Annie’s Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins: Low-Carb, High-Love

Hi Bakers! Team Reilly has been koo-koo lately to say the least. Our youngest child Annie (age 2 3/4) was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in February, joining the ranks with our son Jake. Just like Jake, she was diagnosed at home when I got worried about the fact that she peed her pants twice in a row and was developing a yeast rash in her diaper area (she still wears a diaper at night). Her fingerprick blood sugar after eating a bowl of dried cranberries was 418. Luckily, her A1C was 7.8% and according to our doc, we caught the diabetes earlier than any other patient (Yay? Not necessarily a claim to fame that I was striving for!). And since she had only trace ketones, we put her to sleep and headed to the hospital the next day. Once we saw Annie’s high blood sugar, Jake (age 7 now) immediately took Annie to “Diabetes Camp” in the basement and secretly whispered to me that he’s glad he’s no longer the only kid in the family with type 1. On the bright side, these 2 kids will have each other for the long haul and that gives us amazing comfort.

While I dreaded the possibility of another type 1 diagnosis in our family, Annie has been unphased and was immediately put on a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor and the Omnipod insulin pump making our lives incredibly easier and making it so that she basically doesn’t even know she has diabetes. In fact, check out my blog on type 1 diabetes on KrisCarr.com – it was written before Annie’s diagnosis, but talks about the tricks and tips that have helped us with Jake’s diabetes management. And apparently the universe congratulated us in February for our mad skills in managing diabetes! Yikes.

So! Inspired by Annie and her minuscule needs for insulin right now, I created these mini muffins that she (and we!) could snack on all day long without needing insulin. They are full of healthy ingredients, taste amazing, are gluten-free, and go down really easily. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Annie’s Banana Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
Makes 30

2 bananas, mashed (can be fresh or thawed frozen)
1/3 cup Smart Balance or Earth Balance margarine, melted
1/4 cup almond butter
2 Tbsp ground flax seed meal
1/3 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup Swerve sweetener (Erythritol, found cheapest at Vitacost)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup Lily’s mini chocolate chips (Stevia-sweetened, but regular dark choc chips work too)

Mix all ingredients together except chocolate chips. Once mixed, stir in the chips and pour into lightly sprayed mini muffin tins 2/3 of the way, or regular muffin tins half way.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool before removing from tins (if you can!).

Per muffin: 70 calories, 6 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 g carbs, 2.4 g fiber (2.6 g net carbs), 1 g sugar, 2 g protein. 

Now I want to hear from you! Post your favorite low-carb snacks and recipes — Annie and her blood sugars will thank you!

xo, Jen

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One Pot Quinoa Black Bean Bowl

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Inspired by my passion for one-dish meals and Mind Over Munch‘s One-Pot Taco Quinoa, I present to you an easy Bitchin’ one pot of power. I subtracted ingredients from Mind Over Munch’s version that I didn’t have on hand and the result is a kids-pulling-on-my-legs-and-blood-sugars-are-dropping super simple One Pot Quinoa Black Bean Bowl. It got 6 out of 6 flavor stars at my house, and 6 out of 6 clean-up stars for the kid who was on dish duty that night!

One Pot Quinoa Black Bean Bowl
Serves 6

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1 red (or other color) bell pepper, chopped
1 green (or other color) bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
3 cups water
2 (15-oz) cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks or slices, for topping
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped, for topping

In a medium pot over medium heat, sauté onions, garlic and bell peppers in olive oil. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer and cover to cook through, about 20 minutes.

Serve with avocado and cilantro.

Nutrition info for 1/6th recipe (about 1 heaping cup): 395 calories, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 1 g polyunsaturated fat, 5 g monounsaturated fat, 62 g carbohydrates, 16 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 17 g protein, 6% calcium, 34% iron.

Share in the comments below your favorite one-dish meals. We need more! 🙂

Almond Flour: Where Have You Been All My Life?

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I love baking. LOVE it. I love changing recipes, adding veggies and beans to cakes and brownies, tricking my family with nutrient-rich chocolate chip cookies, making the house smell a bakery, and I get giddy when I’m declared the best mom ever for feeding my tribe secretly healthy desserts.

Now, as some of you know, my son Jake has type 1 diabetes. He’s nearly 7 years old and also happens to be one of my pickiest eaters. This stinks (in a non-bakery nice smelling way) because I’ll make or bake something that has lots of healthy protein from hemp seeds or chia seeds, is low in white carbs, and will be perfect for preventing roller coaster blood sugars, and everyone will love it but him. Makes me CRAZY!!!

Until finally…. the stars aligned and I was clued into Simple Mills gluten-free, handful-of-natural-ingredient baking mixes based on almond flour. Not the crunchy, coarse almond meal that was in my fridge, but a fine, delicate, rare gem-quality flour made from blanched almonds. The Simple Mills mixes are pricey, so after I tried making one of each of their offerings, I decided that all I really needed to do was replace regular flour with almond flour in my favorite (and Jake’s favorite) recipes. This is why:

almond-flour-table

Almost 1/4 the carbs, 6 times the fiber (so 1/7th the net carbs) and twice as much protein. I knew right away that if this simple substitution worked, I would have discovered the Holy Grail of diabetic baking.

So. I learned that Jake doesn’t care for pumpkin anything (no son of mine). But, if chocolate chips are involved, he’s all in (definitely my child!). I’ve redone my famous marriage-inducing and TJ’s-published Chocolate Things recipe, with Jake, health, and flatline blood sugars in mind. Now presenting!:

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Chocolate Things: Almond Flour Version

Makes 9 large squares

This is a lower carb, lower sugar, higher protein version of my classic “Chocolate Things.” It may look like there’s a bizarre combo of sweeteners. There is! While I tried to make these 100% sugar-free, too much erythritol or stevia gave them a not-so-funky funk. Feel free to replace the erythritol, sugar, and maple syrup with 1/2 cup sugar plus 1 teaspoon maple extract (optional).

2 cups fine almond flour (like Bob’s on Amazon here)
1/2 cup white, wheat, or oat flour (blend gluten-free rolled oats to make oat flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp iodized salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal
2 Tbsp Swerve (erythritol)
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp lite maple syrup (like Wholesome! brand with 33 g carbs per 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup melted Smart Balance, Earth Balance, or other non-hydrogenated margarine
3 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup unsweetened soymilk or other nondairy milk
1/2 cup (100 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour and spread into a lightly greased 9 x 9-inch baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Per square: 21 g total carbs, 4 grams fiber (17 g net carbs), 7 grams protein

And here is Jake’s blood sugar graph after eating one of these sweet little thangs at 10am. No spike! And no crash! We did it!

Let me know how almond flour works for you. It’s been a baking lifesaver for us.

xo

Jen

Homemade Dark Chocolate in 3 Minutes

So I’m sitting here with a napping toddler writing some recipe substitution tips when it hits me: I could really use a bite of dark chocolate, and I don’t have any, I don’t have any chocolate chips, and I can’t run to the store. Serious Emergency!

But I have cocoa… and coconut oil… and maple syrup… and another wackadoodle recipe is born chez Reilly:

Emergency Dark Chocolate
Serves 10

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 tbsp liquid sweetener (maple syrup, agave…)
1/4 cup flax seeds, hemp seeds, or other seeds/ chopped nuts (optional)

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat oil, cocoa, and sweetener. Remove from heat and stir in seeds or chopped nuts if using. Pour into dish and spread thin. Chill in fridge for 1 hour. 

What do YOU do in this kind of emergency situation? xo

Making Raw Hemp Milk Couldn’t Be Easier – Video!

Raw Hemp Milk
Makes 4 cups

1 cup hemp hearts (shelled hemp seeds)
4 cups filtered water

Blend, and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Add to smoothies, pudding, desserts, soups, or cereal. High in protein, fiber, and Omega-3’s. Yum!

 

What’s in My Pantry? Video!

Hi friends! Hope all you East coast Americans survived the blizzard with enough beans and rice to keep you going. Check out what’s in our pantry in the video below, and look forward to weekly videos this year from me. Put in the comments things you’d like me to video about — I love me some new ideas! Happy nonperishable fooding!

5 Tips for Making New Year’s Resolutions that Last

you got thisDid it get you again this year? Something like…  “THIS year is going to be my year! I’ll be at the gym every day, I’ll lose 20 pounds, I’ll do yoga at home, and I’ll start juicing daily because I’m ready to live this life!” Well cheers to that, resolution people!! Here are some tips to ensure that your magic number really IS 2016 and that this will hands-down be your golden, platinum and diamond year:

1. Make a list of why you are making healthy changes, and refer back to it every day. Aside from your doctor wanting you to get healthier, make a list of 10 reasons why eating healthier, exercising, and adopting healthier habits is on your New Year’s Resolution list. Do you want more energy? Better sleep? To fit into your old clothes? Or maybe you’re just tired of saying “I need to get healthier” and making excuses for why it’s not a good time. You’ll be surprised how great you feel after a few simple changes. And that feeling is often the motivation you need to keep going too!

2. Remove temptations. The best way to avoid overdoing it on high-fat, high-sugar foods that are going to hinder your New Year’s goals, is to remove all temptations. I like to call this the “Pantry Raid.” Throw out or donate foods that aren’t going to help you meet your goals and replace them with healthier options. Popcorn is a better option than chips or pretzels, dark chocolate squares are better than cookies or cakes, and low-calorie drinks like Honest Tea and seltzer water are better than sodas or juices.

3. Make changes slowly. Rather than going full speed out of the starting gate on January 1st with a juice cleanse, an intense exercise routine, and a detox from all the foods you love, make one simple change per week. This will increase your chances of actually sticking with that new healthy habit. For example:

Week 1: Drink more water. Try for 10 glasses every day. At first, you’ll be in the bathroom a lot. But then things will even out as your body gets used to the new, hydrated you.

Week 2: Eliminate fried foods. Try grilled, steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, and baked for lower calorie options when it comes to cooking. And, if you’re a fried food lover, treat yourself with something small at the end of the week.

Week 3: Walk 20 minutes every day. Go outside, or use a treadmill inside to get your 20 minutes done. You can even step up and down on a small stool while watching your favorite TV show. Just move those feet and get your heart rate up in a healthy way.

Week 4: Eat more veggies. Add a serving of raw or cooked veggies to lunch and dinner every day, and eat them as the first part of your meal. You may find that you’re less hungry for the more calorie-rich foods when you get your veggies “over with” first. And you may even start to crave them!

Week 5: Eat beans or lentils instead of meat one night per week. Meatless Mondays have gained a lot of momentum lately, and for good reason. Skipping meat usually means you’re eating more fiber, which fills you up faster and is great for portion control. And rather than replacing a burger with a meatless cheese lasagna (which may actually have MORE calories), try to replace the meat with a plant protein like black beans in a burrito, lentils in a stew or pasta sauce, or a veggie chili loaded with kidney beans and pinto beans. Keep this habit going to keep variety in your week.

4. Track your progress and celebrate every small victory. If losing 50 pounds is your goal, track your weight on a weekly basis and celebrate every ounce lost. Even if you don’t lose weight one week, look back on what progress you’ve made in other ways since the beginning of the year and congratulate yourself. Maybe you’re able to walk without getting out of breath for 10 minutes instead of 5. Celebrate that progress! Heck, celebrate every. single. minute! 

5. Talk about your New Year’s Resolutions. If your coworkers, friends, and family know that you’re working on new, healthy habits, they can motivate you and make sure you stay on track. If you keep your goals a secret, it’ll be harder to say no to the cookie tray that appears in your work area. And perhaps you can find a buddy who shares the same goals as you do. You can motivate each other and swap new, healthy recipes, go on walks together, and even initiate your own “biggest loser” competition if you want.

Keep in mind that any healthy change is an important one, and while change can be difficult, once you pass the magic 21 days, your habits will become more solidified. You’ve got this, people!

Breakfast Fast Food – 3 Ideas. Video!

Too busy in the morning to make breakfast? Try my 3 favorite simple concoctions to keep you energized all morning long.

Baked Oatmeal: https://bitchindietitian.com/2012/03/0…

Tofu Eggs in a Wrap: https://bitchindietitian.com/2015/03/1…

Everyday Green Smoothie
2 large leaves kale
1 banana
1 cup frozen fruit (such as mango or berries)
1 scoop vanilla Plantfusion protein powder (http://www.amazon.com/PlantFusion-Pro…)
12 oz water

Mason Jar Salads: Lunchin’ Munchin’ for Smart People

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So I’m a little late to the party, but figured maybe some of you haven’t even gotten on the subway yet!? BuzzFeed posted these 18 great mason jar salads back in December, and not only are they pure genius, but they’re nice to look at, easy to make, store, and transport, and they are all about Operation: Fit Into Last Summer’s Clothes.

But what I love more than any of those things is that you can make your week’s worth of lunches in about TWENTY minutes! What’s 20 minutes? That’s about how long I spend trying to figure out why I just walked into the dining room. I could be making salads!

So, what you do:

It’s Sunday. Line up five 24-ounce mason jars, grab a bunch of ingredients, a cutting board and a knife, and get all assembly line-up in the kitchen. Everybody clear OUT! The salad belt has been turned on. Stuff your jars in this order:

Start with Dressing: Either something bottled (like TJ’s Light Champagne Vinaigrette) or 2 T rice vinegar plus 1 T olive oil plus 1/2 tsp salt.

Next, fill with Protein: Tofu cubes, beans, tempeh cubes, hemp hearts, chia seeds, and shelled edamame beans are some of my favorites. They’ll marinate in the dressing. Genius again!

Next up, Chunky Veggies and/or Grains: These are ones that can afford to get a little juicy with dressing: Cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, jicama (is that a veggie?), corn… and quinoa, wild rice, pasta, roasted potatoes…

And Finally: Greens and herbs. Spinach, kale, mesclun, basil, dill, cilantro…

Optional Salad Toppers: Croutons, cranberries, sunflower seeds, those Asian noodle thingies. Not necessary, but oh so good.

Stick those 5 pieces of gloriousness in the fridge and take one each day for lunch (or have for dinner if that’s where healthy food prep time is at a minimum). Either shake it while IN the jar, or if it’s too jam-packed, empty the contents into a bowl and toss to coat dressing. No more excuses people!

What’s YOUR favorite salad stack?

Eggless Eggs Still on the Menu

Even with news of chicken eggs back on the cool list, Eggless Eggs are still a family favorite, a hometown staple, and a great way to enter into tofu addiction — no matter if they’re stuffed into a burrito, alongside toast, or eaten solo by the Paleos. Make a big batch on the weekend and choose your method of delivery on the day of. To breakfast! (Or dinner!)

Eggless Eggs with Whole Grain Toast, Orange Wedges, and Fruit Juice

Eggless Eggs with Whole Grain Toast, Orange Wedges, and Fruit Juice

Eggless Eggs
Makes 4 servings
Prep and cooking time 20 minutes

Searching for scrambled eggs without all the fat and cholesterol? Take this creation out for a spin, and you’ll find yourself singing its praises from the hilltops. Serve with fresh fruit and toasted 100% Whole Grain Fiber Bread. Compared to a 2-egg omelet, a serving of Eggless Eggs has 150 fewer calories, 11 fewer grams of fat, 450 fewer milligrams of cholesterol, and 2 more grams of fiber. Eggs never tasted so good.

1 (15-oz) block extra firm tofu
2 tsp olive oil
1 green onion, or 1 Tbsp diced onion
½ red bell pepper, diced (preferably organic)
½ green bell pepper, diced (preferably organic)
1 medium carrot, diced
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp turmeric (optional, makes the “eggs” yellow)
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper (optional)
Hot sauce to taste (optional)

1 Press Tofu: Place 6 paper towels on the counter. Drain tofu from package. Place block of tofu on the paper towels. Place a cutting board or baking sheet on top of tofu. Place 2 or 3 cans of beans or similar weight on top of the cutting board, and let sit for at least 15 minutes. This process gets excess water out of the tofu, allowing it space to soak in other incredible flavors.

2 Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté veggies, spices, and salt until tender, about 5 minutes.

3 Crumble tofu into the skillet; continue to cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

4 Serve warm topped with black pepper and hot sauce if desired.

5 Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

NUTRITION SNAPSHOT
Per serving: 161 calories, 8.5 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 298 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 15.5 g protein, 3% vitamin A, 54% vitamin C, 19.5% calcium, 13.5% iron

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