what’s good around the web + weekly meal plan

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meal plan April 21-25 // the muffin mythI thought I’d try something a little different this week. I spend some time each weekend planning out and packing my meals for the week ahead, and it really helps me to stay on track with healthy eating and manage my time well. For a few Sundays now I’ve been posting my weekly meal plan to Instagram, and I thought it would be good to share it here as well, along with any links to the recipes I’m using. Let me know what you think, and if you like it, I’ll keep it up.

What’s good around the web is a weekly series where I share some of what I’ve been reading around the web. Each week I post links to five nutrition related articles, good recipes, and just general good reads. I hope you enjoy it! If you’ve got at article or recipe you’d like to see featured, please email me.

MM_Web_Icon_FINAL1. Mind over milkshake: how your thoughts fool your stomach. This is craaaaaaazy!

2. Dietary supplements: who needs them? This article made me think a lot. As someone who lives through very dark winters, I don’t agree with the statement on vitamin D supplementation, but I do agree with a lot of what is said.

3. Food for thought. Is Big Food the new tobacco?

4. Have you heard that Walmart is going to start carrying organic food at low prices? Is this a good thing?

5. A love letter to food.

Also, I’ve been using this when I work on my thesis in the mornings, and I’ve been finding it really helps with concentration.

As for this week’s meal plan, I’m going to be making these brown rice sushi bowls with this miso glazed tofu, and the cottage cheese muffins are a riff on this recipe, swapping in chickpea flour instead of soy, and sun-dried tomatoes instead of roasted squash. The rest is a bit of experimental cooking! What’s in your meal plan this week?

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

kale and quinoa salad with smoked feta

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kale and quinoa salad with smoked feta // the muffin myth

When we first moved overseas, nearly four years ago now, every time we flew back to Stockholm from Vancouver I would pack an extra suitcase, filled to the brim with foodstuffs. I’d cram exotic flours, nutritional yeast, hemp seeds, frozen tempeh, maple syrup, and basically anything I could buy at Whole Foods into an often already overweight bag. And Ziploc bags. Always Ziploc bags.

Over the years I found a few specialty stores around Stockholm where I could hunt down some of my must-haves, and on weekends you could find me traipsing across town to procure cocoa nibs, chia seeds, or coconut oil. In the last year, though, some of those things started turning up in my neighbourhood supermarkets. Chia seeds? No problem. Non dairy milk? My store now has oat, soy, almond, hazelnut, rice, and coconut milk. Alternative flours? You name it, they’ve got it.

kale and quinoa salad with smoked feta // the muffin myth

Kale has always been, in my opinion, ridiculously hard to get in Stockholm. It’s funny that a cold weather crop was so evasive in a cold country, but it was previously a specialty item found only at the farmer’s market (which runs-mid August to mid-October) or at Christmas time. But suddenly, kale is everywhere. Now I actually can’t remember the last time there wasn’t kale, both curly AND Tuscan, at every store in my ‘hood.

The food situation has improved so drastically in the last year, that when I made this kale and quinoa salad to take to an early-season barbecue last weekend, my biggest problem wasn’t finding the ingredients, but choosing them. You see, when I read the original recipe and saw that it called for ricotta salata I figured I’d have to make a substitution. But no, I found myself standing in the cheese section with ricotta salata in one hand and smoked feta in the other. After a couple of minutes of crippling indecision I ended up going for the smoked feta, because, I mean, smoked feta, and it is definitely a decision I did not regret.

kale and quinoa salad with smoked feta // the muffin myth

This salad calls for Tuscan kale, also known as Lacinato kale, dinosaur kale, or black kale (svartkål in Swedish), which has a slightly mellower flavour than it’s curly cousin. It’s sliced into whisper-thin ribbons, and after a good toss with a zippy honey Dijon vinaigrette, the kale loses a good amount of it’s bite. Cooked quinoa, crunchy sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, and that salty, smoky feta add some meat to the bones of this salad, as it were.

As leafy greens go, I think that kale is uniquely qualified in the plan ahead / make ahead department. Because the dressed leaves only get more palatable with (a reasonable amount of) time, this salad makes great packed lunches or make ahead dinners, and you can be sure that the kale salad you put together on the weekend will still be perfectly good for your lunch on Wednesday. I can vouch for that.

I probably don’t need to tell you that kale is good for you, but I at least want to share some new to me information. My friend Kellie is a cancer-related health educator and nutrition advisor and if you’re not already familiar with her blog I suggest you check it out. She recently wrote about kale and cruciferous vegetables (and a tasty smoothie recipe to boot!), and I learned from her that cabbages (including kale) are now seen as more effective than tomatoes at preventing most forms of prostate cancer. More on kale (and quinoa) after the recipe, as always.

kale and quinoa salad with smoked feta // the muffin myth

One year ago: Honey Dijon Broccoli Salad
Two years ago: Spicy Squash and Lentil Salad
Three years ago: Kale Chips

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Smoked Feta Recipe:

Print Recipe 

I’m not sure how common an ingredient smoked feta is, but I have a feeling if it’s turning up in Swedish supermarkets it can’t be all that hard to find. You can of course replace it with regular feta or ricotta salata if those are easier to find.

This makes a nice big salad. Will definitely feed a crowd, and it packs well for weekday lunches or plan ahead meals.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
250g Tuscan kale
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
1/3 cup dried cranberries (go for unsweetened if you can find them)
2-3 green onions, finely sliced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
150g smoked feta, crumbled

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp smooth Dijon mustard
1 tsp grainy Dijon mustard
a scant 1 tsp honey
salt and pepper to taste

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Start with cooking the quinoa. Rinse the uncooked quinoa, then place in a small pot with 1.5 cups of water (I like my quinoa a bit on the drier side, especially if it will be tossed with a dressing later). Bring the quinoa to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 15 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Set aside to cool, or if you want it to cool quickly, you can spread the quinoa out on a baking sheet.

While the quinoa is cooking, get the kale ready. Give it a good rinse, then pat dry and de-stem the leaves. You can cut the thick stems out with a sharp knife, or hold the base of the stem in one hand and pull the leaf from it with the other. Stack the de-stemmed leaves on top of one another, and using a very sharp knife, slice them into very thin ribbons.

Place the kale ribbons in a large bowl with the cooled quinoa, sunflower seeds, cranberries, smoked feta, dill, and green onions. In a small bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients for the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad, and give everything a good toss. Let the salad stand for about 10 minutes before serving – a longer stint in the fridge is perfectly fine.

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Kale is a nutritional powerhouse! It is extraordinarily rich in micronutrients, dietary fiber, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, and cancer fighting glucosinolates. Kale is a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese, and contains nearly twice the vitamin K (essential for blood clotting and also an important anti-inflammatory agent) than any other cruciferous vegetable (broccoli, cabbage, etc).  Iron, magnesium, vitamin E, folate, and phosphorous are among the complement of vital minerals found in kale. The dietary fiber in kale is known to reduce blood cholesterol levels.

Quinoa not only has a very high protein content (about 18%), but this super seed also contains a complete set of essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It’s a great source of dietary fiber, phosphorous, and is high in magnesium and iron.

text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

what’s good around the web!

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stockholm spring // the muffin mythThe light is coming back in leaps and bounds. This is one of our favourite spots in the city with such spectacular views. Now that things are warming up we’ll be heading there more and more. Horray for spring!

I didn’t manage to get a recipe posted this week, unfortunately. I’ve got a half written post in my draft folder, and a way less than half written thesis. I’ll be back with a recipe very soon, but in the mean time there are some really good links in this week’s roundup. Enjoy!

What’s good around the web is a weekly series where I share some of what I’ve been reading around the web. Each week I post links to five nutrition related articles, good recipes, and just general good reads. I hope you enjoy it! If you’ve got at article or recipe you’d like to see featured, please email me.

MM_Web_Icon_FINAL1. A new study out of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden (where I’m doing my MSc in Nutrition) suggests that sweetened beverage consumption is linked to the risk of strokes, and it could be dose related.

2. Evaporated cane juice: sugar by any other name.

3. Legumes are nature’s cholesterol busters. Yay!

4. Magnesium and bone health.

5. Picky eater? Perhaps a super taster.

We’re eating down the freezer at the moment. The last of a batch of this red lentil and brown rice soup is for dinner, and whole wheat chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

what’s good around the web!

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fun in rome // the muffin myth

Another shot from our weekend in Rome. I have no idea what’s going on in this sign, but I like it a lot.

What’s good around the web is a weekly series where I share some of what I’ve been reading around the web. Each week I post links to five nutrition related articles, good recipes, and just general good reads. I hope you enjoy it! If you’ve got at article or recipe you’d like to see featured, please email me.

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1. Have you heard the news? Fruit and veg consumption can save your life! And 7 is the new 5. Eat your veg!

2. Why keeping weight off, not losing it, is the real success story.

3. Another win for nuts: almonds, and their skins, show prebiotic potential.

4. The top 5 things you should know about the new nutrition labels.

5. Fad diets work. But not why you think. 

And, and oldie but a goodie from The Muffin Myth archives. I whipped up a batch of these apple butter oat bars this afternoon after a freezer clean out (cooked old apple sauce down to apple butter). Still as good now as it was then!

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

grapefruit and avocado salad

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grapefruit and avocado salad

Sometimes simple is best. This is a lesson I learn over and over, both in life and in the kitchen. There were so many good reminders that simple = good on our recent weekend in Rome; if you put a just a few good-quality ingredients together, magic happens.

A few weeks back when I posted this grapefruit and fennel salad, many of you expressed interest in adding avocado. I advised against it (a texture thing) (but maybe some of you tried it anyways since I’m not the boss of you – how’d it turn out?) and mentioned this other grapefruit salad that features avocado. This is that salad.

grapefruit and avocado salad // the muffin myth

It doesn’t get much more simple than this: a plate of grapefruit and avocado, sprinkled with chili peppers, drizzled with grapefruit juice and really good olive oil, and finished with a few bright sprigs of cilantro. The most tedious part of putting this together is segmenting the grapefruit, which, with a good sharp knife, should take you no more than a couple of minutes.

grapefruit and avocado salad // the muffin myth

If there’s one thing instagram tells me, it’s that the people are into avocados! For a time they were shunned for their high fat content, but with the current (and sensible) popularity of healthy fats, avocados are in vogue in a big way. And so they should be. Although about 85% of the calories in an avocado come from fat, about half of that fat comes in the form of oleic acid, which is similar to the fat in olive oil, and has been shown to lower our risk of heart disease.

grapefruit and avocado salad // the muffin myth

And guess what else? Oleic acid helps our digestive tract form transport molecules that increase our absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like carotenoids. Do you know what avocados are jammed full of? Carotenoids! Even better, this increased absorption isn’t limited to the avocado’s own carotenoids. Recent research has shown that absorption of two important carotenoid antioxidants – lycopene and beta-carotene – increases significantly (like, 200-400% significantly) when avocado is added to a salad. Know what that ruby red grapefruit is rich in? Lycopene!!!

What did I tell ya? A putting few quality ingredients together = magic.

grapefruit and avocado salad // the muffin myth

One year ago: Raw Chocolate Pudding (also featuring avocados!)
Two years ago: Pesto Penne with Edamame 
Three years ago: Cranberry Spelt Streusel Cake

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad Recipe:

Print Recipe 

This salad isn’t the kind of thing you should make in advance, but since it really does come together in just a handful of minutes, it definitely belongs in the ‘quick and easy’ department. If you want to, you could segment the grapefruit and dice the chili ahead of time so that when it’s time to eat it’s simply a matter of slicing up the avocado and putting everything on a plate.

Serves 1, generously, or 2, fairly. Adapted ever so slightly from River Cottage Veg.

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1 ruby red grapefruit
1 ripe avocado
½ a red chili (or to taste), deseeded and finely diced
olive oil (use the best you have)
salt and pepper
a few sprigs of fresh cilantro

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Start by peeling and segmenting the grapefruit. If you’re not familiar with this technique, there is a good tutorial here. Work over a bowl as you’re cutting the segments so that you capture all of the grapefruit juices. You can just drop the segments into the bowl while you’re working and fish them out later. When you’ve separated all of the segments from the membrane, give the membrane a good squeeze to get all the rest of the juice out.

Deseed and finely dice the chili. Pluck a few sprigs out of a bunch of cilantro.

Lastly, peel the avocado* and then slice lengthwise into thin strips.

Arrange the avocado slices and grapefruit segments onto one or two plates. Sprinkle with the diced chili, and a little salt and pepper. Spoon some of the reserved grapefruit juice overtop, followed by a healthy glug of good olive oil. Lastly, garnish with the cilantro sprigs. Serve immediately.

*Cut the avocado in half, twist to separate the two halves, and whack the pit with the sharp side of a knife. you can twist the knife to loosen the pit and pull it out. Now nick the skin at the pointy tip with a sharp knife. Use your fingers to peel the skin off as if you were peeling like a banana. This technique is important because the greatest carotenoid concentrations are shown to be in the darker green flesh right next to the skin. We don’t want to lose this layer by cutting the skin off with a knife.

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Grapefruit, one of the giants of the citrus family, is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is also a great source of carotenoids; a pre-curser to vitamin A. Dietary fiber, potassium, and vitamin B1 round out this nutritional powerhouse. Ruby red and pink grapefruits also contain lycopene (good for your prostates, fellas!). Grapefruits also contain pectin, which is a form of soluble fiber that has been shown to slow down the development of atherosclerosis and reduce blood levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Avocados are an extremely fatty fruit! Around 85% of the calories in an avocado come  from fat, which is about 20 x higher than most fruit. However, about 65% of this fat is healthy monounsaturated fat, in particular oleic acid. Avocados also contain an incredible range of phytonutrients, and many vitamins and minerals. Avocados are a good source of vitamin K, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, and potassium – more potassium than a banana even!

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

what’s good around the web!

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rome colosseum // the muffin myth

One of the snapshots from my weekend in Rome last weekend. What a glorious sight! It was a great weekend with amazing food. Did you follow along on instagram?

What’s good around the web is a weekly series where I share some of what I’ve been reading around the web. Each week I post links to five nutrition related articles, good recipes, and just general good reads. I hope you enjoy it! If you’ve got at article or recipe you’d like to see featured, please email me.

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1. Weight gain at menopause. Is it inevitable?

2. Costco is set to dump $2.6 million worth of peanut butter into a New Mexico landfill. WTF?!

3. Butter is back!!!

4. Sodabriety. The secret to cutting sugary drink use by teens found in study.

5. Can you afford a healthy diet?

Also, how good does this whole grain cinnamon swirl bread look?

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

miso veggie soup in a jar

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DIY jar soup // the muffin myth

I spend a chunk of my Sunday planning and packing breakfasts and lunches for the week. It isn’t a chore I enjoy, but it’s never a chore I regret having done. When I’m done, our fridge and freezer is filled with convenience food, my way – meals that are ready to grab and throw into our packs, or ready for quick reheating on a night when I get home from work so tired I’d otherwise have the energy only for crackers for dinner.

DIY jar soup // the muffin myth

This little jar of soup is the latest in my arsenal of convenience foods. The idea is simple: a heaping spoonful of salty miso paste, some aromatics to flavour the broth, vegetables, sliced thinly enough to be softened by kettle-boiled water, and some cubes of tofu are layered into a heat-proof jar. All you’ve got to do when you want a hot, nourishing vegetable soup is boil the kettle, fill the jar, and wait about 10 minutes. Seriously, it’s that easy.

DIY jar soup // the muffin myth

I’ve been having a lot of these jar-soups lately, and they’ve totally been feeding my soul.

The other day I got home from work late, freezing cold, feeling a little under the weather, and crackers-for-dinner hungry. I simply filled the kettle and boom! Ten minutes later, hot vegetable soup. It’s just as fast and easy as those salt-laden styrofoam cup-a-soups, but with the benefit of being sooooo much more nutritious, and I tell ya, infinitely more delicious. And when I realized I was still hungry and wanted another jar of soup, I had the veggies torn, sliced, shredded, and stuffed into the jar before the kettle had started screaming. That, friends, is awfully convenient.

DIY jar soup // the muffin myth

A little army of jar-soups could be made in advance and would last the week in your fridge. Got a sick friend? Take them a bunch of jar-soups. Know a new mom? Jar-soups! Like having soup for lunch but worry about it sloshing about in your bag*? Does your office have a kettle**? Problem solved!

DIY jar soup // the muffin myth

*There are two ways I transport soup to work (and I commute on a bike, so they get tossed in my backpack which gets bashed around a fair bit). The easiest way is if you’ve got soup frozen in individual servings (I freeze mine in empty cottage cheese containers which hold 500ml). You don’t have to worry about spillage, and the soup should be close to defrosted by the time lunch rolls around. Otherwise, a jar with a lid screwed on tightly contained within a well-knotted plastic bag should do the trick.

**No kettle? Fill with water and microwave the jar (without the lid on!) until the water is hot. Now screw on the lid and let sit for about 5 min to soften up the veg.

DIY jar soup // the muffin myth

One year ago: Moroccan Carrot and Chickpea Salad and Curried Devilled Eggs
Two years ago: Date Almond Smoothie and Orange Earl Grey Muffins
Three years ago: A little link list (this is back when I was finishing my BSc in nutrition. Good times!)

Miso veggie soup in a jar recipe:

Print Recipe

Like so many recipes, this jar-soup is a choose-your-own-adventure situation. Although not pictured here, I’ve often started with a layer of soba noodles in the bottom, and I think that a nest of thin, quick-cooking egg noodles would work well also. Not into miso? Use half of a good-quality bullion cube instead. Choose vegetables that you like, and slice them as thinly as possible.

Serves 1, but I encourage you to make multiples and stash them, with a lid screwed on, in the fridge, where they will last several days.

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1 500ml heatproof jar, with lid
1 heaping teaspoon of miso pasted (I used barley miso here)
½ a clove of garlic, grated
1 tsp freshly grated ginger (I keep my ginger in the freezer for easier grating)
½ a carrot, shredded or julienned
a couple of handfuls of spinach, or other green, torn or shredded
1 green onion, thinly sliced
½ (or to taste) of a hot red pepper, thinly sliced
a few slices of sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
a wedge of lime
soy sauce, to taste (I use Braggs liquid aminos)

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Layer everything into the jar, except for the lime and soy sauce, starting with the miso, ginger, garlic, and hot pepper, and ending with the veggies and tofu. You can simply screw on the lid and stash in the fridge at this point. When you’re ready for soup, boil the kettle. Fill the jar to the top with boiling water and screw on the lid. Wait 10 minutes, then remove the lid and give the soup a good stir. Season with soy sauce and a squeeze of lime juice, and serve. You can transfer the soup into a bowl, or simply eat straight out of the jar.

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Miso, fermented soybean paste, is a good source of manganese, vitamin K, protein, dietary fiber, copper, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc. Additionally, miso is a good source of phytonutrient antioxidants, which are related to it’s fermentation. Try to source out organic miso if you can, since miso is made from soybeans, and most non-organic soybeans are genetically modified.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

what’s good around the web!

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statue

We’ve had such beautiful weather lately (although there is snow in the forecast for the coming week). People have clearly been outside enjoying themselves. I love the shower cap addition to this statue near our apartment.

What’s good around the web is a weekly series where I share some of what I’ve been reading around the web. Each week I post links to five nutrition related articles, good recipes, and just general good reads. I hope you enjoy it! If you’ve got at article or recipe you’d like to see featured, please email me.

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1. A promising new study found that vitamin E may halt Alzheimer’s disease.

 

2. A hard look at the relationship between antibiotics and obesity.

3. How pesticides harm the young brain.

4. Some not so sweet facts about the sugar in our food.

5. Check out Brazil’s new dietary guidelines: Cook and eat whole foods, be wary of ads. Smart stuff.

Also: homemade coconut milk!

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

fudgy adzuki bean brownies

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adzuki bean brownies // the muffin myth

One time while I was at a party that I had made most of the food for, including a few chocolate cakes (this cake, to be specific), a girl came up to me and asked if there was sugar in the cakes. I told her of course there was sugar in the cakes. They’re cakes! Chocolate cakes! She gave me the most bewildered look. It was as if she couldn’t possibly comprehend the words that had just come out of my mouth. Finally she spoke, “but I thought you were a nutritionist?!”

I think there are a few schools of thoughts when it comes to treats.

The first, is that treats should be treats and one should enjoy the ‘real’ thing from time to time in all it’s refined sugared and saturated fatted glory. The second, that we can make some small modifications to our treats in order to make them slightly more ‘healthy’ – subbing in a natural sweetener or a whole grain flour perhaps, yet still enjoying these things more or less in moderation. Then there are those who are in the these-cookies-are-whole-wheat-so-it’s-cool-to-go-gangbusters or this-cheesecake-is-raw-and-organic-so-I’munna-demolish-that-sucker camp.

(this, by the way, is a favourite topic of debate between my beloved sister-in-law and I)

adzuki bean brownies // the muffin myth

I mostly tend to favour the first camp. Treats should be treats, and I’m going to indulge occasionally (like most weekends) in something I really enjoy. I do also frequently visit the second camp. I’ll use pretty much any whole grain flour in any recipe, and I’m always up for an adventure with a natural sweetener so long as it meets my criteria for being ‘real’ and ‘good’. It should also be noted that what I consider to be a treat has really evolved over the years. However, I am a chronic and unapologetic eye-roller at the last school of thought.

(You’ll noticed I haven’t addressed artificially sweetened or low-fat treats. That’s because I don’t consider them to be in the ‘real’ or ‘good’ food categories.)

And so here we are, with brownies made from beans. Brownies made from funny little adzuki beans, and sweetened with nothing but a handful of soft, caramelly Medjool dates. Brownies that had me reaching for the pan again and again for just one more slice, not because I was throwing caution to the wind since they’re made from beans and dates, but because, you guys, these brownies are the BOMB!

adzuki bean brownies // the muffin myth

These brownies are everything a brownie should be. They’re dense and fudgy. They’re deeply and darkly chocolately. They’re soul-satisfyingly good. And I hope that since we’ve known each other for a while now, you believe that I wouldn’t be pushing some socks-and-Birkenstocks hippy food on you unless it was genuinely really really tasty. Trust me. You want these.

But before you go eating the entire pan, let’s talk about nutrition. Yes, these are grain free. Yes, these are naturally sweetened (aside from a smattering of very dark chocolate sprinkled over the top). No, you shouldn’t eat the entire pan.

nutrition facts bean brownies // the muffin myth

Medjool dates are wonderful things. They truly are nature’s candy. They’re sweet and caramelly, and they are jam packed with sugar. 100g of Medjool dates (about 4 pitted) contains roughly 265 calories, 75g carbohydrates, 2g protein, and only traces of fat. Of that 75g carbohydrates, about 90% is sugar, which is mostly in the form of glucose and fructose. This means that of those 265 calories, about 240 come from sugar. So when we’re baking with dates and saying ‘this recipe has no sugar!’ what we’re really saying is ‘this recipe has no REFINED sugar!’.

But don’t let the calories stop you from eating dates! They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber (about 7g in that 100g serving), and dates are especially rich in soluble fiber, which is the kind that helps maintain healthy blood cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels. Plus dates are rich in a host of different vitamins and minerals (more info after the recipe), so eat ‘em up! In moderation.

I ran this recipe through a nutrition calculator for those who are curious. The above nutrition label is for 12 servings, which is what I sliced my brownies into. So you can see they’re pretty good – good enough to not feel guilty about reaching into the pan for just one more brownie. But I’d keep it at that. To me, these are in that second camp; made from beans, naturally sweetened, and definitely a treat to enjoy in moderation, albeit in relaxed moderation.

I do hope you enjoy them as much as I did! Now go make some brownies!

adzuki bean brownies // the muffin myth

One year ago: Cauliflower Pea Soup with Mint and Lemon
Two years ago: Cottage Cheese Muffins and Chocolate Raspberry Torte
Three years ago: No (refined) Sugar Chocolate Coconut Granola 

Fudgy Adzuki Bean Brownies Recipe:

Print Recipe

The credit for this recipe goes to my friend Kellie, and if you aren’t already following her blog you definitely should be. I’ve modified her version just slightly, moving from a sugar / date combination to all dates, and eschewing the nut butter she uses for extra olive oil. Kellie has also tried and tested a vegan version using chia eggs.

Little brown adzuki beans are slightly on the sweet side, making them a great choice for this recipe. If you can’t find them or don’t have them on hand, you can substitute the same amount of black beans, another popular choice for grain-free brownies. I bring the entire thing together in my trusty food processor, which makes this recipe one bowl and easy as can be. A small amount of chopped dark chocolate scattered over the top isn’t necessary, but is totally delicious.

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1 1/4 cup cooked adzuki beans
100g pitted Medjool dates
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4Tbsp coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
2 eggs
40g (4 squares) 85% chocolate, roughly chopped

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Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350°F. Line a 8×8 or 8×9 baking pan with parchment paper, or grease well.

In the bowl of a food processor combine the pitted dates and adzuki beans. Pulse until they’re broken up and well combined. Add the vanilla, cocoa, oil, and eggs, and run the food processor until the batter is very smooth. Don’t be surprised by how liquidy it is.

Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan, and then scatter the chopped chocolate over the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are set but the middle is still just very slightly jiggly. You can bake them a bit less for fudgier brownies if you like. Remove from the oven and cool for about 10 minutes before you cut into them.

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Adzuki Beans are a good source of folate, dietary fiber, protein, phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and vitamin K.

Dates are a great source of natural sweetness. They are calorie dense, but also rich in antioxidant polyphenols, dietary fiber, potassium, copper, and manganese.

 All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

what’s good around the web!

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stockholm not dark // the muffin myth

We’re officially out of the circle of darkness! Whooohoo! I love biking home in the not-totally-dark these days. Also, even after almost four years it still gets me that I bike past a royal palace (albeit a totally ugly one) on my way to and from work.

What’s good around the web is a weekly series where I share some of what I’ve been reading around the web. Each week I post links to five nutrition related articles, good recipes, and just general good reads. I hope you enjoy it! If you’ve got at article or recipe you’d like to see featured, please email me.

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1. Our foods, our moods.

2. Are you getting enough of these diabetes preventing foods in your diet?

3. The WHO says we should cut our sugar intake to less than a can of coke per day. Cool. But please don’t accomplish that by switching to artificial sweeteners – as regular readers know, that’s the topic of my thesis work, and what I’m uncovering is crazy.

4. But this study (funded by Coke, so take with a grain of salt) says that fructose isn’t the problem.

5. Why the energy balance equation leads to flawed approaches in obesity management and treatment.

And in the world of veggie burgers that are turning out much better than mine did, check out Kellie’s Provencal Lentil and Quinoa Burgers.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014

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