Chocolate Protein Muffins

Chocolate. Muffins. Need I say more?

Maybe, chocolate protein muffins? Delicious flavor from chocolate. Muffin-like treats, but filling, satisfying, and protein-rich?

This is one of my all time favorite recommendations for clients that need an easy and make-ahead recipe that satisfies their sweet tooth!


I originally posted it hereit’s such a classic go -to for me and my family and now even my clients love it! 

It’s a simple recipe to make in a blender or food processor, double the batch, freeze the extras and warm them in the microwave when needed!


I’ll even be sharing + making (and sampling) the recipe next week at our monthly Whole Foods Market | Eat Fit cooking class!


Chocolate Protein Muffins

Makes: 12


1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 
½ cup stevia 

2 scoops chocolate protein powder

1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1 cup liquid egg whites

½ nonfat plain Greek Yogurt

Cooking Spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray.

In a blender, grind the oats to a flour-like consistency. Place in a mixing bowl.

Whisk together the ground oats, stevia, protein powder, instant coffee, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda.  Add in the extract, egg whites, and Greek yogurt. Blend until smooth. 

Divide the batter into the prepared muffin pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until ‘toothpick test’ comes out clean.

Per muffin: 70 calories, 1 gram fat, 200 milligrams sodium, 7 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram sugar, 8 grams protein



It’s actually okay if you have two of these babies in one sitting! Especially as a snack! As a dessert, you can keep it to just one.

You might find that these muffins “deflate” or the tops flatten as they cool. And that’s ok, it won’t affect the flavor or texture! But if you want to prevent that, make sure to not over cook them {my oven only needed 15 minutes}. And try to remove them to a wire rack relatively soon after removing from the oven.


Oh, and what do you know, it looks like my behind-the-scenes helper is going to grab one for herself!


They’re so tempting that even the little hands in my house can’t get enough!


Just kidding!

She just didn’t like that I had stacked them, and she wanted to put them “back in their place.”

You think she watches me clean + pick up the house and fuss at the hubby for not picking up after himself.



I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! They are a great snack or dessert for you, but they make great gifts too!






Whole Grain Apple Oat Cookies

It’s that time of the month where our community of fellow RD + health-minded food bloggers get together and share a specially-and secretively-themed recipe!

This month our theme is healthier holiday treats! {See all the other delicious and beautiful recipes at the link up at the bottom of this post.}


While I’m a lover of all things dessert – I think I’m particular fond of cookies.

I especially love cookies this time of year! And, while I’m usually all about giving Thanksgiving its rightful glory and not bringing Christmas into the house until after turkey day, this year I’m really merrying the two.


Cookies are a beloved holiday treat because they bring back warm and cozy memories of baking during the holidays with family when we were young. I also adored my college’s annual Cookie Party (which I miss and wish I was there every year after).

So this year I’m bringing the party to my house {and work}! I remade a holiday-inspired, but healthier cookie.

Healthier? How?

Well this recipe only uses whole grains like whole wheat pastry flour, old fashioned oats, and flax seeds.

I also used plant-based fats from coconut oil and half the sugar content by using a plant-based sweetener. I also cut the fat calories by 1/3 by incorporating unsweetened applesauce which also incorporates more of the holiday flavor.


These make great gifts for neighbors, friends, teachers, coworkers or are a great addition to share at a cookie party!

I made a version of these for my husband’s cookie & recipe share at work last week.  I swapped out the chocolate chips and added 1/4 cup of each- craisins, pistachios, and white chocolate chips for a little red, white, and green holiday decadence.


Whole Grain Apple Oat Cookie

Makes: 18


1/2 cup coconut oil, softened

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup Stevia in the raw

3/4 cup Turbinado sugar

3/4 cup milled flax seed

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt {optional}

3 cups old fashioned oats

1/2 cup dark (or semisweet) chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, Stevia, and sugar together. Blend in the flaxseed. Mix in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and combine well.

In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and oats. Mix well.

Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ones and mix together. Fold in the chocolate chips, pistachios, and craisins.

Using an ice cream scoop, drop the dough onto the cookie sheet and shape with the bake of the spoon until slightly flattened {these will not spread out very much}.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.


These might be so good you just might start merging Thanksgiving and Christmas, too!



Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Pumpkin Cornbread Dressing

In the spirit of thankfulness, our little family of 3 {or 5 if you count our 4-legged family members like we do!} had a mini Thanksgiving at home this past weekend.

It was the hubster’s idea, but I was all for it!


We didn’t have all the fixin’s, just a small turkey, homemade dressing {or stuffing, however you call it} + cranberry chutney, and simple oven roasted Brussels sprouts.

I didn’t whip up my mother-in-laws sweet potato casserole and I didn’t make my beloved pear salad. We just made a few basics to get us through a full week of work while being in the spirit of Thanksgiving.

I’m waiting ’til next week for those treats though!


This cornbread dressing is a round 2 recipe of my pumpkin cornbread muffins I made last week. It’s a great homemade, whole grain, twist on a classic Thanksgiving side dish.

If you’re like me and have always thought that stuffing recipes that require you to make cornbread ahead of time is too labor intensive to do when planning Thanksgiving, then this is the method for you! Simply make a batch double batch of cornbread whenever you need, and freeze leftover cubes of bread until needed. Wa-la! One step done, and no more stress to add to your Thanksgiving menu!


Pumpkin Cornbread Dressing

Makes: 8-12 servings


12 pumpkin cornbread muffins (see last week’s post here), cubed

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 tablespoon Land O’Lakes Whipped Butter

1 bell pepper, diced

2 stalks celery, chopped

1/2 red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup pumpkin beer  {optional, can just double stock}

1/4 cup unsalted turkey stock {or vegetable, chicken, seafood stock}

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 eggs, beaten


Lay the cubes of cornbread on a sheet tray to dry out for a few hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking dish with non stick spray.

In a large skillet, heat the olive and butter to medium heat. Add the bell pepper, celery, onions and saute for a few minutes until the veggies soften (about 5-10). Add the garlic and saute for another few minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Splash in some beer or stock to prevent the veggies from burning and allowing to tenderize. Add the poultry seasoning and black pepper, toss to combine.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the cornbread cubes and toss to combine and coat. Add in the cooked veggies and stir everything together. If the mixture looks to dry, you can add more stock to allow the cornbread to absorb some more liquid and not dry out when baking.

Pour the stuffing mixture into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the cornbread has slightly browned.






Wild Blueberry Chutney on Whole Grain Pumpkin Cornbread Ham & Cheese Muffins

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Wild Blueberries and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.


It’s November y’all and the holidays are upon us!

I’m not quite sure how they got here so quickly, but here we are and I’m getting so excited!


I’m starting this holiday season off with a perfect Thanksgiving leftover recipe! That’s right, I’m skipping the big day {not really} and going straight to the leftovers!


My wild blueberry chutney on whole grain pumpkin cornbread muffins are a perfect combination of savory and sweet. They incorporate all your favorite Thanksgiving dishes- cranberry sauce {or in this case a wild blueberry chutney}, pumpkin, cornbread, and leftover turkey or ham!

Each recipe is super {and I mean super} simple to make and everything can be made ahead of time and used for the big event on Turkey Day! And, for days later!


You may be thinking, wild blueberries? Why are those so special?

Wild blueberries are just that!- grown wild and picked, not cultivated. They have the same delicious taste and health benefits as regular blueberries, but because they are wild they have a more intense tart and sweet flavor.

Wild blueberries also have twice the antioxidant potency with more fiber, manganese, and less sugar!

Almost all Wild Blueberries are individually quick frozen when harvested in order to preserve their nutritional potency and powerful taste.

Where can you find them? Well, they grow wild in fields in Maine & Eastern Canada, but you can buy them at any grocery store. Just look for “Wild” on the package.


Wild Blueberry Chutney on Whole Grain Pumpkin Cornbread Ham & Cheese Muffins

Makes: 12 muffins


For the Wild Blueberry Chutney:

12 ounces frozen Wild Blueberries

12 ounces fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar {or sweetener of choice: Swerve, Truvia, Stevia, etc.}

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 pear, diced

1/2 cup raisins

1 orange, zested

1/2 orange, juiced

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon nutmegimg_5492

For the cornbread:

1 cup stone ground cornmeal

1 cup whole white wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup plain Greek Yogurt

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

3 tablespoons honey

1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted


For the muffin sandwiches:

12 slices ham

3  slices cheese, cut into quarters



To make the chutney, heat a medium sauce pot to medium heat. Add in all the ingredients and stir to combine. Cover and let simmer for 25-30 minutes stirring occassionally.

Meanwhile, prepare the cornbread. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray.

Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

In a large measuring cup or bowl, combine the liquid ingredients.

Pour the dry ingredients into the liquid mixture. Stir to combine, but be careful not to overmix.

Using an ice cream scoop, portion the cornbread mixture into the muffin pan. Flatten the tops with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the center is clean when using the toothpick test.

Assemble the muffins by cutting the muffins in half.

Dollop 1/2 tablespoon of chutney on each half and then layer on a slice of ham and cheese. Top with the chutney-adorned muffin top. {Note: you will not use all the chutney for this one recipe}.

Enjoy hot or cold!


Happy {soon to be} Turkey Day, y’all!



Slow Cooker Red Beans

Before I moved to New Orleans I had never heard of, let alone eaten, red beans.

Of course, I had seen them in the store and knew of them as a legume, but this Illinois girl had never known them as the beloved Monday meal staple that is red beans in New Orleans.

{This was also the time in my life when I was not so nutritionally-oriented and I also wouldn’t be found in the kitchen so it’s okay to cut me some slack here.}


I actually hadn’t even had the opportunity to eat red beans until I had been living here for a handful of years, and then when I had them, my preconceived notions of dry, bland beans was thrown out the door.

They were surprisingly creamy and tasty!

As I worked throughout the city, I also learned that they aren’t so healthy. Nor is the rest of the food on the plate that is served with them!- White rice. French bread. High fat meat, like pork sausage to “season” the meat.

But, as with anything recipe, I can twist the recipe to maintain it’s flavor and love, and make it much more nutritious. And that’s what I did here.


For my seasoning, as they like to say down here, I used leftover spiral ham that I had frozen and saved from Easter this year. I threw in some onions, garlic, and celery, and let it all merry together in the slow cooker.

My goal here was to create a delicious dinner that saved sodium, and saturated fat, but wasn’t too spicy for my flavor-sensitive toddler. This recipe does not have a lot of heat to it, which is perfect for my red bean loving 1 year old, but it still has a smooth, rich flavor for everyone to enjoy!

This made a perfect dinner for Halloween night this week, but it would be great even to use with Thanksgiving leftovers! We are in November after all!

I know, I can’t believe it either!…


Slow Cooker Red Beans

1 pound red beans, dried

1 quart spiral ham {use as much or as little as you want}

1/2 red onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 celery stalks, diced

4 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon Sal & Judy’s Creole Seasoning

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

freshly ground black pepper

1 quart unsalted chicken stock

Cover the dried beans with water and let soak over night.

Drain the red beans and add to the slow cooker. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Set on high for 8 hours.


Serve with 1/2 cup wild grain or brown rice and a side of vegetables {I suggest roasted Brussels sprouts, but a salad or your favorite veggie would do just fine}!

This is a perfect no-stress meatless Monday meal. So get to enjoying your weekend and have an easy and delicious dinner planned for the start of next week!



Sugar, not so sweet!

Halloween is less than a week away and while some are super excited for the ghosts and goblins to come out, some others of us are cringing at the thought of all that sugar.

Don’t get me wrong, I love sugar. Who doesn’t like the sweet taste and the memories it brings backs of being a kid?

But I hate the dependency and cravings it creates. And I hate the sweets that are devoid of any nutritional quality. As a mom and dietitian one of my biggest challenges will be to balance the fun times and memories created with the amount of sugar exposed to and consumed, especially by little ones.

In the spirit of Halloween though, I’m talking all things sugar on Ochsner’s blog today!

Where can you find sugar?

Why is sugar so bad for us?

What are the recommendations on sugar?

And with all this scary talk about sugar, what on Earth are we to do about Halloween?

Not to fret, I’m sharing strategies on how to balance it all with realistic family-friendly recommendations and products you can buy at your local store.

You can read the full article here at Ochsner Health System’s blog To Your Health 


Happy healthy-trick-or-treating!





Mini Pumpkin Nut Butter Chocolate Cups

This is quite possibly the easiest but most perfect Halloween Treat I’ve ever made!

Everyone loves Reese’s PB cups, right? Well, did you ever realize how easy {not to mention healthier} it is to make your own?



You can use dark chocolate for extra antioxidants + less sugar along with your favorite brand of nut butter to create a quick and child-like indulgent treat!

I added a touch of pumpkin puree to mine to really amp up the fall flavor.



This recipe is so simple you could even involve the kids to help!

Homemade treats are obviously not appropriate to pass out to trick or treaters, but these are to bring to school for your kids’ classmates and teachers! It’s also great as a treat for any parties you may be throwing for Halloween at home.


Of course, it’s one more thing you can feel better about offering to your little hands and loved ones.


Mini Pumpkin Nut Butter Chocolate Cups

Makes: 24 cups


4 ounces 70-85% dark chocolate

1/2 cup nut butter

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

toasted pumpkin seeds or pistachios, for garnish


In a glass microwave safe dish  melt the chocolate for for 30 seconds. Stir with a spatula and repeat warming for 30 seconds and stirring until all the chocolate is melted (about 2 minutes).

Line a mini muffin pan with silicone cups and spray with non stick spray.

Portion a teaspoon of melted dark chocolate into the bottom of each up. Dollop a teaspoon of nut butter on top of the chocolate and a teaspoon of pumpkin puree. Top with another half teaspoon or so of melted chocolate. smooth out the surface a bit.

Repeat for the reaming cups.

Place the pan in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes to harden.

When fully set, remove the silicone cups, and enjoy!




See? So simple!

Happy pumpkin eating y’all!