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Cornmeal Pumpkin Anytime Muffins ( No Added Sugar or Butter!)

Cornmeal Pumpkin Muffins

I know, I know the last couple of recipes have been very indulgent. Creamy chocolate pudding and Dahi- Vada. What can I say, I really love them.

Cheese, whole milk, elaborate process, whisking. This recipe is an exact antidote to that.

One pot prep. Healthy. No added sugar. And Varun approved to boot.

Cornmeal, pumpkin and applesauce come together in these muffins to create a naturally sweetened muffin which is great for breakfast with eggs ( or just coffee), after school snack or with chili for dinner.

It has fiber, good carbs and protein.

And did I say no oil, sugar or butter.

They freeze well in an airtight container and are perfect to be made on weekend when your toddler naps or when he wants to help in the kitchen and you are ok with a little mess.

Microwave when needed for a minute for a healthy snack with a pat of peanut butter or as is.

Cornmeal Pumpkin Muffins

Cornmeal Pumpkin Muffins Recipe

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons sugar for dusting on top (optional, incase you need things to be a little sweet)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons chopped almonds, walnuts for crunchy topping.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper cups.

2. In the meantime, mix all the dry ingredients ( cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) in a large bowl or a stand mixer.

Dump pumpkin puree, applesauce and egg in the same bowl.

Mix well for couple of minutes ( by hand) or a minute, if using a mixer on low-speed.

3. Scoop the mixture in paper cups.

Dust with sugar. Sprinkle chopped nuts.

4. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes till a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Enjoy warm or frezee for later.

Pear Ginger Smoothie

Pear and Ginger Smoothie

I am on a smoothie kick these days. Mostly because they are so easy to make.

Once I have fruits and veggies on hand, it’s just mix and match and then whirl in my Magic bullet. Single container. Easy cleanup. Tasty. And filling.

I learnt recently that home-made smoothies are healthier than juicing as we retain the fiber in the smoothie v/s discarding the pulp. The fiber makes them filling and low glycemic index.

I mean seriously whats not to love.

I saw pear and ginger combination on Pinterest recently. Had it on hand and this came about.

If a recipe can be so-called, then here it is.

P.S. If you are looking for more smoothie inspiration, just check out Pinterest Smoothies board. There are tips and tricks, combinations and beautiful photos.

Pear and Ginger Smoothie

Pear Ginger Smoothie Recipe

  • 1/2 red pear , washed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, chilled
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, washed and chopped
  • 1/2″  knob of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped

1. Swirl everything in the blender till well mixed.

Serve immediately.

Are you on a smoothie kick? Which flavors are your all time favorites???

Savory Cornmeal Pancakes

Savory Cornmeal Pancakes

I am craving spicy food these days.

Pohe (flaked rice), spicy fish curry, chicken wings with hot sauce, spicy soups, curries and dal. The list is endless. Thanks to mom being here and her cooking; its easier to indulge in the spicier palate.

Yesterday, we made these cornmeal pancakes for breakfast. After routine of eggs, toast and oatmeal; they were a refreshing change.

Savory Cornmeal Pancakes

The pancakes themselves were not too spicy ( though you can kick up heat a notch if you will easily with more green chilli peppers) but with homemade pickle it sure did hit the right note. I suppose some garlic chutney would go well with it too.

I wanted to add grated zucchini or cucumber to them but we didn’t have any on hand so made them plain. This looks like a good vehicle to sneak in some veggies. I made a couple of small-sized ones for Varun. He ate the bits without cilantro so next time I will chop them super fine so he gets in his veggies for the day.

Savory Cornmeal Pancakes

Savory Cornmeal Pancakes Recipe

  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 – 2 spring onions finely diced
  • 1 green chilli pepper finely diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro finely chopped
  • 1  tablespoon oil

1. In a large bowl, mix  cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside

2. In another bowl, beat the egg with milk. Add yogurt and beat well so there are no lumps.

3. Add the milk-yogurt mixture to the flour mix. Add ginger, garlic, chilli pepper and cilantro. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside for 10 – 15 minutes.

4. Heat oil in a non stick girdle. Ladle 1/4 cup of the mixture on to the girdle when hot. Cook on each side for a couple of minutes till golden brown.

Serve warm with sour cream, pickle or yogurt.

Green Smoothie with Kale and Peaches

Kale and Peaches smoothie

A semi seasonal combination, Kale and Peach smoothie is truly my go to second breakfast combination these days.

As part of the move, we found our Magic Bullet. I love it for its one container usage – prep/make and drink from same container makes it prefect for on the go food recipes, not to mention one less container to wash. So we have begun making smoothies. They are great way to incorporate greens, veggies and fruits.

A Vitamix would make it even smoother and kid friendly (green leafy bits would be blended real fine) but this works for us for now.If we do find ourselves drinking a lot of smoothies consistently then we will consider an upgrade but so far I am a fan of the magic bullet.

Without ado, here is my ginger spiked green smoothie recipe.

Kale and Peaches smoothie

Green Smoothie with Kale and Peaches Recipe

  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen peach slices coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • 4-5 Kale leaves ( Washed and coarsely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

1. Start layering the coconut milk, frozen fruits, kale and ginger in the magic bullet container. Screw on the blades and give it a whirl till its all blended and smooth.

Divide into 2 small glasses or one tall one.

Serve immediately.

Smoked Salmon and Spinach Omelette

Smoked Salmon and Spinach Omelette

Yay, we have moved into our apartment. And its a big old mess here.

Boxes, books, clothes, toiletries, toys seem to be all mingled and on top of each other.

The only one place that is sorted out is the kitchen. Last night we made a trip to Whole Foods to replenish the food supplies. We were the grumpy and hungry parents with a whiny 3-year-old in tow. With supplies back in the kitchen, now we are back in business.

Smoked Salmon and Spinach Omelette

Today, Vipul had a smoked Salmon and Spinach Omelette. Still diet food but all gussied up with Smoked Alaskan Salmon.

A combination that we normally have when we eat out or when we visit Poonam.

Simple recipe that goes well with the Olive bread from Whole Foods smeared with fresh avocados. Give it a try with fresh eggs and home-grown spinach – if possible. The flavors party in your mouth. No kidding.

I could probably have it again for dinner. Yipee for cooking in your own kitchen and for breakfasts for dinners!

Smoked Salmon and Spinach Omelette

Smoked Salmon and Spinach Omlette Recipe

Serves 2

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves chopped into ribbons
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Smoked Salmon peices
  • 1 teaspoon oil or bacon fat

1. Beat the eggs with salt and pepper and spinal till pale yellow and fluffy.

2. Heat oil in a skillet. Whip the eggs once while the oil heats up. When hot, pour half of the eggs mixture in the skillet. Once the eggs are set on the bottom, gentle loosen the sides and flip the omelette. Layer the smoked salmon pieces. Cook for another minute or so. Fold in half and slide on a plate.

Serve warm with  toasted bread. avocados, roasted tomatoes and coffee.

Overnight Oats With Blood Orange and Almonds

Overnight Oats with Blood Orange and Almonds

Thanks everyone for reading the rather long post on Real Food Matters. I know it was long but I wanted to write it up so when we fall off the wagon or are tempted by unprocessed foods, I could go back to it and remember why we are doing this in the first place.

Appreciate all your likes and comments on Facebook!

One of the first things to get your day’s diet on track is to have a healthy filling breakfast. But for most of us to prepare breakfast in the morning rush is hard. Plus if you have to balance all food groups including vegetables then it gets trickier.  Also, some of us don’t have time to wait for porridges, omelets etc to cool down before we can sit down and eat.

It becomes easy to resort to coffee and a bagel routine. And while at that coffee shop, donuts and other pastries always tempt me. I see past the whole grain wraps and pick myself a sweet treat.

Overnight Oats with Blood Orange and Almonds

But a little effort previous evening pays off. Not just in saved $$ but in a healthier meal. And you let the refrigerator do all the work while you sleep. By the time you wake up and have your coffee, you have a creamy porridge ready.

Boiled eggs, overnight oats and low sodium V8 is a colorful, healthy start to the day.

It can be made in individual servings making things even easier or stored in a to go container to eat on the go. I read online about folks who make it for the entire week with different toppings (peaches, berries, stewed apples, nuts, granola etc) and you are set.

Give it a try next week for an easy – breezy healthy wholesome breakfast!

Overnight Oats with Blood Orange and Almonds

Note:

1. Don’t use the instant oats for this, they will turn into a mush which I am not a fan off. While nutritionally the same, instant oats have higher glycemic index as they break down and are digested faster compared to the thicker rolled or steel-cut oats.

2. Adjust the sweetener based on fruits that you are using. Go light if the fruit is sweet or stewed – like apples.

Overnight Oats Recipe

  • 1 cup whole rolled or steel-cut oats ( not the instant kind)
  • 1 1/2  cups water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 banana mashed or 1 tablespoon dark Grade A maple syrup (optional sweetener)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped nuts ( walnuts, almonds , pecans based on what you have on hand)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fruit ( based on what you have on hand)
  • Nuts and Fruit – For Garnish

1. Wash the oats in water and then mix all the ingredients listed above other than garnish.

2. Put them in individual bowls. Keep it in the refrigerator overnight.

3. Top with nuts and fruits.

Serve as is.

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