Whole Wheat Triple Berry Protein Muffins

Whole Wheat Triple Berry Protein Muffins - Mimi's Fit Foods

These seriously taste awesome!  I was a bit skeptical, but curious enough to make muffins with protein powder, and I’m so thrilled with the results!  I’m constantly looking for yummy, healthy, and effective ways to use protein powder.  Using the protein powder in these muffins obviously added a nice chunk of protein to the muffins PLUS it allowed me to cut WAY back on sugar.  I used a healthy oil here too . . . coconut oil.  I love the way they turned out.  They taste just like a breakfast muffin and the berries add extra components of flavor, sweetness, and nutrition (go antioxidants!).

These would be great additions to your breakfast or snack line-up.  We ate these for breakfast alongside a fried egg (just to get a little extra protein).  They can easily be frozen and pulled out of your freezer for your convenience.  They are a great grab-and-go snack.

You can really use any protein powder you like here.  Obviously, depending on the powder you use, the protein content may change slightly (the one I used for the nutritional information below had 18g protein per scoop and there’s about 2 scoops used in the recipe).

Also, the recipe calls for partially frozen berries.  you can take your berries out of the freezer an hour before you plan to use them.  OR, if you’re like me and don’t really plan that far in advance (especially if it’s breakfast), then you can just slightly thaw them in the microwave (I thawed mine on power level 2 for about 90 seconds and they were perfect).

Whole Wheat Triple Berry Protein Muffins
Mimi’s Fit Foods

1 cup whole-what flour
1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups partially frozen berries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Create a well in the middle of the bowl. Add the coconut oil and then slowly add the buttermilk and vanilla extract while stirring until it’s just combined (for ease, I combined the buttermilk and vanilla in the same measuring cup).  Fold in the berries.

Spray a muffin tin liberally with nonstick cooking spray, or use paper liners.

Using a cookie scoop, fill each well of the muffin tin 3/4 full.

Bake 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Allow to cool before serving, and refrigerate in a covered container for up to one week.

Serving 12: Makes 12 muffins.

Nutritional Information (Per Sering = 1 Muffin)
Calories:  130
Protein:  5.1g
Carbs:  13.2g
Fat:  6.9g (5.6g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.8g
Sugars:  4.8g

Triple Berry and Carrot Juice Detox and Antioxidant Smoothie

Triple Berry and Carrot Juice Detox and Antioxidant Smoothie - Mimi's Fit Foods

We caught some of the nasty winter germs that have been going around and have been down with colds in our house.  Ugh!  In order to help boost our immune systems we’ve been trying hard to get in as many fruits and veggies as possible.  

This little smoothie has become our breakfast drink for the past week.  The berries are LOADED with antioxidants and I love sneaking veggies in the smoothie without anyone even noticing they’re there . . . thus, the addition of carrot juice.  Fruits and veggies will help us to naturally detox and cleanse our bodies too, so this smoothie is great for any of us who may have indulged a little over the holidays.  

If you’re wondering, I buy my triple berry mix from Costco.  I also found the carrot juice at Costco and have noticed that I can get the three bottles at Costco for almost the same price it costs for 1 bottle in the grocery store.  Since we won’t be drinking ALL that carrot juice before it goes bad, I’ve decided to freeze it until I need it.

If you’re in need of a handy-dandy way to get in your fruits and veggies, here’s a great solution.  Your kids will love it too.  My little babe sees it mixing in the blender and starts chanting, “num, num, num.”  Smoothies just seem to be a special treat!

Triple Berry and Carrot Juice Detox and Antioxidant Smoothie
Mimi’s Fit Foods

1 cup frozen mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
1/2 cup carrot juice
1/2 cup cold water
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (depending on taste)
crushed ice, optional

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds).

Serves 2.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (Per Smoothie)
Calories:  110.2
Protein:  4.8g
Carbs:  22.6g
Fat:  0.4g (0.1g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.7g
Sugars:  18.4g (mostly all natural from the berries)

Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie

Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie - Mimi's Fit Foods

I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween!  Now we get to look forward to Thanksgiving.  What better way to do so than with Pumpkin Pie, I ask?

Here’s a great way to get your protein shake in while TOTALLY appreciating the flavors of pumpkin pie!  It’ll make you feel all cozy on a fall or winter day.  The smoothie surprisingly tastes a whole lot like pumpkin pie and leaves you with that sweet and decadent flavor.  I gotta admit that my favorite part of the smoothie is the the chunks of graham crackers found throughout.  I love the flavor and the crunch.

I’m so happy that I’ve found a way to enjoy pumpkin pie in a healthy and balanced nutrition sort-of-way.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie
Adapted from Little Inspiration

1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup low fat milk (I used organic, 1%)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (100 calories, 15g Protein)
1 cup crushed ice
1/2 graham cracker (or 2 sections), crushed (crumbs for topping)

Put canned pumpkin, milk, cinnamon, and protein powder in blender.  Blend until well-combined and smooth (about 1-2 minutes).  Add ice and blend again until smooth.  Top with graham cracker crumbs.

Serves 1.

Nutritional Information
Calories:  209.8
Protein:  20.2g
Carbs:  24.9g
Fat:  3.7g (1.5g = Sat.)
Fiber:  5.3g
Sugars:  13g

DIY Microwave Popcorn with Coconut Oil

DIY Microwave Popcorn - Mimi's Fit Foods

Popcorn is one of our most favorite low-calorie treats.  We love the flavor and the crunch.  That all being said, I hate to get out the air-popper all the time and sometimes the store-bought microwaved stuff doesn’t really pop all that well (I swear I burn it more than I don’t!).  Besides that, it isn’t all natural . . . just look at your label next time.

I ran across this option to microwave my own popcorn and just had to try it!  It works so well and now we pop our popcorn like this 99% of the time. It’s fast, easy, and all natural.  I opt to use Coconut Oil rather than any other oils because the health benefits of this oil outweigh all the others.  I also find the results are a little better when I use the bigger lunch bag (Approx. 13″ tall by 8″ wide), but have also made it in a traditional lunch bag (Approx. 10″ tall by 5″ wide) with okay results.

Along with my love of popcorn, my little baby also LOVES popcorn and constantly asks for “pop pop” when it’s snack time (she couldn’t even wait 2 seconds for me to take a picture before she stuck her cute, little hand in for a taste).  I am always happy to oblige to her request!  Give it a whirl! You’ll love it too!

DIY Microwave Popcorn With Coconut Oil - Mimi's Fit Foods

DIY Microwave Popcorn with Coconut Oil
Adapted from Mostly Homemade Mom

1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup corn kernels

Melt coconut oil in a small bowl (takes about 1 minute on 1/3 power in the microwave).  Add salt and kernels to the oil and stir to coat kernels.  Drop kernels into a paper lunch bag, fold over twice and microwave for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes.  (Cooking time will vary based on your microwave.  I like to cook mine for 1 1/2 minutes.  I still end up with a few extra un-popped kernals, but I never burn my popcorn.)  Add additional salt if desired.

Serves 2.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = Approximately 3 Heaping Cups)
Calories:  106
Protein:  2.7g
Carbs:  16.7g
Fat:  3.3g (1.9g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.3g
Sugars:  0g

Cantaloupe and Avocado Salad with Agave-Lime Dressing

Cantaloupe and Avocado Salad - Mimi's Fit Foods

Ok. Ok.  So, this might seem like a weird combination.  However, let me be the one to convince you that it is a mightily GREAT combination.  We like both cantaloupe and avocado in our house.  We like it a lot.  We also love lime.  Thus, I knew I had to give this a whirl to see if the flavors would meld well together.  Oh man!  We love cantaloupe, avocado, and lime EVEN more now.  This salad was screaming SUMMER and it tasted fresh, with a hint of sweetness, as well as a hint of tartness.  It was a perfect side dish to our dinner.  My cute little baby even GOBBLED this right up.  I seriously put a good portion size on her serving tray, turned around to do something, turned back around to check on her, and it was all gone and she was begging for more.  I kind of wish I could act like a baby sometimes and cry and grunt for more too . . . even when I know I’ve had way over my portion allotment.

I’m SUPER glad I found this recipe and had the curiosity to try it because it’s going to make several more appearances at our lunch/dinner table (and probably others too when we are asked to bring fruit to the next BBQ) this summer.  It’s not only unique, but so, so, so, SO good.

Cantaloupe and Avocado Salad2 - Mimi's Fit Foods

Cantaloupe and Avocado Salad with Agave-Lime Dressing
Adapted from Whole Living

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Agave Nectar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
1 cantaloupe (3 pounds), quartered and seeded
1 avocado, halved, pitted, and skinned

In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, Agave, oil, and salt; set aside.

Cut each cantaloupe quarter in half lengthwise.  Run a knife between the flesh and the sin of the melon; discard skin.  Cut each wedge into 1/2-inch pieces.

Cut each avocado half again length-wise and then into 1/2-inch-thick chunks.  Add cantaloupe, avocado to bowl with dressing and toss to coat.  Divide among 6 plates.

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/6 the Recipe)
Calories:  142
Protein:  1.9g
Carbs:  18.9g
Fat:  7.5g (0.4g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.2g
Sugars:  14.6g

*Note:  If looking to cut calories, you can cut the dressing in half.  There is PLENTY of dressing, so that wouldn’t be much of a sacrifice in flavor and will cut about 20 calories.  You can also eliminate the avocado which will save an additional 45 calories.  (So, if you eat this with half the dressing and no avocado your calorie count will be closer to 82.)

Watermelon, Strawberry, and Feta Salad With Balsamic Reduction

Watermelon, Strawberry, and Feta Salad With a Balsamic Reduction - Mimi's Fit Foods

Those of you who have had tried a balsamic reduction over your fruit know exactly where I’m coming from on this post.  Those of you who have not tried such a thing . . . well, it’s time you jumped on the wagon because you’re seriously missing out.  I know, I know.  It sounds completely weird and it’s hard to even imagine that such a concoction would taste so awesome.  But, I’m here to tell you that it is seriously awesome!

My sister-in-law reminded me of this beautiful combination when we had lunch a couple of weeks ago.  I was then asked to bring fruit to a family party and I didn’t even think twice about what I would take.  I put the fruit in a big bowl and then allowed everyone to add their desired amount of balsamic reduction and feta cheese to their own portions.  This worked out perfectly because most of the kids just had plain fruit while several of the adults had the more “sophisticated” salad.  I’ve been eating this for a snack or side dish almost every day since (because the balsamic reduction goes a LONG way).  It’s sweet and savory all at the same time.  If you haven’t tried this, you just have to give it a whirl.  If you have tried it, may this be your mouth-watering reminder to make it again.

Have I mentioned how much I love summer?

Watermelon, Strawberry, and Feta Salad With Balsamic Reduction

1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
watermelon, cubed
strawberries, sliced
reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled

Place balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bring just to a boil, and then turn down the heat so that the boil reduces to a simmer.  Stir occasionally and allow to simmer until the vinegar has reduced by at least half (for a thinner reduction) or to about 1/4 cup (for a more syrupy consistency – which is what I prefer).  This can take up to 20 minutes.  Allow to cool and transfer to an airtight container.  You can store the balsamic reduction in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For each serving, place about a cup of mixed fruit (watermelon/strawberries) on a plate.  Drizzle with balsamic reduction and 1 tablespoon feta cheese.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)
Calories:  66.3
Protein:  2.4g
Carbs:  12.8g
Fat:  1.3g (0.6g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.3g
Sugars:  9.4g

Peanut Butter and Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies

Peanut Butter and Banana Breakfast Cookies Stacked - Mimi's Fit Foods

If you’re getting a little bored with breakfast, perhaps something like this might increase the excitement level in the morning.  I mean, who doesn’t want the chance to eat cookies for breakfast?

These little breakfast bites are pretty darn tasty.  I have to giggle a little bit about the name.  I mean, they certainly look like cookies, but they don’t exactly taste like cookies.  They kind of taste like a mix between a protein bar and a muffin.  The oats offer a nice chewy texture and I am the last one to complain about eating something that contains both bananas and peanut putter.  The chocolate chips are optional.  I will say, that while I like chocolate, I actually preferred these cookies without.

These are particularly handy because you can make up a batch ahead of time and then just grab a couple of cookies in the mornings for breakfast.  They are a great on-the-go breakfast (or snack).  They still don’t offer quite enough protein to be considered for a meal, so I would still make an egg to eat alongside these little morsels.

I’ve been pretty stoked about eating “cookies” for breakfast this week!  You ought to try it.  It’s fun.

Peanut Butter and Banana Breakfast Cookies - Mimi's Fit Foods

Peanut Butter and Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies
Slightly Adapted from Harvest Moon By Hand

2 ripe bananas, mashed until smooth and creamy
1/3 cup peanut butter ~ creamy or chunky
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce (I used homemade applesauce)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/8 cup carob or dark chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix mashed banana and peanut butter until completely combined.  Add the applesauce, vanilla protein powder, and the extract. Mix again until all are completely combined.

Add in the oatmeal to the banana mixture and combine.

Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Drop cookie dough, by spoonfuls (I used a 1 1/2 Tablespoon cookie scoop), onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and flatten cookies into rounds. (If you are using e carob/chocolate chips, top the cookies you desire with 3-5 chips each.)

Bake cookies about 20 minutes, or until golden brown and done. (Note: the cookies were done at 25 minutes in my oven.)

Remove from oven and let rest on cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Move to a cooling rack.

When cookies are completely cool, store in a covered container. Enjoy!  (Makes 2 dozen cookies.)

Nutritional Information (Per Breakfast Cookie with Chocolate Chips)
Calories:  63.4
Protein:  2.1g
Carbs:  8.1g
Fat:  2.6g (0.5g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.2g
Sugars:  2.8g

Nutritional Information (Per Breakfast Cookie – No Chocolate Chips)
Calories:  57.6
Protein:  2.1g
Carbs:  7.3g
Fat:  2.2g (0.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  1.2g
Sugars:  2.1g