Tropical Carrot Cake Muffins

Got a new square muffin tin and decided to create a special new muffin recipe to test it out! These carrot cake muffins take on a tropical twist with the addition of pineapple and coconut. They are super moist, protein packed and can be served for breakfast, as a snack or even for dessert! And as usual, they were made with Kodiak Cakes brand flapjack mix. Enjoy!!

Ingredients: Makes 12 muffins

  • 2 cups Kodiak Cakes Cinnamon Oat flapjack mix
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I use a stevia/brown sugar blend)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple with juice
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 muffin tin with cooking spray or line with papers.
  2. Combine the flapjack mix, brown sugar, milk, oil, egg and spices and mix well.
  3. Mix in the crushed pineapple.
  4. Fold in the carrot, coconut, raisins and walnuts.
  5. Evenly distribute the batter among the wells of your muffin tin. Bake for 18 – 23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let cool before removing muffins from the tin. Store in an airtight container.IMG_9831

Double Dark Chocolate Muffins with Raspberry and Coconut

In case you can’t tell, I’m obsessed with Kodiak Cakes products, especially their flapjack mixes! I use them more for making muffins than I do for pancakes or waffles! What I love about these products is that they are made with whole grains and fortified with added protein. For example, these muffins pack approximately 8-10 grams of protein each*, making them a great grab and go in the morning or the perfect afternoon pick me up! My favorite thing though is their versatility; the mixes serve as a great blank canvas to which you can add and create your own unique muffins. Last week I added pepitas, white chocolate chips and Himalayan sea salt to mimic a cookie I recently fell in love with. This week I added freeze dried raspberries, coconut and dark chocolate chips to mimic a decadent dessert I’ve been dreaming about. Either way, these muffins are healthier than their cookie and cake inspirations while allowing you to indulge and satisfying your cravings. Enjoy and keep me posted if you get crafty in your kitchen with Kodiak!!

Ingredients: Makes 12

  • 2 cups Kodiak Brand Dark Chocolate Flapjack Mix
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup freeze dried raspberries
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • coconut flake for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together the first 7 ingredients; baking mix through chia seeds.
  3. Fold in the mix-ins including the chocolate chips, raspberries and shredded coconut.
  4. Line a 12 muffin tin with papers and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  5. Fill each well 3/4 full and top with a few flakes of coconut.
  6. Bake 18 – 23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

 

Zesty Lemon Chia Pudding

Whether this is a breakfast indulgence or a sweet treat after a savory supper… these overnight chia pudding jars are guaranteed to wow the lemon-lover in your life!

Ingredients: Makes enough to fill 4, 8 oz mason jars

  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I use 0% fat)
  • 5 tbsp chia seeds
  • 4 tbsp real maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • zest and juice from one large lemon
  • chopped nuts (walnuts or sliced almonds work well)
  • unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except the nuts and coconut.
  2. Divide mixture evenly among your mason jars. Seal and let sit overnight in the fridge.
  3. Top with a sprinkling of chopped nuts and coconut flakes before serving. Enjoy!!IMG_9101

Comments:

This is lemon lovers dream come true! My husband describes it as tasting like guiltless Lemon Meringue Pie! You can adjust the intensity of the lemon flavor by increasing or decreasing the amount of zest/juice you add. Take note, the pudding isn’t super sweet; you could also increase sweetness if desired by adding more syrup. Lastly, you could prepare/serve this in any kind of dish if you don’t have access to jars; stemless wine glasses would work or even a simple bowl. Enjoy!!

*Adapted from wholefoodbellies.com

Christmas Toffee (aka Christmas Crack)

I love me some Bark this time of year, but then a friend introduced me to Christmas Crack and that’s all she wrote! So for now, it’s move over Bark… there’s a new holiday treat in town! Enjoy and Season’s Eatings!!

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • 50 saltines
  • 2 sticks salted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup desired topping (sprinkles, chopped nuts, candy pieces etc.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Arrange crackers on the cookie sheet evenly to cover entire surface.
  3. In a small pot melt the butter then add the brown sugar. Stirring frequently, bring to a boil and then simmer for 2 – 3 minutes.
  4. Pour mixture over the crackers making sure all are coated. Use a rubber spatula to spread if needed, although it will naturally spread while baking.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Pop back into the oven for 2 minutes, allowing chips to melt.
  6. Remove and spread chocolate over the toffees crackers with your spatula.
  7. Add toppings and place in the freezer for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  8. Remove, crack into desired bite sized pieces.
  9. Store in an airtight container, preferably in the refrigerator.

Notes:

  • I used white chocolate vs. regular for the Christmas Crack pictured.
  • I also used a mixture of unsweetened shredded coconut and sprinkles as my topping of choice!

*Original recipe adapted from iheartnaptime.net

Sweet Potato Pie Bites

It may be too late to make these for Thanksgiving today, but Christmas is coming, lol!!!

Ingredients: Makes 2 dozen

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 roll of Crescents baking dough
  • 72 mini marshmallows
  • 24 whole pecans

Directions:

  1. Wash, pierce and microwave the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes on high.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the brown sugar, heavy cream, vanilla and salt. Scoop the insides of each sweet potato into the bowl (take care, they may be hot!) and mix well.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Unroll Crescents baking dough on a lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to gently flatten. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 24 small squares.
  5. Lightly grease a 24 mini cupcake pan. Gently press a dough square into each well.
  6. Fill each with approximately 1 tbsp of the sweet potato mixture.
  7. Top each with 3 marshmallows and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, top each with a pecan and bake an additional 3 minutes. Serve warm!

*Original recipe by delish.com 

Spiced Crumb Cake

This… perfect for a stormy Saturday morning! Enjoy.

Ingredients: Makes one large sheet pan cake

  • 1, 10 x 15 disposable sheet pan with 1″ sides
  • cooking spray
  • 1 box of spice cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray your sheet pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together cake mix, eggs, oil and milk. Pour batter into the sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes.
  4. In another bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, spices, salt, butter and vanilla.
  5. Remove cake from the oven and cover with topping using your hands to “crumble” it. Gently press the crumbs into the cake. Take care as the cake will be hot!
  6. Return cake to oven and bake an additional 20 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar once cooled and serve!

Note:

I made two smaller cakes this time around; saving one for our family and sharing one with a friend! I used the same recipe, just divided the batter and crumbs between two smaller pans.

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Sorta Light Pumpkin Muffins

Inevitably, as the weather changes and the air cools, so do my cravings and my habits in the kitchen. Not only do I yearn for soups and stews, roasts and gravies; I also want to bake things! Now I’ve said this before, I am much better at cooking than I am at baking, primarily because I hate to measure. Baking is a science and if you don’t measure properly your muffins/pastries/cakes/cookies simply don’t turn out right! With cooking (you need to measure of course) I feel like there’s a little more wiggle room and the opportunity to go off script. Bottom line; not staying the course when baking can be disastrous if you’re not mindful to the changes/chances you’re taking!

I originally found this recipe for Pumpkin Maple Loaf in Cooking Light magazine and it intrigued me because the author found a way to take a classic fall favorite and lighten it up a bit! But by sheer stubbornness I needed to find a way to make it my own and go off script! First, I decided to make muffins with the batter versus a loaf. Second, I didn’t have access to dark maple syrup or dark brown sugar so I used grade A syrup as well as a brown sugar/stevia blend as substitutes. Lastly, the original recipe called for roasted pepitas to top the loaf; I know it defeats some of the purpose of “cooking light” but, I decided to mix in chopped pecans and white chocolate chips instead! Regardless, these somewhat lightened-up, twist on pumpkin loaf-style muffins are the bomb!! Enjoy:)

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Ingredients: Makes 12 muffins

  • cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar/stevia blend
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with papers and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. Combine buttermilk and oats, let sit 15 minutes.
  3. Whisk together pumpkin, syrup, oil, sugar, extract and eggs and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl mix together flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add the oats and buttermilk to the pumpkin mixture and stir. Then add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and combine.
  6. Gently fold the pecans and chips into the batter.
  7. Divide batter among the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20 – 22 minutes.

*Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, Lighten Up Pumpkin Bread