How are those New Year’s resolutions holding up? Still going? Throwing in the towel? For me, January is usually a get-back-to-normal-but-make-better-decisions month with food, drink, exercise and budgeting. I’ve always loved the hope and optimism that a new year holds. It’s a fresh start at bettering yourself, bettering your relationships and redefining what motivates you to get out of bed in the morning.
If you’re anything like me, one of my goals every year is to eat healthier and treat my body better. I stopped writing down goal weights and daily calorie targets because I realized if I want to achieve my goals, I need to make them tangible and flexible. Life happens, cake happens, late night snack attacks happen and you shouldn’t feel horrible for giving in to such temptations from time to time.
Little changes add up to big results. If you want to eat healthier, don’t sabotage yourself and bake a batch of delicious brownies telling yourself you’ll only eat one. Newsflash: YOU WON’T EAT JUST ONE!
Confession: Chet and I had brownies instead of cake at our wedding. We cut into a giant round brownie during the “cake” cutting and took 3/4 of it home to put in the freezer. We were supposed to dive into it on our 1 year anniversary, but instead, every other night or so for a year I would sneak into our freezer and cut off chunks of our severely freezer burned wedding brownie. The fact that is was teeth breakingly rock solid didn’t seem to stop me. Needless to say, I can’t have brownies in the house.
You have control over what’s in your fridge and pantry. Surround yourself with healthy foods and you’ll find yourself eating healthy foods. S.I.M.P.L.E. For me this meant out with the old Christmas cookies and in with the mixed berry bran muffins!
Did anyone else have a particularly absurd December? As much as I love the holidays, it always feels like we’re battling a clock that’s running three times as fast as normal. Personally, my typical routine was thrown off with job transitioning and all around just feeling sick and exhausted for 6 weeks. For my faithful readers (who I LOVE), this explains my brief hiatus from cooking, DIYing, writing, and even moving off of the couch. I’ve missed you. I’m happy to be back.
Now about those muffins…
Some people hear bran muffin and they go running for the hills. Bran doesn’t mean bland. Wheat bran is what gives this muffin its high fiber content and combined with plain greek yogurt, makes them surprisingly moist (sorry for using that word. At least I didn’t say panties). With a sprinkling of a sugar and a burst of blueberry, raspberry or blackberry in every bite, these muffins are anything but bland! Healthy can taste good.
3 Reasons Why I Love Muffins:
1. They take less than 30 minutes to make and last for over a week (in the fridge).
2. I don’t have to have the daily struggle of deciding what to eat for breakfast. Muffin and done.
3. It’s easier to grab a muffin when you’re running late than to stop at any drive thru along your way. This means they’re on-the-go ready for you busy folks and families.
So you bought a massive bag of frozen mixed berries to make these and only used a cup of them. What to do with the rest of your frozen berries? Continue riding those healthy vibes and make a smoothie! Try this Sunset Smoothie from Happy Healthy Mama or a Berry Green Smoothie from Damn Delicious. You won’t be disappointed!
What to Bring to the Store
To reduce your packaging waste, bring the following reusables with you to the store:
- 3-4 reusable bulk bags for your dry ingredients.
- A reusable produce bag for your berries (if you get them fresh).
- Reusable grocery bags!
Waste Meter – 4 out of 5!
If you’re able to find most of your dry ingredients in bulk, then this is a fairly low waste recipe! Here’s what to recycle, compost and toss:
Recycle: Milk carton, egg carton and yogurt cup.
Compost: Egg shell and any fallen berries.
Trash: Frozen berry bag (if not fresh).
- 5 ounces of plain yogurt (1 small carton)
- ¾ cup of plain almond milk
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1½ cups of wheat bran
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 cup frozen or fresh mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, marionberries, blackberries, etc.)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick spray or butter.
- In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, almond milk, egg, olive oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract.
- In a separate, larger bowl, mix together wheat bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until well combined. Batter should be thicker, not too dry, but not runny.
- Spoon 2 tbsp of the batter into each muffin cup. Divide fruit and 1 tsp of the sugar evenly among each cup. Top each with the remaining batter, about 1 tbsp for each. Divide remaining teaspoon of sugar on the top of each muffin.
- Bake for 16-18 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from pan. Muffins will keep for 3-4 days, longer if stored in the refrigerator.
Keep up those resolutions! Baby steps!