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Healthy Ginger Orange Cranberry Bread

Healthy Ginger Orange Cranberry Bread

This healthy version of orange cranberry bread is bursting with fresh cranberries, citrus flavors, and a hint of ginger spice! These berries are cran-tastic! Cranberries make their appearance this time of year thanks to the beautiful relish sauce on Thanksgiving, but this beneficial fruit should be […]

Review on an exciting and new Vegan Cookbook!

Review on an exciting and new Vegan Cookbook!

Curious about vegan cooking? Look no further, this new vegan cookbook, Fuss-Free Vegan is sure to please all palates!   I am not sure where to start with this amazing new cookbook, Fuss-Free Vegan by Sam Turnbull, the genius blogger behind It Doesn’t Taste Like […]

Curry Roasted Carrots with Yogurt Dressing

Curry Roasted Carrots with Yogurt Dressing

Want to spice up a holiday feast this year? These tasty curry

roasted carrots will make an exotic side dish to any main

entrée thanks to its addition of creamy yogurt dressing and

pomegranate seeds!

 

 

Don’t Forget the Sides!

When it comes to the holidays, the main entrée is always the focus of the meal. Whether it is turkey, fish, or a delicious vegetarian stuffed squash, tasty side dishes are most often forgotten. I don’t know about you, but my absolute favorite on Thanksgiving Day is stuffing. Watch out, I could seriously devour a whole plate if it were in front of me. Stuffing may not be the healthiest option (and yes, there are healthier recipes out there), but side dishes give us the opportunity to include beneficial and seasonal vegetables this time of year. Brussels sprouts, kale (yes I said it), and even carrots make a colorful sidekick for your main dish! While most side dish options include starchy potatoes or stuffing, adding colorful vegetables balance out those protein and starches at your next family meal.

 

curry roasted carrots
What better way to make a meal more beautiful than colorful and seasonal produce!

 

 

Curry Roasted Carrots Recipe

These curry roasted carrots are kicked up a notch with an herby yogurt dressing and crunchy pomegranate seeds! While balancing out the intense curry spice, roasting the carrots in honey and olive oil also gives them a perfectly carmelized flavor and crispy texture. Topping the roasted carrots with the yogurt sauce adds creaminess and evens out the heat from the curry.

 

 

curry roasted carrots
Colorful carrots tossed in olive oil, curry, and honey prior to roasting

 

 

To make this recipe vegan, use a dairy-free yogurt version for the dressing and substitute the honey for maple syrup. If you are not a fan of pomegranate seeds, topping the carrots with protein-rich nuts, such as almonds, would also be a healthy and tasty substitution!

With the festive holiday season on its way, I hope you still enjoy your favorite treats, like stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and yes pumpkin pie. Try adding some colorful vegetables to make it an even more enjoyable (and healthy) meal the whole family will approve!

 

 

 

Curry Roasted Carrots with Yogurt Dressing

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4

Curry Roasted Carrots with Yogurt Dressing

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces whole carrots (trimmed stems), sliced lengthwise if larger than 1" wide
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup yogurt (preferably whole milk)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Place the carrots on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Toss the carrots with olive oil, curry powder, and honey.
  4. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan and tossing halfway through cooking time.
  5. While the carrots roast, in a medium bowl whisk together the yogurt, cilantro, and garlic. Set aside.
  6. Once the carrots are nicely browning, turn off the heat and transfer the carrots to a serving dish.
  7. Drizzle the yogurt sauce and top with pomegranate seeds over the carrots.

Notes

These curry roasted carrots make a tasty side dish to any main entree. Whether is it pasta, a casserole, or meat dish. To add more vegetables to your meal, serve these carrots with a side salad. Need more carbs? Add with a fresh multigrain roll. Enjoy!

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Simple and Delicious Vegan Gumbo

Simple and Delicious Vegan Gumbo

Enjoy this Louisiana classic with a vegetarian makeover! This simple and delicious vegan gumbo uses less oil and includes heart healthy fats and proteins!     Making a Dark Roux… Since this was my first time making gumbo, making a dark roux was a complete […]

Quinoa Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash

Quinoa Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash

Almost time for the holidays? Try a meatless main dish! Bursting with seasonal cranberries and rosemary flavors, try this Quinoa Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash at your next holiday meal!       Feed that Healthy Gut! This stuffed acorn squash may be the main star […]

No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Oat Bars

No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Oat Bars

Pumpkin season is here! Try this simple and delicious No

Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Oat Bars for a healthy snack or

convenient on-the-go breakfast this fall season!

 

Pumpkin Lovers Unite!

Yes, pumpkin season is here! If you are craving those Pumpkin Spice Lattes (simply known as PSL) try a healthier pumpkin treat with less added sugar this season. These No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Oat Bars use a small amount of maple syrup as a sweetener and pumpkin puree as a healthy substitute for oil or butter. Pumpkin naturally provides excellent sources of both Vitamin A and Vitamin C. These two nutrients are star players in disease prevention and fighting free radicals (the bad guys in oxidative stress).  To get the right amount in your diet, aim for 75-90 milligrams per day (RDA value) of Vitamin C and 700-900 micrograms a day for Vitamin A.  To get more of this nutritious fruit, add pumpkin to your next pasta sauce, stir fry, and roasted vegetable medley!

pumpkin oat bars
These pumpkin oat bars are packed with deliciousness thanks to the chocolate chips, pumpkin spice, and yes, canned pumpkin!

 

Pumpkin Oat Bars recipe

Making these fall-flavored oat bars could not be easier! Another reason why I love them, ha! I used the same base of ingredients from my other No-Bake bars and simply added pumpkin spice and canned pumpkin to make this a perfect treat for the autumn season.  Pulsing the oats prior to mixing makes a nice oat flour giving the bars a smoother consistency. If you prefer a chewier and grainy consistency, avoid the mixer altogether and just stir in the oats whole with the remaining ingredients.

 

 

 

No Bake Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 10-12

No Bake Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars

These bars can be chilled for at least one hour in the freezer or three hours in the refrigerator. The bars will last up to three days in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole oats (Gluten Free certified if Gluten sensitive)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries, unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted almond butter (or other nut or seed butter of your choice)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Line a 9 x 9 baking dish with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the oats to a fine blend. Transfer the oats to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients and stir well to mix thoroughly.
  4. Pour the mixture into the baking dish. Cover with parchment paper on top and smooth the top.
  5. Chill for at least 3 hours in the refrigerator or one hour in the freezer.
  6. Once firm enough, cut into bars and serve.
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Creamy Roasted Broccoli Soup

Creamy Roasted Broccoli Soup

The fall season is finally here! Why not cozy up with a warm cup of this naturally gluten-free and vegetarian Creamy Roasted Broccoli Soup?   With hints of lemon and topped with parmesan cheese, this healthy version of a broccoli soup classic is sure to […]

Pesto Tilapia Sheet Pan Dinner

Pesto Tilapia Sheet Pan Dinner

Dinner in under 30 minutes with little to no cleanup? Try this tasty and simple Pesto Baked Tilapia Sheetpan Dinner for your next weeknight meal!

Lavender Honey Glazed Apple Muffins

Lavender Honey Glazed Apple Muffins

Apple season is here! Try these healthy and fulfilling Lavender Honey Glazed

Apple Muffins for a new breakfast routine this fall!

 

An apple a day…

As apple season arrives, it’s time to get out those cozy sweaters! If it isn’t obvious enough, my favorite season is fall, and yes, I am a fan of anything pumpkin-flavored! With the colder weather approaching, hot cereals are the go-to breakfast routine, so why not change it up with muffins? Using a seasonal favorite combined with the uniqueness of lavender, these apple muffins will not dissapoint!

We are all familiar with apple pie, caramelized apples, and baked apples during the autumn season, and boy are they tasty! These apple muffins will deliver the same sweet and crisp apple taste with less sugar and added fat thanks to the natural sugars and texture of this amazing fruit!  Besides being an excellent source of vitamin C, just one medium apple packs in four grams of fiber totalling almost 20% of our 25-30 grams recommended daily intake of this satiating nutrient! For more about the health benefits of apples, read more from this delicious article by Eating Well here.

Apple Muffins 101

The best types of apples for baking should be tart and have a strong texture that won’t get mushy when cooking . I used Granny Smith and Fuji apples (on separate occassions) which lended a tartness to balance out the earthy lavender flavor in the glaze. For more on the types of apples for baking, read more from this article by The Kitchn here.

I decided to use fresh orange zest and its juice for a flavorful addition to the apples and lavender. Fresh juices from citrus (including lemons) go a long way in recipes. This makes it easier to skimp on the sweetener or salt called for in a recipe, such as baked goods, salad dressing, and marinades! To create a lavender infused glaze, it is key to have the right strainer. A mini sieve works perfectly! To see the version I use by Cuisinart, click here;  I swear I use these mesh strainers everyday in the kitchen!

 

 

 

apple muffins
Nothing better than freshly squeezed! Natural juices of fruits make excellent flavor additions in salad dressings, sauces, and marinades!

 

 

apple muffins
Muffin batter filled to the brim prior to baking.

 

If you prefer a vegan recipe, replace the eggs with flax eggs and substitute maple syrup for the honey glaze. Gluten-free flours can be used in place of the whole wheat flour, however I would recommend adding xantham gum or the addition of chia seeds to replace the texture that gluten provides.

Also, if you like the healthy alternative of these apple muffins, try my Banana pumpkin muffins recipe. Both recipes use a similar ratio of less sugar and oil by using more natural sweetness and moisture from the fruit’s pulp.

 

Food video coming soon!

I would also like to give a very special thanks to two of my colleagues for helping me create such a fun food video for this recipe (coming soon to the blog). Carolina Builes, creator of Keep it Caro, a successful Youtube channel (worth checking out!) and Diane Smith, food blogger for the deliciously vegan Plantbased Cooking.com.

Whether it is with a crisp hot cider or morning coffee, I hope you enjoy these muffins this gorgeous fall season!

 

Lavender Honey Glazed Apple Muffins

Lavender Honey Glazed Apple Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest and juice of one orange (set aside juice for glaze)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 apples, grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  • Lavender Honey Glaze:
  • 1/3 cup pure honey (maple syrup for vegan)
  • Juice of the orange set aside
  • 2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Set aside a greased (or non-stick) 10-12 count muffin tin.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil and sugar until well combined. Whisk the vanilla extract, zest, and milk until well combined. Whisk in the eggs also until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add in the flour, flaxseed meal, and baking soda and stir to combine. Do not overmix.
  4. Stir in the apples and walnuts.
  5. Pour the muffin batter into the muffin tins and fill to the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Test the center with a clean knife. Once done, turn off the oven and let the muffins cool on the counter.
  6. While the muffins are baking, in a small pot, combine the honey, lavender, and orange juice. Heat the glaze mixture on medium heat and turn down the heat to low once simmering. Continue for 5 minutes then turn off the heat and let cool for 15 minutes to let the lavender steep.
  7. Pour the glaze mixture into a sieve atop a small container to strain the lavender buds. Once the muffins are ready, gently drizzle with the lavender honey glaze.
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Blackberry and Watermelon Caprese

Blackberry and Watermelon Caprese

Summer may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean to skimp on your H2O! Hydrate yourself with this new recipe for a refreshing Blackberry Watermelon Caprese!       Drink Up! No matter the season, adequate hydration is crucial all year round! Who hasn’t […]


My Food Adventures

Healthy Spiced Zucchini Banana Bread

Healthy Spiced Zucchini Banana Bread

Two bread favorites are combined in this healthy treat spiced with hints of cardamom and cinnamon! Try this zucchini banana bread for a great make-ahead breakfast or post-workout snack!

We have all heard it before. When you have leftover ripened bananas make banana bread!  Well, what if you have an excess of both bananas and zucchini in your kitchen? To prevent food waste, I figured the two quick breads favorites could blend nicely together to make a zucchini banana bread. Could this be the new peanut butter and jelly, or rice and beans? Probably not, but I promise you it is delicious as a quick bread!

 

The Freezer is Your Friend

Since 2015, it is estimated that about 40% of food made in America is gone to waste. According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), up to $120 worth of groceries is wasted per an average household of four in the United States.  If you account for all of these households across the nation, that’s billions of dollars in a year. The NRDC suggests freezing your leftovers within 3-4 days and fresh fruits and vegetables that show no signs of mold. Storing extra foods in the freezer can make it easy to forget it’s there. The NRDC recommends to keep your freezer organized and meals easily accessible.What’s more upsetting is that while we continue wasting food, we cannot forget that there are others having trouble accessing food.

zucchini banana bread
Leftover spiralized zucchini? Don’t let it go to waste!

Social Media is Not the Only Beauty Critic

What would you say if I told you that most produce is wasted because it is either deformed or just “ugly”? Sad, right? These produce items are rejected by retailers and most likely end up in a landfill. This leads to the food waste issue which then leads to environmental issues that we are all unfortunately aware of.

The Ugly Fruit and Vegetable Campaign, mentioned in a recent article by Food and Nutrition Magazine encourages consumers and retailers to buy this “ugly” produce. Retailers can sell the produce at a better value which is a win-win given it makes foods more affordable for consumers. We have all heard the saying that beauty is on the inside that counts. Well, this is true for the “ugly” produce. This campaign is trying to encourage customers that the nutrients are truly the same in both aesthetic and deformed food items.

Ugly Produce is Beautiful is another campaign trying to influence consumers and retailers to be less judgmental.  Sarah Phillips, a pioneer in the food industry, creates gorgeous images and recipes to make our society more aware of these easily rejected food items.

Besides these inspiring campaigns, there is even an app called Food For All that delivers leftover food from restaurants for a cheaper cost. College students, rejoice!

 

Zucchini Banana Bread for Breakfast or a Post-Workout Snack!

Whether it is breakfast, dessert, or a snack, this quick bread provides a good source of potassium, fiber, and carbohydrates. To make it more balanced and hunger-fighting, add a protein like one tablespoon of nut butter. Another option? Serve it with a 6oz serving of protein-rich yogurt (or a dairy alternative).  Adding in the recommended protein will benefit those hard-working muscles post exercise.

The zucchini banana bread recipe includes both whole white and whole wheat flour. If you prefer avoiding the white flour altogether, use 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour for the dry ingredients portion. Don’t miss out on the flax seed meal! It adds in beneficial omega 3’s and fiber to make this bread more nutrient dense than other baked goods. Did I mention that this bread only uses 1/3 cup of vegetable oil? Thanks to the nutritious zucchini and banana pulp, this bread is still just as soft as other versions. The warm flavors of cardamom, cinnamon, and allspice will make you forget that this is also refined sugar-free!

I would like to give a very special thanks to my mother-in-law. This recipe was created with her tremendous help and support. Not only is she a beautiful person inside and out she is also an incredible baker!

 

 

Healthy Spiced Zucchini Banana Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Healthy Spiced Zucchini Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole white flour*
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3/4 to 1 cup banana, mashed (about 2 small bananas)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup grated zucchini (about one small zucchini)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional**

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients (not including the walnuts) in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients and then combine with the dry.
  4. Stir in the zucchini and optional toppings, such as the walnuts, dried fruit, etc.
  5. Pour batter into a greased or non-stick loaf pan.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes using a clean knife or toothpick to test if it's done.

Notes

* If you prefer not to use white flour, use 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour for the total flour portion. **Optional toppings: dried fruits, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips

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Kathryn Pfeffer-Scanlan MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian and recent transplant to Boulder, CO. After working as an inpatient dietitian for almost five years in Boston, she is expanding her expertise in the health and wellness industry. Katie is passionate about cooking and food photography, sharing her culinary adventures on her food blog, One Hungry Bunny, and exploring her new Rocky Mountain surroundings. Follow Katie on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


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