Zucchini Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

Another week, another muffin recipe! This one is a big-time winner! Oh man. It made a TON and its a good thing because the way Neely is chowing down on these, they may not last more than a few days!

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More and more, these little mini muffins are becoming a favorite item for me to have on hand for the kids. They are perfect to pack in school lunches and are an awesome option for snacks or meals. I love giving my kids food that they enjoy eating, that even feels like a treat, but that has fruits and veggies and healthy grains packed in. I try to be sure to tell them what is in there, too, hoping that maybe if I say there is zucchini in their muffins, they’d be less afraid of trying actual zucchini one day. Might be wishful thinking but who knows! I just don’t want to feel like I’m trying to deceive them or trick them into eating healthy – I want them to realize that eating healthy is delicious!

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I kind of love that these don’t include bananas. I like bananas fine, and so do my kids, but its nice to have a muffin that doesn’t have a banana taste to it every once in a while! These aren’t totally clean, but they pack goodness (& veggies) into them and are sweet and delicious! I modified the original recipe (found here), and next time may continue to modify to try to get rid of some more of the sugar (I decreased the original amount already but I wonder if I could still do less!) So I will be coming back to this one to try some new things. All in all though, definitely a winner.

Zucchini Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs + 1 large egg white
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 3/4 cup raisins*

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and apple sauce. Stir in grated zucchini and carrots. Add to dry ingredients and stir until combined. (If your batter seems dry, try adding a bit more applesauce)
  3. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full and bake for 20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

These were dense when they came out of the oven, so my toothpick kind of stuck inside and made me wonder if they were cooked all the way through – but they were perfect!!

*I would say the raisins are optional or replaceable – you could use something else like craisins or apple chunks, or even chocolate chips I suppose! But my kids love raisins so we used them. You could probably leave them out all together, too!

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“Please mommy, just one more?!” (she had already eaten 2, so I gave in and gave her just one more!)

 

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Freedom

Freedom

I switched things up yesterday evening and went for a run when Bryan got home from work. I couldn’t resist the beautiful weather. The sun was starting to set, it was cool and crisp – perfection. As I ran my mind was flooded with thoughts. How can it be that as I run around my happy little neighborhood – people walking their dogs, playing in the yard – that other parts of the world are in utter turmoil?

I’ve been reminded the last few days that this life I am living is fleeting. Everything I have, that I tend to take for granted, could all be gone tomorrow. As I ran I felt overwhelmed with a feeling of freedom. Not because I live in America and was born into such privilege, but because I live in the freedom of Christ. There is no fear in that freedom, no worry, no despair. There is hope.

And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. (‭1 John‬ ‭2‬:‭17‬)

This is a freedom that cannot be taken away. This is a freedom that is un-wavering. This is a freedom that will be victorious.

In order for me to live out this freedom, I believe that I first should live in a spirit of gratitude. Thankful to God that while the world seems to be falling apart, I stand firm in my faith and on the solid rock of Christ. Thankful that while others may fear for their life, I know that my life is not my own, but belongs to God and is dedicated to his own glory. Thankful that I can lose everything here on earth – everything – but I will gain more than I could ever imagine in heaven. These are PROMISES of God that I can only cling to when the world around me offers no promise, no peace, no certainty. These promises, of course, are available to anyone who believes.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. (Matthew 10:39)

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. (1 Peter 1:3-5)

I then believe that I am called to live in a spirit of love. If I am truly living in gratitude for all that I have and all God has promised, there is no other response except love. Love for God, love for the life he has given me, and love for other people, both near and far. I don’t have much control over the things going on in the world, but I can control my heart, my thoughts, my words and my actions.

So I will spend time in God’s word and in prayer to care for my heart and my mind. I will flood my thoughts with the words of God, not the words of the world. I will take care of my body, the only thing that (aside from in death) cannot be taken away from me. I will choose to love deeply – my family, my friends, and yes, even strangers, even the unloveable. I will do my best to be a representation of Christ to this broken, dark world, and wait expectantly for God to move in mighty ways. He WILL overcome.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Muffin Tins – A Busy Mom’s Best Friend

Over the last few months I’ve realized that eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard or way more time consuming, it just requires a little bit of planning ahead! One of my FAVORITE ways to plan ahead is by making recipes using a muffin tin. It creates a little batch of goodness that will last all week! I’ve been loving making muffins for me and mini muffins for my kids. The mini muffins are perfect to send to school or to grab as a healthy snack, or to use as breakfast… really any time works for these cute little meals and it feels great to have a healthy option right there in the fridge! I usually just quickly warm them up in the microwave and they’re ready to go. Here are a few of my favorites!! Feel free to print out these little recipe cards, too 🙂

First are these healthy toddler muffins, you’ve actually seen me post about these here on the blog before. While they aren’t completely “clean” they pack in a lot of goodness for the little ones, and they taste great!

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Next are these yummy, healthy oatmeal cups!!

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And finally, egg cups! I love these because they are SO versatile!!

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What I love about the last 2 is that they can so easily be modified to fit your tastes! You can change up the fruit in the blueberry oat cups that you put on top, or even use raisins or chocolate chips to make them a little sweeter! And the egg cups can be modified SO many ways – just use whatever veggies you like best, or whatever you already have on hand!

These recipes originally came from here, here, and here.

30

I turned 30 a few weeks ago. Not that I expected anything over the top in terms of celebration, but I must say the day was a pretty big let-down. I spent my birthday sick in bed! Boo! Thankfully, my loving husband did give me the gift of rest that I so desperately needed while he took on the task of caring for 2 toddlers who also weren’t feeling well (while Bryan wasn’t even feeling well either!) Basically, it was a sad day all around. But alas, it happened, and I feel the need (now that I’m healthy and thinking clearly again) to think about entering my 30’s and what that means for me, as well as look back a bit and see where I’ve been and what brought me to this place I’m in now.

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This picture is from this year, pretty close to my 30th birthday.
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I don’t think I ever could have imagined my life now, as I turn 30. I don’t think I ever could have imagined that I would have 2 beautiful children, pretty close in age, a boy and a girl. I couldn’t have imagined that we would have left Young Life and moved to the suburbs while Bryan works in the city. I would NEVER have dreamed that I would be in the best shape of my life. And who could have foreseen the fact that I am a health and fitness coach?!

But here we are! And I am so incredibly thankful. Even as I type all of those things, I realize it still feels so fresh, so new, so scary and exciting. Being a mom – yikes. How am I qualified to care for these two tiny humans? Living here, near family for the first time since college, finding our place in church and the community – it is exciting and new and uncertain. My health and my job as a coach is an ever-evolving transformation that fascinates me and terrifies me at the same time!

I think, though, when looking at the big picture, and when looking into my heart and soul as I process these changes, I realize that every one of these experiences has been a lesson in faith. A lesson in giving control over to the Lord, and in trusting him to use my life for his glory. My old thoughts believed that I was too selfish to be a wife and mom, too shy to be a part of community, too afraid of failure to take control of my health, and not confident enough to be a coach. But look at the ways the Lord is able to transform! In my weakness, he is strong, and in my unbelief, he creates faith. Even though I placed my faith in Jesus long ago, I feel like in this past year, I have truly become a new creation.

The past year has looked nothing like the rest of my life – I have grown and changed in physical, mental, and spiritual ways that I never could have dreamed of before. Thanks be to God! From the looks of it, my 30s may just end up being the best years of my life so far!!!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!  – 2 Corinthians 5:17