Strawberry-Lemon Protein Muffins

Hello world!

My, it has been such a long time since my last post that I had to retype my password several times, hoping to nail the right one.  That’s how you know you’re a bit rusty, huh?  I regret sounding like a broken record, but the reason behind yet another unexpected hiatus was due to a spring semester starting again.  Only this time, I am tackling an extra course, upping the load to 15 credits instead of the normal 12.  Yikes.  And as such, that automatically plunged my social and extracurricular life into a bottomless, hopeless abyss.  Alright, maybe not that drastic, but you get the idea.  This is my last full semester as an undergrad at UNLV!  I am so close that I can hardly believe it!  Now that I think about it, I’ve spent 3/4 of my life in an educational institution, and within the next 6 months, all that will come to a screeching halt.  Or at least I would it would!  I have big news for you!  Ready?!

I have decided to go back to school to earn a B.S. in Nutrition!  Of course, I aim to finish my B.A. in English, as I am literally one class away from graduating.  It would be senseless to double major with one semester left.  With this being said, I am planning on taking a semester off so that I can finally relax, travel, relish several months of academic freedom, and recharge before charging headfirst into the world of biology, chemistry, nutrition (aka: the very disciplines I abhorred in high school).  In fact, I despised chemistry so much that I’d throw my hands up in defeat at the mere sight of the periodic table.  I would cringe in Physics every time our teacher would pass quizzes out to an eager class.  Imagine everyone excited to apply what they’ve learned in labs.  And then imagine me, scowling, hands folded, face overcast, hating the world.  Oh, the torture!  You’re probably thinking: Alright Einstein – if you hated science so much, why in the world would you choose to major in similar discipline?  The answer is due to a number of factors; however, if I had to single out one concrete reason, I’d say that it was because of my introductory nutrition class this semester.

Granted, the professor should stick to her background as an R.D. and ought to steer clear of lecture halls in the future, but I surprisingly enjoy the subject despite the sad excuse for a “lecture” that she delivers for thirty minutes instead of the full hour and fifteen minutes.  I am confident that my reading skills are at least subpar, and am even more assured that I can read what you put on your PowerPoints.  My eyes aren’t that visually impaired (without my contacts, of course. Let’s be real.)  Therefore, I would prefer if you did not stand behind your podium, repeat verbatim what your bullet points say, and then proceed to speed through each slide regardless of your students’ level of comprehension.  I thought we clarified this concept in high school, for crying out loud!  Rant over.  So, long story short: I am enamored.  I am not sure why I make this decision, as I would have saved quite a bit of time and money, but I suppose that I would rather rediscover my passion as opposed to never finding a passion at all.  Even worse, I could have gone on to grad school for English, only to realize that the passion was but a mere illusion of a childhood ideal.  Better late than never, right?  Well!  That’s my big update!  I am thrilled to embark on yet another journey, to learn more about myself, to discover all that this exciting new science has to offer, and to explore what job opportunities are open to me further down the road.  Cheers to the future!

Now, for the next order of business.  Allow me to redeem myself a bit here.  I have been wanting to share fantastic recipes with you all, and I always think that I would keep my posts short and sweet.  Ideally, it would look like this:

Hi everyone!  Here is the recipe for the black bean brownies that I posted on Instagram.  Enjoy and see you later.

Oh, hell.  Who am I kidding?  With my slightly obsessive-compulsive nature, I would never manage such a concise post.  That’s probably the most efficient way to go about this blog, but hey: I go off on too many tangents and can never withhold my ramblings enough to get my point across in just one paragraph.  I mean, would you just look at the novel I wrote up there about my life?  I’m hopeless.  Alright, without further ado, here is the recipe as promised!

Strawberry-Lemon Protein Muffins

Strawberry-Lemon Protein Muffins

Ingredients: 

  •  2 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 egg whites
  • 6 packets of Stevia (more or less, according to your preference)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries
  • 1 scoop protein powder of your choice (I used “Cake Batter”)
  • ~ 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk (amount varies, use enough to get right consistency)
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  • *Before you begin, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.*
  1. Whisk together all ingredients EXCEPT walnuts and all but 1 cup of strawberries in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Pour contents carefully into a blender or food processor.  Blend until ingredients are thoroughly mixed together.  Add slightly more almond milk if batter is too thick.
  3. Transfer batter from blender or food processor into the large mixing bowl again.  Gently fold in 1/2 cup of remaining strawberries and walnuts.
  4. Pour into the muffin pan and evenly distribute the remaining 1/2 cup strawberries on top of each muffin.
  5. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown and the center comes out clean when poked with a toothpick.
Fresh of out of the oven, waiting to cool on cooling rack.

Fresh of out of the oven, waiting to cool on cooling rack.

That’s it!  Voila.  This is the perfectly healthy grab-and-go snack – I love making these for school days because they are great cold or heated up.  These strawberry-lemon protein muffins are packed with nutritional ingredients and contain no added sugars!  You get a healthy dose of complex carb/fiber to keep you feeling full from the oats, high-quality protein from the eggs and egg whites/protein powder/nonfat Greek yogurt, healthy fats and a yummy crunch from the walnuts, as well as vitamins/antioxidants/a light touch of sweetness from the fruit.  Fun fact: did you know that strawberries contain a chemical compound called “phenols”?  They act as anti-inflammatory agents and help to fight against disorders such as osteoarthritis, asthma and atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries!)  Now that’s what I call a kick-ass fruit.

As always, let me know how these come out for you.  I enjoy hearing any feedback, and your comments are always appreciated.  Until next time!

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