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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pineapple Upsidedown Muffins

I’ve finally returned to Connecticut, which means I’m back in my own kitchen. I missed all my tools and ingredients, the ability to throw together a meal in minutes. It’s so hard making dinner in a kitchen without even the simplest necessities, like salt, or a mixing bowl. My return also means the beginning of our month of healthy eating! After a quick run to the grocery store, for the more unusual items, I was able to whip up dinner, lunch and breakfast.

Since it makes the most sense, breakfast is first on the menu. I’m a big breakfast fan, especially when it tastes like dessert. I originally made these muffins back in Colorado. They are full of energy and will keep you going until lunch. I liked to treat myself to them after I convinced myself to get up early and workout. Sometimes it would be an incentive to get out of bed in the morning and get to that 5:30am class. Although I found that teaching the 5:30am class to be a bigger incentive, since there would be no class if I didn’t show up!

This thought beings me to one of my favorite fitness tips – Make a Gym Buddy! Being an instructor I have seen it time and time again. Those people that make friends, or bring friends, to a class were more likely to come back. My 5:30am Bodystep class included a group of 8 women who came every week. If one of them was missing they would have some explaining to do the next week! I’ve met so many wonderful people at the gym, friendships that I still have today, even though I don’t live close anymore. You and your buddy will have more fun in class together and you’ll have each other to motivate, cheer on and challenge.

Be sure to vote on my poll!  What types of healthy recipes are you looking for most?  This will help influence the recipes that I post in the next three weeks.  I might even get boyfriend to lend a hand in the kitchen, that way you'll know it's an easy recipe to follow!

Pineapple Muffins
Adapted from Fitness Magazine

These were supposed to be pineapple upside down muffins, but I managed to buy two cans of crushed pineapple, rather than one crushed and one sliced. Bummer. To make these an upside down cake, after spraying the muffin tins with spray oil do the following. Sprinkle each cup with ½ tsp brown sugar, ½ tsp walnuts and 2 pieces of pineapple ring (each ring previously cut into 6 pieces). Then add batter and bake. Loosen edges of muffins and flip over immediately after pulling out of the oven.

I have made these before with the additional pineapple slices and they are amazing. You won’t have any desire to add butter to these muffins. Just heat them in the microwave, on 70% power for a minute, and enjoy all week long.

¾ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 eggs
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup canola oil
2 tbsp pineapple juice (or orange)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 8-oz can crushed pineapple, not drained
1 cup grated carrot (about 2 medium carrots)
½ cup rolled oats
¾ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 400 and spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a small bowl whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a medium bowl beat together eggs and brown sugar until smooth. Add oil, pineapple juice and vanilla extract, blend until smooth.

Add dry ingredients to the wet and fold together until just moistened. Add crushed pineapple, carrots, oats, raisins and walnuts. Mix until combined.

Divide batter between 12 muffin cups, about ¼ cup each. Bake for 18-22 minutes. Allow to sit for a few minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve warm as an on-the-go breakfast, or sit down with some milk and a bowl of berries.

Calories 211, Total Fat 6 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 35 mg, Sodium 185 mg, Carbohydrate 36 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 4 g, Potassium 152 mg.
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