Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Baking Healthy

Baking healthy is for the birds.

It's ironic because I am a die-hard Weight Watchers member and fan but one thing I really can't handle is trying to bake healthy. What's the point? Why not just have a nice small piece of the real thing instead of choking down a slightly bigger piece of something that is just so-so?

Against my better judgement I decided to try to bake some "Energy" muffins for the Napa Valley Ragnar Race we ran this past weekend. I looked up a few recipes that I thought might be good - made with things I could pronounce - and found one via Oxygen Magazine that looked decent. The recipe called for all sorts of protein-packed ingredients and mostly yummy things.

The original recipe called for Strawberries as the fruit-of-choice but I decided to change it up and use bananas (potassium!) and cinnamon (always tasty!).

One of the cool things about this recipe is that you basically take all of the ingredients and toss them in a blender to mash up and mix. Then you pour them in the muffin tins and bake. Easy-peasy.

Overall, the muffins came out ok. I say ok because they didn't taste like much. I definitely think i could have easily doubled the cinnamon, added more bananas and maybe added some extra vanilla or something else festive. Maybe some mini chocolate chips! Yeaahhh....

Did these muffins serve their purpose? Yes.
Do I want to try these again? Probably... with some tweaks
Do I condone healthy baking? Not if you can help it... but there is a time and place for everything.

For now, I'll just stick to baking with butter and cream and leave the healthy things to others.

Cheers to the cook!

Oh.. and just because I can... check out the sweet medals we got for finishing our race this weekend. Yep. I wear them all the time.. they go with everything!

Energy Muffins [adapted from Oxygen Magazine]


  • 2 cups egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups oats or 1 cup instant oatmeal or 1½ cups quick oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup 1% cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup whey protein powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 25 almonds
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/8 tsp or pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • optional add-ins (pick one): 
    • 1 cup of mini chocolate chips 
    • 1 cup of toasted walnuts
    • 1 cup of shredded coconut 



Pre-heat oven to 350˚F. Pour ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Mix in fruit by hand, if you want it to remain chunky or include in the blender for smoother texture. Pour into greased muffin tins - I don't suggest using paper liners (the muffins stick to the paper once cooled). Cook until toothpick comes out clean (about 30-40 minutes). Cool on wire rack; store in air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.