Low Fat Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins

by Rachel on December 11, 2013

Low Fat Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins

Another delicious, healthy, low fat muffin recipe. This one has oat bran, which adds fiber, protein, iron, calcium and a lovely color, flavor and texture to the muffins. There was a whole oat bran craze a while back. Consuming oat bran has been connected to lower cholesterol levels and appears to play a role in preventing some types of cancer. You’ll find it in most grocery stores. Unlike flour or cereal, it is not shelf stable for months at a time. It’s best to close it up tight in a ziplock bag and keep it in the freezer, unless you’re planning to go through gobs and gobs of it all the time. I’m partial to Trader Joe’s dried wild blueberries. They are really small in size but pack a big punch in flavor. Mmmm.

Low Fat Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins (makes 12 ½ cup muffins)

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup oat bran
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • a dash salt
  • 1 cup dried, fresh or frozen (defrosted) blueberries (I use TJ’s Wild Dried Blueberries)

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour ½ cup muffin tins (I find it easier to use baking spray – such a Pam, rather than greasing and flouring the pans. I use the “baking” version which includes flour in the vegetable spray).

In a medium-sized mixing bowl whisk together the yogurt, oil, orange juice, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract. In a large bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, oat bran, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until just blended. Add the blueberries. Mix gently. Pour the batter into the greased muffin tins. Place in the center of your pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until they are just cooked through and a tester inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to rest 1-2 minutes in the muffin tins, and then remove and cool completely before storing – or consume warm!

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Lentil Soup

by Rachel on December 4, 2013

Red Lentils Ready to Jump in the Soup Pot

My latter born has been asking me to adopt a practice of Meatless Mondays. This seemed like a perfectly reasonable request. Thankfully the Stern boys like many vegetarian dishes including lentils. This is one of the simplest lentil soup recipes I’ve ever made, and we really like the end result. Adding cumin twice, once early on in the cooking process, and once right at the end – adds a depth of flavor to the soup that you cannot get if you just add the spices at the beginning.

Lentil Soup (makes 6-8 servings)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup carrots, finely diced
  • 1 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 lb. red lentils, rinsed well and picked over
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Heat olive oil on medium high heat in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add onion, carrots, celery and cumin. Saute over medium heat for 10-12 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add the lentils, toss with the sautéed vegetables. Add the white wine. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth (vegetable or chicken depending on your preference). Simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked through.

Put one third of the soup into a blender. Process until smooth and add back to the soup. Season with the salt, 1 teaspoon of cumin and the freshly squeezed lemon juice. Serve garnished with chopped Italian flat leaf parsley OR cilantro.


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