NATIONAL FIG WEEK

TL NOVEMBER 1-7 IS NATIONAL FIG WEEK

This week we are celebrating the FANTASTIC FIG!

Here’s an interesting FIG FACT…  Many believe it was figs that were actually the fruit in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, not apples.  That makes sense in my mind – after all, it wasn’t apple tree leaves they used to…  um…  “cover” themselves – was it???

Plain bran muffins can be a bit dry, but these are moist and delicious because there are figs in them!

FIG BRAN MUFFINS

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/4 C. All-Bran original cereal

1 1/4 C. whole wheat flour

2 Tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

2/3 C. packed Splenda brown sugar

3 Tbs. MILD molasses

1 Tsp. vanilla extract

6 Tbs. unsalted butter (3/4 stick), melted and cooled

1 3/4 C. plain whole-milk yogurt

1 C. dried figs, stemmed and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces

DIRECTIONS:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray standard-sized muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Process half of bran cereal in food processor until finely ground, about 1 minute. Whisk flours, baking soda, and salt in large bowl to combine; set aside. Whisk egg and yolk together in medium bowl until well-combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add sugar, molasses, and vanilla; whisk until mixture is thick, about 30 seconds. Add melted butter and whisk to combine; add yogurt and whisk to combine. Stir in processed cereal and unprocessed cereal; let mixture sit until cereal is evenly moistened (there will still be some small lumps), about 5 minutes.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently mix with rubber spatula until batter is combined and evenly moistened. Do not over mix. Gently fold figs into batter. Using 1/3-cup measure or ice cream scoop, divide batter evenly among muffin cups, dropping batter to form mounds. Do not level or flatten surfaces 
of mounds.

Bake until muffins are dark golden and toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out with a few crumbs attached, 16 to 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Grab a cup of coffee and a hot muffin for breakfast.  Sounds good, doesn’t it?  🙂

IRON SHARPENS IRON

IRON SHARPENS IRON (2)

I was with a group of women recently and the discussion came around to ways to streamline your routine and get to work on time.  The big issue seemed to be breakfast in the morning.  Everyone agreed that it just takes too long and that’s when Sylvia shared the best suggestion.

How about a fix-ahead breakfast that you just reheat in the microwave?  Here ya go!

Banana-Nut Oatmeal

Makes 8 servings

2 cups steel-cut oats

1/2 tsp. salt

3 large very ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

8 12-oz. Ball canning jars with metal rings and lids

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

  • To prepare:  In a medium pot, combine oats, 5 cups water and salt; bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cover.  Cook 10 minutes (oatmeal will be very watery).  Remove from heat; stir in bananas, Splenda brown and lemon juice.  Distribute oatmeal evenly among glass jars; screw on lids.  Cool on countertop and refrigerate overnight.
  • To serve:  Remove metal rings and lids.  For each jar, stir in 1 Tbs. milk, 1 Tbs chopped nuts and, if desired, additional Splenda brown sugar.  Reheat in microwave for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, until hot.  Let stand 1 minute.  Carefully remove, stir and garnish with sliced bananas, if desired.

Per serving:  266 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 8 g pro, 47 g carb, 6 g fiber, 165 mg sodium, 1 mg chol

You may see the number of carbs in this and decide it’s too high, but it happens that the one who suggested this is a diabetic nutritionist.  She explains the health benefits like this:

Because of its soluble fiber content, adding a banana to your daily oatmeal can also help lower your risk of developing diabetes. When you consume a carbohydrate-rich meal, your blood glucose tends to rise quickly, stimulating your pancreas to release insulin rapidly. Adding food high in soluble fiber, however, can slow absorption of sugar from your food, producing a more gradual increase in blood glucose and lessening the demand for insulin.

She said this breakfast has saved her family an average of about 5 minutes, and that means you don’t have to go over the speed limit while driving to work.  It’s also a healthy, hot breakfast on these chilly mornings for the kids (and for you).  It gets everyone started on the right foot.

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What a great idea to prepare these on the weekend and serve during the week!  🙂

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (13)

http://beaninstitute.com/recipes/bean-reference-chart/

There are so many varieties of beans…  yes, BEANS!

Maybe it’s the rainy weather we’ve had in Wichita lately, but it’s made me want to dig out my soup recipes and start using my slow cooker.

I wonder why Navy beans have that name.  As I understand it, they have this name because they were served to sailors at sea so often.  They are small and are so compatible in most recipes.  Since it is such a “flexible” bean, it is often used by commercial baked bean manufacturers.

Navy beans are an inexpensive ingredient that provide much-needed fiber and nutrients for those of us interested in eating a healthy diet.

Just 1/2 cup serving of Navy beans pack a huge nutritional punch!  They have a mere 130 calories with 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber!  They also contain 128 mcg Folate, 2 mg Iron and 64 mg Calcium.  My favorite part is that they have less than 1% fat content and 1 mg of sodium!

Women who are getting older (I’m raising my hand) should eat foods rich in calcium and essential vitamins and minerals while limiting fat intake.  Navy beans fit the bill perfectly.

Does anyone else need to smile today???  Watch this – it’s too cute!

Even though it would be easier to open a can of manufactured baked beans, it’s better to make your own dishes with raw ingredients so you know how much sugar and fat is in it.  When I make homemade baked beans it is with sugar substitute which cuts the calories and carbohydrates in half.  Have you read the label on a can of baked beans lately?  Read one the next time you go to the grocery store – it’s a real eye-opener! 

I want to share a recipe I look forward to making this autumn:

Smoky Navy Bean Soup (slow cooker recipe)

Makes 8 servings

1 pound Navy beans, soaked overnight

2 cups, chopped smoked ham, about 8 ounces

1 large onion, chopped

3 ribs celery, thinly sliced

3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 can Rotel tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 bag (5 oz) baby spinach

  • Coat slow cooker bowl with Pam (or use a slow cooker liner)
  • Drain beans and add to slow cooker bowl.  Stir in 6 cups water, ham, onion, celery, carrots, tomatoes and thyme.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 10 hours.
  • Remove 2 cups of the soup, purée (you can use a boat motor) then return to slow cooker.  Add salt and pepper; gradually add spinach and stir until wilted.

A little note – the first time I made this, I thought I’d just put my boat motor in the slow cooker to purée’ instead of taking 2 cups of soup out to purée.  That didn’t work well at all because my slow cooker liner got chopped into pieces along with the soup!  So, don’t do that!  Ladle the soup out of the slow cooker and put it in a separate bowl before you purée it.  LOL!!!

I hope this becomes one of your family favorites this autumn.  It’s economical and so very good and good for you!  Wink!  😉

NATIONAL DATE NUT BREAD DAY

TL 12-22 NATIONAL DATE NUT BREAD DAY

 

12-22 WHEN YOU CLOSE YOUR EYES

From the title, you may think we’re going to talk about dating nutty people, but no – that’s not what this is about.  LOL!!!

It’s NATIONAL DATE NUT BREAD DAY!!!   Doesn’t quick bread sound like a good snack to bake up and take to work or give to a neighbor?  Baked goods are a wonderful last-minute gift to give.

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Here’s a great recipe for diabetics – it’s only 4 ingredients (one of them is coffee – yay), easy and inexpensive to make!

Here’s another recipe that looks very good:

Dates do have natural sugars, but are rich in dietary fiber, which prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut.

I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.  – Harlan Miller

Nuts are also rich in fiber as well as healthy fats.  There are about 90 calories in a slice of Date Nut Bread, so it’s best to fight the temptation to eat the whole loaf in one day.

 For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas.  Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home.   – W.J. Ronald Tucker

May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love.
– Author Unknown

I wonder if this recipe would be better if we used Splenda in place of sugar – but it also has shortening in it – so…  hmm.  So much for healthy alternatives.  We don’t use shortening in our family.  The finished bread sure does look good though.

Well, I hope you can find a recipe that you like in this collection.  You might want to try more than one of them.  Date Nut Bread is one of the favorites in our family not only because of the health benefits, but because it reminds us of Christmases past.  What is it about food and holidays?  I don’t know – but I sure do like it!  😀

When the Christmas Baby Cries:

If you are looking for a perfect Christmas gift, may I suggest a new devotional book by Lucinda Berry Hill?  Everyone needs a new devotional book to begin the new year!

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Click on the link below to order your copy!

http://bookstore.westbowpress.com/Products/SKU-000952694/A-Second-Cup-with-Jesus.aspx 

INTERNATIONAL EAT AN APPLE DAY

TL 9-20 INTERNATIONAL EAT AN APPLE DAY

9-20 APPLES

 

Hey – today is INTERNATIONAL EAT AN APPLE DAY!!!  Most fruit is nutritious, but apples have a great calorie / nutrition ratio! Make sure you keep the skin on it because if you peel your apple you lose all the healthy fiber. We all know fiber is our friend!

It’s almost necessary to be a science major if you are diabetic. There are so many variables with the food choices! The more fiber food has, the more desirable it is even if there is sugar in it. The fiber counts in the plus column and overrides the sugar. Protein works the same way. If I have enough protein next to the sugar, it counteracts it. Ah – I think I’ve got it! In other words, even though an apple has natural sugars, it also has enough fiber to make the sugars “legal”.

The humble apple is often overlooked as a snack for diabetics, as are other fruits. According to my doctor, grapes are probably the worst fruit to eat for a snack, but she says apples are one of the best. So I try to eat an apple a day. I actually told my doctor I was going to eat an apple a day in an effort to keep her away. Strangely, she did not take offense to my comment. Hmm…

Obviously, I will not recommend that diabetics eat apple pie, but hey, get real – we’re all thinking it, aren’t we? This is one of my favorite sugar-free apple pie recipes.

I always use the most cinnamon possible because I like a more spicy apple pie. As I watched that recipe on YouTube, guess what it made me want to do? Yep – I’m gonna have to make it!

Here’s one last video – this guy can eat the whole apple in one bite! Seriously – do NOT try this. It looks painful! :-/