“clean out the pantry” zucchini muffins

Hi everyone! Hope your week is off to a fabulous start! Allyn and I are deep in the process of packing up our lives to move to our new house this coming Saturday! Where does the time go??

I have made it my personal mission to clean out our kitchen cupboards by using up as many ingredients as possible in our meals this week. By far, my favorite improvised recipe has been these zucchini-banana muffins, which I have dubbed “clean out the pantry” muffins because they enabled me to polish off a huge container of rolled oats, bags of flour and sugar, AND use up a zucchini and banana that were on their last legs! For some reason, finishing off almost-empty containers of ingredients makes me feel ridiculously satisfied, and doing so right before our move has increased my excitement level by tenfold. Muffins for the WIN!

I’ll definitely be making these babies again, even when I’m not trying to clean out our pantry. 🙂 They are perfectly moist, with a hint of sweetness, and give me a boost of energy to power through the morning. I especially love them topped with peanut butter!

The only thing I neglected to do, in my packing daze, was to snap a photo. You’ll just have to use your imagination. I hope you make these for yourself — and if you do, you can post a photo in the comments and help a girl out!

“clean out the pantry” zucchini-banana muffins

1 cup flour {I used a mixture of spelt & white whole wheat flours}
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1 medium ripe banana, mashed {about 1/2 cup}
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup turbinado sugar {you can use more if you would like a sweeter muffin}
1 large egg
1/3 cup melted coconut oil, cooled to room temperature {or canola or vegetable oil}
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup shredded zucchini
optional add-ins: chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper cups or grease well.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour(s), oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and shredded coconut.
3. In a large bowl, combine mashed banana, yogurt, sugar, egg, coconut oil, and vanilla. Stir until well combined.
4. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir gently until incorporated.
5. Squeeze the zucchini in a paper towel to remove excess liquid. Fold the zucchini into the batter.
6. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full with batter. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

banana buckwheat autumn muffins

Happy Monday, everyone! It has been a rainy weekend here, which is wonderful because 1) we need all the rain we can get here in California! and 2) it actually feels like autumn! I love everything about autumn. The chill in the air, the scarves and boots, the fall leaves, pumpkin spice everything… it always makes me feel the best combination of cozy and energized!

These muffins are the perfect excuse to do some healthy autumn baking. They’re bursting with the flavors of the season — apple, dried cranberries, pumpkin pie spices — and are also way good for you, packed with protein and naturally sweetened with honey and coconut sugar.

I have been exploring different types of flours in my baking recently and was excited to try out buckwheat after reading about its health benefits: it is an excellent source of nutrients and fiber, is great for your cardiovascular system and helps control blood sugar. Buckwheat is actually not a cereal grain, but a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel, so it is often used as a substitute for those with gluten allergies or who are sensitive to wheat. The seed is ground into a flour that is dark in color and has a strong, nutty flavor.

These muffins get sweetened up by the fruit, but they are definitely not cupcake-sweet. I love to eat them smeared with peanut butter or pumpkin butter for an extra kick of flavor! Hope you enjoy them as much as we do around here!


{recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s sugar-free muffins}

1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup coconut sugar {or substitute sugar of your choice}
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
3 tbsp water
3 eggs
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 apple, finely diced
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup dried cranberries

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

2. In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseed and water; mix together and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix the buckwheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and coconut sugar.

4. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, banana, vanilla and honey. Add the ground flaxseed-water mixture.

5. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry, then fold in apple, dried cranberries and walnuts.

6. Pour batter to the tops of lined cups. Batter will be very runny, but that is normal!

7. Bake for 30 minutes, until the muffins turn a deep chocolate brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

buckwheat muffins 2

spinach banana muffins {aka “monster muffins”}

Hi, guys! I’m just poppin’ in with a little recipe to share with you today. I made these muffins for St. Patrick’s Day and they were a big hit! I promise, you can’t taste the spinach at all! They taste like banana muffins and have an added boost of good-for-you nutrients thanks to the spinach. These muffins would be a great way to get picky kids to eat more greens. Call them “monster muffins” and serve them all year long, not just for St. Patrick’s Day! 🙂

This recipe was adapted from this one by Pamela Salzman.

spinach banana muffins

spinach banana muffins

  •  1 cup white wheat flour
  • 1 and 1/4 cup oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • ¾ cup milk {I used vanilla rice milk}
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 6-7 ounces of fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • optional: 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or grease and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  3. Into a blender, pour in applesauce, maple syrup, milk, oil, and spinach. Process until pureed. {I did in multiple batches in my Nutribullet!}
  4. Add spinach mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until combined, being careful not to over-mix.
  5. Stir in the egg. Fold in the mashed banana and chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin. It will be a little runny/thin — that is okay! This means the muffins will turn out moist.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

*Note: these muffins freeze very well… if they last that long in your household! They didn’t in mine. 😉

Hope you enjoy! Happy Wednesday. Have a wonderful rest of the week, my friends!


if you liked this recipe, you might also want to try:
apple oat banana muffins
carrot cake coconut muffins w/chickpea flour
berry cream cheese muffins
coconut zucchini muffins

my 3 fave ways to use chia seeds

chia seeds

In the past year, thanks to some of my favorite bloggers {I’m looking at you, Julie and Lindsay!} I’ve been introduced to a nutritional powerhouse: chia seeds! In just one tablespoon of chia seeds, you get six grams of fiber, three grams of protein, and 2.9 grams of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Here are three of my favorite, no-fuss ways to use chia seeds in my daily life:

1. Smoothies. Just sprinkle some chia seeds on top of your fruit and ice and blend away! A smoothie combo I’ve been loving lately is strawberry + banana + mango.


2. Salads. I love adding a tablespoon of chia seeds on top of my favorite healthy chicken salad.

chicken salad lunch

3. Baked goods. Stir a spoonful of chia seeds into your muffin or bread batter — or hey, why not even try some in brownies, cookies or cakes? I just made a batch of chocolate-chip banana muffins with some chia seeds added in!

banana muffins

When the weather cools down a little, I know I’ll be switching out my breakfast smoothies for a warm bowl of oatmeal — another great dish to sprinkle chia seeds on! I’ve yet to try overnight oats but I’ve heard chia seeds are a crucial ingredient in helping the oat mixture thicken overnight. This and this are both on my “to try” list of recipes!

Have you ever tried chia seeds? If so, what are your favorite ways to use them?

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: 3-ingredient banana cookies


Hi everyone! Time for another Kitchen Tip Tuesdays post! {Here are links to my previous posts about making the most of oven time and reusing leftovers in new recipes.}

I have a quick recipe to share with you today — it’s an easy and delicious cookie that is also healthy for you! And it only has three ingredients {one of which is chocolate!} 🙂 That’s my kind of recipe!

This would make the perfect sweet dessert, kid-friendly snack, or grab-and-go breakfast. It’s also a great way to use up spotty bananas before they go bad.

banana cookies

All you need to make these babies are:

  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips {if desired; I used mini chocolate chips for mine}

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mash bananas in a bowl. Add oatmeal and chocolate chips and stir until well combined.

banana dough

3. Plop dough onto a greased cookie sheet {I greased mine with coconut oil} and bake for 15-18 minutes.

Done and YUM! How easy is that?

banana cookies done

This recipe is also easily customizable to suit your tastes! You can add chopped nuts, raisins, peanut butter, coconut … whatever your taste buds desire!

What are some of your favorite grab-and-go recipes?


if you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
peanut butter breakfast cookies
chocolate strawberry coconut cookies
2-ingredient pumpkin spice cookies

chocolate-chip banana muffins

One of the first baking recipes I ever learned to make was my mom’s banana bread. To me, banana bread just tastes like home. And it’s a great recipe for someone like me who hates to waste food. I prefer to eat bananas when they are just ripening, still a little green at the tips. When they begin to get brown spots, I really don’t care for them. But thanks to Mom, I don’t have to worry about them going to waste — I just whip up a batch of banana bread…

…or banana muffins! In the past few years I’ve gotten really into making muffins instead of bread because I just find muffins so much more portable — easy to slip into a lunchbox or grab for breakfast on the way out the door. {That said, you could easily adapt this recipe for a loaf of bread if you’d prefer!}

I added chocolate chips to Mom’s recipe for a little extra treat to start the school year off right. 🙂 Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!


chocolate-chip banana muffins

  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 & 3/4 cup flour {I used whole-wheat flour}
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup ripe mashed bananas {I used two bananas}
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper cups and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well.

3. In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients.

4. Add a portion of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing well. Then add a portion of the mashed bananas. Continue alternating dry ingredients and mashed bananas until the entire mixture is combined. {Batter will be slightly lumpy due to the bananas.}


5. Add chocolate chips.

6. Spoon batter into paper muffin cups, about 3/4 of the way full.


7. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Enjoy! These are great for breakfast, a mid-afternoon snack, and also make a great healthy dessert!

Hope your week is going great,

marvelous monday: apple-banana oatmeal muffins

You know how much I love muffins, especially healthy, hearty and delicious muffins that will get your day off to a marvelous start! Here’s another recipe that I found and tweaked slightly to make it more nutritious. I will be enjoying for breakfast all week and I hope you like it, too!

apple-banana oatmeal muffins
{recipe adapted from this one at Rock Recipes}

– 1 & 1/2 cups oatmeal
– 1 cup  whole wheat flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 2 tsp cinnamon
– 1 tsp nutmeg
– 2 eggs
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 2/3 cup milk {I used soy milk, but any kind will do!}
– 1/4 cup applesauce {I used no-sugar-added}
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1 ripe banana, mashed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper wrappers.

2. Peel the banana and mash it until the biggest lumps are out.

3. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, eggs, applesauce, milk and vanilla. Set aside.

4. In a different bowl, mix together oatmeal, flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

5. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing well.

6. Add in the banana. If batter is too thick, add more applesauce.

7. Spoon batter into muffin tins until they are about 3/4 of the way full.

8. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until a fork inserted in the center comes out clean.

These muffins are SO good served warm! Inspired by Julie at the blog Peanut Butter Fingers, I topped mine with some dark chocolate peanut butter for a healthy breakfast that tasted decadent. It’s the perfect way to get an ordinary day off to a special start!

You can download a printable version of this recipe here: apple banana oatmeal muffins.

Have a marvelous day! 🙂