Strawberry Banana Cream Cheese Muffins

Spring is here and that means it’s time for all things light, bright and juicy! It’s funny how our tastes change with the seasons…I don’t know about you, but as soon as the weather gets warm, all I want is grilled shrimp, salads and fresh fruit! (not necessarily in that order or combination). Once these juicy red strawberries came into my life this weekend, I knew I had to do something fun with them.

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Baked goods are usually not something I crave when its warm out because they’re often heavy and required heating up the house. But since temps are still in the 60’s I thought I would try to make a lighter, spring version of a morning muffin.

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This recipe features fresh strawberries and one of my all time favorite foods; cheese. Cream cheese to be exact. “But how did you put cream cheese in a muffin?” you ask. Well, you just drop a dollop right in the center before baking. Easy peasy! The end result was a little more savory than sweet and would be perfect paired with eggs or smothered in creamy peanut butter.

Strawberry Banana Cream Cheese Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tsp
  • 1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • 2 cups strawberries, diced
  • Cream cheese

Directions:

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Dice strawberries, sprinkle with 1 tsp sugar and set aside. In a medium bowl combine butter, egg, vanilla, mashed banana, maple syrup, sugar and yogurt. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix to thoroughly combine. Fold in strawberries. Spoon into muffin tins and drop a dollop of cream cheese in the center of each muffin. Bake for approximately 22 minutes. Makes about 12 muffins.

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The greatest part about this recipe is that its lightened up by using yogurt instead of oil, whole wheat flour and a small amount of sugar. Feel free to add more sugar if you prefer a sweet muffin or leave it out all together for a cleaner muffin. The banana and maple syrup offer natural sweetness and valuable nutrients.

How adorable would these muffins be for a Mother’s Day breakfast or a ladies brunch?! Pass the champagne please 🙂

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Peanut Butter M&M Cookies {Gluten Free}

I’m baaack! Turns out the Bahamas are beautiful, in case you were wondering 🙂 I’ll do a full recap of our trip and the amazing food that we had next week (I’m still sorting through photos). Until then, I’m bringing you some chocolaty goodness..

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Now that I’m officially off my pre-cruise diet, which consisted of clean(er) eating (aka no chocolate, bread, decadent food), I wanted to share one of my favorite dessert recipes! This recipe is quick, easy and completely flourless. Peanut butter cookies without flour? It can be done!

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These cookies feature two of my all-time favorite things; peanut butter and dark chocolate, mmmmmmm. Since the recipe does have a good amount of sugar in it, I wouldn’t recommend eating these allllll the time, but they’re a great treat!

Peanut Butter M&M Cookies {Gluten Free}

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate M&Ms

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl mix together peanut butter, sugar, egg, vanilla and m&ms. Drop onto greased cookie sheet and press with fork. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Yields about 18 cookies.

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I’m not going to lie this is usually my go-to when I need to bring something to a party or get-together. It’s just so easy and who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter? Need something to bring to your Easter celebrations next weekend? Swap classic m&ms for some Easter colored m&ms and you are good. to. go.

Enjoy!

Blueberry Walnut Baked Oatmeal

Happy Hump-day! Woowee. The last 24 hours have been quite a doosey. We had a major blizzard here with heavy snow, crazy winds and we even lost power for quite a while :(. Not fun at all. But do you know what is fun? Baking!

Especially when it’s with a friend. Today I have a special guest star on the blog who is sharing with us her recipe for Blueberry Walnut Baked Oatmeal!

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Meet Erin. I promise, she’s not as crazy as this picture makes her seem. But she is sharing a crazy good recipe that is her go-to for a quick and easy breakfast. Erin works as a Spanish teacher so her mornings are early, busy and require a no-fuss breakfast. Anyone else in the same boat? So on Sundays Erin bakes up a big batch of this oatmeal and is ready to go with a delicious, hearty breakfast all week long.

This recipe is full of healthy ingredients that will keep you full for hours, like hearty old-fashioned oats, walnuts, peanut butter and banana. It is whole grain, contains no refined sugar and can easily be made gluten free by using gluten-free oats. Maple syrup and banana offer all the sweetness you need, but we added an extra peanut butter drizzle on top for a special treat.

Erin says that some weeks when she’s feeling a little naughty she’ll throw in some chocolate chips instead of blueberries. Feel free to switch up the mix-ins as you please! You could do diced apples and pecans, cranberries and walnuts or banana chunks and peanut butter chips.

Blueberry Walnut Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 medium bananas, 1 mashed with fork and 1 sliced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup blueberries

Peanut Butter Drizzle:

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In medium bowl combine oats, cinnamon, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Mash one of the bananas with a fork and add to oats mixture. Add in egg, milk, vanilla, maple syrup and peanut butter and mix to thoroughly combine. Mix in walnuts and blueberries and pour into 9×9 baking dish. Bake for 26-28 minutes. Remove from oven and top with sliced bananas. To prepare drizzle, mix together maple syrup and peanut butter with a fork in a measure cup. Slowly drizzle over baked oatmeal. Enjoy!

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Who doesn’t want to wake up to this?! When you’re ready for breakfast I suggest microwaving a piece and topping with your favorite nut butter, drizzling with maple syrup or you could serve it cold with some vanilla yogurt on top. Heck, with a dollop of cookie butter this could even be a desert! Mmm…cookie butter…

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Everyone owes Erin a big thank you for bringing this delicious recipe into our lives. And I owe Erin a big thank you for helping me make it! She comes in handy quite a bit…anyone recognize her from this post? She was one of my beautiful bridesmaids!

Well I hope the next half of the week is better than the first half. Excuse me while I go hug a lamp…electricity is awesome!

Pumpkin Apple Oatmeal Muffins

New Hampshire in January can be such a bummer. It’s cold, dark, and we’re all basically counting down the days until we’re back in shorts and flip flops (which oddly usually happens around 55 degrees). There’s a word in the Danish language called “hygge” (pronounced hoogah), which is essentially the art of being cozy and comfortable. It’s all about finding pleasure in mundane things like having dinner at home with friends on a cold night or hunkering down under a blanket during a snowstorm.

Think about all the things that make you feel cozy and warm…cuddling up by a fireplace with a good book, snuggling with a puppy, hot chocolate after a brisk ski session. Hygge means grasping onto those things and appreciating that warm feeling it gives you for as long as you need to…so basically until April. How smart is that though?! We’re all sitting around complaining and the Danish are like guys this is freaking awesome, here’s a cup of soup!

These muffins are my attempt at feeling the hygge. Anything pumpkin, cinnamon and apple always makes me feel cozy especially when warmed and served with hot cocoa or my morning coffee.

This recipe is gluten free, grainless and jam packed with superfood power. The pumpkin provides fiber and vitamins, while the oats and flax keep you full for hours. Plus you could easily add walnuts, raisins or pumpkin seeds to make it even more of a power muffin.

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Traditional oatmeal is awesome, but baked oatmeal muffins are like the quicker, hip version. They pack the same nutritional benefits, but you can eat one as you run out the door on the way to work, or pack one for a midday snack.

Pumpkin Apple Baked Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 Tbsp flax meal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large apple, peeled and sliced

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together pumpkin, vanilla, egg, maple syrup and milk. In a separate bowl combine oats, flax, baking powder, salt and spices. Mix dry ingredients into wet and fold in apples. Drop into greased muffin pan and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool and enjoy! Yields about 12 muffins.

My suggestion for consuming these blonde beauties is warmed and covered in peanut butter, cinnamon butter or even some cookie butter for a sweet splurge. And being cuddled up by a roaring fire with your favorite someone wouldn’t hurt either…Embrace hygge!

Banana Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

The New Year is upon us and that means we all start to take a deep look at our lives and see what we can do better. I’m the first to admit that my pants start to feel pretty snug around the holidays and I may eat a few more (like 10) chocolates per day than usual.

Getting back to healthy eating can be hard, so I like to ease into it with nothing other than cookies.

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These Banana Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies are vegan, gluten free, easy and help you use the inevitable rotting banana that has been sitting on the counter for 3 days and is really starting to stress you out.

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Now don’t let the word “vegan” deter you! Some people see the word vegan and start running for the hills…or to the nearest donut shop. I see vegan and I think “hey, that’s probably some pretty clean eats right there and will probably make me feel good.”And it usually does, so give vegan a chance.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 super ripe banana
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash banana in a large bowl and add vanilla. Chop coconut flakes and add to banana mixture. Add chocolate chips and walnuts and mix well.Form mixture into cookies and place on greased cookie sheet. Form mixture into cookies and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Flip cookies and bake for 5 more minutes. Let cool before eating so that they firm and set.

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These cookies are a perfect post-lunch snack when you’re reaching for something sweet. Swap the day-old office cake for these cookies for an extra energy punch to get you through the afternoon.

They are jam packed with healthy oils and antioxidants so you can feel good about your afternoon snack, instead of shameful and sad (we’ve all been there). Enjoy!