as dinner for those of us short of time. The dijon mustard adds just a hint of awesome flavor and the ricotta makes it creamy and delicious without all of the extra eggs.

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Breakfast In A Glass

This smoothie is very filling and easy to make last minute on those mornings that you just don’t have time. Dump everything in a blender or a food processor and voila – breakfast. The original recipe called for wheat germ to add texture and fibre but in the interest of making it gluten free, I have changed it to oat flour. See the notes. Nothing but healthy in a glass.

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