Remember my Lunch Liberation Posts? I felt like my weekday brown-bag lunches were getting unbearably boring, so I challenged myself to a week of creating (somewhat) innovative new lunch ideas and posting them for you to try. That week was really helpful for me as I figured out how to make school lunches I can look forward to eating. This week, I aim to jazz up my breakfast routine. I will try to make a breakfast every day that is healthy, delicious, and quick enough to be assembled on a busy weekday morning. I am a preparatory sort of person (no I am NOT “preppy”, but I like to be prepared) so I anticipate some or all the recipes I post this week will involve some brief prep work the night before, and in the morning will be ready or practically ready to eat.
Since this is a health blog, I think I should include a little tidbit on the importance of breakfast. We’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but many people skip breakfast or just grab some caffeine before running out the door to school or work. It’s true weekday mornings can be a big stressful rush, but if that’s the case for you just prepare something the night before, and when you wake up you can just eat and run. If you have something good to eat waiting for you in the kitchen, it’ll be that much easier to drag yourself out of bed on a weekday morning! 🙂
Some people skip breakfast not because of time constraints, but in order to lose weight. They think they are eating fewer calories by skipping breakfast. But in reality, the reverse is true: if you don’t eat in the morning, chances are you will be hungrier during the whole day and end up eating a lot of snacks and a bigger lunch and dinner. Overall, you will consume more calories. Having a tiny little breakfast is not much better, because it will still leave that incessant grumble in your stomach, bothering you all day until you give in and buy that package of Pop Tarts from the vending machine, or order that greasy cheeseburger for lunch. The best option is to make breakfast the largest meal of the day, and have smaller meals for lunch and dinner with small snacks in between if needed.
The best kind of breakfast is one that is balanced, with enough protein and carbohydrates to get you through your day. The amount of protein and carbs to consume depends on the individual, but keep in mind that this is supposed to be your highest-calorie meal of the day, so it should have significant nutritional value. I try to incorporate at least one serving of fruit into my breakfasts, and sometimes more, for fiber as well as other vitamins found in the fruit. Right now I’m into apples with peanut butter (or chocolate peanut butter as the case may be. Not as healthy as regular peanut butter, but I’m willing to make the sacrifice to prevent getting into a rut of the same boring breakfasts every day.) So to stop you from getting into a rut as well, here is the first of this week’s updated breakfast ideas: whole wheat muffins.
I made these muffins late Sunday afternoon, to have throughout the week. I haven’t tried freezing them for the long-term, but it may be a good thing to try. These are the first muffins I have ever made that are 100% whole wheat, and I love them! I think I’ll make them this way from now on. For these muffins, I adapted a recipe from 100 Days of Real Food. I wanted to make blueberry lemon coconut muffins, but I don’t think I added quite enough lemon flavor because it doesn’t really come out quite as much as I’d hoped in the baked muffin. So maybe I would try adding lemon juice, lemon zest, anything to increase the tanginess of the muffin batter.
But that’s really a small detail – the muffins are good overall. Great texture, and the lemon coconut filling I added makes for a splash of tangy flavor! Plus the muffins are healthy: they are whole wheat, contain blueberries, Earth Balance instead of butter, and Greek yogurt for a tad more protein. They also have less sugar than most muffin recipes: there is no granulated sugar in the recipe at all; the only sugars in the muffins come from the sugars in the maple, etcetera. So go ahead and take the time to make these muffins over the weekend and eat during the week – they are so much healthier than sugary store-bought junk. Plus you can customize them any way you like, maybe change out the lemon flavor for something else. Feel free to mix in different fruits, nuts, maybe even chocolate! (Shh…)
Whole Wheat Blueberry Lemon Coconut Muffins
makes 12 regular sized muffins
based on a recipe from 100 Days of Real Food
for muffin batter
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 eggs (I used 6 tbls Egg Beaters egg substitute)
- 1 Greek lemon yogurt (I used Yoplait brand)
- 1/4 cup Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread (I did not soften this at all, but I recommend doing so)
- 2 tbls pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup orange juice (I used Odwalla brand)
for lemon coconut filling
- 1/4 cup lemon curd
- 3 tbls sweetened flaked coconut
For lemon coconut filling: In a large bowl, combine the lemon curd and coconut flakes. Stir with a spoon just until combined. Set this aside while you prepare the muffin batter.
For muffin batter: Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with 12 muffin cups. (I recommend also spraying the paper cups with cooking spray, as my muffins sort of stuck to the paper once baked. But it’s not too big of a deal if they stick; I just use a butter knife to loosen the edges of the muffin until the paper peels off easily.)
In a large bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Stir with a spoon until combined. Add the eggs/egg substitute, lemon yogurt, Earth Balance, maple syrup, vanilla, and OJ. Blend well with the spoon until just combined, but do not overmix. Gently stir in your blueberries.
Put it all together: Spoon some muffin batter into all muffin cups, filling each about halfway or a little less. Now, place a little dollop of filling onto each unbaked muffin, trying to keep it mainly in the center. Finally, cover the filling with more of the remaining muffin batter.
Muffin batter topped with filling:
Filling covered with muffin batter:
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 – 15 minutes. Your house will be filled with the delightful scent of warm lemony goodness – mmm…
Please Note: one of these little muffins is not intended to be a full breakfast. It is just a little treat to have along with some more healthy options to create a balanced meal.
Also Note: I’m sorry if I’m sounding like a bossy nutritionist. I’m not a nutritionist, and I certainly hope I’m not bossy! I just want to convey all the information I know about health.
You Might Also Like: