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! ūüôā

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
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • ¬ĺ cup maple syrup
  • ¬ĺ cup milk¬†{I used vanilla rice milk}
  • ¬ľ 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. ūüėČ

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

a year of living simply: week 9

Happy St. Patty’s Day, friends! Hope you are wearing green today so you don’t get pinched! ūüôā I’m excited to get together with Dana tonight to continue our tradition {started last year} of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with homemade Irish coffees, created by the talented Dana herself. I’m really looking forward to seeing her and catching up!

Photo from our St. Patty's date last year!

Photo from our St. Patty’s date last year!

Before heading over to Dana’s this evening, my plans for the day include a few hours of tutoring, making headway on a copyediting project, and some festive baking! I’m going to attempt to make snickerdoodles with green sprinkles mixed into the cinnamon-sugar topping. We’ll see how they turn out!

Now, onto the simplicity…

year of living simply

Last week’s challenge¬†was¬†to do something to simplify or improve your commute.¬†I did a couple things that were SO simple, but that have improved my car time a great deal!

1. The first thing I did was to clean out all the miscellaneous items and trash old Larabar wrappers that had accumulated in¬†the backseat of poor Charley, my PriusC. I was amazed at the difference it made! Even though I hardly¬†ever use the backseat to transport people, glimpsing a clean car as I climb into the driver’s seat just makes me feel good, like I’ve got my life in order.¬†Combined with my new¬†“arrive everywhere five minutes early” habit, my drive time has never been so stress-free! It’s crazy what a difference a few minutes can make.

2. I started listening to podcasts while I drive. I love music, but I was getting tired of my CDs and the same old radio tunes. Dana told me about a podcast she listened to at the end of last year called Serial, and after listening to the first episode I was immediately hooked. I stopped by the Verizon store and bought an inexpensive auxiliary cable so I can listen to my phone through my car’s speakers; all I have to do is load up the podcast, click “play” and I’m set to go! {Apologies if my excitement is lame — I’ve never really stored music on my phone, so this is a new experience for me!}

Listening to podcasts during my car time has opened up a whole new world for me. I love learning and I love podcasts, but I can’t ever seem to find the time to listen to many — that is, until now! Twenty minutes in the car here and fifteen minutes in the car there really adds up. I’ve finished all twelve episodes of Serial and today I started listening to This American Life. Now I actually find myself looking forward to my car time instead of being annoyed by my commute! If you have any podcasts to recommend, I’d love to hear about them in the comments section.

charley!

This week’s challenge is to get rid of some paper clutter in your life.¬†How you interpret this is up to you! Perhaps you want to sort through/get rid of one¬†of the paper piles on your desk. Or maybe clean out your desk drawer filled with old receipts. Paper is personally one of my major clutter weaknessnes. I’m planning to attack a certain shelf in my closet where all the pieces of paper¬†I don’t know what to do with tend to congregate in a big tall lilting stack.

Before I go, a couple updates:

  • This month my friend Julie is participating in The Minimalism Game {hosted by The Minimalists}¬†and invited me to play along! The game is to get rid of one thing on the first day of the month, two things on the second day, three things on the third day, etc. I’m doing a slightly less intense version where I am trying to get rid of one thing every day in March. So far I’ve donated 8 books, 3 magazines, 2 shirts, 1 sweater, and recycled 2 boxes I was hanging onto in my closet for I have no idea what reason. Not sure yet what I’m getting rid of today, but it will be something!
  • A few weeks ago I said that I wanted to continue¬†arriving everywhere a few minutes early, and I’m happy to report the routine¬†is still going strong! Setting my clock three minutes early was a BIG help {I usually forget it is early} and, generally, I’ve gotten into the habit of getting ready to leave about ten minutes before I *think* I need to start getting ready to leave. I’m feeling so much less rushed in general, that I’m definitely planning to hang onto this habit!

Questions for the morning:

  • Do you listen to podcasts? If so, what are your favorites?
  • What brightens up your commute?

happy st. patrick’s day & weekend recap

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, friends! Hope you’re doing something fun to celebrate. I made myself a spinach-green smoothie paired with some delicious edamame hummus & crackers for lunch.

hummus & smoothie

Then tonight I’m getting together with Dana to do something fun. I’m excited!

Here’s a round-up of delicious, healthy “green” recipes that would be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, or any day:¬†http://greatist.com/health/healthy-green-recipes-st-patricks-day

This weekend was a blast. I went to Sausalito for the first time, and it was a gorgeous day to explore this adorable seaside town.

sausalito
in sausalito

There was a man making amazing sculptures along the water simply by stacking rocks and bricks and balancing them. I have no idea how he does this! I was blown away.

sculptures

On Sunday, Allyn & I got together with Dana & her boyfriend Brad for lunch. It was another beautiful day and we sat outside and chowed down on delicious burgers. Perfect way to wind down the weekend!

Dana and Brad

me and Al

me and Dana

Tomorrow I’ll be back with this week’s “year of Wooden” post. Have fun tonight and be safe!

Questions of the afternoon:

  • What were your highlights of the weekend?
  • What are you doing to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

holiday white chocolate pretzels

How is your week going? Mine is flying by. It’s the last week of school before I head home to California for the holidays, and I am a mix of productive “aaack-so-much-to-get-done!” and lazy “it’s-December-and-I-just-want-to-bake-cookies-and-watch-Love-Actually.” Tonight I channeled both of these inclinations and baked festive white chocolate pretzel goodies to give to some of my friends and colleagues as Christmas gifts.

holiday masterpiece

I came across this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Peanut Butter Fingers, and I tweaked it slightly because I couldn’t find the white chocolate wafer candies that Julie’s recipe called for. I just used plain chocolate and they turned out great!

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Here’s all that you need:

  • pretzels
  • green and red M&Ms
  • small chocolate pieces {I broke apart these Andes peppermint white chocolate pieces}

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. If desired, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Spread a layer of pretzels over the cookie sheet.

3. Break chocolate apart into small pieces and place one piece in the center of each pretzel.

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4. Bake for 3-4 minutes, until chocolate begins to melt.

5. Gently press a red or green M&M, writing-side down, into the chocolate.

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6. Transfer pretzels to a plate and allow to cool.

7. When chocolate has hardened, store the pretzel treats in a tin or air-tight container.

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I packed mine up in these cute tins I found at Target in the dollar section:

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This is such an easy and inexpensive holiday baking recipe. These white chocolate pretzels are a special, home-made treat that your friends and loved ones will gobble up! {Or make a big batch for yourself — I won’t tell!} ūüôā

Have a wonderful day,
-Dallas

——————-

-Time spent: 20 mins
-Cost: $6.00

*This post is linked up at I’m an Organizing Junkie¬†as part of Menu-Plan Monday!

MPM-Winter

Here are the other posts in my “Make Your Holiday Season a Masterpiece” series:
homemade festive decorative chain
little oases of rest in a hectic, busy season

 

ecomom’s “green” friday sale

Just a quick post to let you know about a really great sale one of my favorite “green” living sites is having this week …

Ecomom.com is a site designed for moms who want to buy healthy, organic, nontoxic products for their home and family. They have everything from organic baby food to non-BPA reuseable water bottles to natural products for your home. I especially like their organic hair products and natural home cleaning supplies. You don’t have to be a mom to find great products on their site that can make your daily routine healthier for your body, and for our planet!

Until November 25, they’re offering:

  • $20 off orders of $50-$99
  • $40 off orders of $100-$199
  • $80 off orders of $200+

This might also be a great way to stock up on some early Christmas gifts!

Here’s the website again: www.ecomom.com. Happy shopping!